Advice Wanted!

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I have this blog. It’s a WordPress blog. I love writing for my blog, and I love receiving your comments even more!

But I’m having a five-month blog crisis and I need your advice.

When I first entertained the idea of starting a blog, I asked it in, offered it a seat and a cold drink, then asked, “What platform do you think I should use for my blog?”

The idea stared back at me blankly.

So I bitch-slapped the drink out of its hand and showed it the door.

But the idea didn’t go away. Eventually, I apologized and we became friends, but I realized that to make things work between us, I was going to have to find out more about blogs on my own.

I did some online research. I looked high and I looked low, but everywhere I looked, the same three names kept coming up: Blogger, TypePad and WordPress. Blogger seemed to have a reputation for being user-friendly, while WordPress reportedly had more functionality. TypePad barely made the running.

I foolishly deluded myself into thinking that I was computer-savvy enough to deal with the WordPress platform and, even if I didn’t need it right now, I’d grow into the functionality. I logged onto WordPress and posted my first entry on T’s and my one-year wedding anniversary.

Fast-forward five months. I have found that the blogosphere is even more galactic than I imagined. I have found an awesome community of MilSpouses and a handful of other wonderful blogs. My imagination has taken flight and I find myself with idea after idea for new posts, pages and plug-ins.

The problem is I also find myself spending ridiculous amounts of time trying to figure out things like: how to follow others’ blogs; how to reply to comments via email; how to post buttons on my page. This is time that I could (and should) be spending writing and posting.

Example: I embedded a Picasa slideshow on a recent post. It took me well over an hour to figure out how to do this. I grabbed the HTML code and pasted it into the HTML section of my post. It didn’t work.

Through research, I figured out that I needed to go through vodpod.com to get the slideshow to work. I had never even heard of vodpod, but hey, what the heck? It was too late to turn back. I was in that stubborn determined mode where I was going to post that damn slideshow or die trying.

I thought…if I had Blogger instead of WordPress, would this have been easier? Both Piscasa and Blogger are through Google.

Another example: Through WordPress I set up my Gravatar profile, which is supposed to link my icon picture to my email address. Theoretically, when I comment using the email address, that picture should appear next to my comment. No dice.

I set up a Blogger profile and Bingo! My picture now shows up next to my comments.

What I’m trying to get at, in a long-winded, roundabout way, is…did I make the right platform choice? WordPress is easy enough to use for the basics, but Blogger seems like it has the more complete package – you need just one account to get set up with everything from email and a blog to Google Reader and Analytics.

But would the learning curve be just as steep? Should I stick with the devil I know?

I look to you, fellow bloggers, for your input. Help me resolve the great Blogger vs. WordPress debate!

What are your experiences with Blogger or WordPress? Are you satisfied with the platform you chose? What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages? Have you been able to do everything you’d like to do with your blog? What have your frustrations been? Your successes?

I’m looking for feedback from both Blogger and WordPress users (and anyone else!).

Many, many thanks from a frazzled, frustrated and flummoxed fellow blogger!

Sincerely,

Sarah @ Mowenackie

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7 responses to “Advice Wanted!

  1. I think this is one of those times where “the grass is greener.” I am with blogger & I like it, I know how to use it. But I’ve heard WordPress is where it’s at. I’ve heard its the better platform & I know of people who move from blogger to wordpress. I’ve never heard of the other direction. I set up a wordpress account & I took one look & ran back to blogger though. I think they all have good & bad. I think you can still set up a Google account without Blogger & you can put Google friend connect on you wordpress blog.

    Maybe make a test blog on blogger so you can play around with the format & see how you like it before you make a solid decision.

    • I think you are probably right. I’m leaning toward staying with WordPress, since I have learned so much already…but that “complete package” sure is tempting. I’m all about simplifying! Curious what others have to say, though.

  2. Hi Sarah, I have the exact same questions that you do. I am a complete newb to blogging. I am busy trying to figure out how to add you my “dashboard” or something so that I can come back and check out your responses to this great post! Good luck getting some informative answers!

    • I know! I haven’t found out how to do that yet either, short of subscribing. There is a really nice set up for following blogs in Google Reader, but…it sure would be nice to have everything in one place!

  3. I like blogger only because it’s like “blogging for dummies”. I think WordPress has more functionality, but I would never use all of the cool features because I’m too lazy. Right now, all I want to do is post blogs and find/read other blogs. Blogger meets that criteria in a very user-friendly way. I guess it all just depends on what your needs are.

  4. I really like Blogger. It’s super-simple to use and it only takes me a few minutes to do anything I want on it. Not sure about WordPress, but Blogger was easy for me to use from the very beginning. :)

  5. In my technology class the teacher had us use wordpress, I don’t have experience with blogger but I know that you can do a lot with wordpress. I may even be able to help you. Lau

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