Tarn Aeluin Turns 1 Year Old

Its been a year now since I moved from wordpress.com to my own hosted site. In many ways it has been pretty easy to do this, but there’s a lot it. So read on if you are pondering this kind of move.

Why did I leave wordpress.com?

Good question – it came down to money, features, and freedom. I wanted full control over my wordpress instance. I wanted the ability to install php modules. I wanted to run a lot of other things like java apps, email systems, and maybe even other frameworks. Clearly this is not possible with wordpress.com. I looked around at a bunch of providers – Blue Host and Mochahost were the two that seemed to fit my needs and they had the best prices.In the end Mochahost won because they included tomcat hosting.

The Good

On the “good” side of this here’s some of the high points:

  • Setup of the domain names was easy and fast
  • Setup of the servers, remote access, file access, and installation of new services and software from the CPanel tools is amazingly simple.
  • I’ve been able to do everything I wanted with the wordpress instance that I have
  • WordPress plugins – tons of them and you can find things you need that work well – Graphene and Highslide are a couple of the nice ones that I use.

The Bad

Here’s some of the challenges I’ve been faced with:

  • Time – running your own servers means that you need to pay attention and notice things like performance and stability issues. Even more importantly you need to pay more attention to user account registration.
  • SEO – WordPress must spend a lot of time ensuring that blogs hosted on their boxes get primo status in Google, Bing, etc. Its not so easy on your own. My site still has terrible results for searches on Google. No clue why – all other search engines will return great results. Try searching for “Layout and Design with Appcelerator Titanium ” and you won’t get a hit at all on google for my site. Bing, Yahoo, even hot Bot return that post as hit #1. No clue why.
  • Performance – I’ve got a fairly low-end plan so performance can be an issue due to memory constraints.

The Ugly

Well nothing is perfect::

  • I’ve had some outages with Mochahost. One of them was about 3 days long. Not cool – maybe a total of 4 this year.
  • Migration of existing materials on wordpress.com was a real PITA. Articles and media woudl not export and then import right.. In the end I had to manually migrate the content I cared about. Because of this I had to run in dual site mode for a long time and in the end I did not ever fully move all images over to the new site.

Articles from the Year
During the year I’ve published a pretty wide range of articles focusing on programming, cars, and a few other topics. Here’s a list of the most popular posts from the site – you’ll see that some articles I wrote 3-4 years ago remain very popular.

I definitely like the fact that La-Z-Boy still shows up since I still have their crappy junk in my house.

1 Comment

  1. Beren (Post author)

    I was digging into some of my stats from google analytics. Pretty interesting – 60% of users are using Firefox. 8% of my readers are from Canada. 11% of my readers on using a Mac. 4% are using Linux. I have a pretty high bounce rate – that means people looking at one page and leaving (changing up some things to drive to drive this number down).

    Reply

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