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Advice on whether WP.com is for me

  1. Ever since the host for my current blog slapped the banner of an advertiser to which I am morally opposed on my blog, I've been looking for somewhere else to go. The more I read, the more confused I get. I've tried not to post asking questions and just get the answers from what's already posted, but I am befuddled at this point.

    The things I have at my current blog that I'd like to continue to have:

    1. Email notifications that notify that the blog has been updated but do not include the entire post. I grant this is probably a FeedBurner issue and I am pursuing it in their forums.
    2. Ability to change colors of the text within a post.
    3. Plain HTML editing (WYSIWYG always isn't, in my experience).
    4. Not a lot of overhead work, not just yet, anyway. I'm still working on the blog content part. I will probably someday want CSS editing.
    5. Ability to have comments turned off by default. (I'm not a blog snob; I'm an Aspie.)

    I think that's it, at least all the things I need that I haven't figured out whether they are here. I hope so, but my brain is so fuzzy I am not sure.

    So based on that, should I go with WP.com or go elsewhere? I don't want to have to move my blog again.

    Thanks.

  2. Just for reference, non-logged in visitors will occasionally see an adsense advert on blogs here. Not all the time. Just occasionally. For the most part, advertising is not allowed here and wp.com is pretty much spam free.

    1) Feedburner probably. That feature is way too easy for spammers to abuse and we don't have it here. We do have the feature though that the blog admin gets an email when a comment is left.

    Got #2 and #3 there although with the regular text editor, you'll have to use font tags. You could always pick up teh css upgrade and modify the css directly.

    4) No overhead for the most part. Nothing to install or anything.

    5) Yup, just make sure you hit that box right off as you turn it off and on for future posts else you have to go through one by one and flick the checkbox.

    hope this helps,
    -drmike

  3. thistimethisspace
    Member

    drmike gave you advice and I'm giving now you some links that you may find useful.
    (1) Feedburner - email updates http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/10/11/how-can-i-offer-email-updates/
    (2) Changing font
    http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/06/12/can-i-change-my-font-font-size/
    (3) Switch to standard editor
    You can shut off the visual rich text editor here -> Users -> Your Profile
    uncheck the box for ___ use the vusual rich text editor and click "update Options" to save
    (4) Css customization
    http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/08/04/custom-css/
    http://wordpress.com/products/custom-css/
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=3697&page&replies=1
    (5) WordPress.com runs adsense ads on our blogs from time to time - if you're signed in you won't see them http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/06/on-ads/
    (6) VIP blogs are able to run ads
    http://wordpress.com/vip-hosting/
    (7) advertising policy http://faq.wordpress.com/2005/12/08/adsense/

  4. library was closing. thanks for teh followup

  5. thistimethisspace
    Member

    You're welcome. Have a good evening. :)

  6. It did help. I'm not looking forward to configuring my "summarized" feed in FeedBurner (the answer to my question for #1: http://forums.feedburner.com/viewtopic.php?t=14515 ), but it looks like WP.com is the place for me.

    Everyone I know is over at Blogger, but a Blogger guru sent me to a comparison he had done of Blogger and WP.com, and to give him his due, that was what first started me tipping toward WP.com: http://betabloggerfordummies.blogspot.com/2007/05/ultimate-blogger-wordpress-comparison.html

    It seems to be out of date on some things already, but in general it was useful and unbiased, designed only to help you find the right place. I offer it in the hopes that some other folks might find it useful.

    Off to start importing my blog! Thanks, drmike!

  7. If you discover that you prefer wordpress to Blogger but dislike the limitations of being on a shared multi-user blogging platform here at wordpress.com there is another wordpress alternative.

    You can either self host free software downloaded from http://wordpress.org on your own server or you can hire a web host to do that for you. The differences between wordpress.com wp-MU (multi-user) and wordpress regular software and services are found at this link http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=3700

  8. If your only reason for leaving your current host is the advertising issue, then you should probably be aware that not only do we have no control over which ads get shown on our blogs, but if an inappropriate ad were to show up we would have to rely on our non-logged-in readers to tell us about it.

    If you have other reasons for moving, that's ok, but I could not in conscience recommend hosting here to anyone for whom ads were a major concern.

  9. Also note that there are a couple hundred free wordpress hosted sites out there:

    http://andwat.edublogs.org/

    Check out the list in the sidebar for links. They all have different policies so be sure to give them a looksee first.

  10. Oh, eek. I didn't see wank's response before I started setting up my blog. Gah.

    I don't object to WP.com getting some money for hosting my blog, but I really would like to be able to block ones I don't like. There won't be many, but I feel very passionately about the ones I don't want. I don't know that they're on AdSense, but I also don't know that they aren't and they always could get on AdSense. I suppose that's part of the MU thing and there's no way it can be set up to allow WP.com users to block advertisers they object to?

    I suppose I'll check out the other WordPress sites. A quick scan didn't look promising, though. There's just no way I can run WP myself at this point. I'm finding just basic blog setup challenging without having to handle all the stuff that going the WP.org route would require.

    Darn, and just when I thought I had this problem solved. Thanks for the further information, everyone.

  11. The link drmike posted is not for wordpress.org it's for other wordpress.com multiuser installations like this one. Maybe you should click it and check it out http://andwat.edublogs.org/

  12. Yes, I know. My comments on not being ready for WP.org were directed at your post, timethief.

  13. The thing with the other wordpress multiuser sites, if they run adverts, they're also probably going to be running a advert widget that i wrote which shares the advert displays with the host. While you would control the adsense adverts for your account, those 20% or so that would display for teh host, you wouldn't control.

    Best bet would be to find one that didn't do any adverts.

  14. At the risk of making a pest of myself, I was wondering about your comment, drmike, "Just for reference, non-logged in visitors will occasionally see an adsense advert on blogs here. Not all the time. Just occasionally."

    Can you define "occasionally"? I just tried the WordPress.com blog I set up before I read wank's post (http://thewrongdogblog.wordpress.com) without being logged in, and I didn't see any ads at all. Do I have to get a certain amount of traffic or is it at certain times or what?

    Sorry, it's just that I really like all the backing up that's done here at WP.com and would hate to lose that. I have sent a query to one of the other WPMU sites, but I doubt they do as well.

    Does WP.com block any AdSense advertisers? Maybe our dislikes overlap. (Granted, you probably don't feel passionately against those trying to push autism cures, but it's worth checking before I give up, don't you think?)

    Thanks.

  15. We don't have any information about the way Adsense works on our blogs. Staff haven't been forthcoming with it. I see it on some of my more popular posts, but have seen it on some less popular ones as well.

    They do NOT block any advertisers as far as I know.

  16. I'm sorry but none of the volunteers answering forum questions including our moderators can answer how often "occasionally" is. We have not been told how often the rotation is likely to place ads on our blogs or how that rotation operates. We have no idea whether or not wp-com blocks any adsense advertisers or not.

    As we can only speculate we are not the people to ask these questions of. You can request this information from staff after the weekend when support is open. To contact staff you can send in a feedback using the button on the top righthand corner of any blog page.

  17. Argh, and apparently you can't even leave a message for them to see when they get back on Monday. The feedback button just tells me they're closed. Oh, well.

    Thanks for the response!

  18. You're welcome.

  19. I will add this about wp. I am a reformed blogger from "blogger." The lack of the ability to change and set up the font of what I write has freed my to concentrate on the content of my blog and not so much the way the content looks (which in my opinion is what really makes a blog look like dukey).

    As for ads. I check a pc that I'm not logged into and have never seen an advertisement.

    Anyway, hope it helps

  20. P.S. I have noticed that wp leaves a wide birth on either side of content. Not saying it's intentional but it sure would make a great place for ads. . .

  21. That's in Firefox for sure, but not so much in IE. In fact, many blogs that look great in FF get all squashed and deformed (Garland users, I'm talking about you). I shudder to think what those blogs would look like in IE with ads on them.

    There was talk of putting ads beneath each post, but before the comment box. I for one hate that idea with a passion.

  22. Apropos the huge variations between the appearance of a lot of WP com blogs between the different browsers - I can't tell you how much it saddens me. While it is true that the differences in implementation of the box model - among other things - make life very difficult and frustrating for web designers, the consistent application of a few very simple principles can easily eliminate the problem. This is a truth which WordPress has never embraced. There are some developers; *cough*; who could tell them how to do it. But they have never asked.

  23. @firesprinklers, actually you can set the font style with the CSS upgrade just for reference. Or just use font tags although that would cause an issue with validation.

    @atthe404, wordpress is open source. If you don't know where the trac system is to open a ticket, all you're doing is complaining without doing something about an issue that you see.

    Just like a politician. ;)

  24. I have never believed that trac is the right place for design related issues. If there are fifty themes in use, lets say 7 major browsers, and a number of errors in each it would be swamped. Furthermore fixing positioning glitches on a case by case basis just makes things worse. I would like to see WP com move to a different theme system altogether. But that is a policy choice.

  25. @atthe404
    I'm interested in hearing what kind of a theme system you think would do the job better. :)

  26. But TT knows that this isn't the place to be discussing policy, right?...

  27. Yes I do. Sorry -- I wanted to edit my question above but the 10 minutes had expired.

  28. Ok. I won't answer. :)

  29. @atthe404
    I have a contact sub-page on the blog linked to my username. http://bloggersblurt.wordpress.com/about/contact/
    We could "meet" there if you're interested enough to do so. :)

  30. well my response will be somewhat simple but I will say that I do like wordpress a lot. I can't compare it to other blogs because I'm still quite new blogging. I think that considering i'm an idiot when it comes to computer stuff, the fact that my blog looks alright (well I think so anyways) is a testament to the user friendly aspect of wordpress. also, the support on the forums is ace and most issues I have are resolved quickly. :)

    the ad part, however, DOES bother me. I appreciate the money aspect of it from the wordpress point of view but I really hope that if it stays, users can pay to ensure it doesn't go on their blog. if ads are a major issue, then think hard before signing up, imo.

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