Monday, 21 May 2012

Hello WordPress!

The new look WordPress site
No, when I mention 'WordPress' I'm not deserting Blogger for hosting my blog, but my oldest website is in the process of moving from being a bespoke website to a WordPress site. It's all the fault of this pesky Mac I'm typing on.

Almost everything I did on the PC translated across smoothly, but I knew there were two big issues to sort out. One was my business accounts, which I'd knocked up as a hand-crafted Access database back when I used to program regularly. This had become unwieldy and unmaintainable. So last summer I switched over to using SageOne, an online accounts package, which had the big advantage of being web-based, so there was nothing to migrate to the Mac. (It can also be accessed directly by my accountant, which is spooky.)

The other problem was my rag-tag collection of websites. These had all been written originally in FrontPage, but I had switched over to a host that doesn't support it particularly, so I had gradually replaced most of my websites (like with sites built in the flashy Webplus. This works well, but doesn't have a Mac version. So I've started a long process of redoing these using a Mac app (RapidWeaver).

So far, so good. But I never got the Popular Science website into Webplus, as it's simply too big (over 1,000 pages). I was maintaining the site by editing pages in FrontPage, then manually uploading them using FTP, unwieldy to say the least. So moving to Mac made me face up to the fact it was time to do something about it.

The obvious solution seemed to be WordPress - and so far it has been fairly painless, though I wouldn't recommend it for technophobes. My hosting company said the server is on wouldn't support WordPress, but they could move it to one that did. About an hour later I was ready to install the WordPress software - which is kind of a scary business. I wouldn't say their 'five minute install' took 5 minutes - more like an hour - but the same day I decided to go to WordPress the first pages were up and running.

I am putting all new reviews into the WordPress site and am gradually migrating the old posts (though it will take a while). It took me a day or two to sort out a suitable layout, but I think I'm getting there. Some things are less flexible than the old site, but it's much quicker to add a post and there are all sorts of new facilities for users - most notably, visitors can add comments to any of the reviews, which should be interesting. Using the link now takes you into the WordPress site, but the old site is still available, so nothing is lost.


  1. >>My hosting company said the server is on wouldn't support WordPress

    Wtf! You sure they were just wanting to fleece you?

  2. No, I think the physical server it was on hadn't got the right version of MySQL - they moved it to another server (within an hour) at no charge, so there was no sense of being fleeced.

  3. Congrats on the move to Wordpress! It’s definitely a very handy and user-friendly server when it comes to websites. Putting up the website usually takes time, but updating is a breeze on Wordpress – it’s usually just a couple of clicks to the right page. Wordpress websites are also rather quickly picked up as search results on engines like Yahoo and Google, which means you’ve marginally increased the chances of traffic towards your website.

  4. I have a few friends who have moved their website to this same web server as well. I believe it’s because it’s, as you called it, painless to use. Just like Sage said, posting and updating usually just takes two clicks. In addition, if you’ve got extensive knowledge of HTML and CSS, then you can take advantage of the true benefits of the server as a website host.