Platform angst

I’m seriously thinking of switching to WordPress.org so that I can bring my various Web sites under one roof — Media Nation, “Little People” and DanKennedy.net.

Pros:

  • WordPress has nicer templates than Blogger, so I should easily be able to come up with a better look than I’ve got now.
  • I’ll be able to use my own domain name.
  • I can set up static pages so that each of my different online projects will be in one spot.

Cons:

  • I’ll have to pay $6 to $10 a month for Web hosting. Not bad, but free is free. (I can’t use the free WordPress.com service because it forbids advertising.)
  • I can use dankennedy.net or media-nation.org as my main domain name, but the one I really want — medianation.org — is already taken.
  • I’ll need to put in some time getting up to speed technologically, and I really could put that time to better use.

So I don’t know. If you were me, what would you do?

15 thoughts on “Platform angst

  1. Dan Kennedy

    Brian: Although I don’t publicize it, media-nation.org has forwarded to the blog for quite a while.

  2. US1oh1

    I personally like media-nation.us it’s one less character and doesn’t imply non-profit or commercial. Also, US ties in with nation.

  3. jepperly

    I like WordPress. I’ve set it up on several LAMP systems. Easy. Low maintenance. Lots of templates. And not all that difficult to modify templates to suit your needs or (with a bit more work) create your own.

  4. Ron Newman

    Whoever has medianation.org doesn’t seem to be actively using it yet. Do you have any idea what he or she intends to do with it?

  5. Robin Edgar

    One major advantage of Blogger blogs is that blog posts are automatically indexed in the Google search engine very soon after they are posted. This is a feature that may be *very* useful when dealing with major stories.I don’t get your concern about the negligible cost of WordPress hosting. How much do the ads being in per month? If the amount doesn’t at least pay for the hosting fees I would ditch the ads. In fact I would ditch them if they aren’t bringing in a few hundred a month. Why cheapen the layout and look of your blog for peanuts Dan?

  6. Ari Herzog

    You know how to reach me, Dan, if you need WP tips. For starters, why pay $10/month when you can do what I do with http://bloghost.me and pay a base of $10/year (to only increase if you need more disk space and bandwidth)?

  7. Dan Kennedy

    Robin: Media Nation is a capitalist society. I fail to see how advertising cheapens it in any way. Thanks to the amazing efforts of Adam Gaffin and his Boston Blogs ad network, ad revenue now pretty much covers the cost of our Comcast bill, paying for cable and broadband.As for the $6 to $10 a month, I am cheap.

  8. Bill Toscano

    Dan: Sounds like you have your reasons to do it.Personally, the look of the site is not important to me, as long as it’s functional.With sites like this, it’s the content that is important.

  9. Brian

    Should you move to WP (WordPress)? Long answer short: yes. Blogger is nice and very stable but clearly some of WP's features could be an asset to you in growing a site.WP templates: much nicer selection including ones that format nicely (cleaner than Blogger) for mobile browsers and the iPhone. IMO the mobile/iPhone support is a big plus.Domain name: You can use your own domain on Blogger by going to: Settings -> Publishing -> "Switch to advanced settings" and adding the domain. See "How do I use a custom domain name on my blog?" ( http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=55373 ) for more information.medianation.org: Sedo (never dealt with them) is parking it and according to their stats it's only had 51 hits in the last month. I'd offer them $100 and see what happens. Maybe they'll bite, laugh or want $10k, who knows. It doesn't look like a hot commodity right now. Don't send them email (or mention) media-nation.org or they'll likely jack up the price. Better to have a trusted friend inquire and purchase it than yourself.Thoughts on WP web hosting:1. Find a company that will host and handle all updates quickly. If they specialize in WP even better. How long does it take them to integrate WP feature upgrades? I’d avoid hosting that requires you yourself to upgrade WP or seems to have added it as an extra and not a core service. Check out WP support forums to see who is good and not so good.2. Are they reputable or will they shut down your site for one profanity in a comment and demand +$100 to turn it back on?3. Think backup in case your main site gets slashdotted. I’d run a private, read-only (no comments) backup on Blogger and only make it public (and switch DNS) if the other is overloaded. I’d set the TTL on www to something low like 3 hours so long as you’re not paying per inquiry (unlikely but still check).4. Once everything is up maintenance will be a bit more than Blogger but not much if the hosting company handles all the updates and upgrades. 5. Overage charges. Some places are reasonable (and just shut you down) and some places will have no problem sending you a $5,000 bill for extra bandwidth. While it’s a remote issue it’s one worth considering.The only other thought would be to try using Google Apps for Business ( http://google.com/a ) for email hosting, content creation and collaboration while still pointing http://www.yoursite.com to the WP install. Plus you can create an entry in their word processor and publish with a click. I’d publish to the private backup blog and use a WP plugin to repost via a feed. Simple to setup and you’ll have an effortless backup of your entries. Edits should follow too. zoho.com (very similar to Google Apps) might do the same [for the blog entry]. The price is right for both: free. I personally like Blogger over WP but it seems WP is the way to go.You write great stuff and do good works. Always fun to see you et al on “Beat the Press.” It’s a wild and sad time for the media. Also it’s not called “cheap” it’s “Yankee thrift.” See Peter Mehegan’s 1969 Chevrolet Impala as an example. I suspect its last rehab was a legitimate, tax deductible business expense too. Bonus if CVB paid for it making it ultra-thrift. =)Good luck and we’ll answer any more questions you have.

  10. foveros

    I am in the same spot as you. I’ve used Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Vox, LiveJournal and other blogging services. I also use a program called RapidWeaver for site creation (which also comes with a free blog module).I decided recently to move my existing blog (from RapidWeaver to Blogger). Both Blogger and WordPress were considerations. In the end I decided to stick to Blogger (it was easier to import my current blog posts from RapidWeaver compared to WordPress).My current setup is: RapidWeaver + RapidBlog plugin ($15 – syncs with blogger) + Web Hostin ($180 for 3 years). RapidWeaver also has a plug-in for integrating WordPress blogs. My Webhost also provides one-click WordPress installation (among other things) which is great because you can have ads in WordPress, pick from any theme you want, and include any number of WordPress plug-ins available.If you are interested in free – IMHO stick with blogger. If you are willing to spend some time and money (both scarce resources these days 🙂 ) customizing your website look into RapidWeaver and/or WordPress.Relevant links:http://www.realmacsoftware.comhttp://www.loghound.comhttp://nilrogsplace.se/plugins/wpblog/index.htmlhttp://www.webhostingpad.com/

  11. Tony

    I use WP at work and Blogger at home but I prefer Blogger because of its ease of use. Some versions of WP don’t let you post something in the cue for later release. That’s really annoying! There are all kinds of designs and designers who can help you customize your template though. Some of them are pretty cheap too. If you Google “Blogger templates” you’ll find a slew of people who have already built a bunch of templates that can be used with Blogger, for a small fee. It might be worth staying with Blogger and spend the money to get a design you like instead of hosting fees. Another idea: You probably know enough code at this point to noodle with any template you buy. If you see something you like by a designer, just tweak the code they give you to make it look more like you want it to look.At some point, I hope to move up to something more customized or, ideally, learn enough about code to build my own.

  12. GFS3

    I’ve used both platforms. I like the freedom of using HTML with Blogger, but Worpress has lots of nifty apps.You truly don’t get the benefits of WordPress unless you get your own domain name. But you’re doing that. It really will come down to which platform you are most comfortable with.I prefer WordPress – mostly because its an open source project.

  13. HotMix106

    I own medianation.us if anyone is interested feel free to make an offer, not looking to make a killing just wish to sell to someone who can use it, If you want the current site you can have that as well, hosting paid for 9 more months

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