I’ve been working on the Thripp.com network non-stop over the past ten days. It’s looking great; I learned a lot and made a lot of progress with features. The next step is to move my blog, Brilliant Photography by Richard X. Thripp, over to it. I’ve done it and you’re reading it now.
The reasons are so I won’t have to maintain two separate WordPress installs, so I’ll have nice threaded comments as on Thripp.com (see comments here for an example), so people can comment while logged in at Thripp.com, so I’ll appear in lists around the site, so I’ll have the nice statistics I’ve set up, so I’m supporting my own product, etc. The challenges are implementing my WordPress install’s features in WordPress MU, while restricting many of those plugins to me, and the new URIs. The compromises are giving up caching, selling prints, Xanga mirroring, and Twitter. It’s all worth it because I’m fighting this battle to the death and I can’t be diving my efforts. I’m sabotaging myself if I don’t move here.
I couldn’t get yak to work on WordPress MU, which I used to sell my prints. It would try directing to the main site, and when I changed that in the code, there were more errors. So I’ve removed it and won’t sell my prints anymore. I only sold two in five months anyway, and this will free me up to not have to enter each product into the produce table, so it’s not all bad.
I couldn’t get WP-Cache or WP Super Cache to work for this blog, though I could’ve tried harder I suppose. So for now, there’s no caching (except the WordPress object cache). The site actually loads faster than the old one, though; I’m getting query times of two seconds instead of the usual five.
2008-09-21 Update: Next paragraph is old info; I’ve fixed this since and my URL is richardxthripp.thripp.com. When I switched from richardxthripp.com to thripp.com in 2008 July, I replaced every instance of richardxthripp.com with thripp.com in every post, rewriting history.
I had to switch URI structures, from richardxthripp.richardxthripp.com to richardxthripp.com/richardxthripp, because Thripp.com requires it. I started out doing this because I can’t use vhosts on Thripp.com with my shared hosts, and I might stick with it forever. It’ll be hard to change later, and it does seem more of a community than mini-sites like on deviantART. I set up a rewrite rule with mod_rewrite in the .htaccess file for richardxthripp.thripp.com, so all the old URIs―even ones below the root―redirect here, transparently. So there’s no penalty from Google or for old links. I’ve made the decision; I’ll switch to richardxthripp.thripp.com everywhere but in the backprinting for my printed photos (which have always been with the subdomain) and the watermarks on my images here. It’ll just become traditional for the subdomain to be used there, and it won’t matter because it will always redirect to the right place.
Nothing can stand in my way―these were all small obstacles. I set up my theme to be custom and different from the main site, like my old site, but with the community modules of Thripp.com (links to recent blog entries, statistics for this blog, which I imported from StatCounter, a link to the community forum, and anything upcoming). Amazingly, almost everything from WordPress transferred to WordPress MU; the posts and comments, post IDs, times, custom fields, tags, categories, pages, comment threading order, etc. I exported the database tables from my old database, renamed them to the WordPress MU format (added my user ID), changed all instances of http://richardxthripp.thripp.com to http://richardxthripp.thripp.com, and imported them here, after getting all my plugins up. WP-Print, PostThumb, Highslide, related posts, category exclusion, Exec-PHP, the contact form, galleries, text control Facebook integration, Wordtube, customized HTML titles, top-level categories, unfiltered HTML… all these transferred without a hitch. Google Search is down till I update my AdSense account, but it’ll be back soon. I have more ads here than on other Thripp.com blogs, but they’re discreetly placed (link and skyscraper in sidebar, banner in footer).
The switch is a success, and I’m back at it. If you’re logged in on Thripp.com, you’re logged in here, and if you post a comment, you’ll automatically be emailed if anyone replies, but only to your comment, by clicking “REPLY TO THIS”. This is good, because when a post gets popular you won’t get irrelevant comments. And all the great stuff I add to Thripp.com will be here too.
It’s a milestone, I say! I have a simple, redesigned header image that says “Brilliant Photography by Richard X. Thripp on Thripp.com” (finally!). I’m reaching for my dreams.