Salut! Sunderland: thoughts on moving house

Moving home is said to be among life’s most stressful activities. Colin Randall has moved seven times in five years and knows all about it. Now he’s moved a football fan site (Salut! Sunderland), so knows that even an electronic change of address isn’t without its moments of tension …

Slowly but – just about – surely, Salut! Sunderland has completed, with enormous help from Sam and his colleagues at Football United, its housemoving exercise, shifting the site and its whopping archive from Typepad to WordPress.

The result of this move, and a rare bit of self-promotion, has sent readership levels to heights known only during the week we stayed up and Newcastle United went down (save for the odd deluge when the Who Are They? feature attracts the fans of other clubs, notably Pompey, West Ham and Nottingham Forest).

We hope you have found and will continue to find items here that interest or amuse you, or provoke thoughts of your own. Football thrives on controversy and Salut! Sunderland is happy to stick its neck out from time to time, usually though not always on topics of at least indirect interest to Sunderland supporters.

One example: this coming week being football-free, as in being merely an international break, I will give another airing to my Club vs Country reflections (subtitled “an easy home win”).

The move has not been completed without hitches. Not all images seem to have accompanied the text on its way over from Typepad (click on the Denise Robertson item in the Salut! Smiles feature and you will probably see what I mean). Some files may have been corrupted – one of my rants against Laurent Blanc appeared in much shortened
form until I spotted it. Our Soccerlinks football site ranking has slipped from a high of something like 65th to its recent, pitiful 261nd – though that is only because it has been recording only visits to the old site, which means virtually none at all, since the move was completed. At least qe are climbing again …

In addition, we are a long way from restoring all the sidebar links to other sites, and to our Amazon bookshelf, which some will remember from the original Salut! Sunderland.

All will be accomplished as time permits. It goes without saying that we will pay careful attention to any suggestions or comments concerning the site.

Your patience during the move has been appreciated, and we will do our best to live up to our new slogan: Premier League writing for a Premier League club. But bear in mind that lofty (cl)aim does not imply any guarantee against the typos, mistaken assumptions and blind faith that are the staples of any self-respecting football site.

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

11 Responses to “Salut! Sunderland: thoughts on moving house” Subscribe

  1. Sam H October 5, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    Thanks for the mention and feedback Colin, we’re all delighted to have you on board. Particularly pleased that your noticing significant increases in traffic 🙂

    If you do run into any other problems (images/short posts etc) then please do just drop me a line and I’ll get on it

    Great site!


  2. Jonathan October 6, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    How are you finding WordPress? Pondering the move from Blogger myself, but not quite sure if it is really worth the hassle!

  3. Sam H October 7, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    Hi Jonathan,

    I see it’s a football blog that you run…it looks good stuff

    If you’d like a hand with the move from blogger I (and FootballUnited!) would love to talk with you.

    Just drop me a line on sam[at]


  4. will October 7, 2009 at 2:39 am #

    hi Jonathon

    before I got involved with FootballUnited I’d used several cms & blogging tools for my websites – Radio, Blogger, Typepad, & WordPress (from v0.8 iirc)

    I reckon that WordPress is the best of the blogging tools that’s really grown into a Content Management System. It’s way more flexible than Blogger, & much easier to use the Typepad was.

    There’s one thing that most blogging services won’t give you as standard on your blog – and that’s speed.
    & I’m writing this on the new FootballUnited servers, and i can tell you they’re *fast*.

    Fast page load times make it easier for authors to use their blog. & every iece of research I’ve ever seen says that visitors read more content when pages load quickly.

    The new servers go live in a week or so…



  5. salutsunderland October 7, 2009 at 2:57 am #

    I also like WordPress, though I am sometimes having struggles with posting images (everything goes well until it reaches the WordPress platform when the photo is turned into a segment of what looks like a crazy mirrors distortion, even though the same image wold upload normally at one of my Typepad sites). But I couldn’t have moved the site here, complete with the archive (albeit with a few glitches that remain), without that help from Sam and his pals at Football United.

  6. will October 7, 2009 at 3:14 am #

    Hi Colin
    I know what you mean about managing images in WordPress… having to upload, then select is a pain…

    WordPress say that the next version 2.9 will improve multimedia handling. They usually deliver what’s promised. I’ve not seen a release date: WordPress were talking about getting to version 3.0 in 2009, so that doesn’t leave a lot of time in October & November to fit in 2.9!

    & if you haven’t got good photos, we’ve added the Tagaroo plugin to try to help. It suggests tags, and searches Flickr for relevant images.
    Top tip: click on Tagaroo’s tag graphic, and is scrolls out to reveal a screen icon; click on the icon, and Tagaroo shows flickr pictures for that tag only.

    The added advantage of Tagaroo’s auto-tags is that they’re the same ones used by Thomson-Reuters (who built Tagaroo). if you’re using Tagaroo, your posts are fed back up the foodchain into Thomson reuters newsflow. That should get some extra readers….



  7. salutsunderland October 7, 2009 at 3:18 am #

    Is there any copyright issue with Tagaroo, Will? I always ask Flickr or, if I can find them, Gmail photo subscribers for permission – though I admit it is sometimes done retrospectively, with a promise to remove it my use offends. If individuals get upset at use without consent, how are corporate entities going react?

  8. will October 7, 2009 at 3:45 am #

    … when you mouseover a Tagaroo/flickr photo, is shows the useage conditions.

    Once you’ve clicked on a photo, a large black panel opens, and gives layout & size options.

    & it gives options to customise the caption, credits, linkage, etc.

  9. john toher October 15, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    hi colin, thanks for your comment on my site. I do think Sunderland have a chance against us on Saturday, especially if we are without our midfield, cheers


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