Migration Update II

28 Dec

I’m suffering from trying to decide which side of the fence is greener – WP or Blogger.

One of the features of Blogger is Gadgets. With Blogger you select a theme and then add any gadget you want from their selection. This includes RSS and e-mail feeds, reading on mobile devices, text boxes to include anything you want, lists of anything you want, etc. Any gadget can be added to any theme.

With WP you select a theme which has these items (or some of them) already. If they aren’t already embedded in the theme, you can’t add them in (that I can see anyway – there is a very limited selection of widgets).

This is discouraging. Not necessarily fatal and I may be able to go get code and embed it myself. Somewhere. I need to really investigate the themes though to see what they do and don’t have.


Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Blogology



10 responses to “Migration Update II

  1. Michelle Ziegler

    December 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Some themes are more minimalistic than others. You already have an RSS feed on this theme built in (but not one for comments). Its the orange box in the upper corner. Some of what you are looking for is found under general settings and should be available in the vast majority of themes. This includes setting it to format for mobile devices and how many posts to show on the front page at once etc. There are about a half dozen screens under general settings, make sure you use them all. If I recall this isn’t one of the more flexible themes. You can also adjust some of the widgets using the grey arrow to open up a settings box. For example, should should be able to convert your archives into a pull down menu so it doesn’t take us so much space. Email me anytime for help.

    • Michelle Ziegler

      December 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      I found the RSS link for comments. Its at the bottom of the page in tiny print under the theme credit. This kind of thing depends on which theme you pick. Never fear there are over 100 themes to pick from. :-)

      • Curt Emanuel

        December 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

        Thanks Michelle. Sounds like I need to brush up on my themeology.

  2. Jeremy

    December 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Not at all; there are loads and loads of plugins (too many?) that support all kinds of what you might call gadgets.

    What are you looking for, specifically?

    • Curt Emanuel

      December 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      How do I find them?

      To start I’d like an option for people to subscribe to an RSS feed and the ability to add lists and/or text boxes to the sidebar.

      Thanks. I’ve about decided to give WP a go until Feb 1 at least, leave the old blog up with a note where to find new posts, and make the call after a month.

      There’s a familiarity bias I need to make sure I get past before making a decision.

      • Jonathan Jarrett

        January 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

        FWIW in my theme (which I didn’t think affected the Dashboard display) I find widgets in the sidebar menu under Appearance -> Widgets. And as has been pointed out you have RSS already! The text widget should aloow you to mount basically anything else; I don’t think it supports underline for some reason, but most other tags. The easiest way to set up a list is to add items as a link and assign them a specific category under which you then group them; this is how I have my blogroll and links set up, all part of the same huge soup cauldron of links internally but fetched up with different spoons.

        Er, yeah, sorry, I’m off caffeine at the moment and my analogies appear to be suffering.


    December 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

    There are a couple of ways in which you can extend your default WordPress installation: the first one is obviously to select a theme you like which has the features you need build-in. Then, you can use whatever widgets said theme has on board for optional features. I’m using Jules Joffrin atm, which has a fair few widgets, most of which are meant to be put in your sidebar.

    If you want extra functionality for the blog as a whole, you need to look at plugins; askimet is the best known one, giving you spam filtering capabilities, but there are thousands, found under Dashboard -> plugins -> add new. That takes you to the main wordpress site where you can browse the plugin directory (same goes for themes under Appearance -> themes -> Add new theme).

    RSS feeds you already have (orange icon at the top left of your blog), lists and text boxes should be found under Widgets; your theme does have both as far as I could see from a quick glance.

    • Curt Emanuel

      January 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks. Plugins will have to wait a bit but I’ll get there eventually. My current theme is growing on me – not too ugly is it? The one thing I have to figure out is how to hide a script for Google Analytics which I’ve added in a text widget. Maybe I’ll need to see if it still works if I embed it in header tags.

      • Jonathan Jarrett

        January 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

        Ah, now there I’m afraid you may have a problem. I think that Google Analytics doesn’t work on WordPress. It may have changed, but when I looked into it to try and work out what was going on with my Czech image search hits, it wasn’t feasible. The native stats are pretty good, but not the level of thing you can do with Analytics I realise.

  4. Curt Emanuel

    January 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I haven’t been able to get Analytics to work. This isn’t high tragedy though it does have some interesting features. I also subscribe to a service called StatCounter. What I like about it is that I can find info for specific visitors such as search terms, what pages they view, exit pages, etc. It has helped me with including links, both internal and external, to help people navigate a bit more easily, I hope. I use the free service which only retains the 500 most recent visits.


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