Nathan W. Bingham
Connecting in a Hyper-Connected World

WordPress, I’ve Come Home

WordPress LogoIn September 2009 I made a monumental leap (well, at least from my perspective!). I left the world of a WordPress self-hosted blog and opened a Posterous account to begin a “microblog.” I had various reasons for making the change in “format” (microblogging) but my reason for changing the “medium” (Posterous)  was largely due to the appeal of simplicity and ease of use.

But as of March 11th 2010, I’ve come home to WordPress.

But why?

Here are six reasons: I missed comments, I missed the Thesis Theme, I missed being able to use plugins, I missed having control over my posts, I missed having good SEO, and all that I did at Posterous I can do at WordPress. Let me explain.

1. I missed comments

Comments are key to building a community amongst a blog’s readership and especially between the blogger and his readership. Posterous simply lacked the features I wanted and was accustomed to in the WordPress commenting system. I couldn’t edit comments (they could only be deleted), I couldn’t moderate comments well, or make sure all the comments that needed it were responded to, etc.

WordPress, I’ve come home because of your comments!

2. I missed the Thesis Theme

Although I was happy to get away from the continual tinkering of themes as it can become a bit of an obsession, I missed the amazingly coded Thesis theme. I will, when time permits, resume using Thesis here.

Presently, I’m beginning the long process (for time restraint reasons) of developing a custom Thesis theme. I’m more than happy for any coders / designers out there to offer their services though. 😉

Thesis has wonderful SEO options where Posterous lacked simple features like setting post descriptions, etc.

WordPress, I’ve come home because of the Thesis Theme.

3. I missed being able to use plugins

Unlike Posterous, WordPress allows you to install any number of plugins to achieve any number of purposes. The last 24-hours has only served to remind me how wonderful it is to have the ability to install plugins.

WordPress, I’ve come home because of plugins.

4. I missed having control over my posts

When using a “microblog” format there remains times you’d like to prepare a draft of a post, or maybe schedule a post to publish. This is especially true when I’ve launched a give away or prepared to post a book review. In the end, even though I thought I wouldn’t need these features when I first moved to Posterous…I did!

WordPress, I’ve come home because of the control you give me over posts.

5. I missed having good SEO

Posterous didn’t have very good SEO. It didn’t allow me to set custom “descriptions” for pages and therefore wasn’t Google or search engine friendly in my opinion. WordPress has good SEO, and with the help of the Thesis theme or a simple plugin, you can be Google friendly in no time.

WordPress, I’ve come home because of SEO.

6. All that I did at Posterous I can do at WordPress

I didn’t use the Posterous “email”  feature. When I did all the formatting would break and I’d have to go in and manually fix it anyway. Even if I did use that feature, WordPress allow you to “email” posts.

I did use the Posterous bookmarklet tool, and although it’s probably not as good yet, WordPress does have one called “Press This”.

WordPress, I’ve come home as Posterous didn’t offer me anything extra.

So, am I asking all you Posterous users to install a self-hosted WordPress blog? No. Posterous may very well serve your purposes perfectly. But for me, WordPress, I’ve come home!

How did I do it?

To put it as succinctly as possible:

I created a blog and imported my Posterous database. I then exported the database and imported it into my self-hosted WordPress blog. That was it!

Most of the old posts redirected perfectly thanks to the way WordPress is setup, but for the few difficult posts that gave a 404-error I implemented a simple “Redirect 301” in the .htaccess file. Some of the embedded images and videos needed a little tidying up, but I’ll do that as I find the time.

While I’m waiting to launch my new theme I installed the Minimous theme. It looks just like Posterous and I hoped it would prevent any shock for my frequent visitors. It must have worked as no one seemed to notice the move back home. I’ll launch a Thesis theme when time permits.