Migrating from Orchard to WordPress

I still like the Orchard CMS project, but I’ve found it taking too much maintenance time and having weird issues over the years, so I finally caved and moved this site (and a number more to follow) to (or back to) wordpress.

Even this process was made way more difficult than it should have, the basic process went something like this:

-Over time, my site had become so slow it was hurting indexing and other issues- so I had to look into why. Finally figured out spammers had been comment spamming the site so hard, it had over 45k comments in the database and it was hurting performance. The site had an akismet plugin, which was detecting much of the spam, but it was still staying in the database.

-Run an old version of a BlogML export module so I could move the content to wordpress, but the content it exported messed up categories and tags. Tried upgrading to the latest blogml export module, but it doesnt work with my old 1.2 version of orchard, so it promptly crashed and had to be backed out.

-Orchard site was pretty old version (because it doesn’t do auto updating like wordpress does, so I never have time to go manually update the versions), so I first attempted to update from version 1.2 up to 1.10. After a lot of finagling, I actually got the site to load… at first, it just bombed and wouldn’t let me log in. Digging through log files, finding out what was crashing etc., hours later it finally let me in.

-The blog was not shown in the admin, nor on the live site. Where did all the content go?? Found a way to pull the blog content out, but it’s a mess.

-Tried several more ways to export content from the blog, but either the original slug url’s were missing, or the export content was mangled in some other way. Finally decided to just use the original blogml export, sans tags, and just recreate them by hand. UGH.

Oddly enough, the only blogml import module I found for WordPress also was outdated and no longer worked in current wordpress (actually, php) versions. I had to edit the php to fix this module… I *hate* php code! But at least I got it work. Finally get the import completed, and have been messing around with tags. I wanted to map the old orchard /Tags/tagname to the wordpress /tag/tagname, so I added a url rewrite rule to do this.

Now my site is back in commission, running fast, and will auto update when new versions of wordpress comes out. Oh, I’m still running on a windows server though, so I’m not completely mainstream just yet 😉

Where does that leave my relationship with Orchard? I wish the project much success, and I will be still using it for select projects, but for basic blog-type content, I’ll just use WP for a quick setup and execution going forward.

Orchard CMS used in Real Estate Crowdfunding startup

Since we run this site and many others on the Orchard CMS framework, I thought it was interesting to see that a startup featured on angel.co has chosen a microsoft stack including Orchard to build their service offering upon. The company also has an interesting model- crowdfunding for real estate investments. Check out RealtyShares on Angel Co site here: https://angel.co/realtyshares

Orchard and Microformats and Schema.org

I’ve been using Orchard for some time now, as well as some other cms and ecommerce platforms. Since I’m kinda big on SEO, it would be nice to see microformats, and specifically schema.org implemented in Orchard. Not sure if this would be good to do as a module, or if it would be necessary to do at a more core level of the system.


I found a uservoice entry regarding this and voted that it be added, I encourage you do the same if this interests you. see http://orchard.uservoice.com/forums/50435-general/suggestions/998443-support-microformats



Twitter Bootstrap Theme for Orchard

Looks like David Hayden knocked out a “Twitter Bootstrap” theme for Orchard… Really looking forward to trying this one out. I might even update this site to run this theme, though I need to find out which versions it supports first.  See more at http://www.davidhayden.me/blog/twitter-bootstrap-orchard-theme

I also found this Nuget package that contains an MVC3 template for Twitter Bootstrap, over here – https://nuget.org/packages/MahApps.Twitter.Bootstrap

orchard vs. wordpress popularity

A bit of keyword researching this evening lead me to the phrase “orchard themes”, which I have some interest (and stake) in since I’ve been working with orchard for quite a while now. This exact phrase is searched only about 100 times per month in the US, which didn’t sound like a lot to me. Then I did a search for “wordpress themes” to get a comparison, and sure enough… 100,000 searches per month. The global searches were about the same ratio, roughly 300 and 300,000.

So a very rough approximation of this data would tell us that wordpress is currently 1000 time as popular as Orchard. Ouch!

Oh the currently-empty project I currently have for for this is over at orchard themes on codeplex.

Orchard multitenancy configuration

Am now successfully running multiple sites on a single instance of Orchard (this one). Can’t really divulge what they are, but I will comment on the configuration- when making a new tenant, make sure you have no spaced in the name. It doesn’t fail immediately, but does a few steps later. The solution requires – 1. shut down the orchard website instance 2. open the tenants subfolder in the app_data and find the offending folder with spaces in the name, and delete it. 3. restart the website.

Note that even if you abandon an existing “spaces in name” corrupted attempt, it will still blow up every time you try to create a new one until this is resolved. And, if you don’t shut down the site first, it will keep recreating this messed up folder. fun times.