Blog changes in the future?

A couple of days ago, my provider’s servers were moving very slowly, an unfortunately common occurrence. Worse, the jsMath modules weren’t loading for some reason, and the mechanics section of the blog looked like crap because the equations weren’t rendering. My contract with the provider is up in about a month, so I’m thinking this is a sign for me to move somewhere else.

In addition, I’ve been having no end of trouble with tagging. Neither Technorati nor Icerocket are listing this blog for the tags I’m using, and I suspect it has something to do with how I have Blosxom set up. So I’ve been wondering if would be easier to switch the blog over to Movable Type, which can also use Markdown and is more of a “standard,” with most common blogging features built in.

As a test, I downloaded the free version of MT and installed it on my iBook. I fiddled with the styles until I got something I liked, installed the Markdown and SmartyPants plugins (actually a customized Markdown to handle equations), and imported my posts. It worked pretty well. Redoing the layout style of the blog was the most difficult part, as MT uses <div>s within <div>s within <div>s, and it’s not always obvious which ids and classes control which parts of the layout. I was surprised to find that importing my old posts was a piece of cake: I wrote a simple Perl script that took all the old posts and combined them into a single plain text file in the format given in the MT instructions. MT sucked them in with no complaints and they look fine.

So what about a new provider? I’m leaning toward Yahoo! because they have MT installed already and, well, they’re Yahoo!. Speed and uptime should not be an issue. They’re a bit more expensive than my current provider and many other providers, but still pretty cheap. I’ll be making the decision by the end of the month.