This is a blog post I hoped I would never have to make. I have switched (temporarily) to WordPress.
As those of you who have been reading this blog since the early days will know, I have been using Movable Type since September 2002 – a grand total of 5 1/2 years. I was one of those who defended it in 2004 when Movable Type 3.0 came out with its more restrictive licensing. I beta-tested several releases, namely 3.2, 3.3 and 4.0 (and would have tested 4.1 if I had the time). I have tried to answer criticism of MT on other peoples’ blogs when I have felt it unfair. And yet, here I am, on a fresh installation of WordPress.
The reason for switching is only partially MT’s fault, however. Today I had an email from my host about the amount of CPU time this site is using – 110 minutes per day when my allowance is 30. I blame this on 3 factors:
- In its default configuration, MT isn’t the most efficient application out there. It’s based on Perl, which when used through CGI is slow and draws a lot of CPU time.
- However, my host doesn’t offer me any ways to help to rectify this. Movable Type supports FastCGI and memcached, which can dramatically improve performance through caching.
- I’m also a massive target for comment spam, and this causes a lot of load on the Movable Type scripts.
My host has given me a week to sort out the problem or upgrade to a more expensive package which provides more CPU time. As I believe it is comments which are primarily causing the problems, I have shut off comments in Movable Type (which is still live on the server). However, it also means I cannot receive comments on posts like this one, and this is just the sort of post that I want comments about – carry on reading if you want to comment. So I set up WordPress on here, partly so that I can carry on blogging while MT has been voluntarily crippled and partly to see what WordPress is like before I make a final decision.
And it’s this final decision I want help with. This is potentially one of the biggest changes that this blog has undergone since 2002 and so I don’t want to go into it lightly, so please comment here with your opinions about what I should do.
Essentially, these my options at the moment:
- Switch to WordPress and stay with current host
- Move to a new host and stay with Movable Type
- Stay with my current host and upgrade to a higher package
In terms of loyalty I’m probably more loyal to MT than I am to my host – so I would prefer to take my data and move somewhere else. I’m paying for my hosting by month so cancelling wouldn’t be too difficult; however, my host also has my domain name tag so that would need to be transferred too, which could take a while. I have a quote for another host who charges about the same as at present, but offers the performance-enhancing features that I am missing presently; this would solve the problem of high CPU usage and also provide better performance for visitors – I’m sure many regular commenters will have seen a blank page while commenting recently. Upgrading to a more expensive package would mean spending 150% more per month, which I can’t really justify right now, and I don’t need any more disk space or bandwidth allowance than I receive now so it would probably be a waste of money.
There is also the fact that Movable Type 4.15 is in beta which will bring performance improvements, so I want to try it out before committing to a decision.
As for switching to WordPress, it would be stepping into the unknown. I haven’t used WP since version 1.5 and to be honest I wasn’t massively impressed (again, long-time readers will remember I experimented with WP when MT 3 came out). Though I understand there are more plugins than you can shake a stick at, I am worried that I won’t be able to do many things that I can currently do with MT. For example, I’d like solid OpenID support, the ability to cross-post entries to LiveJournal and possibly Vox, and support for static pages for things like the Atom feed and index page.
There’s also the issue of security as I know that WordPress has had more published security vulnerabilities than MT and several people I know have had their sites defaced because of flaws in WP. And last time I tried WordPress (again we’re talking 2004 here) the templating was difficult compared to MT which gives you total control over your pages; hopefully this has been sorted.
So what do you guys think I should do? And do you have any other suggestions?