Marcos Placona
Marcos Placona
Developer evangelist at Twilio, GDE and in ❤️ with Open Source
9 min read


  • Technology

I’ve been procrastinating for too long, and somehow trying to avoid the inevitable. As must of you might have noticed, it’s been a long time I don’t blog about anything.

It’s mainly because I have been tto busy at work, and am not even having time to read blogs. If I can’t read blogs, you can pretty much guess where all the writing goes.

In fact, another reason why I kind of “lost interest” on blogging, is because I have a huge urge for perfection, and it would “hurt” me any time I wanted to write something, and had to deal with my set-up (trust me, there was a lot involved).

As you know, I’ve been using Mango Blog for nearly two years, and I trully think it’s a great blogging engine within its features, but it lacks on some other aspects. It’s great with all the templates and everything, but I still felt it was missing something, and with my usage, I ended up customizing my template so much, I got pretty tied-up to it.

Changing templates was still viable, but not straight forward as it should be. Also, I got myself writing loads of internal plugins, or hacking away with the core, which although not ideal, would quickly suit my needs and get me “out of trouble”.

Whilst I think it’s an excellent exercise to “hack away”, I’ve always wanted to really have to care about the content, and leave the CMS to do it’s own stuff. Blogging must be about blogging, and I strive to achieve perfection (although I rarely do).

It’s all about time, maybe if I had time, I could update Mango Core and submit my changes to it’s repository. Perhaps I could have made some of my plugins open source. Thing is, most of them were hacks to get me out of trouble as mentioned previously, and would probably cause more damage than benefit on anybody else’s blog.

As an example, I’m probably the only Mango blogger who had a publishing system in place. I was also publishing the homepage, and only using ajax calls to get the number of posts, so the page would be as light as possible. As mentioned earlier, when it comes to my own website, I want YSLOW or Google Page Optimizer go give me A’s or B’s.

Most people who know me, also know that I’m a real CFML advocate, and would try to use it instead of anything else for as long as possible. This time though, I decided it should be about using the right tool for the job.

Come WordPress:

WordPress is an excellent content management system written in PHP, which I’ve been keeping my eyes on for a long time. It makes changing templates and mange plugins as easy as 1-2-3.

I’ve only been playing with WordPress for about a week now, and can easily say it’s gotten my attention at the first minute I saw its admin interface. It’s really intuitive, and managing your content is a doddle.

My main problem with the move, was that I had all my content on a Mango Blog style database, and had to move everything. Although not having really that many blog posts (I’ve always been lazy you see?), I found manually moving 300 odd posts would just be too much, so I decided to write some migration scripts from Mango Blog to WordPress. I’ll post the scripts here at some point, but I’d like to make it clear that I DO NOT intend to maintain them, and they are provided “as is”, so if you come saying “you forgot to var something” or “your code sucks and doesn’t work”, I’ll most likely ignore you, as I simply wrote this script for my own benefit.

It currently migrates posts (including syntax highlighted code), comments and categories from a Mango Blog version 1.4 to a WordPress version 2.9.

To be brutally honest, what really caught my eyes with wordpress, was the facility to add or remove features, as well as re-skinning, plugin installation and mostly important, how good it is to write a blog post using it. I had never used WordPress before, and have to admit I was a bit sceptical about it. As soon as I started using though, the “blogger” feeling came back to me, and I think I finally enjoy blogging again.

It MUST be all about fun, as there is hundreds of other people out there doing the same thing, and you really need to enjoy writing stuff, and letting the world “judge” your thoughts.

It’s all about me:

Well not really, most of the times I write new entries on my blog, I write them thinking about what will attract other people’s interests, and what will be useful. I could go on and on “re-publishing” stuff I found on the web (as I do sometimes), but a blog in my opinion, must focus on creativity, and I expect people to enjoy reading my entries. If you are also a blogger, and keeps saying you write entries only for your own pleasure, and that you don’t expect people to read your blog, you should really be writing a diary, and not publishing it on the web. Every single bit we publish, will build (and sometimes make) history, so lets not fool ourselves.

Why are you saying this, one may ask.

Well, I want readers to feel home here, and want to have as much input as possible to make this a great place to look for information. I already try to post about many different things, so everyone taste some of the knowledge this blog holds. Right above, you will find a contact form, and you… Yeah, YOU! are more than welcome to drop me a line if you’d like me to talk about anything specific.

The comments are also open (once I’m convinced that you’re reliable, and will not be posting spam), so if you feel like your input is valid anywhere in this blog, be my guest to join the discussion.

Hey, I like it, how can I help?

There’s a few ways to contribute, and I’m sure most are aware of the notorious famous

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Well, this is one way to help. Hosting a website costs cash, and no matter how much I say the fine guys from KickAss VPS are great (they really are), they still keep charging me (well deserved) every month. So any form of cash contributions, is always welcome.

It doesn’t stop there though, you can contribute by suggesting articles or topics you would like me to talk about, submitting articles (or book reviews) you wrote yourself, and I’ll give the respective credit, along with a pat on the shoulder if we ever meet in person.

You can also do something much easier. you can link to me, and tell your friends about this website. It’s easy, and will help with the website’s reputation, therefore making me want to improve it even more.

I hope we can work together in the future.