I <3 WordPress

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After months of consideration, and help from my friend Chris Benard, I have switched my blog engine to WordPress.

As a Microsoft .NET programmer, I originally chose Community Server Blog Engine and WebHost4Life Windows Hosting. This solution allowed me to easily write custom .NET applications for this website. Unfortunately, this scenario had several negatives as well.

  1. Community Server is now bloated. When I originally created the blog, I used Community Server’s predecessor .Text, which was a lightweight and an excellent blog engine for a single blog website for personal use. Community Server has become a commercial suite designed for enterprises running multiple blogs, forums, image gallery, file libraries and more. This is much, much more than I needed for this humble little site.
  2. Each Community Server Update required massive changes. The newest version of Community Server required that I redesign my theme, as the CSS had changed significantly from prior versions. Since I highly customized my previous theme, I was not looking forward to doing all of this work again.
  3. Community Server has a smaller community. As Community Server’s focus has moved completely almost completely towards commercial solutions, I found there were far less themes and plugins available for community server than for WordPress.
  4. WordPress is simply better. WordPress just seems to be a more highly polished product than Community Server. Making changes to the site is incredibly easy. Plugins for anything imaginable are readily available. Although I still love Windows Live Writer, making blog posts from the a web browser is not nearly as painful as it was with Community Server. Finally, although I have not tested Community Server 2007, WordPress is far more standards compliant than Community Server 2.x.
  5. WebHost4Life’s custom interface was difficult to use. In my opinion WebHost4Life’s custom tools were hard to use for anything slightly out of the normal. I repeatedly had to put in support requests for things that would be easy to accomplish in Microsoft Internet Information Services, but were impossible in their custom admin software. To their credit, they were very fast in responding to support requests, but it did not make up for the annoyance of having to file the request in the first place.
  6. Windows hosting is expensive. Although the ability to write custom web applications for the site in .NET was a great bonus, I could no longer justify the price. I chose WebHost4Life because they seemed the cheapest despite the problems with their software. Even though they are the cheapest Windows Host I could find, they offered less bandwidth, less storage space, and less options for a higher price than my new host. Additionally, almost anything I would want to add to the site is available as plugins for WordPress.

 

I want to personally thank Chris Benard for helping me with the site migration.

I am very satisfied with WordPress.

Windows Live Writer is Simply Awesome

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Due to strong recommendations by Chris Benard, Courtney MaloneWindows Live Writer, and Seth Gholson, I decided to give Windows Live Writer a try. I am using it to create the blog post you are currently reading and I must say the product is excellent. Creating an entry with Live Writer is a much more pleasant than using Community Server’s built-in blog post editor. No need to enter HTML mode to insert images or a quotes the way I want. No need reason to copy the post into word for spell checking. No need to manually clean up the extra line breaks Community Server adds to the the end of posts created in Mozilla Firefox. Live writer handles all of this and much, much more. I might even post more frequently now that creating new posts is such a painless process.

I highly Windows Live Writer to anyone who maintains their own blog. Give it a try, I promise you will not regret your decision.

Community Server 2.0 Now Available!

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The final version of Community Server 2.0, the software package used to power this blog, is now available!

Community Server 2.0 is available in several editions:

  • Express Edition – The free Express Edition is perfect for people that need to get a community up-and-running on a budget. It is free, but has restrictions on use but can be used commercially.
  • Standard Edition – The Standard Edition is the entry level commercial platform and unlocks some features not available in the Express Edition.
  • Professional Edition – The Professional Edition is targeted at organizations that require many of the capabilities offered by Community Server 2.0 for running a high-traffic community.
  • Enterprise Edition – The Enterprise Edition unleashes the full potential of Community Server and has been designed for organizations that require all of the capabilities found in Community Server.

Kudos to the Telligent Systems team for all of their hard work.

I will be upgrading this blog to the final version of Community Server 2.0 in the coming days. I will post an update once the upgrade is complete.

Grab your copy at the official Community Server website.