Updating this site with wordpress

Apologies if you got several old postings in your feed reader this morning.

When Feedsparks was released, this blog was hosted on Textdrive. But, unfortunately, the server there has been up and down a lot through late 2006 and early 2007, and it chose to go down for a bunch of hours at that key time. So I did an emergency move to my dedicated server at aplus.net. As it happens, then aplus had a network problem which caused them to not route packets to the server for 6 or so hours. So, again at a bad time, the blog had some frustrating downtime.

Two lessons: (1) Host small blogs at a blog-specific host like blogger (like http://berniethompson.com/ is)– there’s been virtually no work to do to keep that running, and now with custom domains, you can still get the SEO benefits you might be looking for (2) If you do self-host a blog, make sure to have some kind of site monitoring going (which I did), also including checking the page for some keyword that should always be there if the page is loading properly, and separate feed monitoring with feedburner feedbulletins (which I didn’t, causing the blog to be down much longer than it needed to be).

But, in any case, this all made for a good excuse to move to update the blog. To the latest version of wordpress (2.1), and the site template. “veryplaintxt” is a simple, widget-friendly template with configurable fonts and column settings. It has some problems (e.g. no comments on Pages, which I had to fix). Anyone hate it?

At the same time, all plugins were upgraded. Some were dropped (e.g. translation links), making the right sidebar a little less crowded. Drop a comment if you miss any of those.

The blog was also upgraded to the WordPress Feedburner Plugin 2.2. The previous version exported a separate, special feed URL from the site, which you would give to Feedburner. Then your ‘real’ feed URLs would be redirected to Feedburner’s groomed versions. The new plugin introduced a change where you just provide your real feel URLs to Feedburner, and the plugin (through some magic) will special case those requests. So you have to re-configure where Feedburner grabs your feed.

Which gets us to another problem. Even though the posting dates don’t change (and the original dates are still visible), Feedburner treats your new feed address as a bunch of updated posts, and sends them all out again. So my 58-or-so readers (thankfully, the readership here is still, um, exclusive ..) all got my last 10 postings re-copied to their feed readers. Yuck. This seems to be a problem that the plugin or, more likely, feedburner must solve.

So, apologies for the multiple posts if it affected you. And anyone know of a way I could have avoided it?

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