New horizons, back to blogging and clutter…

You may have noticed that my blogging and social media activity has been sporadic, at best, over the past year. This is because, after submitting my MA thesis, I decided that I wanted to spend a year focusing entirely on teaching and learning with my Year 2 class. I have also learnt the value of downtime and the need to reduce clutter both – physical and metaphorical.

It is with this impetus that I realised a large proportion of my online activities and networks were cluttered too. I seemed to be using a couple of primary services (Twitter and Facebook) and then many other online spaces which were all under-used. I had multiple Posterous accounts, Tumblr, Project365 blogs, photoblogs and various online profiles. They were all, quite simply, adding to the clutter. After reading up about ‘Project Reclaim’ I also realised that I didn’t own a lot of my data. It was with this that I decided to consolidate all of my online spaces. I had used WordPress Multi-site before and thought this would be the best option. I had grown tired up updating multiple WordPress installations and having things spread across different MySQL databases and in different directories. Ideally I wanted a network that couple include all of my spaces and still offer the functionality I needed.

martinwaller.me

As I have always used my (ex) MobileMe email address I thought it would be useful to have an address that linked to this so I registered martinwaller.me. I then installed WordPress MU with ease and opted to go with the directory rather than sub-domain option (as my hosting provider at the time wouldn’t allow me to set up ‘wildcards’ on domains). I then used the Posterous Importer plug-in to import my existing posts and images into my new sites. The main domain also has a landing page (which I intend to change and update eventually).

Everything worked perfectly apart from the fact that this blog (changinghorizons.net) was still externally hosted and was suffering performance issues. I could have renamed the blog martinwaller.me/blog and just redirected this URL but after 3 and a half years I have grown to like the ‘brand’ (for want of a better word) of this site.

I discovered that domain mapping was an option with WordPress MU and that seperate domains could be mapped to secondary blogs. I managed to extract the posts, pages, links and some of the settings from the MySQL database and import them into the MU MySQL database at martinwaller.me/changinghorizons by slightly editing some of the code. This all seemed to work well until the problem. Wildcards or ‘Parked Domain’ functionality was needed and my hosting provider could not accommodate this.

New Hosting Provider

I had become disillusioned with my hosting provider – I felt they were overcharging me for the service and the fact that they wouldn’t accommodate my requests meant I decided to change to a different provider who offered CPanel functionality.

The transfer of both domains and webspace has now been completed and setting up the domain mapping functionality was a breeze. This blog now functions as a secondary blog within martinwaller.me but still retains its old URL and identity. There are still a few issues for me to address but I have also taken this as an opportunity to remove a large amount of plug-ins which were unused and slowing the site down.

Please let me know if you come across any issues with the site. The downloads/documents seem to be offline but I am working on fixing that. Apart from that my web presence seems to becoming less cluttered by the day!

Note

The photograph was taken by me a couple of weeks ago at the Durham coast. I’m taking up photography as a hobby!

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