web hosting

Hosting?

Yes, the demise of iWeb is official see here. I have 12 months to make other arrangments.

Several things have cropped up with my proposed move to Squarespace. In fact I was going to link that first sentence to the previous article until I realised I didn't know how to do that yet and had to learn.

Hosting with MobileMe has made podcast publishing a one-button affair. Once the podcast is finished in GarageBand, I just hit "publish" and it sends the episode to my iweb site and updates the RSS automatically. I do nothing more than one click. But once you get away from the Apple ecosystem, there is all the background stuff to do manually. More work. Yurgh. Is this what real bloggers do?

Then there's the hosting. Squarespace has unlimited storage but individual files must be less than 20Mb. They are clearly in the web publishing not content delivery business. Most of my podcast episodes are 70Mb or more. If I do video, the files are much larger again. The Squarespace help pages suggest hosting them on Libsyn or similar. I'm fine to host my video on Youtube or (preferably) Vimeo, but where do I put the audio? This exercise is starting to get expensive.

Libsyn seems out. At $5 for the classic plan, I would get only 50Mb of new podcasts per months, that's less than one. The $15 plan has 250Mb but that seems a bit steep.

Podbean is slightly better at $4.95 for 150Mb per month which is roughly two episodes.

Any way I jump, it is very clear I need Feedburner to hide where the actual podcast files are saved from my audience. This is invaluable if you have to move the files for any reason. Basically, iTunes points to Feedburner and feedburner points to the files. So changing hosts doesn't affect iTunes, it still sees the same thing.

My domain registration at GoDaddy includes hosting, 10Gb and unlimited bandwidth, so I think I'm using that for now. Given the SquareSpace plan was a little more than I anticipated, I think free hosting is in order.

Squarespace?

Steve Jobs indicated that iWeb will probably go away or at least lose hosting on iCloud when it replaces MobileMe. The pundits say this is a minor inconvenience as hardly anyone hosts on MobileMe. Bugger, I'm in the minority.
For all its bad press, MobileMe and iWeb are so incredibly easy to use and integrated with my Mac that I love them. But it looks like I need to find another blogging platform.
Leo and Co are always ranting about Squarespace and from everything I can see, it is the premiere web hosting platform out there. Sure Wordpress and Blogger feature highly, but Squarespace seems to aspire to be better. Every now and then you hear of a Wordpress exploit or some bug or the bloody thing goes down. I'm just not into that. I have no time at all for technology that does not work first time, every time.
So the issues I now face are;
Learn Squarespace.
Decide if I should start again or try to keep my current web site/blog articles and move them across. I think the answer is moot - I have to keep my best stuff and take the opportunity to dump the crud.
Re-design site for better usability;
  •   Search
  •   Comments
  •   Links
  •   Photos
  •   Tagging
  •   Related articles
Separate out the "core" message stuff (computer usability for normal people) from the more personal human interest stuff. (Since we don't own alpacas anymore that might be a time to drop that stuff?)
And if this is starting to sound more like a "think out loud" project plan than a blog article, you might be right. The in's and out's of getting my articles out of iWeb are immense. It has no export. I knew this going in but I never thought I'd need an export. Curiously enough Blogger and Wordpress don't have export either from what I can see. Squarespace does. I think this is good.
I think I'll have to go through every article I ever wrote and decide if it is still valid and if so export it. Yurgh!
Next issue is Markdown. Well opportunity I suppose. If I export the articles I need a format to export them into. I could just grab the text and bung it in Word or something hideous like that. But I would lose the formatting and links. And be reliant on Word saving valid HTML which isn't a place I want to be. I could export to HTML but who can read raw HTML? That's a job for web browsers not humans. No, I want a WYSIWYG format. Enter Markdown, a human readable text format that also converts easily to HTML or anything else. Yep geeky, but allegedly intuitive. Do I have the brainspace to take on a new language?
While I've been writing this article, I've been researching Squarespace. Google is your friend. The phrase "squarespace sucks" doesn't yield anything too nasty. The worst complaint I could find was years old and about SEO. The snake oil salesmen think Wordpress is more SEO friendly. Whoopee do. Certainly no service complaints, no outages that lasted days and no one demanding their money back. So far so good.
Ok, so I think I'm decided. Yeah, bugger it, let's go for it. Any nay sayers should speak now or forever hold your typing fingers.
Suggestions welcome.