Some changes round these here parts

I am finally leaving Movable Type and going over to Word Press. I have multiple problems with Movable Type and much of it may have to do with my own lack of technological ability. That’s fine. I need to have a site that is:
1. easily navigable
2. simple
3. easy on the eye

Right now, none of these things are true. I have categories but nobody can find them. I can’t label posts with “tags” that will then take you to all the other posts in that category. If you’re a reader, then you have to know where to find things … and that’s not a good experience. Hell, even I can’t find things on my own site and often Google a post I’m looking for in order to find it. Not a good system.

Also, I’m tired of all of the Gibson Girls. I adored them back in 2003 when I started up on Movable Type, but I’m over them now. Buh-bye, girls. Charles Dana’s girls, and also me AS a Gibson Girl. They have served their purpose, and I’ve been loyal, but it is time to move on.

I want a clean simple homepage, with a big banner, and easily find-able links on the side. That’s it.

My friend Mark is doing the export (he’s the best) and I am quite frightened but I know that I am in capable hands.

It might be a bit awkward around here for a bit, as I work out glitches and things like that, and my Permalinks will change (a scary prospect, seeing as I have so many links on IMDB and other places), but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Posting will be light over the next couple of days.

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42 Responses to Some changes round these here parts

  1. Greg F says:

    and my Permalinks will change (a scary prospect, seeing as I have so many links on IMDB and other places)

    Yeah, seriously, that’s why I am NEVER changing Cinema Styles. I mean, I don’t have to because I chose the evil giant Google to do business with so it’s not like they’re going anywhere anytime soon and the much derided blogspot has always given me the freedom to add templates of my own design which is why I like it.

    I was on WordPress briefly in the first incarnation of Unexplained Cinema and liked it. It’s a good system. In the end, the only reason I switched over was because I don’t like using pre-fab templates and wasn’t as familiar with how to import my own on WordPress as I was with Blogger.

    I am so excited to see the new design, the new banner, the new everything!

  2. red says:

    Greg – I’m okay with the pre-fab templates for now – One cool thing about the WP banners is I can rotate them easily. I’m more mercurial than my blog template now reflects. It’s the same every day. I’d love to have more flexibility, to change banners should I feel the need. WP makes that easy with a click. Again, I may be technologically behind and you can do that with MT but it seems unwieldy.

    I look forward to the new system, I really do.

    Glad you’re excited! My blog has looked the same for seven years! SEVEN YEARS.

  3. Greg F says:

    Seven years!? That’s amazing! I’ve been around a mere 3 and a half, an even half of the time you’ve been around.

    I know what you mean with the banners, too. I’ve changed mine well over four hundred times now at Cinema Styles and am currently on my eighth template. I mean, I don’t think one should change so much that the blog starts to feel chaotic but it’s nice to change the look of the place when the mood strikes you.

  4. Rob says:

    FWIW, the later versions of MT do all of those things you mention but a blog with as many entries and comments as you have is going to be a beast to import … into any system. If you have someone willing to take that on, go with whatever he’s comfortable with. I’ve guest-blogged on WP a few times. I liked it fine but I was comfortable with MT so it wasn’t worth the effort to switch. Mine hasn’t changed much in my 7+ years either.

  5. red says:

    Rob – I’m sure MT has updated itself, but I have been disenchanted with them and their functionality for a long time. I’m over it. My Search box is pretty much useless. Ridiculous. I know I have lot of content. WP seems better able to handle it.

  6. red says:

    Greg – Yeah, I have so many screengrabs and movie posters and stuff like that – that I’m excited to try as banners, from time to time. I honestly am not all that big on fancy-ness – or flashiness – I just want functionality and ease.

    A dropdown menu with each month – Since I’ve been blogging for 7 years, having 7 years of each month is just far too unwieldy to keep on the main page. Things like that.

    I’m not saying MT doesn’t provide those services, but from what I can tell so far, WP is much much easier. For someone like me who doesn’t know coding.

  7. red says:

    And Rob – the import is going fine so far. Mark knows what he’s doing. It’s been going on for about a week now, bit by bit.

  8. Rob says:

    Oh, I get that, Sheila. I wasn’t shilling for MT. The current search box in MT doesn’t perform very well on my older entries that don’t have tags and I’m just not up to putting tags on all of them. MT is not user-friendly to intermediate-level users like me. I hope WordPress works out for you. I’ll be around no matter what you switch to. :)

  9. Rob says:

    I’ve had to change servers a few times. The import was always the biggest problem. If I tried to do it all at once, the server would time out. Doing it a little at a time is the way to go. Good Luck on the switch.

  10. red says:

    Rob – I am happy with my server – I’ve been with them for 7 years, too – but my experience of MT (and, like I said, this is from my lack of coding experience) was that it was stodgy and rigid – UNLESS you could code stuff yourself. I’m not a coder. I want to do one-click and have things magically look the way I want them to look. hahaha I’m not about bells and whistles – I just want my writing to be accessible. I’m still doing a TON of stuff manually with MT – and while there may be more streamlined ways, I don’t know about them, since I’m not a coder, and don’t want to be a coder, if you follow. I like the look of most WP blogs, even though there is a similarity and conformity to them – I don’t care about the LOOK so much. I just want my content to be able to be found with ease.

    Fingers crossed!!!

  11. red says:

    I would be afraid to change servers – how did that go for you? I live in fear that one day my server will go belly-up and I’ll be up shit’s creek. I’ve been working with literally the same client service person for seven years. I love her. Now THAT’S job security.

  12. De says:

    I was here pre-Gibson girls. It’s fun to see all the reincarnations! I look forward to it!

  13. Rob says:

    My progression of servers:

    Verio, my ISP, gave me 3MB of storage with my account. Outgrew it.
    DellHost – Outgrew it after a year
    Bloghosts – Belly up nightmare … after I talked two friends into going with them
    IPX – They had lots of issues
    Network Solutions – That’s who I’m with now. If I start having real trouble here, I think I’m done

    The major problem I had switching servers was importing the blogs and transferring my pictures. A few pictures transfers fine. When you have to do a whole bunch, they get corrupted. All of my pictures since 2007 have been uploaded to and stored on my FlickR account. I hope to never have to move them again.

    You have a FlickR account, too. You have some of the same pictures there and on your own server here. You know you don’t have to do that, right? I have a template I made to insert my FlickR images into me blog entries that makes it fairly easy for me. You should do that, too. Wopuld save you some time and space.

  14. red says:

    Rob – how do you do that? I am intrigued.

    My issue is all the screengrabs and movie images I have. I haven’t uploaded ANY of that to Flickr – but I do keep them all in iPhoto. there is redundancy then – but I’m not sure how to rectify that.

  15. Rob says:

    Check your email

  16. Rob says:

    Looking good, Kiddo. :)

  17. Nick Danger says:

    Sheila, we’ll follow you anywhere. I’m on WordPress and I love it. Good luck with the move!

  18. Greg F says:

    It looks G R E A T ! ! ! Congratulations on your new platform (so much better than the Texas GOP platform).

  19. red says:

    Thanks, guys!! I like its sleekness and simplicity and the Menu across the top, which sort of highlights what I want to highlight. Easily change-able, too. I’m happy I did this. Permalinks will be the death of me, but I’ll work on those periodically.

  20. george says:

    I like the new mise en scène. One thing I’ll miss though, the photo of the woman in the hat with full face net; I do like a woman in a hat with full face net.

  21. red says:

    George – thanks! That was a picture of me! Yeah, I had to let her go, too. Glad you liked, though.

  22. george says:


    I was well aware it was you – the philtrum was the giveaway.

  23. tracey says:

    Sheila! I love it! So sleek and beautiful and simple!

  24. red says:

    Tracey – I’m loving it too. Looks like the permalinks are all re-directing now, which is totally awesome. Which means that MARK is awesome because he fixed it.

  25. red says:

    George – this is the first time anyone has noticed my philtrum and for that I thank you.

  26. amelie says:

    LOVE it, sheila! it already looks great; i look forward to seeing what else happens!

    (and, frankly, i’m glad there may be less search engine problems. that killed my internet a couple of times.)

  27. alli says:

    Love it so far. :-)

  28. Mr. Bingley says:

    Looks great, red! I switched over from MT last summer, a lot of posts didn’t make it so i’m in the process of manually copying them over; can’t figure out how to get the comments, though.

    But I like WP much better; MT was getting cranky.

  29. AKA VenetianBlond here. Love the new design–sharing an award with you. Look here for Versatile Blogger.

  30. nightfly says:

    This blog look meets with my approval.

    You were just on pins and needles until I gave you the thumbs-up, weren’t ya? :D

  31. tracey says:

    Is Mark the one who did the Hope “Hope” poster?

  32. red says:

    That was a group effort, but yes. Mark did the Photoshop work, then Dave made the poster itself. I think someone else was involved, too, although I can’t remember who.

  33. Jen W. says:

    I like the new look! Nice and clean.

  34. phil says:

    Easy on the these eyes.
    Now I’ll spend more time here.


  35. Ann Marie says:

    Hi… just got back from 3 days out of town. LOVING the new design. Off to explore now!

  36. sheila says:

    Ann Marie – I’m pretty happy with it. My Categories are really effed up and I am in the slow process of whittling them down. It works better in Word Press (it seems to me) to have “tags” as opposed to categories. So “Jimmy Stewart” is his own tag, under the Category “Actor” so that then people can click around to find what interests them. Still have a lot of work to do – there’s so much content so it’ll be a slow process. Many things are now uncategorized, and I’ll just have to do it piecemeal.

  37. dorkafork says:

    I like it a lot. The typography is a HUGE improvement, particularly the width of the posts.

    If you need or want any help on the technical side, just let me know.

  38. Mitch B says:

    Welcome to WordPress! I made the switch four years ago, and I haven’t regretted it once.

    Miss the Gibson girls, but I get it.

    I’m sorta the opposite; I’ve been through three servers in the past eight (!) years, but I’ve kept the same layout and design for seven. Servers, I can change; graphics terrify me!

  39. sheila says:

    Mitch – Yeah, I’m really happy with it. Basically, with all the Gibson Girls and all the links on the main page, there was too much on the main page. I wanted just one photo (that I can change) and easy navigation. Word Press is awesome, I am LOVING how flexible it is!!!

  40. sheila says:

    How the hell are you, by the way? Nice to see you.

  41. kate says:

    Sheila. Did you see about the workshop in London about writing about female Shakespearean actresses? Ad mentions Ellen Terry. Thought of you. If only we could flit from workshop to workshop..

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