Migration to Octopress Complete

This blog have moved more times than I recall. In it’s current form (since 2005) it started on Blogger, then MovableType and then WordPress where it’s resided since about late 2005. Times change though and WordPress is more of a content management system than a simple blog tool. Thus I’ve gotten tired of hacking PHP to get just a nice simple blog.

I’ve written my blog posts in Markdown for at least the past 4 years so when we migrated the WeoGeo website over to Markdown and Jekyll I was in love. Jekyll is a great static site generator built on Ruby which does one thing really well, generate a website full of static webpages. Unlike tools such as WordPress which render everything as they are requested, a Jekyll website is already pre-generated so all the browser does is render a simple HTML page. While there are tools in WordPress that basically allow you to cache the PHP pages, the number of plugins slow the website down and becomes a huge overkill for just doing what I want, write.

Now we rolled our own Jekyll website at WeoGeo, but I wanted to simplify the process for me since I was only creating a blog. That’s where Octopress came in [I wish I could give a hat tip here to whomever pointed Octopress out to me first]. The Octopress framework abstracts out much of the blogging process (connecting to Twitter, Facebook, Disqus Comments, Github) freeing me to basically just write. I had to do a little work getting Mint to work, but if you use Google Analytics, it basically works out of the box.

I’ve still got a couple things I need to do:

  • Clean up old blog posts. Because many of these have been migrated 10 times or so back and forth, the formatting is messed up. I’m doing this by hand because I want them to look good, but with over 2000 blog posts, this takes time.
  • URLs are still a little wacked out. WordPress did some non-standard things so rather than write some weird .htaccess thing, I’m basically converting the urls by hand. I figure there might only be 1% that fail at this point, but I should have that cleaned up soon.
  • The template is still stock and I want to get it back to the simple white background that I used to use. That’s simple enough, but the number one priority was to free my content from MySQL and WordPress.

I’d like to thank Dan Dye for helping me out with some of the Python work. He’s become such a Python Ninja that I can’t but help use him as a resource. Seriously, Levenshtein is awesome and I probably wouldn’t have found it without him.