Moving the Blog

Published November 27, 2019

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About seven months ago, I began moving this site from a WordPress setup to a static site using Hugo, which I’m writing a book on right now.

There’s still a ton of work to do, but it was bugging me that I didn’t have my own place to write. I’d been delaying writing a ton of content because my site wasn’t “ready”. But “ready” is a relative term anyway, so I pulled the trigger and made the swap.

This migration sure hasn’t been easy though.

The blog originally launched on Blogger in 2001, and then I moved it to a local WordPress instance running on a machine in my house. I moved many of the posts from Blogger by hand. When I moved the blog to an actual web host in 2006, I had to do a bunch of manual migrations again, as the hosted WordPress system was slightly newer than what I’d run.

Over the last 14 years or so, this site’s been hacked several times, thanks to me not being faster than crafty WordPress hackers. I’ve had to recover data several times, and even manually run some SQL queries to clean up hundreds of pages.

A recent change to my web host’s database setup caused some new issues-special characters in posts I’d written years ago were now showing up wrong, as the data was encoded incorrectly during the migration. Maybe I messed it up, maybe they did, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I’m done with WordPress.

I moved over about 80% of the content to Hugo using a migration script I found. The other 20% came across but needed a lot of manual editing due to the aforementioned encoding issues.

There’s still a lot of work left to do. I don’t have comments set up yet, and I’m going to try to roll with that for a little bit. People can discuss my posts on Twitter or elsewhere. And some of the older content still has broken images, because I used an image gallery rather than direct links.

But here it is. A shiny new Hugo-powered site. I’ll continue tweaking it over the next few months, but I’m excited to have a place to write again.