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

  • Medium export

  • 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.


Imported pages may contain links to images that still point to the original site. So you might want to download those images into your local content and manually re-link them from the relevant pages of your site.


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] [--tumblr] [--wpfile] [--feed]
               [-o OUTPUT] [-m MARKUP] [--dir-cat] [--dir-page] [--strip-raw] [--wp-custpost]
               [--wp-attach] [--disable-slugs] [-b BLOGNAME]

Positional arguments


The input file to read


(Tumblr only) api_key can be obtained from

Optional arguments

-h, --help

Show this help message and exit


Blogger XML export (default: False)


Dotclear export (default: False)


Medium export (default: False)


Tumblr API (default: False)


WordPress XML export (default: False)


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)


Put files in directories with categories name (default: False)


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 HTML code that can’t be converted to markup such as flash embeds or iframes (default: False)


Put wordpress custom post types in directories. If used with –dir-cat option directories will be created as “/post_type/category/” (wordpress import only)


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)

-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 Medium:

$ pelican-import --medium -o ~/output ~/medium-export/posts/

The Medium export is a zip file. Unzip it, and point this tool to the “posts” subdirectory. For more information on how to export, see

For Tumblr:

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

For WordPress:

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

For Medium (an example of using an RSS feed):

$ python -m pip install feedparser $ pelican-import –feed


The RSS feed may only return the most recent posts — not all of them.


To test the module, one can use sample files: