Evolution

So it goes. There’s been a worrying growth in spam comments breaking through the defences lately, so time to move: Enter Akismet. (Comes bundled in with the latest version of WP; looks very impressive and simple to use.)

Also, you can now get a WordPress blog hosted at http://wordpress.com. Most of the WP features except that there’s only a limited number of themes (that will probably expand) and you can’t edit the templates at all. But it’s still way better than Blogger…

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13 Responses to Evolution

  1. What are the big advantages of WordPress over a Blogger-generated blog that you host on your own server?

    How hard is it to shift entries over?

  2. Claire says:

    Sharon you tempter!

    I just set up an account. To me it seems like blogger but with that nice professional wordpress shine.

  3. Sharon says:

    Milan: Firstly, there’s the convenience of having facilities for such things as categories, and links (all of which are very flexible), rather than having to edit the template or use a remotely hosted blogroll. The WP admin interface is much better designed and easier to use than Blogger’s (although I don’t know exactly how that works if you host it yourself). If you host your own WP, you have a wide range of plugins for extra functions, and vast numbers of themes that you can either use straight out of the box or tweak and edit to your heart’s content. The how-to documentation and support forums are amazingly good. Proper trackbacks, better antispam, ‘Pages’ (separate from the chronology of posts, can be very useful – my archives and blogroll pages are done using specially formatted Pages), more straightforward commenting setup. And probably other stuff I’ve forgotten. No doubt things will move on and in a couple of years WP will have been overtaken by somebody else (just as it overtook Movable Type, which was the big self-hosted one in early 2004 when I started blogging). But right now, it’s the one to beat.

    It’s supposed to be quite easy to import from Blogger, though I’ve never tried it. It’s certainly very easy to install. (But you will need to check that your web hosting supports PHP and MySQL.) The one big problem is that you can find yourself spending an awful lot of time playing with it…

  4. rob says:

    As a Blogger->WP convert, I’d second all of Sharon’s comments. Definitely the big plus is power. You simply have a lot more control over what you can do with your baby.

    And I would also underline her point about documentation: the sheer number of fellow users who play with the potential of WP and then write or chat about it is a real boon, and rarely hostile to neophytes.

  5. Claire says:

    I think they are adding new stylesheets. I’ve set a blog up yesterday and there are more available today. Whatever wordpress are doing it’s made my font go ridiculously large (or is it my computer?). They’re obviously still having teething problems.

  6. Sharon says:

    Claire, it looks fine this morning. If you still have a problem it’s probably your computer (or maybe your browser)…

    I just wish they’d introduce a few more themes that aren’t blue, green or grey!

  7. Claire says:

    I worked out what it was. For some reason when I copied text from word it interfered with the whole template. Very odd that. I’ll just have to limit copying and pasting.

  8. Sharon says:

    Ah, the weirdness of Word. As an alternative you could try “Paste Special” in Word… Aargh. Braindead. That’s not how Paste Special works at all; I got myself confused. Sorry.

    Anyway, I’m betting the problem is a conflict between Word formatting and the WordPress WYSIWYG text editor’s formatting. So either don’t use Word – use Notepad or maybe Wordpad instead – or turn off the WP WYSIWYG function:

    go to ‘Your Profile’ in admin and uncheck the box at the bottom of the page that says ‘Use the visual rich editor when writing’. Then anything you paste in should go in as plain text and not cause any trouble. (But of course you’ll have to manually format all your posts.)

  9. Claire says:

    Would it work if I copied from word into notepad and then into wordpress?

  10. david tiley says:

    Just getting used to wordpress before shifting from MT. Recently started a blogger blog just to try it out to answer some questions from a friend. I was impressed by the sheer ease of the thing, although people say it gets slow if your blog is large.

    I am not sure with WP why anyone wants to go through word on the way – you can save, which is the important thing.

    I guess the thing with the themes is to do manual fiddles with the style sheet, as with MT. I presume that is what got you the lovely rich red on this blog, rather than the manky blue I am soon going to remove on mine.

  11. Sharon says:

    It’s only with the wordpress.com-hosted blogs that you can’t edit the templates (I don’t know why they’ve set it up like that or whether it’s likely to change).

    The reason for writing posts on a text editor first, with remotely hosted blogs, is insurance in case you press publish (or save) and it just disappears into the ether. Blogger tends to make people paranoid.

  12. Deb says:

    I’m still fine tuning my blog but wordpress is the way to go.

    I don’t know much about coding and php etc so I’m learning as I go.

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