APT13: WordPress Learnings

Here the quick list of my WordPress learnings after moving from iWeb to WordPress

  1. WordPress is really easy to use, install, maintain and update
    The “famous 5 minute install” really is a 5 minute install – if you are a computer science pro like me. If the version number of your database is something that sounds like a mongolian city name to you, then you better ask a pro to set up your webspace. But once this is done (and since this is easy to do, it is rather cheap, call us for a quote), then you can do all other tasks on your own. Really. OK, at least probably.
  2. Stick with the defaults if you want results
    There are too many choices: Themes, Plugins, Settings… I ‘lost’ two days for browsing and previewing a lot of nice-looking “Themes”, which is the WordPress name for design and layout of your website. Even if you have a clear vision of how your website should look like, browsing for the exactly matching theme may not be the right thing to do. After some trying here and there, I decided to stick with the default theme, as so many others out there do.
  3. By default, WordPress is a blog
    If you want WordPress to be your website rather than your blog, then you can do that too, but you have to change and tweak here and there. Not much of a problem, but by default it wants to be your blog. So if you don’t want to blog, it may not feel like the best choice.
  4. WordPress is one blog with one language
    Of course there exist multiple plugins that make a multi-language blog out of WordPress. But by default, it has only one blog and one language. Although this does not seem like a big issue and although I am using one of the multi-language plugins, this is a big problem for me. If WordPress gets updated, you have to check and wait for the plugins to be checked and updated (if needed) as well.
  5. WordPress is Web 2.0 built in
    Since by default all pages and posts on your website have a built-in comment part and functionality, it really is a blog system for the web 2.0. Your definition may differ, I usually refer to web 2.0 as the version of the web tools that made user interaction possible, e.g. commenting a comment, comments being taken as serious as the blog post itself and being an important or event the important part of the web page, generating a completely new web experience.
  6. Migrating the texts from iWeb to WordPress is easy – but only the text
    I used to generate my website from a tool called iWeb that Apple ships with their Mac OS X. If your iWeb website was little more than a blog, then you can easily write out the website to local disk, look for the.rss and use the rss importer plugin to read the texts into WordPress. But do not expect support for non-blog pages, pictures, picture galleries, layout or the complete website. And sorry, no, I have not written a php script to migrate my site.
  7. [UPDATE:] Since I switched from iWeb blogging with comments enabled to WordPress with comments, I get A LOT OF SPAM comments. With iWeb I had no (zero) Spam comments. With WordPress – without using any filter – I get about two (2) spam comments a day. So I will have to add a captcha (which is included in iWeb commenting functions, but not in WordPress). [/UPDATE]

That’s it for now, may be the list gets longer in the future!

Regards, Thomas