PASS THE TORCH (old site -- visit new site at

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Blog Building

I need advice.

I've done some research on what works in the blogosphere and the gizmos I'd like to use on this blog. I participated in Problogger's group writing project and gained all kinds of insight there as well. I've read about why people love Wordpress and Typepad and why many are sometimes frustrated with Blogger.

I love my design by Susie at Bluebird Blogs. Love it love it love it! But now I'm finding myself restricted by what Blogger can't do.

Like the following:

1. Catagorize automatically, rather than my clumsy manual method that's already a month behind.

2. Email my commenters without being an FBI agent. I love to comment on your blogs, and would continue to do so, but sometimes I'd like to email you as well. It drives me crazy -- 17 clicks and pages later -- to find out there is no email address.

3. Use tools like "most recent commenters" in my sidebar.

4. For the life of me figure out how the heck to trackback (on my blog or someone else's). This of course, my platform has the capability to do, but it's operator does not;)

I'd love your input. I'm leaning toward Wordpress or Typepad, but could you tell me why or why not I should choose either one? By the way, the platform has to be WYSIWYG because my geek score is embarrassingly low. (Although I've become quite proficient with cut and paste;))

Thanks for your help!

Tell me your picks and I'll tally you here:

Wordpress: The Pink Diary , Artist By Nature
Typepad: Don't Try this at Home
Making it work with Blogger: Of Making Many Books


  • I"m sure you've seen that I left Blogger for WordPress. I'm still learning how to use it but the widgets that are available are endless! I think that Blogger is more user friendly but very limiting.

    If you want to do trackbacks in Blogger, you can use Haloscan. is what I used for categories.

    By Anonymous Kailani, At 4:33 AM  

  • Thanks Kailani - I will be curious to see how you get along with Wordpress over time.

    I can use backlinks in Blogger, though, right? Are they different than trackbacks?

    By Blogger Pass The Torch, At 9:04 AM  

  • I really do like Typepad. It has three levels of pricing.

    1. The first is generic and doesn't let you customize your look.

    2. The second (the one I have) lets you customize your look, but you can't actually get at your HTML (which is frustrating for me; but I have to say I've only really wanted to get at my HTML two times and the fact that I can't hasn't really been a HUGE deal.)

    3. The third lets you have complete control over your HTML, but you need to know what you're doing.

    I highly recommned the second level for most people who want to keep their look and feel but are ready to ditch Blogger.

    I haven't used WordPress. I have heard it has a high learning curve but once you get the hang of it you love it.

    By Blogger Chilihead2, At 12:08 PM  

  • Thanks Chilihead! I appreciate the information. There is so much to think about!

    By Blogger Pass The Torch, At 6:45 PM  

  • Please, please read my How to Leave Blogger post. It is extremely useful and will help you make your decision.

    Wordpress is the best, by far. It is expandable, customizable, can be used for more than just a blog. It's a serious content management system, and it's free. If you need more help or advice, please just let me know.

    Happy Anniversary, too!

    By Blogger Leanne, At 11:15 AM  

  • Excellent post, Leanne! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    I may be asking you more questions in the near future;)

    By Blogger Pass The Torch, At 12:05 PM  

  • 1. Categorize automatically. It takes some doing, but with a combo of and some updates to your browser, it can be done. Look here and here for details.

    Oh, and everyone is using Firefox, right? No? Shame on you. Download it here. Right now and no excuses.

    2. Try haloscan for comments. I don't have a link, but there are many, many blogs who use it. It is still up to individuals whether they *want* to include their email address, regardless.

    3. A full list of hacks can be found at Blogger Tips and Tricks or Blogger Hacks. Search and ye shall find.

    4. Uh. Me neither.

    By Blogger Rebecca, At 9:27 PM  

  • Fantastic suggestions, Rebecca - and thanks for the kick in the butt about Firefox. I know, I know!!

    By Blogger Pass The Torch, At 10:27 PM  

  • I'll be so glad to hear what you decide, Kelly. The blog I need is the fast one!

    By Blogger Susan Stephenson, At 7:08 AM  

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