The Web Gambit

Thoughts on Web Development

Starting over with WordPress.com

It has been a while since I last posted on my blog and its been in fairly bad shape due to my severe neglect of it over the past few months. So I decided to start over and move it over to WordPress.com. This was not an easy decision and there were a number of factors that contributed to my final choice.

Spam

This has been a major problem on almost every blog I’ve ever started. WordPress.com attempts to bypass this by using Akismet. As Jeff Atwood recently pointed out, the combination of both Akismet and CAPTCHA seems to be an effective detterrent against combating blog spam. While these two will help a great deal in reducing comment spam, the major problem I’ve continuously had to deal with is trackback spam. For now I’ve chosen to disable trackbacks for the time being until I can implement Jeff’s Technorati-based solution. I’m hoping WordPress.com sees the light soon and adds CAPTCHA.

Stability

The Rails based blogging software I have been using, Typo, has gone through multiple major upgrades over the past few months. One of the upgrades I took severely broke my blog and I had to spend a few days fixing it. While I would expect this from most open-source packages, it turned me off from Typo since it took so long to track down the problems and fix it. My host has also had relatively poor support of the Rails platform so during peak hours a lot of 500 errors show up on the site.

Speed

My webhost, Dreamhost, has a history of being extremely slow. The reality is that Dreamhost is a bargain-bin webhost and you get what you pay for. Considering how cheap my hosting was, I can’t complain all that much. However if I really want to build this blog up and get a good amount of readers, I have come to the conlusion that my needs will be better served by a host-supported blog platform like WordPress.com, Blogger, Typepad, etc. Few cheap shared hosts can compare to the raw speed that these platforms provide for their users.

Flexibility

Anyone who has known me for a while knows that I like to switch platforms fairly often. Being able to export and import posts/comments is a big boost for me. WordPress.com has shown a commitment towards helping users switch platforms, and I applaud them for that.

Reputation

WordPress.com hosts many of the top blogs like Robert Scoble and The Web Worker Daily. Also my friend Dave O’Hara has said great things about his experiences with WordPress.com as his blogging host. The additional ability to map my existing domain with solid hosting at a very reasonable price is a great feature as well.

I’m excited to see how WordPress.com works out and I plan on posting a lot more often to it. Please change your RSS feed links to my new one when you get a chance.

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2 responses to “Starting over with WordPress.com

  1. Piers Cawley January 6, 2007 at 3:01 am

    Sorry for your problems with Typo. As you’re no doubt aware we’re having problems with our trac, which makes it harder than it should be to manage bug reports and follow changes to the system.
    Best of luck with WordPress.

  2. Ash Bhoopathy January 9, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Well its about dang time.
    Although, I’d expect you to have a tricked-out version of wordpress with a custom template, I guess this does the trick.
    are you going to focus on pumping out content like crazy?
    If so, your girl Kathy Sierra has a good post today.
    -A

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