Help! Trouble Importing my Free Word Press Blog

I came to Dreamhost to host my year old WP blog (about 150 Posts) Dreamhost claims that it is one click install. I tried to import and I got an error and this is what I got back after 2-3 days:

On Tue, 07 Aug 2007, you wrote:

[quote]Hello I tried again and I got:

Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 73662464) (tried to allocate 1253

bytes) in *




I am attepmting to load about 3.5 mb if that info helps. Can you please help

me. thank you.


On Tue, 07 Aug 2007, you wrote:

[quote]Hello can you help me with this import problem I have been trying to import

my blog for 2 days now.

Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 73662464) (tried to allocate 1253

bytes) in *




I am attepmting to load about 3.5 mb if that info helps. Can you please help

me. thank you.



From the looks of it, it appears you’ve reached the php memory limit.
What you will need to do is create a custom php.ini and modify the
memory_limit and perhaps the post_max_size. Unfortunately we do not
provide technical support for creating custom php.ini files, so if you
are not familar with this, please visit this wiki:

Also, I wholeheartedly recommend going to our forums and asking for help:

I’m sure there’s many Dreamhost customers that are willing to help you.
Good luck!



I am an amateur at all of this I

Thanks in advance.


The first thing you need to do is calm down and take a deep breath. Lots of people bring WordPress blogs to DreamHost, so there will definitely be people who can give you advice on how to get over this import problem. Please be patient and wait for some responses.

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I don’t have a WordPress blog, but after a bit of Googling I have learned the following:

  1. Use the one-click installation system in the Control Panel to setup a blank WordPress installation.

  2. Move your MySQL database over from your old hosting to the new version (you can use phpMyAdmin to do this). Your posts and comments will be working, but without any images etc.

  3. Use FTP (SFTP would be better) to transfer any associated uploaded files/images etc. By following this method, you do not run into any issues with the memory or PHP upload limit.

Others who have actually done this should be able to verify whether or not the method works.

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I am using a word press blog there is no hosting company. What do I do in this case.

Bare in mind I am an amateur at all of this.


As you have discovered, “importing” can sometimes be problematic (in your case, it appears to be a memory usage issue, but there can be others).

Scjessey has the right idea for a much better way to accomplish this, though there are a couple of things to consider:

1)What version of WordPress is your “old” (or existing) blog running?

2)What version of MySQL is in use with that blog at present.

These are important as the “compatibility” of the database you are trying to “move” could be an issue.

Finally, if you already have a WordPress installation functioning somewhere else, you may not even need to create a new one on DreamHost.

Given the potential compatibility issues (many existing WordPress blogs have not been regularly updated, and DH always runs the most current release), your better approach may be to just “move” your old blog onto DreamHost “intact”

A great set of instructions for doing this can be found on the WordPress Codex Article on “Moving WordPress”.

Really, as I said earlier, in order to know the best way for you to approach this, it would help to know what versions (WP and MySQL) your current site is using - depending upon the answer to those questions, one way may be better than another to get you setup on DreamHost.

Note: Since you chose to splatter your posts for help across 4 different forums, it is going to be difficult to keep any kind of continuity to the conversation if others respond to different threads, and I’m not even going to try - I’ll only be reading this one. :wink:


There has to be a “host” if your blog is presently reachable “online”. Is there a URL where your present blog can be reached? Are you hosting the blog on


All additional posts removed and title altered on this one.

That’s a good move, but I can’t help but wonder: If you were going to alter the title (subject), why didn’t you alter to it to something meaningful and relevant to your issue (as I just did).

Hey, it may not be as much “fun” as just “yelling” in frustration, but it is more likely to attract the attention of those that know a lot about WordPress and might be able to help. :wink:


Yes its at wordpress.

You have a point! But then again you didnt work on this for days only to be told TS.

But lets move on. No?

Are you saying it’s a blog? That’s good news from a compatibility standpoint, because it will mean that the database and version will likely be as up-to-date as DreamHost’s version.

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What do you mean “TS”?

Ha ha DreamHost tech support might have to but up with a certain amount of snippiness before they quit responding to you, but I don’t have to.

The number of days you spent working on this, and your subsequent frustration with your own lack of knowledge, is not sufficient reason for me to have to deal with your attitude in addition to trying to help you. Get over it and get on with getting it fixed.

You want to move on, okay - answer the questions I asked in my previous post regarding the version of WordPress you are running, the URL to your existing site, and the MySQL version in use - or just tell me you don’t know about the MySQL or the WP version. I’m willing to help you, to a point, but I shouldn’t have to repeatedly ask the same questions. :wink:


If it is a blog, that will mean the blog has been exported as an XML file (ready for import elsewhere), and direct database access may not be available. Presumably, executing the import takes time and it runs into memory problems. That’s why support has recommended a custom PHP. Perhaps DreamHost PS would solve this problem :smiley:

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Well, one can always hope, but remember that runs WordPressMU software, not software - in the past, there have been database differences between the “current” versions of each of those applications. :wink:


Yes, indeed - you can’t get at the database directly on

I also just went to my account there and checked - they are also no longer showing the software revision number they are running. I know from my recent attendance at WordCamp2007 in San Francisco that is a highly modified derivative of the WordPressMu software, and I am sure that the databases are different than those for software. :wink:

This probably is the reason that they offer the XML export as opposed to just letting you “dump” the database (maybe they are not wanting to created a huge support problem for themselves or maybe they don’t really want to “advertise” their database configuration).

It seems to me his *other * workaround beside a custom PHP would be to add additional users to his WP blog, and spread the posts among them, only exporting a particular author’s posts at a time (resulting in a smaller export file).

Frankly, all that seems like a lot more trouble than it is worth. He said he had approximately 150 posts, so, if comments are not important, they could be cut-n-pasted manually into the new DreamHost blog in less than a couple of hours (comments of course, are a different matter).

I’mt thinking it will take well over that amount of time to do a custom PHP workaround for him (the process only takes about 10 minutes, but teaching him how to do it is another matter).


Okay, here is another option that should work for you. You can install a “local” instance of WordPRess on your own computer, and then “import” your “exported” blog into it.

From there, you can simply backup/dump the entire database, and then import that into your WordPress blog on DreamHost. :slight_smile:

That will avoid the memory issue with the XML file that provided, and you can use the DreamHost supplied phpMyAdmin interface to your database to make it even easier.

How you go about installing a local instance of WordPress can be anything from “Easy” to “complicated”, depending upon your computer and operating system. For details on how to do that, review the WordPress Codex page of “Special Installations”. Make sure you install the same version of WordPress that your DreamHost installation uses, and use MySQL5 for your database (that is normal in these types of installations).

A side benefit of doing this, is that after you have completed the transition of your blog between and DreamHost, you can leave the “local” installation on your computer if you want for use as a test platform for plugins, etc.

Once you have a WordPress installation running on your own computer, and have “imported” your old site into it, you can always come back here for further help on how to move that database into DreamHost. :wink:

Alternately, of course, if all this is just too hard for you, you can copy and paste your post from your existing site into your new DreamHost WordPress installation. I have no idea whether this is even feasible in your case, as you have not provided a URL to your blog so that we can check it out and see what is involved (with 150 posts, it is certainly feasible for the posts, but comments, if they are present or extensive, may be another matter.)


And here’s another possibility: splitting the export file into chunks and import them one chunk at a time.

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Very true! And, actually, I like that idea a lot better! :slight_smile:

I doubt the OP would derive any advantage from a “local” development installation once the import was done, and your way is probably easier on a “one-off” task such as this… :wink:


I thin splitting is the answer. I was able to send a smaller blog over no problem so it seems size is an issue. Does anyone know how to go about splitting the export file?

There are a couple of ways to split your export file into a series of smaller files that you can import more easily, but whether you can use one of them or not depends on the nature of your blog.

Please note that I am a bit hesitant to suggest the best way for you to approach this, as I have not seen your blog, and the methodology you should use for best results has a lot to do with your structure and contents. For instance, none of these export/import methods migrate any uploaded images from your old site, nor do they account for any “absolute links” to those images within your content (absolute links to images “outside” your own site will continue to work as they did on your old site - they will show up as long as they are still present in the location that was linked)

I only mention this because you have already indicated considerable frustration with the difficulty you are having in accomplishing this move, and I don’t want to subject you to completing the export/import successfully only to find all your posts “borked” because of missing images and bad image links. This is also true of any “hardcoded” links within a post to a permalink/page/post within your old site - when the url to your site changes, that link will be broken.

Since I have asked repeatedly for a link to your present blog (the one we are trying to help you move to DreamHost) but you have ignored that request, I can only assume that you do not want me/us to see the site, which is fine. That said, you should understand that the advice you get here is given without the benefit of that important and relevant research.

With the understanding, please realize that I am only attempting to answer your question regarding “splitting the exported xml file” so you can accomplish a series of imports, and that, if you have images, or absolute links, in your posts, they will need to be dealt with in another way.

Create Multiple Exports

The WordPress Export facility has the ability to limit the contents of the Export file by author using the “Restrict Author:” pull down selection box. If you have multiple authors, this enables you to select only a single author’s posts (with comments and category data) to be included in the export. By doing this for each author, you will end up with a series of export files that can then be individually imported to your new blog. This obviously will not help you much if there is single author for all your posts, or if any individual author’s number of posts is so large the memory problem manifests itself again.

Split A Single Large Exported XML File Into Smaller Valid Files

The second method is to create a series of XML files from the single xml file, each containing the proper heading information and structure, but containing different content sections. If you have the programming skills, you could attempt to program this, but unless you are fairly skillful and understand XML very well, this is probably not a viable option.

You can do it manually with a text editor. DO NOT use a “word processor”; you want pure raw text here, with nix style line-endings if at all possible. You have not shared what type of computer or OS you are using, but MAC OS X, various Windze computers, and linux machines have such editors readily available (on windows machines I use PSPad, which is free and available for download from the web).

Trying to put this in “plain English” and avoiding “jargon” (my descriptions of these parts of the file are intended to be descriptive, and are not the correct technical terms), what you want to do is open the XML file you exported from, and study it so that you see how it is “structured”. The file starts out with comment information about the file, then has “header” information such as “RSS version” info, followed by “Channel” information, followed by the “contents” of your blogs posts, comments, categories, etc., and ending with “file closing tags”.

XML files use the same convention of “opening/closing tags” ( … ) as html, so if you look at the file closely, you can see where the “header” information ends, the data from your site begins, and the file closing tags begin. In the case of these feeds, it looks something like this:

(header information)[color=#0000CC]

[code]<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<rss version="2.0"

Title of your BLog http://www.url_of_your_blog description of your blog Sat, 04 Aug 2007 05:08:42 0000 en[/code][/color]

(your data/content follows for many, many lines)

(file ending tags)[color=#0000CC]</channel> </rss>[/color]

Once you understand how that structure works, you can create with your text editor (using copy-n-paste), a series of files each containing the “header information”, part of the data, and the “file ending tags”. The “header information” and the “file ending tags” will be identical in each file, but each file will have a different collection (a subset, if you will) of “data/content” lines.

You can “split” this content anywhere you want with the single restriction that you not split an item - in other words, all the content between a tag (which signifies the “beginning” of an item) and a tag (which signifies the “ending” of an item), and those tags themselves*, must be contiguous in the same file.

When you have completed this process, if you have done it without error, you will have a series of files each able to be imported individually into your WordPress installation on DreamHost. Once you have completed the series of imports, all your content will now be “in” the new WordPress.

Note that, while you are doing the editing might be a good time to deal with any “hard” urls/links in the data that refer to your “old” site (use a search and replace to change them to your new “domainname.tld” site).

If you do this, and then move any referenced images from the old site to your new site (generally your “uploads” directory, and sub-directories, as set in Options, Miscellaneous screen in the WordPress back-end) in the proper directory structure, you can avoid having to “fix” each broken link individually.

I’ve tried to give you a “layman’s” description of how to do all of this - there are many many references on XML on the web (Google can point them out) if you want something more technically detailed or more “in depth”.

If this seems too complicated to do, you might consider imposing upon a friend who is an experienced web developer to help you, or reconsider whether or not the other methodology I presented in an earlier post is something you feel more capable of accomplishing.

If you run into a particular problem, the users here have evidenced a willingness to help you, so you can always post again and see if we can help you further. Good Luck! :slight_smile: