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I made the jump.

March 21st, 2009

Wordpress Logo I just installed Wordpress on my server.

After gazing enviously at countless friends’ blogs, with their fancy features, consistent behaviour, sophisticated database schemas and out-of-the-box W3C compliance, I finally decided to scrap my home-grown blogging platform and stand on the shoulders of giants.

And it’s great.

Some background:

I wrote my first database-driven journalling platform back in 2001, when I was still in high school, using ASP, VBScript, an Access database and an IIS server. At the time, I did it just to see if I could. It was extremely basic, and extremely proprietary. I learned the value of platform-independence years later, and made the switch to PHP / MySQL / Apache, about the same time I put down the Kool-Aid and purchased a Mac. I decided to write a new blogging platform to help learn how to script in PHP. PHP is ugly.

I finally got something up and running about a year and a half ago, and the front-end worked reasonably well. But the back-end was a mess. So much so that I just couldn’t bring myself to use my own tools to write new posts. So for the past year and change, this journal has stagnated.

Time to start over.

I’ve always known that it’s important to keep a blog if you want to establish an online presence. Employers value it, and it’s an essential part of one’s overall brand. My home-grown solution… well… sucked. And I lacked the wherewithal to fix it. So I took the plunge over March Break and installed Wordpress. The back-end sold me. I haven’t looked back.

Migrating everything over took about 2 weeks, and I learned a tonne about WP in the meantime. Some thoughts on the whole process:

  1. Your blog’s root directory is permanent. DO NOT bury deep inside your web server. It’s painful to move it out, afterwards.
  2. Trying to trace Wordpress’ boot sequence is an exercise in futility. You’re shuttled from index page to index page, and nested functions from like 5 different files somehow generate your content for you. But damned if you want to know how.
  3. I need to learn a LOT more about CSS. Boy am I ever out of touch.
  4. ‘rel=…’ attributes are indispensible, and I need to figure out what they actually are.
  5. Lightview is the hottest overlay viewer out there.
  6. What are trackbacks and pingbacks, and why should I care?
  7. AJAX. Need to learn. Desperately.

Hopefully, now that I have a decent back-end to manage my journal entries, I’ll be posting less sporadically.

Like, maybe more than once a year?


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