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WordPress vs. the Others October 4, 2005

Posted by Leita in CMS, Internet, Wordpress.com, Wordpress.org.

When Blogger introduced the MS Word feature, I almost went back to using them even though I prefer WordPress, both .org and .com. Call me old school, but I prefer working with word processing software or SciTE Editor over any blog’s Write Post page. So while I wish WordPress.com had the handy MS Word feature Blogger uses, I think I found a better alternative. Thanks to a Ben’s Blog post that led me to BlogJet I downloaded a free trial. The learning curve.. well, there isn’t one and once I figure out the login setup I can again save posts locally without performing a time-blowing copy/paste dance.

Over the years, I’ve tried Blogger, Mambo (not a blog, but CMS), WordPress and now WordPress.com. Some others, too, Xoops (CMS), Drupal (also CMS) and Movable Type come to mind but I didn’t stay with any of them very long. Each had their own set of handy tricks; each had their own shortcomings and in the end, WordPress won my heart. I can muck up the php with the worst of them; WordPress doesn’t seem to mind as much and has yet to dump a post before it is saved or leave me staring hypnotized watching the publishing percentage loop at 15%.


Mambo took too long to setup even with default templates. I think I liked it because it was not intuitive. Digging through the help files and forum was indeed that, adventures in digging and I was a dog with a bone. Not one to post a question on a large forum, I spent days grazing through off-topic threads looking for answers to basic newcomer’s questions.

(This is fun: click and view the official “Using Mambo? tutorial.)

Components, modules, mambots, sections and categories.. images are stored in a ‘Stories’ directory which makes no sense, obvious or otherwise. Mambo loves its jargon and if it’s not learned right away the system is unusable. A Mambo user cannot just download and start posting without spending a lot of time creating and installing the items above. Posts were sometimes called blogs, sometimes called news or the user could make up their own section and category names and become further confused. There was a front page, which I liked since not every post written belongs on the front page; I could pick which stories (not image stories, but actual posts) would be visible on the front page and which ones would go into a category.. or is that section…?


When invited to guest write for another site, I was given a login to a WordPress backend. Like a hybrid of Blogger and Mambo, the best of both greeted me and hooked me into scrapping a half-gig of Mambo files and add ons and downloading WP. Like a CMS for blogs, WordPress was faster to set up with a cleaner admin interface and barely made a dent in my hosting account space. WordPress did not automatically log me out like Mambo (even when I set the clock to 99999, it still logged me out while writing a post.. arrgh.) Finding answers in the WordPress Codex was a hoot. I could pick from forum or wikiesque information within the same search. The writing was clear and coherent, written and updated by people who know how to gently assist a newcomer.


But Blogger was my first. I began with them in late 2000 or early 2001. Not only was it a good blogging tool, it was a great hands-on css tutorial at a time when some school instructors were still debating using css at all:

“CSS is for the future. Learn it if you must but do not use it except for colors and font sizes. Inline. Browsers cannot render it correctly and it will be troublesome.?

Blogger was great, especially for newbies. By adding it to an existing static website, clients had a place where they could post and edit their own content without screwing up the layout, or worse, bringing down the whole site. Since they didn’t mess with the source code (much), their pages didn’t look like a train wreck of centered blinking text, flying emails and bad color combinations. It saved me time, lots of time. I stopped getting as many calls from folks wanting to add a photo or change a little text. Later, Blogger’s new tool for blogging via MS Word was inspired thinking and remains one of my favorite features. When setting up a blog for a newcomer, I still point them toward Blogger. But I wanted something more for myself; hence my pilgrimage.


With WordPress.com, that’ll all change, at least for me. One of the features I like best is actually a lack of.. the templates. Take that option away and a writer is left to ponder the content rather than the design. This is important. The reader can focus on the words rather than the layout. The story becomes more important than the decoration to the writer and the reader wins.

Additional Links:


Xoops cms


Movable Type



1. Tycho - October 4, 2005

“Take that option away and a writer is left to ponder the content rather than the design.” Well said. I’ve never used any blogging software before, and WordPress.com is my first endeavor. While it would be nice to have slightly more customization, such as a the main header graphic, the fact that I don’t have to worry about coding, PHP, and HTML stuff allows me to focus on writing. Otherwise, I’m quite certain I’d be spending all my time tweaking and changing the graphics while forgetting to actually write text… :)

2. Leita - October 5, 2005

Like a fussy bird spending all its time sticking bits of fluff in its nest when it could be laying eggs… yeah, that’s me, too. :)

3. robbie - October 5, 2005

i already deleted two of my wordpress.org blogs due to template frustrations :) with wordpress.com i’m not bothered with that urge… i.o.w. well said!

4. support - November 2, 2005

Hi, thank you for the information comparision.

Born out of a frustration with Blogger’s lack of 3 column templates (nor seemingly a williness to advise how to adapt their existing ones), I’m researching alternatives.

I’m planning to combine my traditional micro website with my blog so that I will save time in managing updates across the various tools.

Would you recommend WordPress.com for blogging, plus content management along with these required features for the long term solution:

* Banner manager
* Contacts management
* User managment (membership)
* Vcards auto created from user registration
* Section, menu, & category managment
* Mail list management
* News feeds
* Syndication
* In-bound News Feeds
* Polls
* Site and page specific templates
* Advanced posting dates
* All administered via c-panel w/o need
for html skills

Thank you very much in advance for your consideration.


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great graphics…;)

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7. Anonymous - April 25, 2006

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