Changing of the Blog

426 words written by dylan
Posted November 12, 2006 @ 04:34 PM

I've been with my current hosting company for about four years now. However, I've been constricted by what they've offered me, specifically no true PHP support and no way to edit the .htaccess file. In addition, I've been needing to learn Ruby on Rails, and this host doesn't do that.

So, after about a month of shopping, I ended up going with asmallorange, a little hosting company in the Southeast that came highly recommended. PHP5 support, .htaccess permissions, shell access, and Rails already installed. I'm paying more ($20/month vs. $13/month), but I get a lot more (5x the storage, 6x the bandwidth, and a lot more control).

Right now I'm in the process of getting the new host space set up. Eventually, I will get the switch thrown and I'll be running over there.

There will be a LOT of changes. Annabel's blog will likely be taken down and rebuilt. The PTBNL blog (which is still up) will be canned completely. The home page will feature a lot more content and will pull in some RSS feeds of Susan's blogs and some other things.

But the big decision is the one I haven't made yet: Movable Type or Wordpress?

I've been using Movable Type for 3 1/2 years. Over time, though, I haven't been completely happy with it. I've lived with the quirks. I thought about switching to a number of different options, but I ended up with a really cheap license (back when you had to pay for them for multiple blogs and users) , so I've stuck with it.

Now, though... I feel like it's time for a fresh start. But a fresh start either means I'm doing a clean install of MT, or I'm moving to Wordpress.

Moving to Wordpress would mean a lot of changes. RSS feeds would have to be changed in everyone's readers (all three of you who use them). The archive links would all be dead (since Wordpress doesn't handle archives the way Movable Type does). In essence, everything about this blog would be in for wholesale change.

So I have a question for all three of my readers who are bloggers (and still read this) -- Why do you like Movable Type? Why do you like Wordpress? (And if Tara is still reading this, why do you like/hate Textpattern?) Have you moved between the two? Was it worth all the broken links?

Changes are happening. Hopefully, they'll be done by Christmas. I just hope it's true and not the First World War sort of "done by Christmas."

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  1. I switched to Wordpress because Google's Blogger was missing major things (like tags) at the time. I've never used MT so I can't comment on the differences. WP does have some pretty good spam control - but it's still a headache.

    You might want to try Typo if you're serious about learning Rails it'd be a good hacking base to implement whatever you want. Modifying Wordpress PHP is a f'ing nightmare (IMHO).

    Let me know if you need help with Rails stuff - it's all I do these days.

    Posted by: ben | November 13, 2006 06:09 AM

  2. I switched from MT to WP a few years ago, when my site was going through other upheavals. Something about changing hosts prompts one to change other things, I suppose. :)

    Since I know PHP, and I don't know Perl, it felt good to get into an environment where I knew the underlying bits. It took me a while to get used to the different way of handling templates, but I think it's much better in the long run.

    I like the GUI in WordPress, which has continued to improve significantly since my switchover. (At work, one of the decision points that I use in deciding whether a project should be Drupal or WordPress is how important the visual interface is to the client.) The breadth of plugins is very good, and the community overall is quite strong.

    I'm betting there's resources out there for making the move more transparent, since you aren't the only one who's gone through this. Maybe something crazy with .htaccess.

    I went ahead & broke everything, which I've done a few times now over the last 5 1/2 years, most notably with the whole domain name loss thing. It's annoying, as much to me (pictures that don't show up properly in context) as to anyone else, but, eh: it's not as though my blog is some sort of historical resource.

    Posted by: Elaine | November 14, 2006 09:55 AM

  3. I use MT because it's the path of least resistance... too much of a pain to switch and it meets my basic needs.

    Posted by: George Chang | November 15, 2006 04:13 PM

  4. I like textpattern "okay".

    I liked them all "okay" but ultimately there is no blog engine that truly meets my needs. I think textpattern may eventually get there, but I haven't had the time or energy to put a lot of effort into sorting through all the plugins.

    My biggest issue is the SPAM, but being the comment wh0re that I am, I can't deal with NOT having comments. So there is that.

    Posted by: Tara | November 16, 2006 06:57 PM

  5. Dylan: I'm about to change everything around myself. I now have a blog on MT and a blog on WP, but the new consolidated blog will use WP. Easier interface, better spam control, no need to worry about corporate changes to licenses. On the other hand, Ben is right that modifying the PHP is a pain in the ass, and Elaine is right that the templates take some getting used to.

    Posted by: Steve Casburn | November 26, 2006 10:29 PM

  6. You can have my blog engine (I'll have to figure out which open source license to use) - you'll have to do all your own CSS, but it's easy to set up and runs on PHP now.

    Posted by: Dave Fried | November 30, 2006 05:20 PM