Posts From April 2013 - Musing, Rants & Jumbled Thoughts

Header Photo Credit: Lorenzo Cafaro (Creative Commons Zero License)

I've been wanting to move this blog to my own domain name for a while, in order to better define my "personal brand" (see Scott Hanselman & friends' advice in the subject).

Separately, Google recently announced it would be sun-setting Google Reader, a product I had come to use quite a bit and will leave a large hole to fill. This just reinforced my realization that my primary "voice" on the web (this blog) is strongly tied to a single vendor who's not directly making any money off the product - so could kill it off any day, rendering me voiceless.

So over the next few months, I'll be making some changes. First, as you may have noticed if you're reading this in a web browser, I've migrated my blog within Blogger to a custom domain. So... is now ==>

Currently, if you go to the old URL for any of my posts, you will get a redirect to the new hostname. Similarly, the RSS feed has been pointed to the new hostname.

I'm also spinning up a WordPress instance that will be the new home of my online presence, including this blog, and I'll eventually move off Blogger altogether. If I do this right, none of you will notice and your existing links should continue working as-is. As part of that process, I'm also going to convert some of my posts into more of a page/wiki format since I continue to update them over time. This will take some work to keep the old permalinks working, so don't expect this anytime soon.

And for those interested in why I went the way I did:

  • I used to register my domain and host my DNS records. In part because I want nothing to do with GoDaddy as I disagree with them on many political and social topics. I choose DNSimple specifically because they have a clean but full feature management UI and got a hat-tip from Scott Hanselman. Note: if you use the above link and sign-up, we'll both get a free month of DNS service.
  • I'm using a "self-hosted" WordPress instance for my new site. There were several things that lead me down this route. First, WordPress has a massive ecosystem, being one of (if not the) largest blogging platform on the net. There're plugins/themes/etc available for just about anything you want to do, and most for free, so no need to reinvent the wheel. Additionally, it's standalone -- not tied to a hosting service -- and easily migrateable to another hosting provider in the future, should I want to change vendors.
  • I'm planning to use Azure Websites for hosting. While it does have a really nice web dashboard for viewing stats, etc., the biggest selling point for Azure over other hosting providers is the integration with WebMatrix, which makes it extraordinarily easy to pull an instance of the current website, database and all, down to my local machine in order to make changes, etc, in an isolated dev environment and upload them back to the production system (or destroy them) easily. Pricing is reasonable and likely only to go down over time. They also made is super easy (three clicks) to spin up a new WordPress site.