Blah blah bLoGgEr: Tools of the trade

If you’re just joining this mini series you can catch up with the introduction and then How I got started. Today we’ll be discussing what tools are needed or often used when blogging.

You might want some coffee. Or a RedBull.

The technical side of blogging is a bore for me, I apologize for my lack of Hips! and Hoorays! for online document tools. Although very needed for blogging I just … well I’d rather get really excited about a recipe. Or painting. Or working with tools to build something.

We get the point – so let’s get to the point.

When I started blogging I used FTP and .txt document to hardcode my posts and then upload them. (This is a different language, you have been warned.) I knew very little about coding but enough to mash together my words and make it look like a paragraph or add a link, italics and bold.

After that I moved onto Moveable Type for my publishing system and it worked REALLY well. I loved Moveable Type. However I didn’t have the freedom to quickly change the look of my website or update features (or add features) without having Aaron sit down and bang it out for me in code. I did have some pretty sweet features because of this and I learned more about HTML and other languages by playing around with some fun ideas but at the end of the day I was heavily dependent on Aaron’s knowledge.

And that guy is really, really, really, really, very busy.

Back to blogging:

I have a limited knowledge of the tools other people use in order to publish their blogs and websites. Whether it’s custom or one of the following, I am in no way an expert on any of this – so you know, do some research.

Moveably Type

We’ve already covered this as far as it’s limited capabilities for what I was needing to do with my website however for a long time it was perfect for what I needed.

Blogger

I played around in Blogger for about a month at one point and never went back. To me the difference between Blogger and WordPress is like asking someone if they’re a MAC or PC. As far as similarities, they’re comparable in the output. They both have “plugins” and features to use. I think that the authors who use Blogger vs. WordPress have quite a range of control and are reaping the most benefits of their work because of it. Personally, it just wasn’t for me.

WordPress

This is the system I use now and it’s the system I’ll be using after the redesign is complete as well. I’m still learning every day the benefits of WordPess and looking for new plugins to make the commenting ecosystem easier. The more I have in place that works seamlessly and doesn’t cloud up the content the better for what I’m doing … and WordPress fits the bill for me.

Tumblr

I know nothing about Tumblr. I don’t use it and have rarely searched through it. I follow a couple Tumblr blogs but in my Reader so I don’t ever interact with Tumblr. I basically have no opinion. Aaron loves it and uses it all the time though … and I know people rave about it. So, there’s that.

Have I and would I recommend using any other publishing forms? Type Pad?

Here’s what I have to say: I haven’t used TypePad or heard much about it so I can’t give any kind of answer to that one. If you’re comfortable with the freedoms it gives you then, yes. You should use whatever system is going to allow you the greatest benefit of your work.

For me, that happens to be WordPress right now. For a very long time it was Moveable Type.

WordPress kind of rocks, in my opinion, though.

So I hope that answers some of your questions (and if you’re just completely confused…don’t worry!) since this is a wordy post I’ll push the Hosting and Cost of blogging to the next conversation. (For a teaser, blogging isn’t free – sometimes depending on your audience Blogging can cost more than the average American mortgage. Which is when it’s really nice to have a hosting company in your husbands list of Things That Keep Him Busy.)

I know some of you are Blogger enthusiasts, since I couldn’t give it personal praise (or Typepad/Tumblr as well) please feel free to do so in the comments. Other resources you know of that I forgot about? Let us know! We’re interested!

One thought on “Blah blah bLoGgEr: Tools of the trade

  1. I use wordpress for my blog as well and I love it. I also use it to manage a few websites and for people short on time, it helps to not have to learn a new language to use it. Plus, I love shopping for plug-ins 🙂

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