Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coffee Chats: Blogger or Wordpress?

So, we both have blogs...I guess you guys already knew that...but we also both use different platforms. And that is what we'd like to chat about today!

Holly: So which Blogging platform do you use?

Nicole: I use Blogger. You?

Holly: Wordpress all the way. What made you choose Blogger?

Nicole: Well, when I started my blog (back in 2009, I believe) I didn't know a thing called Wordpress existed. In fact, I pretty much knew nothing about blogging other than I wanted to try it! I had seen Blogger used, and it looked fairly easy, so that is what I went with. So, you could say it was just out of pure ignorance.

Holly: That's actually how I started with my first blog back in spring of 2007. I think most bloggers start out that way.

What features make you stay with Blogger?

Nicole: Probably ignorance there, too!  I never minded using Blogger, and really felt that I was doing everything I wanted to in the arena of blogging, so I had no need to change. Just when I was getting to the place where I was contemplating Wordpress, Blogger made some changes and I liked it way better. So, I kept it. Making the switch seems like it would be such a hassle, and for now I am happy with things the way they are.

Holly: Nice!

Nicole: What made you decide to go with Wordpress?

Holly: I switched over to Wordpress when Blogger was in the middle of a lot of changes. I wasn't happy with all the transition stuff, and I loved the customization that WordPress was giving me. Plus, I needed to make a switch in my blog and write for a bit where no one knew I was writing. That didn't last long, but it helped me get back to blogging and I've stuck with WordPress ever since.

Nicole: We're glad you started blogging again! The customization of Wordpress does seem like a great feature.

Holly: The themes and widgets are great. However, it does take more technical skill to get it truely customized. {Thanks to my husband, and lot of patient teaching, I'm finally getting it.}

Nicole: Yes, that seems like the scary part! Were there any other features of Wordpress that were calling your name when you started this blog?

Holly: Honestly? A big part of it was that I wanted a challenge. I was kinda bored with Blogger and wanted to make my blog look a little cuter. Plus, we bought my domain name which made it easier to go with WordPress.

Nicole: How fancy-schmancy!

Holly: I know, right? Not!

I guess the biggest thing that scares me about Blogger is that Google has a lot of control. I had a friend that almost lost her whole blog because Google shut it down for a day or so. She got it back {and promptly switched to WordPress!}, but it's still scary!

Nicole: Yikes, that doesn't sound so good!

I am not a huge fan of some of the changes Google is making (no more friend connect? Seriously?) but specifically with Blogger, I like it the way it is now. *Knock on wood* When they made some changes, they added some more features, cleaned up the dashboard and other windows (LOVE how clean and streamlined it is now!) and I find that pictures load way faster, etc. Then recently they added threaded commenting, so now I am completely happy with it.

Holly: They seem to be making a lot of strides in the right direction to keep up with WordPress, for sure! I do know that people are not happy about the Friend Connect thing though, so I'm surprised they're still doing away with it, given the backlash.

Nicole: They just want us all on Google+!

Going back to Wordpress, now that you've been using it for quite a while, is there anything you wish was different/better/easier?

Holly: I wish that I had the time to really learn to customize sites with CSS better. Andrew thinks it's funny, but I can only really customize the theme I have and I'm scared to work on any others. Guess I'm in my comfort zone or something. I'm starting to get better at it, but I do wish it didn't take so long to learn. WordPress has been making some changes too that are making it easier than ever to blog, so that's a plus in their favor!

Nicole: That must be good for you! Learning new things like that always takes a ton of time and research, I find.

Holly:They do, but it's worth it, especially since I've been able to help other bloggers figure stuff out too. I enjoy it once I know what I'm doing!

Nicole: That is great! And what’s not to love about blogging, right?

Holly: That's right!

Nicole: Thinking back, are you glad you started with Blogger, or would starting right off with Wordpress have been better?

Holly: I am glad I started with Blogger. I think new bloggers would be in over their heads trying to figure out WordPress and blogging at the same time. I would recommend that any new blogger start with..well, Blogger.

Do you think you've learned a lot more about the behind-the-scenes of blogging since you started blogging?

Nicole: Oh my stars yes. I knew absolutely NOTHING when I I'm having a blast making my own headers, buttons, and anything else I have the time for! I even have a basic (basic, basic)  understanding of HTML and how to use that to customize things...still have a ways to go, but I'm learning! That is part of the fun, I guess, learning new things.

Holly: It is! Playing around with headers and buttons and stuff is probably my favorite part.

Nicole: There is so much satisfaction in figuring something out and seeing how fantastic it looks on your blog. (especially when I didn't have to ask your husband for help, lol!)

Holly: Absolutely! We never stop learning, even after graduation, and blogging is just another way we can keep learning and growing.

Nicole: Before we end here, what would you offer for advice to a fellow-wordpresser?

Holly: Don't look at other fancy and famous WordPress blogs {most of them designed by professionals} and feel inadequate or jealous. Take your time to learn what you're doing and enjoy the process. It's *your* blog!

And for the Blogger users?

Nicole: I would also say "don't compare", but also to use it to keep learning and growing and who knows? Someday you may end up with a fancy-pants blog because of the hard work YOU put into it!

Holly: Amen, sister.

We're hoping that this chat will be a help you any of you that are thinking of starting your own blog or switching from one platform to the other! If you have any further questions for either of us, please leave us a comment below! We'd also love to hear from you other bloggers...which platform do you use? Do you customize it? Why do you love it (or hate it)? Chat along with us in the comments section below! Happy blogging!

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