Sunday, March 20, 2005

After Blogger?

I like Blogger/Blogspot in many ways. But the drawbacks are sufficient to make me seriously consider taking my blogging elsewhere. I'm thinking this because of Blogger's lack of three things: categories; trackback; and uptime. For the last of these, I'm referring to blogger.com, not to blogspot.com. As far as I know, there have been no problems reading my blog, or others hosted at blogspot, but I know I'm not the only person who's sometimes had trouble posting using Blogger.

So I'm thinking of a replacement for Blogger, which means a replacement for Blogspot, or possibly one service to replace them both at once. I'll discuss the combined blogging tools/hosting options first. I could leave Google's Blogger for Microsoft's Spaces or Yahoo's 360. But I won't, for reasons given in my most recent post on them.

I just tried TypePad. I don't think I'll go there. I'll link to the most recent of my posts on my 30-day trial of TypePad, which in turn links to some other relevant posts, from me and from others. If I had to go with TypePad, I think I'd go for the Plus level, at $8.95/month. But that wouldn't give me access to the template html, which I have with Blogger, and it wouldn't give me my own domain, which I could have if I spent the same $ in other ways.

I am inclined to move to WordPress as the blog publishing tool. There are lots of themes available, so I'm confident that I could find one that's close to what I want, and then work with the html from there. That's what I've done at Blogger; this blog's template is based on Mimina.

WordPress is free, in that it available at no charge, and in that it is free/open source software. Free is good, and so is free.

I am far from the only person thinking along these lines. Bambit has recently switched, and her new blog includes a great comparison of Blogger and WordPress. It also includes a post on switching from Blogger to WordPress. She imported her old posts into her new blog. I might well leave my old posts here. After all, Blogspot is rent-free and, as I remarked above, my problems have not been with Blogspot.

Thanks to Bambit, and to Emily, whose post directed me to Bambit, and who provides a list of WordPress 1.5 themes. She describes themes as "a new system that takes the template to the next level." That word new is important. I don't think that there's been much new and significant in Blogger for a while, and I have no reason to think that there will be in the near future.

Having said that, Blogger could prove me wrong enough that I should stay with it. I don't think I'll move my main blogging activity from here until December. I'd like to get my own domain, and that would make a good Christmas or birthday (December 22, since you didn't ask) present. That raises the question of hosting, which probably merits its own post.

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