Things I Have Learned About Blog Portability

In my continuing efforts to migrate off of WordPress, I now understand some of my biggest mistakes and flaws.1

  1. Always save the original Markdown in text files.
    • Always.
  2. Avoid plugins that appear to make life easier by reformatting content for viewing.
    • They do not make life easier long term. Plugins that require special notation or markup in the original draft are particularly bad news.
  3. Footnotes are hard to convert from HTML to MultiMarkdown.
    • Depending on the conversion methods, MultiMarkdown footnotes can be converted to very different HTML. Going backward is hard.
  4. Use HTML character codes for non-ASCII characters.
    • I really hate dealing with string encoding/decoding. Special characters look nice on a page but make life much more complicated when moving data.
  5. Choose a good URL structure up front.
    • A URL that includes a post ID is a bad idea. A date formatted URL is nicely portable. ".../2012/7/post_title.html" is very good.
  6. Relative links are better than absolute links.
    • Seems obvious in hindsight. Like everything else does in hindsight.
  7. Don't go ape-shit with tags and categories.
    • Only use enough to allow a user to group loosely relevent posts.
  8. Code should go in code blocks.
    • It's even better if the code block is inside a pre block.
  9. Don't hard-code formatting into a post.
    • Unless there is a good reason and I am reasonably sure it will not break, I will now avoid styling in a post.
  10. Keep the comments in the comments.
    • Don't refer to the comments from the post. Those comments may not survive a migration. Even if they do, they may be in a different order.

  1. This is a note to past me. He's kind of a dumbass.