A New Day

11-26-2007 068

I’ve moved my blog to the WordPress.com site, but I am still using my domain name (telhajj.com). Hopefully the transition has been as smooth for you as it has been for me. The telhajj.com domain should already be resolving to the new server, but If that doesn’t work (and you can somehow read this), you can always try timelhajj.wordpress.com.

Why did I switch? It started with this:

Operation Aborted

I had a technical problem with Internet Explorer 7 that I couldn’t resolve. Whenever I visited the site in IE7, I got the dialog above. If you click OK, IE7 closes the page and displays a generic HTML error page. Nice.

Hosting your own blog on a server is like owning your own house: when something goes bad, you have to fix it. The technical contact at my Web host is a smart guy, but there is always this tension between his problems and your problems. He is willing to fix his (and by that I mean anything related to the server), but you’ve got to fix your own issues with the site or convince him of your helplessness. Certainly the Internet Explorer problem I was experiencing with the site was a Microsoft problem (the Operation Aborted bug). But that didn’t help me, nor did it explain why I was having the problem from every computer on my network. Eventually I realized I could have disabled javascripting in Internet Explorer to work around the problem, but that didn’t explain how it came to be. The next morning Patrick, from POE Hosting (That’s Portal of Evil Hosting—literally THE best name in Web hosting), resolved the issue by removing, as he put it, “the broken symlink” in my wp-content folder. 

Who broke it? Who knows! But it seems to have somehow resolved the Operation aborted error (who writes the names for these error messages?)

My contract with POE is about to run out next week. I have had my domain with them since 2002 but this issue made me realize DIY isn’t my bag for hosting. Patrick is smart as a whip, but he often sends me cryptic emails. “Do you have any cron jobs running?” he might ask. Or maybe, he’ll say, “Check your .htaccess.” I can do Google searches and figure out what he’s telling me, but that means I have less time to blog. I wrote him over the weekend and said, “I just want to blog. I don’t care about any of this Linux nonsense.”

And so here I am.

For the most part, most people will never even realize much has changed (unless you’re logged into your own WordPress.com account and see the little banner above my site). Otherwise, it’s all pretty transparent.

WordPress.com seems like a good deal. It costs me ten bucks to host my blog here with my domain name. If I didn’t want to redirect to my domain, it would have been free. My Web host was going to charge me $60 for another year. I’ve transitioned the mail over to Google Apps for Domains, so you can still send me mail at my domain.

I’ve lost the ability to host a fancy flickr page built into my blog (which was a pretty popular page on the old site). I’ve lost all my links, but I think that can be repaired. The import from the old site was pretty painless. To celebrate the switch, I’ve renamed the site.

I may experiment with a few more design changes before I’m through.

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2 thoughts on “A New Day

  1. Amy B says:

    Blogger will let you redirect to your own URL and it’s free.

  2. Tim Elhajj says:

    I checked out Blogger, but I didn’t see a way to import my existing posts. I also checked out live, but that just made me cry. WordPress/blogger are much closer to the kind of blogging experience I want

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