Well, it’s official! I’ve finally gone ahead and done what I’ve been wanting to do for ages now — I ported “How to Blog” from TypePad to WordPress and it now resides happily at http://www.emilyrobbins.com/how-to-blog/
Please update all of your bookmarks and feed subscriptions to reflect the new location!
I’m very excited to have the site powered by WordPress for a number of reasons:
- I can reopen trackbacks on all my old posts (which I’m still in the process of doing) and allow pings on all new posts because WordPress’s anti-spam plugins will delete all the crap (meaning I’m not stuck wading through hundreds of spam a day trying to find legitimate trackback pings) and you will soon be able to trackback to any and all of my posts, restoring full blogging functionality to How to Blog (since you all know I think trackbacks are essential to the blogging experience!) It may be a day or two before all of the posts have been updated to allow pings — in the port from typepad, WP used typepad’s settings and had pings turned off for all posts and unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a plugin that will allow a mass change to all posts to allow pings (developers – there’s an idea for ya!) so I’m sitting here manually going through each post and checking the ‘allow pings’ box, so bear with me
- I can have subcategories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- I can finally have pagination controls (previous page, next page), making navigating the blog much easier (and something that TypePad was sorely missing).
- I can have an Archives page which displays Archives by month, by category, as well as an entire archive of every posting on How to Blog, essentially creating a sitemap so that you can more easily find what you’re looking for
- Speaking of sitemaps, I can use the Google Sitemap plugin to automatically generate a Google Sitemaps compliant sitemap of How to Blogand automatically ping Google everytime a create or update a post
- I can save time by using plugins like Jerome’s Keywords to automatically create my technorati tags for me based on the keywords I’ve entered
- I can save time by using the autolink plugin to automatically setup the hyperlinks for me on phrases that I often use, like WordPress
- I can allow people to subscribe to my blog by email using the Subscribe2 plugin, where you can choose how often you want to be notified by email when I create new posts, and you can even specify which categories of posts you want to be notified about
- I can get MUCH better stats, since I’m running wordpress on my dedicated server on my webhost (Prohosters.com) and I get really detailed stats through the use of Sawmill
- I have a seemingly endless number of wordpress themes to choose from (I haven’t had time to figure out what I want to go with for the long haul — I really like the look of Semiologic, but it’s very hard to customize because it requires serious PHP knowledge and whatever theme I choose will likely be heavily customized when I’m done with it — OR, I might just take the plunge and create my OWN theme )
- I can allow people to subscribe to comments on any particular post, and they will then receive subsequent replies to that post through email
- I’m sure there are a million other things I’m forgetting, and I’ll write about them in due time. The one thing I am gonna miss from TypePad is their excellent WYSIWYG editor — WordPress’s is rather disasterous and I recommend that all users disable it. If you still want a wysiwyg interface for blogging, there are several excellent tools available including the Performancing extension for Firefox, the windows client BlogJet, etc
For now, I’ve got to get back to the ultra mundane task of updating all of my old typepad posts one at a time to show the new URL of where the post can now be found and turn of commenting on those posts. Then I get to go through all of my posts in WordPress one at a time and check the box to allow pings. Then I get to email all the people who have linked to my old site and ask them to update their bookmarks. And I get to pray that I don’t lose all of my traffic and the great search engine rankings that I had on my typepad version of the blog.
By the way, I do realize that blogging.typepad.com is certainly an easier URL to memorize than www.emilyrobbins.com/how-to-blog/ – however, I wanted to have it on my emilyrobbins.com domain – but not in the root of the domain as How to Blog is only one part of who I am. And, when I experimented with porting the typepad blog over to wordpress, google immediately started indexing the URLs (something I hadn’t anticipated to happen so quickly – especially since I hadn’t made a final decision as to what I wanted the URL to be – should I use a subdomain or a subdirectory, or should I give it it’s own domain) and rather than having to set up 301 permanent redirects I decided that this must be what fate wanted as the new How to Blog location – so here we are, and I look forward to being able to get back to posting (and I have many posts which need some updating including my theme list) when the drudgery involved with making the move is completed!