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02

Made the Move To WordPress

Well . . . almost.  I’m not completely over yet.  As it turns out, while moving into WordPress isn’t a piece of cake, moving out of Community Server is really hard.  So far, it’s taken a combination of RSS and XML manipulation and transfer; fooling around with databases – both manually and programmatically; and a lot of copying/pasting and adjusting style manual work.  All of the posts from my previous blog should be over, but not all comments.  I will be able to get the comments over, but it’s taking a long time.  Trackbacks and pingbacks are going to get dumped.  That is, the record of the trackback/pingback in my post comments.  The actually links back to the blog from other blogs should continue to work just fine.

First, you probably got here by linking from my feed.  You might notice that the address of the blog has changed.  It used to be www.herman.org/blogs/2-speed.  It’s now www.2-speed.com.  You get to the same place either way through the magic of URL remapping/redirection.  It should be transparent and the redirects should be permanent, although I did notice a few glitches in testing.  So, you don’t have to change a thing.  Whether you read my feed or my blog, both old addresses and new ones should work the same.

Second, there are bound to be some problems.  Aside from the amount of massaging I needed to do to the data, my WordPress installation is a bit unconventional.  I decided not to use Apache, which is pretty much the standard WordPress web server.  I am using IIS running on my own Windows 2003 server.  There’s not a ton of documentation on how to do this, but there is some when you Google it.  In the end, getting that part running wasn’t particularly hard.  It was surprisingly easy to get the server to speak PHP (the hypertext processor required by WordPress which is written in PHP) .

I am using MySQL for the WordPress database, even though I have SQL Server already running on my server.  It just seemed too painful to make that change.  I did have some issues getting WordPress to talk with its MySQL database.  I’m pretty sure that was user error, though.  I think I reinstalled MySQL about 5 times until everything worked OK.  Surprisingly, the graphical tools for poking into the MySQL database pale in comparison to the free stuff available for SQL Server.  This screwed me up a bit since I was so used to how to get things done in SQL Server.

Third and finally, I did most of my testing of the blog in Firefox.  I just looked at it in IE, and it isn’t formatting as nicely.  I’ve already been playing around with the PHP files that make up the theme so, perhaps, I messed this up.  It, obviously still needs some work and will be under construction for a bit longer.

WordPress is impressive.  Community Server was great, but it’s way more than just a blog server.  WordPress is amazingly compact and PHP ( this is my first experience with it) is pretty easy to understand even when you don’t know all the syntax.  The WordPress community is huge, too, so there are an incredible number of plugins, widgets and themes.  The knowledge base on the web is also terrific – I’ve rarely had a problem that I couldn’t find at least some help with quickly.

If you find glitches, I’d appreciate your leaving me a note and pointing them out.  Of course, I’m gonna hack this site to bits while I get to know how this stuff works so some of the problems you find may be fleeting.

BTW – Special thanks to Daniel over at Daily Blog Tips.  Daniel has great advice on how to optimize any blog, but his advice is particularly great if you are a WordPress user – even a new one.  Without his pointers to resources, this major task would have taken even longer.  Check out tips like the ones in this monthly roundup post.

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 March 2nd, 2007  
 Will  
 Software  
   
 18 Comments

18 Responses to Made the Move To WordPress

  1. Hi, Will.

    Everything looks fine from Safari on my Mac. The body font is a little bigger than I would have expected, but it’s not unreasonably large.

    I’m using rawdog (Python to HTML aggregrator) to fetch through the old URL and everything still seems to work from that perspective, as well. Rawdog follows redirects, but needs me to manually update the configuration for permanent redirects. I did see a full refresh of the feed content, but that’s to be expected.

    I see that “Google” has become a verb for you, as well!

    Aron

  2. Hi, Will.

    Everything looks fine from Safari on my Mac. The body font is a little bigger than I would have expected, but it’s not unreasonably large.

    I’m using rawdog (Python to HTML aggregrator) to fetch through the old URL and everything still seems to work from that perspective, as well. Rawdog follows redirects, but needs me to manually update the configuration for permanent redirects. I did see a full refresh of the feed content, but that’s to be expected.

    I see that “Google” has become a verb for you, as well!

    Aron

  3. Hey Aron,

    Thanks for checking it out. The body font is sorta large. I like it that way – it makes me feel a little less . . . old. Does Rawdog always make you update it for permanent redirects, or is this unusual?

    Sorry for the trouble posting, I noticed the server stalling this morning. There are no errors being thrown and no CPU being used. I really don’t know what’s going on. It’s gonna be hard to debug. It could be PHP on IIS, a MySQL issue, one of the plugins I’ve added to WordPress or any of the manual changes I’ve made to Worpress or the theme I’m using.

    I’m going to have to isolate it somehow.

    Thanks again.

  4. Hey Aron,

    Thanks for checking it out. The body font is sorta large. I like it that way – it makes me feel a little less . . . old. Does Rawdog always make you update it for permanent redirects, or is this unusual?

    Sorry for the trouble posting, I noticed the server stalling this morning. There are no errors being thrown and no CPU being used. I really don’t know what’s going on. It’s gonna be hard to debug. It could be PHP on IIS, a MySQL issue, one of the plugins I’ve added to WordPress or any of the manual changes I’ve made to Worpress or the theme I’m using.

    I’m going to have to isolate it somehow.

    Thanks again.

  5. Will,

    I’m still seeing problems accessing your server from time to time.

    We have had some problems with the WordPress installation we are using for our weblog; trying to publish really long posts seems to cause errors. These errors don’t appear in our server logs, either. Luckily, it seems like Apache never dies and is able to respond to subsequent requests without problem.

    I responded to your rawdog questions directly via email; I’m reposting here in case others are curious.

    Rawdog does not update its list of feeds automatically when a permanent redirect is encountered. I could change the configuration and allow automatic updates (this is a newer feature), but I still like manually reviewing redirects.

    I checked my rawdog config; I am reading through feedburner. This means that I am not even seeing a redirect.

    Aron

  6. Will,

    I’m still seeing problems accessing your server from time to time.

    We have had some problems with the WordPress installation we are using for our weblog; trying to publish really long posts seems to cause errors. These errors don’t appear in our server logs, either. Luckily, it seems like Apache never dies and is able to respond to subsequent requests without problem.

    I responded to your rawdog questions directly via email; I’m reposting here in case others are curious.

    Rawdog does not update its list of feeds automatically when a permanent redirect is encountered. I could change the configuration and allow automatic updates (this is a newer feature), but I still like manually reviewing redirects.

    I checked my rawdog config; I am reading through feedburner. This means that I am not even seeing a redirect.

    Aron

  7. Aron,

    The server IIS seems unaffected. It’s serving several other sites while the WordPress site appears to be hanging. Even restarted the server doesn’t seem to do anything to help the WordPress hang. It could even be the re-writer, which I hadn’t thought of before. There is an entry for every post in the old blog. Some processing there could be an issue.

    I’ll keep poking. Thanks for checking it out.

  8. Aron,

    The server IIS seems unaffected. It’s serving several other sites while the WordPress site appears to be hanging. Even restarted the server doesn’t seem to do anything to help the WordPress hang. It could even be the re-writer, which I hadn’t thought of before. There is an entry for every post in the old blog. Some processing there could be an issue.

    I’ll keep poking. Thanks for checking it out.

  9. Nice job on the new style, the print is very readable. I’ll be interested to hear how wordpress and IIS get along. One other thing, I think the bullseye icon that your template is showing in your “Blogs I read” is the closest thing to a standard for OPML so you might want to change that.

  10. Nice job on the new style, the print is very readable. I’ll be interested to hear how wordpress and IIS get along. One other thing, I think the bullseye icon that your template is showing in your “Blogs I read” is the closest thing to a standard for OPML so you might want to change that.

  11. Thanks, John. You’re right about the OPML icon. I was trying to be fancy, but it’s wrong to use it in the context. I killed it.

    The big print matches my age and eyes. Personally, I like that it’s easy to read, although a friend of mine thinks it looks like every other blog now – too ordinary.

  12. That’s a valid opinion, but I’ll take “ordinary” and easy to read over funky with a side of eyestrain. Small print and low contrast is like having a pebble in your shoe – bearable for a while but ultimately crippling.

  13. That’s a valid opinion, but I’ll take “ordinary” and easy to read over funky with a side of eyestrain. Small print and low contrast is like having a pebble in your shoe – bearable for a while but ultimately crippling.

  14. The Google Widget that has your blog on my homepage worked like a charm.

    Perhaps now with an improved techical system and a better font, you can next work on improving the content… 😉

  15. The Google Widget that has your blog on my homepage worked like a charm.

    Perhaps now with an improved techical system and a better font, you can next work on improving the content… 😉

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  18. Thanks, John. You're right about the OPML icon. I was trying to be fancy, but it's wrong to use it in the context. I killed it.

    The big print matches my age and eyes. Personally, I like that it's easy to read, although a friend of mine thinks it looks like every other blog now – too ordinary.