WordPress.com Is… Different

Blockquote is indent in WordPress.com

an “indent” button which can help you with nested lists as well as making blockquotes out of regular paragraphs


Been trying to figure out WordPress.com which is somewhat idiosyncratic in its approach. This notion of having the blockquote tag applied through the indent button is somewhat counter-intuitive. Same thing with WordPress categories being recognized (allegedly) as Technorati tags.

Thing is, a local WordPress installation is quite different from using a WordPress.com account (which works apparently like WordPressMU). With administrative access to a local WordPress installation one can edit templates and add numerous plugins. Because plugins and templates are among the major strengths of WordPress, WP.com feels somewhat underpowered. But the WP.com team is adding some plugins to the mix.

For instance, they recently added importers for Blogger and MoveableType. These importers were available as plugins for regular WordPress. As plugins, they needed to be installed. Plugin installation is an amazingly simple procedure in WordPress. But because these plugins are now preinstalled, warnings about making a backup of the Blogger template aren’t prominent. Instead, users are presented with a very simple interface where they can select a blog to import. A problem with that is that the plugin replaces the Blogger template with a dummy template in order to proceed with the import. One is then supposed to replace that dummy template with the backed up template. Didn’t know about this so, like others, ended up with a template-less Blogger blog. Applying one of the preset templates works but any customization of the template is lost. Should have known. But that’s a problem with too-simple programs. They encourage unthinking actions.
Overall, WordPress.com seems pretty nice. Will need to compare it more carefully to other hosted blogs, including Blogger/Blogspot and LiveJournal. Perhaps the main advantage is the fact that it’s based on WordPress. The post editing interface is well-designed. As a blogging system for beginning bloggers, it seems quite appropriate. And it seems to be growing nicely.

It’s just, well, different.

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