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wordpress.com – not for serious bloggers?

It’s so funny. A year ago, after testing both systems, I knew very little about everything WordPress, but I fell in love with everything TypePad in an instant. Today I know I should have stayed with WordPress. A year ago I probably would have sided with johnny on his post about TypePad for serious bloggers. Today, I’m actually defending WordPress more than I thought I would ever do, hence my compulsion to leave a long comment on that post.

You see, as I’ve learned now, WordPress has a lot more functionality that TypePad doesn’t have, functionality that I’ve missed so much in TypePad that I am now seriously considering switching over to WordPress. In summary, as far as typepad.com versus wordpress.com goes, TypePad is left with these pros (lacking features in WordPress):

TypePad Pros

  1. The ability to add scripts, which allows you to add almost any widget to your blog.
  2. The ability to have AdSense or other ads, as in “commercial content”
  3. The ability to build a blog theme from scratch or edit your theme’s CSS.
  4. A wider selection of themes.

Back then, those were in fact the reasons for me to chose TypePad over WordPress in the first place. Now, on the other hand, WordPress wins me over because of these pros (lacking features in TypePad):

WordPress Pros

  1. Full control over post URLs. Edit them, change them, and the old URL still forwards to the new URL. No links lost. No traffic lost.
  2. Error 404 – Page not Found default page still on your blog. This keeps your visitors on your blog, even if they mistyped a URL or used an outdated or broken link to find you. No links lost. No traffic lost.
  3. Integrated search box. (In TypePad you can add Google Search, more cumbersome and not as nice)
  4. Integrated Contact Form. (In TypePad you can add one via scripting from an external host like formlogix.com)
  5. Nested categories. Creating sub-categories helps structuring and organizing your blog content.
  6. Tags. TypePad only has Categories. Tags are helpful in targeting specific search keywords.
  7. Integrated stats. TypePad stats are at best a hit counter, not stats you can use.

Conclusion

I’m not sure what johnny defines as a “serious” blogger. His other half seems to be in love with WordPress, though. Me too. In my opinion a serious blogger cares about his readers, and in my opinion WordPress achieves that a lot better than TypePad. Neither systems are perfect, but for my use and my needs, WordPress is the better system. Whichever you want to choose, that I leave up to you. I know what I want.

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  1. July 28, 2008 at 10:05 pm | #1

    Hi Jan,

    Awesome post (as usual). I love how complete you are in comparisons with the two platforms. Really makes the solution simple and clear. I agree that neither system is perfect, but I tend to agree that WordPress is easier to manage for sure. Unlikely Johnny will change my opinion there, but I will attempt to make some additional comparisons as well and be sure to check out your blog for future advice :)

    -blondie

  2. m. georgias
    July 30, 2008 at 4:16 am | #2

    the lack of java script in WP.com is a serious is a serious hindrance to its growth, though. I understand full-well why WP.com won’t allow JS in its widgets, given the HUGE security breaches it can cause, yet, JS is vital to many Web apps that everyday users demand nowadays.

    The problem is that the WP.com programmers are incredibly slow off the mark. They should have developed internal widgets to allow its users to properly add Twitter or LibraryThing widgets along ago.

    This is an issue that needs to be addressed more and more often, for the sake of WP.com, and its community.

  3. July 30, 2008 at 6:30 am | #3

    @georgias
    I fully agree with you on this one. Not allowing JS is one thing, and I appreciate WP taking security serious, but you’re right, unless they soon start developing widgets and lots of widgets soon, they WILL be left behind, and users will go other platforms, simply because those platforms are able to keep up with users expect from a blogging platform theses days. Not everyone is willing to or able to do the full self-hosted wordpress.org to overcome this. Unless there are more widgets coming soon, wordpress.com may turn into a community of bloggers who blog for sake of blogging (as in writing) only, but there’s so much more to blogging than just that.

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