You must have noticed our new look. If you think I was trying to change my blog’s aesthetics, that was not the reason. I was forced to dump Blogger.com and embrace another publishing platform.
Here is a brief background. When I launched the iProceed Better Strategy, Better Business blog last year, I was looking for a way to manage the blog without having to learn rocket science. Blogger emerged as the first choice and I was generally happy with its performance. I even suggested it in my blogging guide for business professionals. While occasionally I would encounter problems, I managed to live with them since the switching cost was simply too high. Here are a few problems I faced:
- Frequent problems publishing the blog.
- Inability to publish the complete blog after making changes in the template (to add a new link, for example).
- Could not make Technorati tags work using the Blogger template code (initially I thought that it was a problem at their end but when the wonderful people at Technorati analyzed my blog, they found several problems with the Blogger template).
- Blogger would not allow publishing on (“some,” according to them, and it happened to be one of the domains that I supervise) externally hosted blogs. An email to Blogger Team did not get us a response.
How did we pick the new publishing platform?
While our webmaster has more on the subject of switching, we evaluated TypePad, tBlog, NucleusCMS, Bloglines, and a few other smaller providers, we found that WordPress was the best. It was easy to install (though you will need some knowledge of HTML and being able to follow simple instructions to work with your server and mySQL databases; if not, you can either opt for a website hosting service that has WordPress pre-installed or ask for technical help from a teenager) and I love all the new features that it has. While price was not a consideration, it happens to be free. The power of open source software!
Due to lack of technical skills in-house, we have left the previous posts untouched; so you might see two different types of pages on this blog. I believe that you can import all the old posts, but my research shows that it is not for the technically challenged people like me.
What does it mean for you?
If you are planning to create a business offer a blogging software, there is an opportunity out there if you can make sure that customer service is excellent, particularly if you target technically challenged people, who are now starting to embrace blogs. Many of them will be willing to even pay for an easy-to-use service that comes with customer service when problems arise.
If you plan on writing your own blog, do your research by checking out all the blogging platforms available. Look at your needs and pick the one that is right for you.
We would have stuck with Blogger if our problem was fixed quickly. We were even willing to pay for that service. In other words, make sure that you provide excellent customer service. Keeping a service free does not mean that you can compromise on service. If you cannot do so, start charging for your offering. Customers will not forgive you for poor customer service even if your prices are low or you give the product away.