This has been long in coming – the airing of my complaints and a call for improvement – and I hope blog-readers will jump into the fray with me.
Like everyone, I started out with Blogger, until I decided that having categories was worth $50 a year to me and switched to Typepad. It’s free and easy, so I continue to use it as the Official Blog of my town’s Wildlife Habitat Project, and it’s perfect for that. I understand the Beta version has included categories, so they’re listening to their customers. But links still have to be added using HTML, and photos can’t be placed where the writer wants them in a post. But at least it’s still free – how do they do that, anyway? Blogger users, what would you like to see changed? And how’s that Beta version working out for you?
It’s my program of choice and I recommend it to everyone, but its excellence only makes its limitations more frustrating. But first, the plusses: It’s easy to use without knowing HTML, even in manipulating the photos. It’s especially easy to personalize designs using Typepad, as this very blog shows. There are categories so that readers can browse with purpose. Typepad’s support team responds quickly and expertly to my emails – thank you! But there are some needed improvements I’ve written to request and been assured they’re in the works but how long does it take, guys?
- It’s impossible to place items in sidebar Lists in the order you wish. Such a little thing but oh, so important to us humble users.
- The way that comments are displayed, it’s unclear who posted them. Really, I’ve had complaints!
- Archives by month are only listed for 10 months – why-o-why? For us old-timers (ha), we have to then show “Full Archives,” which list them all. Duplicative, non?
- Commenters aren’t offered the option to have subsequent comments to the same post emailed to them.
- There’s no way (that I can find) to find a post using search terms, or jump to posts for a certain month and year. Kinda annoying for us old-timers, with potentially hundreds of posts, to have to scroll through page after page after page…
The folks at Typepadhacks may be Typepad users’ new best friends. They’re dedicated to improving Typepad’s performance through the application of fixes (widgets) and may have already addressed some of my complaints (and someday I should really figure out how to apply a widget). Check ‘em out and Hackers, carry on.
WORDPRESS and MOVABLE TYPE
Okay, I get that these are the advanced, total-flexibility version for sophisticated bloggers, but here’s my complaint. Their promotions tout improved flexibility without warning us that unless we can write in several codes, they actually offer LESS flexibility. So when GardenRant was in development we tried both these programs – we’re sophisticated, right?? – only to give them up in frustration. And switching programs and transferring domains and all that crap is a hassle. (Michele, who was in charge of that unpleasant task, probably still has nightmares about it. I know I would.) And I know of other nongeeks who thought they were making blogging easier by trading up to these pro-level programs and are sorry they did, so I know the GardenRanters aren’t alone.
Yes, blogging can sometimes bring frustrations, or what I call e-mysteries (in my attempt to make light of them, thereby defusing them of their POWER). But hey, they still way more user-friendly than PhotoShop. I’ll spare you the details.Tweet