World's Second Best PR Blog
KoiFish, the world’s second best PR blog, just made the move to WordPress. Now that I’ve had a few days to settle in, I’m very happy with my new home.
My initial decision to go with GoDaddy’s blog platform was mostly fear-based. The thinking was that, if I ran in to a technical issue, there would be someone I could call. Unfortunately, I’ve since found out that GoDaddy’s customer service is next to useless (unless you complain about it on Twitter).
My decision to make the move was based on the fact that GoDaddy does not provide the ability to tag individual posts, which means search engine optimization is limited. SEO is part of the reason I blog, so I had to move on.
The first step was easy. WordPress has a function that lets you import most of the stuff from your old blog into your new one. IF your old blog posts aren’t full of legacy formatting codes you’ll be set.
Unfortunately, most of my posts were originally authored in Word and then pasted into my blog. When you do that, you end up adding a bunch of HTML gunk — including unwanted formatting code — at the same time. That code caused me trouble then and caused me more trouble when I moved. The good news is that WordPress has a function that lets you paste word copy into a special place where all that gunk is stripped out. I ended up cutting out all the copy from my old blog, pasting it into Word, then pasting it in to WordPress using this feature. It worked like a charm. Now I can make format changes in the template and they are applied to every post.
Images also moved right over. However, my images were actually housed on my old blog. When I imported my old posts, the images themselves weren’t actually moved. Instead, links to the place where the images are stored were created. No big deal except for the fact that they are stored on the old blog and that blog is going bye-bye very soon. I ended up moving each image, one at a time, to my new blog. This took a while, but at least WordPress gives you the option of changing image names, creating captions and making alt tags for each image. This is all good for SEO.
Comments didn’t transfer. I ended up cutting and pasting. This was tedious, particularly since I went in and tweaked the dates to reflect when they were originally posted on my old blog (rather than when I posted them to the new blog).
After having a few days to play around with WordPress, here’s what I’ve concluded:
Movin' on up
- There is a lot of SEO functionality built in
- The dashboard is very easy to use
- There are thousands of templates to choose from, so you don’t have to design your own page if you don’t want to
- You can cut and paste copy authored in Word without having to deal with formatting problems. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it actually kinda is
- Images are easy to manipulate and tag
- There are thousands of “plugins” to choose from. These let you easily add some very slick funcitons to your blog. If you can think of it, chances are someone has already designed it. Stuff like additional SEO functions, Twitter streamig, Google, etc., etc., etc. is all there for the uploading. And uploading most of these plugins is simple
- Most hardcore blogers use WordPress. If you have a question or run into a problem, there is a large community of people you can ask for advice
I’m still looking for a great way to make sure links to old blog posts will be properly forwarded to their new home. Until I get that sorted out, my blog will currently reside in two places. I’m pretty sure this is a negative thing for SEO.
Many thanks to my pal, David Naylor from Truth Entertainment for all his help in customizing the template to make sure it has the same great look and feel to the KoiFish Communications Website.
Update: I guess the joke’s on me. I just put a quick note up on the GoDaddy version of the blog to tell people to come to this version instead. Damned if they didn’t just add the ability to tag each post. This was my main complaint and it has been fixed. I still like WordPress better, but find this to be more than a little humorous.
- Because templates and plugins are created by the community, some work well and some don’t. Trial and error is required
- Templates are coded in PHP instead of HTML. If you want to create your own (or tweak an existing one) you need to know PHP — or know someone who does
- The template can be somewhat restrictive in how you lay out each individual post. For example, the template I use mashes the body copy of a post directly under the list of tags under the headline. I like a little more breathing room for the copy, so I need to insert a space at the beginning of each post. Inserting this space in older posts can be tricky — I can only do it when I make edits using Explorer. I have no idea why that is
- Speaking of Explorer, you need to check the appearance of your blog in Explorer and Firefox. It will not look the same in both. This is really an Explorer/Firefox issue as far as I understand it, but it is still a hassle. It was less of a concern using GoDaddy software