Originally uploaded by JayPanda
I don’t really know why I am suddenly quoting The Clash, but I thought it was sort of appropriate.
You see, I am thinking about shifting blog platforms. It is not that I don’t like Typepad, I do … it has been great. But I have a lot of other sites, sideline projects and web hosting setups that I need to consolidate. And rather than have them all spread out … and costing small but not insubstantial amounts, I am thinking that I should bring them all together in one place (yes, the wonders of virtual hosts and server technology will allow me to do so). At the moment I am thinking of MoveableType … but I have had a lot of experience with WordPress as well and know it does a great job.
I am sure that many of you have been down this path before me … so what are the risks? What are the problems? What have you learned in this sort of process and would you do it again?
And, in case you can’t get that song out of your head, I have posted a live version over here.
One thought on “Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Now?”
I started off using Radio Userland and tried their hosted solution (radio.weblogs.com) before finally moving to MovableType in 2003. The experience has been mostly ok with occasional frustrations. I haven’t upgraded to MT4, so my comments are for MT v2-3.2. On the plus side: the templating language is pretty good and I’ve been able to do a variety of things with it. I’ve shifted back and forth in my use/reliance on PHP (I’m currently in a minimal-PHP mood) but MT can generate PHP pages and comes with Smarty (a PHP templating library).
On the down side, SixApart has bounced around on their licensing and their focus over the years and MT (until v4) seemed to shift to their backburner in favour of typepad, livejournal and vox.com. MT can be a resource hog since it builds pages dynamically and the scripts run as CGIs. There’s a variety of performance optimizations you can do, but out of the box it can be a hog.
MT has lots of plugins and has been run through the wringer enough that it’s fairly debugged. It’s not perfect code, but it’s good enough.
I keep looking at WordPress, starting with when it was b2/cafelog and…I’ve never felt entirely comfortable switching to it for reasons I can’t quite explain. I think in the end I like that MT can generate static HTML pages and does not necessarily have to rely on PHP. A lot of work has gone into WordPress and I think it’s richer now than MT, and fairly secure, but I worry that the reliance on PHP and the size of the codebase means that I personally will never know whether the site is totally secure, which is just my own bugaboo. With MT I’ve been able to lock down the administrative interface, and since I generate static pages I’m not as worried about getting hacked through some obscure PHP hole or library.
Whether you use MT or WordPress, make sure you have someone (if not yourself) who can keep an eye on security advisories and update the code as necessary.
I think (and I concede being biased towards MT), if you’re going to be publishing a couple of posts a day it may well be a wash. If you’re going to publish a lot, I’d lean towards WordPress because, out of the box again, MT can become a slow dog as the volume of content increases on your site. On the other hand, if you’re thinking you’re going to get a lot of traffic, a lot of pageviews, then MT and static pages might be a better choice. THere’s a number of customizations and optimizations you can do with WordPress to increase performance, but out of the box NT might have the edge for high traffic volume sites. (High volume = 100k pageviews/day).
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