Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


2nd thoughts

NYC">WordCamp NYC

WordCampNYC – Nov 14-15I’ve been using, installing, admin­is­trat­ing, fig­ur­ing out, break­ing, fix­ing, hack­ing, tweak­ing, and push­ing WordPress since back in 2006 when I cre­at­ed this blog (I nev­er both­ered much with WordPress.com until much lat­er when a client asked me to cus­tomize the look and feel of a site host­ed there).

I have used WordPress for a wide vari­ety of sites, most of which  required a sim­ple CMS that would be easy to install and admin­is­trate. The blog­ging func­tion­al­i­ty took a back seat or wasn’t used at all. Joomla was overkill (and noth­ing I want­ed to learn to admin­is­trate at the time) and Drupal would have meant pound­ing thumb­tacks with a jack­ham­mer.

In order to make some of the sites do what the client request­ed I piled on plu­g­ins, wrote cus­tom queries, and even dug into core and tweaked tiny bits to make extra spe­cial cat­e­gories and sort orders. It’s been a great way to learn PHP, get a leg up on the pow­er of CSS, and quick­ly build and deploy sites fol­low­ing web stan­dards.

I con­fess to hav­ing had a few secu­ri­ty sna­fus with sites pure­ly because I failed to make all the req­ui­site updates in a time­ly fash­ion, but all were rec­ti­fied in short order and I’ve learned my les­son on that score.

Based on deci­sions made pri­or to my arrival, my cur­rent employ­er uses WordPress.com to host its blogs. This has worked fine as a way to test the via­bil­i­ty of those sites with­out fur­ther over­bur­den­ing our IT /Web team and of course, the price is right for a non-prof­it: Free. The blogs thrive, attract­ing a steady stream of new and repeat vis­i­tors. This suc­cess and the suc­cess of blog­ging in the non-prof­it and aca­d­e­m­ic worlds has attract­ed some over­due atten­tion from the strate­gists.

The dot com URLs aren’t going over well with peo­ple on the boards of this org and editors/authors are begin­ning to feel some of the tech­ni­cal and design lim­i­ta­tions of not host­ing the site our­selves. Even though it’s not the pri­ma­ry focus of my cur­rent posi­tion, I hope to be able to chime in on the deci­sions in the off­ing about blog­ging tech. I know what blog­ging solu­tion I would rec­om­mend now, but I also know there’s more to mak­ing it work than the a sin­gle site install.

So, after a few years of hang­ing back and watch­ing the WordPress com­mu­ni­ty devel­op and grow and play­ing catch up via forums and tri­al and error on my own serv­er, it’s time I jumped in to learn a bit more about the beast and its off­spring. I’ll be down in New York for the whole meet­ing with eyes and ears open.