Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blogger or Wordpress? - a Pippadog review

Here, is the tale of my Blogger tribulations.

There I was happily minding my own business, blogging away peaceably, when Nasty Horrid Blogger told me I couldn't get into my own blog.

Hello NHB. Why not? Apparently there was 'unusual activity'. Uh? What did that mean? There was no spam. We were using a different Browser so that Misery Mistress could be schizophrenic and log in to different blogs with all her millions of identities but so what?

We sent in a support request (or whatever it is called). And another. And another. They wanted a telephone number but Misery did not think she should have to do that.

One of her friends told her that she had been locked out of FB and had to do the same thing.

In the end Master took pity on poor blogless Pippadog and told Misery to give out his work number.

Surprise surprise. They sent a message immediately with a code to unlock the blog.

Well, we don't think this is necessary. At all. Just because it is free doesn't mean people should invade a dog's privacy. It is like that bad Facebook which Misery wrote about on her blog here.

So Misery went off to investigate Wordpress for me. She investigated it many years ago and didn't like it. But when she gets a bee in her waxed cotton hat she takes things seriously.

Actually the truth is she had already been dabbling with Wordpress for her own boring blog. Since she stupidly took up Blogger's offer to try their new look, decided she didn't like it, and switched back, she has had problems with fonts and layouts. Even when she upgraded her editor or some such jargon.

Now, I love my blog very much, there are so many pictures of handsome me on there. But I thought if Misery could have a new Wordpress blog, I could have one too.

So she made me one, and she imported all the posts over too. The photos haven't blown up so big, but that's not a huge issue. I didn't want it to look as though I had only just started blogging when I have been doing it for nearly Five! Whole! Years! And twice as many Pippapix floating around the web seemed like A Good Thing to me.

My favourite Wireys - Jake and Just Harry, The Barkalot Boyz - asked if I might write up about it all.

So here we go:

1 Setting it all up is pretty easy. The first step is like Blogger and just involves getting a name and a URL.

2 Then you get into the admin which is not at all like Blogger. It is a different dashboard, and the controls are down the side instead of across the top, so that takes a bit of adjusting.

3 Importing the old posts is probably one of the easiest bits of all. It is just a flick of a switch. I have no idea if you can make your imported pix bigger, but Misery is not prepared to go through a couple of hundred of my posts trying to find out. She is still busy going through the posts on her Clouds blog sorting the text out after Blogger stuffed that one up too and took away her paragraphs. She is obsessed with short paragraphs. Although this one is a bit long.

4 There is a HUGE choice of templates. One hundred and forty something the last time we looked. You can pay for templates with extra twirls options. We haven't done. The customisation is not as flexible as Blogger (unless you pay I guess) but with that sort of choice it's not too difficult to find something you are happy with.

5 Writing posts is pretty straightforward and easy.

6 Loading photos is easy. You can either upload a bunch at once or insert them where you want - I think Blogger has started doing that now.

7 Posts are allocated to a default of Uncategorised which we think is annoying, so best to either categorise them all with the blog name eg Pippadog, or actually think up a few categories which Misery has done on her blog.

8 There is a wide choice of comment settings and fortunately no ghastly word verification string. You can moderate or not - and you can set it so that people don't have to submit their email address which we consider to be an invasion of privacy. Best to make it comment mod rather than ask for pups' pawsonal details. You can also have embedded comments if somepup wants to reply to a specific comment.

9 I don't think the blogroll is as good :( It doesn't seem to come up with piccies or updates like Blogger does. So that one is a PippaPawDown.

10 You can set favicons or avatars or gravatars or whatever you want to call them so that they come up when you comment on a wordpress blog (but not on blogger) and you can have one next to your url in the top bar.

11 You can have little stars at the top so that people can rate your posts. That's very nice if people give you five stars, although I guess if they only give you one that's not very good.

12 You can also have stars so you can rate people's comments which is nice I think.

13 And if people can't be bothered to comment they can 'like' your posts. Which is better than nothing.

14 What else - well you can post to twitter, google, facebook, all the mainstream social network sites with a flick of the paw, although we haven't done that.

15 The summary statistics are neat, and I think, better than the Blogger ones. Plus the spam filter seems pretty effective - according to Misery who seems to attract spammers :D


Pippa's Summary

Is it easy to use? Yes
Is it different to Blogger? Yes in quite a few respects
Is it easy to import the old blog? Yes
But we recommend NOT getting rid of any old blogs - just in case.
Is it worth a try? Yes
Can you spend hours in front of the computer trying out different options? Almost certainly

A couple of Misery's pals have said they like the look of the Wordpress blogs, and one said they found the clean lines attractive. We think they are too, although we tried to keep our Blogger blogs pretty clean and simple.

Basically the overall package is not too different to Blogger, but there are some tweaks where the two companies do differ. Most of our friends use Blogger, and we have been pretty happy with it over the last five years. But over the last few months it has annoyed us very much and the insistence on demanding a 'phone number - and not responding to three support requests - when we had done nothing wrong was VERY annoying.

To us, over the years, Blogger has not improved. There wasn't anything wrong with it when we started, and any changes they have made have not been for the better. Misery thought Wordpress was terrible when she looked at it a zillion years ago - but it definitely has improved which is why it gets a PippaPawUp. And Blogger gets the PippaPawDown.

So I may write the odd post on here. But I will keep up to the new WP blog out of principle. If nothing else, it's often good to change and try something new. Us pups need to keep up with things.

I'm cross posting this on my other blog here - so comment, if you wish - on whichever blog you find easiest. I'll read them both. Any questions - ask away.

Here is a picture of me, for those of you who can't be bothered to read all that techy review stuff. Or for those of you who have and need some light relief.

Happy holidays whether you are celebrating Hanukah, the Winter Solstice (which I guess is over now), or Christmas. Or anything else that I have missed.

6 comments:

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock said...

Gosh! That is an excellent review, Pippa!

Some of our blogging friends have gone back and forth over the last few years, shifting from Blogger to Wordpess and then back again. It seems that there are potential problems at both ends and it may just be a question of luck.

Wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Woofs,
Tommy (and the rest of the Poupounette Gang too)

Marvin -The Hollow Hound said...

Well, despite Wordpress and Blogger.....whatever, me and my J just wanted to wish you, Pipparoonie, and your family a wonderful festive season....and a very happy 2012.

Marvin - oh and Jeannie.

;0D

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

Momsays she does not have a brain to amke a switch and so far we have not had any unusual activity. Hey, do you think a cat is behind the unusual activity on your blog?
-JB

Sam said...

LOL - that'll be confusing having two blogs! We understand why though. We'd be crushed if our blog disappeared.

Sam

♥Mona + Weenie + Mommy, too♥ said...

Hey Pippa,

We not been blogging much since the fire but Mommy remebered she was supposed to tell you that Roxie said to give you her love and says maybe her Mom will start blogging agaon.

{{{huggies}}}....Mona

Kasha said...

Well good for you for sticking to it. I often think of going over to wordpress. It just seems like a lot of work. Thanks for the input!