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TypePad’s Loss … WordPress’ Gain

Well, after almost two weeks of pulling my hair out and getting nowhere that I wanted to be, I've pulled the plug on my TypePad account and am self-hosting WordPress. I'm thrilled … WordPress is slick, "problems" are easy to solve, it looks great and gives me (almost) total control. I just started things up yesterday afternoon and am already farther ahead than I was yesterday. Lots more work to do and no time to do it today, but here is my latest work in progress. I have a different look in mind eventually … but the current template will do for now.

(with apologies to karen and others in the six apart universe … )

Five Reasons TypePad Lost My Business:
Interface too hard to use. It feels like one of those things that is intuitive for the people who built it and can visualize the relationship between the structure of the GUI and the architecture … but it is NOT easy for folks who did not participate in its development.

Results poor. No matter how much the various "help" menus assured me I could do this or that with the design, it never quite worked out as it should. Or as I would wish it.

Promised functionality not delivered. Come on. I signed up for TypePad years and years ago, for free I think, under a completely different alias. For reasons beyond my understanding, when I upgraded my old account and started to add folders of content and different blogs, the original folder structure and naming conventions stuck and my new material NEVER appeared anywhere that could have a domain mapped to it. Come on. This isn't rocket science, it is Networking 101. Folder structures. Naming conventions. Pointing. Addressing. Get with the program people. This is what you are supposed to know how to do. Furthermore, widgets promising this or that functionality never worked, nor did they ever really "look" right when placed in the sidebars.

Customer service … too little, too late. I was assured yesteday, after many days of not hearing from anyone and me pleading for information, that they were "working on" the domain mapping problem and would have it fixed "within a week". A week?!? I'm at the second highest level of membership, this has been a stupid problem since day one, the entire crux of why I'm doing this blog switch involves me being able to map specific domains to specific locations … and you are going to take almost three weeks to let me know whether or not this is even possible?!? When your own bumpf assures users that it is "a breeeze"? What other delights await?

I'm paying for this? Given all the above, what exactly is it that I'm paying for? At the second highest level of membership?

I will say that TypePad made membership cancellation easy and they sent me a survey that allowed me to communicate all this effectively and, I hope, constructively. But, as of mid-afternoon yesterday, I'm a total WordPress convert. I'd been afraid of the self-hosting option as being possibly too complex for me, but it turns out that it is pretty damn easy. And I'm already paying for the privilege so this is actually "free" for me.

I feel like my blogging self is almost back on track now after being lost in the wilderness. Hurrah! 🙂

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5 comments to “TypePad’s Loss … WordPress’ Gain”

  1. I'm curious – was it difficult to migrate your blog posts from Vox to your new blog?

  2. Well, it went like this … I cut/paste the entries I wanted to preserve to TypePad. Again, the interface retained some of the Vox link-backs, some not. This seemed sort of arbitrary. So, good old text cut/paste as step one to TypePad. I was really just trying to get some raw material in there to work with during set-up. Then, just prior to wanting to throw my entire computer out the window, I "exported" my TypePad blog-in-progress which generated a downloadable *.txt file. I then uploaded the *.txt file, slick as anything, into WordPress.What I notice is that the line breaks are odd and I'm going to have to go back and adjust them manually. But the content is there. To my knowledge, Vox does not have an "export" feature … but maybe I'll scrounge around. It would be cool to have all my vox stuff over on my own server. 🙂

  3. I've been mucking about with it too because I may need to migrate to incorporate a bold new feature for CEGuides.

  4. I'm Ginevra, part of the community team for TypePad, and I just want to apologize. I'm really sorry that you had a poor experience with TypePad. We certainly don't want that to be the legacy you leave with. I'd be happy to talk anytime if you want to discuss anything we can do. You can reach me via Vox, or direct email to ginevra@sixapart.com, or via phone at 917.239.6252.

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