Why I’ve changed my blogging software from BlogEngine.Net to WordPress

Written by Sam McGeown
Published on 21/7/2010 - Read in about 3 min (500 words)

Up until now, I’ve been using BlogEngine.Net as my blogging platform, and up until now I’ve been relatively happy with using it. One of the major drivers for me as a “Microsoft” person was to use something that is based on Microsoft technology – BlogEngine.Net is based (as the name suggests) on the .Net framework. I’m much happier these days writing limited amounts of C#.Net than I am with PHP.

The problem is, I seemed to be spending more time fixing the blog than writing on it. I’ve had all sorts of problems, ranging from incompatibility with my hosting provider, theme compatibility issues, random code issues and more. Email notifications seem to work, then stop, then work again. Simple things like adding reCAPTCHA support to cut down the enormous amount of comment spam have taken days of head scratching. Whether or not these issues are down to my ignorance or the software, the outcome is the same, I don’t want to be fixing my blogging software, I want it to just work!

Then there’s the search engines, and the existing web presence that I have. A major consideration for me when changing the software is the fact that a lot of my traffic comes from links that are embedded in forums and other blogs – and that search engines respond with the existing BlogEngine posts rather than the newer ones. I’ve considered this, and I think it’s worth the risk. I will leave the BE running for a while and block search engine traffic to it so that direct links in will still be valid. I’ll see where the traffic takes me – but the advantages of changing now outweigh the risks. I will look to do some sort of URL redirect if it becomes an issue.

So  why move to WordPress then? It’s not based on Microsoft technology and it could potentially set me back to square one with my web presence. Quite simply, it just works. It has a massive ecosystem built up around it of plug-ins, themes and widgets. It’s mature – very mature – software that is actively developed and much more widely used than BlogEngine.Net is.

The import of the BlogML from BlogEngine was pretty pain free -  the categories came in as a GUID rather than the friendly name, but that was a simple matter of updating the MySQL table using a query. I’ve decided to slim down the categories, and as such I’ve moved the existing post categories into tags (handy little plug-in that). The theme I am using is nice enough, maybe when I have some time I’ll customise it a bit further.

But, I’ve made the jump; Windows Live Writer is plugged in to WordPress and I am hoping that it all comes together nicely. Recently I’ve been studying for my MCITP: Enterprise Exchange Administrator exams which I’m taking on Monday (70-662 and 70-663), so hopefully I can push some more Exchange stuff this way.

Until then, thanks for reading!


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