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You may have seen our farewell letter to blogger. And yes, it is true. We have switched from a Blogger system to a WordPress system.

The transition was made during the late hours of Saturday night. We hope we have caused as few disturbances as possible – we have even relinked every old article to its new permanent address (by hand none the less!). Still, let us know if there is anything that is broken or doesn’t seem to be working like it should. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

So why did we make the switch? Well, as the first post hinted, we have had trouble with Blogger’s stability. But this was not the main reason we switched. The main reason was that even that we were hosting our own published version of our Blogger blog, there were a few links that were part of every page that went back to material. And despite Google’s legendary connection speeds, did not seem to get any of that. Time and time again we saw situations where the front page was not loading for several seconds as the web browser was waiting for a file. And whatever they were doing, they didn’t even seem to have cache control enabled. So these files would be fetched over and over again, possibly with a multiple second delay.

We don’t think WordPress is faster than Blogger. In fact, I’m very certain that WordPress is slower by an order of magnitude. Blogger generated static pages for all content. Every time a comment was posted, the relevant post’s static page file was updated. Every time a new post was made, old pages were regenerated with the relevant links to the new page. This of course is optimal. You can hardly make a web server any faster than it is when serving static pages, especially not with the right Apache configuration.

So in theory Blogger was extremely fast, and we will be taking a performance hit by switching to dynamic pages with WordPress. But in practice, Blogger was often very slow due to those few non cacheable header links. It shouldn’t take seconds to load a single page, especially not if all images are already cached.

So we didn’t have a choice. Blogger was pushing us to upgrade to the new version of Blogger, and if we did that we wouldn’t be able to use WordPress’s built in Blogger import feature, which we ultimately used to get all old posts and comments over to the new system.

That said, the switch wasn’t entirely because of Blogger’s drawbacks. There are some very nice things with WordPress. For example, you can create pages like our About page. This is a great touch of CMS functionality that saves us from the trouble of theming random pages by hand.

Next we will look into generating a new sitemap and page caching. We hope that your Playing With Wire experience is faster already though.

Please let us know if you find anything that doesn’t seem to work as expected.

Update 1: We did try to contact Blogger about the performance issues two months ago, but we never heard back from them.

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