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Monday, 21 April 2014

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It would really be nice if TOP were to become more visually friendly in terms of the inline images.

You might write to other high-traffic bloggers and ask them about spam suppression. Finding a good solution to that could save you a bunch of time, which would be worth more than any design upgrades.

WordPress as a software suite is a solid choice - both from a support angle and end-user. Lots of a folks using, hosting, supporting, developing for it. Having met the team supporting WordPress.com and WordPress VIP, I'm impressed - great folks dedicated to making great things. The big choice will be in who hosts the site - that depends on budget, usage, etc, to see who wins there.

Go to WordPress; it is an easy and flexible format that is here to stay.

I have two WordPress sites, (one is a personal cloud station, and the other is a business site), and a third site built on Zenfolio dedicated to print sales. I wondered a few years ago why you were using TypePad and not WordPress, but then I kinda figured you may not be web-site-builder-savvy when I read about the Volusion incident, so TypePad probably looked easier way back when you initially started this blog, but things have changed! I believe WordPress is just as easy once you set it up, and there are so many options (like shopping carts and more) that can spring from the WordPress well.

There are lots of WordPress training videos available if you want to see before you switch at lynda.com.

PS: Guess what happened to this post:
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Your comment could not be posted. Error type: undefined
Error 503 backend read error

backend read error
Guru Meditation:

XID: 1516596198

Varnish cache server

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I recently switched to WordPress when I finally decided to re-build my website. I found it _relatively_ painless to setup but I'm a software engineer by profession. It's hosted at LiquidWeb. My site is mostly about pictures so I can't comment much on the blogging aspects of it. I've posted a few entries and it seems to work but that's been pretty limited. I'm using Next Gen Gallery Pro to handle the images. It's mostly great and does work on mobile devices though there are a few bugs. Notably it sometimes gets stuck when you're clicking through a series of images. Still debugging that. But all in all I found it fairly easy to setup and, so far, to maintain.

$.02
Clinton

Wordpress has it's own problems. The big problem is getting a theme that actually works as advertised. Most will not return money if the theme doesn't work the way you thought it would.

One area where they're getting ahead of others is in tablet compatibility. That's why I moved johnkrill.com from Blogger to Wordpress. But I'm using a free theme because the theme I purchased didn't work even close as they said it would. But the free theme looks OK and on a android 7" tablet works very well.

One area where I've had problems is converting Blogger labels to Wordpress categories and tags. It's an on going process.

I have a second blog at lagunabeat.com that's still on Blogger and I have been very leary of moving it anywhere. Like your blog I have thousands of posts and hundreds of labels.

Because I believe that tablets will fast become the laptop of the future and laptops the future desktop machine it's in my best interest to get both blogs tablet happy.

I suggest you set-up a dummy web site and install wordpress there and then experiment with various themes and layouts.

PS: There are two versions of Wordpress and I've commented only on the version you install at your web site.

Just saying, with all the $$$ schemes, doing a first-class database-driven, intelligently designed website hosted by a truly professional service seems like a no-brainer since your business depends on it. You'd also be the first photo-blogger to have a decent website (instead of these 1998 Dreamweaver monstrosities people are still using....)

"Might be time for TOP to migrate to WordPress?"

It's been a while since I've been hands-on with it, so you should take this with a big grain of salt, but WordPress, once you add a usual array of extensions, tends to be pretty insecure itself. If you've got a tech at hand on a regular basis, or your hosting provider is keeping your WordPress and all of it's extensions updated (and keeping an eye on the ones that aren't being updated anymore) you should probably be fine, but for me, I gave up--I don't have a staff, and am often away from the computer for weeks at a time. That is not (or, to be precise, was not) compatible with running WordPress when I was trying to do so.

honestly and selfishly - i'd prefer TOP not to change to wordpress. the reason is a very simple one: while access to typepad from china (where i live) can be patchy at times, i can read TOP more often than not. on the other hand, wordpress is basically unavailable due to the "great firewall of china" and the official policies regarding most social media. if you go wordpress, i'll be out. but that's only me, and i do not count.

[You count. --Mike]

This too shall pass. Er something like that... While I don't particularly like Typepad (I think I even advised against it when you made the switch from Blogger) I don't know if rushing to Wordpress will solve anything. While I love Wordpress and about 70% of my family's income is made programing sites that use WP as a CMS it's not without it's faults. Being more popular they tend to draw more attacks, hacks, and spammy comments. Combine that with the fact that most people use the default "Admin" login name and the vulnerability increases quite a bit. I doubt you'd do that though. At this point you have so much content that migrating it will certainly be a pain, the one click WP import seldom works as advertised. Permalinks would be lost and probably Google ranking as well, and unlike Blogger, Typepad won't leave your site up indefinitely without payment. That said, again I love WP. If you don't mind being your own tech support, the possible migration headache, and paying less for hosting then WP may be the way to go. It'll be a better experience for your users (especially those of us on mobile devices) and most certainly a better user experience fo you as well.

The new kids appear to be things like ghost with Discourse for comments. In theory at least, you could start getting commenters to moderate the comments. I'm not sure how easy they are to setup for non-developers, but ghost has hosting options.
http://blog.codinghorror.com/please-read-the-comments/
http://eviltrout.com/2014/01/22/embedding-discourse.html

I don't know if this will reach you, but yes, I think WordPress is an excellent blogging platform, with loads of features and excellent support. I'd recommend it.

I use wordpress for a number of websites and highly recommend it. Unfortunately, like everything else, it has a bit of a learning curve. Not too steep though.

As a personal viewpoint, I have not liked TheOnLinePhotographer's Typepad format. So perhaps WordPress may be the format solution. But only if you can feel entirely comfortable with Wordpress.

Mike,

Also take a look at sqauresoace.

Wordpress has it's own problems. The big problem is getting a theme that actually works as advertised. Most will not return money if the theme doesn't work the way you thought it would.

One area where they're getting ahead of others is in tablet compatibility. That's why I moved johnkrill.com from Blogger to Wordpress. But I'm using a free theme because the theme I purchased didn't work even close as they said it would. But the free theme looks OK and on a android 7" tablet works very well.

One area where I've had problems is converting Blogger labels to Wordpress categories and tags. It's an on going process.

I have a second blog at lagunabeat.com that's still on Blogger and I have been very leary of moving it anywhere. Like your blog I have thousands of posts and hundreds of labels.

Because I believe that tablets will fast become the laptop of the future and laptops the future desktop machine it's in my best interest to get both blogs tablet happy.

I suggest you set-up a dummy web site and install wordpress there and then experiment with various themes and layouts.

PS: There are two versions of Wordpress and I've commented only on the version you install at your web site.

One thing to consider is whether you expect this DDoS to continue (probably not) and whether you have reason to believe that whatever new home you pick will either not suffer from DDoS attacks (why not?) or will be less vulnerable to them.

Moving as a result of a transient event sounds, well, a bit rash.

My blog (0.03% as popular as yours) is on wordpress and I love the system and the support. Get your own domain name, too.

Don't know about TypePad, but WordPress is open-source software, and I suppose they also offer a hosting service. Almost any hosting service can set you up for WordPress, with very little work on your part. I use A2Hosting, which has been excellent for many years. It might be better to stay away from the high-profile hosting services.

I use wordpress to some sites. It is possible migrate all posts, comments and pictures without any hassle. Users of WP usually rent space in a web hotel. Some web hotals are good and some less, some are cheap and some are not, but there are correlation between two variables.

I am not sure if you really need to move though. Having a Typad taking care of backup, DOS and much more is rather convenient. I am certain Typepad are working hard to reduce the risk ofDOS and similiar otherwise they would quickly be out of business.

I don't know if you've seen this, but it's a back story write up of the DDoS attack: http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/21/say-media-owned-blogging-platform-typepad-enters-day-5-of-on-and-off-ddos-attacks/

Like many web guys I used to make Movable Type sites, but now make Wordpress ones. Wordpress has a lot of advantages over MT, but improved resistance to DDOS attacks isn't one of them. If anything a Wordpress site would go down quicker due to its dynamic nature. Movable Type's static HTML pages (presumably you are using them) require less server power to deliver.

Also ... TOP must have fairly high traffic compared to the average blog, so you may also need a more powerful server simply to serve dynamic wordpress-generated pages at the same speed you currently serve static HTML pages.

Changing to WordPress won't magically fix DDOS problems. It's a question of the number of targets your hosting site hosts (people usually DDOS some specific site, but the mechanism also hurts everybody "nearby") and their ability to work with their Internet providers to filter the attacks out early.

This isn't an argument against Wordpress. I use it myself for a number of things, and like it a lot for those things. I've never run a site comparable to TOP and can't say how WP, or anything else, would handle it first-hand.

Making Light, which I think of a very large blog about science fiction and fandom, run by friends of mine, is also using Movable Type (their big problem is regenerating the "static" pages so often to keep up with the comment load, which is much higher than here). They grouse about it periodically, but it appears to remain the best choice in the opinion of my friends and their tech consultants. (Making Light also has extensive, useful, pleasant, comment threads; a good thing to have in common with TOP!)

Also also, the article title makes me think of the phrase "the recent unpleasantness".

Companies like Typepad that survive a DDOS attack tend to be stronger as a result. This type of attack floods a web server with malformed page requests in an attempt to bring the server to its knees. To mitigate against this type of attack you need intelligent hardware switches upstream of the web servers that can recognise these bad requests and ignore them before they reach the web server. Most companies hosting websites don't have this type of equipment until it becomes necessary. Jumping to WordPress is no guarantee of a future free from problems. Move if you want, but do it for the right reasons.

On another point, your comment that moving to Wordpress would allow you to integrate with social media sends a shudder down my spine... I like that your site is not spattered with share this buttons...

I've been reading your stuff since you wrote for Black and White Photo magazine, people like me will find your site without a bunch of like buttons.

i'm coming to this late (been traveling), but first, whatever you do, don't kill your feed (ATOM is okay, RSS works as well or better); i don't use a feed to skip ads, i do it to simply make it possible to keep up with and prioritize the flow articles of numerous sources; i never visit TOP's home page, but i do visit individual article pages; if you didn't have a feed, i probably wouldn't read TOP; and the specifics of how the feed works matters; yours currently offers whole posts plus promoted comments; that's great; a more typical feed with the first few sentences and no comments wouldn't be so great

as for what platform, as a sometime web developer (mostly with Drupal) and a long-time analyst of web technologies, i think you should be very strategic about any such move; don't do it just because of a DDoS problem at a point in time, do it based on a careful analysis of your needs and demonstrated long-term performance of the alternatives; do it with a good consultant, probably not a whiz-kid, but someone with communications skills and the patience to understand TOP, who could then hire you a whiz-kid if needed

my perception is that TOP is at a scale which is hard to serve effectively — too small to spend $20-100K plus substantial maintenance on real web-development process, which could produce a well-tailored design sitting on a secure, stable CMS platform (such as Drupal, maybe WordPress, or possibly a simpler platform with an external commenting system … but also too big, with too much need for stability and security, to maintain entirely on your own (using whatever "free" platform you might choose); what might make the most sense is a hosting service which provides both a CMS platform and maintenance, plus a consultant on retainer; just at a guess i would budget $5K up front plus $5K/year

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