Friday, January 15, 2010

Blogger and Wordpress question

I have not been satisfied with Blogger's inability to support webpages. I would like to be able to have one integrated website-blog that is EASY to manage. I like Blogger because it is so easy to use. And I really dislike my website because it is so cumbersome to alter, which is why nothing is ever updated.

So I tried to alter Blogger to give me some static pages last summer. But this is a temporary fix. I need to find another platform and integrate website and blog.

My biggest concerns are threefold.

1. Is there a way to automatically move my subscribers to a new URL? Or not?

2. Is there a way to automatically move my past three years of blogging history/archives to a new platform?

3. Finally, is Wordpress what I should be looking at? Or are there other recommendations? I like to control the look of my pages, so I am concerned about Wordpress if it is the case (which I don't know) that I can't access the html code.


Danny Zacharias said...

Of the blog platforms Wordpress is probably the easiest to create and maintain simple web pages, so if you want to have other pages with stuff, as long as it is relatively simple (text, pictures, links, etc) then I'd go with Wordpress.

Your subscribers would have to manually change their RSS feed. What I'd do is keep your blogger blog, and do your final post stating the new website link and RSS feed so they can update their feed readers. Then you can just leave your blogger page as is. The final post will be the first thing visitors see and they'll know to go to wordpress.

Wordpress has a built in importing method to bring in posts from blogger.

hope this helps!

Ian said...

You probably do want to look at Wordpress, yes. It does give you control over the look and feel. But as Danny said, you can't use the same web-address.

Wordpress is very easy to use, but as with any change in software you'll have to play a bit to get used to where it puts things and what they're called.

I'd strongly recommend getting a cheap domain name for yourself. Its a few dollars a year if you don't go for a .com or .org. Then in future you're isolated from further changes. The site can move, but its name doesn't have to.

Wordpress's blogger import is very good, you don't need to worry about losing that. Wordpress is also a nicer experience for your community.

Vinny said...

I would also suggest more than one final post on blogger since those are easy to miss. I just found out that a blog I subscribe to moved several months ago. Unfortunately, I overlooked the final post that alerted me to the move. It was only when I was going through my subscription list that I realized that I had not seen a new post for a long time and I tracked it down. A follow up post about the move might have caught my attention.

Bill said...

I agree with the other commenters. I have used wordpress to create several websites for churches and non-profits that combine blog posts and static pages.

I have also used all three of the most common blogging systems - blogger, moveable type and wordpress - and i prefer wordpress. There are other choices besides those three and some of them have better features but I have not found anything easier to use as wordpress.

But there is another choice to make too. If cost and simplicity are the most important considerations you can get a free blog in 5 minutes at But i suggest that you pick a hosting company and choose a domain name that you own. It will wind up costing you about $100 to $150 a year. If you pick the right host you can install wordpress there in a few minutes and set it on automatic updates.

David said...

Wordpress does allow you to edit the html, although there are also wysiwyg ways to edit the look and functionality of the site.

If you move to, you'll have a address that you won't be able to move in the future. allows you to install the software onto your own server, so you could have a domain name you own yourself. This is fiddly, but not altogether difficult, and there are walkthroughs on the wordpress site. But if you don't feel like doing it, some providers will do it automatically for you, like bluehost, who I use (no affiliation!). But this, of course, means paying for the domain and the webspace.

David said...

There are different flavors of WordPress. does not provide the same services as, for example. One allows more changes and access to code (sorry, I forget which).

Both have a great import utility, simple and complete.

Not sure if you can export a user list and import into WordPress.

Another option is to get a hosting plan (plus personal domain name) which allows you to install with one click multiple free software applications, including WordPress. In this case, you have control over everything in WordPress.

Or, if you have a friend who already has a hosting plan, you can have them install WordPress for you, redirect your domain name to this subsite, and have complete control. For free.

David said...

Wordpress is definitley more configurable, but the MOST configurable and easy to use is a platform called Squarespace. This is sort of like a blog/website hydrid that you have complete control over all the html and css without having to understand any of it.

the snag is that there's no free option, cheapest comes in at 8$ a month, but it really is the top notch option.

Chris Brennan said...

1. No, not really.

2. Yes, Wordpress has an import feature that works rather well.

3. Yes. Wordpress is the best platform out there now. Most people usually end up starting on blogger and then moving to Wordpress eventually.

Be sure to study up on the differences between and though:

If you want to have full control over the look of your pages then you should definitely go with, the self hosted version, as does have some restrictions when it comes to this. requires a bit of technical knowledge, although it is mostly stuff that you can pick up through tutorials and such. Or you can just hire someone to set it up for you. Or find a host that has Wordpress pre-installed. Either way, definitely go with Wordpress.

Luc Valentine said...

Wordpress is famous for being able to port over your posts from other blogs. Also you can edit the CSS for a small fee (I think around $20 per year), but it's different from Blogger. Wordpress itself takes care of the html through its content management. What you do is make your CSS changes in a text box and once saved they override the Wordpress template's built-in CSS. Both have advantages and disadvantages. If you're looking for page control, pick a template with page navigation. There's a way to control pages in Blogger that involves selective use of labels, feel free to contact me for more info and some links.

Dan Harper said...

I'm a little late to this conversation, but here are a couple of comments....

-- Having a Wordpress blog under your own domain name, as suggested above by a couple of commenters, will be somewhat more time-consuming than using Blogger. Yes, Wordpress can be installed on your present Web site at, and it will give you lots more control over appearance than Blogger does. But you will have to update the software 2-3 times a year, which can take an hour each time you do it.

-- Looking at your Web site, you would probably benefit from moving all your content onto a blog platform, but that's not necessarily true. On my own Web site I find it's much easier to manage longer, more complex documents (esp. those which integrate lots of graphics, or which need internal navigation) using Dreamweaver than trying to wrestle with them on a blog platform. I have two blogs, both of which have static pages as well as the main blog chronology, but I still keep a regular Web site with material that doesn't need to be updated regularly (including some book-length documents).

Also, it's easier to back up my regular Web pages than my blogs. Backing up the blogs requires downloading the blog files from the Web host. But I don't have to worry about backing up the Web pages separately, because those files are stored on the hard drive of my computer, and I just back them up as a part of my regular computer back-up routine.

Leveck said...

Have you thought of just integrating the two (website/blog)? You can use the same header image and menu on your site as on your blog. On the menu, refer to your website as "home" instead of "my website," this sounds more homogeneous. The web lends itself to this sort of thing: a hyperlink sends you to another location, it does not care where it is hosted.