Finding a better Fit -Learning Project update #8

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This week I am finally going to address the biggest stumbling block with my learning project. I don’t actually like using WordPress to blog. I have given it my best shot. I have really, really tried to get used to the dashboard and to figure out all the tools and widgets. I have watched many you tube tutorials and read endless blogs. There is no shortage of people who love it and are willing to share hints and step by step instructions on how to use WordPress. But here’s the thing. I have now come to a place in my blogging world that I am comfortable with. I use blogging to communicate with my parents, my classmates and my PLN. The WordPress blog that I have so far created meets those needs. It organizes my blogs, shows recent comments, has a twitter link and provides me with information about how many times it is viewed. The next step in my WordPress journey would be to add plugins to increase viewership, choose a host to manage my own site and figure out how to keep current with updates, security, and backups. I don’t feel the need to do any of those things.

So this week, instead of adding needless plugins, I chose to explore sites, and talk to people about the pros and cons of WordPress over the other options out there. I quickly realized that I am not alone in thinking that WordPress is ‘clunky’ and ‘overly complex and difficult for new users to use and navigate.’ Even  John O’Nolan–designer, developer and former deputy head of the WordPress UX team– decided in 2012 to come up with a simpler tool for bloggers called Ghost. See below for sites comparing WordPress to other options:

WordPress vs Ghost

WordPress vs Blogger

WordPress vs Squarespace

WordPress vs Weebly

The 15 Best Blogging Platforms today (updated June 2014)

WordPress is lauded for being a powerful, open source platform with open codes that anyone can use and customize. While I can appreciate the fact the WordPress has over 29,000 plug ins to customize my site, the mere thought of it overwhelms me. The thing is… As harsh as this may sound, I don’t care. At this point in time I am not interested in learning to code. I am not a skilled developer and have no desire to develop my own tool to sell to other users. I also don’t like not being able to see what my post is going to look like live as I write. I am constantly having to preview my posts to see if the links work or the picture inserted correctly. The fact that people hire ‘word press contractors’  or developers to help them create their sites speaks to the difficulty of navigating the site for the common folk.

WordPress is great if you want to create an eCommerce store as there are over 600 plugins in the directory that provide shopping carts, inventory management systems, etc. Online companies can benefit greatly from a well organized WordPress site. BUT… I am a classroom teacher. I don’t need an online store nor do I ever see myself needing one.

As all the reviews state, a blogging platform is highly personal and should reflect the needs of its users. I don’t think I am the demographic that WordPress is looking out for. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a great tool (74.6 million people can’t all be wrong) just that it isn’t the tool for me. Obviously, at this stage of my learning project I am not about to throw out my blog and start again, but I am going to start taking a closer look at the options out there to see what might be a better fit.

It would be most helpful if you could let me know what you use.

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