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Changing Weblogging Tools Can Be a Royal Pain

One of the banes of a weblogger's existence is the lock-in you feel to the weblogging tool that you currently use. This is a serious issue for CTDATA. We have over 1,500 pages of content spread over three weblogs currently.

While we can quickly move the text of articles from two of our Slash-based weblogs to Movable Type, the URLs of the article pages would all be different when the site is regenerated. This would have the effect of breaking all of the external links to our weblogs, as well as most of the internal links on each site.

The reason we are talking about this openly is that this sort of problem can be avoided or at least minimized with careful up-front planning. When you start your weblog, make sure you think about the future value of your content, and what you will do to preserve that value if you ever have to change weblog tools or migrate from one server to another.

Mar Orlygsson has published two really useful articles that talk about this issue from the perspective of the Movable Type web publishing platform. His first, Movable Type's Non-permanent Permalinks, talks about the problems with the URLs that Movable Type chooses for individual archive entries by default.

He followed up that article a couple of weeks later with Howto: Future-proof URLs in Movable Type. This article discusses the idea of using the posting date as the key portion of the URLs for archived entries.

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CTDATA Venutures (CTDATA) develops Internet and Intranet applications for corporations and non profit organizations. Our services include:

  • Consulting services for Movable Type and TypePad-based publishing systems (visit our Weblog Improvement website for more information),
  • Financial services business process consulting,
  • Content management system and knowledge management system consulting,
  • Apache web server engineering and hosting,
  • MySQL, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server architecture and development,
  • SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC system architecture and programming, including Amazon Web Services and
  • Weblog publishing.
For more information, contact Dave Aiello by email at dave [at] daveaiello.com or call him at +1-267-352-4420.
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