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.