UPDATE: April 23, 2008. This Urban Semiotic blog — and all of David W. Boles’ domains and blogs
are once again, and now solely, hosted by Pair Networks! We will continue to leave article online to protect the
chain of understanding and we will update this space as necessary.
(UPDATE 4/18/08: We are now using Movable Type Open Source 4.1 on Media Temple. Here is the story why.)
This blog used to run on WordPress and then on WordPress.com and you may be wondering why we decided to move to the MT4 platform. We’ll tell you the whole story now.
When big decisions are made there isn’t a single reason you can give
that created the determination of mind. There are thousands of reasons
why things happen and some of them are more resonant than others and
some are pettier than anything else.
I respect many of the folks
at Automattic — the “makers” of WordPress.com — and I will always
have heaps of honors for Mark and Andy and Ryan because they always
treated me, and this blog, with kindness, interest and, dare I say it,
“Love.” However, there are others on staff that I will not miss, but
that’s true of any intensive relationship and we’ll talk a bit more
about that later.
One of the reasons I left WordPress.com was the advertising forced on blogs.
understand advertising is the devil’s deal you make when you accept
free hosting, and WordPress.com does a cunning job of “hiding” the
advertising from visitors who are logged in, but one day I happened to
be outside my normal routine and I was away from my logged in computers.
I was showing someone a Love Letter I had written to my wife on this blog called — Eleven Heart-Shaped Balloons
— and that heartfelt missive was packed, surrounded, really, with
Google advertising above and below the brief article selling, of all
So there was my throbbing heart suffocating
between two banner ads with three texts ads each. Six balloons ads
wholly overwhelming a quiet reflection seemed a little much to my
There were rumors WordPress.com might offer a
for-pay “advertising free” blog hosting setup, but I tired of waiting
for a rumor that did not become real.
Another cause for concern happened when I recently had a strange event with an article of mine that was deleted from WordPress.com.
I didn’t delete it, and no one else on my Urban Semiotic staff has ever
had the ability to remove articles or even publish articles.
A final nudge to move my blog from WordPress.com to MT4 happened when I read this blog article written by Anil Dash on the Movable Type website.
of the Automattic staff began attacking Anil in the comments flow — I
know how that feels, and if you read my Deleted Article comments
you’ll see why — and I found that public behavior unseemly and
unprofessional for company employees to do that to another company.
attack made WordPress look brittle and unable to handle even the
slightest pinch of competition with any sense of grace or even a
modicum of good sportsmanship.
It seemed obvious there would not
have been such a public attack on Movable Type unless there was
something worthwhile that was seen as dangerous by those staff members.
attacks that appear orchestrated to quell open conversation can have
the opposite effect of pressing interest into something that would not
need to be investigated except to divine the truth.
I decided to look into Movable Type to see why there was so much fuss from Automattic about the product.
I have been writing my WordPunk blog
on TypePad for a year now, so I had some idea of what Six Apart might
be doing with MT4 but to find out, I decided to find a host where I
didn’t have to worry about the technical back end or having to deal
with the database. I want to focus on writing, not on maintaining the
technical aspects of publishing.
My online search led me to pair Networks.
I was drawn to pair because they would install MT4 and update it for
you as you wished. If you had trouble with your installation or the
database, they would fix it for you.
That sort of rare “we are here to serve you” customer service is unique in the online world.
pay around $3 extra a month for Movable Type on my hosting account in
addition to my normal hosting fees. I get no sweetheart deals. I pay
my own way to host this blog on pair. I’m not out to make any money on
linking you to a referral program. All the links on this blog are
clean and advertising-free.
I tested MT4 on the new RelationShaping
blog I created on pair Networks and I was impressed with the speed and
reliability of that new blog. I enjoyed the deep user roles
assignment. I liked the plugin structure. I also loved the fact I was
The last thing that pushed me to move Urban Semiotic from WordPress to MT4 was the discovery I could use the same Cutline theme! That was a divine signal I could not deny.
one wants to make a move alone. In any large transition from one
publishing platform to another, there are bound to be pratfalls and
pinnacles and I needed help. I contacted pair support and asked for
Enter our new best friend — “Bob L.” — at pair Networks!
Bob L. has not only taken us by the hand — but he carried us up the stairs, washed our feet and put us to bed.
L. had never done such a large import before — this blog had over
1,160 posts and 30,000 comments in a 36 MB output file — and it took
him most of an entire day to chop up that WordPress.com export file and
import us over to Movable Type. We’ve been “live” here on pair for
about three days.
There have been a few
glitches in the transition, but most of them have been fixed. Our
formatting is a little screwy and we’re working on resolving some
lingering URL issues but the move from WordPress.com to Movable Type
4.1 has been 95% pain-free, 99.99% pain-tolerable and 100% satisfied.
click around here. Do some searches. How is the speed? Are your
comments appearing? Give us your feedback and love by posting a
comment. Tell us what you think of MT4 and pair Networks.