Welcome to my New Blog!
I’ve spent a large part of the last week moving my WordPress-powered blog over to a new server, doing battle with the mysterious world of domain names, File Transfer Protocol uploads, DNS, nameservers, IP addresses, 301 redirects, caching and the like. The company who previously hosted my blog, Visual Society (an offshoot of Graph Paper Press), is closing down, so that meant that I urgently needed to find a new home for it. This time, I’ve decided to do it all myself, separating the web hosting from the WordPress installation. It has been more work to set up than my old Visual Society blog – there have been a few ridiculously late nights over the last week – but ultimately, it’s a more powerful and flexible set-up, and I can do all the WordPress customisation I want to without being constrained by the limitations of a fixed off-the-peg offering.
I have chosen Site5 (www.Site5.com) to host my new WordPress blog, and my first impressions of their set-up and customer service have been excellent – they have been very responsive and helpful. My new blog is installed on one of their servers in Dallas, Texas, and if all is well, you are reading it now. Why Texas, given that I am an Englishman based in Denmark? The reason is that Google Analytics tells me that the majority of my readers are located in the U.S.A., so it made sense to physically locate the blog on a server in the U.S.A. for faster page load times for the majority. Having said that, I am based in Europe, and it seems to load plenty fast enough here, too.
I have kept the same design and layout as before, as I was generally happy with it – although there are some improvements under the hood, so it should load faster than before with less downtime, which was becoming a problem with my old blog over the last few weeks. There are still a couple of bits of functionality to sort out – the monthly archive links in the right-hand sidebar were working, but for some reason, have now stopped working, and I am waiting for a response from the support guys at Graph Paper Press on that one. The other thing I’m hoping to implement is an ‘older posts’ button or link at the very bottom of the front page of the blog, to make it possible to quickly continue reading the next tranche of older posts once you reach the last article on the front page. So far, I have drawn a blank on how to implement this – so if anyone reading this knows how to do it, please get in touch!
Once again, I have chosen a theme for my blog from Graph Paper Press (www.graphpaperpress.com) which is essentially a ‘skin’ for the basic WordPress blog. The blog links seamlessly (hopefully!) with my image archive and galleries hosted by Photoshelter (www.photoshelter.com) – the two are linked via the navigation bar at the top. The blog and the image archive physically reside on different servers in different geographical locations, but by use of a consistent look and feel are intended to look like one single website.
I believe I have now tested most of the functionality of the new blog, but if you notice anything not working as it should, please let me know so that I can fix it.
All the old posts complete with images and comments have been migrated to the new blog, so if there was an article you were intending to re-visit, it should still be there – and if the old link you bookmarked doesn’t work, try using the ‘Search the Blog’ text box in the sidebar on the right-hand side. If it’s a particular image you are looking for, there is also a ‘Search the Image Archive’ text box over on the right – just type in the keyword you think might be relevant to the image or images you are looking for, hit the ‘Return’ key on the keyboard, and it will search through my Photoshelter image archive and present all the images which are relevant. Or failing that, just send me a message, and I’ll do my best to find what you are looking for!