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Blogging About My Blogger Blog

October 11, 2010 Comments off

[This post was originally made on my now-defunct alternate blog on Blogger.

Hello, everybody! As you can see, I am now the proud owner of a Blogger Blog. As with my other recent experiment, a main reason for having this blog (and the reason for having more than one) is to experiment with different blogging services such as Blogger. So I think it’s appropriate that my first post consist of my first impressions of this fine service.

First, the cons:

  • Blogger doesn’t like. Not only does its editor use line breaks (
    s) instead of paragraphs, but it seems to strip out the

    s I add manually in the HTML view.

  • The Dashboard interface takes some getting used to. It’s not that bad, but it could use some improvement in both usability and aesthetics.
  • The Blogger header appears over every page. I’ve read that it’s possible to turn that off, but I haven’t yet played with the service enough to figure out how.
  • There are only about six templates available in the template designer.
  • Only 10 additional pages are allowed. I imagine that’s plenty for most blogs, though.
And now the pros:
  • Templates are extremely customizable. Each template already includes several variations, page elements can be rearranged at will, and the template designer allows even further customization of colors, sizes, etc.
  • The template designer also allows custom style sheets (CSS), which is a pretty powerful tool.
  • Custom HTML. Now that’s customization!
  • Custom templates can be uploaded. Just in case the custom CSS and HTML weren’t enough.
  • The number of settings and options other than template customization is pretty impressive, too.
  • OpenID comments are supported.
Disclaimer: Though I’ve tried to avoid it, I’m sure I am guilty of mentally comparing and contrasting this fine service with WordPress.com. Once I’ve had more time to learn the ins and outs of each service, I’ll try to write up a real comparison.
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Categories: Uncategorized

Pressed for Words

October 11, 2010 Comments off

Hello, everybody! As you can see, I now have a shiny new WordPress.com blog!

Since part of my reason for getting this blog was to experiment with WordPress, I think it’s appropriate to start with some first impressions.

First, the cons:

  • I was disappointed in the themes. There weren’t as many as I’d hoped, and none of them are especially customizable. Also, none of them had all the features I want: left-sidebar, two columns, flexible width, blog title as the most prominent thing at the top of the page, and a header that isn’t ridiculously huge.
  • No CSS customization at all. I know I could pay $15/year to enable it, but my aim is to do what I can using only the tools available with a free membership.
  • WordPress blurb in the footer. It’s not a huge deal since it’s relatively unobtrusive and this is a free blog, after all. Still, it seems a tad unprofessional.

Now the pros:

  • I rather like the Dashboard interface. Usually this much AJAX makes me chafe (I’m looking at you, DeviantArt!) but this is actually pretty handy and the learning curve isn’t that steep. (There are some glitches with the drag-and-drop widgets, but I can live with that.)
  • I like having a screen name that is different from my login name.
  • I can choose my own names for the widget/menus.
  • I can add any arbitrary text or image sections I want to my sidebar.

I’m sure I’ll have a more detailed opinion after I’ve played with the service some more. Once I play with Google’s Blogger service, I’ll try and write up a comparison of the two services.

    Categories: Uncategorized