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The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

To WordPress Or Not To WordPress?

It's been many a year since I last did a redesign of this site, and even then it was really only some minor-ish changes from when I first began this blog in 2004. As the web has moved forward in the past 8+ years, the layout and structure of this blog has largely remained the same.

Although (in my opinion), this site doesn't look 'bad', I wouldn't really say that it is that 'good' either. So i'm planning on bringing a whole new look to this site.

However, what I must first decide on is what to do with this blog. Since the beginning, as the basis i've used the 'Plugged-Out' Blog Script, which has been pretty much abandoned since 2007. It was quite good at the time, but as the years have gone on, new features which have become default inclusions in modern-day day blogging platforms i've either had to do without, or add them to the script manually myself. Things that are now taken for granted, either weren't priorities or even thought of in 2004 when the script was created.

Some features i've manually coded into this script include: pagination for long lists of entries in 2007, proper CAPTCHA code for entering comments in 2008, comment email notifications in 2009, and friendly URLs and page titles in 2010. While i've enjoyed doing these additions as challenges, often there are better 'best-practise' ways of doing things or other features that I would like to include that are impractical for me to incorporate into the script.

So before doing this site redesign i've got to decide whether to stick with this script or not.

The obvious alternative is to move towards a WordPress-based blog. The WordPress platform has moved forward in leaps and bounds since I started this blog in 2004. Back then it wasn't even a year old, I remember I wasn't too impressed with it for what I wanted to do. Since then, it has pretty much become the de-facto basic blogging and CMS platform. Things that would take me weeks to implement in this script I could do with one of the many quality plug-ins that others have already created.

It is what I am leaning towards, as it will also allow me to use pre-made themes which I can quickly customise, so I won't have to design one from scratch for this blog, which is ashamedly based on a very ugly table-based layout in contrast to the lovely stuff people are doing with HTML5 and CSS3 these days.

The biggest challenge would be migrating across all my content to WordPress. As this script wasn't very widely used, there is no standard importer for bringing the content into WordPress. I've gone to great lengths to keep all my historical content throughout all the changes i've done to the script (mostly for my own benefit as a record of what i've done), so bringing it into WordPress and keeping everything working will be difficult, but hopefully not impossible.

I'm still not sold on it, but I might download WordPress and give it a go.

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