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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

To WordPress, or not to WordPress?

The web designers ‘personal website’ dilemma

This is a hand coded website, from the ground up; which is a mixed blessing. It does what I want it to do, and I know exactly how it does everything, because I built it. On the other hand, because I built it for myself I never got around to making an administration area (I got lazy). Instead I do everything via PHPMyAdmin, which is a pretty inelegant way of doing things, and I don’t doubt that the long-winded nature of adding to my website is one reason why I don’t put content up as often as I’d like.
Also, because the website has developed over time there are always parts of it that I look at and think ‘that could have been done a lot better’, and I get the urge to change it.

The more I use my site, the more I want to change things and the easier I want everything to become. The more I use it, the more ideas I have for it. The trouble is that now I’m a full time web-designer, the last thing I want to do when I get home is code more web stuff. I barely want to go on the PC even. So I’ve been looking at switching this site over to WordPress, which does a lot of the things this site already does, and quite a few things I wish this site did. It would mean the developing of the site would be taken out of my hands and I could just get on with writing content. So what’s holding me back?

Apart from the fact that I’d get slight jitters from not knowing how everything was working under the hood there’s also the issue of current content.
This site has three years worth of content. Over 170 blog entries, 900 comments, and 740 photos. The blog entries I can port over with a little time and dedication, but the comments would be a much more arduous task. Also, Wordpress doesn’t integrate photos at all, and I refuse to lose that functionality; which leaves me with two choices. Switch to wordpress, converting all the content manually, and then try to figure out how to write a WordPress plug-in to enable the features that system would lack, or to end up re-coding and re-designing this website all over again. Or secret option number three: do nothing for as long as I can until I get so irritated I have to spend a couple of weeks just blitzing through another re-design.

Dilemmas, dilemmas…


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  1. Peter Parkes posted 1 days, 0hrs, 32mins after the entry and said:

    “Instead I do everything via PHPMyAdmin” - ah yes, it’s all so familiar. I wrote a CMS, and likewise, never got around to writing the admin side of things. Nevertheless, I can heartily recommend WordPress - what would you like to be able to do with photos?

  2. Matt Wilcox posted 1 days, 5hrs, 39mins after the entry and said:

    Hi - I rescued your comment from the blog. I have no idea why it’s suddenly decided to post dev-blog comments in the main blog. I’ll have a look at that. You see why I need to switch things? Sheesh!

    I’d like to be able to do exactly what I do with the photo’s now - integrate them into the blog.
    you can access the blog photos from this URL:


  3. Matt Wilcox posted 1 days, 5hrs, 40mins after the entry and said:

    That’s interesting - my comment posted to the dev-blog first time, no problem. smiley icon: worry

  4. Peter Parkes posted 1 days, 5hrs, 49mins after the entry and said:

    In order to integrate your photos with the blog, you could try using a photo sharing tool like Flickr (http://flickr.com), which supports WordPress - one click to ‘Blog this photo’, and you’re done!

  5. James Dodd posted 1 days, 9hrs, 19mins after the entry and said:

    Interestingly enough, one of the first things I do when developing a web application is create an admin section and it’s the bit of the site I have most fun doing (which is a bit naughty as it’s what I’ll be seeing, and not the user). I just love to see who’s posted where, who’s logged on when, what new additions there are to my site etc.

  6. Joey posted 1 days, 10hrs, 37mins after the entry and said:

    I think I’d be the same as James if I had my own site , I’m so nosey and love to know what’s going on and look at the stats.

  7. Dawson posted 2 days, 6hrs, 19mins after the entry and said:

    Have you had a good look through the existing plugins in the support bit at www.wordpress.org ? I’m sure there’s a few gallery/image plugins, though whether you would need to have another gallery or something added on I’m not sure…
    I use pixelpost, but thats mainly for posting 1 picture and some text underneath, I just edited it to be a blog instead…

    Matt Says:
    Sorry Dawson, you fell victim to the same bug as Peter, your comment ended up in the blog and not the dev-blog. smiley icon: angry I need to get that sorted.
    I’ve had a brief look around the wordpress codex and plugin wiki, but nothing strikes me as doing what I need it to do. Cheers for the heads up though. smiley icon: smile

  8. Nathan Pitman posted 16 days, 8hrs, 26mins after the entry and said:

    Hey Matt, you should give textpattern a whirl. It’s PHP/MySQL based like wordpress, but an entirely different animal. smiley icon: smile

    Matt says: Cheers Nathan, I’ve not actually looked at textpattern yet, though I know a couple of blogs that use it. I’m keeping my eye on Symphony too.

  9. Nathan Pitman posted 119 days, 23hrs, 57mins after the entry and said:

    Hey, Textpattern just went final. If you didn’t check it out yet have a gander.

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