Wordpress.com - Rather Spiffy Dontcha Think?

Story Text:

Over the weekend, i got a "golden ticket" to setup a Wordpress.com blog. I got a nice email telling me i'd been chosen to receive this wonderful offering, and setup the Things Nick's Doing blog to try and find the trojan in this horse (sorry, born cynic you know..).

You know what though? I emailed Matt Mullenweg and asked him a few questions about it, and it turns out that a) I love it, and b) it's a pretty neat deal...

Questions answered
Firstly, i wasn't clear on what had singled me out for a "golden ticket" - turns out that Wordpress.com has been running for a while now on a strictly invite only basis and that Matt had got a little stick about this being elitist. Nothing wrong with elitism to my mind, im a born snob aswell as cynic... but, I'd filled in the notify me link on the site, thinking it hadn't even launched yet, and they're just picking random emails and giving these invitations out.

Sheesh, and there was me thinking Matt thought i was so special he'd singled me out for an early beta - gotta keep up with my blog software news i guess hehe

Secondly, no, I'm not going to get stung down the line for hosting costs - what's free now remains free. But there is a commercial purpose behind WP.com - they'll be adding features that will cost to use, above and beyond your regular hosted blog offerings - which sounds pretty neat to me i think.

I asked him what he thought made this different from say, Typepad or Blogger..

If I had to pick one thing, I would say WordPress has a community of hundreds of developers and thousands of passionate users that are making it a better product. We spend a lot of time focusing on the user experience, and we're rolling out changes live to the site every single day.

Ok, fair enough.

I've gotta say, i absolutely love the wordpress.com setup. I really like the WP software anyway, though i've not used it in quite a while - but i got a wonderfully stupid subdomain as it's still pretty much open season, and im enjoying blogging about some of the non-tw'y things in my life.

Oh, and you know what? Apparently, 'things' is the #2 fastest growing blog on WP today heh....

Thanks Matt


I love the WP platform -

I love the WP platform - it's not quite as versatile as I'd like, but it scores so many plus points for me as a general CMS.


I got a random invite a couple weeks ago and gave it a try, too, Nick. The WP system blows the doors off Blogger, which I've been using for 18 months now. Categories? Great. "Static" pages outside the time-stamped blog? Great. Blogger offers neither, shamefully.

But I won't move my Blogger blog to WP until they let me customize the template. (Plus, the templates they offer are all pretty lame.) And it would help to have a nice, easy tool to make importing blogs from other services a snap.

Shame we can't combine Blogger and Wordpress.com..... you'd have just about the perfect free blogging tool.

>>customize the

>>customize the template

Yep, the code is GRADE A, so all i need is access to the CSS file. He says some customization features are coming shortly, but i dont know what exactly that means...

I've only started just

I've only started just playing and like it so far. The templates and URL's are a weak link though. For example why is the site name in the H1 and not post title? The page is also constructed with the masthead first not the content, and the URL's are pretty unfriendly. If you are a code monkey and host it yourself you can overcome some of these limitations as it is a very hackable application.

Google Partner?

This is interesting: Mouse over this link - see the partner=wordpress bit?

They could just have put that in themselves, but i wonder if that's a sign of monetization coming to google blogsearch - adsense for search kind of thing - like with opera...

(that's a link on the dashboard btw)

Plenty of templates

Plenty of templates available if you set it up yourself - very easy to install, too, and modify the URLs and links. If the Wordpress.com install isn't so friendly, why not move to hosting your own WP blog?


Seems some 'golden rules' are not met with this one:

- you don't own the URL. Should I repeat that?
- you can't be sure of the integrity of the "canonical root". You know what I mean.
- I haven't seen the privacy policy or terms, so I can't comment on those

If you want to blog, why not own it? You can get a hosted WP solution for $4.95/month without the unknowns. Many hosts have "one click installs" of WP these days, many with active/pro-active backstage maintenance (I understand WP sometimes needs proactive backend management).

But then I guess there is some cache' with a .wordpress.com blog, eh Nick? Perhaps Matt should have numbered them LOL.

>>own it I hear what you're

>>own it

I hear what you're saying John and Brian. But the entire point for me was to not have to:

  • Mess with templates
  • Mess with hosting

Im more than capable of setting up a blog, i have several hosts to do it on, the point is, i choose not too. I choose not to because the blog has no commercial intent, it's just a few thoughts for friends to read if they feel like it, and i feel comfortable with WP/Matt - i know he fucked up with that Search spam, but i can live with it, he didn't appear to know any better - and as far as SE's go, they can kiss my arse, it's not being written for them...

for shts and giggles

You may want to get yerself a Ruby-based Typo blog. A bit out on the bleeding edge but quite impressive.

Re: why not?

>>You can get a hosted WP solution for $4.95/month without the unknowns.

Yes, I think we're all well aware of that. My comments above were meant to compare the free services offered by Blogger and WP, that's all. Many of WP's problems go away when you open your wallet, but at that point it's not a fair comparison to Blogger. :-)

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