Leaving Comments Just Got Easier!


For as long as I have had this blog online, one of my strongest concerns was the friction (caused by WordPress and anti-spam tools) preventing my readers from easily leaving comments on my blog.

Now, thanks to an excellent plug-in called IntenseDebate, anybody can now leave comments by signing in through Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, WordPress or IntenseDebate. The plug-in also has some great sidebar tools that dynamically generate a list of the most popular blog posts (ranked by number of comments received) and recent comments received.

If there had been a comment that you wanted to make in response to a previous article, but were turned off by the process involved, I now invite you to participate in those discussions.

To my readers: Thank you all for subscribing and I’m looking forward to the additional conversations that result from these changes.┬áHave a great weekend!

Switching from Blogger to WordPress


Over the last 2 days, I have undertaken the monumental task of switching my blog from Blogger to WordPress. To say the least, it was an experience. I thought I’d share my findings, and explain how to do this without losing any data, tags, RSS subscribers or Google rankings.

bloggertowordpress

First, check out the tutorial from Digital Inspiration; it saved my life. The tutorial covers WordPress installation, Blogger account import procedure, 3 steps to handle redirects from old Blogger pages to your new pages on WordPress.

It is particularly good for ensuring the 301 redirects from Blogger to WordPress successfully. It worked for me the first time with no problem. It will also be easier for you if you’ve been using a service like Feedburner to manage your feed, since that address will stay the same. Make sure to read below, because you may still hit a few walls with the tutorial above, as I did.

Permalinks

For example, you are probably going to want “pretty permalinks”. You can set these in the WordPress admin by going to “Settings” –> “Permalinks”; choose “Custom Structure” and type: “/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/” (no quotes).

If you are getting an error when trying to set this custom permalinks type, you probably don’t have the mod_rewrite function working. If you are running on an IIS6 machine, as I am, you can get around this fix by creating a file called “.htaccess” and storing it in your root folder on your FTP server. Add this into the “.htaccess” file, save and close:

# BEGIN WordPress
RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

# END WordPress

Turn Categories into back into Tags

You may also notice that the Blogger import made all of my tags into categories. Luckily, if you go to “Tools” –> “Import” within the WordPress admin area, there is an option called “Categories and Tags Converter” that will get this fixed for you very easily.

If you’re going through a similar process, I hope you find this helpful! If not, I hope you enjoy the new blog layout and widgets. Please let me know your thoughts, as I always invite conversation below. Soon I’ll add Facebook Connect integration to make commenting much easier for my visitors.