WordPress vs. Blogger

After a whole year of writing here, I’d almost forgotten that when I started out with this challenge, I had a self-hosted WordPress blog over at wordpress.ORG.  I even wrote a post about it … the pros and cons of wp.COM vs. wp.ORG, back in February. Eventually I moved over to free WordPress, in order better to take advantage of the postaday2011-challenge.

Last night, I was reminded of the times I had a blog here at WordPress … long before this challenge came about … and it was a rather lonely experience. Never made any contacts or had any interaction with other bloggers. Same thing with Blogger — nothing! I do remember I used to check out other blogs in WP, but that was mainly the FreshlyPressed ones, that got hundreds, if not thousands, of comments, which must have been an overwhelming experience for the blogger in question.

In any event, hats off to the WordPress team that started the challenge to encourage bloggers! That’s really something that the Blogger.com-team should take after.

Now, some, very personal thoughts too … I’m writing this post also to sort out my own thoughts on this.

I wanted the domain name [colderweather].

Could have signed up for that here at WordPress for $12/year or possibly $17 [not sure]. Then I’d have my name and this blog … the regular, free WordPress blog as it is now.

Buying a domain name at Blogger [Google] costs $10. With that you get something called Google Apps. It’s a whole slough of features and functions, like for example, you can set up accounts with email addresses like whoever@colderweather.net. That’s not important … I already have email, it was just an example.

What’s important to me — it might sound silly to you — is that I have full freedom to customize the looks of my blog. I know, I know … it’s the content that counts, but I’m a visual person and I want also the looks of the blog to be appealing — both to me and to others. For example, a pitch black navigation bar can ruin, an otherwise nice, theme totally for me.

Here, in WordPress, it would cost me $30/year just for the pleasure of being able to change that colour or whatever font.  And on top of that; Were I able to make my own themes … which I’m NOT … I still wouldn’t be able to do that for those thirty bucks a year.

I guess they figure that if you’re that knowledgeable, you should go for the self-hosted version of WP, which is at least $50/year and then you’re already outside of the WP-community. There, you have total freedom to do whatever you want.

There were two aspects of WP.com that I really appreciated, and still do, of course: the global tagging system, and that I’m able to reply to comments by email. The latter is also a very personal thing; I do most things from my email … my inbox is my hub on the web! Now … I can do that just as smoothly from Blogger, thanks to a comment system called Disqus. Easy as a breeze.  All my pictures are either already stored in Picasa, or get stored there when I upload them in my blog. When I upload them via Google+, I also have unlimited storage in Picasa.

The choice might seem easy, so why am I writing all this, you might ask. Well, there have been some trouble with the email subscription in Blogger, and that irks me to no end. The interaction is such an important part of the whole blogging experience … the part that makes it really fun, so that has to work! I must say, they have a stupid system there, if people choose to subscribe by email, it gets posted via Feedburner, and it doesn’t fly right away as you publish — you have to set a time. It’s totally beyond me why they have it like that … if I write a post, I want it to fly right away, huh?!

There’s always the option to subscribe in an RSS-reader, but I doubt many people use that, if they even know what it is in the first place.

I’m writing all this because I feel a little doubtful … if I made the right choice … [if there even are any ‘right’ choices?!]. Now that I have my new blog all set up nicely there, I’m going to keep it, but if it doesn’t post properly … then I don’t know what to do. There’s always a way of  ‘cross-posting’ to a wordpress blog, but then it feels like I’ve lost the whole purpose of it.

I think I have, either too much time to think about all this stuff, or too many hang-ups, because I just wrote 790 words about it! LOL


16 thoughts on “WordPress vs. Blogger”

  1. Rebekah, all of these, and more, are reasons I moved across to WordPress. I also found I had more spam, and I didn’t like the visibility of people that followed my blog. The overall appearance wasn’t so professional, and the interaction here is so much better too. I’ll still follow you, I’ve set up the email subscription, so I wait to see what you decide.

    1. Thank you 🙂 Well … I don’t have my followers visible, it’s very easy to remove. The thing, amongst others, that made me drawn to Blogger again, was their totally revamped site and the new designer tool. ALSO … I post a lot of photos, and their new photo viewer [when you click on a picture] is outstanding! The spam … I don’t know yet, we’ll see.

  2. Hi Rebekah,
    There are good points and bad on both blogging sites, it really boils down to what you personally would like, a decision only you can make. Space for pictures can be a problem, is there anyway you can use the URL from you pictures in Picasa in WordPress? I know WordPress is very picky when you try a URL from an album on the net.

    1. Mags,
      Honestly, I wrote this post this morning, basically to sort out things in my own mind. Before the end of this year I’ll make up my mind. Picasa pictures are pretty much okay here in WP…

  3. Just an additional thing to consider… as a reader, I dislike blogger. I generally can’t just ‘like’ a post, which I do if I, well, like it, but don’t necessarily want to comment. So if I want to let the writer know I like it, I have to comment. But then I rarely comment on a blogger post because it always seems rather complicated. Choose an identity (it never remembers), go through security 3 times, then maybe it gets posted… I dunno, maybe it’s just me. I guess I like word press just because I am used to it. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Amy. A couple of years ago, I was ambivalent about the Like-buttons. For a while I thought so many just clicked them and never ever said anything. That has changed somewhat, and now I feel like to.

      After I’d read your comment, I made sure I was signed OUT of both WP and Blogger and commented on them as an ‘outside’ user. I must add, that I have put in a different comment system in my Blogger-blog than the native Blogger one. In both cases [WP and Blogger], I could just fill in my name and email and comment without going through any CAPTCHA security measures. That part is up the the blogger him/herself to set.

      I’m used to them both — they’re both good in their own ways, and that’s what makes it hard to choose 🙂

    2. I’m with you on this Amy, I hate that I have to go through a bunch of steps EVERYTIME I want to post a comment on blogger. Having said that, I’d follow Reb anywhere but there are a lot of good blogs on blogger that I don’t get over to because of the whole comment issue. sigh.

  4. I gave up yesterday and deleted my blog. Then I was really pissed. I tried to delete Google+ and could not; I do not like what they are doing with Picasso and feel totally lost and thinking I will switch to Photo bucket or Flickr or somewhere. A friend of my sons owns Image Even and I have photos there as well.
    I reopened my blog on WP but have not posted anything. Haven’t had anything to say of note. Will probably start a new one but see no point since I already have 4 that are invisible anyway.
    Love the background here.

    1. I noticed that it was gone … To delete Google+, go here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings a bit down on the page it says ‘Services’. Click the ‘Delete profile and remove associated Google+ features’. That should do the trick.

      I haven’t made up my mind yet. May do cross-posting to a WP-blog but that’s not so good either … we’ll see. Today, it worked with the email thingy so…

      Flickr is my MAIN storage place for photos because I’ve paid for it for several years, so then it’s hard to get out of. Can’t just download all the photos I have there … they’re 25,000+

    1. I think so too, Joss. But honestly … the commenting ISN’T that much of an issue as you guys describe here… I don’t know if I’m missing something..?!

  5. There are always teething problems when trying out something new or different Rebekah, and they will iron themselves out as you go, I’m sure, but I do understand your frustration.
    I know you like a lot of the new features in Blogger, but just wondering if you could you bring your own domain name to the free WP, still using the .net extension?

    1. Yes, I could, but then I’d have to pay even more and that seems stupid, even if the amounts are comparatively small. Besides, it’s the customization thing I’m after, and that would cost me $30 extra … no way 🙂

  6. Well, for honesty’s sake, and because I’m concerned about making comments etc . —

    I have a few friends who use Blogger. I read their blogs, because I love them AND their blogs, but honestly — I hate Blogger. It’s such a big deal to comment (sign in here this way, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t) that usually I don’t bother. If I need to contact them, I use personal email, and never get into the comment conversation (which, honestly, doesn’t exist on those Blogger blogs like it does on wordpress) —

    So yeah, whither thou go — But there is a big down side for me on Blogger, and I hope it doesn’t dampen the experience. You don’t have problems with the commenting stuff, I gather — but I also gather other people are like me, and are very put off.

    1. well … it’s difficult to explain how it’s set up *here *… you almost need to see it. If you don’t have a WordPress account, and want to comment on a WP blog, it’s pretty much the same — you have to sign in with some account, or at least state your email.

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