I started off this latest bout of blogging by essentially trying three different platforms, all at the same time.
I registered onefuriousllama.wordpress.com, onefuriousllama.blogspot.com and onefuriousllama.posterous.com and then went ahead and set up a distribution group in my Google Apps so that I could send one email to the group and have it forwarded on to the email posting service of each blogging platform.
I set up each site to be more or less similar so that I could get a real feel for which way I wanted to go. My previous blog was a self hosted WordPress site which did work pretty well but I was in the market for some edutainmusement.
The first couple of posts went along fine and got posted to all three the sites nicely (Google is probably still nailing me for posting in triplicate, but I have, as yet, still not bothered to find out). As I got more into the swing of things, things like tags and categories needed to be added which couldn’t be done from an email. This quickly made the three blog idea… not so great.
It was apparent almost from the beginning that Posterous wasn’t going to cut it. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s ok, just not quite for me. I’ll probably end up using it to post galleries at some point, possibly. Ok, probably not, but that’s not the point.
It was basically a toss up between Blogger/Blogspot and WordPress.
This is the thing you see, Blogspot is cool. The interface works, the options are great, the site templates are passable. Overall it’s not terrible, but it’s hardly mind blowing. What put me off properly was the number of ‘gadgets’ that didn’t work at all or that just looked hideous and the fact that the management interface… doesn’t feel like an application, it feels like a website. Perhaps it’s just the developer in me but when I use an on-line ‘application’ I want it to feel like an application, not a front end.
WordPress, however, rocks. Ok, sure, I may be biased but I did say that when I started this process.
I like the WordPress admin interface, I like the way the plug-ins and modules work. I like the API, the template system, the blogging interface, the theme management, the widget system and most of all, I like the quality of the plug-ins. Again, I may be biased but it *feels* like the general quality of WordPress plug-ins are better than, say, Joomla. It is possible that I was just unlucky with the Joomla plug-ins I tried. Possibly.
I have used Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and Silverstripe and I have also written my own comprehensive CMS systems from the ground up, twice, and WordPress is my favourite. Drupal is too complicated, Joomla suffers from a general lack of quality in my opinion, Silverstripe is ok until you try write a module and my own CMSes suffered from a severe lack of attention and age.
My migration back to WordPress sort of just happened naturally. I started using the WordPress interface for writing the posts instead of GMail and I was two posts in before I realised that the other two sites hadn’t been updated.
And that, was that.
There are a couple of things that can be improved inWordPress, obviously (more AJAX in the admin interface, some additional tools for blog post development and I would dearly like to make the editor window bigger and have it stay that way) but on a whole, for a blog or for a normal site, WordPress is the shit. THE shit. (Except for the lack of Google analytics on wordpress.com, that does suck a bit).
So the bottom line is this: use WordPress, it’s better that way.
One of the main uses for llamas at the time of the Spanish conquest was to bring down ore from the mines in the mountains.