Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday's Rantings: Do I Stay Or Do I Go?

It's Wednesday!  I haven't done this in a few weeks (I'll just blame March), but it's time for me to chit chat and rant a little about the random things I think about on a daily basis.

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?


  1. Aw, well, it's up to you! I'd personally stick with Blogger. I tried Wordpress at first and it was very confusing! I know a few bloggers that went to Weebly and came back to Blogger, so definitely don't use that. I have no opinion on Wix. I've never heard of it! (: Good luck on your decision!

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

    1. Thanks!

      I'm still up in the air, although it seems to be a tie between Blogger and Wordpress. I have started a copy of this blog on Wordpress already, so I'll see how it goes, but already I'm hating the fact that none of the Goodreads widgets will work there (Wordpress won't accept Javascript).
      My main issue is that I really should figure out how to do HTML and CSS (and even Javascript) if I want to make the changes I desire. I've just gotten started in learning it, so we'll see how it goes!

  2. I started on Blogger with my personal website. At that time, it wasn't very user friendly and I had a hard time understanding and navigating everything. I went back last year and did a few posts, and things had improved, but it still was strange to me. I started my book blog on WordPress, and when I started teaching I originally designed my teacher website on Wix( I loved the way everything was so easy to use on Wix, but if it doesn't fair well in what you're able to insert into a blog post, then I'd be hesitant to recommend it for a book blog. My district would not allow me to use it as my teacher website, so I dropped it. WordPress was very confusing to me when I started. It does take a little time to figure everything out, but I think it is worth it. It gives a variety of options that I slowly learned what they were, how to use them and the overall design and function throughout the course of a year. I started small, and slowly began investigating a new thing option every so often until I'd mastered how to find it and use it.

    1. Yeah, for now I might consider moving my business website over to Wix, it really functions well for a website, but it's useless as a blog site.
      As for Wordpress, I'm starting to understand it better, but I definitely need to learn some HTML and CSS before I really go any further. I'm feeling really restricted by the templates and options I'm being given. Already I've signed up with to take courses in web design, just for fun. And who knows? It might come in really useful later down the road!