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Posts about WordPress: migrating, features, likes/dislikes.

Written By: Gary on October 17, 2011 2 Comments

If you’re seeing this, you’re at the new site. Please leave me a comment so I can see that it’s working!. As the banner, you should be seeing the Detroit skyline at sunset from Belle Isle (not Costa Rica during the day).

There’s probably some broken stuff: the sidebar, some images, who knows what else. It’s hard for me to check it until it’s actually done migrating, I’ve done the minimal basics to see once it kicks over, that it should be functioning on a basic level (main page, RSS and Atom feeds and commenting should be okay) and when I imply that the sidebar might be broken, I actually know that it’s broken; I’d be a little more OCD about it, but I’ve barely blogged in the last month so it’ll be okay until tomorrow…

When I’m done completely I’ll let you know (once the name propagates, I’ll be making adjustments that will break things along the way).

From a geeky standpoint: If telnet, tar or ssh are too geeky of terms, then DO NO read on…

I’m migrating from 1and1.com to Site5.com in this process, exporting and importing the basic way in WordPress looked to be to slow and I’d lose some settings. So I used SSH to connect to 1and1 (basically got a DOS prompt or a telnet session) told it to tar up my files and compress them (basically zipping them up) and then I used FTP to push the file from 1and1 to site5, which was very fast since they are both on fast connections (I didn’t download then upload, I just pushed from one to another).

Then I used the phpMyAdmin mySQL web interface at 1and1 to download the database with my 2000+ blog posts (and comments and settings) to my computer. Then I created a new database at Site5 and then used the phpMyAdmin mySQL at Site5 to import the same data. I should have done all this from the command line too and avoided downloading and uploading, but I’ll confess I downloaded it about 5 different ways with different programs just in case I had any problems.

I used a fake domain name to test out the site and overall, it looks like it will work.

Then I went to 1and1 and said “let Site5 control where the site GarySaid.com is at”. Then I went and told Site5, “you’re in charge of GarySaid.com”. And at some point in the next 2-24 hours people will start getting directed to the new location.

Written By: Gary on October 17, 2011 No Comment

I mentioned the other day I’d be migrating my site soon. I’m moving from 1and1.com to Site5.com. I’m some ways I think 1and1 is a little more manageable, but I think Site5 might be a little faster. But GarySaid.com is my biggest site and has more widgets and things so that’ll really be the deciding factor. Then I plan to blog more, before the sites become too out of sync, so I can see if switching was a good idea or not…

Geeky info: I’m moving the site and just switching the DNS pointers, so in theory it should be a pretty smooth transition. But Site5 probably won’t let me put in the DNS until 1and1 releases it and that will be the problem (probably). Then your browsers need to grab the new pointer to the new server. We’ll see how it goes…?

Written By: Gary on October 7, 2011 No Comment

I’m here, I’m alive. I’ve just not been blogging. I’ll fix that soon.

Announcement: I’m migrating my web host so my site may completely disappear for a few days as it makes the transition. I’m not disappearing completely if you get errors, I’ll be back. If you get redirected to a temporary site don’t bookmark it, it’s just temporary. (I’m not moving the DNS host, jut the pointers, so hopefully it’ll be kind of seamless.)

Part of my blogging issue is I post a few things to Facebook and it gets the topic out of my head. I have a WordPress plug-in to post blogs to Facebook automatically (WordBooker) but I need a way to get my Facebook stuff into my blog. Any thoughts?

Written By: Gary on May 23, 2011 No Comment

20110523-114555.jpg

It let’s me snap a photo, but doesnt seem so easy if I already took a great photo that I want to post.

(This is the wall and dresser in my bedroom. Why? Because I’m in bed.)

Later: Need a better way to adjust the photo size, it’s a little too big.

Written By: Gary on February 13, 2011 One Comment

So the my blog host was acting up a few days ago, but it made me look around a little bit. Tried (again) to speed things up and make the pages load a little faster; I tried some stuff a month ago, but it might have slowed it down (but then I’ve been posting a lot more photos, so who knows?). I think it’s faster, but who knows.

Sunset-ish on Montezuma Beach
Sunset from Montezuma Beach

So I removed some of the things from the sidebar, I never got the feeling a few of the things were being used. I changed the banner (it’s a snippet from the above photo) and shifted it way up, I don’t know why I never thought of moving it up before. It’s another sunset picture, but it fit well (with the title and search box), so it’s not a drastic change.

Written By: Gary on November 21, 2010 One Comment

I thought this was pretty cool. Something that it seems like you’d only see in a movie, but this kid has one in his room (play room?).

It’s a short post because I liked the video and I wanted to test the WordPress feature that just let’s you put in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTxmTTisThY and it builds the rest of the embed code for you.

I’ll put how it worked here below after I test it:
It worked! The one things I don’t like is that it doesn’t put the video in the RSS or Atom feeds, I thought it would put a thumbnail in the feed (I saw it on someone else’s blog) but it doesn’t appear to be happening. (Later) I see the video is embedded in my feed if I view it via Google Reader (but no thumbnail).

thumbnails

Written By: Gary on March 25, 2010 No Comment

This is just a test of MacJournal. I’ve tried it in the past, but I thought I’d give it another try since it just came in a bundle I purchased and they’re coming out with an iPhone app that you can sync your entries with it.

I had a few problems getting it to configure. I ended up manually doing the settings and using the MovableType protocol with a blog ID of “1”. Couldn’t get the atom protocol for posting to work (I’ve never gotten it to work with any blogging client). Actually, it just alerted me to version 5.2 with allowed me to use the WordPress protocol, but I still needed to use a blog ID of “1”. And when it pulls down my old entries, it pulls down my tags, but doesn’t seem to grab my categories.

As I write this, I see a way to set the tags, but I don’t see any way to set my categories. I see it pulled the categories down from the web site but I just don’t see how to choose them. When you submit the post (“Send to Blog”) is when it asks you to pick the category! That was not in the help section at all. Also, it’s kind of inconvenient, if you write an article off-line and wait until you are connected to the internet to post it you can’t just hit send, you need to pick the categories which might not seem like a big deal, but when you’ve got a 1/2 dozen posts you wrote off-line and you’ve only got a few minutes to post (and they might be charging you by the minute) it’d be nice to have done that part in advance.

wpid-wpid-MJicon5.rPcVM2jzA0Wh.KjwjelAnqYBn.jpgHmm… Trying to figure out how to wrap the text around this image. Can’t figure out how to edit the HTML (my preferred choice) to change it. Not so happy with this at this point, but maybe someone will offer some tips.

Later: It also auto capitalized my tags after I specifically typed them in lowercase, not happy with that. I’ve got a few other WordPress things: Not being able to edit custom fields and set the slug for the blog post name, but those are pretty specific things, but I wanted to mention them for those loooking for a client.

I’ll play with it a little more, but I think I’ll be sticking with Ecto which integrates with WordPress quite nicely. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it doesn’t let me do some of the things I want to do. Ecto handles the categories, tags, custom fields and the web URL (slug) for WordPress very well; plus it allows me to create some macros, makes it pretty to create Amazon links, has a nice preview and can switch between WYSIWYG and HTML quite easily.

FYI, this is MacJournal version 5.1.4 5.2 and a self-hosted WordPress 2.9.2 blog.

Written By: Gary on December 12, 2009 2 Comments

So it’s been six years since I started blogging. Sometimes I blog a lot and sometimes a little but I come really close to averaging one post a day (actually about 0.995 posts per day). I’ve really been slacking lately, all the vacation days when I’ve written more than a few help pick up the numbers, but I never like it when a week goes by that I haven’t posted. This year I only did a little over 200, so I’ll try and make up for it over the next year, if I could post five different days a week, I think I’d be happier about it…

This post is a bit of a mish-mash of tech details and thoughts of blogging.

I originally started using Movable Type for the blog in 2003, I had my blog in a subdirectory of GaryLaPointe.com and changed subdirectories a few timesand then in 2005 moved it to here at GarySaid.com and left it alone.

If had a tech suggestion for anyone blogging, it’s pick a domain name and stick to it so that you don’t lose readers (and search engine links); choose something vague/generic so if you change what you blog about your web address can stay the same if you want it to. While I call my blog the same name “Gary Said…” I could easily change the title to “Lone Geek Blogging” (or whatever) but still have the same easy to remember address.

I really enjoy blogging, it’s nice to reflect on parts of my life and have to think up semi-coherent paragraphs to describe whatever it is that I’m thinking about. I try to keep most of my blog positive and remember that I don’t blog about everything in my life, so sometimes it’s not always the easiest thing to come up with a topic.

I never knew who would come read and while I’ve met a few people I really have no idea how many people I know (or don’t know) actually read my blog. The one thing I know is that I really enjoy getting feedback from people (even when it’s something short like “I thought the same thing about that”) and it’s extra special getting a link back from someone when they just mention my site or even a specific article (even if it’s just one of my money saving tips). I hope that feeling never goes away!

Since I mentioned comments, here’s some comment info/stats and then I’m going to go (the day is almost over). On average, I actually get about 1.5 comments per post, but in actuality most posts don’t get comments. Of my 3,000+ comments I’d bet that 1,000 go to the same dozen posts over and over again (my bed has 454 comments, hacking iTunes has 91 and another ten have between 30 and 100).

WordPress For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) Lisa Sabin-WilsonI almost forgot: I switched to self-hosted WordPress last December (I played with it for a bit before the switch) and have really enjoyed using it since then. I feel I can do more with WordPress with less work than I did with Movable Type. I’ve mentioned things like this in a few posts: WordPress vs. Movable Type and Things I miss about MT.

FYI – Lisa’s book WordPress For Dummies is a great resource if you want to use WordPress.

Thank you for reading!!!

Written By: Gary on November 17, 2009 One Comment

So a few months ago I installed the A Year Ago Today plug-in it shows a list of posts that I’ve done on this day (date) in the past at the top of my blog. onthisday11152009.pngI’ve liked it a lot, it reminds me of things I’ve done in the past so I generally revisit the posts. Sometimes I barely even remember blogging it. And sometimes it generates new traffic to the posts (most times not).

I think today is the first day that not only has there been a post from each of the year’s that I’ve been blogging but there were exactly two (2) posts from each November 17 for the last five years.

This helps me clean up my blog too: I’ll occasionally fix some links or add some tags and categories or sometimes fix something minor. Some of the categories I use now, didn’t exist when I wrote some of the earlier posts and I use tags the first few years. This results in things getting reposted to Facebook (via WordBook), generally I’ll delete them but sometimes I’ll leave them (if it’s got a photo or isn’t time sensitive). Occasionally, I’ll read a sentence and think “that makes no sense” so I’ll fix it, I try not to do this too much, it’s really about what I was thinking/feeling/doing then, but if it’s not clear it needs fixing…

Written By: Gary on September 21, 2009 No Comment

I love WordPress. I think I’ve expressed that many many times. The plug-ins that people supply are amazing too. But what I’m surprised about are some basics that some plug-ins don’t have. When going to the configuration page from a plug-in they neglect some basic information:

  • the name of the plug-in
  • the version number of the plug in
  • the name of the programmer
  • a related web site
  • a link to where the plug-in is located on WordPress.org
  • A few sentences with some very basic instructions would be nice too :)

How can I recommend your product to anyone else without a link? Or how can I donate to the author if I don’t know where (or who) they are? Or how to use it without any instructions?

Some of the plug-ins have great instructions, but if you can’t find the site with the information it’s not very helpful. Some of the plug-ins have the information in a read me file in the plug-in folder, but some of the folders don’t have names that match up with the name of the plug-in very clearly. And really, if you’re going to create a read me file with important information, just paste it into the plug-in page.

Some plug-ins are great and include all the above, but many leave out a thing or three.  Some go above and beyond: including a list of people who donated and a list of information to include when reporting bugs (WP, PHP, MySQL and more); please note in this example, that they don’t tell you collect the information, they actually have the list with all the version numbers (all you have to do is copy and paste).

I might be sounding fussy, but I’m not talking about user interface and minor confusing instructions, I’m talking relatively big things here. Things that could get the author recognition or donations. Things that could prevent people from using the plug-in that they bothered to create (they do want people to use them, don’t they?).

Written By: Gary on July 25, 2009 One Comment

I think it’s safe to say at this point I’ve become a huge WordPress fan. But I was a huge MovableType fan for a long time and I miss a few things about it.

What I really miss (and would like) in WordPress is –

  • A good search and replace in the administration interface (dashboard).
  • An easy way to maintain multiple websites with one login interface (a dashboard deluxe). From Movable Type I could maintain several blogs and with blogging clients I only had to log in once to configure for multiple blogs.
  • An easy way to maintain multiple websites with one login interface (a dashboard deluxe). From Movable Type I could maintain several blogs and with blogging clients I only had to log in once to configure for multiple blogs.

Maybe I can do do this with WordPress mu (multi-user)? I’m thinking the last few times I looked at it mu still didn’t handle things the way I wanted it to. Multiple blogs with different domain names still seemed to need plug-ins and I guess I’d feel better if it was integrated in the core. And I’m thinking not all plug-ins are WPmu compatible. I’m thinking when WordPress and WordPress mu becomes one product the plug-ins compatibility will change.

Written By: Gary on July 23, 2009 No Comment

I’ve found a new WordPress plug-in that I like. It’s called “A Year Before“.

It’s got options to show a year ago today (or months or days) what you were blogging about. I’m using “anniversary mode” which I think is taking the post from today for as many years back as it can find.

Don’t worry if you haven’t been blogging long it’s got a “range” to show posts near a year ago (or six months ago). I’m running it on WordPress 2.8.2 (as of this writing) and it seems to be fine.

On This Date

2008 Best fix for my Convertible Rear Windshield
2008 MacBook Rumors seem to be rising…
2007 The Future of Television is selling me individual custom episodes
2005 Google Moon
2005 Don’t Be Afraid… Be Ready!
2004 Photos! (London)
2004 Did we walk? Boy did we walk!
2004 Cowboy Junkies and Shawn Colvin

I’ve been using it the last few days at the bottom of my left sidebar, but since I’m blogging about it I moved it to the top of the left sidebar, so you can see what it really looks like. I copied the text here so the links actually work. I’m not sure where I’ll move it to later.

It’s interesting, maybe more to me than you, but they always say you should show links to older posts for newer readers. Without even reading them I’m reminded about a trip to London (and the concert I went to a few days before) and the slideshow viewer that never detected flash properly, a homeland security site (which now appears to be a FEMA site), Google maps adding the Moon, my dreams for a new MacBook and how $5 fixed my convertible roof saving me hundreds of dollars (and save multiple readers the same!).

Written By: Gary on June 13, 2009 No Comment

It’s 5:43 EST, if anything’s wonky it’s because I’m upgrading for the next few minutes. Unless I break something, then it’ll be longer…

I backed up everything yesterday, so I should be good :)

5 minutes later: Everything seems to be working fine!

Written By: Gary on June 13, 2009 One Comment

At WordCamp Chicago last weekend Darryl Markette kicked off the day playing a song called BlogStar, it was based on a song called RockStar. He finally recorded it as a video, so here I am sharing it with you!

Here’s the direct link to the HD video of BlogStar.

Written By: Gary on June 10, 2009 No Comment

So you can now download WordPress 2.8, it’s named after Chet Baker; all WordPress releases are named after Jazz greats.

I’m not sure when it’s going to show up in our admin consoles for automatic upgrade though. It’s there now!


Watch the video for all the new 2.8 features.

Don’t worry, the video doesn’t cover all 180 new features.

Written By: Gary on June 10, 2009 One Comment

So I’ve got a new theme. I figure I have to mention it because if you just read the RSS feed, you’ll never see it.

themejune2009.pngIt’s pretty much the Simple Indy theme by India Fascinates. It really reminds me of a few other themes out there, but it handles my long categories, works well on Mac, was easy to modify, it’s zippy and it works really well.

I’ve modified it a bit here and there to fit my needs but it’s pretty close to the original code. I like titles on all my archive pages and added my header image. I also changed the way it marked posts with the tags and categories. I also like full posts, if it’s the main page, archive or search results. And I like error messages to come with a search box. So other than that a few other minor changes it’s 99% the original theme. I still need to integrate my old logo into it…

If you see any problems, please let me know.

The photo will probably be changed soon, but it was one of the first ones I tried that fit okay. Currently it’s a view of the Pacific from Quepos, Costa Rica. I think maybe December of 2006 (New Years Eve,I think). If it’s not a picture of the coast with two tree trunks (like the thumbnail), then I changed it to something else ;)

I liked my old theme but it just loaded too slow and it had been bugging me for a while.

Written By: Gary on May 17, 2009 No Comment

wordcamp.chicago.pngI’ve mentioned it a few times before but in less than 3 weeks (June 6-7, 2009) it’s time for WordCamp Chicago. It’s only $31 and it’s getting full (only 50 spots left) so sign up now. You can get more information at the WordCamp Chicago blog.

They’ve already got a bunch of speakers lined up including Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress. You can even see who’s already signed up to attend.

 

 

Written By: Gary on February 22, 2009 One Comment

wordcamp.chicago.pngDon’t forget to register for WordCamp Chicago! It’s only $30.99 for a weekend of WordPress fun. They want to pick a venue based on how many people register by March 1st so sign up now. As far as I know you can register later, but if you register now if helps to make sure they pick a large enough place to have it.

You can get more information at the WordCamp Chicago blog.

They’ve already got a bunch of speakers lined up including Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress.

You can even see who’s already signed up to attend.

If it’s not obvious, I’ll be going…

Written By: Gary on February 13, 2009 No Comment

I upgraded to WordPress 2.71 today (from 2.7). It’s the just one click upgrade which almost worked (I think i have the bugs worked out for next time so it will work with one click).

The first thing I did with I back up my whole blog (which it will tell you to do) but it takes some while to back up the directories, SQL file and images.

When I finally clicked on the one click upgrade it didn’t work but it’s the same kind of pause/interruption I get I try to upgrade some plug-ins (it’s inconsistent, some plug-ins work fine). So i googled it and I find the Codex for the Core Update Host Compatibility page which lists all hosts that the automatic upgrade works with and it even explains that if you’re using my hosting provider (which is 1and1 web hosting) you need to be running PHP 5 for this to work properly. Plus, they had the one line of code you need to to make the change.

So I entered the line to my .htaccess file, I clicked upgrade again and it was done! Seconds later I was done upgrading the whole blog. So if you’re considering doing this upgrade I would definitely do it. I think I’ll be set for the one click next time I have do it.

By the way all my other plug-ins that I had that I couldn’t click to upgrade, now upgrade with a click! So it even solved an additional problem for me.

Written By: Gary on January 17, 2009 No Comment

wptv-logo.pngWordPress.tv was announced. Lots of instructional video on how to do stuff with WordPress! And there is a feed for the blog and a separate video RSS feed. All appear to be available in HD. Very nice.

It also includes videos from various WordCamps.

Written By: Gary on January 14, 2009 No Comment

Registration for WordCamp Chicago is open! I don’t know how full it’s going to get so you better sign up quick. It’s a mere $30.99 for a weekend of WordPress goodness.

wordcamp.chicago.pngThey haven’t picked a venue yet, I think it’ll depend on the number of people that sign up but that doesn’t mean it won’t fill up. A little more information is on the WordCamp Chicago blog.

They’ve already got some speakers lined up including Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress. And Matt has one of the coolest website URLs around it’s Ma.tt

Saw this at Lisa’s blog Just a Girl in the World; Lisa (author of WordPress for Dummies) is one of the organizers.

Written By: Gary on January 3, 2009 One Comment

I can’t believe I’m still doing this with 2,000 posts all over the last 5 years! Never would have thought it grow on me so much!

I was trying to come up with something monumental to blog about for this post, but that didn’t happen so I’ll give you a quick update on some tech (the new blog site) and a few personal things:

  • I’m averaging more than a post a day, but sometimes I skip more than a few days, so I’m going to try and post more consistently (and more images with posts).
  • I’m really liking WordPress, I’ve completely migrated all my old posts (from MovableType) to WordPress 2.7 (at least I think I’ve got all 4,000-ish archive/category/single pages) and mostly updated the “about“-type pages. I’ve been playing around with WP for a year and this interface on 2.7 version beats the interface for the previous six months (it was actually better previous to six months ago, IMHO). I’ll be posting more about my WordPress transition over the next few weeks (I’ve been making notes).
  • Google has done an amazing job reindexing the updated site. It’s grabbed a good chunk of the pages and about 80% of the old pages have disappeared been replaced in the search engine. I’ll be posting more about this too.
  • And I just saw they picked the new Doctor Who, but I’ll make that my 2001st post :)
  • I’m still sick from when I mentioned it last week. The (medical) doctor thinks it’s some lower lung pneumonia on the right side so I’ve just been staying close to home and taking it easy (I’ll get x-ray results next week). Sleep has been the worse, I think maybe the drugs are keeping me up, or I’m just bored. Hopefully I won’t be posting more about this!
  • Even being sick, the holidays were nice and relaxing, exactly what I needed after the last year, I’d have liked some more snow consistently on the ground, just enough to cover the grass. I wasn’t sick sick until Christmas so I made it through everything.

That’s it for now, I gotta go read up more on the new Doctor Who

Written By: Gary on January 2, 2009 One Comment

Found a simple plug-in for WordPress to chart your history of blog posts. It’s just called date-index.


Just put this little piece of PHP code (date-index plugin) on a page somewhere and voila! You’ve got a graph with the number of posts per month in a chart! Unfortunately, there are no options other to modify the chart that I can see.

Written By: Gary on December 17, 2008 No Comment

It seems to be going very well so far. I think I’ve got everything imported. Feel free to try a test comment (please).

Most entries and categories and dates should be redirecting. Date based pages are not redirecting (need a .htaccess rule or need to rewrite all those pages in MT with a redirect), but that’s okay, you’re only going to find that from a search and if you clock to comment it takes you to the correct page, just a weird interface change.

Categories still need to have hierarchies and descriptions.

All RSS feeds are redirected, so you’ll probably get a full reader by the time you get this post. And as of right now, they’re all redirected to an Atom feed. Does anyone really care/have a preference?

Not thrilled with this blog template but that’s easily changeable later. I’ll break down the steps of the whole migration later for anyone wanting to go from MT to WP.

Any .htaccess people who can help me with a rewrite rule?
I need date formats like /chapters/2008_12.php -> /2008/12/ and the same for /chapters/2008_12_16.php -> /2008/12/16/ . Actually the latter is really the only one that matters since the first was prevented by robots.txt and I don’t think I did any posts linking to a month (maybe a date).

Honestly, I’ve had harder version upgrades with Movable Type, but we’ll see once I start modifying templates for myself.

Disappointments: I wish the categories could have been in the root directory without having to be in another directory (my /topics/ directory). I wish I could have more easily moved the old files in with their old filenames so things didn’t have to be redirected.

I’ve still got to fix “About”, “FAQ”, etc. and I need the date archives to redirect.

Spam filter is working great! I really like the way the tags work, but they need some cleaning up. Ecto really helped me to turn my technorati tags into WP tags.

Fixed the search engine with a smart redirect. Needed that since I do searches in the middle of my posts (I should be tagging but I’ve have 3 years to go back and tag).

Updated the sitemap.xml files too.

These last few things should really help with the search engines reindexing me (I hope!)

Google has already been cruising through indexing pages….

It imported my pings/trackbacks as comments :( But at least they are still linked.

Some drafts became posts. This may have not been an import/export issue, this may have been something I did after the fact when I reposted posts to get my blogging client, Ecto, to convert my Technorati Tags to WordPress tags.

Written By: Gary on December 16, 2008 No Comment

Expect some outages over the next day or two(?) as I’m getting the migration to work and redirects and such.

It might be viewable in a few hours but there might still be bugs you can’t see.

Written By: Gary on December 14, 2008 No Comment

So it looks as if I use Ecto 3, with WordPress it’ll automatically convert my posts Technorati Tags to WordPress Tags jsut by reposting them to the blog. Very cool.

On Ecto 3, I really liked Ecto 2 and was avoiding version 3 due to some key-press changes and some other visual changes. I might remember more later, but I just wasn’t liking the feel before, but with it handling WordPress tags properly, it’s now a no-brainer.

Another big bonus – It’ll actually let you edit the “Pages” in WP (like the “About” page) and it treats them differently than the posts! (But it seems to have some problems retrieving pages/posts once your site gets more full).

BTW, I had to set it to access the XML-RPC, I couldn’t get it to use Atom for the posting, I’m not sure if this really matters.

Written By: Gary on December 13, 2008 No Comment

So after 5 years of using MovableType, and talking about sticking with things yesterday, I’m planning on switching this blog to WordPress. As I said a few months backWordpress-Logo

I think WordPress is easier to setup and it’s also easier for beginners to do quite advanced things with WP than Movable Type. From the other perspective, I think that doing really super advanced things is easier with Movable Type, while doing ultra-advanced things are probably equal between the two.

I’ve slightly modified that a bit to make it more accurate in what I’ve learned since then. I’m also going to add that

Upgrades appear to be much easier to do in WordPress, they’ve all been pretty painless for me. (I never even liked doing incremental upgrades with MT)

Maybe as I customize things more this won’t be as true but for now it’s been pretty easy. And it’s an educational thing for me too, I’ve really enjoyed learning about it…

So for the next month(?) I’ll be changing and testing things. I’ll be running both in tandem stating soon, I’ll want some posts/archives once the switch is made. I’ll probably switch back and forth a few times as I’m testing so be patient with me as I make changes. The worst tests might be for the people using RSS readers, but I’ll try to keep those disasters minimal. If you see things broken for more than a day it means I didn’t notice, so please e-mail me and let me know.I don’t think I’ll be able to ever import everything the way I want to: keeping all my old permalinks and everything else so that I don’t break a million back-links to my site (and throughout my site). So I think when I do the final cut over everything 2008 and before will stay on MovableType and everything 2009 and after will be on WordPress.

I’ll be documenting this since I’m sure I’ll have to do some interesting things for category archives (I think I’ll fudge the last entry of each category to include the old posts) and searching the archives (this may require two searches, but I’m not sure yet).

If I can’t integrate them very well, I’ll just have a prominent button that says “click here for 2008 and earlier”. And I’ll modify a lot of the old templates to say ‘click here for the new stuff’. I’d just hate to have to do that for all the category stuff.

Any tips on the migration from anyone? Any resources?

Written By: Gary on December 11, 2008 No Comment

oldgarylapointe.com.jpgSo I’ve had some pretty crappy pages up at GaryLaPointe.com and I was just planning on putting up WordPress as a CMS for it. Coincidentally, when I went to download one of the betas of WordPress 2.7, it turns out they had just released the final version of WordPress 2.7 so I used that! So far it’s working really great and I’m really liking the 2.7 admin interface (I really didn’t like the 2.6 interface) I think I originally started with 2.3.x.

Now GaryLaPointe.com looks nice. Although if you frequent this site there probably isn’t much there that you haven’t seen here (maybe some photos or something).

It’s got some great new features. I especially like the clickable installation of plug-ins and widgets (but it really needs a much much better search to find them). It’s supposed to run with GoogleGears, but I’m not really sure what it’s actually supposed to be saving me.

Here’s a video showing off some of the new features. Notice the HD link in the upper right corner for some great quality and try it full screen, you’ll love it.

I’ll be using it more and I hope to discover more features as time goes on (and as I wait for the Second Edition of WordPress for Dummies).FYI, If you’re reading this site there isn’t really anything you’re missing at GaryLaPointe.com, it’s mostly just reruns and stripped down versions of what I post here and on some of the social networks. It’s where I point other people for things about my travels without pointing them to all the other stuff I blog about here; I just feel that’s more professional with co-workers and such…

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Written By: Gary on February 3, 2008 No Comment

I waited so long for WordPress For Dummies, by Lisa Sabin-Wilson, and it was well worth the wait. I had been wanting to learn WordPress and had been a fan of Lisa’s blog so it was just what I needed as a motivator.

It’s a “Dummies” book so it’s got that easy to use format. And it’s a reference book so most of it is not meant to be read linearly. If you’ve always wanted to set up a blog or switch to WordPress this is the way to go. It explains it from the basics up to the advanced. It’s step by step and it’ll get you running on your own host or at WordPress.com with ease.

It covers Migrating to WP, 10 Great Free Themes, Ten Great Plugins, Using WP as a Content Management System, Understanding Templates and Plug-ins. It covers pretty much everything you need to know but those are the chapters I’ve read the most and use for reference. If you don’t know anything about PHP you’ll painlessly learn the bits that you do need to know for modifying templates (this is optional) and you’ll have picked up enough for when you want to use PHP for other “web stuff”.

As I’m writing this post, I’m flipping through the book seeing if there is anything I’ve missed mentioning. There are so many areas of WP that I haven’t explored yet, I’ve read about them in the book and I can’t wait to try out some of the other features!Just about everything I’ve needed to know was in there, the only thing that I couldn’t find was detailed info on custom-fields which was (probably correctly) considered too advanced for a Dummies book.

There are 3 different flavors of WordPress (they host, you host, and multi-user) and they all share multiple features so just pay attention to which flavor she’s talking about and you’ll be fine.

It’s an awesome book! If you want to set up your own blog, self-hosted or not, WordPress is easy to use and WordPress For Dummies is the book to use.

Written By: Gary on February 2, 2008 One Comment

I’ve always been a huge fan of Movable Type, but I’ve been playing with WordPress on and off lately and I think it might become my new blogging platform for anything new I create. I’m not sure if I’m willing to export and import my old blog and lose a bunch of Google results because the pages aren’t named the same or because of something else unforeseen.

Here’s my whole comparison wrapped up in to two sentences –

I think WordPress is easier to setup and it’s also easier for beginners to do advanced things with WP than Movable Type. From the other side, I think that doing really advanced things is easier with Movable Type, while doing ultra-advanced things are probably equal between the two.

The biggest thing I don’t like in WordPress is how dynamic things are and if your web host goofs something up, the dynamic stuff chokes which would be your whole site; I’ve seen this happen with several different hosts. In MT I kept my main page and individual page posts static, and the rest dynamic so at least the whole thing didn’t crash. Also, the dynamic-ishness of the pages slows things down a little. But it’s so very easy, I can’t even tell you how easy it was to do an upgrade (one tip: if you modify a default template to use, be sure to rename the folder it’s in and you won’t accidentally over-write it when you upgrade). On the other hand, when I post something to WP it’s very very quick since it’s not rebuilding things. That’s really nice to be done as soon as you post.

So far it’s also been much easier to do (incremental) upgrades with WordPress. It’s actually so easy, I’m surprised they haven’t added a few other steps which would make it one-click. It’s really disabling the plug-ins, copying the new directories over the old and reactivating the plug-ins; I’m sure this could be made one-click to “halt” the plug-ins, copy from the path that you specify, clear the cache and start the plug-ins back up.

Written By: Gary on February 2, 2008 No Comment

WordPress.com is a place where you can have your own blog, it’s got lots of great features and it’s free! They do have some advance features you can pay for like your own custom domain name, more disk space and other great features.

Here’s the newest great part: they used to only have free storage of 50 MB of files and they just upgraded your free space to 3 GB (that’s 3,000 MB) so that’s a heck of a free upgrade! It’s not that 50 MB is all that small, but a bunch of photos from your 8-megapixel camera and you can fill it up pretty quick, 3 gig is a very generous amount of free space. Now they are selling 5 GB upgrades for the old price of 1 GB upgrades. If you already purchased a storage upgrade they’ve automatically increased the storage space.

One of the many reasons I’m liking the WordPress community more and more…

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Written By: Gary on February 1, 2008 No Comment

I’ve got a few posts about WordPress that I’ve never finished up (including a book review). So I plan to post them and get them out of my drafts folder. I’m writing this down so that I’ll remind myself to finally get this done :)

Aren’t you excited!?!I’ll probably take my tree down too…

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Written By: Gary on December 15, 2007 One Comment

So it’s snowing and we’re supposed to get a lot tonight (the “don’t park in the street” siren already went off). I’m geeked about that since it doesn’t seem like Christmas without it.

But I’ve noticed I’ve still got a fall theme up on my blog so I’ll be changing that to a Christmas theme that I’ve used before (if I can find all the parts). I’ve been learning WordPress and so far I’ve learned it’s SO much easier to change themes in WP than in Movable Type…

So it looks funny over the next hour or so, I’m working on getting out the fall colors!

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