Getting Started on DW
- The LJ users' Guide
- The LJ users' Guide
Hi all! So you're moving in to Dreamwidth? Hurray! Here's a basic guide to get you started!
Creating an account
If you have not already done so, you'll need to make an account on Dreamwidth.
First, go to the 'Create' tab and select 'Create Account'.
Follow the instructions given, it's pretty standard, and you can select any username as long as it's untaken. Using the same username as in LJ won't interfere with the import process later on, in case you're worried.
Follow through the process. You will need to give a valid email address, and you will need to click the confirmation link in the confirmation email from DW before you'll be allowed to access most of the functions on the site.
Note that DW will bring you to a page asking if you want to get paid subscription. Like LJ, DW offers a paid service with additional features like having more icons (i.e. userpics) and so on. If you would like to support the site, by all means. But just like in LJ, the free service works perfectly fine too. (I'm using a free account too.)
Importing your LJ to DW
Next up on your mind would probably be to import your LJ over to DW. Whether you decide to have a DW account as a backup, or would just like to move to DW... Being able to import your posts from LJ is always nice. That way you don't have to start with an entirely empty DW account...
Go to the "Organize" tab and select "Import Content".
You will then be asked to key in your LJ username and password. (Oh and select the LiveJournal radio button too.)
You will then be brought to this page. Select all the checkboxes under 'Choose Imports'. 'Adjusts Imports' is only if you have imported the journal before.
You'll be brought to a confirmation page, hit "Start Import" and you're done!
DW will bring you to an import status page. The length of time taken depends on how many people are in the queue trying to import their journal as well. Recently everyone is mass moving over to DW it seems... The queue just keeps getting longer. When I imported by journal, it took half a day... When I imported the rest of the my communities (more on that in the next section), it took maybe... 1 - 2 days? Journal entries and comments take excruciatingly long...
But you don't have to worry about it! You can navigate away from the status page, log off, shutdown your computer.... The DW servers will handle the import for you. It doesn't matter if your internet connection is slow or unstable either. So long as you hit the start button, it'll be up to DW to do the import for you. Nothing else you have to do/worry about.
Update: The DW servers are very busy importing LJ journals, and it may take a few days for the import to finish. Read this for more information.
You just have to wait. DW will send you a message to your inbox once each process is finished. Or you can navigate back to the Import Content page to see the status. (Also there's a refresh button after 'at livejournal.com'...)
Note: You MUST accept the new TOS on LJ before the import can proceed! If you have yet to log in to LJ since the new TOS has been implemented, or if you just did not want to accept the new TOS, you have to log in to LJ and hit ACCEPT! Otherwise DW will keep sending you a message in your inbox, requesting that you accept the new TOS, and the import will not be able to take place. So if you've not done so already, please do so now!
What will be imported?
Well, pretty much everything on your LJ. Remember all the boxes you checked earlier? Your user icons, posts, comments on your LJ posts... All those will be imported. The only thing you'll 'lose' is the number of comments you made. Why? Because DW treats the comments that you made on LJ as well, comments made by your LJ account. Not your DW account. So you'll have all your LJ posts and comments received, but your DW comments starts from 0.
Update: You can 'claim' your LJ openID, doing so will allow you to claim the entries and comments that you imported from LJ! Check out HERE for more information.
In short, you have to input your LJ blog website while being logged into your LJ account. After sometime, you'll get an email. Click on the link in the email and you'll see this message:
Then that's it! You're done! Wait a couple of hours and you should start to see your posts from LJ being replaced with your avatar, and says posted by your username instead of your LJ account. Now you'll be able to edit those posts as if you posted them on DW!
Importing a LJ community to DW
Yup! LJ community owners, you can import your entire community to DW.
First, go to the 'Create' tab and hit 'Create Community'.
Once your new community has been made, you'll need to go back to the 'Import content' page and switch users to work as your community.
You should see the following just above your import panel. Change it to work as your community.
Now you'll see a third field open up on the import form. Under 'community on other service', key in your LJ community name.
The rest of the steps is identical to importing from your personal LJ.
Notes on Importing:
You can start multiply imports for different users/communities at once. So you can be importing your personal blog, while importing community A, while importing community B.
I have tried importing a community as an owner, and as a maintainer + moderator. Both works. Not sure if you can import if you're just a moderator...
You cannot mass edit the security settings of your existing posts on DW. That's a paid feature. If you'd like to mass edit the security settings of all your posts during import, you can use a third party software to help with the import. rainbow_teatime wrote a guide here, note that her method only works for Windows users, and comments are not imported.
If you have used LJ photobook, the photos won't be imported. This is because LJ forbids any other place from taking any images from any LJ comm/journal. Why? Because according to new TOS, any image and text (including LJ entries in comms/journals) belong to LJ's Russian owners. And if someone else or some other website tries to take anything that belongs to LJ's owners, that is breaking Russian copyright laws.
Thanks to mmestrange for the explanation.
Update: I've not been able to replicate the error myself... But in anycase, I suggest using Google Photos - read on.
My suggestion for photos is to just use an external photo uploading site. The best site out there right now, in my opinion, is Google Photos. You most likely already have a google/gmail account, so you can just use the same log in. Google Photos offer unlimited bandwidth - no more ugly imageshack or whatever icon saying that your bandwidth has been exceeded. You can download a Google Photo app to mass upload photos on your windows or mac computer, they also have a mobile app (both Android and iOS). And as long as your image is 16 megapixels or less, you have unlimited storage space. Nice isn't it?
Crossposting from LJ to DW
DW lets you crosspost to one other site (more if you're on paid accounts). So you can post to DW and have DW automatically crosspost to LJ for you. Note that this only works for personal blogs. DW cannot crosspost to communities. For that, you have to do the manual copy and paste way. (Tip: Copy and paste the HTML!)
To set up crossposting, you'll need to add your LJ account. Go to Organize > Manage Account.
Select the 'Other Sites' tab.
You'll see some options available, such as whether to disable comments on your LJ post. Select them accord to your personal preference.
More importantly though, you'll need to add an account.
Hit the add new account button and key in your LJ username and password. Hit the create button, and then you're done!
Now when you make a post on DW, you'll see the option to crosspost the entry to LJ.
Ok! Now we done with the most basic part of setting up your DW account. Let's learn how to navigate and actually use the site.
The bulk of the things happen on the menu bar. Most of the things are actually self explanatory, and you'll get the hang of it once you explore a little.
Create lets you create new entries, edit entries, edit profiles, as well as create new communities.
Organize is where you go to change your account settings, manage your tags, communities and so on.
Read is where you erm, read stuff. DW calls your friend feed the 'Reading Page'. From the Read tab you can also access your profile, inbox, tags, archive and other pages.
Explore basically lets you search for journals and communities on DW.
Shop lets you upgrade your account to a paid one, or gift a paid account/DW points to others. If you wish to support DW, this is where you go. If not, you can safely ignore this tab.
At the top right hand corner, you'll also see your profile picture as well as some frequently used links, including a 'Post' button, Reading Page (aka feed) and a link to your Inbox.
Adding Friends on DW
The concept of 'friends' on DW is similar to that of LJ, only with different names.
You can add someone to your circle by going to their DW blog and looking for a 'add to your circle' text at the top. The position of the text/link differs slightly depending on the layout they are using.
The row of icons under the profile also does the same. The first icon grants that person access to your journal, and the second lets your subscribe to that person's journal. Click on either of the two and they actually bring you to the same page to confirm your action.
Finally in the profile page, you can see the grant access and subscribe button.
Click on either of those and you'll be brought to this page.
Here, you can Subscribe to a person's journal. And you can also choose to Grant them Access to your friend locked entries.
So you can subscribe to someone else's journal without granting them access to read your friend locked entries, or grant them access to your entries but not subscribe to them, or do both.
If you wish, you can also have access filters and set your entries to be viewable only to people in certain filters. As this is a more advanced topic, I will not be covering it in this guide. Read this and this for more information.
Joining Communities on DW
Joining a community is similar to adding a friend. The buttons are all in the same place, just that it says 'Join' instead of 'add to circle'.
For example, for arashi_bangumi :
At the very top you'll spot the join button.
You'll also see the join icon in the side bar.
And the join community button is also there in the community profile page.
To start off your journey in DW, there are some communities that I encourage you to join.
arashi_off - A general Arashi community.
arashics - The Arashi fanfic community.
arashi_bangumi - A community for everyone to read and make their own Arashi TV show reviews.
Changing your DW journal layout and style
Now that you've learnt how to join communities and add friends... The last thing I'll include in this guide is a short piece on editing your journal layout.
I would say that overall, the editing works fairly similar to LJ.
Go to the Organize tab and hit Select Style. Select a journal style you like and customize it as you would in LJ.
The DW layouts are all web responsive, and works better than the LJ layouts. Some complain it doesn't look as nice though... Personally I've never been a layouts person so I can't tell.
If you were using the flexible squares layout on LJ, good news, you can port that layout directly to DW.
Just follow the steps in this guide.
After installing the Flexible Squares layout, you can copy and paste the CSS from your LJ over... And make the other necessary tweaks that you did on LJ... And you'll be able to essentially recreate your LJ layout on DW.
Update: Also check out this guide by starlit . It works for Flexible Squares, Smooth Sailing, Mixit and Nebula. Thanks winkychan for the tip!
Other DW Tips:
Adding a Sticky Post
For your personal blog: Go to organize, manage account, and select the display tab. Just above the site skin selection, you'll see an option to add up to two URLs of posts to use as stickies on your personal blog.
Bonus: The site skin is where you change your main DW look. Sick of that red menu bar? Well there's purple light yellow/brown black, as well as a light site to choose from. (See my menu bars and stuff have been changed to purple now! XD )
For communities, go to organize, manage communities, then select the settings of the community you want to add sticky posts to. Once again you will need to navigate to the Display tab and input the URLs of the post(s) you want to sticky. Again, you can sticky up to two posts.
You cannot directly upload photos to DW from the posting page. You have to upload it separately to DW, or as I have recommended earlier, upload your photos to an external photo uploading service like Google Photos --> My favourite, strongly recommended! It's free and has no storage/bandwidth limit, and has apps for mobile and PC/mac.
Anyway... Refer to the screenshot above and hit the add image button. Please take the time to explore what the other buttons in the rich text editor does. Some are really basic and anyone who has used a rich text editor software like microsoft word would know, like Bold, Italics, and Underline. Then there's the button to add a link, and then unlink something, and to add the username link for example coolohoh . The CD image besides the adding image button is for you to add media, say a youtube video by copying and pasting their embed code (note, DW wants the embed code, not just the URL of the video!). The rest of the buttons includes adding a poll, making a table, changing text alignment etc... Just hover your mouse on the icon for a bit and a little explanatory text will pop up. Or just press the button and see what happens. Worst comes to worst... There's an undo button. Or to be even safer, have some fun while making a test post so you won't lose any content.
Back to the topic. After hitting the image button, this pop up will appear. You will need to paste the URL of the image into the URL field, then specify the width of the image. If you do not specify the width, the posted image will be the original size, which may end up being too big or too small for your post. Apart from the URL field, the rest of the fields are not needed - you do not need to fill up the description if you don't want to.
Sometimes you might encounter problems with adding cut tags with the rich text editor... Personally, I have not encountered this when making my own posts but I saw it happening with posts made by others. I've not been able to replicate the error myself in a new post I make, so I can't really tell what causes the error... (My guess is mix ups/errors with the rich text and html editor causing the <cut> tags to show up directly in the posts instead of making the desired cuts. E.g. typing <cut> in the rich text editor won't do anything, but in the HTML editor, you'll get a cut.) But in this case you will need to go the the HTML editor and add in the cut tags yourself. DW uses <cut> and </cut>. If you want to use some other text besides the default 'Read more...' Then use the following: <cut text="My Desired Text"> and </cut>. Of course, change My Desired Text to anything you like.
In the rich text editor, you can tell if a cut has been successfully added as well as which text is hidden under the cut easily. You text will have a grey highlight, and be surrounded by dotted lines on the top and bottom. The same goes for pictures - you can't see the highlight properly but you can definitely see the dotted lines below (or above) the picture. Eg:
Crossposting to communities
As mentioned earlier, DW is unable to automatically crosspost to communities. You have to do so manually. So far I have personally tried creating my posts on DW and then copying and pasting the HTML directly in LJ, and vice versa copying the HTML from LJ to DW, and everything has worked perfectly - well with one exception. DW automatically converts the LJ-cut tags to DW styled cut tags. The only thing that doesn't work? Well, spoilers. DW does not have spoiler tags, only cut tags. So if you used spoiler tags in your LJ post, basically nothing will happen in DW, the spoiler tags are ignored and the stuff behind the spoiler tags is displayed directly.
Some other caveats
If you've made a post on DW and you tried to add a tag, you'd have noticed that there's no way to select tags in the post editor. One workaround is to post first, then go to the post and select edit tags, that way you'll be able to see a list of tags on the blog. This doesn't work well when posting to communities where post submissions are moderated though - you'll need to wait for the moderator to approve your post before you can edit your entry, and by then it might be too late... The mods might reject your post for having a lack of tags. The only workaround in that case is to go to the tags page of the community and copy and paste the required tags.
That said, DW is making a new editor that'll come with selectable tags though. Unfortunately, it's still in beta mode - it looks great and everything BUT lacks a rich text editor. Basically you have to type in all the html codes yourself. You can check it out by going to Organize, Test Beta Features, and turning the "New Create Entries Page" option on. This will replace the current Entries creation page with the new one... But you can turn off the option anytime by going back to the beta testing page.
Using HTTPS on DW
And since we are talking about the beta features, I might as well introduce you to the HTTPS beta features of DW. It works just fine to me and none of the pages are broken or anything... I think it's still in beta because not *everything* is fully HTTPS yet... But for those of you who are concerned about security, especially with your ISPs spying on your web activity, it's a good idea to turn HTTPS Everywhere on.
That's all for now!
If there's anything that you strongly feel should be included in this guide, or if there's anything I missed out, let me know in the comments below!