Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Switching to WordPress -- maybe

I might be switching to WordPress from Blogger. I'm not actually sure yet, though. Friends who use WordPress keep telling me it's better, but so far the only things I like much better about it are the commenting features and the blog stats. Those are indeed vastly superior. The "recent comments" feature encourages conversation, and the stats are much more detailed even than what I was getting from StatCounter. The templates are better looking. I get more random hits from people blog-surfing. Those are some of the good things.

But there are some things I don't like too. Blogger has made it really easy to change fonts and colors and things like that within templates -- it's almost WYSIWYG. If it's possible to change fonts and colors within a template in WordPress, it's not easy. At least, I haven't found an easy way to do it. Also, the sidebar widgets are harder to customize. I like to use target=new for my links (not target=blank; there's a difference). I find it hard to get at the HTML; basically I'm just dumping the pre-made widgets and HTML-ing "text" boxes.

I also don't like the way WordPress handles YouTube embedding. It uses its own little code instead of the same HTML that everyone else uses. How is that easier than just pasting what's in the little box on the YouTube page? I'm glad they made an importer for Blogger, but it seems to have stripped out all my embedded videos because they were in normal HTML instead of WordPress's code. That's actually pretty annoying. Finally, WordPress seems much slower than Blogger. Maybe they're just having a bad day or something, but I'm constantly waiting, clicking again, refreshing... that just hasn't been my experience with Blogger.

So I'm not really sure if I'm going to make a final switch. For awhile, anyway, I think I'm going to double post and see how it goes.

7 comments:

  1. Wordpress.com blocks all embedded video, javascript or non-HTML coding in their posts. A simple google search reveals that the do this to provide "security" and anyone who has spent time on MySpace would know the damage of allowing such control causes (I personally haven't experienced it)

    That is the reason why they use those custom tags for YouTube and other video embedding. They don't want people to embed bad javascript in with it.

    It's for the reasons you have stated that I haven't pulled the trigger and switched 100% over to Wordpress. I run mirrored blogs and use Performancing For Firefox plugin to allow me to post to both blogs at the same time.

    I'm still contemplating buying my own domain name and getting a hosting package and using the full-blown Wordpress version because it lets you have the control that wordpress.com doesn't

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  2. I can see why they don't allow Java -- although I find that kind of paternalistic -- but I can't imagine why they want to ban embedded video. Even MySpace allows that.

    I've also found out that WP apparently doesn't allow batch editing of labels/categories. Like, if I want to add "Mormon" labels to everything I have labeled "LDS," I have to go through the posts one at a time. It's pretty frustrating, and kind of a strange ommission since tags seem to be more important in WP than in Blogger.

    Eventually, I'll be putting my blog on my own domain (I've had one for about 5 years, but really use it almost exclusively for e-mail), but I still haven't decided which platform I'll use. WP seems livelier and has better commenting features, but I like some Blogger stuff better.

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  3. will you be providing a link to your wordpress site?

    ray is right about the paid version. those i know who use it swear by it and they seem to have full control over their formatting (i found out about it because i saw features i wanted to duplicate and asked the person how they did it). but i'm a cheap barstid, so some features i do without, some i find a loophole and get them in some other way.

    as for fonts, etc, you don't seem to use much in the way of non-standard fonts on this blog. you can get around fonts in the header by replacing it entirely, and that's no harder than clicking once you've created the header you want to use. The sidebars are pretty much just plug-n-play.

    you might want to just decide if it's the ultimate look or real functionality issues that are giving you pause.

    you are definitely right about the tedious editing features. i don't know if that is fixed for paying customers.

    one thing i do know, however, is that if enough people ask for something, wordpress tries to make it happen.

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  4. the key to Wordpress is apparantly the purchase the next step up.
    That apparantly unlocks all the features needed.
    Out with the free in with the purchasing of your own website...

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  5. I was under the impression that the full version of Wordpress (www.wordpress.org) was free. I'm not seeing anything on their website to indicate you have to pay for it.

    Granted, you have to pay for your domain registration and any hosting charges, if you don't run your own webserver locally.

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  6. I put a link in the sidebar under "Other sites of mine."

    From what I've been reading, besides the pay version there are a lot of plug-ins that improve WP. Really, I don't know how to use WP fluently yet, so I can't say which one I'll ultimately decide on.

    I plan on doing my own website including a blog sometime this year (although I've been planning that every year since I got my domain), so I'll have to choose eventually.

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  7. I've been having a hard time deciding which hosting service to go through. If I could make that decision, then I'd be moving my blog to Wordpress.org

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What do you think?