I’ve been moving my blogs over to my new server, and it’s been a very time-consuming project. Whether we like it or not, blogs are not easily portable – specially across blog software. I knew that there was no real fix for the “broken url” problem – Movable Type, the blogging software I was using before, and WordPress, the one I use now, assign different types of urls to blog posts, so it’s impossible to keep old posts where they were. My “solution” has been to have two copies of my blogs, one at the old URLs and a second one at the wordpress-provided URLs. It’s not pretty, as that means there are duplicates of all my blog posts out there, but I couldn’t figure out another solution.
Setting up the new blogs has also been very time consuming. WordPress is pretty bare when you get it, to increase functionality you need to find, download and activate plug-ins, which may or may not work as advertised. No sooner do I find one that does what I want, than I come across a significantly better one and then I have to change – I’ve exported four blogs so far, so it’s not trivial. But all these are expected annoyances, so I’m not going to complain about them. Instead I’m going to complain about the unexpected ones:
-My ISP: dreamhost.com. I decided to change ISPs in the first place because my home server is too slow, specially when it was running MT. One of my friends has been using dreamhost for years, and he highly recommended it. And it’s dirt cheap: about $110 a year for unlimited disk storage/traffic/domains/mailboxes, with a significant discount for your first year (use code MARGADREAM for $50 off for your first year hosting). But it’s been MUCH slower than I anticipated, pretty much as slow as my server at home. Now, the problem may not be dreamhost, it may just be WordPress, one of my biggest problems is that this program occasionally hangs up. In any case, it’s annoying.
-Greedy search engine bots. I hadn’t realized this before, but over half my traffic is from very annoying search engine spiders. The biggest culprit is Bing’s msnbot. Yesterday alone it downloaded almost 1766 pages from my San Leandro Talk blog, which only has 32 postings. I now disallowed it through the robots.txt file, and Bing has sent out its bingbot instead, but that one so far has been respectful. Other bad bots are the one from Yandex, a russian search engine, and from Amazon – but nowhere nearly as bad as MSN.