WordPress to MODx Migration Part 1: First Impressions of xPDO

I wrote in my last post that I want to move this blog from WordPress to MODx and so I thought this would be a good real world lesson in using xPDO.  Rather than custom coding a database migration tool using plain old php like I've done in the past, I thought it would be cool to see what xPDO could do, how easy it would be, and how robust xPDO is.  I've spent 2 hours on the code below and have never used xPDO before, and so far I'm pretty impressed with what xPDO can do. It's nice to work with a lightweight ORM tool that just does it's thing without extra framework code to wade through.  I've used the Doctrine ORM in Symfony for quite a while and its a bit complex a bloated (do we really need DQL?), so compared to that, I found xPDO faster and easier to learn.

First, I want to explain my goals for moving this blog to MODx Revolution.  I've used MODx for the past three years and it's time for me to pony up and go all the way with MODx.  I've written a lot on this blog that MODx is great, but it isn't great blog software and that's why I use WordPress.  However, after seeing what Revolution can do, I really believe it changes the game and could actually catch up to WordPress sooner than we think. Also, using WordPress doesn't help MODx become a better blogging tool, and that's what I'd really like to do.

I've also had some trouble getting WordPress to do what I want it to do on this site. This site is more than just a blog - it has a tools section with custom PHP code and a tutorials section. I feel I've had to hack WordPress to get these things done.  The entire time I was coding the templates and custom plugin code to do this, it was always in the back of my mind how easy this would be to do in MODx.  So I've been stuck between having lots of great blog functionality with WordPress, and wanting all the the customization that is so easy with MODx.  I think I can have both with Revolution.

Below is the beginning of this move, and I'm sharing code at this early state to get feedback from the MODx community and just to share my experience with anyone who is interested.  I'm interested to find out if what I'm doing is a good way to go about it, so if you have suggestions, feel free to comment. The goals of the migration are:

Setting Up My Local Dev Environment

I'm assuming that you have a local LAMP, XAMPP, or MAMP stack set up and running. WAMP most likely will not work and gave me headaches for a long time with Revolution. Just use XAMPP on Windows and you'll be fine I think it's a better, more up-to-date product anyway.

Besides the dev environment, you need two things to get started: 1) an export of your wordpress data using phpMyAdmin's export feature, or one from mysqldump, 2) a running installation of MODx Revolution (I'm currently using MODx Revolution 2.0.0-rc-1 rev6614).

First you'll need to create a database for your wordpress data. Mine is called 'wordpress_devtrench' and you'll see it referenced in the code below. Once you have a database created, simply import your wordpress database into it. You don't need to install WordPress since we just need the data.

Next, install a fresh copy of Revolution. The database I set up is called 'modx_devtrench', and you'll see that referenced below as well. All database logins are on my local machine so using 'root' with no password fine, just don't do that on your live server.

Creating the WordPress Model

After getting MODx set up and my WP database installed, the first thing I did was to create a schema and model based on my existing WP database.  Thanks to Jason Coward, this was very easy:

 * xPDO Wordpress to MODx Migration Code
 * Author James Ehly (
 * This code is part of the WP to MODx migration and should go in your
 * core/model/schema directory.  Simply run it from a web browser or cli and
 * it will create the wordpress schema from the database and all of the
 * xpdo objects in core/model/wordpress
 * Once this is done we can run the wp2modx.php script that does the actual
 * data migration.
 * @todo some manual intervention is needed to set up the table relationships we need
 * Thanks to Jason Coward for posting how do set up a schema from a database:

$mtime= microtime();
$mtime= explode(" ", $mtime);
$mtime= $mtime[1] + $mtime[0];
$tstart= $mtime;

//Customize this line based on the location of your script
include_once (dirname(dirname(dirname(__FILE__))) . '/xpdo/xpdo.class.php');

// set your database credentials to use your wordpress database, and set the wordpress prefix (default is 'wp_')
$xpdo= new xPDO('mysql:host=localhost;dbname=wordpress_devtrench','root','','wp_');

// Set the package name and root path of that package
$xpdo->setPackage('modx', XPDO_CORE_PATH . '../model/');


$manager= $xpdo->getManager();
$generator= $manager->getGenerator();

//Use this to create a schema from an existing database - this will write the wordpress.mysql.schema.xml file
$xml= $generator->writeSchema(XPDO_CORE_PATH . '../model/schema/wordpress.mysql.schema.xml', 'wordpress', 'xPDOObject', 'wp_');

//Use this to generate classes and maps from your schema
// NOTE: by default, only maps are overwritten; delete class files if you want to regenerate classes
// this will generate all of the model code in core/model/wordpress/
$generator->parseSchema(XPDO_CORE_PATH . '../model/schema/wordpress.mysql.schema.xml', XPDO_CORE_PATH . '../model/');

$mtime= microtime();
$mtime= explode(" ", $mtime);
$mtime= $mtime[1] + $mtime[0];
$tend= $mtime;
$totalTime= ($tend - $tstart);
$totalTime= sprintf("%2.4f s", $totalTime);

echo "\nExecution time: {$totalTime}\n";

Basically this code creates a schema file (an xml file that describes the database structure), and a folder called 'wordpress' in core/model/. Inside of the wordpress folder will be all of the model class files that we need to migrate our data using xpdo.

Starting The Migration Script

Now that we have  an xpdo model to work with that we can start to create the code that will migrate WP data into MODx.  Since the databases are separate, we need 2 xPDO objects: the MODx object and an xPDO object with the WordPress package loaded.

Once we have the objects created it's simply a matter of getting all the posts and making a loop where we do the mapping between objects.  xPDO makes this so easy with it's getters and setters. The code is commented pretty well so just go line by line and read it.

 * xPDO Wordpress to MODx Migration Code
 * Author James Ehly (
 * This script uses xpdo to connect to modx and wordpress packages to migrate
 * data from a wordpress database to a modx database
 * The code below may or may not work for your particular wordpress and MODx install.
 * It should be used as a reference point, and you should customize it to your
 * specific needs, but I hope that most general cases are covered.
 * This script is intended to be run on a new install of MODx Revolution.  If
 * you are using an existing MODx Revo install then the script will probably
 * work but might have some unexpected results. So, backup your data first, and
 * use at your own risk.

// Include the xpdo and modx classes
include ('core/xpdo/xpdo.class.php');
include ('core/model/modx/modx.class.php');

// Instantiate a new modx object.  MODx inherits from xpdo so we can use it
// like an xpdo object, but it has the extra functions needed for saving content.
// Thanks to Shaun McCormick for writing docs on this.
$modx = new modX();

// Now instantiate a new xpdo object and add our wordpress package.  This gives
// us the ability to make queries on the wordpress database as an xpdo object.
$wp = new xPDO('mysql:host=localhost;dbname=wordpress_devtrench;charset=utf-8', 'root', '');

// get all wordpress posts.  Isn't this so easy?
$posts = $wp->getCollection('Posts');

// iterate over each post and create a new modResource object, mapping our post
// fields to our wordpress fields
foreach($posts as $post)
  $resource = '';
  $resource = $modx->newObject('modResource',array(
    'published'=> ($post->get('post_status') == 'publish') ? 1 : 0,
    'pub_date'=> ($post->get('post_status') == 'publish') ? $post->get('post_date') : 0,
  // call the save function which inserts our object record into the database.
// we're done
echo 'done.';

This code is pretty simple so far but it works.  After running this script, all of my WordPress posts, pages, and versions are set up as document resources in MODx and I can see and edit them in the manager.  Not bad for 2 hours of research/learning and coding.  The next step will be to create the relationships in my WordPress schema (this has to be done by hand).  Once that is done I'll be able to start to map items related to posts to Template Variables related to my documents.  I also plan to set up Quip to handle comments on the MODx side and figure out how to migrate all of my WP comments.  The appropriate logic will also need to written to handle how WP posts, pages and versions should be migrated to MODx.  For instance, I want my blog posts to be under a main blog page, not under the site root, and I want pages to be directly under the site root (pretty much reverse of what it is now).  Versions will probably just be dropped.

First impressions are always important, and xPDO has really impressed me so far.  It's turning out to be exactly what I've wanted in MODx for so long; a simple way to get MODx to interact with custom data.  I'm excited to see where this project takes me with MODx Revolution and xPDO.