Importing a Blog Archive to WriterShelf

Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: WriterShelf
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
WriterShelf is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join WriterShelf now! Already a member. Login to WriterShelf.
The Voice of WriterShelf
659   0  
5 mins read

The WriterShelf Import tool lets you import a blog archive to WriterShelf as a batch process. The tool lets you:

  • Map articles to WriterShelf pen names
  • Assign articles to WriterShelf folders and categories
  • Publish articles directly to WriterShelf or create drafts to publish later.

The Import tool currently supports the Moveable Type Import / Export format. If your platform supports other formats, please contact us at to talk about adding support.

Please read this document carefully. Importing an archive can be complicated. A clear understanding of how WriterShelf handles imported data can make the process smooth and fast.

Basic Flow

  1. Choose Settings & Load Archive File: WriterShelf reads the archive file to check for errors and assign initial mapping based on your settings.
  2. Preview, Edit & Adjust Mapping: After the file is read into the Import tool, you have the chance to adjust mapping for articles individually or as a group. You can also edit individual articles.
  3. Upload / Publish: Once you the confirm author, folder and category mapping data is correct, you are ready to upload the archive. Articles can be published directly or saved as drafts.

Pen Names and Folders

The import process cannot create new pen names. You must map articles to existing WriterShelf pen names.This ensures the integrity of the WriterShelf pen name system where every pen name must be unique. There is the option to create new pen names during the import process if that’s needed.

The import tool maps archive primary category and category data to WriterShelf folders and subfolders. WriterShelf category data is assigned separately during the import process.

Articles you import that you wish to include in folders must map to existing folders. This means you may need to create the folder structure before you import the archive. There is an option to create or edit folders during the import process.


Dates and Other Data

  • The timestamp of articles you import and publish is set to the import date.
  •  Comments and other data are not imported from archive files. The Import tool reads only article content, author, publish/draft status and category data.


Detailed Steps
  1. Export your articles from your original blogging platform. Currently WriterShelf supports Moveable Type Import / Export format, a common format for legacy blogs.
  2. Import page. Click the Import button on your Account Home Page (My WriterShelf) to open the Import page.

Screenshot - Import Button






Screenshot - Import Page





The Import page lets you choose the archive file, designate the source format and set Pen Name, publishing, folder and WriterShelf category options.

  1. Source format: WriterShelf supports importing archive files in HTML, Markdown with Smartypants and Textile 2. If you don’t know the format of your data, it is most likely HTML.
  2. Pen Name: Most archive files contain articles from a single author. In that case, select one of your WriterShelf pen names for all of the articles.
    If you wish to create a new pen name, do so in a separate browser tab and refresh the Import page to see the new pen name.
    If the archive contains articles by multiple authors, choose the “Original author” option and you will have the chance to map original authors to WriterShelf pen names or assign articles to pen names individually.
  3. Publish/Draft: The Import tool allows you to publish imported articles directly to WriterShelf, send articles to your drafts or follow the status indicated in the archive file.
    For smaller archives, sending to draft is advisable as it will give you the chance to review and update articles before they are published.
    Publishing directly is an efficient way to bring larger archives online but does not offer the opportunity to preview the final appearance of articles before they are made public.
    If the archive contains a mix of finished and draft articles, the “Follow original” option will use the status found in the archive.
  4. Folder: For archives that include primary category/category information, choosing the “Follow original” option enables foldering for articles and assigns the archive values.
    Choosing the “No folder” option ignores any category data in the archive. This is the best choice if you plan to change the organization of your articles.
    For both options you have the opportunity to change foldering settings in the Preview and Adjust Mapping step.
  5. Category: This option corresponds to available WriterShelf categories. Choose a category for all articles or leave blank.
  1. Processing page: Loading and processing archive files takes time. Please be patient. The start of analysis takes roughly 60 seconds. A progress bar will show the status of processing.  

Screenshot - Progress Bar

  1. Preview, Edit & Adjust Mapping page: When processing is complete, your archive articles are ready for review, updates and mapping adjustments. Articles are grouped by author and folder to map individually or by group.






Screenshot - Preview, Edit & Adjust Mapping Page






  1. Mapping authors to pen names: There are two ways to map original authors to WriterShelf pen names.
    • Group mapping. Click Group Mapping Pen Name to assign pen name by group. This is the easiest way to map pen names.
    • Assign individually. Click Manage/Map individual Import Article to change a single article.

Note: You can mix both methods. Articles mapped by group will follow that setting. Any individual articles you set will follow the new pen name assignment.

  1. Mapping categories to folders:
    The Import tool groups archive articles according to the primary category and category data it finds. This allows you to map the groups to one of your existing folders.
    If the target folder structure is not yet created, there is a link to create new folders.
    • Articles must be mapped to a pen name before they can be assigned to a folder.
    • Only group mapping is allowed. You cannot assign articles to folders individually. However, you can turn off foldering for any article and make changes after the article is imported.
  1. Editing individual articles:
    Choosing Manage/Map individual Import Article displays the content of an individual article.





Screenshot - Edit Individual Article Page






This allows you to edit the article title and text. You can change the article’s pen name, toggle the article’s publish/draft status, turn off foldering and update the WriterShelf category for the article.  

Note: Changing individual article settings overrides any group mapping. For example, if you map a author to a different pen name for an individual article, only the individual article is changed. Other articles in the group will remain mapped to the designated pen name. The same applies to foldering.
If you turn off foldering for an individual article, it remains off, even you assign a folder in group mapping.

  1. When pen name and folder mapping is complete, the archive is ready to upload.  The Import tool verifies the status of the author and folder mapping. All archive authors must be mapped to a existing WriterShelf pen name and all categories either mapped to a existing folder or skipped. Once verification is complete, a Upload button appears with the message “All verified, ready to upload import articles.” Click the button to upload the archive.

    If the Import tool finds errors, it displays the message “Error: Some pen name or folders are not yet mapped. Please complete mapping before uploading.”
  1. While the archive uploads, a progress bar will display the status. When uploading is complete, the tool displays a list of published articles.

WriterShelf™ is a unique multiple pen name blogging and forum platform. Protect relationships and your privacy. Take your writing in new directions. ** Join WriterShelf**
WriterShelf™ is an open writing platform. The views, information and opinions in this article are those of the author.

Article info

This article is part of:
Published: 2018/08/24 - Updated: 2020/05/28
Total: 1210 words

Share this article:
About the Author

WriterShelf is a privacy-oriented platform that lets you write using pen names.
Everyone has a story to tell. WriterShelf gives you the freedom to be yourself.

Join the discussion now!
Don't wait! Sign up to join the discussion.
WriterShelf is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join WriterShelf now! Already a member. Login to WriterShelf.