We're looking at free blogging platforms. Last time, we looked at WordPress.com. Today we're looking at Blogsome.
Like WordPress.com, Blogsome is a free, WordPress MU site. That is, it runs the multi-user version of WordPress, called WordPress MU. But there's a critical difference. Or two. Or so.
First, Blogsome is using WordPress 1.5.1a ... an older version of WordPress. Some like it better. Others like the newer WordPress better. Personally, other than some slight differences in the interface, there's not a lot of end-user difference.
Blogsome is similar to WordPress.com. Actually, Blogsome has been around longer. It's a product of Browse The World, Ltd. in Ireland.
You can actually edit the templates in Blogsome. WordPress.com won't allow you to edit the templates at all ... other than adding custom CSS, which is a paid upgrade. This editing feature gives Blogsome extra flexibility that you don't get with WordPress.com.
WordPress.com offers more themes than Blogsome. A handful of them are the same, but the rest are quite different. WordPress.com's selections generally have a more "professional" appearance, but that doesn't mean a better appearance. Remember that "professional" can also looked "canned" or "cookie-cutter." To me, the main difference is that WordPress.com offers more themes.
Blogsome has some plugins available for you to use if you wish. Not many, to be sure, but some. And while you can't add other plugins (you're limited to what they decide to offer), some is better than none. With WordPress.com, you don't have such an option. Features such as the Akismet spam filter are included in WordPress.com, but you can't turn them on or off (not that you'd ever want to).
The spam filter used by Blogsome, Spaminator, appears to no longer be in development. At least, the URL for the development site doesn't work. That doesn't mean Spaminator doesn't work. I've received reports that it catches most, but not all, spam. However, that's true for Akismet, Spam Karma, and other plugins.
Adding Scripts & Advertisements
You can add script to your pages, but there's a special way to do that, involving a custom tag. Still, it gives you functionality you don't get with WordPress.com.
Blogsome allows ads. Not unlimited ads, but some ads are okay. WordPress.com doesn't allow ads. This may not be important to you. In fact, there are many that prefer WordPress.com simply because they don't allow ads. However, WordPress.com is experimenting with inserting "unobtrusive" ads on sites, although the site owner can't add ads.
Blogsome offers some functionality that Blogger and WordPress.com don't have. But it's not as customizable as Blogger. And while it doesn't offer the full functional ability to modify your template code, it allows you to change almost anything and everything, which is functionality that WordPress.com doesn't have.
To me, Blogsome is well worth considering as a free blogging platform.
Next time, we'll look at a few other free services, and tell you why we don't like them.