One advantage of having a unique domain for your blog is you can export your entire blog from WordPress to TypePad or vice-versa. Even if you are loyal to one platform, you never know with mergers and such if there will be a desire to make a change down the road. So, do this. You will thank yourself some day – that much I can guarantee you.
The aforementioned words were pulled from a popular post I wrote over a year ago entitled TypePad vs WordPress – Own Your Blog. Little did I know that that about six months later Six Apart, the parent company of TypePad would be sold to VideoEgg – creating a new organization known as Say Media.
I had the feeling right then that it might be time for a change, but I elected to keep an open mind.
I enjoyed many productive years blogging on the Typepad platform and remained loyal for specific reasons. Let’s take a look at those first, and then I’ll explain why I moved to WordPress last week – and how I pulled off the move without a hitch.
5 Advantages to Blogging on TypePad
1. Simplicity – The primary advantage TypePad offers over WordPress is that it is easy to establish a blog to which you can map over your domain and own your content. It’s practically a matter of pushing a few buttons.
2. Customer Service - If ever need help with your blog you always have access to the step-by-step tutorials in the searchable Typepad knowledgebase. Additionally, you can also open a help ticket and you will get a personal response from TypePad within 24 hours.
This may be one of the best reasons to blog at TypePad. It’s an invaluable service if you are challenged with technology – and one of the key reasons I stayed there as long as I did.
At WordPress you go to the community forums for answers, where unfortunately it may be some time before you get a response. I have observed the frustration of bloggers searching for a week or more to resolve their issues.
3. Own Your Content – Both TypePad and WordPress allow you to link your blog to a unique url that you own. This enables you to migrate from one platform to another while preserving all of those permalinks that are forever your source of traffic.
If you skip this essential step when building your blog, you become what has been described a digital sharecropper – one who builds traffic for the owner of the platform, not for you and your brand. Indeed, this is the focus of Say Media – which I learned while personally meeting with them here in Chicago.
4. Community - The community at TypePad is much smaller than that of WordPress, and smaller communities tend to breed familiarity. I was very impressed a few years ago that TypePad was monitoring their brand on Twitter and reached out to me in response to my tweet.
Regrettably, most of the folks I met are now gone.
5. Security – Because Typepad hosts your content, it is to their benefit to protect it both for you and them. I’ll admit that in five years on Typepad I never experienced any downtime – and they also did a great job of managing comment spamming.
5 Advantages to Blogging on WordPress
1. Flexibility - The simplicity of Typepad inherently limits your ability to customize and adapt. You rely on Typepad to do this, and while I was on board, they managed to do this well. In fact, they actually integrated the Facebook Like button 3 months before WordPress – and that greatly helped to grow my community.
However, this means that when new developments come along they are forced to pick and choose. Those choices may not be the right ones for you, because they have to serve the majority.
This is one of my primary reasons for my switching to WordPress, and what I meant when I said in my first post here on WordPress that I needed to get on a faster horse. Technology is changing so quickly that you really have to be ready to run or you may get run over.
2. Functionality – There are thousands of developers creating countless WordPress plugins – pieces of software that enable you to accomplish just about anything with your blog. Some of them can be problematic, so you have to ask around and choose carefully.
Two that I chose are the Hello Bar that drops down to encourage newsletter subscriptions, and the Wibya Bar that sits at the bottom of the page to encourage sharing.
Another advantage to WordPress is the ability to choose from themes that provide the capability to design your blog to look exactly like a typical website, while also giving you the freedom to easily make updates. After a great deal of study, I chose the Genesis framework for its security, deep SEO capabilities, and its attractive themes.
3. Own Your Content – The process for owning your blog at WordPress is both the same and different from how it works at TypePad. TypePad hosts your blog on their servers and you map your domain over your TypePad domain.
With WordPress.org you arrange your own hosting. Not wanting to take any risks with this vital step, I hired John Hawkins at 9Seeds to do this for me, who also helped me find reliable hosting at InMotion Hosting for a very reasonable cost.
4. Community – What can I say, WordPress is where the cool kids hang out. WordPress is much like Apple – it’s the choice of afficianados that always want to be on the cutting edge.
Just remember that most of these aficionados are skilled with technology. If that does not describe you, than you will need someone to help you get everything set up – which you will most likely have to pay for.
5. Security – One of the shortcomings of TypePad is that you cannot download and back-up all of your content – not as a bonafide mirror copy. To be perfectly honest, the back-up feature at Typepad is pretty much useless.
Like everything else on Typepad it’s easy to use, but worthless from the standpoint that your content is stripped of titles, photos, video, and just about everything else that contributes to its value.
I was very fortunate to discover Alec Kinnear and his team at Foliovision. They have a great deal of experience migrating blogs from Typepad to WordPress – and they also specialize in SEO.
When you have blogged for years and have thousands of articles, categories, and comments that have been indexed by Google and other search engines, you absolutely want to keep that intact. Foliovision made that happen.
Additionally, Alec helped me use a WordPress plugin to back-up my content should anything go wrong with my hosting service. Since the hosting service is doing their back-ups too, doing my own gives me that much more confidence.
There is No Right or Wrong
The choice between Typepad and WordPress depends upon your personal situation. I’m hopeful that this information will help you to make the best choice for you.
Are you blogging?
If not, here is a article I wrote on how to start a blog that covers just about everything.
If you are already blogging, here’s one on 5 ways to make your blog posts outstanding.
What do you think? Which platform is right for you and your blog?
Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)