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March 20, 2007

So, a time will come in a few months that I will need to switch blogging platforms again. I know, I know. I switch blogs as often as Steph and I move. 🙂 But you see, we signed up for this address/site for a whole year. And when that year is up, Allen no pay for another one. I’m gonna be in school again… which means no dinero.

So, to a free blog I will go. The question is which one? In my mind there are two legitimate choices: WordPress and Blogger.

So, I ask for your feedback. Thoughts? Preferences? Likes, dislikes?

Here’s the thoughts/factors rolling around in my head.

  • WordPress has way more options (biggest one for me is being Recent Comments) than Blogger’s new release.
  • For what it’s worth, most of the blogs I read are on Blogger.
  • Blogger gives you a lot of photo storage and it’s super easy to place them in a post. WordPress has less storage, but you can also post other types of files (like .doc, .pdf). But these are moot points because I could easily use functions of say Flickr (which Steph and I are planning on starting when we move east anyway) or Archive.org (to post papers, etc.)
  • Blogger gives you free reign with the coding for the blog. WordPress gives you themes to work with and then the ability to move preset gadgets around in the theme framework.
  • Blogger has Google behind it. That has to count for something.

All in all, I lean towards WordPress.

Those are the initial thoughts. Please do comment.

Related note: I currently run the blog on Textpattern. Dumb choice on my part when I started this gig, because there is no easy way I can find of converting all the posts and comments to WordPress. Blogger doesn’t even have an import function. So, either one is going to be full of lots of manual work. If anybody can find an easy way of converting Textpattern to WordPress, then I’m sold.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2007 11:19 am

    Lots of people seem to be switching to WordPress. One feature that I like is the ability to password protect certain posts. In the new Blogger you can password protect the entire blog but not individual posts. On the other hand, I’ve never seen a WordPress background/template/whatever that I really like. They all seem really generic and if you add lots of stuff, then they seem too cluttered and messy. Also, not sure if you know but the new Blogger gives you free reign on the code OR themes and the ability to move things around and add in widgets to the layout. And I completely understand wanting to stand by Google. I am hoping Blogger will add even more features—especially the password thing mentioned above.

  2. Crazy E permalink
    March 21, 2007 2:44 pm

    You’re a terrible person, making break silence twice in a week.

    WordPress is incredibly flexible, has built in importing for Textpattern blogs, with a catch. You need to have your own host, not wordpress.com, since you have to mess with 1 php file. It’s easy, but that, of course, costs money. I’m looking into a easier way than manually inputing the old posts; I’ll keep you updated on that.

    I belive that wordpress.com now offers muliple blog hosting off one account. If you want to streamline, you could switch the Family Hutch blog over to WordPress, have 1 account, and still keep the blogs seperate. Also: built-in Flickr sidebar widgets.

    I’m also a bit of an old hand at WordPress, so I could give a hand with the importing features and any other questions that might pop up.

    Of course, Blogger has always struck me as the newbie blog host, one you go to when first starting out. Once upon a time, I too had a Blogger account. Having become a man, I put away…well, you get the idea.

    Final note: One built-in wordpress theme is 99.9% similar to your current blog layout, down I believe to the picture up top. Makes the transition less jarring for the readership, maybe.

    SILENCE!

    -E

  3. Crazy E permalink
    March 21, 2007 3:49 pm

    Or just check this out. Might solve a few problems with the whole import/export thing.

    http://freetxp.com/

    -E

  4. March 21, 2007 5:33 pm

    Buy a MacBook from Fogey with edu discount and get him to hook you up with a free .mac account (1GB of space). Use free blogging software that comes with computer. Do Hutchy dance.

  5. March 21, 2007 6:27 pm

    In my mind it definitely comes down to a simple decision: full control, or recent comments. Those are the salient features as I see them, I personally don’t see too much use for the password thing. However, the more people who read your blog via RSS feed (like me), the less the recent comment box matters—we don’t see it anyway unless we click through to your post. Then again, I guess that means that full control doesn’t matter too much either since all blogs look the same in google reader. Have you done any poking around to see if there are any 3rd party widgets to allow a recent comment box on blogger?

    E, this is probably a dumb question: does the php file have to reside on the same server as the blog? Hutch, you could definitely throw a php file onto my server space if that worked…

  6. March 21, 2007 9:38 pm

    Sweet. Thanks for all the responses guys. Guess I’ll go in order here.

    1) Jeana, I’m gonna go with Jed and not be too interested on the password deal for ind. posts (what’s the benefit? Let me know, I’m curious). But you bring up a good point about the layout thing. I didn’t realize they had the theme setup like WordPress. That’s pretty cool.

    2) E, dude, thanks! You make a strong case for WordPress. Oh the decisions! But I must remain on a free WordPress if I go that route, and the theme similar to mine is only for the “have your own server” type. But we press on…

    3) Wow, what a setup. Free TXP. Interesting. I do think I want to get away from the TXP. It’s been good to us, but there was that one password dealie snafu I had earlier in the year that was a pain for a couple of days…

    4) Ben, genius idea. One I wouldn’t be opposed to… if I had the money. How much those MacBooks cost under the ol’ edu discount?

    5) Jed, I think you may have tipped the scales. Steph started the tipping requesting that whatever I switch to, I have both blogs on the same system… But Jed, your point about finding a 3rd party widget. Kudos. I just did a search and within five minutes was able to find a couple of different possibilities. And thanks for being willing to share the server space.

    So E, here’s the rub. If you or I can find a way to transfer my blog to WordPress quickly, then that may prove the way I go. But if not, and I’m gonna have to do manual work, I might as well go back to Blogger, since the Family blog is already there.

    Thanks guys!!!

  7. March 21, 2007 10:58 pm

    I’m not making a case for either platform so, yeah if you don’t care about the password protection, it’s obviously a non-issue. I’m interested because of family security. Sometimes I regret that I’ve given such easy access to my family because our full names are used and it’s easy to track down our city and all the pictures are just there. I have no control over what crazies are looking at my child and that is a bit unnerving. With the password protected posts I would be able to only allow people that I want to see pictures and read sensitive information while still maintaining a relatively public blog.

    Not that I’m looking for world-wide readership. My blog really is just for family and friends to be able to peek into our lives. But I know that several strangers have been following along, too.

    And I agree, Blogger does seem to be the training wheels of the blogging world. But if that’s not important to you, it also shouldn’t be a factor in your decision. Especially as Google is so good at integrating all their stuff and it seems like they have new features coming out all the time.

  8. March 22, 2007 8:42 am

    Jeana, that makes sense. Tis an odd and difficult balance.

    Eli, had an idea. Since I’ve still got this server space for a few months, what if I setup a wordpress.org blog that requires the personal server and do that trick you mentioned that converts TXP to wordpress. Then, once converted to wordpress, I could simply move the whole thing again to a wordpress.com site. The hour or so for setting that all up would be WAY faster than the manual input I was envisioning. And then I could switch the family blog over too. Would that work? Where is this TXP to WordPress magic you speak of?

  9. Crazy E permalink
    March 22, 2007 10:04 am

    Yeah, you should be able to set up WordPress on yor server, import the TXP stuff, and then export into a wordpress.com site. Should be easy. And the blogger import feature is built in to the free wordpress site.
    The TXP php script is on this site: http://technosailor.com/textpattern-to-wordpress-import-script/

  10. March 22, 2007 11:11 am

    E, you’re a stud. Thanks!

  11. March 23, 2007 8:32 am

    I would like to move to WordPress and my own server space. That is me, though.

    I find that blogger has a lot of bloat that I don’t need, where the WordPress I have running on my computer is customizable to my needs.

    Blogger does have one advantage: You can now use your own domain on a blogger blog. In other words, if you want to continue to use this address, you can—without the ”.blogspot.com” part. I thought that was a good idea. It also leaves room for future movement.

    In the end, I would say go with what is easiest for you. Manual importing is lame.

    Oh yeah, and Fogey has a great idea too. If you don’t get a Macbook (i.e. if you don’t need a laptop) get an iMac. I have one. It. ROCKS.

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