Four days ago, in response to Kim Woodbridge who asked her readers, “How Has Blogging With WordPress Changed Your Life,” I commented:
I’ve managed my blog on a Blogger custom domain for about 18 months. I have a Page Rank of 4, which is aided by Google’s ownership of Blogger. This is good.
But there are many things about Blogger that are aggravating me to no end, namely the need to have specific plugins/widgets without finagling my code every time; the ability to do trackbacks which is near impossible without a Greasemonkey script when and if it works; the ability to have categories/tags that are seen across the platform and tie into Technorati and not labels that are blog-centric only; and the desire to have an open source blogging platform.
I’m leaning toward converting to either WordPress.org (and get a cheap blog hosting provider) or something like Joomla or Drupal, though I don’t know how feature-rich they are like WordPress.
At this point, one of the reasons I haven’t moved is the rising Page Rank which will likely drop some due to the Blogger-less platform; but I hope with the ability to have longer URLs (your title above would be truncated with Blogger), my SEO would increase.
As a blog publishing system, you can’t get any simpler than Blogger. Owned by Google since 2003, Blogger offers a free and easy way for anyone in the world to run a blog. My first Blogger-hosted domain, which I created in May 2007, was ariwriter.blogspot.com.
One of the reasons I fell in love with Blogger was not because it took 5 minutes to set up a blog (which it did) but because I understood the code. I had taught myself HTML in college, and learned the basics of XML and CSS since, and I was able to use all three web programming languages through the creation and adoption of custom templates and third-party applications.
About eight months after creating my blog, I bought ariwriter.com as a means of branding myself through a personal domain and giving the illusion (to myself, if no one else) that I was running the blog off a domain, not off Google’s proprietary software. I finagled with DNS entries and pointed ariwriter.blogspot.com to ariwriter.com so anyone visiting the former would see the latter in their browser location bar.
But I quickly grew frustrated. I wanted more control. I hated the fact that all of my blog’s content (posts, comments, images, and other aspects) were part of a giant blogger.com file I couldn’t wrap my hands around. I also didn’t like the dot-html file names that implied staticity; I wanted a friendlier and more dynamic URL like the one in your location bar above.
There were other reasons, but I think I covered the gist of why I made the change. What about you? What blog publishing system do you use? Or if you’re not a blogger yet, are there any questions I can answer?
Next up is an article on how I did it.