Jul 10

Setup Blues

I just fin­ished installing and set­ting up WordPress on my site as my blog­ging soft­ware. This being the first time that I set­up any blog soft­ware (I briefly used Blogger but they do all the heavy lift­ing) I thought that I’d write about some of my experiences.

I picked WordPress because it was offered by my host (host mon­ster) and I had heard good things about it from oth­ers. I made my choice almost exclu­sive­ly on word of mouth. I did­n’t even read the man­u­al first (don’t tell my father ;-). So I brazen­ly told Fantastico to install WordPress. I was then pre­sent­ed with about 20 fields that I need­ed to fill in, some of which were obvi­ous and many that were not. Needless to say (which is a stu­pid phrase that means I’m going to say it any­way), hav­ing not read the doc­u­men­ta­tion at all, I got it wrong. This, plus a few oth­er mis­takes (hey I was play­ing around to learn), caused my to mess up things to the point that I did­n’t know how to clear them up so I end­ed up get­ting my entire account reset.

So I tried again only this time I read the doc­u­men­ta­tion first. Man is this com­pli­cat­ed. There are way too many details that have to be worked out before you start–many can be done after­wards but are a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult. Now this is not meant to dis­par­age WordPress as I am fair­ly sure that they all have the same concerns.

The major­i­ty of the issues relate to SPAM and oth­er attacks. I have been using com­put­ers for since Usenet was mail based (using UUCP as the trans­port) and even then there were prob­lems but they were almost exclu­sive­ly because of flame wars. So mod­er­at­ed news­groups were cre­at­ed. But all you had to do was say “this news­group is mod­er­at­ed.” Now it’s not the flame wars (although there are still a few around) but the SPAM. Now I have to decide whether any­one can post or just reg­is­tered users, whether reg­is­tered users can post unmod­er­at­ed or just those that have at least one mod­er­at­ed post, do I want to use a SPAM fil­ter ser­vice, etc. So many choic­es that have absolute­ly noth­ing to do with the blog. By the time you get through with all of those who cares what col­or the back­ground is or what the head­er of your page looks like. It is so overwhelming.

Anyway, I have it up and run­ning in a form that I hope is rea­son­ably usable with­out requir­ing too much work on the poster part (or mine). We’ll have to see.

Jul 09

New blog location

I just fin­ished mov­ing my blog from Blogger to my own host­ed site (carkees.net). I was­n’t going to get my own site but my wife want­ed to make some pic­tures and oth­er infor­ma­tion avail­able to oth­ers and to have our own site to show off our Halloween dis­play so I decid­ed to go ahead.

For bet­ter or worse I went with host mon­ster. I can’t remem­ber why because I reg­is­tered the domain and cre­at­ed the site months ago but just now got around to set­ting it up. So far every­thing has worked well. I made one call to their ser­vice desk and got through to a live per­son in under one minute. She was very help­ful and did every­thing that I asked (which basi­cal­ly meant recre­at­ing my account because I had messed some­thing up ;-). So far I’m hap­py and the rates seemed reasonable.

I decid­ed that if I’m going to have my own site I might as well host my own blog so I moved every­thing over from Blogger (prob­a­bly the sim­plest move I’ve ever been involved in).

Still no one knows about this blog but that’s OK as I was­n’t ready for them any­way. Once I get up to blog­ging more than once a month (or year) we’ll see what we can do.