December 4, 2008

Wordpress Experiment

I'm not much of a "techie," and I also generally use technology as a convenient support for my "real" work, rather than as an end in itself, so I'm always looking for the easiest ways to get things done. Currently I use FrontPage for making my departmental web pages, but I like the convenience of web-based tools, so I was wondering about adapting a blog site into a more general home page, perhaps even phasing out my Dalhousie-based page. One option is to add Google Pages to this site, but for no reason I can really articulate, I kind of like having a little distance between this place and my other sites. Also, I gather Google Pages is sort of on hiatus until Google Sites is up and running. Anyway, I have been poking around with Wordpress a bit and figured out enough to build this little site. Does anyone have any particular thoughts about or experience with using Wordpress that they'd like to share, or any different suggestions? I admit, I started this site on Blogger for the simple reason that it was the one I had heard of, back in the day. Also, is there a way to use something like Wordpress but have it come up at my "myweb.dal" URL?

3 comments:

Jandy said...

WordPress is a fantastic platform, for either a blog or non-blog website. It's much more extensible and adaptable than Blogger, and easier to use than other content management systems. And it has a great community of developers, designers, and programmers that contribute to it.

First thing to note: there are two ways to use WordPress. One is at www.wordpress.com, where you've already set up a site - that's hosted by WordPress. If you have your own hosting, you can also grab the source files from www.wordpress.org and install it yourself, which gives you total control over everything. It's all open source, so you can change the layout, the programming, everything. Or nothing. It's up to you.

Even if you stay with wordpress.com, though, you can use whatever domain name you want for $10 a year (plus the cost of registering the domain, but it looks like you already have that). See here.

I'm not an expert by any means, but I am definitely a WordPress evangelist. :) I've used it for all my sites for years.

Rohan Maitzen said...

Thank you for this, Jandy. I do like the features I've found on Wordpress so far, though Blogger has been fine for the modest aims I have for this site (I don't much like their template options, though).

Christopher Foy said...

The way something like WordPress works is that it requires software (and a database) running on the web server that pages are accessed from. So, unless WordPress is running on the myweb.dal.ca server, (which seems unlikely, but check with UCIS) you're stuck with something like FrontPage. MovableType could do what you want in terms of having a web interface and publishing it to myweb; however, setting up such a system is fairly complicated. Additionally, MovableType isn't really the nicest/easiest-to-use software.

Probably the easiest solution would be to your myweb.dal.ca site do an automatic redirect to the maitzen.wordpress.com site. The best way of doing that is using the refresh meta tag in the index.html page you upload to your myweb site (cf. Wikipedia on URL redirects. Your pages wouldn't come from the myweb server, but anyone who accessed http://myweb.dal.ca/rmaitzen would automatically be sent to maitzen.wordpress.com.