Site Migration is Done (I Hope)

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.

  • BillG

    Looks great. Congratulations.

  • workingman

    Well I use Google reader to keep up with your blog, and the new site is coming through fine. It did class it as a new site, and thus showed me your last 10 blogs as unread, but a minor problem.

    As you say, I would not normally go direct to your site, but I have clicked through and it certainly is looking good.

    Workingman

    Wellington
    New Zealand

  • workingman

    Just one minor thing.

    I just noticed that you do not use any form of graphical character check when a comment is posted. I do not know if you have always done this or if the move to the new site has left this turned off.

    workingman

  • One minor note for you. The feedburner feed lists "admin" as author. Thought you might prefer something more interesting/accurate.

    -Gene

  • Miklos Hollender

    Hello,

    The template is definitely prettier, I like it overall, but it's slightly less readable.

    - Although the black-on-white text is very readable in the sense that it's the biggest maximum contrast, it's just too bright. As I have to use my screen on a relative high brightness level to be able to read the blogs of all those artsy folks who think dark gray text on a black background is a great idea, the bright white background is just too bright, hard on the eyes. I'd suggest a tad more creamier or grayer colour. Not very much perhaps, an RGB of 250/250/250 instead of 255/255/255 would be enough to round the sharp, bright edge off a bit.

    - On the right, mid-blue text on light blue background - too low contrast, hard to read, I'd suggest a darker blue text.

  • Philip

    Looks nicer than the previous version and renders much faster!

  • Larry Sheldon

    I've said it before, I'll say it again (second time I've said _that_ this morning! (in different contexts)):

    I like the new appearance--especially the new Coyote picture which does the animal more justice than the old one did.

    And I think black-on-white is just fine, and would probably like black-on-pale-gray for the contrast areas better.

  • dave smith

    I love the new look. But when the page first comes up, all the white is gray for a split second and is somewhat annoying.

    I'll not stop reading, of course.

  • Matt

    Looks great! I primarily read via the feed, but I do click through to the site to read comments on interesting/controversial posts. Anyways, well done!

  • Noumenon

    You can pretty much guarantee that whenever you change your blog format, no matter how awesome it is, tons of people will hate and complain about it.

    I don't wanna be one of those people. But... other people are seeing black on white? For me the color scheme is dark grey text on a hashed grey background with a light grey sidebar.

  • Methinks

    The new site is STUNNING. Love it.

  • LoneSnark

    Your wolf looks fat.

    Other than that, it looks more professional. Yes, that may get you taken more seriously, but I must confess it makes me less eager to read what you say.

  • Larry Sheldon

    Not a wolf.

    A coyote. A successful coyote. (The other one always struck me as uncharacteristically scrawny and pathetic.)

    Hmmm....only reads unprofessional-looking blogs.

    I've never understood people that judge on surface appearance.

  • I had success adding the feed to "My Yahoo" using the following URL provided by wordpress:

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/feed

  • Dr. T

    I echo Dave Smith's comments. I also request ragged right margins instead of full justification. The spaces between words become uncomfortably large when a URL wraps to the next line (such as line 4). Also, if you double-space after a period, the gap between sentences is huge.

  • Larry Sheldon

    Commenting on ideas that people spent some time on---ragged right is good. "Justify right" is another "we have always done it that way" from the requirements of old technology.

    The EM space after a full stop is not so important to me. The bizarre wide spaces of justify right really is a distraction.

  • ErikTheRed

    I like the layout; I think the colors and contrast are great (for me, anyway). A maximum width would be nice (I noticed you have a minimum width), but other than that it's sweet.

  • Looks nice to me, but then again, I'm a colorblind engineer, so I liked the old site just fine too...

    I did notice that you seem to be missing The Liberty Papers in your blogroll, though 🙂

  • Coyote little sis

    I love the new look!! And your dog obsessed niece just adores the new banner. As a 10 year old, she gets a little lost in the science of global warming and economics, but she'll look at your banner all day long.

    Seriously though, I continue to be in awe of my big brother.

  • Tom G

    Love the new look, I'm very pleased also. I'm just one of your lurkers who loves the site and rarely comments, but kudos on the move !

  • xpatUSA

    Great job - migration was never easy 😉

    That coyote magnifies all the way to FireFox 3's max zoom with any jaggies appearing. Must be quite a high res. image.

    T.C.

  • Frederick Davies

    Great job: it looks great.

  • Don Lloyd

    Warren,

    I have used Bloglines to access coyoteblog for several years, but am now unable to edit in the new blog address so that it will access anything newer than this post.

    To get to the newer posts separately, I have to go to an old url and click on the link you provided in the beginning of the 'moving' post.

    An assumption that I know nothing about Bloglines or RSS would be quite accurate.

    Thanks, Don

  • Conrad

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