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