I like products and services offered by Google (Google Earth, Blogger, Search, etc.), but there comes a time in a man’s life when he has to step back and do things for himself and stop relying on the free things offered by others.
That day is today… okay, it really started a few days ago when I installed WordPress 2.0 and began the migration from my Blogger posts to my new WordPress system. Today I replaced most of my “static” .html pages with meta-refresh pages to hot-link directly to the new pages held within the WordPress engine.
Why did I do this?
There were mitigating factors that drove me to the change. First was the introduction of a really cool embedded audio player plug-in that I saw at CleverBlue.com. That got me thinking — and my wife will tell you, that’s rarely a good thing. 😉
Blogger was continually giving me problems: timing out when writing and publishing posts, being down for several hours at a time (I got really famililiar with their “Sorry.html” page), and being fairly time consuming to maintain. That was the catalyst that I needed to start investigating my options.
I began researching a way to make my site an ASP.NET 2.0 driven side (complete with .aspx file extensions). So, since I’d generally accepted the fact that my filenames would change (and that Google has a feature to their spider that replaces links with meta-refresh’s set to 0 seconds with the new target, rather than the old), I began my search for a site content engine that would handle photos, a portfolio gallery, custom pages, and (of course) a full-featured blog.
Surprisingly, I couldn’t find one. I tried Community Server and found it very limited (though with potential) and quite immature — though with substantial hacking… er, “development” it would do all that I was after. Not wanting to devote a substantial amount of time to development (I’d prefer to spend said time on content generation) I tried Microsoft Sharepoint, and generally like it for what it is: a deparment collaboration portal with tight-hooks into Microsoft Office (especially Office 2007 Beta). A public site and blog it is not… well, not without VERY substantial hacking (no, not development this time, but hardcore, deep down, get into the source and yank really hard hacking). That said, I do have a Sharepoint deployment that I like a LOT: Family.JoeLevi.com.
So, back to the search engines… I kept asking myself, “what engine is a full featured and no more difficult as WordPress?” Finally, when searching, it suddenly dawned on me: “why try and find a .NET solution for WordPress, when WordPress is already out there doing its thing, and doing it well?”
I downloaded and installed WordPress. The installation was easier than anything I’ve ever installed before, including desktop applications. Sure you’ve got to do some setup to begin with (have a web host with MySQL installed, which is practically all of them, set up a new MySQL database and note the DSN, username, and Password). After that it’s a simple edit this file with the MySQL information, navigate to the install page, fill in a couple fields, and ta-da! All done! After that it’s importing the old blog (which took some time, but I blame that on Blogger), and modifying things to your liking (including resetting the administrator password).
And now the site is 95% of old site has been migrated, and the remaining 5% has needed an update/facelift for quite some time now and will be a while coming…
Without further delay: introducing the two-hundrend and first post, and the all-new JoeLevi.com v3.0!