Rating WordPress As A Blog Host

I did little web search when I started blogging, I just knew WordPress was easy to use and wasn’t from Google. Two years on and WordPress is still OK with me. You get what you pay for and $26USD per year suits this SgtMaj Cheapskate (Ret). It’s easy to use just like they say. Granted, it has bad security, and lots of bugs and glitches, but I have no tip-jar or web commerce and I can work around the bugs.

Screenshot from 2016-03-14 23:56:31

For some time there were two competing editors and you were urged to switch. When I was switched over the spell checker mysteriously vanished (along with the servants). It came back though.

One of the endearing little quirks of WP is the britophile spell checker which gives me several laughs per post. I have a minor degree in English but am not a great speller so I have to look up lots of words thus helping my spelling.

British ‘loan words’ and phrases are often more descriptive or colorful than the US equivalent: ‘gone missing’, dropping the definitive article like ‘in hospital’, automotive ‘wings’, ‘boot’ and ‘spanner’, the ubiquitous ‘yea yea’ to speed up the conversation.

The spelling, OTOH, just seems archaic and verbose and I’m bugged by all those British collective plurals, I mean is it ‘the government is quite pleased’ or is it ‘the government are quite pleased’?

When editing, sometimes the thumbnails hover in display memory when scrolling, fooling you into stopping the scrolling too soon. Another glitch is having to replace or remove captions on new pics that seem to inherit the captions of other images. Not sure why this happens but not a huge deal, unless you fail to edit and don’t notice.

WP charges a fee to hide your home address and phone number from a WHOIS query; and they charge a larger fee to remove their advertisement. I’m too cheap for that and just put a copywrite and free use notice at the end of each post asking users not to click on them. And WP will automatically renew your blog if they have your credit card number, even if you check the No Automatic Renewal box.

Blog performance is OK on a PC and phone-not so great on my weak old Samsung tablet (PC Mag review nickname-‘The Toddler’), especially with the wrong browser. I download many browsers for testing. Chrome’s UI is inflexible though fast, probably faster than the others at phoning home to NSA too. My blog’s titles don’t show up in Chrome or FF on the ‘Toddler’ but do fine on PC or laptop or Apple iPad.

Screenshot from 2016-03-14 23:59:26

I use Firefox on Linux Mint for blogging. It has lots of good add-ons but crashes too much. Firefox changed their UI to match the awfulness of Microsoft so usage has dropped below 8% as Mozilla continues to self destruct.

Opera works on a PC but the mobile version is too slow to be usable, likewise Dolphin on Android. I should get MS Windows and Apple boxen so I could test the blog on horrors like Internet Explorer (is that still a thing?), Edge and Safari but I don’t have the stomach.

I like that WP promotes blogs and blogging for us and I wish I could help but don’t know much about keywords and categories and SEO type stuff. I think WP wants to help me but I remain clueless about self promotion though more views of course are always welcome.

The free WordPress themes are plentiful and I tried all the tiled themes. But most seem to lack something or were too slow or buggy. For example I converted to the Cubic theme and wasted days changing featured images only to find it was too slow to load.

scrnshtcubic

I wanted random custom header images, search bar, month search, image tile main page, post title and date. In fact the Mixfolio theme I just converted to has all that so I hope it stays stable and WP keeps offering it. The mystery generic browser Samsung provides for the ‘Toddler’ called simply ‘Internet’ works well with Mixfolio.

scrnshtmixfolio

WP wants us to pay for a premium theme by giving us good, but not great choices in free blog themes. That’s the tradeoff for the low price. If you’re an even bigger cheapskate than me, then get WordPress’s FREE blog, free as in beer and free as in speech. More limited themes and it won’t be your domain name, ‘fooyourname.com’ for example, it would have to be ‘fooyourname.wordpress.com’ but the price is right.

Next time, the computer rig, software and cameras I use to blog.

Unless noted, images and text by, copywrited by, todgermanica.com. Free noncommercial use with attribution. I’m not paid by any advertisement here.

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