Well, folks – after blogging for over a decade on Google’s Blogger platform, I’ve decided to move to WordPress.com.
It took me a long time to come to this decision. Apart from sentimental reasons, there were numerous features I loved about Blogger, including:
- Short learning curve
- Free and ad-less
- Fully customizable
- Integrated with Google (yes, this was a plus for me)
I stayed with Blogger patiently through its recent major milestones: Followers replaced with Google+, user interface overhaul, evolution of the Reading List, removal of third-party gadgets, and two rounds of new themes, plus other changes I’ve probably forgotten. I didn’t like every change, but for a number of years, there were plenty of improvements and nothing got in the way of my blogging. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I got my computer science degree, discovered the Blogger API, and dreamed of developing my own themes. Overall I was happy with Blogger and planned to stick with it indefinitely.
A few things have come together in the last year which finally changed my mind:
- Mobile design. I think I have tried every one of Blogger’s mobile designs and found it problematic in some aspect. While most of my site traffic comes from desktop computers, this is a deal-breaker for anyone wishing to reach a wider audience.
- Social media. After starting the podcast and rebranding as Classics Considered, I realized the need to integrate better with Instagram and other social media platforms. This is completely doable in Blogger, but WordPress has tools to make it faster (in great part due to its better selection of themes).
- Ease of use. I think WordPress’s usability has greatly improved since I last tried it (years ago). I’ve been using Medium and LinkedIn for my professional blogging and have been spoiled by their post editors and friendly formatting. Having that capability in WordPress, I feel like blogging will be much faster, and these days I’m all about time efficiency.
- Blogger makes me sad. Only half-joking. Seriously, it seems like every so often, Google remembers Blogger and puts in some development to improve its features. But it still feels like a neglected corner of the Google empire, which is a pity since it has incredible potential. As a software developer, I am not seeing iterative design on a continual basis, and that saddens me. Blogger no longer seems like a competitor to WordPress – it feels like a legacy product Google is supporting for sake of the people who still use it. I don’t know if that is the case, and I hope not. That’s just how it looks from the outside.
I have transferred Classics Considered over to WordPress, but there are still plenty of broken links I’ll need to fix, so please bear with me over the next month or two as I get those cleaned up.
Also, if there’s any features or nice-to-knows about WordPress you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them!