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TypePad versus WordPress – So, what’s the difference?

For the first-time blogger, deciding which platform to sign up with, comparing features is important. How much is advertising and how much is truthfully telling what you can really do? Today marks the start of a new series, comparing the features of WordPress and TypePad, as they are advertised on the TypePad Features website and the WordPress Features website.

Features that matter

The idea for this post comes from an email conversation I had with one of my readers, who was currently paying for a TypePad Premium account ($29.95/mo) and thinking of moving to WordPress, and who wondered what she would lose by switching to a free service. As it turned out, she pretty much would lose nothing, but maybe save a lot of money :-)

First off, Typepad’s feature list is more organized, allotting a page for each feature and also providing a table comparing the features of the different account levels. In WordPress, where everything is on one page (actually it’s two pages, one for the free features and one page for the paid features), it’s very easy to loose oversight. Nonetheless, I will try to compare each advertised feature as it is shown in the list, thus telling you whether WordPress can do what TypePad can do and what WordPress can do, but TypePad not, and vice versa.

A quick run-down

Let me start by comparing WordPress with the TypePad features list for a quick run down of how TypePad compares to WordPress:

Typepad advertised feature Can WordPress do it?
Enjoy professional service and support Yes.
Gain access to priority support (starting from TypePad Premium, $29.50/mo) You have 24/7 support in any case. Queries are usually answered within hours, regardless of time zones. I know that because I’m not in a US time zone.
Number of blogs:
Basic, $4.95/mo – 1
Plus, $8.95/mo – 3
Pro, $14.95/mo, and up – Unlimited
Unlimited.
Create unlimited number of photo albums No. You would have to use Flickr or other services.
Designate blog authors Maximum 35. Unlimited at $30/yr (per blog).
Edit in Rich Text Format with spellcheck capability Yes. WordPress has a special function for pasting from MS Word. TypePad’s HTML Editor is better than WordPress’.
Post by email or mobile device Only by mobile.
Create audio and video podcasts Yes, but not as easy. Uploading audio and video files require a space upgrade, minimum $20/yr (per blog)
Enable RSS feeds Yes.
Map your blog URL to your domain name
From Plus $8.95/mo and up
Yes, at $10/yr (per blog).
Schedule posts for future dates Yes.
Choose from professionally-designed templates Yes, but less number of designs to choose from.
Drag and drop to customize layouts Yes.
Customize any or all design elements using CSS and Advanced Templates.
Plus $8.95/mo and up – Custom design
Pro $14.95/mo and up – CSS and Advanced Templates
Only CSS, at $15/yr (per blog).
Enjoy spam protection, IP banning, and other safety features Yes.
Password-protect your blog Yes, but in WordPress you assign designated users, or you may password-protect single posts or pages.
Display advertising No, very limited only, and not if that is the sole purpose of your blog. Practically no.
Integrate with third-party eCommerce tools such as Amazon, PayPal and eBay Very limited. Practically no.
Integrate with 3rd party sites such as Flickr, Facebook, Technorati and FeedBurner Yes, but not integrated as in TypePad.
Space
Basic $4.95/mo – 100MB
Plus $8.95/mo – 500 MB
Pro $14.95/mo – 1GB
Premium $29.95/mo – 3GB
Business $89.95/mo – Unlimited
3 GB

Conclusion

If you’re blogging for business, you may want to consider TypePad from the beginning. If you’re blogging just for the sake of blogging, then WordPress is the tool for you. You may also want to read my post on wordpress.com – not for serious bloggers?

More comparisons

In the coming days I will take a closer look at the individual features and how they compare. A lot of this has already been covered on this blog, but now I will scrutinize the advertised features one-by-one.

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  1. August 22, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for your comments on mine. The reason I left WordPress was the way my site was hacked so badly that I (an IT Professional) was unable to clean it. WordPress is constantly releasing security patches which have to be installed by the user, whereas Typepad do all this for me. Security is there problem not mine. Of course, another answer for me would have been to use wordpress.com rather than the installation version at wordpress.org

    You have a very interesting site here and I have enjoyed reading it

  2. August 22, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for sharing your insights on the security patches. Ultimately, that is what will keep me from going from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. At least with wordpress.com my site will never be hacked. And for my kind of blog, the limitations of free-hosted wordpres.com compared to self-hosted wordpress.org are something I can live with.

  3. August 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Hi wpvstp-just a few minor pointers: on wordpress.com you can blog by mobile, but not by email and albums for all intents and purposes are Galleries. I believe the only limitation there is the amount of space you have and 3G free is quite generous. Cheers!

  4. August 23, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Oh good, you’ve got comment moderation on.

    The Spelling Policewoman that I am can’t help pointing out that it is “…what she would lose…” not “loose”, unless we’re talking about the marbles in my head or someone’s morals. :D Hope you don’t mind the correction and feel free to delete this comment. :)

  5. August 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    @jennifer
    I stand corrected – on both comments. As to TypePad photo albums versus WordPress galleries, they are very different in nature, and I find it fair to say that TypePad does not have a gallery function and WordPress does not have a photo album.

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