I am really starting to wonder what I am doing hosting my own WordPress install … I used to absolutely love tweaking things, trying out new plugins, remixing themes, and all the other things that go along with running your own install. But times have changed and I find myself more times that not fighting against my own installation. On top of that, I am really struggling with the lackluster performance and limited feature set. I know some of it is my dirt cheap shared hosting service, but even this process, you know writing in this editor just seems so outmoded to me.
The rise of one button publishing and drop dead simple services is taking its toll on my patience for the WordPress model. Every time I play with new services like Tumblr and Posterous I notice just how lame my own environment is for quickly posting and capturing thoughts, links, pictures, and just about everything else. I hate to say it, but I don’t like having to log into my dashboard and write — it feels like using a course management system. What I hate is that I come across something as I am in my normal workflow that inspires me to collect and share it. With my WP environment that means opening a new tab, going to my blog, logging in, copying/pasting a URL, grabbing a quote from the original article, writing, and then publishing. That is a lot of stuff to do and it reminds me of the world we put students in with our learning spaces — read content, log into CMS, find you course, switch to a discussion forum, write your thoughts, save, then go back to your work. That is all a bit insane and it kills flow.
I have the quickpost bookmarklet for WP in my browser bar, but it takes so long to load up and just lacks the functionality that I’ve come to expect by using Blogs at PSU, TypePad, Tumblr, or Posterous. Those are all infinately smarter and faster. I now more than ever need an environment that works the way I do and I have to say I am feeling like WP has fallen behind my needs. I’m sure it works perfectly for others so I’m looking for a blogging platform holy war, I’m just saying its model is dead to me.
Now, what to do? I have years worth of data here and it is really cheap — and I know I am getting what I pay for. I’d like to keep my domain, but I am done with managing my own environment. I’m contemplating a major switch to a new service. Right now, TypePad is the leading choice … it is a killer hosted solution that is fast, reliable, can publish to my own space, and has all the major features of the new kids on the block (killer email posting, one button publishing, and a community). The thing I want to say is that I am concerned with switching is that these new environments are coming to market so quickly and they can come and go. I need to be able to get my data in and out quickly and easily. Even if the platform space itself becomes commoditized, my content and publishing habits are not.
Getting from here to there is daunting, but I think I need to jump. Advice?