Unpacking My Bags At WordPress

Over the past few weeks, I shared a handful of posts expressing unease towards WordPress. My bags were packed; I was ready to move away. It started with the surprising and sudden plan upheaval in early April, which soured me. Stuck in a rut, feeling unsettled, I sought firm blogging ground. Many other bloggers reasonably felt likewise. But for my part, I think I let negativity taint my view a bit much, seeing WordPress only through the opposite of rose-colored glasses. My view was all thorns and no rose. That’s now changed.

A few things happened this week that turned the tide

(Note: Originally posted at WordPress)

One day after reading a lot about the IndieWeb and other bloggers’ adventures, I was refreshed with the optimism of the Open Web, Open Source software, and the like. WordPress is part of that. I also saw positive examples of blogs reflecting said virtues. And I found more services that work well with WordPress, like Buy me a Coffee, which is now on my About page.

“We believe in democratizing publishing and the freedoms that come with open source.”
WordPress Mission

WordPress’ popularity means almost anything and everything related to blogging works with it, but most of those same things ignore Blogger. Google, which owns Blogger, doesn’t even mention it when promoting web creation and instead promotes WordPress, for example.

I was reminded recently that Blogger.com — a good and simple blog platform — is not the best or wisest place for me to move to. It’s something I knew but tried to sugarcoat, I think. For example, I wanted to try MarsEdit, a native blogging app for the Mac. But I quickly learned it dropped support for Blogger since Google dropped some Blogger features a couple years ago.

Serving two blog masters doesn’t work

I was posting to Blogger, building my blog there, and migrating old posts, which was taking much time. I mapped a custom URL there too, basically mirroring my WordPress blog and trying to keep both going. Being split between them, though, was causing issues. I couldn’t wait anymore and had to make a decision: Blogger or WordPress?

So with revitalized hope, resolve, and an open mind, I started tinkering again with my WordPress test site, not for Full Site Editing but for just learning all the new block-based objects for sidebar widgets. I decided to ignore all the “legacy” widgets; they’re the past. In short time, I saw results I liked. Then I knew I could keep my blog on WordPress, tailoring it to my tastes.

Hindsight is good stuff

I was overlooking the positives of WordPress and magnifying the negatives. That’s unbalanced. With everything, there are pros and cons; the former should outweigh the latter.

For example, although WordPress has grown more complex over the years, it’s also more capable or robust than ever. It has many options, and while that can mar simplicity, it also provides many opportunities and flexibility. Looking at the positives makes a big difference.

Here are two things I love about WordPress, which Blogger lacks: word count and a native iOS app. For writing, a word count feature is of great value. And the “free” WP app on iOS is highly functional, stable, and well designed. It works across my iPhone and iPad with aplomb. I say it’s “free” but consider it part of my paid subscription plan. It’s worth it!

A good outlook

Honestly, I’m relieved that I can stay put. Stopping work on Blogger lets me rest in WordPress. I’ve been here for years and want to keep my investment and the benefits I’ve reaped, like meeting readers online, enjoying discussion, and discovering other bloggers in the community. The WordPress Reader fosters its own blogosphere of a sort.

What about those plan change issues?

As I’ve shared, WordPress said they will be making things better with: a new middle plan, à la carte add-ons across all plans, and monthly payments too. I believe WordPress will do it, and I’m sure the upcoming changes will be better.

The upset I first felt in April, with its ripple effects, has finally washed out. Confident in WordPress going forward, I’ve unpacked my blogging bags; I’m home.

What are your thoughts? Feeling the love for WordPress?