Make: Online –> WordPress countdown: Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Computers & Mobile

And now, a word from Stefan Antonowicz, our Director of Technology, freshly reformatted, reinstalled, and ready to rumble. — Gareth

After the debacle of our last site migration attempt, after I’d been coaxed out from under my desk, heavy with geek shame, I’d exiled myself to the Principality of Sealand. I’ve had a passport there for some time, and it seemed like as good a time as any to start a new life. No one would find me there; I could learn a new trade. Fisherman, perhaps. Principal Knot-Tier. Fish-gutter. I was easy.

A little over a month ago, however, I spotted a small craft on the horizon, bearing straight for us. Shots over the bow all came to naught. The call to arms was sounded and we prepared to repel boarders. Just as we were about to launch our first salvo, I noticed the vessel was piloted by our very own Gareth Branwyn, his voice magnified through a bullhorn as he plaintively called my name. He seemed to have spotted me, gestured, and suddenly, a giant MAKE symbol shone in the sky, Batsignal-style. They’d found me. It was time.

I swan-dove into the ocean and swam to his ship (I fought off a shark on the way, but it has no bearing on this story). After clambering aboard, and being fed hot chocolate (which I swear was laced with a lovely single-malt), I consented to give the WordPress launch another go. The date was set: Tuesday, January 18th, 2011.

Since then, we’ve been working hard on overcoming the mistakes of last time. They were many. Legion, you might say. But I fortunately had the kind words of so many of you awesome makers (more on that in a minute) to buoy my hopes and keep me cranking away.

We’re going to be moving our Movable Type blog to WordPress (in the Amazon cloud) on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. We’ll be shutting off comments at 4pm PST/7pm EST in order to start some of the data migration. We’ll hit the switch on the DNS at 7pm PST/10pm EST. You’ll most likely notice a maintenance page at that time, and with any luck, we’ll be up and running as soon as possible.

On a more serious note, I wanted to offer my profound thanks to all of you who wrote in to give me a pep-talk, offer help, or ask questions. I received a TON of email, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was deeply, deeply touched. I regret not being able to get back to all of you, but for what it’s worth, I kept a folder of all the emails, and when things got dire or stressful, I’d open them and peruse them to get me motivated. This was a unique experience for me — I’ve been doing this awhile, and I’ve never, ever (ever) had so many kind words or positive feelings sent my way for something that didn’t work. This is what makes my job worthwhile — the ability to work for and with such colossally amazing people in the maker community. You do right by us, and we’ll do our best to do right by you.

As President Lincoln once said (or it was attributed to him, anyway): “if I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” I feel like things are as sharp as they can be. Let’s hope the wood is forgiving.

Once more into the breach, dear friends. See you all on the other side!

10 thoughts on “Make: Online –> WordPress countdown: Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

  1. tgmake says:

    You’ve done your planning, learned from your mistakes, and with any luck, this time it’ll work. And if it doesn’t, I’ll still be here reading the “old” install and enjoying it.


  2. JCO says:

    I love Sealand – Say hi to Prince Roy or whatever his name is for me!

  3. says:

    I’m a huge WordPress fan, as well as a MAKE subscriber and I’d love a writeup on the technology and techniques involved in hosting something like this blog on WordPress so that others can get some kind of an idea what it takes to drive a site with this much traffic and user-involvement.

  4. Steve Hoefer says:

    I’m in the middle of the (several month) process of moving my substantial blog from Movable Type to WordPress, and while I’m excited and happy about what WordPress will make happen I know it’s not going to happen without incident. Glad to see I’m not the only one, but wish is was smooth enough that I didn’t have the wisdom of others to learn from.

  5. Becky Stern says:

    Yay, go Stefan & team! I feel like WordPress will be a shiny new palace from which to blog. Can’t wait! =]

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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