How to Migrate from WordPress to Drupal

wordpress to drupal logoBoth WordPress and Drupal are widely used open source content management systems in the market. A large group of people, as beginners, prefer to create an online presence using WordPress due to its simplicity and usability. However, as the website outgrows a WordPress site, people usually tend to host it on a more powerful and solid Drupal platform.

Some people may wonder about the migration from WordPress to Drupal. This article will introduce some detailed methods to help them fulfill the transfer easily. I won’t go into the reasons why Drupal is a better option for a large website, because all the details can be found in our post of 5 Reasons to Choose Drupal over WordPress for Enterprise Websites. Now, let’s get down to business straight away.

Preparing to Migrate Your WordPress Site

No matter which way you are going to use for migrating your existing WordPress content to a Drupal site, you need to do at least two things in advance for preparation.

Collect All the Documents in Export File

For preventing the web content from losing, you’d better collect all the documents into an Export File before starting the migration to Drupal.

wordpress export file

First, log in to your WordPress site in the use of your administrator username and password. Then click Tools > Export in the Dashboard, and select the All content option as you could see in the screen. After that, click the Download Export File button to create an XML file (also called WordPress eXtended RSS file) for you to save to your local computer.

Enable WordPress Import Module

When you have finished a Drupal installation on your site, the next step is to enable the WordPress Import module, which can be found in the admin menu included in the Modules. In Content > WordPress import tab, you will find whether you’ve successfully enable the module or not.

Note that the content of your Drupal database will be changed as of the WordPress importing, and as such, a failed import without such a backup will be quite difficult to undo. So, before using any version of WordPress Import module, you’d better perform a full backup of your Drupal installation, just in case.

Importing WordPress Content

Here are the basic step-by-step instructions for importing your WordPress content to a Drupal site:

  1. Go into the admin menu of your Drupal site, then click Content and Import button in WordPress import tab in sequence;
  2. Choose your import method from Import from a URL and Import from a file The difference between the two methods is the former allows you to directly import a WordPress site with more than 10MB in size, while the latter is only available for the exported file smaller than 10MB. Thereafter, you just need to upload the export files on demand.
  3. Handle the imported content by configuring your import process in the Map content settings pane, including a certain selection of Drupal type for your WordPress pages as well as for your WordPress posts.
  4. Decide which text format of the import process you want with the imported content in the Text formats In this part, you can choose any default text format to be applied to the imported comments and imported text fields as you like.
  5. Import content taxonomy information into a certain vocabulary in the Map taxonomy settings pane. You need to decide the taxonomy vocabulary of both WordPress tags and WordPress categories that you want to import into. Or, you can also choose to skip the step if you don’t plan to change any existing text formats.
  6. The last step is to click Import WordPress blog/site and finish the migration from WordPress to Drupal.

Managing Previous WordPress Imports

After importing content from your WordPress site to Drupal site successfully, you can start with cleaning the previous traces and release the memory.

Removal of Imported WordPress Content

In order to have the content associated with import files or with one or more WordPress sites well removed, two steps are required. Firstly, select all the WordPress import events in the check box. Secondly, remove them from the list in the Update options section and then click Update.

Removal of Import Statistics

Removing import statistics is to make sure the selected WordPress imported content be not removed accidentally. The first step is the same as removing imported WordPress content as mentioned before. The second step needs you to remove bookkeeping only from the list in the Update options and then update it.

Working with CCK

CCK, standing for Content Construction Kit, allows you to use a web interface for adding custom fields to any of the content types:

The CCK installation is the same way as any other modules are installed:

  1. Download and unzip the tarball from and then add it to the sites/all/modules folder within your site.
  2. Go to the com/admin/build/modules page of your site to activate the new modules.

Please note that the above installation is only valid for Drupal 5.x or Drupal 6.x. For Drupal 7 or later version, CCK has been one of the core modules being integrated with them so you don’t need to install it by yourselves any more.

Dealing with Import Problems

If you meet with some issues when importing the WordPress export file, the problems are usually caused by either an older version of WordPress or by XML errors in the WordPress export file. The way to solve the former problem is very simple: update your WordPress to the latest one. As for the latter one, the most effective way is to examine the file for XML errors and then fix them.


As you could see, the above instructions for migrating from WordPress to Drupal are all based on using WordPress Import module. However, there are other usable modules can be used to help you accomplish the migration.

  • WordPress Migrate, designed for Drupal 7.x and built on the top of the Migrate module, supports the import of WordPress blog exports (WXR files) into Drupal.
  • WordPress XML for Feeds with the WordPress Importer module included, can be used to import WXR files via taking advantage of WordPress XML parser and Feeds.


From this article, it is easy to get concluded that migrating from WordPress to Drupal is a little complicated. You need to ensure all the documents be well collected in the Export File folder at first. Then you can use WordPress Import module, WordPress Migrate module or WordPress XML for Feeds to have the web content migrated to your Drupal site. In the process, you may have some import problems to be solved. If you’re a tech-savvy user, you can easily handle the whole process. If not, we would like to suggest you to sign up with a Drupal managed hosting and rely on their website migration team.

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