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Doodlecat's Homepage

Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

I would love to be able to say that Doodlecat is all my own work, but it isn’t. Much of the outdoors content is courtesy of the splendid people who participate in the annual TGO Challenge (there is a section entirely devoted to this unique event) and many others.

To help in tracking down that elusive morsel on Doodlecat, the search facility under the title bar above is tailored to help you find it, either on this home page (Doodlecat's Blog) all the rest of the site (Main Site) or – if all else fails - the internet!

So have a rummage around the old cat basket and enjoy your time with us!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A kick in the Googles.

Yes, and it hurts!

Most readers who have commented on the home page will know that this part uses Blogger for the posts and comments - and it works brilliantly. But not for much longer, simply because this is my site, hosted on server space that I pay for. It seems that this makes me persona non grata as far as Blogger/ Google are concerned. They are turning off their FTP service, which means that Doodlecat's home page will cease to function from March 26th.

No, I didn't think it was sufficent notice either.

Blogger say that they will have a "migration tool" available from 22nd February to allow me to move the blog section of Doodlecat to a so-called "custom domain" hosted on (you guessed it) their servers.

Is it a good idea to have all my eggs in Google's basket?

I think not. I pay for my domain, and my web space. Therefore it is mine, and no-one can interfere with or censor it.

And Blogger's hosting is pretty thin anyway - allowing just ten static pages. Doodlecat has, well, I don't know how many, but it's a lot! That means I would have this bit hosted with Blogger, leaving the rest where it is and cobble it together. And I'm no techy. I chose this system precisely because I wanted something simple.

Maybe it's churlish to complain about the withdrawal of a 'free' service, but the manner in which this has been done (announcement first - tools to deal with it following weeks later - virtually no notice) demonstrates a high handed and contemptuous attitude to the users that I find pretty repellent.

I would have willingly paid for this service to continue - and I suspect that most of the FTP users would too. But with only around 11/2 million of us I guess that would be chicken feed to Google.

Free services are fine, but independence is more important. So, thanks, Google, Blogger or whoever you are these days, but no thanks. I'm off to have a look at Wordpress before I resort to a book on PHP scripts and try to write my own bloggy bit.

Now, that would be a disaster :)



Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Bleedin' 'Ell Lord E!

If I knew what all that meant it would be a start. I guess that all this is trouble with a capital T, then?

Lot's of souls use this 'Wordpress' 'do-it-yourself' thing. If you pop over to the Outdoor Blogger's Forum there will be loads of knowledge to pillage there..

Good luck!

February 3, 2010 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger mike knipe said...

I agree, this is probably shocking.
I wonder if Mr Whitespider might be able to help?

February 3, 2010 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Aye, Alan

Some succour has already come from that direction - had a very helpful call from Darren with some pointers as to how to dump Blogger's ball & chain and move over to Wordpress for my bloggy/instant update bit.

Mmmmm. Might be time for me to have a bit of a redesign too ...

February 3, 2010 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Phil said...


We crossed in the post, Mike! As you see, Big D has indeed sprung to my aid!

February 3, 2010 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger Alison Hobbs said...

Keep us posted, Phil. You have a following here in Canada and we don't want to miss out if you change allegiance.

February 9, 2010 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Worry not, Ali, an all new Wordpress driven Doodlecat is being built right now (after considerable advice from Richard, my techy guru).

February 11, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger hillwanderer said...

Good luck with it, Phil. You might want to look here for some pointers: http://weblogtoolscollection.com/archives/2010/02/15/from-blogger-to-wordpress/

February 15, 2010 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Many thanks for that link, John.

Right now I have Wordpress on my server, but I'm really, really struggling with creating a template for Doodlecat that replicates the original design.

Plus, as Kent Newsome found, most moving tools don't work with a site like mine, where the content is on my own server rather than Blogger's.

But it's reassuring to know that I'm not alone! I'll go back to the basement now and resume the creation of my 'frankenstein' Doodlecat with renewed hope :)

February 15, 2010 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

In response to the storm of protest, Blogger has postponed cutting off the FTP service until 1st May. Phew! Just as well - I'm struggling a bit with this changeover.

Doodlecat's appearance might change a bit if I give up & resort to customising an existing Wordpress theme, but I hope to keep the 'Doodlecat' look pretty much intact.

February 18, 2010 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Any chance of a sneak preview?

February 18, 2010 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Sneak preview?? No chance - just buggered the whole thing up (again). Looks like an explosion in a cat factory right now :(

February 19, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed this, somehow.

Writing blogging themes is something I've been meaning to try to learn to do for years. I think it's not terribly complicated once you know how (certainly people used to bash them out and change them at a moment's notice in another blogging environment I used to frequent), but I've not got round to it. I'm therefore stuck with a Wordpress template.

I hope you can replicate this over there. It'll be good to have another Wordpress blogger, anyway.

March 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM  

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