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Is it Time to Leave Blogger?

It seems hardly a day goes by that I don’t ask myself if this is the day I leave Blogger and move over to Wordpress. I’ve been waiting (and waiting) for mighty Google to upgrade Blogger and quite frankly I’m getting sick of it. I guess when you’ve got a cash cow going, where’s the motivation?

When Google took over Blogger I was facing the same conundrum but I stuck it out because Google is, well… Google, and I was expecting great things from them. But as time marched on I’m not seeing much activity in regards to upgrades.

Yes they gave us anti-spam features, but that was self-serving because of the huge inundation of splogs (spam blogs). And who were the ones that suffered for it? We did because we were all forced to go through a laborious procedure of proving to Blogger that we weren’t spamming them. It was a case of guilty until proven innocent and it was a real pain the ass fixing it.

They did give us some cool new templates to tinker with but they are designed for small screen resolutions, and because of their design limitations (especially the rounders versions) trying to make them fit larger screens is a difficult undertaking for the average user.

They only gave us comments after every other blogging platform already had it for a long time. They also gave us an alternate method for creating Google Sitemaps (after lengthy negotiations) but it is a second rate compromise. A site search of my own blog demonstrates that limitation - notice how each post description is the same. An email to Blogger about this odd behaviour has never been answered.

BUT despite those improvements we are still waiting for the real important stuff like trackback, categories, PHP support, domain mapping, feed links for comments, etc. Blogger has still got a lot of catching up to do, and despite all of our requests Google doesn’t seem to be all that interested.

Should I stay or should I go?

There is no question that Wordpress is a superior blogging environment but only if you are willing to pay for it (i.e. hosting). Unfortunately there are no free alternatives that can win me over yet, and it always seems to come down to deciding whether or not to host my own Wordpress blog or to pay someone else to do it for me.

Personally I don’t want the hassles of hosting Wordpress myself so that is not an option. (I should also mention that I can host my Blogger blog elsewhere besides Blogspot, but if I am going to pay why should I accept chicken when I can have steak? There’s also the matter of Google’s giving preference to Blogger blogs in its Blog Search to consider. But we don’t want to go there. Or do we?)

But if I want a Wordpress freebie I am stuck with their sparse plugin support and a meagre selection of templates that I can’t modify. By using various hacks I have been able to make my Blogger blog far more sophisticated than a stripped-down version of Wordpress so that is not an option for me. But if you don’t care if your blog looks like all your neighbours then the free Wordpress option is a viable one.

BUT (I know, there’s lots of buts, but there’s also much to consider) if you really want a free blog that will let you express yourself with your own custom template, you have no option but to stay with Blogger, or MSN Spaces, or… sorry, MySpace is not even in the running.

Sucks don’t it? So what do you want for nothing?

Related links: instabloke, blog, weblog, blogging, blog tools, blog resources, computers and internet, technology, tech, software, google, blogger, wordpress

Written August 1st, 2006 by | 6 Comments | Filed under: Blogging Tips , , , ,

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There are 6 Comments so far to “Is it Time to Leave Blogger?”

  1. Having tried several systems out there, as long as you stay on a hosted platform you will just be trading your problems from one vendor to another.

    I have Blogger blogs and Wordpress blogs, they each have their pro and cons. And when Blogger is acting goofy, there is no relief no matter where it is hosted. However, there are weaknesses in Wordpress too.

    With that said, if I ever start another blog, it will most likely be a Wordpress hosted with an ISP of my choice.

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  2. I really suggest getting your own domain name and creating a weblog from scratch (yourself). I got tired of all the limiting features of the canned blogging services. If you don’t know how, maybe you should start learning php or perl (with cgi’s). After you pick up a few tricks, it’s really not all that hard.

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  3. Do it! And do it now and don’t look back!! I learned the hard way to find the right platform and get onto it as early as possible. You’ll lose less readers in the transition that way (I think I recovered all of mine).

    I LOVE Wordpress - it was TOTALLY worth the 2 days it took to make the full switch. Just to speak to Jeremy’s point on the domain name is a good enough reason on it’s own! :)

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  4. Thanks for the comments guys. While we’re at it, will all you Wordpress lovers share the names of your favorite blog hosts?

    BTW, I do have my own domain name. The problem is the post pages default to blogspot which doesn’t support perl or php. That’s another reason why I’m considering the jump.

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  5. Funny you should ask that - just yesterday I was putting together a hosting table for different platforms. When I get it finished in the next couple of days I’ll shoot you a link!

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  6. I’m looking forward to it Wendy.

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