in Et Cetera

Goodbye PensCMS, hello WordPress!

After realizing that I would never match the power of hundreds of developers behind WordPress’ success, I decided to ditch my own custom, ad hoc content management system. PensCMS had been around for eight years, and I had just successfully solved the spam problem with reCAPTCHA (I know, I should have thought about that before!). The other thing that really bothered me with my own blogging software is that in order to add images to a post, I had to manually resize, upload via FTP and paste the code for them, which was a painful process to say the least.

I prefer to always include at least an image with my posts, so this was a big issue for me.  As I thought about a solution, I had a sudden spark of humbleness: maybe it’s OK to use other people’s work instead of doing it all myself from the ground up.


After some research, I narrowed down to two options: WordPress and Blogger. The reason why I chose the former is that I wanted to transfer all my posts and comments from my old blog. The easiest way of doing so (although a bit long and tedious) was to manually add them to the database. The other option was to convert all posts and comments to XML—which I did—but I was unable to import into Blogger. Besides, there is no way of creating the about and quotes pages on the Google-maintained blogging system.

I spent the whole day yesterday moving posts and comments, customizing the Simpla theme and installing plug-ins. I left behind some posts that were either too old or too silly—I did keep the ones that were chronologically interesting such as the post on how Firebird (now “Firefox”) was good alternative to IE.

I am happy with the results and I will try to write more often now that I don’t have to open Paint.NET and FileZilla in order to post an article!

  • I’m trying to move away from WordPress, personally. I’m not going to build my own system, but after how Matt Mullenweg has treated me over the past couple of years, I really need to stop supporting his endeavors. Even one less download in his press statements is good enough for me.

    A lot of people swear by Akismet, but I have many issues against it. Even before Matt added me to the block list, I hated the idea of having to sign up at for an API key (I wanted a self-hosted blog for a reason). I use a simple math thing, personally, though reCAPTCHA is one of the least annoying CAPTCHA things I’ve ever seen (I hate the ones at AOL, MySpace, etc. that even I, someone without visual impairments, can’t make out half the time).