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My Gripe With WordPress.com Blogs

Posted by on May 26, 2010

Some of you remember back in 2008 when I wrote about my gripe with Blogger blogs, which is owned by Google. Back then, I said my main gripe had to do with trying to write comments on those blogs, where you either had to register for the site so you could get notified of comments, or you could choose one of the other options and never know that someone had responded to a comment.

Now I’m going to gripe about WordPress.com blogs, and I have a minor gripe against them. Once again, it’s the commenting gripe. With WordPress.com, you can comment on the blogs and potentially get a notification. Why do I say “potentially”? Because if you click on the box that says you want to be notified of comments, like you’d do on my blog, you immediately get this email that asks you if you want to subscribe to comments. Well, if you didn’t why would you have clicked on the box?

On this blog, which is self hosted, I already have that selected, so if you get anything in the mail from me it’s because you commented, and you can decide to unsubscribe from comments at any time if you please. On WordPress.com blogs, you have to check the box, so one would assume there wouldn’t be any questions that you wanted the blog comments.

To be somewhat fair, I will say that I know why they do this. It’s a double opt-in system, verifying that the person whose name and email address that’s been used is the same person who actually wrote the post. It’s known as a double opt-in as opposed to a regular opt in because you initially had to check the box to tell the blog that you wanted to get comments. For some blogs where you don’t get a choice as to whether you want to check or uncheck a box, you might still receive a message asking you if you want to subscribe to comments, but in that case you didn’t really opt-in the first time, hence it’s not a double opt-in system. You really wanted to know that, didn’t you?

Anyway, with this system, if it gets a bounced email back, it knows to move the comment to spam. If someone else’s email address was used, certainly that person wouldn’t want to receive any more responses, but in this case the concept is somewhat flawed. At best, if someone forged a person’s email address and that person gets the response, they’d have to follow the link back to the blog, see the posting, and request that it be removed because they didn’t write it. I wonder how often that sort of thing really happens.

In my mind, one uses a double opt-in system if they have an automated email system set up for something like subscribing to a newsletter, since spam email can easily get into that, or some “friends” will do a drive-by subscription as a joke on a friend. But for a blog, I really can’t see the reasoning behind that.

Still, I have to admit that I’m more apt to comment on a WordPress.com blog than a Blogger blog because at least I can choose which of my 3 blogger personas I wish to use. But I must admit that I never subscribe to the opt-in email that shows up. Occasionally, if I’m so predisposed, I’ll pop back to a blog that I’ve commented on to see if it ever got a response, but that’s mainly only for friends of mine. For the rest… I guess it’s a one and done most of the time.

I wish WordPress.com would address that, or at least make it an option for their users. I get that it’s free, but does free mean it has to restrict what some people can do? The fix is probably in the paid version on that site; does anyone know for sure? I will say this; I’m glad it’s in the free software version for those of us who pay for our own hosting.

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13 Comments »

I have several blogs on Blogger and a few on WordPress.

In my opinon, Blogger wins hands down for ease of use.

When I’m consulting someone on starting a blog, I start them with Blogger. I think a new blogger, esp. a “non-techie” would be frustrated with WordPress.

Just my opinion…..

Woner what others think.
.-= Carolee´s last blog ..Motivating your downline =-.

May 27th, 2010 | 6:40 AM
Mitch:

The problem, Carolee, is that Blogger blogs overall come across as unprofessional, and, well, if I decide I want to leave a comment on your blog and use this email address, I’ll never know if you’ve responded because it’s only set up to respond to people who have Blogger accounts. Also, at any time they can come and censor your blog because it’s on their platform. As a starter blog, I think it’s fine if a person wants to see if they can write more than 3 or 4 posts.

May 27th, 2010 | 8:27 PM

I agree, penny auctions- WP has better SEO and such, but I still think for a newbie, Blogger is easier.
.-= Carolee´s last blog ..Motivating your downline =-.

May 27th, 2010 | 7:41 AM
pa:

Hi,

I have almost equal amount of blogs on both, but i prefer wordpress because it is more powerful, the blog posting is much better there.

May 27th, 2010 | 7:24 AM
Mitch:

pa, I would agree with you, and actually kind of like it better than Blogger, but the thing about it always sending out subscribe messages for comments is irritating.

May 27th, 2010 | 8:30 PM
Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing:

Newbie or not, neither are appropriate for anyone other then a hobbyist.

They’re going to want to switch to self hosting eventually and will run into many needless hassles.

Assuming of course, blogger or WP.com hasn’t deleted their blog first.
.-= Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..I asked – You Answered – 4 more Social Icons Added =-.

May 27th, 2010 | 5:50 PM
Mitch:

Good point, Dennis, because they’re always looking for what they deem as inappropriate stuff, even if we don’t think it’s inappropriate.

May 27th, 2010 | 8:33 PM
Mitch:

By the way, for anyone who doubts why having your own self hosted blog is better than being on Blogger, check this link out: http://www.work-at-home-blogger.com/say-good-bye-to-blogspot-blog/

May 30th, 2010 | 2:01 AM
Val:

I’ll read your post on blogger shortly, but just to say that I have tried to use blogger many times and each time have given up in disgust at how buggy it is and unusable.

As for WordPress.com, I didn’t know there was a problem with comment emails. Myself, I use comment feeds instead, and have a folder on google reader into which I put them all, then when they appear I just click on them and read what’s there, going back to the post if I want to add something myself or read in more detail. My only problem with that is that it doesn’t update quickly enough!

WordPress.com users have a special page for seeing comments from other wp.com blogs they’ve commented on. So maybe everyone is blissfully unaware of it. If only the forums on WP.com weren’t as snobby about sharing stuff with WP.org then maybe comments and problems like this could be shared and dealt with.

I’m sorry you have problems with WP.com, as it’s where I have my blog! Hopefully you’re not having problems with commenting on my posts.
.-= Val´s last blog ..Motherpearl =-.

June 23rd, 2010 | 12:20 PM
Mitch:

With WordPress blogs, if I comment I now send myself an email with the link so I’ll remember to check at least once to see if I got a response that needs a response. I will do the same thing if I don’t want to use the one email account I have with Blogger to comment on those blogs. However, just making me think about it sometimes keeps me from leaving a comment.

June 23rd, 2010 | 5:50 PM

I’m dealing with a couple of WordPress blogs right now-

I still think it is very cumbersome to use, and information is scarce, even in their help section. I don’t see a search bar in the help area, which makes it hard to look things up quickly. You need to Google it and check the results.

With Blogger, I can have a blog set up and functional in about an hour, sidebars and all. Everything is easy to find.
.-= Carolee´s last blog ..Question for the work at home parents…. =-.

June 23rd, 2010 | 6:15 PM
Mitch:

Carolee, are you on wordpress.com, or self hosting? If the latter, send me a link via email and let me take a look; it could be whatever theme you’re using.

June 23rd, 2010 | 9:57 PM