Homeless on the WWW
It’s only less than five hours after setting up my blog at WordPress.com, and I’m already sick of it…
When I first started blogging back in 2002, I started off with Blogger, hosted by Blogspot. In fact, you can still find my blog there–although later on I removed all the entries when I moved to a self-hosted one. Blogger (and Blogspot) was still under Pyra Labs at that time, and blogging was still very simple. Just write a post and publish it, no fancy things like categories or password-protected posts. You could modify your template to fit your needs, and in fact that was how I started taking my foray into web design seriously.
A couple of weeks later, I moved to a self-hosted domain, though the publishing platform was still Blogger. Blog-functionality-wise, there was practically no difference between self-hosted and Blogspot-hosted blogs. I did appreciate the directory password protection feature from the hosting company, which restricts access to the entire directory containing my blog.
A couple of months later, Google bought Blogger, but Blogger didn’t evolve as much as the other blogging platforms at that time.
That was when Ethan, a JC friend of mine, introduced Movable Type. At that time, Movable Type was the state-of-the-art publishing platform. The only catch was that the blog has to be self-hosted. Well, there was no problem. I migrated the entire blog into Movable Type.
I must add that the migration is not as simple as the current WordPress’s import feature. During those days, migration means manually modifying your Blogger template and settings to fit that acceptable by Movable Type, saving the resulting file, and then uploading and finally importing it into Movable Type.
So all was well, and I enjoyed the various functionality of Movable Type. Movable Type was one of the first to introduce the concept of plugins. I remembered that at one time I went into plugins-frenzy, and I did a quiz to see if the readers of my blog could find out what plugins I installed.
And then things started tumbling downhill. I started having problems with Movable Type (it is running on Perl, and Perl is a bitch), and they started charging for the use of Movable Type for multiple blogs and users. Not that I needed the features, but it was a catalyst that started my exploring other alternative publishing platforms.
And then came WordPress into the picture.
When WordPress started, there was no WordPress.com-hosted concept yet. Like Movable Type, you have to download the source code, upload it to your web hosting, and then configure it accordingly. Although the template system takes some time getting used to, WordPress runs on PHP, and it runs beautifully. There was also a lot of new features previously not available on other platforms, like password protection of posts.
And therefore, I made the switch to WordPress.
And all was well. I switched domains once during the time I was using WordPress, and the migration was as simple as copying the entire database and editing some variables. Of course, fixing the broken links was another matter altogether.
Around the time that I switched domains, WordPress.com-hosted blogs were also made available.
Like all things new, there was a lot of hype when it was announced, followed by a disillusionment when it finally came out, with all its quirks. WordPress.com strips
Those things didn’t affect me anyway, since I was on a self-hosted WordPress blog.
But then things started to take another turn, and this time it wasn’t the blogging platform’s fault. For reasons that are best kept as a secret (which may not be a secret to some), I finally let go of my domain, and hosting along with it. That left me with no place at all to host my blog.
Well, all was well as I took a break from blogging.
And here I am today, ready to start another blog. And I immediately thought of WordPress.com. I set up a blog here, and lo-and-behold, I was nothing but disappointed. Although simple to set up, the limitations of WordPress.com is annoying. I can’t even install widgets from my favourite social networking site, nor can I set up a shoutbox. Editing templates is a chore not because of the difficulty, but because I have to pay to edit the CSS file.
So here I am now, homeless on the world wide web,
looking for a place where I belong.
I am thinking of getting a new domain to get back the functionality of a self-hosted WordPress blog. But I have yet to decide on a domain name. Some of the domain names which are available that I can think of are:
I’m kind of against having a .sg domain since I do not really fancy the idea of tying my domain name to a specific country. hendri.com is no longer available, and the only thing stopping me from getting a domain name with my surname is that my full name may not be easily memorized by someone who is not an Indonesian/Malay.
So what do you think? Should I go ahead and get a hendribudi.com domain? Or should I play safe and go ahead with hendri.sg, which is potentially easier to memorize? Or is there no difference at all whether I use my full name or not?