Fowler gets quite adamant these days about people calling tasks like this 'refactoring'. Refactoring is a very small and focused event. See Refactoring Malapropism.
At its heart, refactoring is about "improving the design of existing code," and should take no more than a few minutes according to Fowler. Completely changing the publishing environment and framework is a much bigger deal.
Anyways, on projects like this, where there was a very small team, I've had good success with rewrites - they usually turn out smaller and more focused than the replaced system. I'm starting to realize that another benefit of Python is that its enabled me to always work in very small teams and still accomplish great things. This leaves many of us Python programmers isolated from the types of articles Joel writes, as they focus more on environments where larger teams are needed. (There's still wisdom to be gained from such articles, but I've always felt strange when they talk about team and company sizes).