Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I hate WordPress (sorta)

I maintain six blogs - five in Blogger and one on my own domain using WordPress, a decision made on a recommendation. I find WordPress to be a royal PITA.

The image management sucks. I actually draft my articles in the previous blog on Blogger and then copy the html code into WordPress in order to make it work. Sure, I could "figure it out," but given that I've spent exponentially more time trying to figure out WordPress than Blogger already, the fact that I can make Blogger "go" means that, pound for pound, Blogger is simpler. Granted, "simpler" doesn't necessarily mean better...but we'll revisit that in a moment.

I try to add widgets to WordPress, but they look crappy, displaying in text or misaligned. I paste the identical code in Blogger and, voila, presto, the badge or button looks great, and functions as it should.

New versions of WordPress can break plugins and order to protect against this, I've got to set up some sort of child theme that I don't understand. And, since I don't understand, I therefore can't upgrade my WordPress. Blogger has never prompted me to have to update anything, it has always just worked.

Yes, there are things I like about how WordPress presents a blog; any professional blogging platform should have the features that WordPress has, such as:
  • the ability to include and edit exerpts
  • the ability to determine whether the entire article or just the exerpt is displayed when someone lands at your home page'
  • the revision control to revert to a previous version if necessary
  • in addition to tags, the use of categories for organizing content
And, chances are, if I was a professional coder, I'd probably like WordPress better because it has so much muscle under the hood.

But the headache and stress associated with using WordPress on the back end, for a non-techie user like myself, is becoming of such degree that I felt compelled to vent about it here. Every time I go looking for community help or instructions on how to do something, the response invariably starts with "with a little PHP this can fly"...but I don't have any PHP know-how. Sue me, tar and feather me for not being a computer programmer, but I'm not a programmer.

Blogger is accessible to non-coders, but the price to pay for this relative simplicity is that there is a limit to how much of the professional features are available (that I know of; it's not impossible to imagine that it can do all kinds of things of which I'm not aware because I wouldn't know how to make it work anyway).

Yet, while it appears relatively simple, if things work then there must be some complex things happening on its own without my help, and that actually makes Blogger more solid, doesn't it?

There is no way in the world I'd even think about handling my other five blogs in WordPress - on Blogger, they're all a breeze and while I would like the additional features of WordPress, the bottom line is that my content is up in Blogger, and I'm able to be nimble with the platform.

It would be fine if I could afford to just send my content to someone else, wave my hand at them and say "make it happen." In the hands of professionals, WordPress is surely a fantastic platform.

But for regular people like me, using WordPress is no fun at all.