Switching to WordPress

(To those who might be expecting a somewhat useful or insightful post, come back soon for a post about my acceptance at UT Knoxville.)

As you can see, I finally switched over to WordPress from Blogger by Google. It’s been a long time a-coming, so to speak. It started out as an idea to purchase my own hosting and run WordPress as a blog/CMS after I started using the platform to develop a couple other Web sites websites (Gah! Darn AP style changed to “website” instead of Web site. Takes some getting used to.) The FBC Martin redesign was done using WordPress and a simple theme. The ByGrace website is also run using WordPress and a little more complicated theme. So after those set ups, I was sold on WordPress. And why not, because it is simple to use the most basic functions!

However, my set up was a little more complicated, so my apologies for those who are technically “uninclined” who are about to read how this process worked. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let me summarize by saying that I am a “web guy,” but even I had to chat twice with tech support, make a tech support call and read a few tutorials.

It started by wanting to switch from Blogger to WordPress. My old blog was pretty good (you can still see it here) but it was limited compared to the power of WordPress. Those of you who use WordPress will understand.

But it would be easiest to move (or so I thought) after my domain name, matt-cook.com, expired. WRONG! I let the domain name purchased through GoDaddy expire on or around April 14 only to find out that I needed to access it through GoDaddy’s control panel to start a domain transfer process, so I could migrate the name to Fat Cow (my favorite hosting site). That was tech support chat number one. I couldn’t figure out how to start the domain transfer since I couldn’t access the old domain. It turns out that either you can wait about 60 days for the domain to be COMPLETELY released (GoDaddy and other domain sites hold on to expire domain names for a while after they expire in case the owner decides to renew after the expiration) or I would have to renew the domain name with GoDaddy for another year to migrate it over. So this is when I called GoDaddy tech support to buy a one year renewal.

Then I went back over to Fat Cow and started the domain transfer, and then waited for about 5 days. On Monday I received the email saying that the transfer was done, but for some reason the old domain still pointed to Blogger and worse, the simplified domain I plan to use with WordPress, http://matt-cook.com (without the www. subdomain), still pointed to a parked GoDaddy page. I figured out that Blogger still had ties to  http://www.matt-cook.com and once those were removed I was very pleased to see a 404 (page not found error) for perhaps the first time in my life! Then came tech support chat numero dos. I had forgotten during the five day wait that I had to switch the name servers from GoDaddy to Fat Cow’s name servers. I’ll spare you the details of what name servers are, but suffice it to say that a couple hours later, the parked domain page was gone and my blank WordPress page was there instead!

So that was the first half of the battle. I then had to find out how to roll over all my Blogger posts and comments (Tutorial #1). Then I took the time to update the categories and tags on my posts because the import caused all of the tags from Blogger to become categories in WordPress instead of TAGS. That may sound a tad bit asinine to those of you who could care less about organization, but to my OCD self it was first priority. Now I have a nice, neat list of categories, as you can see on the right of each page.

After the import, I had to choose a WordPress theme, which is in-and-of-itself a challenge, given how many good themes there are out there. This particular theme, eDegree, looked both fun and challenging, and I liked the graphics and layout as well. Win/Win. Here’s where a couple more tutorials came in handy, because setting up the slide show on the first page took a little finagling to get right. (And by finagling, I mean installing a plugin, modifying a JavaScript that the writer made a mistake in, figuring out the correct dimensions for the page, figuring out how to specify which posts show up, etc.) And then voila! it was done. I think it’s pretty awesome that the slide show even works on the iPhone. Go. Check it out.

Then lastly I worked some magic to make the About Me section look right and added an RSS feed to my tweets over to the right.


Well that’s all for now. With any luck, I’ll find enough writing prowess to pump out a more interesting post later today about heading off to UT Knoxville for grad school.

2 thoughts on “Switching to WordPress”

Comments are closed.