Big Changes (It’s Not You, It’s Me)
I’ve been going through a website midlife crisis lately. What started as a small site to store my photos to share with friends and family (because back then, Webshots was the only online option and it…well…it really, really sucked…) has grown, and I’ve done my best to keep up with it. I’ve tried different solutions for storing photos (Coppermine and Gallery2), and different blogging platforms to go along with them. I even used my own hacked together php before blogging software was around!
A few weeks ago I posted about some issues I had to deal with (comment
spam, broken contact form, etc), and in a comment, Kate C pointed me to
Zenphoto. And then it was down the rabbit hole…
I really, really like Zenphoto. The Gallery2 software I use tries to
cram in too much functionality and it’s just complicated and difficult
to administer. Zenphoto is so nice in its web 2.0 simplicity and
usability, and there is even a script to migrate my Gallery2 albums to
Then I started looking at integration with my blog. I’ve always
disliked how the blog and the photos have been separate areas, and I
wanted them to integrate better (same look and feel, same header, etc).
I poked around the web and found some beautiful sites that integrate a
blog with Zenphoto. The problem: every single one of these blogs used WordPress as a platform. But I use Movable Type, and
have always been very happy with it.
To humor myself, I installed WordPress. In parallel, I played with the Zenphoto
integration on both WordPress and Movable Type. The WordPress
integration was done in about 30 seconds. Movable Type…well…I never
got it to look good. And this really, really makes me sad. I don’t want
to abandon Movable Type, but what I’ve been able to do with Zenphoto +
Wordpress is so nice.
So, I’ve decided to make the change. This is my break-up letter with
Movable Type. It’s not you, it’s me. Maybe, in a year or so, Zenphoto
and Movable Type will evolve to the point that they play nicer with
each other, but for now…well, you’re just not ready. We’ve have a long and happy relationship, but it’s time for me to move on. Zenphoto is the new software in my life, and what he says, goes. And he says WordPress.
It might be a bit quiet around here while I work in the background. In the next few weeks I’ll be migrating everything over to my new
format. Everything should stay the same if I do it right (as long as I
can redirect URLs – hello, .htaccess). Entries, albums, and comments
should be preserved. Even feed subscribers shouldn’t have to resubscribe. Still, I’ll send a warning note out before I flip the switch.