Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Get Back

When this little blog launched back in December 2004, It was a Blogger blog. You know, the URL contained blogspot: http://basils.blogspot.com/. I decided to get my own domain name: basilsblog.net was what I chose to use. At the time, there was no capability of having my own domain name on a Blogger blog. And, I wanted some additional functionality I couldn't get from Blogger ... at the time. So, I moved to TypePad, which is based on MovableType. And, it allowed me to have my own domain name. But, TypePad and Network Solutions, who I've used for years, don't play well together. That is, http://www.basilsblog.net/ works with TypePad, but http://basilsblog.net/ does not. Since Network Solutions has been around longer than TypePad (or SixApart, who owns TypePad), I figure that the problem lay with TypePad, since other hosts don't have that issue. So, I decided to go elsewhere. That's when I settled on WordPress. I hosted the blog myself for a bit, then decided I didn't want to be bothered with all the issues that arise with self-hosting. I proved I could, and decided I didn't like it. So, I moved to a hosting service. A couple, actually. No matter what I decide to do, there are issues. Using WordPress.com for hosting (it's free) has some drawbacks. The main ones are:
  • JavaScript isn't allowed.
  • Advertising isn't allowed.
  • Limited (though professional look) templates.
Those are really the only issues with WordPress.com for hosting ... but those make that solution unacceptable to me. Others might have no problem with those issues, but I do. Paying for hosting with, say, Network Solutions has some issues, and they relate to the cost:
  • The cost. True, shared hosting is only about $10/month, which isn't bad. But, that's $120/year. That's acceptable, though.
  • Shared hosting encounters slowdowns from time to time. That's because other Websites are on the same server, hence the "shared hosting" name. Slowdowns happen enough that it's not acceptable to me.
  • Private hosting, which would eliminate the slowdowns associated with shared hosting, costs a lot more. Around 5 times as much. That's too much, considering I make very little money on this blog.
So, even though I really like WordPress, there are some things about it I don't like:
  • Security updates. It's almost as bad as Microsoft Windows. Every time you turn around, there's another security issue with WordPress, and a security update is needed. And, upgrading WordPress isn't the easiest thing in the world to do. Installing fresh is a breeze, but upgrading is a bear.
Another option is: Blogger. Yes, the very hosting platform I used to begin with. But, Blogger in 2004 isn't the same as Blogger in 2009. Blogger now allows your own domain name. That is, with a Blogger blog, I can use my own domain name now. And, for free! But, Blogger doesn't have all the bells and whistles of, say MovableType, TypePad or WordPress. But, it does have a lot of really good features. And, its servers can handle a load.
What's all this mean? There is no good solution. And, for some time, I've kicked around those different options, and it still has the same answer: there is no good solution. Then, it hit me. If, when this little blog first started, Blogger had the functionality it had today, would I have ever moved it? I'm thinking no. Blogger has some really good functionality, and I can have my own domain name for free. And that was the reason I moved in the first place. So, I'm moving it back to Blogger. There will be some issues with links breaking, but I'm slowly working those issues out. Spam filters aren't as sophisticated with Blogger as with WordPress, but they do offer registration for comments. Yeah, that's a little more troublesome overall for users wanting to leave a comment, but it sure keeps trolls away. TrackBacks and Pingbacks don't work with Blogger, but since it's owned by Google, it automatically uses Google technology to list links to the blog (called Backlinks). Not as immediate at TrackBacks or Pingbacks, but more certain; there's no TrackBack Spam. Again, not perfect. But, if Blogger had been this way all along, I'd never have left. Now, I'm back.


  1. The only problem that I see with this move Basil is that inline comments on Blogger do not play really well with Firefox, so there is that.

  2. I never noticed that. It seems to work fine with the Mac version of Firefox. Need to fire up the old Windows (virtual) machine and look at things there.

    Oh, the BlackBerry browser seems to have an issue with inline comments displaying the form properly. So, I need to look more closely at that.


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