The whys and the wherefores

As readers may know, I'd run a weblog at for about four months. It was going OK and has had a fair, but relatively small level of traffic. It ran on Blogger, which was bought by Google a few years ago.

I chose Blogger for a couple of reasons:

  • it seemed simple and popular;
  • it was free, and provided hosting;
  • some of my friends were already using it;
  • Google usually run reasonable services.

Over time though, I've become increasingly frustrated with Blogger:

  • no real enhancements have been happening – not what I'd expect from Google. Administration and changes to templates took a lot of effort.
  • commenting is painful;
  • trackbacks (a basic part of blogging) have to be added by a third-party service such as Haloscan (which I used, but found cumbersome).

I'm not the only one to have reservations about Blogger. There's a great post by James Governor of Redmonk (that links to other thoughts on the same subject). Sums it all up.

During last week, one of my readers suggested that I move to Roller, knowing that IBM have chosen it as our blogging platform for both our internal blogging site, and developerWorks. In order to do that, though, I'd need a host, and I didn't want to go down that route. If I had been, I would also have been slightly tempted by Pebble, because it is Java-based and I know the author (although it won't run in WAS CE, which is a major downside).

(Lee, if you're reading this – seriously, I didn't want to move to MSN Spaces, and I don't want to get into a scrap about it, so let's not go there. Each to his own!)

Overall, my personal preference was WordPress, since I've got some familiarity with it (1.x at least). It is open source, easy to setup, and easy to administer. I used to run a WordPress installation on my home server, but I wasn't sure it (and my ADSL connection) would stand up to the popularity of The lost outpost, for instance.

So, this weekend, I moved to I have to be honest and say that I couldn't have read James Governor's post beyond the bit about why Blogger sucked, because I just hadn't been aware that WordPress were providing hosting as well as creating an awesome blogging platform. I knew I could download it, but I didn't know I could wander over to and get a free account.

There will be a follow-up post explaining how I made the move. I've just finished making all the changes I needed to get my content migrated, so now I'm able to explain how it was done.

The other question I have is what happens when a blog is moved – how quickly do search engines manage to adjust? I've built up a reasonable presence now, and some of my postings are pretty popular, depending on your choice of search terms. Does moving make it all that much more difficult to maintain this level of interest? I notice that Technorati feels that this new blog is of no interest at all, but my old one was – that is despite transferring all my old Technorati tags. I guess I need to build up some link traffic and get some incoming interest again.

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6 thoughts on “The whys and the wherefores”

  1. Blogger sucks. WordPress rocks. Glad to be of service. The only potential issue with hosted wordpress is the question of domain ownership. but i am glad GLAD GLAD GLAD that i can now comment on your blog. no need to spend 40 seconds retyping in my details every freaking time.

  2. Have you got trackbacks working on there? I tried to trackback to this post, but it doesn’t seem to have worked…
    The one thing I really dislike about blogger is that as well as needing external trackbacks, each post does not have an autodiscovery of trackback links, so I cannot just paste in the link of the post, I need to find a specific trackback link…

  3. Err – trackbacks. I’ll double-check the settings. It is interesting you mention that, because I tried sending some earlier, and I can’t see that they’ve made it (although the editor page says that the ping has been sent).

  4. Yes, pings are definitely enabled, so it should work. However, looking in the forum, there are a few people suggesting that the system is a bit hit-and-miss at the moment, and that it may be connected to the theme being used. Apologies if this isn’t working properly at the moment. Hopefully they’ll fix it in the infrastructure. This will be an interesting test of as a hosting provider…

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