The spam was ridiculous — that was my initial motivation to switch. Even with the blacklist plugin, I was still getting hammered. I didn’t want to make folks register to comment, and I didn’t want to close comments. Then I started having some problems with my MT install. I didn’t want to pay to upgrade to 3.0, and one of the blogs I was running stopped rebuilding properly. I ignored the warning signs until something got really broken, and I decided it would be better to port to WP than troubleshoot MT, as I don’t have Perlfu skills.
I don’t really know PHP either, but I think I’m more likely to pick some of that up. It is true that WordPress installs in under 5 minutes. The gotcha is that it takes considerably longer than that to get everything configured so that it works and looks like something I wanted. I was able to resolve most all of my issues by googling for answers and playing around with the files with minimal profanity. Here are some tips if you are thinking about switching or starting to use WordPress:
- I run three blogs, so I did three separate installs. It is free, quick, and this way if or when I have a problem with one, all three won’t go down. My host allows enough myql databases, so I hooked up each install to its own database. You don’t have to do this, but again, after issues with running 3 blogs off one MT install, I decided better safe than sorry.
- The default template is hideous, so I took Kubrick as my design base instead.
- Spam counterattack measures: 1) renaming the comments file to make it a bit harder to find; 2) a captcha system plugin by Coffelius; 3) the ported Jay Allen blacklist; and finally 4) a moderation system to catch obvious crud generated by humans not bots that slips past everything else
- Plugins (don’t be scared — just php files you drop into the right directory and then click a link to enable) helped get things looking the way I wanted them to: excerpt reloaded and Customizable Post Listings made things more manageable
- .htaccess files make life easier: set them up to be editable by the WP system and generating permalink structures and 301 redirects isn’t hard
- WordPress Wiki and the support forums have the answers, or links to the answers.
Now that I’m not spending time deleting obnoxious comment-spam ads or struggling with my blogging software, I will be resuming what passes for normal posting around here. I’ve even got a few polaroids from Disney scanned and posted.
If you notice something broken, or you can’t find something you could before (but hey, I have search enabled now!) drop me a comment or email and let me know. Maybe I will even be able to fix it.