SubText 1.9.5 is great tool for ASP.NET user to blogging but I hate how it works especially when changing theme / skin / layout. It's still like ASP.NET 1.1 experience when you're trying to modify the engine. The site perfomance also degrading when using shared-hosting. SubText also giving me error when a user give their comments and it continues to permanent crash, I suspect Gravatar module makes this happen and a lot of error. The frustation situation became complicated when my hoster not allow me to turn off the CustomError in order to debug SubText.
I consider to use another .NET blog engine like DasBlog and Single User Blog. Unfortunetly, both of engine created for people who love blogging at extreme level which doesn't suited to casual user like me. I just need simple blogengine, easy admin interface and powerfull. I prefer Blog Engine which use ASP.NET 2.0 MasterPage technology. Before I starting to reinvent the wheel, I browse CodePlex and I found BlogEngine.NET 1.2 created by Mads Kristensen and his teams. Okay, I download the Web Project and also Source. I want to extend some function which missing in this BlogEngine like "Link" in SubText, this is essential and BlogRoll is not suitable for the job.
The Migration Process
Thanks to BlogML which provide format to exchange blog content between blog engines. Okay, I start by exporting my journal content from SubText and save it to my harddisk. I attach the file in BlogML. Now, I try to import the BlogML file into BlogEngine.Net, unluckly the import function is using WebService which my new host doesn't like it and throw "Service Unavailable" information. I retry the process and it happen again.
I test it on my development environment in my laptop, it works like charm but the comments are not imported!. I try several times and I give up, because I don't have the source of BlogEngine Import/Export source code. I ask Doctor Google, and he gives me this link http://www.codeplex.com/blogengine/Thread/View.aspx?ThreadId=11978 which contain discussion about this matter. They had release some addtional extension and allow us process Import/Export internally, which doesn't need WebService.
Now, everything goes fine and I succesfully importing my post and comments into BlogEngine.NET. Did you know that BlogEngine have two alernative to store your blog entry? yes, BlogEngine.Net give us option to choose XML or SQL Server 2005. Unfortunetly, the new extension didn't work SQL Server. The technical thing is already solved even I must use XML to store my journal entry. Well, hope soon I could migrate to SQL Server.
Changing The Theme
Believe or not, I create a new the theme in 1 hour! comparing to SubText skins which I need 2 days to understand how it works. This is MasterPage advantage!. You just need to read "standard theme" code for several minutes and copy it into new directory. You could play around with your own Themes and the Themes instantly available in settings menu at administration area. This still an overview, maybe I will give a tutorial on how to create our own theme from scratch :). I do create my own theme from scratch and make "standard" theme to be my guide. You'll need 2 Visual Studio instance to compare your work :).
SQL Server still my first agenda
I still working around for BlogML import/Export extension to be able to importing to SQL Server. I hope I could make some hack inside the code.