WordPress.com > Blogger

Can someone please explain to my why people are still creating blogs on blogger when they can use WordPress.com?

I mean, seriously, not only is the feature superiority of the later platform staggering but, after having to use blogger for the last few days now (mostly as a commenter), I can honestly attest, that it’s a pain it the buttocks!

Let me just list…

The things I’ve grown to hate in blogger

The list, looking back at it, is quite large. I’m surprised how someone who is funded by the bottomless pockets of the likes of Google can just be so bad at innovating and usage.

No trackback features

The only way you can see who is linking to you through blogger is to wait until google crawls through the site in question and discovers the link and then creates a “backlink”. If that site happens to be pretty obscure, then good luck.

Also blogger will not send a trackback or pingback to your own blog. I don’t know how many times I’ve been linked from blogger sites and I only discovered it when I checked my incoming links in my dashboard.

On the other side, wp.com not only handles trackbacks appropriately, placing them in the comment field at the time they were written with a small excerpt of the are around the link, but it also does not need you to manually specify trackback urls in your configuration. It will just send a pingback to any link you have automatically.

Comment handling

This is my biggest annoyance to tell you the truth.

  • You are always redirected to another template in order to comment. Why they cannot just place the comment field below the entry, I do not know, but it’s horribly annoying. That damn template is so thin that I always have to scroll down 10 times to find what I want to reply to
  • The captcha sux donkey balls. Not only are the letters ridiculously hard to read sometimes but apparently It will randomly deny the authentication.
  • If your authentication is denied, then you have to decipher the next letters. Also, you cannot preview without correct captcha inserted.
  • At random times, my OpenID will not be accepted (even though it’s always the same). When that happens, I have to re-enter the damn captcha always.
  • No quoting mechanism or tags. I mean, seriously, how fucking difficult is it to allow the blockquote tag which has been defined in HTML for ages now? As a result, everyone just uses their own damn quoting style which is annoying as you have to figure out how each commented decided to quote today.
    Granted, people use their own quoting style in WordPress comment fields as well but I can then blame it on their own ignorance/incapability to read and I’m hoping that an eventual upgrade will allow TinyMCE editing.
  • I’ll grant that blogger provides a preview feature which is useful but the rest of the comment annoyances just bury it.
  • After you submit a comment, your permalink is some crappy blogger code which you cannot use to link to (if you want). In order to link to your comment (or use it in some other way), you need to go back to the original post and click on the date of your comment below your name.

Templates

80% of all blogger templates suck. They suck so hard it’s difficult to explain their suckiness.

  • Fixed Width at 640 pixels or whatever which leads me to have 50% of my monitor empty with a tiny column of text in the middle.
  • No avatar support. On the other hand, WordPress.com just added support for avatar collections and gravatars. This just make it more easy to tell the commenters apart.

They only thing saving the template issue of blogger is that they can be hacked, while you can’t do that in WordPress.com unless you pay. However,  most people who like to hack are more likely to host their own WordPress sites. Also, the widgets of WordPress provide a much easier way to add banners and other random stuff to your sidebar instead of editing raw html.

Admin

WordPress.com provides you with a dashboard with many useful features like statistics, overview of your comments in all of wordpress.com, tag management etc. Blogger has, frankly, jack shit.

Community

The only community issue that blogger has is the top navbar which allows you to jump to another random blog. Not very useful

WordPress.com has the exellent possibly related posts feature, the classic navbar, tag surfer and tag subscription. If you want to find related stuff in the blogosphere, it is much easier. Also, by supporting trackbacks correctly, you actually see who is linking back at you immediately and it can actually act as a comment (as is the point of trackbacks).

They’ve already included a way to track your self-hosted wordpress blog through wordpress.com so I’m eagerly waiting for the plugins that will allow me to become a member of the wordpress.com community as well.

Btw, the profile setup of blogger leaves a lot to be desired for.

Features

Not only does wordpress.com seriously out-gun blogger in turns of features, it also has the extra benefit or being free software. That means that the quality of the service not only increases but that speed accelerating with the more people that join. What this means is that the rate that new cool features are being introduced increases exponentially.

On the other hand, blogger finally managed to allow scheduled posts just this month. A feature that has been standard for ages everywhere else.

Also, the fact that WordPress.com is open sourced means that, if for some reason, you wish to leave, you not only have the option of hosting it yourself (since the administration is identical) but you can bet that you can easily find alternatives as well that may fit your needs better.

Finally, I mentioned that wordpress.com is based on free software. This makes it superior ethically as well. While if you pay for features in blogger, you just hand more money to the ultra rich google, by supporting wordpress.com, you are paying the developers who in turn can use their time to provide a software that anyone can use.

So what are you waiting? Just give it a go and see if it works. It’s as painless as it gets.

You’re not certain how to do it? Let me give a hand:

How to migrate your blogger site to wordpress.com

Feel free to link to this section

  1. Create a new wordpress.com account and blog
  2. Go to Manage -> Import
  3. Import from blogger
  4. Admire how much better it looks.

If you have an already established user base, in order to avoid losing the users who read you through feed or bookmarked you you can do the following:

Feed

  1. Create a feedburner account and a feed for your blog (just follow the instructions)
  2. Redirect your blogger feed to the feedburner feed. This can be done though your Blogger Dashboard -> Settings -> Feed. In all honesty, If you have not done this already you’re missing out.
  3. Once all your users have moved to the new feed, perform the migration to wordpress.com and then edit your feedburner feed so as to draw the wordpress.com one instead of blogger.
  4. Done and none’s the wiser

Ninja Site redirection

This is just a way I thought off the top of my head. Unfortunately you might have to crack open your wallet for it to work. If anyone has a better idea, lemme know.

  1. Pay blogger to allow you to use your own domain name.
  2. Wait until everyone has updated their bookmarks.
  3. Migrate to wordpress.com
  4. Pay wordpress to allow you to use your own domain name.
  5. Redirect the domain name from blogger to wordpress.com
  6. Done and none’s the wiser

Alternatively, just make a final post and inform people to visit and bookmark the new site, you cheap bastard.

New bloggers

Why are you even using blogger anyway? If you’re reading this you should have deleted you blogger already and preparing a trackback from your new wordpress.com or baywords blog to tell me how right I was.

As new users, you have nothing to lose and, hopefully I’ve convinced you, a lot to gain.

Now, Git! Save me from having to use the crappy blogger comments again.


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