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Saturday, September 22, 2007

blogger.com vs. wordpress.com

So, I've been trying to figure out if I want to move to wordpress.com or use wordpress.org on my domain, or do something entirely different (I'm running drupal on my domain). Occasionally, I have considered moving over to wordpress.com as well... I like wordpress. It's not so much that I hate blogger, it's ok, but I've been wanting to do something with all of my baby* blogs for a long while. Anyhow, back when I created the baby* blogs, blogger didn't offer labels or categories (well, they still don't offer true categories). Wordpress.com wasn't available. I used (and still use) the baby blogs as a primitive form of categories, which apparently this person does also and automates the process.

The main reason I started using blogger was for an example for a class project journal. I wanted blog software that was free and easy to use in hopes that it would become an acceptible alternative to creating static html pages (yuck!) on the university's website. There weren't alot of alternatives then. I continued using blogger because I received a little bit of traffic from blogger (next blog, or searching in blogger), and I thought that was kind of nice. So, is it better to host on a domain or using a public blog software like wordpress.com or blogger?

..but maybe it's time to rethink my whole blog presence. Neither wordpress.com or blogger is great, both have limits. When I started thinking about moving over to wordpress.com, I was excited about the ideas of true categories (wouldn't it be nice to collapse all of my baby blogs into categories here?) but the lack of customized CSS is an issue. I do like wordpress and I would support it, but I don't know... considering I can do all of those things for free if I host it, then it seems silly to pay extra to have it hosted elsewhere.

So, the dilemma. I read this article about blogger vs. wordpress vs. livejournal and I read this one, too. Basically, all of the same stuff. Wordpress = categories good, Blogger = customize CSS good.

Here is my list of pros and cons. Here is my site mirrored at wordpress.com. Yes, it does not look like my site at blogger (the not able to customize templates, only headers issue). I'd love to hear from others who have used wordpress, blogger, or any other publicly hosted blog software. What were the advantages and disadvantages? Was it truly better to just host on your own domain? How easy (or not easy) is it to export from a public site (wordpress.com) to a domain?

*baby blogs = Not a blog about babies or small children, but a blog that is part of a larger blog. ;-) (just in case you didn't catch on to that....)

4 comments:

dianeclancy said...

I like this post. I have blogs at WordPress.com and Blogger - I am not that active at either. What I really like - and recommend is WordPress blog on your own hosting. If you have a site, you can have a dozen WordPresses if you want ...

WordPress.com hosting severely limits what you can do as opposed to hosting it yourself.

My 2 cents worth - good luck! (I started those other 2 blogs to be able to advise people how to use them.)

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

robin said...

As for hosting on a domain, I do wonder about search indexing. As google (and others) often collapse links within a domain, I wonder about the search results of a blogger vs. wordpress.org (install) on domain.

NOT that I'm trying to take advantage of the search engines, but having separate sites means that I do have a more visible presence on the web, and if the seo folks are to be believed, increased linkage = higher rankings. Not exactly sure about that part, as google seems to constantly change its algorithm, so maybe that is long gone.

At some point, I'll migrate my art journal using expression engine (ee) to wordpress, but not until there is an easier import mechanism OR I have a lot of time. ;-)

Thanks for your thoughts.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Robin,

Another thing to think about. Lately I have been reading a lot of art articles about how the importance of search engines is changing - to less important.

I feel lucky I am on the top for my name ... I don't know how I can beat out millions of other artists. A site I looked at yesterday had 50 million hits in an hour.

What is hard about the WordPress import? just curious.

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

robin said...

exporting from expression engine to wordpress? There's not an export function in ee, unless it's in the latest version (haven't upgraded yet).

I've been told that I can use my rss feed for all posts and then somehow import it into wordpress.
Basically, I have to get a xml file out of ee which isn't that hard, but then there's the whole categories things, and what to do with comments, and making sure the photo links don't break. I've found a couple of people who've done it, and it's on my list for one day... ;-)

I'm actually going to do a post on the search engine issue, because that is too long for a comment. ;-)