As of this evening, the site migration from the Typepad service to self-hosted WordPress is mostly complete. I have gotten a few emails about broken links and such, but I am fairly certain most are chased down now (though you are welcome to email me if you have problems). The RSS feed is the last thing I need to test -- which I will do with this post. For those of you who have been accessing this site via the feeds.feedburner.com/CoyoteBlog feed, I am hoping nothing has changed -- that should still be the primary feed in the future (though you may experience about 10 duplicate posts from this weekend). Folks who have been using other feed locations will have to migrate -- all those other feeds are now off (well, almost, I will put a few more messages on the old feeds to remind people to switch). If you are seeing this post in your feed reader, you are good to go.
I have really tried to make the site more attractive, and I rejoiced in the much greater flexibility I had on WordPress. Since several people have asked, I did all the design myself, though I paid a whopping $7 each for two stock images I used in creating the banner image. Most folks read this blog via text feeds, but do me one favor and check out the new design just to make me feel better for all the work that went into it.
Actually, the vast majority of work went into migrating the site from Typepad without breaking hundreds of inbound links. It is not impossible to maintain the permalink structure of the old Typepad blog, just hard, and I will post on how I did it soon. On thing I will say now, though -- the new Typepad platform implemented for my site in October made it MUCH harder to migrate. The last 50 days of posts took more time to migrate than the previous 4+ years. That is one reason I have dropped a lot of my posting and really pushed up the priority of moving the site -- Every day I waited created a lot more work.
I have posted on my dissatisfaction with the new Typepad platform several times. Suffice it to say that while the WordPress platform is a much better one, I would not have moved had it not been for three issues:
- Typepad eliminated the blockquote option from the editor. Yeah, I know, this seems a trivial concern. But it is telling that a blog software provider could be so clueless about their customers as to think blockquotes to be unnecessary to bloggers
- Typepad really screwed up the image functionality. I have been on and off to customer service for weeks on images that simply would not post or would not post correctly. Further, perhaps in an effort to make it impossible in the future for anyone to leave, Typepad implemented a new image storage system where it is impossible to actually access your image file. What this meant for me was that, in blogging, the same images had to be uploaded over and over again, for every post in which they were used. Further, it meant that my program that I used to scrape the old blog site and put all the images on my new site could not copy these images. I had to painstakingly go into every post, right click and download the image, and then re-post it. And I use a lot of images.
- OK, so Typepad would have been fine if I did not ever quote any other sites and used no images (lol). But it had one more problem-- when switching to the new platform, they built a new spell check program which is awful. Folks who read my blog a lot know I DESPERATELY need a good spell checker. But the new Typepad spell checker did not have an "add to dictionary" or even a "slip all occurrences" option, and somehow it disabled the built-in Firefox checker. Image spell-checking a 3000 word piece on global warming and having to hit skip 150 times for each occurrence of "CO2" in the piece.
So, one blog down and one to go. The second should be a lot easier with what I have learned. My one screw-up on this one is I imported some old posts with Carriage Returns on each line so they don't wrap right, but I will just have to live with that -- I know how to avoid it with the next migration. Expect blogging to be light, as I need to get my other site off Typepad before I post too many more items that I have to port manually. I also still need to get the caching system up and tuned, so the site may be a tad slow for a few days.
Thanks to all those who complained about my site being the visual equivilent of nails on a chalkboard -- you gave me the final push to get this done. In retrospect, an intervention was clearly necesary and I appreciate those who were forthright enough to provide it.