Blogspot to WordPress

Many years ago when I knew nuts about the existence of PHP programming language, I had longed to move my blog from Blogspot to my own web server. My aim was to be able to manage my entire website better, which consisted of pages and blog entries. Pages, to me, were more like permanent pages where visitors should have straight access, while blog entries could be archived into the individual months’ links as new entries took over the home page.

Blogspot, at that point of time, did not have the “pages” feature. Even with the late implementation, it did not flatter me with the additional directory URL “/p” on the left of every page’s original URL. I could mask my domain name to Blogspot’s server but I did not want my pages to appear like “http://sillydumb.com/p/introduction”.

Basically, sillydumb.com and my blog had been running on two separated servers – my personal server and Blogger’s server. I had actually synchronized the two websites by using the same layout with some tweaks in JavaScript codes that allowed proper linking of all the pages.

However, I did not like the fact that some friends had linked to my blog directly instead of my main website. I also had problems of having duplicated work whenever I needed to make any changes to the layout.

After years of battling with time, I had finally decided to pamper myself a little by installing WordPress to my server to house all details. It was not an easy task at all and I took much longer than estimated time with unforeseen problems.

Basically, I was not very sure of how WordPress was coded. I took the easy way out by modifying the existing template to fit my design. I was not able to get the final design exactly the same since I wanted to speed up the process badly. In fact, I had spent quite an amount of time just to even make the basic arrangement.

The most challenging task was to import the old entries directly from Blogspot over to my server. There was a WordPress plugin to do that but somehow it did not work. Instead, I started importing the blog entries to my test account at WordPress.com, which was a free blog host like Blogspot with the basic and limited WordPress features installed. After importing my old blog entries over to WordPress.com, I exported the blog entries to my harddisk as XML file. Next, I imported the XML file into my trial WordPress installation in Smart Tuition‘s Singapore server and it worked. After some configuration, I exported the blog entries as a fresh new XML file.

I met one of the toughest challenges when I tried to import the new XML file into my Canada server, which was the home to my personal website. There was an error stating that file size of 2 mb was over and I could guess that the cheap shared server had restricted its users. My Singapore server’s team was much kinder because of the much higher cost and that was why I could import the XML file in without facing such problem.

After doing some researches, I managed to find a solution. I separated the 9 mb XML file into five files. It was not very straightforward since the top and bottom of each file should have the same coding which each blog entry started and ended with both <item> and </item> tags. I uploaded the files one by one and it was a pain in the ass since the server was really slow. Then, I figured out that I could not import my blog entries directly from Blogspot due to the restriction in file size while WordPress.com, running on its own server, was much kinder.

My final task was to import the setting of the blog from my trial blog. I had experiences of backing up the WordPress database and restoring them but I faced another big problem this time since the full URL of my trial server differed from the intended one – http://sillydumb.com. Therefore, I had to start searching through the database tables and made amendments manually before I imported the SQL file directly.

I made quite a number of mistakes throughout the process and had reinstalled numerous copies of WordPress.

Right now, I have to give up on some old features such as my Calendar. Some contents’ display depends on JavaScript with external files and I have to replace them with static texts instead.

One-Man Show

It requires at least three of me to get my tuition agency site fully done sooner.

One of me is to work on existing big features that everyone can visibly see with a “WOW” instead of “You are idling”.

One of me is to fix up bugs and security measures that everyone cannot see due to the rush to implement earlier features.

One of me is to continue with the minor features that are deem not as important but can actually be done much faster than the major features.

If you want to talk about improvement on web design, addition and amendment of web contents, SEO or marketing, you probably need to engage more staffs.

.

Sinful Dinner at Anchor Point Hong Kong Cafe

[Thursday, 20 January, 2011]

I made some amendment for the tuition agency website’s design. Then, I continued with SEO until 5am.

Mike woke me up after 10am to tell me that he had forgotten to bring his office keys along. I rushed down to the office at 11am and we dined at the canteen. We had the Chinese mixed vegetable rice for the second time. However, we were the first customer this time. The food was much more expensive than other places.

I continued with SEO and we also exchanged ideas on it. I started working on the new article Private Tutor Singapore when Mike suggested going to IKEA for early dinner. We called for a cab and alighted at Anchor Point before crossing over to IKEA. Mike changed his mind after seeing the menu and we went back to Anchor Point and had a feast at the Hong Kong café. Mike ordered extra side dish and I felt sinned because I could hardly finish my plate of chicken chop.

We went back to IKEA to walk around. Mike bought his new lighting for his house before we started eating the famous IKEA ice-cream. The DJs from FM 97.2 were there to conduct a game and they tried to find topics using Mike’s lighting. After a while, we decided to take bus back to office. The taste of ice-cream was bad for I was having a stomachache. Eventually, we flagged for a cab.

After releasing my waste, I started working till after 11pm. We walked back to Tanjong Pagar while Mike went to Amara hotel’s taxi stand to get a cab home.

.

Overslept for 3pm’s Haircut Appointment

[Thursday, 28 October, 2010]

I had feedbacks from Yuqing, Yaozhong, Yingying and Jianwei regarding the design of my tuition agency website and all of them had different opinions on both the original and new formal looking design. The hesitation was killing me. I continued working on the website on its contents without making any major changes.

I started forwarding some interesting emails and blogged before I went to sleep at around 8am.

I woke up at 4pm in a shock for I had missed my haircut appointment, which was supposed to be at 3pm. My mum was busy packing the living room and had totally forgotten that I had instructed her to wake me up. Luckily, the auntie was available but I interrupted her from packing her house for it was going to be her flat’s HDB renovation soon.

My evening was spent quite efficient working on a tuition time sheet to put on the tuition website. I also spent some time settling some matters about the tuition agency.

My dinner was instant porridge and redbean soup and I continued with my work after that.

.

Trying Out New Design, Playing with Colours

[Sunday, 24 October, 2010]

It was a hell morning for me as I tried to match colours for the new design of the tuition website. Eventually I went to sleep at 10am. I woke up at 4pm to continue with my work.

Dinner was at Kopi Tiam at Pinnacle Duxton together with my younger brother’s tall German friend. My elder brother did not join us since his leg was injured. The roasted duck rice did not taste really good.

Since it was a non-working day for my mum, she was able to go down with us to wash up early. My younger brother and I took the side bathroom while my mum had Lucky leashed and tied to the door where she started washing clothes. Since we operated at the same time without waiting for one another, we managed to go home earlier.

I spent the rest of the night on my website.

.

Boredom Proved no Creativity

[Wednesday, 18 August, 2010]

I started a little into my Facebook marketing again ever since some setbacks. Blogging took me hours with the numbers of old pending entries. Eventually I went to sleep at 6am.

After waking up at around 2pm, I was more hardworking than ever. However, creativity would usually come when a person was in a happy mood. I was in fact in a very bored mood for the past few days. Nothing much was accomplished although a lot of my brain cells were pawned.

I was disappointed that there was no “Ninja Warrior” game show on channel 5 at 8pm, probably due to the Youth Olympic Games.

.

Too much Inspiration was Killing

[Thursday, 15 July, 2010]

My brother downloaded a new 2 on 6 Command and Conquer map and we had a second game together after struggling in the first game. It was 3.30am when I finished clearing up spams in Facebook groups. I made severe tosses on the bed before dozing off.

I woke up in the morning but forced myself to sleep, and eventually woke up at around 2pm. Dreams seemed to come back into me so often and this day, a monk appeared and my family seemed to be close with him.

After touching up a bit on the new freelance website, I could not control myself but to put my new ideas into SmokeForWhat, updating several pages and adding a new page – Quit Smoking Checklist. My perseverance had led to more hits from search engine, displaying my SEO skill; but the cute little Google Bot for PageRank had not visited the site for months that I was so anxiously waiting for the new PageRank result.

At night, there was a very nasty spam in Facebook by someone creating lots of accounts, flooding groups with “add me for farmville and if you love your iphone, but be nice xx”. The asshole could have succeeded in hooking up guys to add the fake accounts before starting to spam them individually, but so many accounts posing the exact same message was too obvious for most people, except for some horny guys who probably could not use their brains. I did my part by removing and banning them in one of my affected groups, which was terribly time-killing for the enormous count of them.

.

Removing the Big Fish Tank

[Tuesday, 13 July, 2010]

I went to bed as early as 3.30am but it took me some time to doze off as usual. Surprisingly, I did not wake up before noon.

It was at 12.30pm, I checked my phone and realised Tze Khit had dropped me a message that his website’s web form was not running smoothly. I logged into the internet immediately but it seemed to be working fine for me. Luckily, he did not call me directly at 9 plus instead to disrupt my sleep.

I continued with my website until late afternoon before I went to the gym. After that, I tried to sit down to continue with the website but Bobby came to me for some photo editing. I spent some time to help him and after that, I packed up to go home.

My elder brother started removing the tortoises from the big fish tank and I saw hope in having a more spacious house.

.

Spain Won

[Monday, 12 July, 2010]

I spent the morning waiting for the world cup’s result while playing game. It was a boring soccer match with countless yellow cards and finally a red one before Spain won Holland by a goal during the end of the extra time. I tried to sleep after that but could not doze off until more than an hour later.

Even though I woke up only in the afternoon, I felt sleepy throughout the day. While trying to design a website, I dozed off many times. Nothing much was provided except for a logo.

.

Phototaking at Seng Kang

[Sunday, 4 July, 2010]

Firman messaged me to do web design for his community centre. We started talking about his next day’s involvement in their event and invited me there so that I could get some photos for SmokeForWhat.com. I agreed to it immediately since I loved event photoshooting.

I took some self photo for my resume and passport renewal photo, and one of the causal shots was quite impressive somehow. I spent some time editing photos due to the ugly wall and shadow. Eventually I slept at 6am.

I could not get up in time but luckily I targeted my timing earlier like usual. After reaching Seng Kang, I was disappointed that the MacDonald’s breakfast had not ended and thus I could not get my chicken burger. Firman called me just in time for me to get him a pair of slippers at the Bata shop in Campass Point.

I went to find him at the field near Farmway. He lent me his DSLR camera and made quite a basic and good presentation of how to use it. I took a lunch packet and the nasi lemak was quite nice.

The field was surprising wet even though it was on a higher ground, my shoes and socks were soaked soon. I got to use my old Olympus D-750 a lot and I got to appreciate it more for the ten times optical zoom to capture natural faces from far. Firman kept his promise to ask his students to post for SmokeForWhat.com and I could have gotten more supports if one of them did not show craps.

I went straight home at the end of the event even though I was tempted by Long John Silver’s opposite the MRT station. I hated having my feet inside the wet shoes for it would pose me great problems.

My younger brother called me from Germany using Skype and we chatted for more than an hour, such that I called for food delivery near 10pm. I had a packet of mee goreng. My mum and my elder brother got home after I finished my dinner.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=653480306&aid=448971

.