Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Five years of WordPress

Screenshot of my blog in 2011

Just as WordPress itself turns 13 years old, it’s been five years since I switched the back-end content management system on this blog to WordPress. Above is a screenshot of the first theme that I used, courtesy of the Wayback Machine. It was an okay theme, but I prefer the current one.

In 14 years, I’ve used only four blogging platforms. The first few months, back in 2002, where on Blogger, but by September of 2002 I had settled on Movable Type, at the time regarded as the most powerful self-hosted blogging system. I carried on using MT through versions 2, 3 and 4 until early 2011.

Movable Type version 5 took a different direction which I wasn’t entirely happy with, and so for a few months in 2011 I used Melody, an open source community fork of MT version 4. But Melody also turned out to be a disappointment, and so I made the decision to move to WordPress.

I’ve not regretted it – WordPress has continued to improve over the past five years and whilst I’ve had the occasional issue with a rogue plugin or difficult update, on the whole it has worked well. With hindsight, I should have probably switched to WordPress well before 2011.

Movable Type is still in development and now at version 6, although it’s a commercial product that costs money – I believe the open source variant was abandoned some years ago. I don’t think many bloggers still use it – there were just a handful that I followed in 2011 on MT, and, of those, Anil Dash seems to be the only one left. The rest have either quit blogging altogether, or, like me, have switched to WordPress.

Whether I will still be using WordPress – or keeping a blog at all – in another five years time, remains to be seen. But for now, I’m quite happy with WordPress.

2 Comments

  1. My one regret to switching to WordPress is that I’ve not designed a template for my blog since. Say what you will about MT, but it’s templating system was awesome. So too was ExpressionEngine’s templating system which I used for awhile until they opted to move away from being a blogging platform to more of a full-on CMS. Then came WordPress and a templating system I’ve never been able to get my head fully around. As a result, my HTML skills have withered and I’m not entirely happy about that.

    Every now and then I’ll look through up and coming blogging systems to see if there’s something I might like better, but so far WP is the best fit even if I’m not entirely happy with it.

  2. I still have fond memories of MT actually. Was very powerful but also all a bit unpredictable when you upgraded it and you’d hacked in the templates some. Oh those were the days of no auto upgrading.

    Like you I also moved to WordPress a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. I do still kinda run MT behind the scenes mind you, it’s Action Streams plugin still powers my stream page.