Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


2nd thoughts

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.