New Blog Host Adopted

As the future of ootput.bur.st remains bleak, I have been forced to seek alternative hosting locations. wordpress.com provides free hosting for blogs powered by WordPress, and I have chosen to use it as a temporary host while I wait for the outcome of bur.st‘s acquisition.

wordpress.com provides a decent service to the occasional blogger who has no intention of hosting their own site. I personally felt very much at home after successfully importing posts from the Habari-based ootput.bur.st. Of course, as wordpress.com wasn’t a self-hosted solution to the bur.st issue, I was limited to whatever functionality the blog was permitted to exhibit by the WordPress team. (read: no additional plugins allowed)

The transition from Habari to WordPress was not a straightforward process, however. In order to export all of Habari’s posts to a format recognised by wordpress.com, I had to host a WordPress blog on bur.st where I could create the appropriate MySQL tables for WordPress. wordpress.com does not provide direct MySQL access for its members, and this effectively prevents the Habari->Wordpress script from working.

Regardless, once I had exported data to the bur.st-hosted WordPress, I was then able to produce a WordPress->WordPress export file to be imported into wordpress.com

It was a tedious process, but it saved me a lot of time in transferring content onto the new blog.

In order to redirect users to my new wordpress.com blog, and to properly block search bots from accessing the domain (e.g. Google), I created the following two files in ootput.bur.st‘s root directory:
.htaccess:

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Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://ootput.github.io/$1 [R=301,L]

robots.txt:

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User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Of course, these two files will be obliterated once the bur.st merger is officially complete.

NB: Interestingly, my final login to shell.bur.st showed new mail in my mailbox - where I had never received e-mail in the past. There was a total of 10 e-mails, and all of them were spam. I suppose it was someone’s last ditched effort to generate some income from bur.st members - which was kind of lame. As the account effectively expires on the 1st July, this desperate attempt seemed rather stupid.