I’m Getting Set To Change My Blog

Each of these steps is tiny, but none of them is particularly well documented. If anything’s been left out I won’t know until it’s failed!

blog backend screencap.jpgWithout getting too terribly geeky my blog runs on Movabletype. That’s a software package which puts my typed words into the visual format you see. Moveabletype has served me well, but the trend in blogs (and other similar sites) is toward WordPress.

Simply put WP is supported by a huge community of developers and MT is not. That means WordPress can do lots of tricks this blog can’t do right now. In a Twitter, Facebook, search engine optimized age some of the tricks are pretty important.

There is a feature in WordPress to actually import a Movabletype blog like this one…. hold on… I’m laughing hysterically. You really don’t think it’s that easy, do you? I mean there is that feature. It almost works!

Others have blazed this path before me and dropped breadcrumbs along the way. I’ve been in arcane files located on a distant server changing “\n” to “\n \n.” I’ve created files to remind my server which version of software it needs to run.

Each of these steps is tiny, but none of them is particularly well documented. If anything’s been left out I won’t know until it’s failed!

The blog’s server will move too. Right now it’s hosted by a company in Chicago. It will probably reside on the Pennsylvania servers of a German company when I’m through. That should be invisible to you.

With all this the look of the blog will change. Though it has to change a little it’ll probably change a lot. There may be fewer full stories on the home page but more summaries and links. Maybe a better way to show photos? I’m mulling the decisions.

It needs to look nice while not pissing you (my readers) off.

I’m thinking of designing the theme myself from scratch. The more I look the more that seems doable. Most folks choose to use a pre-designed theme.

More than I can chew? Possibly.

I’m fixated on typography. Some blogs look so pretty because of the way they use type–how it’s spaced and formatted for headlines, quotes and lists. I’ve been searching for advice on this particular nuance but have come up short so far.

I’m open to suggestions. It’s like a fresh sheet of paper has been laid before me. It’s geekily exciting.

The process should take a few days… by which I mean a few weeks… so probably by late March… 2011.

8 thoughts on “I’m Getting Set To Change My Blog”

  1. I recently moved to WordPress too, after so many years on Movabletype. I felt sad but I love the plugins WordPress has for everything.

    For typography have you seen TypeKit? The good stuff there has a fee but there are some decent fonts for free too.

  2. I’d rather not use anything which might break in a browser. My typography concentration will be limited to spacing and size which can accomplish a lot.

  3. That’s why I like wordpress more than blogger. I use to have a blog on blogger, but then got sick and tired of blogger because I could not take control of my blog and since moving my blog to wordpress, I have more control and better options with my wordpress blog. I think WordPress is very more superior to Blogger and Blogger is more like livejournal and is frankly more of a beginners blog.

  4. Hi Geoff: Sorry to hear you’re planning to move away from Movable Type. We (Six Apart) have a Journalist Program on TypePad for journos who want to keep a blog. You get all the bells and whistles TypePad has to offer – and if you haven’t looked at TypePad lately, please do because there’s a lot of new social stuff in there – for free. TypePad.com Please let me know if you are interested and we’ll set you up. Ginger Tulley, Director of Marketing for Six Apart ginger (at) sixapart dot com

  5. One suggestion would be to use the page aspect size of news.google.com so when users with larger monitors scroll your site they see it in beautiful widescreen 🙂

  6. Geoff, I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to respond to Ginger from Six Apart:

    Early in the blogging market, Moveable Type (MT) had an opportunity to own the market. Like everything else on the internet, things evolve. Quickly. Moveable Type (MT), when acquired by Six Apart, was already falling behind to WordPress, but it was a great improvement.

    Things seemed hopeful for folks who were using MT, but over the past year or so, MT has once again been marginalized by the much more active (and significantly larger) WordPress developer community.

    Although I’ve tried in the past to switch Geoff to WordPress, he always defended MT, and never budged. The fact that he’s making this decision now, and all the work he faces just to keep his passion for blogging alive and moving forward, doesn’t seem like he just decided this spur of the moment.

    MT is a good product, and as a developer I still recommend it to some clients, but only those who don’t need or envision expanding their site in other ways.


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