On Blogging, and WordPress


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. WordPress lets you rate the links on your blogroll. This is supposed to help in Search Engine Optimization. And I believe it does.
  8. The Dashboard on login shows you the latest activity on your blog. Saves you the trouble of looking through different posts to monitor activity.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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14 Responses to On Blogging, and WordPress

  1. sulz says:

    what i really like about wordpress blogs is that it doesn’t take forever to load, unlike blogger blogs. i use dial-up, obviously. and all the techie stuff are done for us, all we have to be concerned about is just content and maybe layout, though there’s also the choice of customization. choices are everywhere in wordpress, which means more freedom for the blogger.

  2. bachodi says:

    WPMU BLOG STATS is actually a drawback in wordpress.com. WPMU is using Google analytics for tracking visitors, and very very few things are shown in here that too for limited span of time. Also WP does not allow us to create one more analytics account to track stats. I have used analytics for my previous blog and it is awesome.
    ( by WP you meant wordpress.com right ? not hosted worpress )

  3. bachodi says:

    Ah ..
    one more information. If you are interested in watching more stats than which is displayed just change “number of days” to a higher value.
    Say if you want to see “top posts” dashboard shows you 30 days, , change “numdays” attribute in addressbar.
    (..rdpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats&view=postviews&numdays=70&summarize)

    Hope this is not redundant information

  4. rand0mwalker says:

    congrats on the 10k clicks šŸ™‚

  5. Dushy says:

    WordPress looks pretty good! But blogspot isnt that bad ! šŸ˜‰

  6. wanderlust says:

    @sulz:
    i agree. it gives you a professional look and feel even if you arent some killer web designer.
    @bachodi:
    that was new info. thanks!!
    @rand0mwalker:
    thankee!
    @dushy:
    there are a lot of things blogspot can do to make it a better blogging experience for their users. but i guess blogger beta is better or something… i dont know. care to elucidate?

  7. AJ says:

    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.

    Snap preview are the bane of web page usability. I hate them and despise them with utter contempt. Thankfully, due to a combination of extensions, I can avoid them completely and enjoy a web page snap(spam preview?) free..

    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 [Iā€™m yet to try them all out, but I promise I will in the near future]ā€¦ 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.

    That single widget is enough to turn me off from ever visiting a site.. Especially if it is set to autoplay.

  8. Anjaan says:

    Congratualtions!! šŸ™‚

  9. Lalita says:

    Congrats on the milestone, Priya. But I am a slow learner and need tutorials for all things tech; so I had better await a lesson before I decide to change over. Not that you young things have time to elucidate things for us old fogies. HTML means nightmare, to my ilk.

  10. wanderlust says:

    @AJ:
    point noted about songkit. but i still dont understand what the problem with snap is…
    @Anjaan:
    thanke, thanke. how’ve you been?
    @Lalita:
    Thanks!
    Actually, WordPress makes it a lot simpler for folks who don’t know HTML and don’t want to bother.
    Now if you wanted to add a link on your sidebar on Blogger [Don’t know how the new one works, im talking of the old one], you would have to modify the page source. In WP, you have one nice interface where you’d just have to enter the link and the name you want to give it, and what CATEGORY you want it to fall into, and there you go!
    And hit counters and sidebar widgets are easier to add on WP than on blogger, I feel, as all you’ll have to do is drag and drop, and you almost never have to get a third-party widget.
    For someone who claims to fear HTML, i should say your site is well-maintained and has a good share of sidebar add-ons. keep up the good work!

  11. AJ says:

    what the problem with snap is

    The problem with snap is that it breaks the flow of web pages. I use a laptop to surf the net and sometimes the mouse might hover over a link which will then popup the snap preview. Other times,when I’m using k/b to navigate the web page (which I frequently do) the mouse might pass over a link which will cause the irritating popup!
    All this causes distraction from the point of visiting the web site, which is to read the content!

  12. Couldn’t agree more about WP’s superiority .. you folks have put up one solid argument ! šŸ˜€

  13. Harish says:

    Except for blog stats and the multiple feature pages, all the others that you have mentioned are available on Blogger now. Yes, in the older version, some of these were not there, but now it’s available. Well, being a blogger on Blogger, I thought I should write this reply. I am no marketer for blogger. šŸ™‚

    One more point. You have ‘preview comment before publishing’ on blogger. This, I think, isn’t there in WordPress.

  14. sandeepeecs says:

    one most important thing abt wordpress is that
    it is open source thats y i love it!

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