Moving to WordPress

Since the very end of 2001, this blog has been hosted on Blogger (originally developed by Pyra Labs, acquired by Google, in the pre “don’t be evil” days, in 2003).  In that time I’ve written some 1,199 posts.  Not all of those are intact here – various migrations, changes in publishing tools, fiddling around with templates and other errors mean that some have lost their images, line breaks are missing and doubtless some are entirely AWOL.

For a while I’ve wanted to move from Google.  I want more functionality – particularly a reliable way to compose and edit on mobile devices – and I also want out of Google (I’ve been a committed duckduckgo user for at least 7 years and maybe longer – I have no way to check as far as I can find).  I also feel strongly that if I’m using a tool that someone, or a company, has put time and effort into, then I should have a direct relationship with that company and should pay for what I use.  Wordpress is clearly the market leader and I wish I’d made the move years ago.

That said, domain names are being moved, posts are being exported and imported and CNAMEs are being repointed … and pointy things always break in such a move.  I’m on a streak of posting daily and hoping not to break it, but there may be a lull and then a catchup as posts go missing and then appear in the right place.

In the meantime, the site is currently hosted at

Blog Posting

It’s nearly September 2010 and my blog post tally in the year to date is 79. I’m already ahead of my total in all of 2008 (77) and creeping up on both 2006 (94) and 2007 (87). I am, though, a long way down from my early years (2002 at 208 and 2003 at 312). This post will be the 1,164th on the blog since it launched in December 2001. Ten years and 1,000 posts.

Subtracting Addthis

Dan alerted me to a google warning page that came up when he visited this blog:


There is a consistent story on the web regarding why this message came up, e.g. quotes clearspring as saying

We noticed early this morning via Twitter that a large number of folks using Chrome were being warned of malware when visiting sites with Clearspring Launchpad widgets. To summarize the event, our portion of the Content Delivery Network (CDN), the service we use to efficiently host all Clearspring widget internals, was compromised with files that redirected users to a certain malware domain (which we won’t link here). We quickly fixed the issue and are now back to normal operation as far as the CDN is concerned. Because of Google’s aggressive malware prevention policy, users may continue to see warnings until Google completes its re-review process.

The thing is, I don’t have the “addthis” widget on my blog although I do have “add to any” and “share this” – I can’t find any link between them all. So I’m leaving it as it is for now until I can figure out if there’s another problem. I’ll update this post if I find it.

Domain Renewal Group Scam?

Just had a nicely worded letter from a company called “Domain Renewal Group” noting that my domain name is about to expire (it is) and that I can “take advantage” of best savings by switching to them.

So not really a scam – if you read the text properly they leave an ample trail that I’ll actually be switching domain registrars if I use them. On the assumption that they’d continue to manage the domain – and the web stories on this are unclear so perhaps they will, perhaps they won’t – then the only question is whether this is cost effective. It isn’t – there’re more than twice the price that I pay currently.

Beware … always read the fine print. Domain Renewal Group may not be all they appear to be. And they certainly charge more than you need to pay.


If everything worked out ok this post marks two things:200901171635.jpg

1) Post number 992 on this blog

2) The debut of a new comment management system, called JS-Kit.

Whilst I was converting my blog to the new format for comments, JS-Kit kindly told me that it had converted 767 comments

And, if it really worked, you should see several new options if you want to leave a comment – including support for avatars/user profiles and images and facebook connect logon (as well as several other logons).

Google Error

I’ve been getting these all evening when posting to my blog (and trying to view it). It’s hosted by Google. What gives?


Server Error

The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

Please try again in 30 seconds.


I’m making a series of incremental changes to the blog. New titles, styles, layouts, page elements, fonts, colours and so on. The move to Google’s custom domain means I can now play with the templates far more easily (previously, any changes had to be made in HTML; now, everything is point and click). I haven’t quite settled on how it should all look yet, but I’m getting there.

This blog has moved

If you’ve arrived at this page then hopefully it’s because you’ve seen the redirect instructions for the new homepage for my blog or you’ve been automatically redirected.

I’ve had many problems in the last few months publishing to this blog – which is created using Google’s Blogger application and then FTP’d to my domain name from within Blogger – and this is at least part of the excuse for so few posts recently (the main part of the excuse being that I haven’t written any other ones of course).

The web is full of threads from people upset that FTP no longer seems to work consistently when using Blogger, irrespective of which domain provider or host service you use. For me, “inconsistent” means it works one time in fifty or so. No one seems to know what the problem is and, despite plenty of forum questions, Google don’t seem to have acknowledged the issue – I’m sure they have plenty of other things on their minds and will get to this sometime.

For now then, to get around this, I’ve created a new subdomain and my blog is now set up there, using Blogger’s custom domain feature (which just needed me to set up a cname alias to point to google).

I’m redirecting from the old blog using an HTML redirect which doesn’t seem as good as a 301 redirect (so people tell me) but I haven’t managed to get that to work. So it would be great if you could update your references to this blog:

  • If you access this blog by a favourite, please update your favourite to point to
  • If you access by RSS, please click on the this link and resubscribe (I use Google Reader and that picked up the new feed by itself – if that doesn’t work for you, please leave me a comment and I’ll see if there’s a better way)