Spring Migration

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This will be the 1,934th post to my blog since I started blogging back in 2001. It will also be the last post, for the .org anyway, made using Blogger.

Earlier this year, Google, which picked up Blogger several years ago, announced that they were discontinuing FTP service for Blogger. Since 2002, when I first integrated my blog into the .org (I had a BlogSpot URL before then for the blog, separate from the .org), I’ve been using Blogger to update my Website, save for entries in the major sections (.fiction, .poetry, and so on), which I still coded by hand. Google claims that doing this will only affect a small number of blogs, but I think that when they ran those numbers, they were counting those one-post-only BlogSpot blogs disreputable companies often make to shill things, usually linking to an ad- and malware-laden Website. Nevertheless, originally Google was going to discontinue FTP back in March, which at the time gave me too little time to prepare to move the .org to another service. They extended the deadline to the first of May, and as this deadline approached, I’ve been messing around with WordPress, getting to know it, and trying to figure out what to do with the .org once I move to the service.

Unfortunately, this has not been the only site-related difficulty I’ve had to tackle. I’ve been hosting the .org on Laughing Squid almost since the beginning — I used a different service for the first few months — and in that time I’ve had pretty much no complaints. However, Laughing Squid is now in the process of moving all of their old standard hosting customers over to new cloud hosting packages, and they can’t just move the data from one server to another, so in addition to dealing with a new content management system for the .org and moving my old blog (and other pages) over to that system, I also have to deal with starting over on a new server. Although in some aspects it’s more convenient to tackle both of these things at once, it’s also that much more on my mind at a time when, due to the semester ending in a couple of weeks, I already have a lot on my plate.

I bought my new cloud hosting package last night, so after this post I won’t make any new posts until I’m over on the new server and using WordPress. I will be keeping old legacy pages (blog archives and the major sections) up for a while, but eventually I hope to turn each of those into a redirect to the corresponding WordPress page. Needless to say, for nearly two thousand blog posts, not to mention all the other pages, this will take quite a while. On the plus side, WordPress gives me the ability to do a lot of new things, like integrate my Twitter feed into every page, and add more functionality through share buttons and more subscription options. (The old Atom RSS feed will get borked, though, so for those of you who get .org posts through a subscription feed, you’ll likely have to update your subscription.)

I’ve also redesigned the site a bit, adding more visual space and, yes, more advertisements. I’m going to call this version 3.5 of the .org, since I’m keeping the same visual elements (the ivy and leaf backgrounds, the colour scheme and Celtic influences), but it will look kind of like a whole new Website. I’ve only tested the redesign in Internet Explorer, though, so if there are browser compatibility issues, please let me know (and help me solve them). It’s not easy for me to surrender so much control of the mechanics of the .org to WordPress; I miss the days when I hand-coded every page, but I just don’t have the time to do that (or to learn the hundreds of new evolutions in Website design and programming I haven’t been keeping up on). There’s just too much going on in my life right now for me to devote to those things any longer.

Anyway, I need to start migrating pages over and getting WordPress set up on my new server space. I’m hoping to have the move complete by the end of the month, but given how many student papers I have to look over this weekend, I can’t make any guarantees about that. Regardless, the next post you see on here should be from the new WordPress-powered .org. So long, Blogger, and thanks for all the fish.

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