I’m new to blogging about writing and having any success with blogging, but I’m certainly not new to blogging itself. I’ve started and abandoned a good half dozen blogs, but if there was one thing I noticed while getting this whole thing figured out, it was that WordPress reigns supreme.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say the other platforms out there outright suck. There’s positives and negatives to be found in all platforms, it’s just that so far WordPress holds the least amount of cons in my book. Almost zero, except for occasional layout mishaps (they fixed, thankfully, for now) and for some reason if you scroll off replying to a comment from the comment notification box—then sayonara long comment, never to return.
But seriously, that’s been about it for me. And if those are the major glitches, I’m still going to stand by my “reigns supreme” comment. But to go into further depth (and maybe convince some of my Blogger buddies to make the switch now), here are the 8 reasons I love me my WordPress.
WordPress Goodies. I like that sometimes it would snow during December in my administrator window. I like that they gave us the Year in Review report. And I like that they do things to keep you motivated, especially in the early blogging stages, like, “Wahoo, 20 posts! You’re well on your way!” Plus they celebrate when you reach certain blog marks: the most likes in one day, the most views of a day, etc. They make me want to stay on WordPress and blog some more.
Even if you make no effort whatsoever to gain a following, someone will look at your blog. I’ve had a couple Blogger blogs that never got a single hit, even with tags. Granted, the content was sucky, but I’ve had WP blogs on equal terms and received hits the same day, all with zero effort.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be making effort. But look at it this way, if WP can get you hits without you trying, how much more reach are you going to have when you do put a lot of effort into making your blog visible. Plus for some reason I feel like WP optimizes my blog better when it comes to search engines.
All this says to me new bloggers will be happy on WP, seasoned bloggers who know their tools will be ecstatic. Win-win for everyone.
The dashboard is fairly intuitive. Well, sometimes they throw me for a loop and do massive makeovers, but for the most part it’s easy to find what you need and get it done. I never felt the same with Blogger, although I admit this could be preferential prejudice.
Following is easy. You log-in, find a blog you like, look at the top of the screen and click follow. Maybe there’s an easier way on Blogger, but I haven’t found it. I usually have to copy and paste the blog into my reader. Seriously, I can’t just press “follow.” Maybe it’s laziness, but I value my time and may not have any for that extra step.
WP users who turn off their follow button should take note. It’s only ever been a couple, but for those of us not keen on putting our email in the box (if you provide it) a “follow” button can make all the difference in the world. But you may not care about having frequent readers, and hey, it’s your blog, do what you want.
Customizable layouts and widgets. I realize other platforms have this option as well, and may do it just fine, I just like what I’ve seen available with WP. I haven’t paid a dime for my WP blog yet (I probably will some day) and as you can see, I’ve customized the jujubes out of it. I think some people believe it’s a layout someone created for me (based on clicks). But nope, WP gave me enough to make it look nice, and then I added my own personal tweaks and voila. Lit and Scribbles.
I don’t utilize widgets as much as I used to, but I like that the ones I do use are customizable too. Now it’s not just “twitter feed” it’s “Jae’s Tweet.” Not just “old posts” or “archives” it’s “The Old Scribbles.” I can market my brand all over if I want to, and I really like that.
A handy dandy phone app. I’m sure, again, the other platforms have this, but I haven’t bothered to use them. The WP app is the short and sweet version, so not everything you want is available, but certainly enough for when you can get to a computer. You can check and approve comments, reply to them, write a post complete with video and pics, as well as tag and categorize that post and schedule it for when you want it up. I often use it to check stats throughout the day as well. And you can share your post to any variety of social media you have on your phone, like Facebook or Twitter.
Also, you can access your reader and view blog posts from friends and comment on their posts.
If you have a smartphone, I highly recommend getting the WP app. It’s especially helpful on days where you’re stuck on an airplane or waiting somewhere and wouldn’t mind catching up on some blogging. It even has a local draft option, so if internet isn’t available you can save it to your phone and upload later. Big kudos for that!
The Stats Window. Now WP not only tells you how many views you got, but how many visitors you had, as often the numbers differ. I can easily look up how many views any blog post got (so I can do a top ten blog posts of the year if I want), see who is the top commenter, see what search results are bringing people into my blog, and if I categorize and tag right, see what kinds of posts people connect with most.
I love too on the traveling dashboard that stats are constantly updated so if there’s a sudden spike in views I know about it right away.
Comments. Got a WordPress account? Great! Don’t have one? No problem. You can leave a comment either way. But you never encounter this crap:
I have Blogger blogs that I follow that even after I’ve commented with the same account AND am logged in, I still get this malarkey screen—of which I will most certainly guess wrong at least once a day if not more. I wholeheartedly prefer WP’s comment approval 100%. I’ve heard you can turn this off in Blogger, though. Please do…
I like that I don’t have to leave the blog I’m reading or post I’m working on to reply to comments, and that I get notifications in my traveling dashboard bar vs. spamming my email (though if you prefer the email spam, that option remains available in WP).
Call me a satisfied customer. It’s going to take a lot to pull me away from WordPress, which I’m guessing will come from dumb ideas on the inside rather than innovative ideas on the outside. Who knows, though, some other platform may surprise me.
So, what do you love about WordPress? Anything you hate? If WP isn’t your platform, which one do you use and why? Ever considered making a switch?