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Pressed for Words

October 11, 2010

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.

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