I hate Blogger: Update on the migration to WordPress

As I wrote in the last post, I’m fed up with Blogger and am planning to migrate my blog to the WordPress publishing engine. Been working on it the past couple of hours.

First, the good news. I downloaded and installed WordPress to a test directory and it is WAY cool. Its templates are better than Blogger’s, and as I suspected, it’s far more customizable. Furthermore, it has a feature that has been on my wish list for a long, long time: I can keep comments turned off for the blog overall, but enable them for specific posts. In general, I’m not a big fan of comments on my blog – for “controversial” topics like my COGIC tipping guide or my June 5 post about downtown crime, allowing comments can stir up a shitstorm that I simply don’t want on my site. On the other hand, I also make posts like, “I’m working in Midtown now, where are some good lunch spots?” where I would love comments. So I’m pleased that WordPress offers the comment option at the individual-post level, unlike Blogger, where it’s all-or-none.

Now, the bad news. WordPress has a feature that allows it to import old Blogger posts. That way, I’d be able to bring in the 676 posts I’ve made over the past two years and continue to have my entire blog in one place. Well, I would be able to do that had I not “upgraded” to the “new, improved” Blogger Beta a few days ago. WordPress doesn’t know how to import files from the “new, improved” Blogger Beta because the Beta is too new (it’s definitely not too improved). So, it looks like I won’t be able to unite my blog posts new and old in one place.

So, here’s what’s going to happen over the next week:

1) For now I’ll continue posting to this blog. Don’t worry, not all the posts will be about how much I hate Blogger. I’ll be reverting to my usual themes of bums, pigeons, tube tops, Romanians, bars, beers, etc.

2) I think the Blogger template I’m using is the reason the archives don’t show up properly. So, sometime soon (probably tomorrow) I’m going to switch back to one of the generic templates Blogger provides and see if that helps. So don’t be surprised if you check back tomorrow or Friday and this blog looks different.

3) Meanwhile, I’ll be hard at work customizing my new WordPress blog. When I get it the way I want it, I’ll tell Blogger to publish to a different directory, maybe “oldblog” or something like that. I’ll tell WordPress to publish to the current “blog” directory that you’re viewing now. At that point you’ll see a new blog with one or two posts, and a link to the old blog with the previous 600+ posts.

That will all happen over the next week. Normally it wouldn’t take that long for me to get this done, but my birthday is on Saturday and I’ll probably be out celebrating most of the weekend.

Here’s the thing that worries me: I’m afraid if I split my blog into “new” (WordPress) and “old” (Blogger) blogs, that I’ll lose my rankings on the search engines. Last I checked, if you Google “downtown memphis” my blog comes in sixth. I kind of like that and don’t want to have to spend months rebuilding my search engine appeal. These days, my blog is averaging about 300 hits a day on weekdays, and about 100 of those come from Google searches.

In other news… the Memphis Business Journal recently ran an article discussing the Blue Monkey’s plans to reopen downtown. Thanks to Mike W for forwarding that to me.

Also, if you’re looking for a cheap place to drink tomorrow (Thursday) night, Sleep Out Louie’s is having a special happy hour from 7 to 10, with Bud family longnecks on sale for only one dollar. There will be live music as well.

Also, check out Pam and Terry’s photo archive from their November 11 gig at Sleep Out Louie’s for a couple of pics of me in my Hog Hat.

That’s all for now. I hate Blogger.