Hello friends. Here now is the summary of my migration updates.
But first, you should know that because of my lack of resources, my move to a self-hosted CMS has reached an impasse. My hopes for some provision have not happened yet, and so I’m stuck. And when it does resume, it’ll take me many months to complete the migration process. And that is because, in addition to developing the website itself and transferring my content, I also have a lot of studying to do — the CMS that I’ll be using, Tiki, is not as easy to use and maintain as WordPress, and my webhost is DIY and not exactly designed for beginners. So I thought that it’s a good idea to make this summary and pin it on top of my blogs, to continually remind everyone of the coming move.
But before I continue, I’d like to apologize to you, my friends, for all the delays, both in my own writing and in the resources I’ve planned to publish, esp. the audiobooks. The former I will now resume ASAP, but sadly, the latter will continue to be shelved, maybe until this migration is completed.
Now, the reasons why I’m moving to a self-hosted CMS are these: 1) freedom from the limitations that are imposed by being hosted here in WordPress.com, and 2) true ownership and control of my websites and data. And I’m doing this migration now despite of my lack of money (that is, I’m doing this by faith) because I no longer want to continue building my ministry on foundations that I am not sure of.
Let me say this though, lest someone gets the wrong idea: I do appreciate WordPress.com, and I’m grateful for the chance that I’ve been given to start my blogging ministry within its walls. But like a child who has grown up, I need now to separate myself and build my own home.
The new website will have the name of Swordsman Beginnings. It’ll be a full-fledged website (not just a blog), and it’ll mostly contain the building-blocks or seeds for my future essays, which I’ll write someday for my primary website, Swordsman of the Word. Thus the name.
Content-wise, this new website will be a combination of my two blogs here in WordPress.com, Swordsman Network and Swordsman Beginnings. Later, I will add more types of content.
Ultimately, the website will have the following sections:
- Study Journal
- *Devotional Reflections (later)
- *Writing Notes & Drafts (much later)
- **Ebook Store (much later)
* – Premium content
** – Mostly public-domain Christian literature
In regards to the Content Management System (CMS) that I’ll be using, it is Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware. Unlike WordPress, which is dependent on a lot of third-party plugins to achieve full-functionality, Tiki is an all-in-one CMS web application, very flexible, and with its many features built-in (desired features need only to be activated). For sure, this kind of software model has its own drawbacks, but using Tiki has great benefits compared to using other CMSes.
Note: I’ve already installed Tiki in my webhost, and there is now a development version of the new website, and so my choice of CMS is certain. But for now I’ve disabled it, until I am able to work on it again.
There is a heavy price, however, in using Tiki, and that is, I’ll be cut off from the WordPress.com cloud. I will lose my blog followers, and you won’t see my posts anymore in the Reader. Still, Tiki has a Newsletter feature, and you can still comment on my posts (both functions are achieved by registering on the website), and so I hope that you’ll still follow me there.
Moreover, Tiki has a Forum feature. It is something that I might add someday to Swordsman Beginnings (or I might create a separate website just for it), depending on the community that will form around my ministry.
In regards to the Christian resources I’ve planned to publish:
As I mentioned above, this work is currently shelved. Also, the resources will no longer be curated in the new website (only listed) as per my original plan. Rather, they will now have their own dedicated websites, Books and Sermons. These will be just simple static websites, ideal for reading and browsing, and will be created using Pandoc, a document converter. You can check out this sample site. All published resources will look similar to this.
Some of these resources, of course, will be the LibriVox audiobooks, both audio and text. Note: Because I will no longer host these audiobooks in my WordPress.com site, where there is no bandwidth limit, only storage limit, I am in no hurry to publish them. The upside of being self-hosted is that I can host more audiobooks; I am only limited by the amount of storage I’m willing to pay for (in my webhost, it is 1$/GB/month). The downside is that the cost will be much higher in terms of bandwidth, esp. when I start getting heavy traffic.
For now, my priority (that is, once this work is resumed) is to publish the companion resources for Free Online Bibles. These will be made up of three classic devotionals (Morning and Evening, Streams in the Desert, Daily Light on the Daily Path) and the concise Bible commentary by Matthew Henry.
Two more final points:
First, I will be displaying advertisements on my websites, except perhaps in Sermons. These will be just simple banners on top and bottom of most pages. The money earned through ads will contribute to my personal income and to the support of this ministry. I will implement this once I’m getting enough traffic. (Personally, I’d rather not display ads, but right now I don’t have yet enough supporters that I can afford to ignore this legitimate way of making money from my works.)
And second, I am letting my paid plan for Swordsman Network expire this November. I had hoped to finish this migration process before that happens, but it looks like I won’t be able to. Still, I’m not willing to renew the plan and pay for another year when I’m all set for moving. And so the blog will just have to revert to the Free Plan, with ads and all.