Why I’m considering switching to WordPress

Astute readers know (or can probably guess) that the software running my various blogs isn’t your standard blog software; in fact, it’s all PHP code that I wrote myself, and have gradually refined over the years.

Truth be told, though, I’m getting sick of it and I’m considering switch everything over to WordPress. Why? Here are some of my reasons:

  • My own software is horribly out of date. It might have been cutting edge three or four years ago, but I just haven’t had time to keep up with the Joneses, as it were.
  • To that end, I’m just one person with limited time; I can’t compete with an internet-wide community of open source developers contributing to the most popular free blogging platform around.
  • The latest version, 2.7, is a major update and it’s really solid—and has all the administrative features I’d want in my own software anyway.
  • It’s just time to get with the program.

Needless to say, I have a number of pros and cons as I’m thinking about this.

Pros:

  • WordPress is PHP/MySQL, which is what I do. I’m enormously comfortable with it.
  • I can still develop blogging tools in PHP in my spare time—just develop/release them for WordPress as plugins.
  • My blogging will be much more efficient—one of the problems now is the admin tools on my current software are quirky—essentially I’m spending more effort managing data rather than writing.
  • Automatic upgrades to the software (see the "community of open source developers" reason above).
  • Ajax-y auto saving of blog posts—this is huge. I don’t have it in my homegrown software, and I’ve lost more than one post and cursed myself for not having an autosave feature.
  • There are tons and tons of neat plugins that I’d love to have instant access to, which I would with WordPress. (Trying to get rid of my own "not invented here" attitude.)

Cons:

  • It’s going to be a huge pain to migrate all the blogging data from my database tables to the WordPress tables. I have it all backed up, of course, but mapping from one schema to another is work.
  • To that end, I may end up losing URL/path info (hello 404 errors!), tagging data, and years’ worth of other massaged data formatting or content. (The major stuff will be fine, of course.)
  • Time to do and fix all of those issues, of course. As in, I don’t have that much time at hand.
  • Image handling; I know WP likes to put everything under its "wp-content" directory, but I prefer storing images in an "images" directory. I don’t want to move them, and I’m unsure how configurable WP is in regards to it.

I’m thinking it’s going to happen, regardless. And no, I’m not considering any other blogging platforms; WordPress is the only one in consideration.

1 thought on “Why I’m considering switching to WordPress”

  1. I personally prefer MovableType, despite the Perl it uses (as Perl gives me fits sometimes), as it’ll spit out pages in any language I choose. I have it spitting out PHP page that I can then run other PHP code on as it’s just a page generator. I find its templating language is far easier to understand, too, but I don’t have your PHP background. I do like WordPress, too, but I just found that I had to do more babysitting of it with more patches and security updates. While I like that working to make those patches, if you don’t keep on top of installing them, your site will quickly become a target for script kiddies. I had an old WordPress install that I completely forgot about until loaded it one day and found a bunch of spam links and content edited on the site — all because of some obnoxious script kiddies targeting wordpress. I know that the newest version of WP has some great updating features that will automate a LOT of the process, so this may be a moot point now.

    I’m sure that there’s a way to remap archive URLs in WordPress (I know there is in MT) that will enable you to keep your URLs. Your URL structure is currently /YYYY/MM/DD/keyword and I’m assuming if you get that keyword into some sort of field in WP, you can generate URLs with it. They do have a large user forum that will undoubtedly be able to help you with that.

    If you need a place to play with a site for a while to see if you can get it to work, I can loan you some experimental space, just let me know.

    As for getting your data mapped, I’m sure you can find somebody on scriptlance.com that’ll be able to do it quickly and dirt cheap. Seriously. The guy may not be able to speak English very well, but if you can get somebody to move your entry/comment data into WP-formatted SQL or CSV data, that’d save you a TON of time.

Comments are closed.