Why I did not switch my blog to CityDesk

| 1 Comment

Steven Den Beste has an excellent post about blogging software, and in that post he talks quite a bit about CityDesk. He speaks very highly of it, he uses for his web site, and I was willing to give it a try based just on that. I downloaded the free Starter Edition, which is limited to 50 files. There is also a Home Edition for $79 (limited to 500 files) and a Professional Edition for $349 (unlimited number of files).

CityDesk appears to be everything Steven says it is. It is quality software that will allow a user to create and manage a blog, a web site, or both. I would have liked to use CityDesk, but two issues killed it for me: 1) the price of the Professional Edition, and 2) the limitations of the Starter and Home Editions.

In CityDesk, every blog post counts as a file. The free Starter Edition is therefore limited to 50 posts max, and the $79 Home Edition is limited to 500 posts max. (The actual maximum number of posts will be less, because each web page template also counts as a file and any graphic files included in a user's web pages also counts towards the file limit.) Once those limits are reached, CityDesk will no longer publish to a web site until the number of files (posts) is reduced below the file limit.

The file limits seemed to me like they would be a real problem, so I tested them to see what options I would have once they were reached. I created a database with 55 files in the Starter Edition, so that CityDesk would not publish. I then set 10 posts to not publish (I enabled the "Do not publish after this date" option and set that date to a month earlier.) CityDesk would still not publish even though only 45 files would be published. I then started a second copy of City Desk with a blank database, and tried to drag-and-drop 10 posts from the full database to the empty one. CityDesk would not allow me to drag-and-drop posts at all. The only real solution I saw, once the file limit has been reached, is to delete posts until the total number of files is below the limit. And when you delete a post from a CityDesk database, CityDesk deletes the post from the blog server as well, so those posts are gone forever.

As nice as CityDesk is, the Starter and Home Editions of CityDesk are useless for blogs. Once the file limit has been reached, a user has two choices: 1) pay for an edition that has a higher file limit, or 2) delete (old) posts from the database. The only permanent solution to this problem is to purchase the Professional Edition (no file limit).

I do not want to pay $349 for blog software. I do not want to have to delete posts from my archives from time to time (this kind of defeats the whole purpose of having archives). I don't want to pay $79 for the Home Edition, knowing that it's going to eventually lock up on me unless I delete data I want to keep or pay for the Professional Edition.

If the Home Edition had no file limit, I would have bought it and would be using it now. I'm glad Steven is happy with CityDesk, but with the limits and prices on the different versions as they are, CityDesk is just not a viable option for me.

1 Comment

I am new to the internet and I am surfing here and this is so neat. I did a search in the search engines on "a professional blog" and I found your web blog.
I am a chartered accountant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and thus my interest in searching for "a professional blog" on the WWW.
I just wanted to see how the rest of the world thinks and see what trends and technology are happening in the world. I also was interested in a blog for myself, that is if I figured I could handle the technology of operating a blog. The different things discussed on a website found by searching for "professional blog" in the search engine is very amusing reading.

Respectly yours
Stephen J.
A Halifax Chartered Accountant