After four years hosted on SharePoint 2010 (thanks FPWeb!), I decided it was time to update my blog / site:
I spent quite a bit of time bending and tweaking SharePoint to come up with a look & feel I was happy with. Combining the blog with a homepage (and doing it all with SharePoint Foundation, not Server) was difficult. I made use of the dialog framework and custom Data Views… and it mostly worked. The problem is, it was 100% custom. Building it all custom wouldn’t be so bad if I was getting a best of breed blog behind the scenes but I can’t even say that is true. Public-facing SharePoint blogs have a number of deficiencies:
- RSS feed issues – biggest complaint here is that the image references in the RSS are relative meaning anyone consuming posts via RSS get busted image references. If your feeds don’t work, why are you using a blog?
- Comments – SharePoint supports only the simplest of commenting functionality including no spam prevention. I added some very trivial anti-spam measures but without writing something custom your blog comments on the internet are quickly rendered useless
- It is… OLD. Look at it… it is too OLD. To be fair, SharePoint 2010 was code-complete back in 2009ish and with little to no work done to improve it since then it makes sense that a SharePoint blog site looks like you just linked to it off MySpace
There are others but I don’t want this to come across as an attack on SharePoint blog sites; they can provide good value on an internal site such as an intranet or collaboration portal – they just can’t compete on public-facing sites in my opinion. I decided it was time to give the competition a turn and experience what I’ve heard I’ve been missing. There are lots of options out there but WordPress seems to be the major player. When I saw that I could host WordPress as an Azure website (keep an eye out here for more on that), I decided that was my best option to learn more about both platforms in one shot.
With that said, welcome to the new www.iwkid.com!