The Great Debate

OK, truth time...or should I say "time-out"? By now, I sometimes think I am the only dinosaur who actually goes to the blog to read, and leave comments. (I do have Google Reader, but as a designer, I enjoy checking out other folks blog skins.)

I work on the three major platforms...Blogger, Typepad, and Wordpress (mainly self hosted). Lately, I have noticed that boatloads of Blogger folks have been jumping ship to Wordpress self hosted.

This is a cycle that goes round and round in my head. "Should I jump ship too?" I have even discussed it with other bloggers. Some say..."You'll never be taken seriously until you leave Blogger." Others say..."Your blog looks great, you should totally stay on Blogger."

Straight up, when I get a client who tells me they want to switch, I always ask them..."What do you want from Wordpress, that Blogger can't give you?" Sometimes they have an answer, sometimes they don't. Either way, I'm happy to move them, and then I go through it in my head all over again..."Should I jump ship too?"

I know my answer to the question. What is the one thing I want, that Blogger won't give me...wider post on the click-through. Do you know what I mean by that? Check out Dooce. Notice when you click on a picture...she drops the sidebar down, and the post area/picture widens. In a blog traffic world, this equals higher stats, plus I think it's really cool. I like it. Drupal is the platform she is on...quite frankly, I'm a bit intimidated by it:O

To my knowledge, I have not seen any Wordpress blogs doing this. (I am sure there is a way to code it, but code guru is not my forte. I design a mean blog, but I still have a lot to learn in the coding arena.) OhMommy has this feature, she however is on a YouJoomla template. I like her template, but I wasn't wowed by any of the other YouJoomla's. Again, I was a bit intimidated by YouJoomla. I am not sure if you loose your content by making the jump?

Then, I see someone like NieNie. Who was on Oprah a week or so ago. OK, this blog is easily up there with the big dogs (I know that Pioneer Woman reads her). Not only is she on Blogger, but she still has the .blogspot in her url, and the Blogger navbar is visible. You know what, I think her blog is lovely. I watched her blog as she was on Oprah. Can I just say that Blogger handled the Oprah traffic spike seamlessly (am I safe to assume there is an Oprah traffic spike?)...'cause it did. I have seen smaller self hosted blogs crash during traffic spikes.

All of this leads me to thinking..."Who do I think I am?" I'm certainly not in the league of NieNie and Dooce. Where do I go? Am I taken less seriously because I'm still on Blogger? Oh, and don't even get me started on whether or not I will loose all my Feedburner numbers. In a bloggers' world, this number is gold. (in my imaginary world, someday I will cross the 1,000 subscriber mark *she says wringing her hands like Mr. Burns*)

So I put this to the class. What do you all think? Do you have a lesser opinion of Blogger blogs? Does it matter what platform a blog is on? I'm curious...and I need my head to stop spinning:/


  1. I'm a blogger girl. I do feel some odd pressure to become a WP girl though. Although I haven't migrated to my domain that's parked.

    I don't quite get it, but it really does seem like a hierarchy thing and I was super thrilled on the inside to see that NieNie is on blogger. It was like one notch on my team.

    I say do what you feel. I'm trying to learn WP, but I do prefer Blogger. Oh and I do like your blog, really what's the dif? Can't wait to see what people say.

  2. You know I have been on the fence for awhile. I actually had a little critique done of mine last week. Some people didn't realize I was on blogger until they saw my favicon. I honestly don't have the time to learn it or switch. I just need to work on some tweaks and I will be good.

    Note to self: Must kiss the Warden's butt, might need some help this week.

  3. I love my blog the way it is, especially because you designed it so lovely! I never want to lose any posts or comments, so I may never change from blogger. I will dot com my name - I think I can do that and still be running under blogger? Also if I switched to Wordpress I doubt it would increase my traffic at all! I love the look of many blogs and do not have a preference one way or th other. I do not read other blogs in google reader either because I like to see the blogs and pics, etc...

  4. OMG.... call me. Now that I know Joomla... I love. Love. Love. Takes some playing around but I love a good game. And that's what blogging is to me... a game, a hobby, a new way to test myself. And it's cheap.

    Call me tomorrow night. Let's catch up. Or talk politics!

  5. i could care less what someone uses, it is about the words for me

  6. I've thought about it and honestly I can't find a good reason to move. Lots of my favourite blogs are on blogger and I don't think it would make a blind bit of difference to me as a reader if they moved to a different platform. But then I guess I'm most interested in the content.

  7. I use blogger, and I don't think less of anyone else who does. I have thought about going dot com, but I just don't have the energy to devote to it. The only thing I have heard negative remarks about is godaddy.

  8. None of this ever occured to me until just now. I am a simpleton with the tech stuff which is why you designed my blog for me. I will be interested in the answers here.

    Blogger is easy for me, but of course it is what I am used to as well.. I did lose the task bar with the redesign. Can it be put back?

    I guess as for traffic I don't know that one is better than the other as I didn't realize there so many diff formats. I will plod along here I guess, for now.

    As for who uses what, as someone above said,it is all about the words.

    Thanks for the interesting post.

  9. I am on blogger, and I haven't really had too many problems with it. It doesn't matter to me how a blog is hosted because I read a blog for the content. I think yours is great. I don't see where you need to change a thing!

  10. I'm all about the content. I don't think the platform matters much. Maybe I just don't have the trained eye but I don't really notice a difference. But then this is from a woman with blogspot still in my name.

    Have a great time with Miss Peach at the sale. Sounds like great mother/daughter time.

  11. I went through the effort of opening a WP blog and importing all of my blogger posts. Then I discovered that I couldn't embed flash unless I had a flash plugin that I could only get if I paid for hosting.

    I wasn't interested in doing that so I went back to Blogger.

    Blogger is plenty easy for me to use and I've even learned how to edit the CSS to achieve the results I want.

    As a Google Reader user I rarely go to the actual site for any of the blogs I read - mostly just to leave comments. I honestly don't care which site a person uses or even what their site looks like since I'm only interested in the content.

    I will say this: many of the Blogger blogs I see are borderline hideous and I'm thankful I read it through my reader. Clearly the host likes it though because they have gone through the effort to change the default settings.

    Considering how many free Blogger templates there are there is really no excuse for some of the ugly blogs I've seen, but then again, there is no accounting for taste.

    I really like your comment style and I may borrow/steal it for my blog if you don't object :)!

  12. I could care less what service a blog is on. What I look for is how it is set up (visual appeal, ease of navigation) and most importantly the writing (is this person writing something I want to read). Really the content is what matters, not where you put it. If someone is turned off by a certain provider that is their malfuntion, not yours.

  13. As a non-blogger, just a grateful reader, what is important to me is the layout and content. Is it quick to load when I go from post to post? Is it easy to read? Do I enjoy what I read. There are a lot of badly arranged blogger sites and that may be where some of the bad rep comes from. I believe the problem is with the user, not the format. Yours is great.

  14. I'm going to agree with everyone else and say it's the content. Especially on self-hosted sites, I usually don't even realize it's on blogger until I get to the comments. And if I've gone far enough to get to the comments, then it's a safe bet that you already have me.

  15. I'm obstinate enough that I refuse to switch away from blogger. If people are judging my blog as an unworthy read just because I use blogger, well then I don't want them as readers. Hrmph. I'm glad to see all of the other commenters agree with me that the content is the only thing that matters. See, Warden, you have awesome readers!

    Besides, I'm not a sufficiently sophisticated blogger to need more than what I get from Google. I can't even make what they offer work. Feedburner says I have 0 subscribers! (And I know that's not true.)

  16. I don't see why people care. From an advertising viewpoint, having a .com is probably better, however, what would a reader care for? If you are not charging them to read your blog, why would they care if you use a free template?

  17. OKay. Blogger has been bugging me. Many times when I go from compose to preview mode, I lose all of my spacing it seems and I have to rework it. Why?? Blogger has sooooo many spacing problems for me it drives me insane. Do you have this problem? It adds an extra space. It takes an extra space away. It looks one way and publishes another way.

    I just think Wordpress looks cleaner. It seems to operate more cleanly. Can this be true? I am sooooooo close to hopping to Wordpress for MWOB but I don't want really want to spend more money.

    What do you think Master Designer? Should I?

    I know we're supposed to be helping you and now I want you to help me. I'm selfish like that.

    I think a new platform is in both of our futures. But you'll probably do something funky like that Joomla....ow whatever it's called.


  18. I like blogger- I know the code and I can make changes on a whim if I like - PLUS I hate to have to type in everything when I comment! With blogger - I do not have to do that

  19. I like Blogger. I started a WP blog and just didn't feel it was as user friendly as Blogger. And since I delight in goofing around with the look and feel of things, that is pretty important to me. Not sure about any of the others.

    I could care less what platform someone uses, although I will say that if someone has a blogspot (as I do) or wordpress or whatever behind their name, it seems less professional.

  20. I have an award for you on my blog

  21. OhLordy. Don't even look at me. But you know that.

    Hey, I've been wondering if you're still interested in helping me out. Let me know if you're super busy or not. We'll chat. Maybe when we go out? Who knows?!? ANYthing can happen when we get together. Two Wild and CA-razy gals.

    I am not drunk.

  22. I use blogger. I don't know enough about tech-y, bloggy stuff to know what I might be missing. I'm cool with what I've got in terms of a platform (if that's even the right word).

    I appreciate cool designs in blogs, but it's content that keeps me coming back. I definitely don't judge a blogHer by her platform.

    Speaking of cool blog designs, I have one in mind and I need NW Designs to help me make it happen. I'll email you.

  23. You had me at platform...

    But seriously - as someone who has very slow internet, having a website that comes up quickly is key for me... I've had trouble with several blogs that have so much "stuff" on them that it takes FOREVER to download and never looks quite right on my computer...

    BTW - I may require your services one of these days... can you work with my blog and match it to my twitter page?

  24. Love this post. So timely, eh?

    I am very excited that you are helping me move from Typepad to WordPress. I love the look of WP blogs & the fact that design & format seems much less limited than on TP. And all those WP plug ins! Talk about possibilities! Truly, I don't know if I'd have the time or energy to make the move without your expertise & support.

    I'm hoping WP Rocks as much as I think it does - but I don't care what blog platform people use if the content & design of their blogs is great. I just want to jump in to WP and give it a go.

  25. I've never even thought about it, to be honest with you. It doesn't matter to me either way. I read blogs for the person who is writing it, not for what it looks like. But that is just me. ??
    I love your blog. Don't change a thing! :)

  26. I have a WP account I don't use. But I'm also barely tech savy. I can fake it but I'm really not. I'm happy where I am because it allows me to do what I want to do and that is post.

    But I don't tend to look at the template/forum a person chooses to do their posting and have any thoughts about it.

    But I too have GReader where I look at posts and then open them in another tab to comment straight through the blog site. I like visiting them and snooping around. What can I say! I'm like a child and I like to click things :o)

  27. I had another blog that started out on Blogger, then I went to Wordpress, and then back to Blogger again. Like you, I just don't know enough code to tweak the templates the way I really want them. I find I can do that better and easier at Blogger.

    There is a blogger I won't name here but she has quite a following and still has a plain white Minimalist Bloggers template.

  28. I NEVER notice what platform someone is using. NEVER!

    I think it is all a bunch of bull that it matters. seriously....stupid. LOL

    if what you are using is working for you. it shouldn't matter.

  29. The platform makes no difference to me. Content will always be first in my book. I tried going to Wordpress and nearly had a small baby cow in th process. As long as the design is functional and the content is good, the rest matters little, if at all, to me.

  30. I don't really notice the platform. And it's so easy to get rid of "blogspot" (as you have). I'm too lazy to change, and Blogger is free.

  31. A few more things: it's easy to make and add your own favicon.

    Blogger doesn't handle comments all that well - on either end. The embedded comment form that you're using is glitchy (I often have to click two or three times for a comment to take). And, although I have comments emailed to me, if the commenter doesn't have their email address enabled, I can't just write back.


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