People who couldn’t care less about writing a blog, you may gracefully exit now. You will have no interest in the post you are about to read if you are not a blogger, do not want to start your own blog, and are not remotely curious about the inner workings of blogs.
Now that we’re whittled down to a much smaller audience, let’s dish about blogging platforms. I’ve only ever used two – Blogger and WordPress – so I am by no means the authority on this subject, but I started thinking about it because Jen from EPBOT recently shared her experiences of trying to move move her much bigger blog, Cake Wrecks, from Blogger to WordPress. She talked about her fears and frustrations and, ultimately, how the move failed to happen. And since I made that move on purpose, quitting my blog on Blogger and starting this new one on WordPress, I wanted to share my thoughts on the differences between the two.
What I Love about WordPress
- Inserting images is so much easier in WordPress (from here on out, abbreviated WP). In Blogger (from here on out, abbreviated B), no matter where I was in the post, the image inserted at the top and I had to drag it down to where I wanted it in the post. In WP, I can be wherever I want to be in the post, insert an image, and THAT’S WHERE IT ACTUALLY APPEARS. Brilliant.
- See that little pink heart that appears up in your address bar and/or on your browser tab? Yeah, you can’t change that in B. You just get the B logo, which is orange and boring because it’s so ubiquitous.
- I have never, ever previewed a post in WP and had all kinds of weird spaces appear in it. In B, about every 2nd post I would have to edit about 15 times so that the spacing looked normal.
- The stats are so easy to get to and interpret in WP! It’s super-easy to tell how many people visit your blog every day, where they’re coming from, what they clicked on while they were there, etc. In B, I had to hunt and hunt and hunt to find even a third of that kind of information.
- Comment moderation is much easier in WP. You have a bunch of different levels of moderation, and Akismet is mostly decent at catching spam comments. In B, comment moderation is either on or off, the end. Plus I can give people who do not have WP accounts or gravatars their own cute little alien avatars when they comment – bonus!
- There are lots of little options in WP that help you customize the admin pages and the blog itself to you. You can customize the pants off of some of the standard templates (hence my teal and pink links on this blog). You can even make your editing window, where you enter text to be published, bigger or smaller if you want to control how much text appears in your editing window at a time.
Ways in Which Blogger Might Be Better
- It’s owned by Google, which rules the universe, and that makes it super, super easy to leave comments on other blogs, particularly other B blogs. WP you can kinda use to login through OpenID, but you have no choice in many cases about leaving your name – it uses the handle of your WP blog instead of the name you might choose for yourself (e.g., instead of leaving a comment as “Jen A” as I prefer to do, it would leave a comment as “wishingheart” and I can’t change that).
- WP doesn’t let you insert Flash or Java gadgets, which is enough to drive me to distraction sometimes. There are some really cool gadgets out there that I’d like to share on my blog – like a list of my shared items in Google Reader, and my currently-reading and read lists from Goodreads. But I can’t use them. They’d have to work with WP to develop a specific WP gadget that would then be installed onto the WP servers, and not many sites are going to do that. I understand that WP is trying to protect the security and integrity of their servers where all of these other WP blogs are stored (these gadgets, by their nature, can be used to transmit viruses and hack servers), but it’s still infuriating and I would think they could find a way to limit the security risk without it being a giant pain in the butt.
- For similar reasons, B blogs have about a bazillion more templates to choose from than WP blogs. Not within the actual application necessarily, but if you search for “free Blogger templates” in any search engine, there are nine million. Developers can very easily develop style templates to be implemented on B blogs, but templates for WP blogs have to go through a whole long process with approvals and whatnot.
- B is a lot more user-friendly. It’s much easier to jump into blogging there because the whole process is very intuitive. WP took me a couple of weeks to get comfy with – and now that I am comfy, I absolutely LOVE it. But it is not as intuitive as B.
So there’s my two cents. I am still very glad that I made the switch – ultimately, I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks of WP. If they would just find a way to allow Flash and Java gadgets, I would really have no major complaints at all. That’s the one thing that really, really bugs me about WP. But I’ve never tried any other platforms, so I’m curious if anyone else has experience with them. The other major contenders would be Tumblr and maybe TypePad, Blogsmith, and LiveJournal (for blogging services, anyway, not necessarily self-hosted blogs), though there are umpteen thousands of others out there in addition. Anyone else have feelings on this? I’m enough of a geek to be interested in this sort of thing. 🙂