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Old 02-18-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Any suggestions for platforms OTHER than Blogspot.com?

Hello all,

I'm having problems with Blogger/Blogspot. It seems they don't like my photo links (from SmugMug). So, I'm looking to move to another platform?

I'm looking at Typepad or Wordpress. Anybody have any experience with either of those? Pros? Cons?

Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:47 PM   #2
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I don't have a blog right now, but when I did, I always used wordpress. It was pretty easy and there are a lot of design templates available.

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Old 02-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #3
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I use (& like) Wordpress.com (not .org).
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
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Terry and Victoria....thanks much for taking the time to answer.

Victoria, if you've also used Blogger, what would you say are some advantages of Wordpress over blogger/blogspot?
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Ted,

This is my first blog. I researched some and just general experience with other people's blog platforms led me to use Wordpress.com. I've been able to figure out everything by myself or by searching their help section.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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I use Wordpress but for a short time I had another blog with Blogger. I thought using it might encourage me to convert to using it - it didn't. It was toted as being very easy to use, and it was, but it seemed to be miisng a lot of features I was using in wordpress. Now this was a couple of years ago, so much has happened since then.

As a wordpress user, and blog reader/commenter I have to say blogger is the most annoying to comment on. I definitely like the Typepad comment setup and of course it's easy for me to comment on wordpress blogs.

I'm completely clueless on customizing my blog, but I do like looking thru my stats and the basic system can tell me more than I ever thought I'd need to know. And I've never had a problem with spam, never, ever.

If you find any tuts on customizing WP I'd love to know about it. I'm sure it's not that hard but I seem to always miss the vital key in understanding how to make it work for me.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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I've found a lot of good info in the forums on Wordpress.com: WordPress.com Forums
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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Thanks Vic. I think I might be onto something
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:13 AM   #9
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Vic, since you've given me the link to all that WP stuff I've unlocked all the stuff I've wanted to know about customizing my blog. Thank you SO, SO much!

Sorry Ted about the little hijack of your thread.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:14 AM   #10
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No apologies needed, Theresa!

I'm looking at WP.com but I'm also looking about contacting Godaddy.com (my current site host) to see what they have to offer with regards to having Wordpress on my site dedicated. No, it's not free, but it seems that more can be done in the way of plug-ins, etc.

I don't know very much about coding, but perhaps I can learn.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:25 AM   #11
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No apologies needed, Theresa!

I'm looking at WP.com but I'm also looking about contacting Godaddy.com (my current site host) to see what they have to offer with regards to having Wordpress on my site dedicated. No, it's not free, but it seems that more can be done in the way of plug-ins, etc.

I don't know very much about coding, but perhaps I can learn.
You don't have to know coding to use wordpress. Godaddy will activate it for you and it will be ready to go. You can then choose which template to use and it's fun to look at them and decide or you can just use the one that's automatically installed.

Give yourself a couple of hours to fiddle around with it and you'll be ready to go!

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Old 02-19-2012, 04:47 AM   #12
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You don't have to know coding to use wordpress. Godaddy will activate it for you and it will be ready to go. You can then choose which template to use and it's fun to look at them and decide or you can just use the one that's automatically installed.

Give yourself a couple of hours to fiddle around with it and you'll be ready to go!

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Oh! Okay, that's reassuring, Terry...thank you!

Would you happen to know if it's difficult to add plug-ins and such to a self-hosted Wordpress blog?

Do you, yourself, have a WP blog at which I may look?
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:44 AM   #13
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It's very easy to add plugins and there are lots of them available. No, I don't have a blog at all right now. I've had several thru the years, all with wordpress, but got too lazy to keep them going and none of them had anything to do with crafting!

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Old 02-19-2012, 07:50 AM   #14
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Hi, Ted --

I've had a self-hosted WordPress blog for a couple of years now. I chose a theme that was completely customizable, but the tradeoff is that it involved some hand coding. I don't have experience with themes that might not require coding.

My theme is Atahualpa. Click on the thumbnail to see an enlarged view: WordPress Atahualpa Free WordPress Themes

For comparison, my blog is: Angels Landing Digi-Stamps Blog. As you can see, my blog looks nothing like the theme. I chose that one because you can totally change it to suit you.

There are a couple of technical issues to think about before you decide to go this route.

First, make sure you pick a host that is compatible with the Core Update feature. The list is here: Core Update Host Compatibility WordPress Codex

Second, pick a theme that has been tested as safe over as wide a range of browsers as possible. Some of them aren't.

Third, be aware that when you are running your own database, you are responsible for backing it up yourself. That procedure is here: Backing Up Your Database WordPress Codex

People on Blogger have been able to get their brand new blogs up and running in an afternoon. It took me more than a week to launch mine. It's been a couple of years since I went through the process, so they might have streamlined it now.

There are many pluses, though, including reliability and complete control. Also, you'll be able to host your images on your own server, which will solve your SmugMug problems.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:05 AM   #15
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Hi Judi and thanks so much for your contribution.

Hmm...you've given me food for thought. Perhaps I'm not ready to make that plunge, as I'm not THAT good when it comes to coding...and backing up the database looks scary in itself! LOL!

In any case, I appreciate your candid input. Thank you!
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Vic, since you've given me the link to all that WP stuff I've unlocked all the stuff I've wanted to know about customizing my blog. Thank you SO, SO much!

Sorry Ted about the little hijack of your thread.
You are very welcome! I'm glad I could help.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:11 AM   #17
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Hi Judi and thanks so much for your contribution.

Hmm...you've given me food for thought. Perhaps I'm not ready to make that plunge, as I'm not THAT good when it comes to coding...and backing up the database looks scary in itself! LOL!

In any case, I appreciate your candid input. Thank you!
Ted,

FYI - I think Judi is referring to Wordpress.org - not Wordpress.com. They are not the same.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #18
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You're welcome, Ted. I don't mean to talk you out of it, since there are some definite benefits. I just wanted to point out a few issues that I wish I had known about before I started.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:20 AM   #19
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Ted,

FYI - I think Judi is referring to Wordpress.org - not Wordpress.com. They are not the same.
You're right, Vic. To clarify, Wordpress.com is free and hosted on Wordpress's servers. Wordpress.org would be what Ted was referring to above, hosting on his current site host (GoDaddy.com).
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:22 AM   #20
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Vic and Judi again...many thanks!

Well, I guess what I would like the most are the plug-ins. I do like that WP.com IS much easier and "safer" for us newbs.

I reckon I could call Godaddy.com and see what they can offer me. I'd even be willing to maybe PAY somebody to set it up for me (provided it's not TOO costly)

I think I'm just being a scaredy-cat.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:41 AM   #21
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... I reckon I could call Godaddy.com and see what they can offer me. I'd even be willing to maybe PAY somebody to set it up for me (provided it's not TOO costly)
...
You can always try setting it up yourself first, with the fall-back position of hiring someone to help you if you run into problems. You need to be able to maintain the blog yourself, day to day, and the best way to learn that is to actually do it yourself.

I didn't mean to scare you off. I just wanted to point out some of the areas where a self-hosted blog is not going to be quite as easy.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:52 AM   #22
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Thanks, Judi. You didn't scare me off, but gave me much needed food for thought.

I have run my own forum (on my own site) before so I think I can do it.

I'm just not sure how much patience I have (with MYSELF!) LOL

Do you have any plug-ins on your site and do you find them useful? Maybe they aren't as useful as I'm thinking... and maybe I can do without.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:29 AM   #23
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No, I'm not currently using any plugins, but I've got a bunch of widgets. One plugin you might want to check into is Akismet: Combating Comment Spam WordPress Codex. Spam will be an issue unless you use something like captcha.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #24
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Thanks, Judi. I appreciate it.

Right now I'm in the process of "playing" by seeing if I can install WordPress on one of my domains (not my blog domain)...and see if it makes me bonkers. LOL

I may stick with WP.com for the simple ease of it all. I checked a blog entry somebody did of wp.com vs. wp.org and the "pros" of wp.org don't seem THAT beneficial if it's going to risk my sanity.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:50 PM   #25
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:57 PM   #26
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I also use and like Wordpress. I use it for my personal blog and like that I can use my own domain name (Pisforpaper.com) instead of a loooong blogger name (it does cost a little each year but its worth it). Hubby was also able to customize my header for me pretty easily. We also all use Wordpress on the Craft Gossip blogs. I think it's really easy to use and I've never had a problem with photos (I link on my personal blog to my photos on Flickr) or people leaving comments (I've personally had TONS of issues trying to leave comments on peoples Blogger blogs, it's terrible).
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:46 AM   #27
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In a previous life, I was a web developer, and I moved most of my clients over to Wordpress (.com or .org). It's dead simple to use, has a fantastic user community, and the free themes and plugins are extensive.

The other great thing is that you can start out on wordpress.com, with a free hosted blog, and when you're ready, move over to self-hosting with minimal effort.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #28
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I love wordpress. I had mine set up by Always Orange and then I took the reins. It is super easy to use! There are always new plugins and extras being added, so you can always add/change the functionality of your blog. I love how customizable it is...sometimes the cookie-cutter look on other platforms becomes old and boring. I like making my own layout...adding dropdown menus when new catalogs come out or adding new galleries when I want to sort in a new way. The possibilities are endless!

Not to mention... if you move to your own...the name isn't so long winded! lol! Mine is already long with "Stamping Art Studio" so I don't need to add another 10+ characters for the host name.. lol

I think with wordpress you can create a "real" website... if you are trying to promote a brand and/or your projects, its nice to branch out and promote yourself on a legitimate-looking site.

Lastly, I have to admit this is my very first website. I had no clue what I was doing, but my package with Always Orange included instruction time. My dev walked me through everything and answered my lengthy list of questions without making me feel like an idiot. Where ever you decide to go, having a Pro on speed-dial is a definite plus!

Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:09 PM   #29
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:06 AM   #30
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i think blogger is a great way to get started, when you are first learning how to blog...no investment. but wordpress.ORG is the best format, in my opinion, even though you pay for hosting. the built in SEO is excellent and after a small learning curve, the very best way to maintain a blog or site.
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