Took the plunge

I’ve been toying with the idea of switching my blog from Blogger to “WordPress”.

I put that term within quotes, because the first thing I had to learn was exactly what WordPress is! As it turns out, that’s not such a daft question.

The core WordPress is a content management system. That is a familiar term in computing. This product is free, open-source… all the good things we expect from the internet. The product is based at wordpress.org and is written in PHP – a language which is supported by absolutely everyone.

It hits a MySQL database. MySQL is another common product, traditionally with an “open” ethos, although I learned from my last project that they are now owned by Oracle (a big, proprietary database company), so who knows? In any case, WordPress can work with other databases, it’s just that MySQL is the common one.

This whole application is known simply as “WordPress”.

So the raw product is just an application that you host somewhere. And that’s where it gets fuzzy.  There is a host – wordpress.com – a commercial company, out to make a profit, who run this application, and who are also known as WordPress!

So, I was looking at moving my blog from Blogger to a WordPress site. I’m still not convinced that either will beat the other with a knockout blow, but aficionados tell me that WordPress is the better platform. As regards which host I used, it didn’t overly matter. The main thing was that it import my existing Blogger posts in. Everyone I know uses wordpress.com, so that’s who I ended up going with.

And yesterday, I finally bought a wordpress.com subscription. This is my first post using that platform. My initial impressions? Well, it imported okay. It didn’t get many of the page-to-page hyperlinks right, I need to sort them over the next few days (weeks, probably).

I’ve already seen a “dumbing down” effect. Previously, everything was under my control. Now, it is slicker but I have less control.

Visually, they’re much of a muchness. wordpress.com offers a richer choice of templates, but once you choose a template, you’re bound in. Blogger has fewer templates, but has more choice exactly how you lay your page out.

So, no firm feelings on whether I’ve made the right choice. I’m still in the have I / haven’t I made. I’m already missing the spellchecker that I used to have on Blogger. Worst-case, this is a few pounds down the drain.