Over the last week, I moved my blog from WordPress to Orchard CMS. In some ways, this was a simple process of creating an Orchard site and moving the content over. However, there was functionality I had in the WordPress blog that I wanted to have in Orchard as well.

I started with the Blog recipe and many of the features I needed in Orchard were available already or easily added via modules. In a few cases, I spent some time to create new modules. I also created a theme that looks nearly identical to the theme I used in WordPress.

Here’s a list of things I integrated which already exist in the gallery today:

There were a few things that I built on my own:

  • FollowMe – a simple module that displays social icons with links to my Twitter, Facebook profiles. This was a nice “hello world” module for me to understand how to extend Orchard.
  • WordPress Import – I wrote a module that imports the WordPress extended RSS file and downloads images into the Media gallery. (I’ve not released this – it needs lots of clean up and testing – but I may in the future)
  • Drewby Theme – I did my best to hack together a theme that looks like the one from WordPress. It’s not very clean code, but gets me close to the style I had before. (Also, I’ve not released this as it is pulling in assets I used from my old WP theme)

The experience of extending Orchard is a little daunting at first. It takes some time to understand the underlying concepts underneath the hood of Orchard. However, once you get oriented to the architecture, it’s pretty easy to create, package and publish modules.

I’ll write more about my experiences creating and using Orchard Modules and Themes. In the meantime, there’s a great set of information on using and extending Orchard at http://orchardproject.net.

Using WebMatrix, you can start playing with Orchard on your local machine within just a few minutes. Give it a try!