It has been more than one-and-a-half years of us Numbskulls blogging – One year on Blogger, and the rest on WordPress. And hopefully, there are more to come. But let me not digress, and come to the point straight. Which is, WP Rocks. It really does.
I haven’t really given Blogger
Beta a try, and haven’t ventured into MovableType-based blogging sites like LiveJournal. That puts me in a position where I’m unqualified to comment on how WP is the best. I’ll just elaborate here on how WP is GOOD.
- Instant updates. Whatever change you make to your page, it is updated instantaneously as soon as you click “Update”. Not like Blogger where you have to wait till the whole page is republished.
- Cooler themes. They have a more professional, slicker look. And what’s more, you can make your own, apart from custom image headers. I agree, however, that blogger’s better in this respect: you can edit the HTML of the page. While you can just edit the css of a WP page. It’s easy to make your own theme. Just modify an existing theme, or write your own CSS. It’s not hard to implement your ideas, but you most definitely need a keen eye for what looks good online.
- SNAP Previews. You might have noticed this one. All you have to do is hover your mouse over any link on this page, and a preview of the page will appear in a bubble next to your mouse pointer.
- Sidebar Widgets. You can choose which ones to have on your page, and which ones to drop. So you can have a Flickr widget, one for de.li.cio.us, Meebo, Sonific Songkit [I’m yet to try them all out, but I promise I will in the near future]… the list goes on to include widgets that show your top posts, top clicks from your sites [the links people click most on your page], and your Blog Stats.
- BLOG STATS! Easily the best feature of WordPress. With blog stats, we know how many views we get every day, what links lead here, which links did people click to get here, what links people clicked on our blog, which posts were viewed by how many people, total views of each post, total number of views, how many incoming links we have and which sites link us up, how many people read our feeds everyday, what feedreader they use to do so.. But the bit we like best is the graph that shows how many views we got in the past thirty days. The most convenient one for Search Engine Optimization is the bit that shows you what search terms led people to your blog that day. Just going through that section is an ego-massage, take my word for it. Beats those hit-counter embeds available to put on your site any day – it doesn’t count your own visits to the blog.
- Talking of embeds, you just need to specify the URL of the YouTube/Google/SplashCast/DailyMotion video you want to embed on your post. You don’t need to modify the HTML of the page with the embed URL given in the YouTube/* page.
- WordPress lets you rate the links on your blogroll. This is supposed to help in Search Engine Optimization. And I believe it does.
- The Dashboard on login shows you the latest activity on your blog. Saves you the trouble of looking through different posts to monitor activity.
- In Blogger, the problem we faced was that comment notifications were sent only to a single email ID. We never got to know about new comments on the older posts. Here, comment notifications for a post are sent to its author. That’s a big help on a group blog.
- There is no separate comments page. Which saves a lot of pain, as you can comment on the post’s page itself. And you get the IP address of the commenter in your comment notification – no such things as anonymous comments anymore.
- Tagsurfer enables you to search for posts on the tags you write about, and also on any tag you want to search for. Friendsurfer helps you keep track of other WordPress blogs.
- Post Preview as I save the page, hosting of files upto 50 MB, and most importantly, PAGES. I can have multiple pages on the blog, apart from the blog itself.
- I can disallow comments and/or pings for individual posts, password-protect posts, and everytime someone links up a post of mine, I get a trackback, and it works the other way for other WP posts I link up.
- Most importantly, the user community is very, very active and there is always someone or the other who’s done the very same thing you’ve been planning to [for example, random header images] and are wondering how to go about it, and has blogged about it with detailed instructions on how to go about it.
Ah, if that didn’t make me sound like a WP evangelist… but then, that’s what happens when I’m talking to any blogger who’s on Blogger. I was initially quite skeptical about the move from Blogger to WordPress, but what cinched it in favor of WP was that we were one of the few able to blog even during that difficult time for Indian bloggers when the Government had banned blogs. And what further strengthened the resolve was my SEO blog getting thrown off the domain as it violated Terms of Service. Man, these guys really mean business!
PS: This page got its 10,000th hit a week ago. No, it isn’t indicative of much, except that there have been 10K pings to it. But, uh, er… YAY!