TypePad VS WordPress & Thesis

by Brian on March 16, 2010

So we switched our blogging platform for this blog from TypePad to WordPress and the Thesis theme.

How’s it going?


A lot of people are not sure whether to start off with Blogger, TypePad, WordPress.com or WordPress.org…

A few weeks ago I did a series of post and reviews on each platform, and at the end said we were moving to WordPress and the Thesis theme.

We are happy with the move and we are going to be migrating our other blogs over to Thesis in the coming days…

That doesn’t mean you should up and get WordPress and Thesis too.

If you are brand new to blogging, I would highly recommend starting with TypePad. Hands down, there’s not a better beginner blogging solution out there.

Thesis is good out of the box, but you need to know HTML and CSS to do any customization above and beyond the basic out of the box options. TypePad is VERY user friendly.

For Example: Inserting a custom header is really easy in TypePad… “click, insert, done.” With WordPress and Thesis, you have to go in and change around the CSS code and PHP files… If you don’t know what those are, WordPress and Thesis probably aren’t for you.

Another Example: TypePad has a very easy drag-and-drop user interface that makes customization and moving things around easy as pie… WordPress and Thesis do have some drag and drop capabilities, but they could learn a thing or two from TypePad in that area.

Yet Another Example: Every time you change something in Thesis, you have to save it, then go to your blog and view the changes… With TypePad, you just hit the “Preview Button.” There is a lot of back and forth with Thesis.

So if we’re bitching and complaining about how easy TypePad is to use, why change to WordPress and Thesis?

That’s simple… Once you learn HTML and have an understanding of CSS, you start to see that TypePad limits your ability to customize your blog the way you want. And the SEO properties of the Thesis theme are unparalleled in any blogging platform.

TyepPad was a million times better than Blogger.com (my first blogging platform). And in hindsight, even if Thesis was available, I still would have started with TypePad.

As far as WordPress goes, I wouldn’t use it if the Thesis theme wasn’t available. There are some cool Plugins like Comment Luv and Twitter Luv, but those are icing on the cake.

If you are new to the Internet and blogging, and you really want to jump in feet first with WordPress and Thesis, go for it. You will have a steep learning curve… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A few pieces of advice for those starting out with WordPress and Thesis…

  • Use BlueHost… They are the recommended hosting provider for WordPress, most tutorials online are centered around BlueHost and they give you a free domain name. BlueHost is pretty easy to use and their support is outstanding.
    • I broke BlueHost within a couple of hours of getting it because Thesis was a pain in the ass to install and I decided to start over from scratch. I deleted everything… Even the files needed to run BlueHost. I had live support from techs in the U.S. help me get everything right. They were very patient, professional and knew what they were doing. And my biggest pet peeve was avoided… I didn’t have to wait on hold forever. Unless they royally screw up, I don’t see myself leaving them.
  • Download FileZilla… it’s free, really easy to use and a lot of online tutorials use it. It’s also good for both Mac and PC.
  • Download Thesis OpenHook… It free and it really does make life easier. With Thesis you will learn about Hooks… The best simple description I’ve read about Hooks was at SugarRae.com… she breaks it down so a 3-year old retarded crack baby can make sense of it.
    • Chris Pearson (the developer of Thesis) claims he has never used OpenHook… It’s my opinion that he’s being very arrogant in that aspect. If someone develops something that compliments something you developed, don’t let your false pride and ego get in the way of at least checking it out.
  • Go to FourBlogger.com and download the Free 100-page Thesis Customization User Guide… It’s full of step-by-step code, pictures and links to the corresponding videos on YouTube… It doesn’t use OpenHook, but it gives you the codes you need to put in OpenHook. It’s an outstanding guide. Not to mention the entire site is full of useful Thesis info.
  • Use YouTube, there are tons of people who will walk you through customizing Thesis.

The Scoop…

TypePad is the way to go if you are a newbie or want a very easy route…

WordPress with the Thesis theme is the way to go if you have some HTML and CSS skills…

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