whiptips – starting a blog – which online software to use?

by kath_red on 18/03/2007

in News+Letters

Whiptips craft advice column for readers to ask questions or offer advice by leaving comments. Whiptips archive here. Questions to whiptips@gmail.com.

Andrea has a question about which online blogging software to use … We use Word Press at WhipUp which is great, and I have used Movable type as well – both free online blogging tools are highly customisable, but might require some skills to get your site looking how you would like. I have also used blogger which is super easy to use and is better than ever with the new customisable tools. I have never used typepad, and there are lots of other blogging tools out there as well – any body have any tips on this?

Hi there! I am a big fan of Whipup and have been inspired to get my work together and plan to begin my own blog in the coming year. Typepad Vs. Blogger… pros and cons of each and also of different service levels..basic vs. premier, etc. I’ve checked out both websites but would really love an inside opinion from users. Any help would be soo appreciated. Thank you!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jennifer March 18, 2007 at 10:35 am

i have been blogging for about a year and a half and have used both blogger and now typepad. here’s my take…
blogger is a terrific place to begin blogging. the interface is user-friendly for the novice, you have the ability to tailor your blog’s look as you grow to know the system and a bit of code, and it’s free. it’s also a great place to set up a group blog with several authors.
i started at blogger and moved my current bloghome at typepad after a year of blogging and growing to know more of the features i wanted for my blog – it’s super simple to post and even write drafts for posting at a later time. photo uploading is fast and you can do it in batches if needed. i particularly love how the photo albums allow me to feature my art and craft endeavors in separate categories with thumbnails on the sidebar. you can even require passwords for certain albums if you wish that their contents remain private. and they offer statistics of views, etc. there is an annual fee, but i think many will agree it is a quality service.
i wish you much happiness on your blogging journey – it has changed my life, empowered me to appreciate beauty in every new day, and introduced me to so so many creative individuals who inspire me to explore my interests and discover my hidden talents. best of luck!

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2 Miss Dot March 18, 2007 at 2:05 pm

I am with typepad. I have found their customer service to be fantastic. They answer each question with lots of detail and are very easy to deal with. The interface is also very easy to use and you can have up to three blogs at once for the same fee. I haven’t used any others so I can’t compare.
Best of luck.

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3 liz l March 19, 2007 at 4:33 am

I was using blogger about three years ago, and found it fairly easy, even though at that stage it wasn’t anywhere as user friendly as it is now. recently I set up a blog for a friend within half an hour – it was so easy to use, but in a way I thought, what a pity, as the old version forced me to learn a bit of html, which was a joy.

The one problem I found with the new blogger is that my friend lost her password and username. Because you now need to signin to google as well as blogger, I found it impossible to retrieve all those details, and there was no one to email directly, just an automated password retrieval process. I haven’t used Typepad but I do like the idea of what Miss Dot suggests is personalised service.

I’ve been wanting to do my own community website (an oral history website) for a few months and have stalled, baulking at the idea of coding everything (even though I suspect I learned a lot fro blogger, and have been looking at the source code of several websites: view menu: source.

I’d been spoiled by Blogger, and assumed it would be a simple thing to find an equivalent, free (or close to it) program (I need lots of pages on my site, and the blog structure is unsuitable). any ideas?

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4 Elspeth March 19, 2007 at 5:25 am

I just transferred from Blogger to a hosted Word Press site and so far so good. For a free service, you can’t beat Blogger. However you may have the problem you have with most free services – the good names get taken quickly and even if they’re abandoned later. Also, you now sign in with your gmail account which adds another layer, but the new Blogger has some great features. I also have tried the free Wordpress accounts, and like them, except you can’t personalize it as much because they don’t want to open their code or something like that.

I recently upgraded to a site that I bought hosting for, and then was able to install WordPress. I really like it, but it was not cheap, and I almost think the new Blogger is giving having your own host a run for its money.

So, I think it depends if you want to pay or not, and how much control you want over your blog. You could always start out with a free one and then move if need be. Blogger even forwards Web addresses – so you could buy a domain and have it point to your free Blogger account.

Good luck!

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5 Jan March 19, 2007 at 7:13 pm

I’ve been using Typepad and think it’s worth every penny. It offers a variety of templates which are very easy to use and customize and, as Miss Dot said, their customer service is wonderful. Any questions I have had have been answered quickly and thoroughly. I highly recommend it!

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6 Eva March 20, 2007 at 10:01 pm

I think there are several questions to ask yourself before choosing software: Are you going to host your blog on your own website? How comfortable do you feel administering your own software (updates, patches, etc)? How much control do you want to have over how the blog looks and acts? Do you have $$ to spend on your blog? Do you WANT to spend money on your blog? What other services to I want to incorporate into my blog (pictures, widgets, ads, etc). The answers to these questions will help you to decide what features you want and which software is best for your purposes.

If you just want to post and not worry about website/blog administration, Blogger/Google, Wordpress, and Vox all have good solutions. If you want more complete control over your blog, Wordpress, Typepad, and others have excellent products. Be aware that some products cost money to use, and if you host your own blog, you need to pay for domain registration and site hosting.

I use Wordpress that I installed on my own website that I administer. I’m not a website guru by any means, but I like the challenge and the freedom of hosting my own blog. I do have other blogs on other free services, but I haven’t found those to serve the need of my primary blog.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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7 dada September 29, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Nice site!

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