Friday, December 14, 2012

Talk Amongst Yourselves: Blogger or WordPress? Go!

I've been building my new blog over the last few weeks, setting up formats and future post titles, selecting colors and fonts and trying to figure out how I want it to all work, where I see it going.  Of course, as anyone who's starting a new blog will tell you of themselves, I have grand schemes, big dreams for what I want to accomplish - visions of huge readership, paid (relevant) ads, businesses wanting me to do reviews, giveaways, and, of course, something people want to read. 

Can I do that? 

Ha!  Probably not.  Actually, probably not even close.    I don't really know what I'm doing, and I'm certainly no expert in what I'm going to talk about.  I'm excited about it, though!  The blog will is called "Fashion and Frugality (for Kids)."  I had alluded to it in a previous post, some time back in September.  I'd love to get it launched some time in January, but at this point have not yet decided if it's going to live in Blogger or WordPress.  I've set up general templates in both.  (Actually, I was a little bit concerned when the URL address I wanted to use on both Blogger and WordPress was taken - leading to unused pages on both, started in 2010 and then abandoned by their owners.  Would the same thing happen to me?  I determined that it would not.  And I was then just kinda ticked off that they wasted a perfectly good URL that I could have used instead.)

Here are my requirements:

*I want it to be free for now, possibly paid later, once I can prove to myself that it's something worth paying for.  And, of course, the transition from free to paid needs to be simple.  If you're recommending paid, please give me all the reasons you prefer that version, what amazing things it can do (if it can make coffee, that's an added bonus...).

*I want it to look like a place someone would want to go, meaning I want it to look nice.

*I need to be able to track my traffic.

*I need to be able to gather followers.

*I need a Facebook page for it.

*Photo uploads need to be relatively simple.

*I'm a creature of habit, and, after using Blogger for the last 5 years, I need a compelling reason to use WordPress if that's what you're going to recommend.

I'm sure there are a million more requirements that I'll come up with that I haven't just listed here, but I'm scarfing down a bowl of cereal right now and have to go in about 30 seconds so I can do my hair, put some make-up on, get dressed and get to work slightly less-late than usual.

Talk amongst yourselves (but please leave a comment!).  Let me know your thoughts.  I think I know what I should do, but I just need to know why, and if the unpaid version will suffice to start (WordPress).  But I also think I know what would be in my best immediate interest to do because it's simple and familiar (Blogger).  And I know that moving one to the other later on down the road can be painful. 



suzybg said...

As you know I just started my blog but I went Wordpress, Paid with my own domain name. I knew NOTHING about any blogging sites/software so if I could get a wordpress website up in a week - you'll have no problems - and your blogger experience although not directly relevent will still be very beneficial and help you over the initial learning curve. I think if you really want a future for this then you should secure a domain name now - even if you don't host your blog there yet (though I thiink you could still link a domain name to your blogspot?)

Finally - paying for your blog!! My main goals are to help support the businesses I love and keep my city as healthy and vibrant as possible so I'm not too bothered about getting any sort of financial returns BUT I still don't mind paying. I consider this a hobby (with potential) and to pay under $100 to get it off the ground (domain name for 3 years!) then I consider that a cheap hobby. I've paid more for Zumba classes, workout gear, cameras etc.... and there wasn't even a glimmer of a chance of any of those hobbies paying me back. I say 'Start as you mean to go on'!!

Melissa said...

When I started blogging it was my book review blog, and it was on blogger. I was totally free for a while, then switched to the google paid url which was super easy and cheap. At that point the blogspot was gone from my address and I think I could have done more customization, but I never did. Claire came along and I pretty much quit posting over there for lack of time....both reading and writing time! When I started my family blog I stayed with blogger for the familiarity. I know most of my book blogger friends started with blogger too and when they got big were able to stay with the format and just make more changes with their increase in traffic.

Andi at Bringing the Sunshine said...

Self-hosted Wordpress. I've used both (actually still do - my 365 project is on Blogger with a custom URL) and Blogger honks - especially for those of us who read and comment on blogs using tablets like the iPad. Wordpress is also infinitely more customizable for you.

Jenny said...

I don't really have much to add to the conversation because I know nothing about wordpress and don't know a heck of a lot about blogger either. I only use blogger because it's easy and I am not about making my blog "serious" or anything "big", it's just a hobby.
I do find wordpress blogs look more professional, so you might want to go that route...Although most of them I find extremely difficult to navigate through...To many things in the side columns, to many adds, I can't figure out how to get to any of their older posts...So I actually don't read to many wordpress blogs. I like blogs that are not cluttered, clean and smooth to read through.
And that's all I have to add to the conversation! HA! Glad to see you posted today ;)

CJ said...

I'm a Wordpress fan. It's totally customizable, easy to use and their support forums ROCK!

In other news, you've been Liebster Awarded!

Lisa said...

No advice here but how about you do all the research then write a white paper on it so I don't have to think very hard? Sound good??? ;-) I don't really want to learn anything new but this photo storage issue in blogger keeps cropping up and its annoying so I guess I need to think about my options.

Becca said...

Oh, yes! One more requirement - photo protection!! Can you protect photos in WordPress like I can by editing the html code in Blogger?

Laura said...

I had the photo storage issue come up so u just deleted a few photos to free up some storage space. The downside is that I'll probably have to keep doing it but it really duesntvseem like a big deal.

I like blogger - it's so easy to use.

As a reader I also prefer blogger. I find it so much easier to follow blogger blogs & view them in google reader. I keep up with the blogger blogs a lot better than the others because of the simplicity.

Meriah said...

I wouldn't try to sell you anything- my advice would
be to google "blogger vs Wordpress" - there re great lists out there. But I will say this - the way that self hosted wp works, what makes it the choice for most all probloggers, is that you have plugins. Want your photos protected? Snap, download the right-click save disable plugin. Want someone to be able to pin any photo with the link up your blog to pinterest? Download the pinterest per-photo plugin. There is literally a plugin got everything.
If you do go the way of wp, I strongly recommend self hosted as opposed to free. You won't be able to run ads or download plugins if you have the free version.

Meriah said...

And sorry for all the typos and grammatical errors! It's rough commenting on the iPhone!
I want to add that I had a steep learning curve with my blog switch. There were definitely times when I was crying, wondering g what in the hell I was doing. I'm glad I did it now though.