Data Liberation Next Steps

The recently published announcement of the Data Liberation initiative started some great conversations, and this follow-up post aims to provide additional direction. As a start, I’d like to draw on a few things Matt mentioned in the original announcement.

Migrating your site to WordPress or exporting all your content from WordPress should be possible in one click.

This is the big picture and what we’re aiming for. One-click. No worries.

It will be an iterative journey to get there, working with the intricacies of different platforms, finding ways to liberate content from walled gardens, and combining them all. 

I often hear about folks across the WordPress community duplicating efforts when creating scripts and workflows to move users to WordPress. Imagine if we shared those resources instead and built community-owned plugins that anyone could use!

But it should be more than plugins; workflows, tutorials, and helper scripts should be shared, too. I want this resource to have space to include moving from social networks, moving from a page builder to coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. blocks, switching from classic to blocks, and improving WordPress current canonical plugins for importing.”

This is a huge opportunity and a broad scope of things to contribute towards. Any of the items mentioned above would be valuable,  so I also want to highlight some specific things that would be great for us to work on as a community and where you can contribute with your thoughts.

Migrating from [Platform of your choice] to WordPress

Currently, migrating content from another platform can vary from simple (WXR exports for the win!) to complex (manually editing CSV files) to impossible. 

MigrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies. solutions combine community plugins, proprietary plugins, guides, tips, and scripts. What can we, as a community, do to bring all of those together into a single solution for end users? Or, at the very least, a suite of solutions that end users can access from a single place, quickly finding the one that suits their needs?

Currently, a proposal centers around using the Playground as a tool for users to migrate their content and see a real-time, editable preview of what their site would look like in WordPress. 

An alternative suggests a hybrid approach where the platform of the source site is detected, and the user is guided and assisted through performing the migration.

Get Involved

  • Both the proposals mentioned above are promising and would benefit from further discussion – add your thoughts!
  • Got a tool to help with migrations that you’d like to open up to the Community? You can open a discussion or even just submit it!

Improving WordPress’ Import/Export format (WXR)

Currently, the WordPress eXtended RSS format (WXR) is used to import and export WordPress sites. It has also been adopted by other platforms (including Squarespace and Drupal) as a de facto standard for content portability.

There is plenty of room for improvement with the format (or to investigate other export format options) that are powerful, open, and accessible.

Get Involved

Page Builders > Blocks & Classic to Blocks

An important part of Data Liberation is to provide pathways for users who want to move to modern WordPress core blocks or between third party editors.

Many third-party tools and builders have blocks and features that aren’t matched in Core blocks, making it a tricky choice for those who would prefer to use the blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor. Thankfully, this proposal to introduce a directory of standalone ‘core’ blocks could help.

Get Involved

Migration Guides

While the end goal is for a ‘one-click’ solution to migrate to WordPress, there will definitely be cases (for now, at least) that will involve some manual work for users.

For these situations, work has started on simple, easy-to-follow guides that walk users through the steps to liberate their content in order to import it into WordPress. Even as the community develops tools, these guides will remain an important alternative.

Get Involved

In addition to the items mentioned above, I’m interested in hearing from the community about their broader thoughts and feelings about the Data Liberation initiative.

  • What is missing from this post that you’d like to see considered?
  • With such a broad scope, what should be focused on with the highest priority?
  • What other voices should be heard on this topic?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and let me encourage you to come and join the #data-liberation channel in the Making WordPress Slack.