Migrated to WordPress!

closeThis post was published 8 years 10 months 26 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

I did it. I finally did it. I ditched Blogger!

You know, there’s a certain satisfaction to this. I’ve been wanting to ditch Blogger for years, ever since I discovered WordPress. And I finally did. I’ll consider the completion of this migration to be the fulfillment of my unstated New Year’s resolution. 🙂

Thanks to the generosity of one of my Twitter contacts, @Navarr, I now have a self-hosted (er, friend-hosted) WordPress blog. He offered to host my blog after seeing me complain a lot about things I couldn’t do under Blogger. Eventually I bit the bullet and bought a domain name near the end of October. The full story is available (once I finish revising it—oh, hell, that’ll never happen, so just read it now and keep checking back :P) on the about page. Now there’s something I couldn’t do with Blogger: A static page! 😀 (Update (01/20): Blogger just launched Pages on Blogger In Draft. Little late, guys.)

As an advance warning to my feed subscribers who’ve become used to visiting this site at voyagerfan5761.blogspot.com, I’m announcing that all pages on that domain will begin redirecting to a new WordPress site I set up at technobabbl.es soon. In fact, I’ll probably have that set up by the time this post is published. Feed and email subscriptions, which are run through FeedBurner, should be unaffected by all this reconfiguration; the most you might experience are some issues with duplicate items being fed or mailed to you when the switch is made. Since I switched the feed a few weeks ago, all of those humps should be done with.

The search for a redirection solution was pretty tedious. Because I want to leave Blogger’s hosting behind, the Custom Domain feature wasn’t an option. Since I need the DNS records for technobabbl.es to point to DreamHost instead of Google, Blogger wouldn’t issue 301 Moved Permanently headers; instead, it would show interstitial “untrusted domain” warning pages (returning 200 OK, creating a horrible search engine situation) that don’t redirect users and don’t pass link juice on to the new site.

I’d just 301-redirect the whole site if I had any way of doing so. Since Blogger doesn’t let me do that, I either have to start from scratch search engine– and backlink–wise or find a more creative solution. Thanks to Digital Inspiration for a great post on migrating and Blogger redirection template generator, and thanks to John Godley of UrbanGiraffe.com for the Redirection WordPress plugin.

It took me a while to find this combination, but my pre-implementation testing indicates that it should be pretty perfect. I’ve also extended the Digital Inspiration template to issue meta refresh redirects in addition to JavaScript, anchor link, and canonical link tags, which should make it even more search-engine friendly. I could have just used redirects in my Apache .htaccess file, but Redirection will log the redirects for me, so I can keep track of the traffic coming in from the old site. For a more complete explanation of what tools I used for the migration, watch for a new how-to post.

Even with the redirection, I would like to ask all of you to update your bookmarks, and anyone who’s linked to me should please edit those links. Redirects are fine, but it’s better to not make crawlers (and users) jump through those kinds of hoops. I’d like to try and keep the experience as clean as possible.

Speaking of cleanliness, there were other side-effects of importing everything from Blogger. First, my feed footer was included in every post. So that’s something for which I should keep an eye out. I’ll get rid of all those pesky footers eventually. I only have to get them out of 500 posts. Second, Blogger uses stupid formatting tags (lots of <span style="font-weight: bold;">...</span> and <span style="font-style: italic;">...</span>) instead of the semantically correct, shorter <strong> and <em>, and it uses more <span> tags to size the text up for headers instead of creating <h_> tags. More slow cleanup work for me to do. Just have to fix a few posts at a time. I also need to do something with my Picasa-hosted images; rumor has it that they’ll disappear if I stay away from Blogger too long.

Now I’m going to stop rambling about all the work I have to do on the site. 😛 Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you’ll weather any transition turbulence and follow me to my new site, where I’ve been working on a few hefty new posts to make up for the distinct lack of blogging in the last year. 😉

dgw

I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

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