Blogging guru’s new startup makes WordPress even easier

WordPress, the Internet’s most popular blogging platform, has made running a Web site easy for many average users – but the technical setup and maintenance of the platform still isn’t easy enough, according to a Toronto-based startup.

23press Inc. has one clear focus, according to chief technology officer Terry Smith; “making the crappier parts of blogging suck a little bit less.” While creating content is fine, there are still tasks that remain complicated and expensive. So 23press is easing blogger’s pain with a series of low-priced services.

The first, Move That Blog, transfers an entire WordPress infrastructure from one Web server to another. The plugin transfers all the blog’s data, user profiles, themes, categories and tags, etc. with just a few clicks of a mouse and a $10 payment. Developers can buy batches of three licenses at $10 a pop.

23press entry into The $1,000 Minute.

Then all the user has to do is point their domain name server to the new host and they’ve migrated their blog. It’s a process that usually involves moving files manually using FTP transfers, some database work to get up and running. Move That Blog transforms the process that can take hours into a simple transaction that takes mere minutes, says Jeremy Wright, the CEO of 23press. “It’s basically photo-copying for blogs,” he says.

23press has sold 1,000 uses of Move That Blog in 10 months and plans to bring more WordPress products online soon. A yet-to-be-released automated backups tool is imminent, Smith says. That service will charge bloggers $5 a month to create a complete backup of their blogs.

The aim is to undercut other WordPress backup competitors Backup Buddy and VaultPress, Wright says. “The quality of the code is fantastic,” he says. “It’s basically like Time Machine (for Mac). You just choose a date, and then everything goes back to that point for the user.”

Wright is no stranger to the blogging business. He previously helped found B5 Media, one of the largest WordPress companies in the world and wrote the book Blog Marketing published in 2004. He is closely connected with the WordPress team.

His aim with 23press, located at Toronto’s Incubes startup incubator, is to make setting up a WordPress blog so easy that even the most database-savvy developers forget there was any other way to do it, he says.

Another future product could analyze WordPress plugins for security vulnerabilities and other errors, Smith says. It could also recommend to users what the most appropriate plugin is to use for their particular blog.

Brian JacksonBrian Jackson is the Associate Editor at ITBusiness.ca. Follow him on Twitter, read his blog, and check out the IT Business Facebook Page.
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