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Author Topic: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress  (Read 4106 times)

Steven Avery

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setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« on: September 04, 2010, 04:21:15 PM »
Hi Folks,

In this thread I really want here a little discussion of the basic alternatives on blogger and wordpress, both of which seem to have excellent blogging facilities.  There are dozens of worthwhile alternatives, they may be mentioned, however it seems the prominence of the big two is justified by features, simplicity, etc. so they will be the primary focus for simple "get-up-and-running-and-share-away".

Earlier we were discussing setting up server environments on your PC, however it seems these two can be set up in 3 different ways.

1) running on the web, hosted by wordpress or blogger  (www.yourname.wordpress.com www.yourname.blogger.com)
2) running on the web, hosted by your own url
3) running on your local (pseudo)-server, uploaded to your own url (or hosted on your pc as server)

Offhand I am not sure what the advantages to 3 might be .. unless there was some intensive stuff going on where a local connection is faster. Or, more simply (3) is simply for "set-up" then upload to your (2)?  .. then continue from there with web management ?  Rather than ask your web host to do the install ? Which simplicity will vary from host to host. I'm a little perplexed.

The simple fact of email posting to the blog, even pics and stuff (testing needed to see if inline .jpg will work on both, an important question), seems to tremendously simplify the actual blog posts. I played with the Wordpress editor and was not impressed, so Eudora, or an alternative if it words better, comes to play. Of course you have to go online for comment moderation, dashboard tweaking and stuff like that.

One major first question is simple .. in initial days, is there any disadvantage in starting with the wordpress or blogger link ? Are they special efforts or costs or difficulty when you later try to port the blog en toto over to your own domain ?  Should you try from day one to have your domain as the host ?  And, if you start with their hosting, should you first set up your host with a URL redirection to where you might think you go later, so that you have a permanent path ? I know there is a possibility of a fee when you transfer stuff out, like with forums, $50 or so would not be a big hurt, but I really wonder about all this.

Also I am thinking about the best way to handle the issue of unusual name or topic blogs, one account or multiple accounts.  Clearly you could set up one account and have multiple blogger blogs (not sure about wordpress, presumably so). Another alternative seems to be to set up a gmail account myunusualblog@gmail.com and the blog with the corresponding name ..e.g myunusualblog .. and then have gmail keep a copy of the mail and send one down to your home inbox too. This way you have nice coordinated control, blog by blog (I will likely end up with about 3, on related yet distinct Bible topics) .. where you sign in to the gmail accounts, one by one, and see the blog activity when not home, and simply filter properly at home.  Make sense ?  

Note: It would be nice if gmail had a url method to pass the user name and password, but that might be asking a bit. Then the url would go right into linkshelf.  

However in my proposed method the gmail username wll be the blog name anyway, making it fairly simple even if the three blogs are distinct.  The only significant loss is that a "blogger" looking at "your blogs", a nice feature, does not see them all together.  Your thoughts ?

I'm not sure if all this is sensible, feel free to drift afield, and share away.  I'll hopefully invite you to my new blog or two tomorrow, to compare and share.

(One glitch already, I set up a blogger account under the wrong name, deleted it hoping to set it up under the right name, freezing the name as unavailable, I am asking about that on blogger forum.)

Thanks.

Steven Avery
Queens, NY
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 04:24:57 PM by Steven Avery »

app103

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 10:41:50 PM »
I have a lot of Blogger blogs under a single account, and I am pretty experienced with it...enough to answer most of your questions about it.

Blogger only offers the option for them to host the blog for you on a blogspot.com subdomain, or you could point your own domain name at it. They do not offer the option to host it on your own server, any other web host, or locally on your pc.

Quote
Offhand I am not sure what the advantages to 3 might be .. unless there was some intensive stuff going on where a local connection is faster. Or, more simply (3) is simply for "set-up" then upload to your (2)?  .. then continue from there with web management ?  Rather than ask your web host to do the install ? Which simplicity will vary from host to host. I'm a little perplexed.

The advantage to that is when you are creating, tweaking, or testing templates and plugins, you are not working on a live site, so there is no risk of trashing your site by accident.

Quote
The simple fact of email posting to the blog, even pics and stuff (testing needed to see if inline .jpg will work on both, an important question), seems to tremendously simplify the actual blog posts. I played with the Wordpress editor and was not impressed, so Eudora, or an alternative if it words better, comes to play.

Try Windows Live Writer...it's wonderful and can handle multiple blogs and many blogging platforms.

Quote
Of course you have to go online for comment moderation, dashboard tweaking and stuff like that.

Or you can use Disqus and moderate comments by email, like I do. You can mark as spam, delete, or reply to them. It works on both Wordpress and Blogger.

Quote
One major first question is simple .. in initial days, is there any disadvantage in starting with the wordpress or blogger link ? Are they special efforts or costs or difficulty when you later try to port the blog en toto over to your own domain ?  Should you try from day one to have your domain as the host ?  And, if you start with their hosting, should you first set up your host with a URL redirection to where you might think you go later, so that you have a permanent path ? I know there is a possibility of a fee when you transfer stuff out, like with forums, $50 or so would not be a big hurt, but I really wonder about all this.

The best way to do it is to start with their hosting and your own domain name. That way you won't be starting from scratch when you move. Neither of the services have URL redirection for when you move. The only thing you can do if you decide to move to your own host and you haven't been using your own domain name all along, is put up a last post with the new URL to tell your visitors were to go.

As far as exporting your content for moving, Blogger has this, and Wordpress can import it. And it doesn't cost anything to export your blog. (it's something you should do on a regular basis any way, just for backup purposes)

Quote
Also I am thinking about the best way to handle the issue of unusual name or topic blogs, one account or multiple accounts.

I keep all my Blogger blogs under a single account. I rarely ever have to log into my Blogger account. I don't log in to post since I use Windows Live Writer and I don't have to log in to moderate comments because I use Disqus.

Quote
(One glitch already, I set up a blogger account under the wrong name, deleted it hoping to set it up under the right name, freezing the name as unavailable, I am asking about that on blogger forum.)

They don't release the deleted blog names right away. Sometimes it takes months after a deletion before they release them. Posting on their forum will not help. It's all automated.

Now, for some more info...

If you want more control over what you can do with your blog but still have the free hosting, Blogger is the better option when compared to wordpress.com, for the simple reason that wordpress.com doesn't allow you to use unapproved plugins and they don't allow the use of javascript. This will be important to you the day you want to add some sort of ads, widgets, or other custom stuff.

Blogger also has feeds for each tag built in, so you can easily do cool stuff like this. The recent posts on my sidebar is also powered by those individual feeds.

Blogger just added built in analytics, comment spam detection (useful if you don't use Disqus), and static pages. If you want a contact form, you can create one in Google Docs and have it send you an email alert whenever anyone uses it. It's very easy to insert the code they give you into a static page on Blogger, but wordpress.com won't allow you to use it on their site. (this is the one I made for my dad)

briancoto9

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 05:51:56 AM »
Steven,

I would suggest using a program installed on the computer to do the posting.  Email posting is a good option, but using a program will let you post to several blogs from one interface, attach posts to categories that are on the blog you are posting on at the moment, etc.

I am using BlogDesk, shareware for the Windows pc.  It supports Wordpress, Movable Type, Drupal, Serendipity, and several more (no blogger though).  I know there is one that is even better for the Mac, but cannot recall it just now.

Check it out.  :Thmbsup:

Brian

Steven Avery

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 05:14:54 AM »
Hi Folks,

A quick thanks for the great help.  This weekend I plan on doing some test work (e.g. emailing .jpg is a big issue to see, or using the editor recommended) on both environments, more a bit later.  It does seem that a good blog can be the central point for other aspects (special web pages, forums, mild discussion, etc) with less muss and fuss.

Exactly the type of feedback needed.  More laters :).

Here are my two test-only blogs .. In blogger the Eudora pic did not take directly, I added it by hand by Abbyy-->file and then Blogger upload.

http://heavenlywitne...stest.wordpress.com/
http://purebibletest.blogspot.com/

So far I have been testing Eudora and Windows Live Writer.  I can see that WLW has a major advantage in pic-to-blog .. one that alone is enough to make it the standard.

Big surprise .. Wordpress took the Eudora inline .jpg pic perfectly ! .. hmmmm .. and a nice large size ... but .. wait .. the color and maybe font size was lost so far.

The decision between WLW and Eudora now leans strongly to WLW.  Oh, it looks like WLW also has an "Image Size" option, that can avoid the later adjustment.

Next .. compare BlogDesk (no Blogger though) and anything else interesting to WLW.  I see that WLW surprises a lot of folks for the quality of the MS app so it is clearly acceptable from the get-go.  A bit shocked ! shocked ! to actually maybe like a specialty MS app.

Wait .. more important now ... email control of commenting .. Disqus .> I tried to install on blogger . it shows up in the Page Elements but not on the page.  Hmmm.. Comments are enabled properly.  So testing this out is the next project .. after that I can probably post immediately  .. haven't tried Wordpress-Disqus yet .. also have not decided on the redirection issue (that can wait a few days anyway).

Ok.. Disqus works fine Blogger.

Disqus install on WordPress says it is for "WordPress (self-hosted)" and I do not see PlugIns on the Dashboard site. So for Disqus on WordPress I think .. ? .. it only applies after the hosting is switched.

Apparently there are three main players in email control, and other comment enhancements, of WordPress comment:

a) WordPress plug-ins
b) Disqus
c) Intense Debate

With Disqus holding a "cutting edge" edge over ID .. especially in interface and stuff that does not matter to me like social networking  .. while ID has a slightly closer integration with WP (owned by the same company maybe ?).  

.  I can see how in a mixed environment of blogs of more than one type (WordPress and  Blogger) Disqus has an immediate advantage.   So do I try to switch away to self-hosting WordPress quicker ? .. or wait .. (not looking for complicated comment threads in the beginning anyway).  And do I understand this properly.

Now I number of people consider external comment systems:

 "a solution in search of a problem"

.. that for many environments the built-in systems work just fine, thank you.  
http://www.wptavern....-intense-debate.html

Since I have easy, quick access to the net pretty much wherever I am, I may go the internal comment route, initially, and then maybe only switch on Blogger, where the variables are less (ie. you are on their platform anyway, so you do not think of the problem of moving the lock with the stock and barrel) and because WordPress is strong on native plugins anyway.

One possible conclusion .. if your blogs are going to be 1, 2, 3 .. and comments is auxiliary (e.g. you direct intense discussion to a web discussion forum) these external comment forums may be overkill .. they may shine more on a real multi-blog setup .. to avoid a lot of ins and outs between blogs, one-point control.  

So far the score is :

Wordpress and Blogger - a bit of both .. Wordpress looking more neato hefty for certain long-term usage, Blogger looks like fun, both are very nice and the way to tell more is to use one from Column A and one from Column B.

Windows Live Writer
   leader of the pack (e.g blogdesk did not handle pics internally, a major aspect for me, as simply)

Commenting
   Wordpress .. native system plus plug-in, if available on WP host, or later when self-host if not available now
   Blogger - Disqus a possibility, close call, probably start clean for the first weeks using standard Blogger

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 03:12:24 PM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 04:52:57 AM »
Hi Folks,

Here are a few things I have noticed on the Blogger - Windows Live Writer combo.

Some of this I can probably try the WLW forums, perhaps these two.
http://social.micros...ritergeneral/threads
http://www.windowsli...ums.aspx?productid=9

And the blogger forums, however the blogger help forum looks only so-so.
http://www.google.co...utm_campaign=blogger
And blogger tricks is a bit specialty but seems pretty helpful.
http://forum.bloggertricks.com/

1) The default of WLW seems to double-space on a carriage-return.  I can get around this by combining Eudora and WLW, is there a direct method ?  I did just find in Blogger Setting->Formatting "Convert Line Breaks", perhaps changing from Yes to No is worth a try, however the concern looks to be in WLW, not Blogger.

2) Similarly, I do not see a WLW toolbar item for "remove formatting" .. again I can work that through Eudora, but if it is doable directly ?

3) Sizing the image properly in WLW seems to require some caution.  I did not find the "Image Size" setting that I read about, referenced above... yet that might be "Default Picture Size" .. presumably you set that up so that the default is a nice width without going over onto the "right bar" with names of posts and such. ie. whatever makes sense for your current template. And then this could need tweaking if you have a lot of pics and then change the template ?  (My next post will have a pic, using Abbyy Screenreader, not super-sharp but sufficient.)  I noticed that there is a setting->formatting called "Enable float alignment" (Default = Yes) that may be relevant to try.

===========================================

And, importantly, it looks like Blogger immediately loses a lot of the spacing (e.g. blank lines that create a paragraph effect) the moment you go into Blogger to do editing of a post that was created in WLW.  The workaround is to delete and republish, or to add spacing in various ways, neither of which is elegant.  Am I missing something ?  Perhaps Quick Editing does not lose ?  This was surprising.

And I think I would like to try the initial blog posts, month-by-month, to be top-down rather than the more-common upside down most-recent-first within blogs.  Is this sensible ?  I think I saw that in Wordpress but perhaps it is not available in Blogger ?

=======================================

And I started live today with:
Pure Bible blog - http://purebible.blogspot.com/
while still maintaining the test forum.
And I am also considering the blogger template situation, suggestions welcome.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 04:55:42 AM by Steven Avery »

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 08:18:47 AM »
If you want to paste without formatting, this plugin may come in handy, but I only use it for pasting in 3rd party code, like for inserting youtube videos.

The carriage-return issue is why I usually do my posts like this:

  • Construct all text for a post in a simple text editor like Notepad. (this gets around the carriage-return issue)
  • Paste into WLW.
  • Check spelling.
  • Insert all hyperlinks.
  • Insert images. (select text wrapping I want, tweak margins, set border, set "link to" target, resize image by either dragging or setting size on "advanced" tab, set alt text on "advanced" tab.)
  • Format headers, bullets, blockquotes, etc.
  • Switch to "Source" tab at bottom and tweak HTML directly if necessary.
  • Apply tags/categories.
  • Preview.
  • Publish.

And I do not edit previously published posts in Blogger's editor. I only edit in WLW. Even if you don't see it listed in the "Recently Posted" you can still access older posts by clicking "more" at the bottom of that list. Combining different editors will do nothing but give you headaches, no matter what editors you use. They all have their quirks. Pick one editor and stick with it. This goes for Wordpress as well as Blogger.

And I think I would like to try the initial blog posts, month-by-month, to be top-down rather than the more-common upside down most-recent-first within blogs.  Is this sensible ?  I think I saw that in Wordpress but perhaps it is not available in Blogger ?

So, if you have 100 posts, you would like post #1 (your oldest) at the top of page 1 and post #100 (your most recent) buried at the bottom of page 20? (that is what reversing the order would do, and why you don't do that unless you are building a "static" site and will never have more posts than can fit on page 1.)

Steven Avery

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 11:05:44 AM »
Hi Folks,

The plugin looks nice, and will help a little. Plus I use Eudora as my Notepad equivalent and if there is no carriage return workaround I may compose first in Eudora (either fulll or just those small sections where the carriage return issue comes up) and then bring over to WLW before publishing.  It is surprising that the carriage return issue comes up .. I have seen it in other editors as well in the past.  

However the main double-step is the clipboard pics .. apparently they have to go directly into WLW as clipboard-->Eudora works and clipboard-->WLW but not clipboard-->Eudora-->WLW.  

> Insert images. (select text wrapping I want, tweak margins, set border, set "link to" target, resize image by either dragging or setting size on "advanced" tab, set alt text on "advanced" tab.)

That I will have to play with.

> And I do not edit previously published posts in Blogger's editor. I only edit in WLW. Even if you don't see it listed in the "Recently Posted" you can still access older posts by clicking "more" at the bottom of that list.

So it will re-edit to the same location I presume, ie. it knows the post. Understood. I was just hoping to do very small tweaks directly in blogger but if it don't work, it is as it is.

> So, if you have 100 posts, you would like post #1 (your oldest) at the top of page 1 and post #100 (your most recent)

I was only thinking within the month actually.  Or perhaps the last week, as one page of seven posts, something like that.  I thought I saw a setting in Wordpress.  Now I realize that this is always problematic, yet when you have a series of blog posts (say 5 posts on one topic) .. it sure would be nice to have them rightside up !   Granted you could bring them over to a webpage and then put them in order.  I guess you would have to have hand-control, series by series, to make this workable, and that is outside blog-city.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2010, 11:21:37 PM »
However the main double-step is the clipboard pics .. apparently they have to go directly into WLW as clipboard-->Eudora works and clipboard-->WLW but not clipboard-->Eudora-->WLW.

That was why I suggested a basic text editor like notepad. You don't insert images in notepad...you can't. Do the text first and then copy & paste it. Do all the image related stuff after you have all your text in place, just how you want it. Then just place the cursor at the beginning of a paragraph and insert the image. The image settings will allow you to decide if you want it on the left or right and let you tweak the margins so the text looks right when it wraps around it. This isn't exactly something an email client is well suited for.

> Insert images. (select text wrapping I want, tweak margins, set border, set "link to" target, resize image by either dragging or setting size on "advanced" tab, set alt text on "advanced" tab.)

That I will have to play with.

The image stuff in WLW is one of its strongest points. It's one of the primary reasons to use WLW. It even does stuff like watermarking.

So it will re-edit to the same location I presume, ie. it knows the post. Understood. I was just hoping to do very small tweaks directly in blogger but if it don't work, it is as it is.

Every post has an ID. When you retrieve the post for editing, it also retrieves the ID which is passed back when you republish it.

I have WLW set to open my blog after publishing a post, so I can see exactly what it looks like. I can do any tweaking that is needed right in the still open WLW and republish it if I need to.

Now I realize that this is always problematic, yet when you have a series of blog posts (say 5 posts on one topic) .. it sure would be nice to have them rightside up !

This is why when you write a series, you start the post by mentioning that it is a series and linking to the previous parts somewhere in your post. If it is just 2 parts, it's ok to link to the previous post in the first paragraph. If it is a 5 part series, I'd do it at the end, putting the titles for each post in a bulleted list, in order, and then linking them to the posts. I would do this in each of the parts, so that no matter when someone discovers a post that is in the series (might arrive from a search engine), they would have the full list of links to all the parts. (yes, that does mean going back and editing the older posts in the series when you publish the next one)

Also, don't underestimate the power of a sidebar (or footer) link list widget. If you have a few of these series, make a widget for each series, adding the links to all the parts. It's a good way to promote the series to anyone that may stumble across the blog and not even know about them. You could even use a template that has a 3 column footer, and put most of the link lists there, with one on the sidebar, and manually rotate them around every once in awhile...drag & drop the widgets so the one on the sidebar changes. (also a great way to make something old, new again)

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Re: setup alternatives on blogger and wordpress
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2010, 11:56:24 PM »
There are some other reasons to use Disqus than the obvious, one of them being that you can see the comments left on other blogs by other Disqus members. Could help you decide if something really is spam or not, when you can check a person's commenting history. You can also ban commenters based on info like name, email address, IP, etc...then flush all that person's comments from your blog if they left any in the past.

Also, a lot of disqus users have their comment feed added to social networking sites like facebook, friendfeed, buzz, cliqset, etc. Sometimes someone sees a comment in one of their friends stream and it catches their eye and they get introduced to your blog. Yes, every Disqus comment made by someone that does life streaming is a free ad banner for your site.

Commenting
   Wordpress .. native system plus plug-in, if available on WP host, or later when self-host if not available now

It's included in the latest versions of WP, including the version used on wordpress.com. Just have to turn it on, nothing to install...much easier than setting it up on Blogger (which really isn't that hard).  ;)