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.

15 thoughts on “WordPress.com > Blogger

  1. I kinda grown to hate wordpress(+mysql), when it bit me once in a really ugly way (irrevocably mangled the codepage of my posts).
    Yes, I know this issue should be resolved for the new installations at least, but the glass is really broken now.
    I consider worpress proper bloated, too, and since I didn’t really use the features (or any plugin – bar akismet for comment spam), I have no real incentive to use it.
    Plus – the wordpress.com themes are few, you can’t add your own and I didn’t really like any of them, so at least this blogger’s benefit over wp.com was the killer for me when I decided I wanted a blog again.

    This was a temporary solution anyway, and as soon as I have hosting and software sorted out I am getting out of there, too.

    1. Yes, I know this issue should be resolved for the new installations at least, but the glass is really broken now.

      Well, I was talking more about free uses in wordpress.com, not self-hosted ones. In a self-hosted installation, errors can indeed happen but I’m not certain if it’s the SW’s fault unless I know the circumstances. In any case, as far as self-hosted installations go you only have WP as an option. Sure, you can go with drupal or joomla but they were not designed for blogging in mind so they have some limitations.

      consider worpress proper bloated, too, and since I didn’t really use the features (or any plugin – bar akismet for comment spam), I have no real incentive to use it.

      You’re really missing the point of having a self-hosted installation then. But how can WordPress be bloated when you’re not using plugins? Basic WP installations are quite lean.

      This was a temporary solution anyway, and as soon as I have hosting and software sorted out I am getting out of there, too.

      So what do you have in mind?

  2. My immediate gripe was going to be about how as a commenter, I have no idea if my comment was replied to or if the discussion has gone on without just going and checking since there’s no “notify me of followup comments via email” option like on blogger, but then you have it. You’re the first. Is that one of those features you have to pay extra for? If not, why doesn’t every WP blog have that?

    Although blogger templates suck by default, you can go in an edit the entire code, as I have done to give myself 3 columns. I’ve heard from WP people that such flexibility is not possible, at least not unless you pay $$$. Care to comment?

  3. Standalone wordpress beats hands-down both blogger and wp.com.
    But if you take only the free services’ offered features, wp.com is better only in trackback tracking, while it lacks on the customizability front:
    You can only change your sidebar (adding/removing widgets), and you have only so many themes to chose from, while on blogger you can do whatever you like with your theme. And that last one was the ‘killer feature’ for me.

    Oh, and you don’t have to pay blogger to have the blog in your own domain. Just purchase the domain and you are set.

    By the way, if you use the “new” themes on blogger, customization is really easier; you can write no html at all if you want.

    My immediate gripe was going to be about how as a commenter, I have no idea if my comment was replied to or if the discussion has gone on without just going and checking since there’s no “notify me of followup comments via email” option like on blogger, but then you have it. You’re the first. Is that one of those features you have to pay extra for? If not, why doesn’t every WP blog have that?

    All wordpress blogs provide a comments feed you can subscribe if you want to. The email notification has to be enabled seperately (if not provided through a plugin).

    This was a temporary solution anyway, and as soon as I have hosting and software sorted out I am getting out of there, too.

    So what do you have in mind?

    I am leaning to something really simple. Like ikiwiki. Leaves less potential security holes, too, since static pages are somewhat difficult to hack 😉

  4. Again, if you do care about them, fine.
    And while I do agree that commenting is better in wordpress, the other features should have a nice fat “IMHO” beside them.
    There are better ways to build communities than wp’s related posts and tags, and it is called planets. Or even something like technorati, where you don’t have to have a specific piece of software to be included.

    I can’t comment on the admin interface, since the last time I actually saw a worpress one was back in 2006; I believe much has changed since.

    And I fail to see what you can do with wordpress’ extras that you can’t add in a blogger blog.

    But anyway, I should stop defending blogger now; I am looking for a way out myself. Just not the obvious one.

  5. Okay, I took the URL feedburner gave me and copied it into blogger–is that all I should need to do, other than wait? I ask because the feed switch-over doesn’t seem to have taken effect yet.

    1. Glad to see it working. If you want any tips about WP, let me know and I can try and help 😉

  6. Oh, and while I’m here 🙂 …

    If you need to follow a conversation you should subscribe to the commend feed.

    So I will generate hundreds of HTTP requests into the indefinite future (since: “when do I stop requesting that feed?”), only to find out if someone might have responded to that comment of mine on a 3 months old post? I don’t like that approach, neither as a commenter on foreign blogs, nor as a weblog owner and server admin.

  7. You must be kidding. There are tons of blogging CMS systems around. The world isn’t just wp or blogger.com

    For personal installations there’s not that many. WordPress and Typepad are the classics and Typepad is much less powerful than WP.
    If you’re talking about free online CMS systems then yes, there are quite a few. From Livejournal (and derivants) to scienceblogs and whetever else. That does not take away from the comparison I made.

    but wordpress not having comment preview is also a pain in the behind. How do I know I did the blockquote cite=”” right? Ah yeah, I will find out once I posted my comment 🙂

    This is one of my gripe with wordpress.com as well but I’m hoping they will eventually implement something. However this is easily fixable in a self-hosted wordpresss installation since you can use both preview and edit plugins (indeed some themes come with it built it) or you can use something like Intense Debate as I have started doing now (you only see it in new posts or ones without old comments.)

    Anyway, have fun there! (found your weblog through Planet EL/LAK)

    Thanks and don’t be a stranger 😉

    only to find out if someone might have responded to that comment of mine on a 3 months old post?

    Well I consider these requests quite low and small compared to a normal http request for the page itself. I’m guessing also that if you close the comments of a post after a while, new http requests are refused.
    Still, a self-hosted wordpress gives you other options as well. There is both a plugin for notifying by email (subscribe to comments, I had it but disabled it recently) and/or you can outsource the comments to something like intense debate and let them handle the horrible load 😉

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