Post-Switch Stuff

So here we are, in Whatever’s shiny new digs. Some of you will have noticed a few minor differences; let me go over them and some other things.

1. As noted before, Whatever is now being hosted via WordPress.com’s VIP program. This is the same program that hosts blogs from places like CNN and the National Football League and Icanhascheezburger.com, and they serve those without a hitch, so I expect they’ll be able to handle my own somewhat more modest number of visits without much of a problem. I’m not saying that from time to time you won’t ever have a problem accessing the site now; but I am saying if you are having trouble, it’s probably my fault, not theirs. I apologize in advance for my incompetence.

2. You’ll notice also that Whatever now has a slightly different URL: whatever.scalzi.com instead of scalzi.com/whatever. This is because we decided that it was smarter to point just a subdomain of Scalzi.com at WordPress.com rather than the whole domain. Why? Well, among other things, it means I can still receive e-mail, and also I don’t have to worry where to park all the other domains I own (I own about 20).

What does this change of domain mean for you? In the short run, not a thing, since “scalzi.com/whatever” automatically forwards to the new URL. However, at some point in the future you may want to update your links to more accurately reflect the new address. No rush, just saying. That new URL again, in case you missed it in bold letting just one paragraph ago: whatever.scalzi.com.

3. In addition to changing the URL of the main page, all the entries generated by the original WordPress install on Whatever (dating back to September 30, 2007) have new URLs as well, here in the new digs. Does this mean all your old links no longer work? No! And that’s because the very clever tech person with whom I’ve been working on this switch over has done some sort of magic by which links to old entries get forwarded to the new entries without a hitch. I don’t claim to understand it, I’m just glad it happens.

However, from time to time there may be a glitch and the new install might drop a link. When/if that happens, you should land on a 404 page here. Don’t panic; just use the search bar, available on every page of the install, to find the entry you’re looking for by typing in a word or phrase from the entry. Easy.

4. Which reminds me: The search function on Whatever now actually does not suck. Try it! You’ll see.

5. What happens when a link goes to one of the older pages on Whatever (i.e., from before September 30, 2007)? For now, they still go to the old page. However, one of the things we’re working on is porting over  the entries from Whatever’s earlier versions. This is going to take a little bit of time, because that’s about 2,800 entries with about 90,000 comments. Which is, you know, a lot. When this is done what I’ll do is put in redirects for some of the more popular pages (Being Poor, Bacon Cat, etc) to the new install. But in the short run, everything is still there. Which is a long-winded way of saying: On average, your links into Whatever will still work.

6. Because of technical backend requirements of WordPress.com, some previously appearing widgets on Whatever are no longer here. One of them powered the “preview” button for the comments. I’ll look around for a replacement, but in the meantime, you know, just re-read your comments before you post them.

7. I’ve disabled the “Snap preview” function which was previously on since the switchover, since I find it enormously intrusive.

8. The RSS feeds should have transferred over without a problem, but you never know; glitches happen on a one on one basis. Obviously if your RSS feed for Whatever has gone wonky, come back around to the actual site and re-plug in.

9. Someone noticed the favicon for the site now has a default WordPress “W” in it. I’ll probably get around to fixing that eventually, but in short run, I don’t mind. The previous favicon I had also was a “W.” It fits the site.

10. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ryan Boren, who helped me immensely with the transfer of the site (and when I say “he helped me” I mean “he did all the work, while I stood around pretending to be useful”), and for suggesting the WordPress VIP solution in the first place. So when you come to the site and marvel at how quickly it loads up, and its complete lack of internal server errors when you post comments, you know who to thank, and it’s not me, it’s him. Please feel free to shower him with appreciative comments and/or fruit baskets.

If you have comments/questions/complaints/praise about the new install, go ahead and drop them into the comments thread. Thanks.

36 thoughts on “Post-Switch Stuff

  1. Are you going to bring back the side nav widgets, like the random articles and the blurbs from the critics?

  2. You’re right, this thing is fast! Even on my wonked-out link. There’s one problem, though. You didn’t give us a link so we could shower Ryan with fruit baskets. ’cause, dude, he rocks!

  3. Very nice, the WP team seems impressive.

    My RSS feed is showing up in NetNewsWire uninterrupted as well. Load speeds do seem well up as well.

  4. Whew, fast! Snappy fast. Makes me suspect that the bulk of your problems with the old host were an overloaded database.

    Don’t buy Ryan a beer, buy him an extra beer.

  5. It has the shiny smell of WIN about it, it does. And congrats on being taken up by the WP VIP group; I understand they’re sorta picky about whom they choose to host.

  6. Looks good. And it loaded first try, in less than a second. I’ve been used to trying at least twice, with a 5-10 second delay each time.

    It will be nice to have a good index to all articles some day, but I can wait for that.

  7. Oooh, comment button at bottom of RSS feed into Livejournal. No need to scroll three screens back to click the link at the top!

    Yes, I am saying that Long Blog Post Is Long.

  8. I’ve had a few experiences with technically tricky stuff, and Ryan definitely deserves massive attaboys for pulling this off quickly and without major hiccups. Thanks, Ryan, for keeping the unwashed masses fed with a daily dose of Whatever. You rock, sir!

  9. 9. Someone noticed the favicon for the site now has a default WordPress “W” in it. I’ll probably get around to fixing that eventually, but in short run, I don’t mind. The previous favicon I had also was a “W.” It fits the site.

    That was me. I asked because the old favicon was useful for quickly finding the Whatever tabs in Firefox, while the WordPress icon is shared with many other blogs.

  10. Never thought I’d be saying this, but — I’m glad to see that the favicon has returned. After all, there needs to be something warm and fuzzy to counter[balance] the ugliness which attaches to the letter “W” in these times.

    Three woots for Whatever!

  11. I would just like to express my bottomless affection for the little box that shows up at the bottom of the lj feed now that links to the comments and notes how many there are.

    If I saw that box at a bar, I would buy it a drink.

    Other than that: feed seems to be working fine. Congrats on the successful switch.

  12. Much beer to Ryan Boren for rescuing Whatever!

    And of course to John, who allowed it to be rescued. That’s actually hard for some bloggers to let go of.

    (Or tech geeks. For a long time I wanted to control everything to do with my blog/mail/file replication/etc. Of course, that meant that I had to control everything….)

  13. You should really get a bacon.scalzi.com domain on there. :)
    Everything looks good coming from Livejournal, and yes, it’s nice to get the comment link at the bottom, too, like Steve H said.

  14. Someone already mentioned this, but thought I’d add my thought: since my blog is also on WordPress, I now apparently need to either log out and type my name… or I could just use my blog name. Yeah, I think I’ll do that…

  15. All right, who broke John Scalzi?

    I recall months and months ago him SCREAMING, when he was — ummmm — “fixing” this site, NOT TO NEVER NOT EVER recommend WordPress to him.

    Now look at what’s happened.

    Obviously someone broke into Scalzi’s cranial kernel and effed it all up.

    He probably doesn’t even remember the bacon stuff anymore.

  16. I have difficulty accessing Whatever on the new host site, because here in China, that sort of thing happens all the time. I waited for two days, during which I thought the move had broken down the whole doodah, before I thought of using a proxy and realized it was just a Great Firewall problem.

    Now, that probably can’t be changed, and using a proxy works just fine for me. The new site’s hosting CNN probably has something to do with it, but it’s just an assumption on my part, not grounded on demonstrable evidence (I have the same problem accessing Neil Gaiman’s journal, which may be hosted on the same kind of site — OK, I’m no expert on the terminology).

  17. The RSS feed works just fine in Google Reader.

    The only thing I can see that broke was the page titles. For example, this entry’s title on the tab says “WhateverPost-Switch Stuff <<” and another says “WhateverMeanwhile in Connecticut <<”. Basically, you’re missing a space.

    If that’s the worst thing that happened in your move, many kudos to your helpers and to WordPress.

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