I have now moved over to a new server from the great folks at CyberCatholics.com along with changing my blog from my old publishing system of Movable Type to WordPress.
I have spent just about every waking moment I could spare to make this transition over the last week and a half and am quite glad to have the major stuff done and to get more than just 5 hours sleep!. The blog theme is fairly close to the my previous blog design, but does have some new features such as including a theme to make it easier to read on a mobile phone. Plus commenting should be much better now than in the past when double-posts were common and it would not remember your logon. Plus I am implementing a rotating banner so that it will change the header banner graphic and not just display a static image.
For myself I am quite glad to get away from Movable Type as my publishing platform. Over seven years ago when I started this blog, Movable Type was the best platform. Over the years though I have encountered difficulties with it in that it was hard to upgrade and you always had to pray it wouldn’t kill data – though it still did anyway. I dreaded though making the transition to another platform knowing I would face all kinds of problems.
When you have been blogging close to eight years and have accumulated around 7,000 posts and 50,000 some comments (not spam) I expected roadblocks and encountered them. For one Movable Type would not export my whole blog and would choke after exporting around 50 megs of text. I had to use a custom template and then spit out the contents in 25o post chunks. Bringing this into WordPress was also problematic in that it would not take the whole file even though I had WordPress installed locally. Right now using WordPress’s Export Tool it also won’t export my whole blog. For WordPress users I would recommend the Advanced Export Tool Plugin which gave me much more control of exports and the ability to export all of my content.
I also had to massage the data in my export file to change date formats and of course urls to media.
One thing that did make the transition easier was a program called MAMP. MAMP let me install Apache, MySQL, and PHP on my Mac within minutes and then quickly I was able to do a basic WordPress install on my harddrive. This was great because I was able to design and fully implement my new blog without dealing with FTP or other methods on a web host provider. It was so much easier to develop the css/php/etc files used in my theme this way and to quickly troubleshoot problems.
So far I am quite happy with WordPress since it pretty much allows me to do what I want to do and the interface is fairly easy to use. There is also a very active plugin community and so as a geek I will enjoy looking for plugins to add to my site that I find useful.
I would also like to thank Joshua LeBlanc of CyberCatholics.com for the prompt assistance when I needed it and for welcoming my blog to his hosting. For affordable web hosting with great service I would send you there way.