Hold On To Your Permalinks

Matt Birchler is to blame for some of the decisions I make in my tech and blogging life. Not because he does things differently, or tries to push his readers into things, but because he’s someone I look up too, and he speaks mostly a lot of sense. He’s been blogging for more than a decade (a milestone I won't pass until next year) and I am happy to say he is a good friend.

Matt has made a good name for himself in tech circles, and has done so by producing great content and plenty of it. His post from a few days ago about not moving blogging platforms is one of the reasons he’s been so successful. While I agree with his post wholeheartedly, there are a couple of things to dig into here to supplement it.

The links to your posts should be treated like gold dust. They are the reason people read your stuff and find your blog in the first place. You should hold on to these as the most important piece of your blogging platform, and if you do, moving host will not matter in the slightest.

Your first job when setting up a blog if you make the hard choice to move platforms is to maintain the same structure as before or put a plan in place to redirect everything. With the first option being preferable. The links to your posts online are more valuable than what platform you use or how nice your posts look.

Let Down By Providers

As I wrote in 2020, users should be able to move their blog quickly and easily. Developers of these platforms are still letting down their users by not providing at least robust import options for all of their competition. This argument, granted, is idealistic and in many ways something that I never expect to see – but it still feels gross that barriers are in the way of you owning your content.

I can understand why companies put intentional barriers in the way to make moving more complicated, they want to keep your custom. However, the fact that platforms like WordPress and Ghost fall down at import options, is the reason you shouldn’t move about much. Not because your decisions are bad, not because your readers will care, but because you will waste too much time doing it for very little gain.

Of course, your readers will care if your permalinks break, or your RSS feed changes, but there are solutions for this. The biggest issue is that the time wasted moving and sorting issues out could be better spent blogging. Do that instead.

Greg Morris @gr36