It’s official. Gruending Design has a new website hosted on Blogger. The old website is still available on archive.gruending.net. All of the old content has been moved to the new site but the old links are still available as well.
The original site was hosted on Google Sites. It worked well enough, but it was very inflexible when I decided it was time to change the feel of the website. I tried a bunch of different ideas, but I ended up having a bunch of issues that I just couldn’t resolve like ordered lists not being rendered without the numbers. I tried getting help from the Google forums but I didn’t get a single response back. I’ll continue to use Google Apps for my domain, but Google Sites will play a smaller role going forward.
I thought about WordPress next, but hosting it with a custom domain name costs money and I would have to change my nameservers. That’s a little 1980’s and I don’t want to change from my current DNS provider, EasyDNS. They aren’t the cheapest out there, but I’ve never had an outage. Ever. Google Sites and Blogger just require a CNAME entry which is a better approach for me. I suppose I could’ve investigated the various companies that host WordPress a bit more, but I’ve never trusted online hosting companies in general. For example, why do Blue Host and Host Monster have the same address but operate as different companies? The research required to find a good host can be significant.
So my next thought was to try Blogger. It’s a true blogging platform which is a key feature in the new site. I discovered pretty quickly that it’s next to impossible to find old posts or organize them with Google Sites. The original site was more about technical content, but over time it became apparent that a blog format with a less formal format was more appropriate. Blogger also has the cool missing file host feature as well which lets me keep my old links from the old site. That met the second key criteria for the new site: don’t break the old site links. I’ve has to work hard to get any sort of page ranking going and I didn’t want to break that. I also like the fact that Blogger lets me control almost every aspect of the site HTML/CSS, unlike Google Sites. I use Google Sites to host some of the images used in the new site however.
It’s taken me the better part of a month to make the switch, but I think it’s worth it in the end. I even got a crash course in CSS and HTML design at the same time. Please let me know what you think!