As you may notice, looking around the place, I have tarted up my blog a bit. I shall now bore you all to tears with the technical details of exactly what that entailed, and how I have been spending my week off…
But first, a little history. When I first started dipping my toe into blogging a few years ago I dipped it in Posterous. It was OK, but suffered from many shortfalls, and when Twitter bought it and gave everyone notice that it was on borrowed time, I decided to jump ship. For reasons unknown I decided to give Blogger a bash. At first it was OK. As time wore on, not so much. It was like… wading through treacle. But as I wasn’t doing much in the way of blogging it didn’t really matter that tinkering with it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Then I started to Blog Every Day in May, and interact with my blog a lot more. I also found that I started banging my head on my desk and screaming at my computer a lot more, too. Blogger is sketchy, it really is. It feels like it’s been patched together almost at random and suffers chronically from Brand’s Housework Edict:
“fuck it, it’ll do.”
The final tore it for me was when recently, by chance, I happened upon a Kickstarter project for a new blogging platform called Ghost, which looks frankly awesome and is everything I have ever wanted in a blog platform. It has been massively well-funded and will be released in a couple of months. At first I was just going to leave it and move everything over when Ghost was released but then I leaned to the opinion that I basically couldn’t tolerate Blogger any more and that in any case it would probably be much easier moving to Ghost from WordPress than from Blogger. Also I would need to get server hosting set up ahead of time and I had a week off from work to dick about in, so all things considered I might as well go to a self-hosted WordPress blog now.
So I did. It was a nightmare. But fun, at the same time. So this is what I’ve been doing for three days:
- Firstly got hosting from tsohost.com who seem very smart and very reasonably-priced
- Located and installed WordPress’ new snazzy “twentythirteen” theme
- Transitioned my Blogger posts into my WordPress install by use of a handy plugin
- Realised that the tags I’d attached to my Blogger posts got turned into categories by the plugin, so then had to fiddle with some settings to convert all the categories into tags like they should be
- Imported my old Posterous posts that had been unavailable for ages
- Realised that EVERY SINGLE ONE of my posts had links that needed to be tweaked because of the change in domains and then spent approximately the rest of my natural life doing that
- Realised that Disqus, my commenting system, was having a nightmare transferring comments over and that most of them were probably not going to happen (there weren’t many)
- Realised that Disqus for some reason wasn’t displaying properly (and still isn’t) in the WordPress theme I liked, but decided to use it anyway
- Did a load of art for various places around the site, which I really like and will be doing a new piece for every single blog post I ever write ever from now on (see above)
All in all I think it’s a great improvement over the Blogger site. I still have stuff to do here and there but overall I must say I’m liking the experience more. WordPress certainly has smartened itself up since last I blogged with them. Hopefully though, the new Ghost software will be even better (and not so much of a trial to transition to).
Have you made it to the end without sleeping? Leave me a comment and you shall get a gold star!