Over the weekend I completed the transfer of Work, Wine and Wheels to a self-hosted WordPress installation. After over four years and more than 100,000 visits, it was time to leave the WordPress.com nest in the cloud and run my own site.
This transfer took quite a while. Partly this was due to the work needing to be done after hours, but there were also a host of complications. I had to learn along the way about managing a SQL database, writing php code, editing a WordPress theme and many other things that are shielded from you in the wordpress.com version. There were also maddening times when things just didn’t work, even when everything I researched said they should have.
It was those times in particular I experienced first-hand “the ethos of the commons,” something I wrote about last year. I was responding to an excellent piece by John Battelle in which he talked about the concept of community development being central to the concept of the World Wide Web. The basic building blocks of the web are royalty free and use common protocols so people can develop new, innovative products. The WordPress platform itself is a good example.
Translated to my experience, this meant that I was able to find amazing tools to help me make this move, usually offered for free or for a small donation. I had access to the work of highly talented people who make their work available free for the benefit of all. It’s one thing to read about it, and another to experience it yourself.
A far from complete list of those who deserve a thank you:
- Sayontan Sinha for developing the Suffusion WordPress theme;
- Ranger Pretzel for his free WXR (WordPress’s flavor of XML) snipping tool, which solved the import problem I was having;
- Amazing plugin developers — just to name two, Robert Buzink and Mike Thompson for YouTube Brackets and author Qurl for Dynamic Widgets;
- WordPress.org support forum posters — though I wish they would leave more threads open for followup questions;
- My colleagues Maddy Russo and Raphael Carter for their suggestions and counsel;
- Jonah Sullivan of CraniumStorm, who spent a great deal of time with me researching why his .htaccess workaround for Yahoo hosted sites no longer worked — thanks Jonah!
Here’s to truly experiencing the flexibility of the WordPress platform, and to the next 100,000 visits!
A note to my direct subscribers — my goal is to make this transfer seamless for you. I’ve updated the existing RSS feed, so hopefully those of you who signed up through FeedBurner should see no changes. I’ve transferred the WordPress email accounts from wp.com, and I’m working to make those emails better looking. For non-email WordPress subscribers, I’m trying to find a way to transfer, and if I can’t will reach out.
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