Support #18521


Migrating English Site to CUNY Commons

Added by Laurie Hurson 4 months ago. Updated 4 months ago.

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Hi All,

A message from a new user about migrating a site to the Commons:

"I've read your documentation on importing a wordpress site via XML, but given the large volume of content (like archive blog posts with featured >images and galleries) and especially the high degree of customization to the theme and css, that option doesn't seem very promising.

The current department site is here:

Are there any backup or migration plugins that can run on CUNY Commons?"

Are we able to upload a custom theme they may be using to help with the re-build?

Is there a reason that XML export/import might not work here? Is there an alternative, or should I suggest the XML process only?

I found a few possible back up plugins - do any of these look reasonable for use on the Commons?

Backup Migration:
All in one Migration:


CCNY English - Body Scripts.txt (814 Bytes) CCNY English - Body Scripts.txt Laurie Hurson, 2023-08-04 09:28 AM
CCNY English - Header Scripts.txt (12.3 KB) CCNY English - Header Scripts.txt Laurie Hurson, 2023-08-04 09:28 AM
Actions #1

Updated by Boone Gorges 4 months ago

  • Status changed from New to Reporter Feedback

Backup and/or migration plugins are not compatible with the Commons infrastructure.

Laurie, you're correct that there are two parts to the request.

First, the post data itself, including featured images and galleries, ought to be moveable with the XML export tool. In particular, it appears that the source site may use the Kadence Blocks plugin to handle some formatting. The Commons already has this plugin, and block-based plugins store their data in a way that is fully compatible with XML export/import.

Second, there's the theme. It appears that the site is using It would be helpful to know if they're also running the "premium" (ie paid) version of Inspiro. Either way, it should not be a problem to offer this theme on the Commons for use by the program.

I'm unfamiliar with how Inspiro is managed. Could the reporter share some details on exactly how the "customization to the theme and css" is achieved in the theme? Is it all a single block of custom CSS in Dashboard > Appearance > Customizer? Does the theme have many options that allow for fine-grained configurations? This will help me to understand whether it's possible to reconfigure the theme in a relatively straightforward way. I say "reconfigure" because theme config options generally are not included in WP XML exports, and so need to be reapplied after the new site is set up. If I can get a sense of the complexity of this process, I can make recommendations for next steps.

Actions #2

Updated by Laurie Hurson 4 months ago

Thanks so much for this insight Boone. I have relayed this info to the user, and have asked from some follow up information. Will circle back when I know more.


Actions #3

Updated by Laurie Hurson 4 months ago

Following up with more theme info from the user:

"Here is the new test site in progress:
It looks awful, but all the posts, pages and media files seem to be there.

Regarding the theme, the current site is using the free version, Inspiro Lite.

However, in addition to customization via the menu options and custom css, a plugin called 'WP Headers And Footers’ is being used to insert >scripts into the header and body of each page. I’ve attached those scripts for reference. "

Can we install the 'WP Headers And Footers’ plugin on their site? OR will this conflict with the Commons footers? If so, is there a way we can help them recreate the headers and footers in the attached scripts?

Can we install the free version of Inspiro Lite on their site as well?


Actions #4

Updated by Boone Gorges 4 months ago

Thanks for the additional information.

We are unable to run plugins like WP Headers and Footers. It's a security risk to allow arbitrary PHP or JS code to be run on Commons sites.

It's no problem to install Inspiro Lite. Generally, new theme requests are processed and released on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. As a courtesy, I've released this one immediately and activated on the test site.

Looking over your custom scripts, it looks like they fall into several categories:

1. There's a bit of JavaScript that adds aria-label attributes to nav items.
2. There's a bunch of custom CSS.
3. There's some JavaScript that seems to initialize an external accessibility-scanning service.
4. There's a PHP filter callback that was pasted here incorrectly.

These can be handled in various ways on the Commons.

Regarding 1: I wonder whether this is actually necessary. You're just adding the aria-label text 'Custom Label', which is not actually helpful to screen readers. I think that whoever built the site was probably testing an approach, but ultimately abandoned it. I think it can be safely ignored here.

Regarding 2: I've pasted it into Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS. I should note that much of this CSS will need to be manually updated for the Commons. First, many of the images are referenced by paths that specifically mention the old URL. The files will need to be re-uploaded to the new site (if they haven't been already as part of the import process) and then the references in the CSS will need to be changed. Second, many of the page-specific styles use the 'page-id-xxx' class, where 'xxx' is the unique ID of the page. When you import items into a WordPress installation, the post IDs change. So these styles won't be correctly targeted anymore. There's a few dozen of these, and they'll need to be manually swapped out.

Regarding 3: I'm not totally sure what this was intended to do. If you need accessibility scanning, you could consider a client-side tool like WAVE or Lighthouse

Regarding 4: This was clearly an error and can be safely ignored.

I recommend that the user take a bit of time to see how easily the site can be configured to match the old one. Take a look especially at and the corresponding page on the old site. This page contains the theme-specific options that I mentioned in my last message. Unfortunately, it looks like Inspiro's options don't come over cleanly as part of a WP export, and I don't see a tool in the theme to export+import.

If it proves impossible to do the necessary configuration after an hour or two of work, we can explore other options.


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