So, I have migrated the blog from Blogger to this new WordPress blog. I know, it’s 2023, and here I am with a WordPress website. How do you spell Luddite? Nowadays, people just put up a Youtube channel or podcast. I know that too, but you won’t ever get me to do that, lol… I hate the sound of my own voice, and I think I write better than I talk (I can’t go back and edit what comes out of my mouth!).
Why migrate a not-so-active blog?
This migration is sort of random and absolutely unnecessary. It was triggered by an email I got from Google which made me panic (unnecessarily). The email was about some sort of Google Album Archive, some thing where your old photos are stored. I have lost various things in the past few years by ignoring such emails (of course, I pay attention when important things are in there), so I clicked and went to what Google was about to kill and put out of service, and I noticed that the only things in the albums were all my images that I put in all my blog posts. Of course, I freaked out. I was like, holy shit, if those disappear, what happens to my blog? All those posts, the images would just show up as ‘not available’?!?!
So I rush around Googling for a solution and realize that, omg, there is no easy solution. I may have to write a script to scrape and download all this data, all the images, and then use regex, sed / awk or whatever to redirect all the links to a new location etc. What a nightmare. But I was surprised that this wasn’t a big thing on the internet. When I had to migrate a big Python project from Python 2 to Python 3, of course there was a lot of stuff on the internet about it. I looked around at other blogs that I knew were on Blogger, and not a whisper about any potential catastrophe on the horizon. So I go back to the Google email and read it more carefully, and then I realize that the Google Archive will not be available, but contents stored there will still be viewable through Blogger and other Google services.
I was like, whew, OK, so no action necessary. No big deal. So I let it go… for about an hour or so. But things kept nagging at me. Blogger is some proprietary thing run on Google’s servers and bloggers have no control over the actual server and files. And then I remember getting screwed by Google many times over the years; I had my kid’s videos on Google Video years ago, and after they migrated everything to Youtube, they stopped that service, so everything there didn’t work as before. On a website that I helped build and maintain, we had a nice photo album that was on Pikasa, I think, and when Google killed that, the album stopped working. And then Google+ was, in many ways, better than Facebook; I know a lot of people thought so and moved there. But then Google said, nah… not good enough, and they killed it. So it occurred to me that I have no idea when Google may pull the plug on Blogger. For them, since they seem to spend no money on it anymore, it’s just free money as long as the ad revenues keep flowing, but I imagine that has been dwindling for years as people move to other platforms.
So, I said to myself, screw it. Let’s just migrate everything over now to a WordPress blog, and then I will be able to sleep at night. I will have full control of all my files, I will have control of the web server (a virtual machine instance in the cloud, which can be had for $3.50/month on AWS), and it would be in a format that will be supported for years to come (WordPress). If my web server ever has any issues, it would be easy to export the WordPress site along with the SQL database and deploy at some other server somewhere else at any time. Well, one can argue that you can do that now with any Blogger blog, so why do it now? I only know how to do it and that it works well because I just did it. But letting Blogger just sit there without knowing that is not so comfortable.
WP has a really bad reputation going back years for good reason. A lot of sites run on WP, but since it’s open source and a lot of people write and upload their own plugins, WP has been known to have many security issues. Not to mention that PHP has it’s own problems, and WP is written entirely in PHP. But over the years, I think, things have improved, and PHP has also improved over the years.
I was also pretty decent at PHP, so I am able to go in and make changes, write my own plugins, and do whatever I need to do to customize, or create things where WP doesn’t have the functionality etc. So I set up a few WP websites for people (but you know, I still end up having to manage / maintain it, lol… so there goes that idea of “handing things off”).
So that’s how I sort of became a WP person for certain situations. It works, it’s easy, and it can be handed off to others at any time. It’s a lot easier to find someone who knows how to use WP than it is to find someone who knows PHP well etc…
Oh, and importantly, WP is free! If you, say, get yourself a cheap virtual machine instance at AWS for $3.50/month, you can just install WP and it will just work right off the bat. Then, if you want, you pay $14/year for some domain name, like “fuckyougodaddy.com” , “squarespaceistooexpensive.com” or “wixreallysucks.com”, and you’re good to go. That’s it. $3.50/month for the vm, $14/year for the domain name. Squarespace is also great for many use cases, but it starts at $20/month or more. Same with Wix (which I once tried and thought it really sucks).
Ghost looks really cool and fun. I looked into that, but for now, since I am really familiar with WP, I decided to just set this up as a WP site. I will look into Ghost as it looks really cool. But then again, this is just a really simple, old-fashioned blog, so it probably won’t make much difference anyway.
Last Reason to Migrate
And the other reason to migrate, honestly, is to sort of get back into this stuff again. Maybe not so much as in the past, but I tend to think the world is so interesting now, more so than before. As I said, for much of the post-crisis years, things were all really expensive. I remember literally going through hundreds, if not thousands of names, and nothing was so interesting.
I actually don’t know what I’ll find, but I do find myself spending more time just reading financial stuff than before, and having a blog is a nice way to motivate me, and keep track of my thoughts, which is the original reason why I started this blog in the first place in 2011. Well, also, I had a lot to say back then, as that was during the whole “Occupy Wall Street” thing, which I thought was totally wrong.
The combination of getting more interested in financial things, and then migrating to a new shiny toy might help motivate me to spend more time looking at financial things and writing about it, so it works both ways.
Anyway, this is not a promise! I’ve said this and that over the years, and I often don’t follow up, so don’t hold your breath! lol…
Thanks for reading this mostly non-investment-related mumbo-jumbo. Well, actually, GoDaddy, Squarespace, Digital Ocean and many other things are listed stocks now, so not really 100% non-investment related.