Our first post, having ported our getpepperâ„¢ site from Java to WordPress!

We were quite happy with our Java-based site, and the prospect of scalability and extendibility that follows from Java’s facilitation of good engineering discipline. However, whilst feeling pretty future-proof wrt the likes of the digg, and Slashdot effect, (we live in hope!), we had a bit of a niggle with our hosting prospects. The Apache Tomcat server facilities and expertise required to run Java are somewhat harder to come by than the common-or-garden Apache Web Server services that support PHP sites, making our Java site feel less portable than we’d like in these uncertain times!

By moving the entire site to WordPress we have addressed our need for content management functionality, whilst widening our hosting prospects. It has been a fairly painless transition – page content was easy to port from the original site using the CMS page features of WordPress, which also allowed us to identify a “static” page as the site’s home page, rather than the usual blog index page, (although actually all WordPress pages are rendered dynamically from the database, both so-called “static” pages and posts). Adaptation of our original stylesheets has allowed us to map our visuals to the new site, so it really looks just like the Java version, with extras!

WordPress seemed an obvious choice, being so widely used and well supported, and highly extensible through its plug-in API. In fact we developed a couple of plug-ins of our own as part of the process, for SEO and page identification functionality, which gave us a vehicle for getting under the hood of the WordPress engine. Also, since PHP and WordPress are the most prevalent technologies amongst clients, it seems appropriate that we should eat our own dogfood by using them on our own sites!

So now we are looking forward to quick and easy posting, whilst reaping a bit of SEO benefit!