Continue Using WordPress, or Not?

In one way or another, I have had a blog since the start of 2008. This started out as a custom blog with I created in ASP.Net. This was hosted on my own server in the house, using Red Hat Linux, MySQL and Mono (using the mod_mono Apache Module). This was set up as more of an experiment than anything, just to prove that you could happily run an ASP.Net application on top of Linux, and by the start of 2009 I wasn’t really using the blog anymore. Back in May 2011, I decided that I wanted to start blogging “properly” again. This decision was taken for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the fact that I had started getting more involved in the UK .Net Development Community and I wanted somewhere to record what was going on, and so this WordPress blog was born.

Being a .Net Developer, my intention was always to start using one of the .Net Blogging systems such as BlogEngine, dasBlog, or Subtext, however, due to time constraints at the time, I set up this WordPress blog. This was ridiculously simple to do, and I was very quickly able to set up the blog as I wanted it, with pages, contact form, and blog entries. There was very little that I could fault with WordPress. The sheer volume of plugins that it has means that if you want to add something to your blog, such as Galleries, Comment Management, Syntax Highlighting, you can simply add it. And, best of all, normally, this doesn’t cost you anything.

For the next year or so, I was quite happy using the WordPress system, and it wasn’t until I set up the Aberdeen Developers .Net User Group site with BlogEngine, that I started to wonder whether I wanted to move this blog onto another system. I started doing some investigation, and there are a number of tutorials out there that show you the steps that you need to take in order to migrate a WordPress blog onto another system. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that I was going to go ahead and move it. At least that way, if there was “something” that I wanted to add to the blog system, be it another module, or function, then in theory (given that I am a .Net Developer and that a new system would be based on .Net) I should quite easily be able to add it.

However, recently, a number of things have happened that are making me to rethink this decision.

  1. I attended GiveCamp UK and worked on a WordPress site and I got to see more into the innards of WordPress and saw that it isn’t that “bad” to tinker with, as I had previously thought

  2. I found an amazing Metro WordPress Theme thanks to Pedro Lamas

  3. WordPress 3.3.1 was released and it is quite simply, amazing!

  4. I installed a few new WordPress Plugins that contained the last remaining functionality that I was looking for on my blog, namely BackUpWordPress, Disqus Comment System, FeedBurner FeedSmith Extend, NextGen Gallery, and Now Reading Reloaded, (If you are interested in seeing all the WordPress plugins that I currently use, take a look at this blog post).

The Now Reading plugin doesn’t “quite” do exactly what I want, but I think I am now prepared to invest the time to get it working the way I want it.

So what does all this mean?

Unless someone can convince me to the contrary, I am going to continue using WordPress.

It is VERY good at what it does, and I don’t see any killer feature in any of the other systems that would make me want to switch. Granted, it is created in PHP, and this is not something that I am overly familiar with, but using it also forces me to get my toes wet with PHP, which when it comes to becoming a “well-rounded” developer is far from a bad thing. To this end, over the last week or so I have added a few more things to the blog. This includes, as mentioned, the Now Reading plugin which you can see in action here (expect to see some changes to this in the near future), and I have added some photo albums, which you can see here. The majority of these photos come from my old blog back in 2008 (I have also imported the old blog posts from that blog into this one). If anyone is looking for an explanation of what the hell “Gary The Coconut” is all about, check out this blog post here and here.

As always, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to comment.

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