What shall I do with this weblog? I’ve long since reached the point where Movable Type won’t post fully. I get a 500 error screen, then I have to rebuild the index, and everything looks OK. I don’t know if I have a defective table in MySQL, or if it’s just a bandwidth problem.
My provider is domainfactory, and I’m happy with them. They temporarily gave me 20 MB transfer space instead of 10, but it didn’t help. However, the recommended U.S. site Blogomania gives from 13,000 to 18,000 MB transfer bandwidth, and this is a big difference. I think, however, that domainfactory is normal for German standards.
Alternatives: I am probably going to switch providers and take my domain name with me, thus leaving all links in place. Wurchblog did this successfully to a small provider specializing in weblogs. (Wurch is a great name for a blogger, and it even appears to be genuine). Mind you, he’s on a Mac, so he could try Tinderbox, which isn’t out for Windows yet.
I could get my own server, but I haven’t yet reached the point where I want to do that.
Here’s a list of weblog software.
Movable Type problems: I am dependent on the server. I managed to install it OK but it will be a pain to move. I certainly won’t move servers a second time, but start a new weblog with different software – but I suppose I haven’t really got time to do that now. If I want a question answered, I may be lucky – there’s a volunteer-run forum and even a Wiki now. Commercial users should get more help (I haven’t succeeded in getting that). People who’ve been through the same thing post once and then disappear into the ether. I don’t know enough about scripts and my questions are probably irritating to long-term users.
Typepad: easier to use, but would involve having a new blog with different links, if I left the old one in place. Or maybe I could import my entries, but I think the links would still change. Typepad has superb features, but only the Pro version would allow me to change ‘About me’ into the ‘Impressum’ required by German law. See the site of Ernie the Attorney. He runs a serious law blog. See the ‘About me’ at the top left, including biography. It is too inflexible. Typepad is obviously catering to those who like to put private diaries online, as in LiveJournal, with ‘What I’m reading’ and so on. – I couldn’t run my other website on the same server as Typepad, but I could use domain mapping so they appeared to run on the same site. Still, I would need two providers.
pMachine looks good, but it needs learning and it may well have the same posting problems as Movable Type.
I toyed with the idea of joining the Austrian / German twoday community. This has two problems for me: firstly, I get the impression that the standard format irritates me visually. Secondly, if I used comments, I think you have to log in, and it’s a German-language community, whereas a lot of my readers speak English – I suppose in theory they should speak German too, of course.
Most interesting to me is Radio Userland. That would run on my computer and could easily be moved to another provider. Still, when I read about it, it has the same problems as MT, that it’s hard to get help. It looks easy out of the box, but if you want to do something more advanced, the materials are said to be hard to understand. These things are all relative, but without trying it out it’s impossible to say.
Probably I will change provider now and keep the alternative up my sleeve if I ever get in this position again.
I don’t want to run down Movable Type, which is a wonderful program to use, but of course it’s only when you use these things that you realize what problems you have with them.