People Get Ready

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WordPress vs. Blogger evaluation

Posted by schroeder915 on December 11, 2006

I’ve been trying WordPress for about six weeks now, after becoming totally exasperated with Blogger’s tendency to just clock endlessly while publishing posts, and its frequent connection issues. My experience using so far:

  • Overall, better page design templates.
  • I like the ability to use categories (but I’m still trying to figure out how best to categorize posts).
  • There are far better tools than Blogger provides for administering the site.
  • Ho-hum page loads.
  • Feeds to Google, Technorati, and other online search engines, seem to be a lot slower than Blogger (which might make sense, since Blogger is now owned by Google). This is an important issue if you want potential readers to see that you have something relevant to a current issue or event.
  • Occasional connection problems — far less frequent than Blogger, but still a showstopper.
  • I’ve been waiting for days for authorization to edit the blog’s CSS after paying a $15 PayPal fee for an option to upgrade. Getting access to the CSS is especially important to me, since some of the formatting is really annoying (like font sizes that are either too small or too big, and blockquotes eliminating line breaks so that I have to manually insert them). Creating lists (like this one) requires manually highlighting each list element to insert a symbol. You can’t just select a block of text and create a bulleted list (as you can with Blogger), and once again, the line breaks disappear in the published post — extremely annoying behavior, in particular since creating blockquotes or list items adds two line breaks above and below the selected text, requiring the user, once again, to manually re-format the text to eliminate the added space. So yes, as I’m composing this message, I’m manually adding list item tags to each list element, removing the added line breaks (which serve no purpose in the published post), and then additionally adding manual line breaks between elements, (I’d show how to create a manual line break, but the standard PHP way of escaping the tag element with a “\” doesn’t work). These sorts of manual edits are made all the more difficult by the fact that it’s hard to select a long block of text in such a tiny edit window when you can’t see the entire block of text without scrolling, and then, the window scrolls up and down too fast to accurately select the desired text.
  • The edit window is miniscule. Composing messages often requires grabbing the mouse to scroll up and down through a post to re-read. It’s like driving with all but a three inch square of your windshild blacked out. Come on! WordPress could better optimize the screen real estate. The most important thing that people want to do is write — so WordPress should maximize the ease of doing that. (Update: Problem solved. I now have all the real estate I could want, thanks to a tip by Dangerblond tip to go into the options settings and reset the writing box. This is one option where, as it turns out, WordPress definitely has Blogger beat).
  • There’s no button to change font colors. The only way to do it is to manually insert font tags.
  • Yesterday I noticed a message prompting me about a space limitation. I had used six percent of my 50 megabyte limit. I can upgrade to a gigabyte or more for $20 per gigabyte. The last time I bought a hard drive, it was under a dollar per gigabyte. Come on! 50 megabytes? I really don’t like this model.
  • I still haven’t been able to move over Blogger images. They are often blocked from displaying in WordPress by Blogger. The best solution seems to be to port my old Blogger posts to a Web server where I’ll have access to a MySql backend database, and to then alter the paths in the database after copying images to a different host. This ought to be a fairly rudimentary process if I only had access to my database, but alas, that isn’t allowed.

Overall, I’m not convinced I’ll stay with WordPress. I’m not saying others shouldn’t try it, but it’s definitely a different experience from Blogger.

As for Blogger, well, they have plenty of their own problems.

11 Responses to “WordPress vs. Blogger evaluation”

  1. Schroeder, you can change the size of the “post box” in Options/Writing.

  2. Editor B said

    I like WordPress a lot, and have been using it for years. But I should note that I’m using my own install of WordPress on my own domain (where massive storage is cheap). Such is the beauty of a open source software. Clearly when hosting with you are more locked down, but it’s hard for me to figure why you’re having some of the problems you enumerate. Are they WordPress problems, or problems? Some of both, I suppose. Access to CSS might eliminate some of your list problems. BTW, WordPress supports a number of nifty keyboard shortcuts, such as CTL-A to make a link. They’re worth learning if you haven’t already. Oh, and FONT tags are evil, terrible things that you should never stoop to using. If you must resort to fiddling at that level, try a span tag with a style attribute, as demonstrated here.

  3. Schroeder said

    You’re right about the span tags. That’s how Blogger does it, when the formatting isn’t being handled by CSS. Maybe I should have my own domain as well. I know it’s out there, and fosters a fantastic open source community. I just don’t want to have to work that hard for it … yet.

  4. Katrinacrat said

    I am liking WordPress so far. I found out that blogger and their offer to upgrade as of late has caused some problems. I cannot post under my name on Beta blogs right now. One of my contributors did the upgrade on his blog and right now, he cannot post at my blog.

    The more I see it, the more I like WordPress. I do have some issues with trying to put some of the same gadgets on the new one though. I guess I am so used to the old templates that I have to get used to being limited in that area.

  5. Maitri said

    As the admin of two different WordPress blogs (one on my server and the other a site), the advice I have to give is this: WordPress works best when installed on your own space. Once you setup a database there, pulling everything out of Blogger should be easy. It takes one morning to put it all together (follow all instructions to a tee – do not skip steps); the front end work is worth the ease of use down the road.

  6. Sophmom said

    Darlin’ I love the red headed step-child in all of this: Blog-City. They kick royal butt in search. Period. Cheap. Easy to use (maybe too easy for you experts). 🙂

  7. Maitri said

    Blog-City – eeew. I’ve been trying to send mindwaves to Adrastos to get rid of it. It’s alright if you’re not a content management freak like me, though.

  8. PDiddie said

    I will speak up for Blogger. They recently upgraded things (I have had only a few issues with it, fewer even than most such as you report).

    I like the graphics of PGR better there than here.

    Many say, however, that WordPress is so sweet it makes them coffee in the morning, cleans up the little spills on the kitchen counter and even tickles their ass with a feather on request.

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