Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Blog woes redux - the one where I whine

Ugh! I had no idea there would be so many major and minor complications in the set-up and transfer to my own domain!

It ended up being rather easy to set up the domain and web host, and relatively inexpensive. It took maybe an hour or so, plus a few hours of shopping around.

Designing the new blog banner took up the better part of a Saturday, but I'm pretty happy with it. It's a good start, anyway.

Choosing a "theme" for WordPress continues to be an ongoing drama. Unfortunately, I have some vague and some specific ideas of what I want, and I must have looked at 300 or more themes trying to find one that was just right. Relatively minimalistic, single sidebar; how difficult could the choice be? Don't get me started.

Finally, I downloaded one, and to my great shock, it's coded in PHP instead of the CSS/HTML combination that my Blogger template is written in. So in order to customize it at all, I've been teaching myself PHP. Did I mention ugh???

I got frustrated with that one and downloaded one that has more CSS in it, but I still cannot make that sucker bend to my will. I'm currently picking at it on and off. We'll see how much longer I have patience for it, but I'm getting dangerously close to going back to trolling themes again for something that works for me out of the box.

The FTP program I was using was making me nuts, so I downloaded a copy of FileZilla. That means in the last five days I've learned how to use my new web host's control panel and file manager, a new FTP program, a new blog interface, and the beginnings of a new programing language. My brain hurts!

To add insult to injury, last night I was mucking about trying to figure out how to import both the Blogger posts and Haloscan comments. I found out that the verion of WordPress installed automatically on my web host was outdated, and I had to upgrade before I could import from new Blogger. So I did - more practice with the FTP software and the web host control panel. Then I found out that the line of code that I need to change in the Blogger import php file doesn't exist in the latest version of WordPress. Classic Catch 22: can't import new Blogger into old WordPress; can only import Haloscan comments into old WordPress. Argh!!

I'm not quite $90 into this venture... too late to call the whole thing off?

Edited to add: okay, progress. I just realized that one of my major PHP headaches was resolved by the upgrade to WP 2.2. Widgets! I love me some widgets! Also, I must pause at this point to heap praise on the designer of my new theme, Tom at One Hertz, for actually responding to a question and helping me out. Also, major kudos to the tech support guys at Namespro.ca, with whom I had registered my domain. When I sent them a quick question asking how long it would take to transfer my domain to my the new web host, they took the trouble to go into the web host's FAQs and give me explicit instructions on how to do it myself. Excellent customer service definitely makes up for much bloggy angst.

And in the time it took me to write this, WordPress has completely hung in trying to import my 949 Blogger posts. Two steps forward, one step back...