Random musings, observations, squeaks, whimpers and perhaps the ocassional rant. About what, I'm not sure.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Permalinks Are a Bitch and a Half...

Ran into a speed bump while implementing WordPress this weekend… well, two of them I guess.  One having to do with feature/capabilities and configuration, one with docs and one with IIS hosting in general.

Feature problem first – permalinks.  They’re a necessity, I think, and although every WordPress posting gains a unique ID, which in and of itself when handed to the proper URL serves as a permalink, I see two issues with them.  One, they’re ugly and two, they’re search engine unfriendly – that is, they don’t help your posts get indexed by the search engines.  So, off I go to mod the permalink structure (an easy thing to do, right?  Just update the appropriate panel in WP Admin?), and man did I hit the wall.  Long story short, you can change the structure all you want but the feature really just doesn’t work in a Windows shared hosted environment.

Which brings me to problem two – docs.  There’s a huge wiki with WordPress info in it, and I’ve found it very useful.  Unfortunately, the 50 or so articles/comments I read that took me down two different paths to try to resolve my issue were vague when it came to what environment the fixes applied to – in my case PHP running on Windows with IIS 6.  The info on manually editing redirects, etc. doesn’t even apply in my case (guess I’ll never get those two hours back, will I).  And, the need for making those tweaks on other platforms went away with WP version 1.5.  I’ll ask a favor – if you’re posting detailed fix info in the codex (and many, many people do – and the info is generally superb in quality), please indicate what platform and version of WP you’re referring to.  You know, so morons like me don’t make a bunch of unnecessary changes that don’t fix the problem anyway.  Thank you.

For now, I’m blowing off permalinks that will help with search engine optomization, in favor of publishing the site.  I don’t think this will bite me in the ass when I change the permalink structure later (assuming there really is a reasonable fix), since accessing a post via its unique ID should always work.  I hope…

Next step, swinging the FeedBurner feed over to the new blogsite.  Wish me luck…


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