How I moved from iWeb to WordPress.

by Gadget Pastor

When I first began using iWeb, I thought it would be all that I would need for my blogging. It offered great themes and was easy to use. Yet, as my blogging grew and my knowledge of building a websites grew, iWeb was looking rather gaunt. Two  major complaints that I had was no mobile access from iPhone to post new content to my blog and changes I made to my themes could not be applied to past blog entries giving my blog a much dated look. Not a great look for someone that calls himself a gadget pastor!

About six months ago, I began to look for another blogging service. At the beginning of the Gadget Pastor, I used Blogger and I thought perhaps I should go back, but WordPress had really peaked my interest. I chose to create one of their free blogs thru WordPress. Much of what I saw I really liked, but I wanted to be able to have a bit more control over my blog. I then began to look into creating my own site using WordPress’s software and find my own host to handle my blog.

What you see here is what I have put together using WordPress’s blogging software and a theme called Emptiness from Studio Cliffano. It took a while to settle in on a theme as I wanted a theme that was clean and not busy. This theme suites me well. WordPress makes it easy to apply themes and preview the changes. I viewed hundreds of themes and probably tried almost 20 different themes before choosing Emptiness.

Below is how I made the transition. It took a good amount of my time to complete the transition, but for me it is worth it. I now how a more flexible website and one that I can update on the go. If you are an iWeb user, be sure to make a backup of your website before beginning to make any changes.

Two tutorials I used to help me get started:

How to Install WordPress with 1 and 1 Hosting

How To: Import your iWeb Blog to WordPress

I chose to use 1 and 1 for my web hosting since my domain was already thru them. The tutorial “How to Install WordPress with 1 and 1 Hosting” provides step by step instructions to get your blog setup on your 1 and 1 website. The seconed tutorial walks you thru importing your iWeb blog. It’s rather easy because WordPress can import RSS feeds. I was also able to import my old Blogger site as well. Now, my blog contains all posts I have ever written which is rather cool.

A couple things I learned:

  • Backuping your iWeb site is a must. This helped me out as I tried to make some changes.
  • You can import your iWeb site via WordPress import option under the tools settings and choosing RSS (read 2nd tutorial for more on this). Unfortunately, iWeb only allows 50 posts in your RSS feed. I imported 50 posts and then deleted the posts I just imported so I could import another 50. I did this until all my iWeb posts were imported. (My backup was able to restore all the posts I deleted.)
  • I copied my iWeb site to my 1 and 1 website, so all my past reviews and posts are still accessible. This helps me avoid broken links and any traffic that I may have missed.
  • Cyberduck is a great FTP tool and interfaced quite well with 1and1. I used it to upload my iWeb site to 1 and 1.

WordPress Plugins I am using:

Plugins are a plenty when you are using WordPress. I find a few that I liked and have added them to my blog. Below are the ones I am using.

  • Akismet – checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.”
  • Google Analyticator – Adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google’s Analytics. After enabling this plugin visit the settings page and enter your Google Analytics’ UID and enable logging.
  • Google XML Sitemaps — this plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
  • Keyword Statistics — the Keyword-Statistics-Plugin checks the content of a post or a page for keyword-density (single words and optionally 2- and 3-word phrases; for each the 1-10 most commonly used can be displayed). It can update its informations automatically while the author is writing his content in a variable interval (every 1-10 seconds) or manually by clicking on a button. The script comes with english and german stopwords, which optionally can be filtered out before calculating the keyword-densities. Moreover the commonest keywords are extracted in a list as a meta-keyword suggestion. Based on this list a description can be created and automatically set.
  • Tweet This — adds a “Tweet This Post” link to every post and page. Shortens URLs. Can automatically tweet new and scheduled blog posts. Highly customizable.
  • Twitter for WordPress — displays your public Twitter messages for all to read. Based on Pownce for WordPress by Cavemonkey50.
  • Ultimate Google Analytics — enable Google Analytics on your blog. Has options to also track external links, mailto links and links to downloads on your own site. Check http://www.oratransplant.nl/uga/#versions for version updates

That wraps up my transition experience. If you’d like to share your experience or have a question, please let me know. I am just glad that I had a few extra days on vacation to get this done!