How to get Word Pressed?

Ranjeet asked the question, why Word Press? Actually Pankaj did a nice round-up of my trials and tribulations. You can read it here. Anyway I can give you reasons – first of all I will always remember MT with certain fondness, and had it not been for recent server problems, I would have never switched.

Now Expression Engine was my first choice, and infact I had a template and site ready to go. I decided to hold off on EE for two reasons – my webhosting company was not optimized for EE and there were some limitations on the MySQL data and access. Anyway as I had said earlier, it seemed a bit of an overkill for this site. But the most pressing reason why I went with Word Press was because it was relatively simple and easy for me to install. More than anything, I really need to lick this problem this weekend because the opportunity costs of outages are too high. I had gone through all sort of help-desk support at the hosting company and with Six Apart, but we could not figure out the root cause of the site problems.

The 45 Minute MakeOver

I started with a brand new database. I simply took the MT template, and matched up the key tags. First thing I did was copy-and-pasted the MT style-sheet to Word Press default style sheet, called wp-layout.css. Next up, I convered the header, doc type, footer and all other fixed elements of the site, to include files and added the includes into the default index template. I got rid of all the typical WP tags like META and removed the annoying list tags that the default ships with. Once I got the look right, I moved things around: Login right at the top, and then search and of course the book and google ad includes. Pankaj helped me with the drop downs. The code for this came from the Word Press support forum.

That’s it for the look and feel. I moved the index.php file from the word press folder to the root of the site, made a tiny mod in the index page to reflect that (it cost me edit this ability but that’s all right!). Next up, I uploaded the MT-export file as “import.txt” to the admin folder, made one small change to the import-mt.php file, and within 30 seconds all 1400 entries were in the site. Pankaj taught me how to make a htacccess file to include a redirect that moved index.xml feed to the new rss URL. Here I also included the code to generate clean archives. Uploaded it to the site, got rid of the .txt extension and added a “.” before the name. That’s it. The entire switch took 45 minutes. I did exactly the same for NRI and VoIPDaily. Mostly copy and paste.

Final thoughts: I am loving it! But for VoIPDaily and Tablatronic.Net, which are both going to be community driven interactive publications (less blog like) with forums and mailing lists etc, I am going to go with Expression Engine. Those are more “online magazines” and nothing is better than EE for those purposes. What about MT? Well the last time I tried to install MT, it was a tedious process, though since then I have mastered it. It still is a better product if you tend to use desktop blogging clients. Those are serious issues with WP/EE. I am told there is an Ecto patch, but I cannot get it going, and well, will wait for that to show up in the next release of the software.