Wordpress.org or Blogger? Help me decide which would be best in this case, please.
December 22, 2010 2:50 AM   Subscribe

During this holiday break I'm going to be purchasing a domain name and migrating a University department's WordPress.com blog over to either WordPress.org or Blogger. I need help deciding which (Wordpress.org or Blogger) will be the best way to go based on the blog's needs and the capabilities of its authors.

I need to have some flexibility with adding and displaying features such as Google Calendars, Flickr photo streams, Twitter & RSS feeds, and YouTube or UStream. The Google Calendar is the most important.

I'm prepared to purchase the domain and hosting, installing wordpress, etc., but I don't want to go that route if it's going to be time-consuming and difficult to integrate and use all the features. Blogger already has the templates and integration features I need, but it's a new platform for the authors to get used to, and it may not be a good solution in the long-term.

As you can probably tell, I'm more comfortable/familiar with Blogger. I'm happy to learn CSS, but I don't want to spend the entire break tearing apart and building up code. And I certainly don't want to hit a wall wrt feature integration, where I end up sorry that I started going down a certain route.

What do you suggest?
(I'm happy to provide more info and answer questions related to this; thanks!)
posted by iamkimiam to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: WordPress (which I have been playing with) has a great number of plugins that can do a lot of the things you're asking for. I don't know much about Blogger, so I can't advise there.

You're going to want http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stout-google-calendar/ - Stout Google Calendar - as a plugin to do the Google Calendar things. Twitter Tools is your Twitter friend. RSS functionality is built-in.

There's options for these in WordPress, which I think can be very helpful for you. You also don't need to do a lot of CSS/PHP work straight off unless you're determined to write your own WordPress theme.

I'd suggest getting a WAMP - Windows/Apache/MySql/PHP - install (assuming Windows, if Mac you can get a MAMP stack for free, which is how I do things) which allows you to do a lot of the poking and prodding locally, get your toes wet without things live on a site, and go forth from there.

If you have questions for me, you can memail me. I've been working on learning this, just getting started learning to write themes, so I'm getting into thing a bit deeper than many.

Also, so I can put my hornblowing at the end, if you use Twitter Tools, I wrote a quick setup for it, based on mistakes I made, and I'll cheerfully point you at it if you like, when you get to that point.
posted by mephron at 2:59 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks mephron! I am on a Mac too, and if I go the Wordpress route, I'll definitely memailing you to find out more about the Twitter Tools and setup pitfalls to avoid.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:10 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: Also, this might be a weird question, but is the front-end of the back-end (hokey-pokey, anyone?) the same on Wordpress.org? In other words, will the non-admin authors more or less be using the same posting interface that they're already used to?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:11 AM on December 22, 2010

It's the exact same interface.

Do a local install in order to convince yourself.
posted by XiBe at 3:15 AM on December 22, 2010

Best answer: What XiBe said. Exactly the same (but modifiable by plugins along the way).

You want to go to http://www.mamp.info/en/index.html and get MAMP (which is free), install, then download the WordPress 3.0.3 and put it into the htdocs folder. Run the setup and boom, done.

I like this for two reasons:

1) I can trash everything and restart from bare metal if I want
2) I hate the idea of doing things on a live site

I'm kind of getting oddly evangelical about WordPress sometimes, so please feel free to tell me to shut up if I'm getting annoying. :)
posted by mephron at 3:40 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

You won't be sorry if you go with WP. Just be sure to keep back ups, and keep up on security releases.
posted by Blake at 4:49 AM on December 22, 2010

If you're already using WordPress, and nobody has any major problems with it, I'd say that's a really good reason in itself to stay with it. Plus the part where I'd recommend it anyway.

Plugins exist for just about everything you'd ever want to do.
posted by theichibun at 6:21 AM on December 22, 2010

I'm kind of getting oddly evangelical about WordPress sometimes, so please feel free to tell me to shut up if I'm getting annoying. :)

Seconding that. It's a phenomenally robust CMS, but it has a pretty gentle learning curve. It's a great way to learn all of this stuff. You won't regret it.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:59 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! I'm going to tackle this today and I feel confident I can do it.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:30 AM on December 24, 2010

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