Tuesday, October 4, 2016

31 Days of Simple Blogging: day 3.

Yeah, this was me falling asleep again last night and waking up at 12:51 in the morning, when it was already too late to write, go me! I was going to talk about commenting systems in todays post, but I thought that would jump things way to much out of order, so I decided I'd address the big, huge elephant in the series first, and that's Wordpress!
You don't absolutely have to use Wordpress!
OK you're probably thinking, "look at her stating the obvious again"! However, Wordpress is the CMS used by 26.7% of the internet, according to this survey. I'm not a WP fan, so let me see if I can think of any reasons why you'd want to use it.
  • You pay for your own server space, so it isn't possible to violate the terms of service of something like Google that owns Blogger. Although it's possible for you to not read your hosts terms of service very carefully after a change, and what you think is actually backup well... apparently isn't. That's what happened with CoolBlindTech, about a month after I left Bluehost, which they were also using.
  • WP is flexible. There are a whole bunch of themes and plugins that you can experiment with.
  • There are lots of theme designers out there, if you're going to blog professionally, you may want to consider a custom paid theme.
  • It's fun if you like tweaking things!
  • There's extensive documentation and support at wordpress.org
I have to admit I do like tweaking things, (mostly adding plugins and widgets. OK, now for my reasons against.
  • You're host can still take you down for a TOS violation, like I mentioned above. It could be that, a DMCA request, or something else entirely. When it comes to those things, it really doesn't matter where you go.
  • Site tweaking is fun, until something breaks! What do you do when something breaks? Go back and undo the change, of course. That doesn't always fix it though, trust me, I've had things break WP to beyond repair.
  • This plugin has not been tested with your version of Wordpress, and was last updated something like a year ago, and we're now on our third update for this year. I've had installed plugins fail completely because of this, leaving me to find a different and more powerful one that did exactly the same thing, but had way more features, which I simply didn't need.
  • The pressThis upgrade! Apparently they upgraded PressThis to be more mobile-friendly. Well, what they didn't realize when they made everyone change to the new version was that I, (as a person using a screen reader,) had to click around to all the hidden things that used to be inline. This meant I couldn't do anything with PressThis very fast, because I'd often forget to click one thing or another so I'd have to go back and edit the post.
  • If something like an RSS feed stops working, but doesn't completely break the site, it can sometimes take hours to track down the problem. There are times you have to go through several different fixes because tutorials are outdated etc.
So, what services should you use if you just want to blog, want to do a bit of tweaking, but don't care about WP?
  • Tumblr
  • Blogger I actually use and recommend Blogger over Tumblr, but you should use what works for you!,/li>
There are also services that are here to promote simple, minimal blogging, and don't let you tweak too much. Blot is one of those services, which I use for my linkblog. You could also try Posthaven, if you don't care about your content. So basically, the lesson of this whole thing is, use what works for you, and don't just use what everyone else uses because you think it's absolutely necessary.

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