On a whim decision in middle of yesterday evening I decided to move my blog from Community Server 2.1 to WordPress.com.
Please update syndication URL to http://blog.robgarrett.com/feed/
Community Server and the team at Data Research Group, where my blog was hosted, have been great and I thank both DRG for their support and free hosting; and the Community Server guys for the wonderful platform I’ve been using for the past 3-4 years.
My decision to move last night wasn’t an agonizing one (hence “whim”) and nothing to do withy the CS platform or hosting, but because I am moving my life in the direction of “less maintenance for Rob.”
I chose to move RobGarrett.com to WordPress.com because WP offers a clean, slick, easy to use interface – and the best part, I don’t have to maintain it. It’s taken me a while to comprehend that the more services one is responsible the more headaches one has to deal with (not that my blog was ever a huge burden). WP affords me the ability to concentrate on blog posting, and never do I have to worry about backing up data, checking in a site errors, or making changes inline with infrastructure changes at my hosting org.
I did consider several other blog engines, especially SharePoint, since this is the focus of my career, but settled on WP because it was free, they offer 3GB of space, and configuration is simple.
The following is a list of pros and cons I have evaluated in the 24 hours since I moved to WP:
- Easy to use administration interface
- Stock templates – get bored with look and feel, I can just change it
- iPhone application available
- Never going away (hopefully), infrastructure maintained by WP team
- Never have to worry about backups again
- 3GB of storage space (can pay for addition)
- Stable platform, should never error out
- Limited customization ability
- No Google ads
- No Google analytics
- Have to pay extra for custom CSS
Moving my blog posts from CS 2.1 wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I followed a great post from Rob Walling, which led me to use the CS BLOGML export tool from CodePlex, to export all my posts to BLOGML. Once I exported my content, I was then able to massage the content, convert to WordPress.com WXR format using Damien G’s XSLT (and Visual Studio 2008), and then import the content directly into WP – presto, posts and comments.
The above process did some hand-holding. Trawling the web, I found some claims to developed tools that would do the complete migration in one step, but never found a so called solution that worked. With some knowledge of ASP.NET (debugging the CS export tool) and XSLT (for WXR convert) I was able to weed out posts causing difficulty in the conversion process and pull over a clean set.
I’m not sure if WP has fixed the importer recently, but I read many exasperating complaints about the WXR importer timing out. I was able to import 300+ posts (about a 2MB file) with no issue.
So… enjoy the location, and send me feedback about anything you see broken, something you don’t like, or praise for the move 😉