May 27, 2005

People keep telling me to leave Blogger...

After my recent problems. They say they're not having problems where they are. But their place is much smaller than Blogger. How do I know it will stay around, as I feel sure Blogger will? And if it does stay around, won't that be because it gets bigger? If so, won't it encounter the kind of problems Blogger has had to manage?

22 comments:

Steven Taylor said...

There is also the possiblity of going to one's own domain. If you do so, I highly recommend Hosting Matters and WordPress.

The question becomes: are you willing to pay a bit to blog and how much technical expertise do you have ? (you don't need all that much, and there are people to hire at reasonable rates, for that matter).

BTW, althhouse.com and althouse.net are taken, but althouse.us is available.

If you would like more detailed info, drop me an e-mail.

Having used Blogger, I must say that I am far happier with my own domain and WP--but then again I have a tad of the computer geek in me.

Ann Althouse said...

I would definitely only do it with my own domain. The unavailability of the obvious ones is a factor in not changing from the familiar URL I have now. I'm not interested in spending time on the technical things, and I'm not staying on Blogger out of a desire to save money. I don't want to put time into technical things, but whenever Blogger has troubles that does consume my time. It would take time to figure out how to switch -- and several people are offering to help me -- and then there's the unknown world of the new set of problems.

Dave said...

Given the amount of blog posts you put up per day, your per blog post cost on another service would be minimal.

Example: Typepad costs $150 per year. If you limit yourself to two posts per day (much less than you currently blog) then your cost would be less than 50 cents per blog post. The more you blog, the less expensive the prospect of paying for blogging is.

Therefore, I've never understood the attraction to free blogging.

Another benefit to using a different blogging service: many of them allow you to create backups of all your blog posts, so that if, for some reason, the company were to go out of business, you would have control all over all your posts, and could set them up again quickly.

EddieP said...

Blogger can only get better, and there is no percentage in you wasting any of your time doing geeky things. Stay put!

limeshurbet said...

I second what Steven says Ann. I was on Blogger when I first started and moved to my own domain and WordPress and I coulnd't be happier. I am also with Hosting Matters, which is partnered with WordPress. I spend way less time on techincal things with WordPress than I used to do with Blogger and my hosting has been problem free.

Ann Althouse said...

EddieP: That's the way I tend to think.

Can anyone address Google? Do you think Blogspot blogs do better in Google? I get a lot of traffic from Google.

Gerry said...

Ann,

You are right to wonder about matters of scale of client base, but there is the fundemental matter of underlying software. Blogger's is not as good as Wordpress.

Once Wordpress is configured, it is a snap to use. Once configured, someone who does not want to get into the nuts and bolts of it can use it even more easily than Blogger.

And if you can do a whole lot more, if you take the time to learn how.

Although I am a computer geek by trade, when I went to my own domain, I was extremely busy and did not want to spend any time learning a whole lot of stuff. To save money, I did my own site layout, which was difficult because it is not really my strongsuit (does it show?), but beyond that it was pretty much have my host set it up. I didn't have to do much of anything to blog, other than write. If you get someone to do your layout, then it's nothing.

And then, over time, I started learning some more features and tricks and things I could do. I don't think I have begun to scratch the surface.

Anyway, I do recommend making the switch. I doubt you would regret it after the first few weeks.

And if others are going to recommend Hosting Matters, which is a good company with a good rep, I'll take the time to plug my host-- Blogs-About. They are fast, responsive, helpful, and even though I did not use them for it, they can design layouts for you.

Gerry said...

Ann,

I get tons of traffic from Google. Except when getting linked by NRO or you or Michelle Malkin or the WSJ or similar, my recent referrals is usually mostly from Google searches.

Steven Taylor said...

Ann,

I spend about $150 a year on PoliBlog--that includes the hosting costs and the domain name.

The switch itself is easy--and no doubt many would be willing to help, myself included. The only "hard" parts are the archive import and the template--and yours is pretty straightforward. There are a couple of other issues, such as securing internal permalinks.

Blogging via WP is a world better than Blogger (as is Moveable Type--which I also used for a while, but prefer WP).

You would initially see a dip in traffic while the Google-bots found you, and, of course, the move to a new domain would require people changing their blogrolls and such.

Ann Althouse said...

Steven: "A world better" -- that seems like an awful lot. I've used Movable Type (guest-blogging on Instapundit) and it seemed basically the same as Blogger.

As for moving my template: I want a nice new design. I'm only using this standard template because I've been avoiding everything technical. Which is of course why I find technical problems especially bad: I'm forced to look at the aspect of blogging that is not at all interesting to me.

Pancho said...

As a variant, you could go to your own domain and use blogger. I do, and loading the pages to your own server space tends to avoid a few of the problems of using BlogSpot.

Steven Taylor said...

Ann,

Such things are subjective, to be sure. However, I have continued to use Blogger for a few group blogs I contribute to on occassion, so am still familiar with it, and find WP to be several quanta better.

I will say that Blogger is better now (and closer to MT) than it was when I used it, but I still find it inferior.

Of course, one of the reasons I left BlogSpot in the first place was because of ongoing, annoying technical problems--which I assume have continued.

tommy said...

I like movable type better than wordpress just from spam control issues. But wordpress is pre installed on hosting matters so it's easier from that.

They both work about the same really and getting a template set up is pretty easy if you know some stuff or it's simple to get someone to do it too.

and I couldn't give hosting matters a higher recommendation I really like them. You're time and frustration are worth something and you have to decide that one.

Sandi said...

Ann

WP and and MovableType are both much better than BlogSpot. Even better is PowerBlogs. I chose PowerBlogs mainly because of the exceptional tools that make setup and customizing easy and non-technical. Not to mention editing and posting tools.

Blogger is still used for my oldest archives because I didn't want to pay $50 to have my old blog imported. PowerBlogs is less expensive than Wp and Movable Type.

Also Dean's World and The Moderate Voice use PowerBlogs.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Sandi. But I dislike the way those two sites look. I also dislike the TypePad blogs I can think of. The design is depressing! I'm not thrilled with my template, but if I move, it will be to something I think looks great. I think this will require a fair amount of work. I'm certainly not going to just pop into that set up and look like that!

John said...

hecky-darn...you've got all kind of geeky fans (like me) who are also CSS gurus. ask, and all kind of new look-y goodness will come.

but honestly, it isn't that tough to make the blog look different. nor is it that difficult to make a new instillation in a new Content Management System.

Sandi said...

Ann,

Wether you use Blogger, or any of the other suggestions put forth, how a template looks it totally independant of that provider and up to you.

That said the look of a blog is made through the more techie template aspect. I totally deleted my blogger template and wrote one to look exactly like my powerblogs template. Unfortunately due to differences, copy/paste won't work.

No matter who you decide to go with, they, or someone else knowledgeable in CSS can make you blog look however you like.

Sandi

Art said...

Do you WANT to be the master of your domain?

k.s-c said...

Hi Ann,

I would recommend starting with Pancho's suggestion to use Blogger with your own domain. That is what I do and it has a number of advantages:

1. Blogger maintains back-ups for you. If you were to have some unforeseen glitch on your server or accidentally delete your blog files from your server, you can republish your blog to restore the files.

2. It will give you a chance to see if your problems are related to Blogger's programming or just Blogger's servers. Blogger, while not the greatest software, is very easy to use and very effective, in a simplistic sort of way.

3. You can retain continuity of blog software. ie, All of your posts will be in a single format/software. (This may or may not be important to you, it is something that I wanted.)

Despite what people will say, No Blogging Holy Grail Exists. All programs/services have limitations and holes. People always see their preferred choice through rose colored glasses. My experience with MT is second hand, but still frustrating. My friend was forever disabling comments to prevent spam, patching MT, re-enabling comments, and disabling comments again because of comment spam.

I don't get anywhere close to the traffic you get, but I have been very happy with hosting my blog on my own domain. I use Globat for hosting,and have 112GBps per month of bandwidth and 3.75Gbytes of storage space. I paid for my two years in advance, but I think it worked out to around 7-8 dollars a month. (plus it doubles as photo & ftp space for my friends & family)

Ann Althouse said...

k.s-c: Thanks for bringing up a factor I hadn't considered. I love the comments now, and I had a terrible experience before when I wasn't using Blogger registrations. I have almost no problem with spam: maybe five comments in all, easily and quickly deleted. Those who are defending other solutions should address the issue of comments.

purple_kangaroo said...

I had to laugh at this. When I moved from my other blog host to blogger, several people told me that it was a poor move because otherhost is much more reliable and Blogger has "issues."

The interesting thing is, in the last few days otherhost has been losing posts--as in, I try to go to the URL of an old post and it's gone. And then this last night and morning the archives and comments haven't been working on otherhost as I try to read my friends' blogs. So far this has lasted about 12 hours I think.

Blogger does have issues occasionally, as does any online company. But they seem to fix them relatively quickly.

tommy said...

MT has a plug in called blacklist that works really well with comment/trackback spam. The high traffic sites (not me) frequently use a type key registration or some sort of code input to filter out the spam. I assume they get a lot more spam than I do.

I haven't had any since installing blacklist.