Blog updates

Last night, I wrapped up a series of blog updates that have been a long time coming. As always, things are never as easy as they appear to be, but everything appears to be working fine now. Here’s a rundown:

  • Moved web hosting to Dreamhost. I got a screaming deal, like $20 for 12 months of hosting. I’ve got a number of domain names I can play around with, so the unlimited domain capability is great. There was a bit of trouble with the permalinks, but managed to get it fixed pretty quickly. I had been running on a Windows/IIS host. But running PHP apps on a Windows host always seems to be a pain. For my ASP.net experiments, I’ll just use our Fourio account.
  • Upgraded to WordPress 2.0.2. After Josh mentioned how easy it was, I figured I shouldn’t wait any longer. I had to wait until after moving hosts, as trying to move hosts and upgrade all in one would have been a recipe for frustration. One great thing now is that apparently WordPress 2 now handles /index.php/ style permalinks and the non /index.php/ style at the same time. This is great since I can use the latter going forward, but still have my old links work (and I don’t have to fight with mod_rewrite).
  • Redirected local feed to FeedBurner. For some reason, Bloglines is convinced my feed lives on the site, even though the alternate url and feed links both point to the feedburner feed. Plus, even if you manually enter the feedburner feed in bloglines, it changes it to the local feed here, which just seemed downright odd. I submitted a ticket, but they never fixed this. So, it was time to force the issue by just re-directing the feed. I used Steve Smith’s WordPress plugin, and eventually got it working. There was confusion around how to get WordPress to automatically update the .htaccess file, and it took an hour or so of messing around with it to get it working.  Chris Pederick’s User Agent Switcher firefox extension was a big help in testing this, since the rewrite rule serves the feed to FeedBurner and re-directs everyone else to the FeedFurner feed.  (this is why I’m a big FireFox fan, there are so many useful extensions)
  • Added the recent entries listing in the sidebar. Fortunately, this one was easy. I think it’s nice when you can get a quick look at what an author writes about. I’m surprised this isn’t included by default in most wordpress themes/templates.

Hopefully, that’s enough blog work for now. Time to get back to work on more important things.

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