On a recommendation from a friend, I decided to move my blog to a dedicated server back at the end of October. It has definitely been an interesting experience and I thought I would share.
First off this not for the faint of heart, if you are not familiar with ftp, changing permissions on folders using chown, you might want to stay on a hosted solution like Blogger or Typepad. Having managed web servers in the past, I decided to go all in. First thing I needed was a hosting company and for that I used Hostgator. I found the price reasonable and I had some recommendations. With that picked, I needed to decide on a blogging engine. Having been hosted on Typepad, I thought I would go with Movable Type as it powers Typepad.
I downloaded the Movablpro version for 1 user, extracted it locally and then uploaded it to my website. I needed to change permissions on the scripts so I could login and add posts, etc. That worked good and then I downloaded new themes and some plugins to add functionality. So far so good. I exported my posts from Typepad and then imported them into movable type. Everything good and then I started posting and this is where I hit my snag. What was happening is I couldn’t pre-post items meaning I couldn’t set up an item to post at a later time. What is needed is a cron job to be set that up, I set one up but that didn’t work. Permissions were correct but the file wasn’t getting kicked off no matter what I had did.
Instead of fighting with it, I decided to nuke the movable type from my site and use WordPress which Hostgator provides a script for installing it. Idid that and then re-imported from my Typepad blog. It worked perfectly and I have been really happy as there is much more community support for WordPress. I have found more themes, more plugins and more documentation for WordPress which makes managing and customizing my blog a lot more easier and simpler.
The one place where movable type was easier compared to the WordPress install I have, was for managing multiple blogs. For example, when you login as admin, under MT your blogs are listed across the top as tabs which makes it great for having multiple sites with each with its own domain or what not. For me though, with just the one blog, this setup on WordPress works great and from reading the documentation, there is a way to do multiple sites and domains with WordPress.
So now I have my blog hosted and setup under the www.toddlamothe.com domain. My .ca domain also points to this location. Welcome to my new home for my blog.