I remember hearing Matt Mullenweg speak about starting up a blog at a WordCamp somewhere. Go figure, right? He may have been talking specifically about WordPress.com, or maybe not, but the gist was how fun it is to sit down with a glass of wine and go through WordPress themes to find just the right one for a website.
I didn’t use wine — a nicely brewed coffee was my companion — but I experienced just what he described this morning when I moved my blog from my own hosting environment over to WordPress.com
For a long time I’ve been hosting most of my own sites because, well, because I could. But for just as long I’ve been preaching that for most people a WordPress.com blog is all they will ever need. While true, that sort of statement deserves a caveat: for most people, and many blogs, WordPress.com is all they will ever need. While I have requirements that keep me on my own hosting for a few of my sites, blogs like this one are really good fits for WordPress.com.
I settled on Ideation and Intent, a theme from the fine members of the Automattic Theme Team.
Moving my blog from the multisite network on my shared host over to WordPress was painless. One export and import did the job, and I was picking out a theme in no time. The longest process was waiting for the nameservers to update and point to a new location — which really has nothing to do with WordPress.com.
That said, there are some small annoyances I have to deal with. A number of plugins I have running on my self-hosted blogs tweak the WordPress writing experience, and it is kind of a bummer not to have those tweaks. At the very least I wish the theme included an editor stylesheet so I wasn’t writing in one font and publishing in another.
I wish I didn’t have to look at all of the dashboard menu items that I don’t use. All of my WordPress installs have a simple plugin included that hide the ones I don’t use. I might look into a simple user stylesheet in my browser to hide some of what I don’t use much if at all; things like Polldaddy, Users, Tools, and Store.
Also — and maybe this is just me being stupid — I ended up spamming my Twitter and Facebook followers when I went back and updated a handful of my WordPress posts to use a new category I added. I didn’t think to disable the Publicize/Sharing feature before I did, and each post update sent out a tweet or a status update. I’d prefer if post updates didn’t touch the sharing feature at all, but even if it does it would be killer for there to be a warning when editing a handful of posts that it was about to happen.
I don’t mean to nitpick though. On the bright side, this is the first time I’ve been able to actually use the little encouragement/goal-setting sidebar that shows up when you publish new posts. When I publish this post, for instance, it says I’ll be just three posts away from my 150 post goal. That’s kind of fun. I like it.
Getting the ball rolling
There’s always a (sometimes) fun period of exploration and discovery with any new WordPress theme, and I’m still smack in the middle of mine. I think I’ll be satisfied for the time being.
In addition to spending time blogging here again, I’ve set up a development blog running on P2 specifically for spouting off little notes and ideas I come up with when I’m working. I’ve been trying various forms of writing lately — microblogging, writing reviews, and I’m even considering publishing a few short stories up here.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say about blogging, writing, and the things I like and don’t like about WordPress.com soon. After all, this is what I do with my free time.