Why WordPress works
In my first post, I noted my perfectionistic need to explore all the options available for blogging. A new WordPress user (Welcome, nexus101) found that entry and noted that, as I am still active here, I must have found WordPress to be the best. A good prompt for a followup.
When I decided to try my hand at blogging, I investigated quite a few options, and quickly narrowed my search to hosted services, as I don’t have/don’t want, my own server. Then I decided on a handful to try, selecting mainly the free services; I wasn’t even sure I would enjoy blogging, so why pay for it?
I did not care for MySpace at all. Yuck. The interface is ugly and extremely inefficient (IMHO) and personalization relies on third-party workarounds. I was uncomfortable with the atmosphere and focus. It was just not for me.
Xanga has a nice feature for sharing “what I’m listening to” or “what I’m reading” at the end of a post, nicely integrated with Amazon. Other than that, there wasn’t much that stood out for me. Meh.
I was quite impressed by Typepad, and found that it offered the most powerful customization options; however, it is not a free service (I signed up for a free trial). If I were blogging professionally, I would definitely consider it. But I’m an amateur, and I don’t see the sense in spending money for this hobby. I wish I could make money at this, but alas, it is not to be.
Vox is atypical and highly structured/controlled; I think it’s more a community than a blog platform. There are many great things about it, but significant limitations as well.
I could have been happy with Blogger if I had never tried WordPress. No major complaints. I just think WordPress has significant advantages that bring it out on top.
Some of the things I like about WordPress:
There are a lot of options for customization, and still more if you’re willing to spend a very small amount of money.
WordPress offers good support for widgets and other sidebar elements.
The dashboard keeps everything at hand and makes it easy to manage your blog.
The ‘friend surfer’ is a nicely integrated way to keep up with new items on the blogs of other WordPress users. I also appreciate being able to easily follow the threads I have commented on.
Stats! I love being able to review statistics for my blog and see what people are reading and clicking on. You just don’t get this level of information from any other free service that I’ve tried.
You can make or read a comment while still being able to see the original post, because it’s inline rather than on a separate page. It’s also easy to customize the way comments are approved.
Since I’ve been on WordPress, I have seen countless new themes, widgets, and service improvements. It just keeps getting better. My initial complaint with WordPress was speed, and that was resolved brilliantly shortly after I signed up.
That’s not an exhaustive list, but I hope it gives you some idea why I’ve stayed here at WordPress. On the whole, I’m glad I tried blogging. It has proven to be an enjoyable hobby. I’m still not sure I have anything much to say, but that’s a topic for another day.