This week's topic:
To Stay On Blogger, Or To Move On
I started on Blogger back in July of last year. It was perfect for me, since I had absolutely no previous experience with creating any type of website. The setup was simple, beginner-friendly, and I learned a lot!
After creating this book blog, I caught the bug and wanted to make a dance website, one my dance students could use. But because I was still new and shy to the whole thing, so I ended up making a dance blog, not a dance website.
The more comfortable I got with Blogger, the more restrictive I began to find it. I know a little code now, but only enough to make small changes and add little gadgets and the like. I have no clue how to completely change a template, such as how to create drop-down menus, or how to design a page and make it look exactly the way I want it. I felt like I either had to teach myself all the codes, which I don't have time for, or find a new website builder that allowed me to get a little more creative. I decided to do the latter and experiment a little.
I tried Weebly first, finally creating the dance website I've been meaning to have for ages (click here if you're curious to see it). I liked weebly; it's drag-and-drop format made things easy, and I had the drop-down menus I wanted, but once again the templates were really restrictive. Weebly's templates are much more fixed and rigid, especially for blogs, and it's difficult to make the template changes you want without being fluent in the language of HTML and CSS. So Lisa's Library isn't moving over to Weebly.
So then I looked at Wordpress. It's nice, but it feels really overwhelming to a beginner like myself. Maybe it's because I'm still new to it, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to change and customize things. There's just too much there that I need to figure out, and I'm going to have to poke around and experiment a little more before I decide whether I like it or not. I do like the vast amount of options, though. I just have to understand what everything does.
Lately I've been looking at Wix, and I like how there are some basic layouts that you can use as a base, but then it gives you free range to change just about everything. Based on my needs, it looks like this is exactly what I'm looking for in a website builder....but then there are the blog posts themselves. Considering how much freedom I had in creating the layout, I was very much surprised by how little freedom I had with creating the posts. Suddenly there was no HTML option (say what?), and besides text I was only allowed to insert either an image or a video. That's it?! Huh. I'm going to have to explore it further I guess.
So now here's the big question: do I stay with Blogger, or do I pack up everything and go over to either Wix or Wordpress? I love Blogger, and I feel settled here; everything here is familiar and easy. But I really hate the fact that I don't have drop-down menus and that everything feels so 2-dimensional, when the other website builders are more intricate and customizable. It's a tough decision, and I might just chicken out and stick with Blogger anyway.
For now I'm just exploring my options and seeing what feels right, but I'd love some input from other people. Should I stay and learn CSS so I can create the template the way I want it, or should I move on?