Since I'm now married to TypePad for blogging, why am I thinking of doing new blog-based sites with WordPress? Partly because I'm curious. It's a grass is greener kind of thing. Is WordPress better? What am I missing? And, as a technology consultant, could it hurt to know something about both of the two top blogging platforms? I don't think so.
If I'm going to explore WordPress as a platform for web presence, I should start by converting a static site to WordPress. Up till now, I always thought of converting my TypePad blog to WordPress as my option. But, conversion is harder than starting fresh. So, Tokerud.com, which only has about 7 pages is the perfect candidate for a first WordPress blog.
My plan is to convert my two static websites: tokerud.com and studio-manager.com into WordPress sites with a blog at the center of each. Why do this? Mainly because blogs generate more hits than static websites do. So, the question is, why wouldn't a domain of mine have a blog at its center? I'll probably add notes to this post as I go.
At the WordPress.org site, I found recommendations of these 6 webhosts:
- Blue Host
- DreamHost Oops. One demerit. DreamHost wants to auto-install WP 2.6. What about 2.7 I say? Demerit #2 - the wordpress page doesn't have a tell me more link, just a sign up button. I hate that!
- MediaTemple Demerit #1: big headline: Built to Scale. Doesn't sound like my kind of small business mentality. That get rich quick stuff doesn't work for me. Plus #1: "We answer the phone." Now you are speaking my language!
- WestHost Demerit #1: HQ in Utah. Need I say more. Plus #1: they list a phone number on their front page.
- HostICan Plus #1: Tech Nightowl
- Laughing Squid First plus is they are local to SF, my neck of the woods. I can go over an pound on their door some day if I have to. Demerit 1: tiny text, white on black. Not impressed with what I saw on the website at first glance. Plus #2: I didn't feel I was in for a slam bam thank you mam experience. No high pressure marketing like Dreamhost. These are probably a bunch of techies - not marketers. Techies can be a little ADD though so you get lots of sincerity and technical knowhow but maybe some slipping through the cracks behavior.
I'm seriously considering switching to one of these recommended hosts. They seem to offer really good prices and can probably support me better in this particular endeavor. Currently, I'm hosting my two domains at Forest.net which has a great reputation as a Filemaker-friendly webhost for hosting FileMaker databases. So far, I've never hosted a FileMaker database there, so I may forego that expertise for WordPress expertise right now. The ideal for me would be a webhost that is FileMaker and WordPress savvy...
Shopping for a good WordPress book. Sorry to say that Word Press for Dummies (Nov 07) is highly regarded but a new version is just days away from release so I have to wait. There's a book written by Maria Langer called WordPress 2, but it was published July 06. Blog Tipz has a helpful overview of these books and a couple others.
While I wait for the new Word Press for Dummies book due Feb 17 09, I'll research the recommended bloghosts. How fast can I switch hosts and be up with a WP blog for tokerud.com? That's all I wanna know right now.
Looks like I will need to call the various candidate webhosts to get specific questions answered. I will have to move my files from my current host to the new host. Blue Host says they don't move stuff for you but recommend EZSiteMove.com. Looks like another cost to me. Hmmm... Remember that these sites are advertising $5.95/month for their hosting. What is not included and ends up dramatically increasing your cost? That's what I need to find out.
Your comments are most welcome. If you know more than I do, do you have a tip for me?
This is not as easy as you might hope. I haven't even started entering technical information yet and I'm already getting worn out. [Next installment: Part 2.