Hopes and fears of switching to WordPress

So here I am (again) strongly considering to switch blog hosts. Currently I have it hosted on TypePad‘s proprietary solution, but I may have it run on the open WordPress platform. I’d say that, this time around, it seems more feasible than ever before, mainly because of WordPress.com, who nowadays offer to host WordPress.

Considerations:

  • WordPress is free as in “freedom of speech”. WordPress is the standard in open and free blogging. It’s very big and enjoys a large community to develop and support the platform.
  • The WordPress.com brand has credibility. It was initiated and is managed by people very close to WordPress.org. One may assume that they all share the vision on free and open software which underpins WordPress.org. That vision entails, among other things, a credible level of quality and continuity, as well as clarity that the bloggers will own their own data, now and in the future.
  • Most of the features available via WordPress.com are for free, as in “free beer”.
  • For a reasonable fee, domain mapping can be purchased.
  • TypePad’s interface has been slow lately. I hope that WordPress.com will be lighter and faster.
  • Lately I’ve come across several features I would have liked to add on to my blog, but couldn’t do it in my current setup with TypePad. Notably:
    • Disqus
    • Ping.fm
    • More flexible blog post footers, e.g. to include ShareThis, Ping this, etc.
    • Even lighter and faster templates for mobile browsers? I actually don’t know if this is available on WordPress. But it should be, so that we wouldn’t need to add confusion with services like Winksite or Mofuse.
  • Overall however, these things – i.e. switching to another platform – usually take more time and are more cumbersome than one would wish for.
  • I fear that the permalinks of my blog posts on TypePad may get messed up even after domain mapping on WordPress.com.
  • It remains to be seen if all of the features that I’m currently running on TypePad will indeed be available on WordPress.com. On the other hand, I must admit that, having followed some of my heroes quite intensively lately – Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Dave Winer, among others – I have become more appreciative of simplicity in layout and faster download times (especially over a mobile phone). I may actually do away with some of the bells and whistles currently running on my blog.
  • I especially like following Dave Winer’s blog on the mobile interface, because it’s light and fast and he has these collapsable blog post titles. Wonder if that’s a feature available on WordPress…
  • In my experience, TypePad has a very professional and responsive support service team, easily available for questions through the user interface. It remains to be seen how well user support works on WordPress’s forums.
  • Unfortunately, CSS Editing is a premium feature and doesn’t come for free. But, as mentioned above, this is probably not a biggy. If it turns out I really need them, I’ll pay.

Note to self: after going through the switch, update my blog post from August 21, 2007: “If you were to start blogging today…”

Ping this!

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4 thoughts on “Hopes and fears of switching to WordPress

  1. re: “…add confusion with services like Winksite or…”
    Joss.
    At Winksite we offer value to people beyond just mobilizing blogs.
    Value much like you find in the 15-20 mostly broadband web-first services you have listed in your side bar and have accounts with.(…and how confusing is that?)
    Many of our 30K publishers do not have web-based blogs they are mobile-first and only. Others, need more then a mobilized WordPress or TypePad template but rather a standards-compliant “site” carefully optimized for mobile devices, integrated with mobile network technologies, and providing rich but simple mobile-tuned sharing and community features.(Maybe “bells and whistles” to you but appreciated by those who live their life through their mobile phone.)
    So what’s you bias with companies that provide free services focused on pleasing a mobile audience?
    Or, is it just that as part of Nokia’s Communications team you think Nokia should own all of that? šŸ™‚
    Disclaimer:
    Nokia Conversations recently launched their corporate social media site using Winksite for their mobile version. Thanks Nokia! http://conversations.nokia.com/m
    I’m admittedly a Nokia fan boy but gee whiz give me a break.

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