Welcome, this is the first ‘original’ post on WirelessMoves’ new platform. I’ve been a loyal Typepad customer for 10 years but there were a number of reasons that accumulated over time that finally made me finally switch to a self-installed and administrated WordPress instance in the cloud. In case you are interested in the details of why I switched, read on.
One thing that has bugged me for many years is that my $50 per year account at Typepad would not allow me to use my own domain name. I could have had my own domain linked to Typepad, of course, but after a few years without it it wasn’t appealing anymore to retrofit this later. Also, pricing for my own domain wasn’t that appealing either.
Next, there’s no way around the fact that my blog in 2015 still looked almost identical to how it looked like a decade ago. What was slick and modern at the time looks a bit rusty today, the world wide web and design has significantly moved on over time. Also, a mobile friendly design is a must have today and Typepad didn’t offer an answer for me here, either. In other words, Typepad seems to be pretty much in a maintenance only mode rather than trying to continue offering an appealing platform for content creators. Over the years the platform seems to have changed hands a couple of times and the current owner seems to have no intention of changing this sad fact.
On the technical side a number of gripes have accumulated as well. There’s no IPv6 and, even worse, there is no secure http, not even in the writer’s user interface. While the log-in procedure is protected by https, the platform immediately falls back to http. Especially when using public Wi-Fi hotspots and other non-secure places this is a significant problems as the browser cookie giving me editing rights can be easily intercepted. Obviously I’m always using a VPN whenever I’m not at home but it should be in Typepad’s own interest to keep their customers safe.
Next in the list of things I really would have liked to have had is internal statistics about what is read on my blog beyond Typepad’s meager info of how many pages have been accessed per day. I did use an external service for this purpose for many years but it shouldn’t really have been necessary. Also, Typepad embedded Google Analytics in my blog without my consent for their own tracking purposes. And finally Typepad never offered a public search functionality for my blog. Sure, you can use Google or another search engine for the purpose but, again, it should be part of the platform.
So here we go, that’s the list and it makes me wonder why it took me so long to make the switch!? A self-administered WordPress installation fortunately offered a solution to each and every one of these issues when coupled with the right hosting platform, especially when it comes to IPv6 and https. In a previous post, I wrote about the cool features of Uberspace’s hosting platform and this is where I migrated my blog to. The domain name is in my hands, WordPress is open source and should I decide in the future that I don’t like it there anymore I’m free to go instantly.
Unfortunately, Typepad doesn’t make transferring a blog to another service exactly easy but I got it done in a day and a half. More about that in a follow up post.