Daily Discussion with BQB – Have You Ever Used Another Blogging Website?

Hey 3.5 Readers. You’re in luck.  A second Daily Discussion.

Obviously, you all use WordPress, but I was wondering if anyone out there has ever used another blogging website?

I don’t believe I’ll move Bookshelf Battle off of WordPress.  Too many of my 3.5 readers use it and I would lose them.

But for other websites, I have been thinking about branching out to see what other blogging sites might have to offer.

For example, I am thinking about creating a website that has information about my zombie western book and proposed zombie western book series.

I have my eye on Wix.  They have many pre-made templates, plus the ability to create your own.

They say it is “drag and drop” and they explain that means what it says.  Drag what you want to the place on your site where you want it to appear and voila it appears on your site.

If that actually works, it could save me a lot of hassle.  I hate to knock WordPress because I understand that sometimes it might be my lack of knowledge, but there are times when it won’t do what I want it to do.

WordPress has many nice themes but you are limited to that theme’s layout.  For example, I feel like I could get more Facebook/Twitter hits if I could put my Facebook/Twitter info at the top right of the blog but instead, this theme puts it at the bottom of the blog and few people scroll down that far.

My concern about Wix or another site is I don’t know if they come with the built-in audience that WordPress has.

My readership mainly comes from other bloggers.  If it weren’t for WordPress’ ability to let you tag your posts so they show up for people interested in those tags, I wouldn’t even have 1.5 readers.

Wix will allow comments, but you do have to comment through Facebook or Disquss.  I’m not sure how Disqus works but I know with Facebook you have to identify yourself and I understand many people understandably don’t want to so that could limit your comments.

So it seems there are some trade offs.  I suppose I might investigate more to see what capabilities the other websites have, but due to the built-in audience, I’m not about to leave WordPress anytime soon.

By the way, I’m told (and have seen it myself) this site doesn’t come off the best when you read it on a tablet or a smart phone.

Do you find that is the case?  I think the issue is on a tablet or smartphone people really want your menu to come up as a little button they can push and scroll down through that.

I have mixed feelings on that.  I think when the site is viewed on a laptop, the best option is to have your menu right at the top of the screen, all the choices laid out right there for you.

I have noticed there are some themes that split the difference.  When you view them on a laptop, it is all laid out right there, but then go on a mobile device and the menu turns into the button.

I’m not sure I want to abandon the theme I have now anytime soon.  Frankly, it is what gave me the idea for “Bookshelf Battle.”

When I started, I knew I wanted to blog, I wasn’t sure what about or what I’d call the blog, then as I looked through themes I saw this one with the ability to put a picture right at the top and I was like, “Huh. Well I don’t have much in the way of a graphic design department, but I suppose I could take pictures of my action figure collection and put them at the top and then I could call it umm…Bookshelf War? Huh no, Bookshelf Battle?”

I know. How more women don’t throw themselves at a guy who takes pictures of his action figures is beyond me.

Anyway, I like this theme because of that and also I just feel like it looks very comic-booky.  Add in the silly shutter stock photos and it feels, to me anyway, like you’re reading an online comic book.

So I don’t want to lose the theme anytime soon but I know in the long run I will have to resolve the mobile device issue.

Honestly, I know my menu sucks anyway as I have never really decided what to put up there and I am never able to figure out how to get it all organized.

Long story short, if you can think of an alternate WordPress theme that would fulfill BQB HQ’s needs, let me know.

Further, I have not yet given up on Pop Culture Mysteries.  It is just on hold a bit until I figure out how to streamline it a bit more.

I have been thinking that I need to rework that formula.  In many of Jake’s case files, he’s asked to solve a mystery – so example, if he’s asked something about Star Wars, he’ll start out by hitting on and getting rejected by Ms. Donnelly, then he’ll opine for a long time about some sad memory in his life, then he’ll walk through the neighborhood and complain about how the world has changed, then he bullies Agnes the Librarian into doing the research for him and THEN he’ll finally get to the answer.

I’m thinking the case files need to be shorter – ask the question (Why did Luke do X in Star Wars) then give the answer right away (He did it because…) and then I can take all of Jake’s life story stuff and work it into an ongoing online story.

At any rate, here’s what Pop Culture Mysteries looks like know. I like this theme because it looks like all the posts are files coming across Jake’s desk.

It does not have the “menu turns into a button on mobile devices” option that I suppose could be an issue, but I looked at it on my mobile device and thought it looks good and the menu bar stayed the same, it didn’t move around unlike how Bookshelf Battle’s menu does.

Anyway, give me your opinions on a) my current themes b) alternate themes and c) alternate blogging sites.

Also, give me cookies.  You know you have cookies. Stop holding out on me.

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5 thoughts on “Daily Discussion with BQB – Have You Ever Used Another Blogging Website?

  1. Liz Madrid says:

    Disqus is definitely a deal breaker for me with Wix. I do have a Disqus account but you have to log in first before you can leave a comment, and sometimes I just want to leave a comment without having to do something else first, ya know?

    As far as other blogging sites, you could also look into Blogger as well which has a pretty big book review community although unlike WordPress being like a community, you’ll have to find them on your own. I have one that I need to update pretty soon but I bought a template for it on Etsy to make it look as nice as does 🙂 http://lizmadridbooks.com I think I paid less than $10 for the template but design-wise, it’s worth its weight in gold.

    Anyway, about your theme, it’s probably not a responsive theme which can adjust automatically depending on the user, whether it’s from the website, a tablet or phone. My blog is a responsive theme and so it will readjust itself automatically if I view it from my phone or my laptop or my ipad, whether it’s horizontal and vertical.

    • Thanks for the info. I am intrigued by Wix because I have seen some websites that use it and they are pretty beautiful. But without the blogger community as your primary audience it is a little hard for me to give it a try.

      I hope WordPress will stay ahead of the curve though and come up with ways for you to put what you want, wherever you want it to be on your site.

      • Liz Madrid says:

        Disqus has a different audience and they can be just as engaging as the WP blogging community. But unlike WP that actually helps us get noticed through the Reader tab, with Wix you have to market yourself. Same with Blogger. I used to blog on Blogger for years when I was active in the knitting and spinning (wool) community and so I didn’t need a community engagement thing set up because we linked to each other. It wasn’t till I finally moved to WP that I realized just how big they are regarding community and that’s been key to me staying and returning even after I set up my own website (self-hosted) and heard only crickets unless I marketed a lot.

  2. E.C. Orr says:

    Well, I used to use LiveJournal, which has mostly been phased out of most circles at this point (it’s one of those, OH THIS IS NEW AND DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I ALREADY HAVE things so everyone abandons ship for the new thing), but the reason I mention it is that there ARE a lot of people still using that site. They have the tagging ability as well as customization layouts and such. It, like anything else new, takes some time to get used to, but I got pretty used to it. Alternatively, you might also try a Tumblr account. I don’t necessarily appreciate it so much for blogging sometimes, but if you’re doing anything with pictures it’s very effective and could be used in conjunction with another site for the purposes of bringing in more viewers to your other blog (here or elsewhere).
    Most sites will use the tagging feature and will give you suggestions for other blogs (on their site) that will work. And while you can use Facebook to sign in, it’s not required on all of them.
    That’s about all I got, but I hope maybe it helps in some way or at least gives you food for thought.
    Best of luck!

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