The Hidden Gem Of WordPress

April 27th, 2009

The other day, I was thinking about how easy it is to make a mess on the web. For example, purchasing a domain that you attach an email address to that is used for a year only to end up wanting to use a different domain. This means you have to go to every site you registered an account with and change the email address if you plan on letting the old domain retire. There are also a host of other issues as well which in the end, just seems like a giant mess. For this reason alone, I believe hosted blogging solutions will always have a market because you don’t have to worry about moving around or managing a domain. Typically, all you have to do is register an account and blog.

However, users of have an awesome benefit that not many other blog hosting providers can match and that is, a free, open-source project based on much of the same code that powers the hosted service. It’s very unlikely but if were to ever go out of business, using WXR or WordPress Extended RSS you could export your content from your hosted account and move it to a self-hosted install of WordPress without missing a beat. If we look into the past, Matt has made it clear that WordPress will exist as an open-source project for as long as he is alive and hopefully, long after he is gone. Talk about peace of mind.

There are a couple of blog host providers which are making some noise in the market right now and even though some of them provide a fancy way of doing things, I prefer having the control over the fate of my content rather than a fancy interface for blogging.

How important is the export/import of data when it comes to choosing a blog host or blogging software?




  1. misterhobbes (4 comments.) says:

    For newbie, it doesn’t matter because they have absolutely no idea on migrating/moving. a 404 redirect pointing towards the new self host is more important.

    • that girl again (41 comments.) says:

      Sadly, doesn’t allow redirects to people’s new blogs. If traffic is directed to their site they want to keep it there, and presumably they don’t want people signing up for a zillion usernames in order to redirect them all to their own site.

      In the early days of wordpress, Matt was pretty anti-export features: his argument was that if Blogger or Six Apart wanted you to switch to their software, it was up to them to get your data out of WP and into their system. WXR was only invented when was set up and the old method of backing up or moving your data through database dumps wasn’t feasible. If you want to move your posts to I would love to see an open standard import/export format that would be used and understood by all major blogtools, but for obvious reasons few corporations are interested in making it easy to move your blog out of their software and into that of their competitors…

  2. Stu (7 comments.) says:

    Um, I think misterhobbes means to say “301 redirect”, which is the HTTP status code for “moved permanently”.

    The thing you lose when you move your content to another domain, is that all the links that people have made to your content will break. This will ruin your pagerank, reduce your clickthrough traffic, and make other people’s sites (who have linked to you) less useful.

    The solution to this is to pick a domain name and URL structure (permalink config) that you are going to keep. Personally, I think that it is a bigger risk that you are going to outgrow the features of the blog hosting available at than you are to suddenly decide that you need to change your domain name.

    Anyone who is serious about running their blog should have their own (carefully chosen) domain name.

    Also, I definitely agree that being able to export your user-created content is a must-have feature of any blogging software, or blog host.


  3. S.K (15 comments.) says:

    I wonder why the term “blog host” is used. Is a blog host any different from a web host? As we all know majority of web hosts are on a LAMP platform, which satisfies the requirements of any blogging software.

    Yes. The facility to move the content from a blog seamlessly to your own blog with a domain is a very useful feature. Especially because a free hosted blog is a first step for a newbie to blogging and when he graduates to self-hosted blog, migration of his content is the uppermost thing to be addressed.

    And WordPress rocks! (I don’t miss an opportunity to reiterate it :))



    • Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

      I believe there is a difference since a blog host is concentrated on hosting blogs that the end user does not have to worry about managing. A webhost is used when you want a self installed version of WordPress that you can manage at your hearts content.

  4. Babs (42 comments.) says:

    I second the “WordPress rocks!” comment.

    I have a specific project that requires the need for major organization. WordPress is the only platform that meets my needs. Moving my project from another blogging service to a WordPress blog (on my own domain) was the easiest out of all the platform to platform moves I’ve made with it, and once I figured out how to install WP on a thumb drive relocating to that was a piece of cake.

  5. Exporting Blogspot (1 comments.) says:

    I might need to export BlogSpot in a couple of weeks if they think my site is a spam site. Any easy ways to do it?

    • Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

      Giving a look, seems as though BlogSpot has not yet been covered. I think you’ll have to Google this one.

      • Babs (42 comments.) says:

        I don’t remember who owns who now, but Blogspot and Blogger are one and the same. If you sign up for a Blogger account you will most likely be given a Blogspot domain.

        When I moved from Blogger/BlogSpot to WordPress the transfer was fairly easy. You will most likely have to recategorize and retag entries, though.

  6. Shaun (1 comments.) says:

    WordPress is brilliant! I was really nervous about moving from the .com to installing it on my own website. But I did it a couple of weeks ago and have been incredibly impressed. I just wish I had more time to learn about the awesome array of options. I love it.

  7. John Hoff - WpBlogHost (1 comments.) says:

    Like you mentioned in the last paragraph, having control over your content is extremely important. This is another reason why I think free hosting accounts (free blogs included) should be avoided. Unfortunately, most newbies don’t understand the consequences of setting up a free blog and what might happen down the road.

    @S.K – For us, we use the term “Blog Host” mainly for niche purposes and to make it immediately apparent who our target customers are. Is the technical aspects of hosting really any different, no not really; however, the difference I believe is the support.

    Because we focus on the blogging niche (zeroed down more to the WordPress community), I feel we are better equipped to helping hosting customers who are bloggers with questions. But in the end, it’s mostly about niche marketing and helping them out.

    Also, I always try to steer newbies away from starting out with a free blog. If it’s just for maybe two weeks (maybe a month, but that’s it) so they can see what it’s like, ok, but during my years of experience blogging and using WordPress, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people kicking themselves because they went with a free account, made hundreds of posts, and now realized they need a hosted (paid) account.

    Then they run into all those problems of losing backlinks, starting their PageRank all over again, etc. Hosting really is inexpensive these days and you typically can get your money refunded if you don’t like it (or if on a monthly plan, just quit and you’re not out a lot of money).

    • S.K (15 comments.) says:

      Thanks, @John Hoff for elucidating the niche aspect of a host offering customized hosting solution tuned for WordPress-powered blogs. Perhaps you address questions like too many database calls, excessive cpu cycles etc. which are cited by some web hosts on the flip side.


  8. Chip (14 comments.) says:

    Hosted blogging solutions will always live as long as they’re free, transparent, easy to use, bug free and smartly promoted.

  9. Diane Bryan (1 comments.) says:

    I’m enjoying getting to know WordPress after letting my blog sit idle for years in B2.

    I’m appreciating the wealth of the community… themes, forums, articles. Really, that is what makes any software appealing, and worth the investment of time. I feel confident my site is “in good hands” while I learn the ins and outs of WP.

    After examining the options, I chose to host my domain rather than starting a domain-less weblog, and I’m glad I did. This puppy’s going to be my voice for a while, so I want to do it right. All the more reassuring that it’s going to be easy to port elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, I can’t speak to the ease of conversion from B2. I didn’t even try.

    • S.K (15 comments.) says:

      I had successfully migrated from B2 to WordPress – both my English and vernacular blogs.


  10. Sparky (1 comments.) says:

    It’s great to be able to get your content out of easily, but like many of the other commenters I agree that it is better to start off right. I recently listed all the reasons here:


  1. wptavern (wptavern) (2 comments.) says:

    The Hidden Gem Of WordPress – – let me know what you think

  2. blognews (blognews) (104 comments.) says:

    [planet wordpress]: Weblog Tools Collection: The Hiddem Gem Of WordPress: The other day, I wa..

  3. adktrailhead (adirondacktrailhead) (1 comments.) says:

    Around the Campfire: The Hidden Gem Of WordPress


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