No sooner did I install WordPress 2.0.7 (WP) that I hear that version
2.1 is coming out today (note: as of this morning, 2.1 is not
available). Sigh. In any case, although I’ve installed WP, I’m
not entirely sure I will stay with it.
First, a critical note on getting WP to run. It seems there is
a problem, at least on my web host, with directory/file permissions.
Although the installation instructions don’t say anything about permissions, this is
a critical security feature of GNU/Linux. This operating system provides for greater security by allowing the administrator to set who can read, write, and execute any file.
Usually, the administrator can do all three for any file but no one
else. Thus, it is possible to allow others to view a site, but not make
any changes or run any programs. Obviously, this is a good thing since
it can keep spyware/viruses/Trojan Horse programs from running.
However, in order to use WP 2.0.7, you have to make one
of its directories (I’m not going to make things easier for the bad
guys by listing the directory but it’s not hard to find out
which one) open to the world. This grants complete access to anyone to any
file in the directory (fortunately, the files in the directory can be
set to something more secure, ie. chmod 666). This kind of
access is an open invitation to have your server 0wn3d by 133t
h4x0rs. This alone makes me wonder how wise it is to use WP.
However, if I don’t allow such access, I run into two big
problems. First, you cannot import existing posts from your present
system. For me, with years of posts under MovableType, this is a big
deal. Especially since I no longer have static pages, which would work
great here since I would not need to import them in the first place.
Secondly, WP users can upload images, via WP,
rather than using an FTP program. But not without opening this
directory. This second problem may not be such a
big deal if you can ftp and link to the image rather than using WP, but
I haven’t tried this yet so I can’t say if it will work (although it should).
Still, I held my nose and set the permissions so I could get
my old posts imported. Once that was done, and I had to run the
importer multiple times because, I guess, my web host was throttling
the script so it stalled, I noticed a problem that occurred the
last time I tried WP. Namely, br tags appear. I’m not sure if this is an artifact of the HTML
editors I use (HTML-Kit for Windows and Nvu for Linux) or is how MT
stores its files or if WP inserts them. In any case, the addition of
the br tag causes formatting problems, including fatal ones when inserted
within other HTML tags.
At this point, it seems I have several choices:
- Stay with MT and my present web host.
- Switch to WordPress on my present web host.
- Stay with MT but switch to another web host.
- Switch to WordPress and switch to another web host.
- Switch to another content management system, regardless of web host.
I don’t know, for sure which way to go. For now, I’m still
working on getting a server going at home. But in the mean time, I am
looking at the other solutions. Feel free to leave a comment on which,
if any, course of action seems best to you.