Importing an existing site


pelican-import is a command-line tool for converting articles from other software to reStructuredText or Markdown. The supported import formats are:

  • Blogger XML export
  • Dotclear export
  • Posterous API
  • Tumblr API
  • WordPress XML export
  • RSS/Atom feed

The conversion from HTML to reStructuredText or Markdown relies on Pandoc. For Dotclear, if the source posts are written with Markdown syntax, they will not be converted (as Pelican also supports Markdown).


Unlike Pelican, Wordpress supports multiple categories per article. These are imported as a comma-separated string. You have to resolve these manually, or use a plugin such as More Categories that enables multiple categories per article.


pelican-import has some dependencies not required by the rest of Pelican:

  • BeautifulSoup4 and lxml, for WordPress and Dotclear import. Can be installed like any other Python package (pip install BeautifulSoup4 lxml).
  • Feedparser, for feed import (pip install feedparser).
  • Pandoc, see the Pandoc site for installation instructions on your operating system.


pelican-import [-h] [--blogger] [--dotclear] [--posterous] [--tumblr] [--wpfile] [--feed]
               [-o OUTPUT] [-m MARKUP] [--dir-cat] [--dir-page] [--strip-raw] [--wp-custpost]
               [--wp-attach] [--disable-slugs] [-e EMAIL] [-p PASSWORD] [-b BLOGNAME]

Positional arguments

input The input file to read
api_token (Posterous only) api_token can be obtained from
api_key (Tumblr only) api_key can be obtained from

Optional arguments

-h, --help Show this help message and exit
--blogger Blogger XML export (default: False)
--dotclear Dotclear export (default: False)
--posterous Posterous API (default: False)
--tumblr Tumblr API (default: False)
--wpfile WordPress XML export (default: False)
--feed Feed to parse (default: False)
-o OUTPUT, --output OUTPUT
 Output path (default: content)
-m MARKUP, --markup MARKUP
 Output markup format: rst, markdown, or asciidoc (default: rst)
--dir-cat Put files in directories with categories name (default: False)
--dir-page Put files recognised as pages in “pages/” sub- directory (blogger and wordpress import only) (default: False)
 Import only post from the specified author
--strip-raw Strip raw HTML code that can’t be converted to markup such as flash embeds or iframes (wordpress import only) (default: False)
--wp-custpost Put wordpress custom post types in directories. If used with –dir-cat option directories will be created as “/post_type/category/” (wordpress import only)
--wp-attach Download files uploaded to wordpress as attachments. Files will be added to posts as a list in the post header and links to the files within the post will be updated. All files will be downloaded, even if they aren’t associated with a post. Files will be downloaded with their original path inside the output directory, e.g. “output/wp-uploads/date/postname/file.jpg”. (wordpress import only) (requires an internet connection)
 Disable storing slugs from imported posts within output. With this disabled, your Pelican URLs may not be consistent with your original posts. (default: False)
-e EMAIL, --email=EMAIL
 Email used to authenticate Posterous API
-p PASSWORD, --password=PASSWORD
 Password used to authenticate Posterous API
-b BLOGNAME, --blogname=BLOGNAME
 Blog name used in Tumblr API


For Blogger:

$ pelican-import --blogger -o ~/output ~/posts.xml

For Dotclear:

$ pelican-import --dotclear -o ~/output ~/backup.txt

for Posterous:

$ pelican-import --posterous -o ~/output --email=<email_address> --password=<password> <api_token>

For Tumblr:

$ pelican-import --tumblr -o ~/output --blogname=<blogname> <api_token>

For WordPress:

$ pelican-import --wpfile -o ~/output ~/posts.xml