When it comes to exporting, WordPress already does a wonderful job with it’s support to export posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags. However, there is a problem. The WordPress exporter lacks granularity. What I mean by this is that, the exporter covers the entire blog instead of being able to select certain categories to export. I’ve searched the WordPress Plugin database high and low to look for a plugin that would specifically export categories and I could not find one. I did manage to come across two techniques though that get the job done.
There are two ways to export specific categories. The first is to read this forum post where HandySolo explains how to use the category RSS feed to export specific categories from a self hosted blog to a WordPress.com blog. The problem with this method is that, none of the meta data attached to the posts are carried over with the posts.
The second method is not pretty but it gets the job done. What I ended up doing was creating a new user account on my blog. I then used the post manager and filtered the posts by the category for which I wanted to export. I went through each individual post and quickly changed the post author from the original account, to the newly created user account. In my case, I had to do this to 25 individual posts. What is annoying about this method is that, when you save a post under a new author name, any blogs or posts that you have linked to within those posts will end up resending PINGs. However, I believe if you turn off this setting under the SETTINGS-DISCUSSION link in your administration panel this will prevent that from happening. Just remember to turn that back on after you’re finished.
After all of the posts within the category have been reassigned to a new author, you are ready to export. In your WordPress administration panel browse to MANAGE – EXPORT. Now here is the important step. Underneath where it says OPTIONS, you have a drop down box where you can restrict the export to a certain author.
In the drop down box, select the newly created author and click on the DOWNLOAD EXPORT FILE and a WordPress WXR file will be downloaded to your desktop. This file will contain all of the posts from the category you wanted to export because the new user you created was assigned to only those posts within that category. This method actually allows you to export specific categories while maintaining the meta data associated with those posts such as comments and tags.
This is probably not the best way to obtain these results but it’s the only method that I’ve found that allows me to export specific posts/categories while still having all of the other data attached to those posts. If you have a better solution or know of a plugin that can obtain the same results, I’d be very interested to know about it.