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Typepad vs WordPress

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of October 2005 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

blogging.wurk has a post that compares Typepad and WordPress from a blog network’s point of view. No real surprises with the findings but for TypePad users it might be an interesting comparison:

So last week I gave WordPress a try. Fair enough, each blog currently needs its own install of WordPress – this, I’m told will change. But that’s the only gripe I have. I’ve created a single generic WordPress theme that’s quickly and easily updated locally in a text editor, and quickly and easily uploaded via FTP to my own server. If i want to run those updates across the network instantly, no problem. It’s just a case of overwriting each blog’s theme folder with the new master folder (all with version numbers, so I know immediately which blog is using which version of the theme) – again all over FTP, and all in seconds. No time-consuming republishing, either – WordPress dynamically generates each page, and creates a static URL using Apache’s mod-rewrite. Excellent.

All I would add to the review is that perhaps it’s not the fairest comparison as a system like TypePad is designed with a different user in mind to WordPress (fairer would be comparing WordPress an Movable Type (another product by the makers of TypePad for those unfamiliar with it).

TypePad is a useful tool for some bloggers depending upon their needs. I’ve set a number of clients up on it and they have been most happy with what it gives them – but in each case the client is an entry level blogger – just starting out and wanting to do a single blog on a non-commercial topic. Their goals with blogging are smaller and they want an easy to manage system that they can’t break and don’t need to tweak too much.

WordPress on the other hand is a system designed for bloggers who need more grunt behind their blog. It’s highly adaptable and has so many more options and features – especially through it’s available plugins. Having said this it is not as simple as TypePad to install and adapt if you’re a complete techie novice so if you want a more managed ‘plug and play’ type system you might find it a bit too heavy on features.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. The wonderful thing about WordPress is just when you say…”gee, wouldn’t it be cool if I could….” a PHP God has had the same idea and built a plugin.


    I gather the fairer comparison is with MovableType which gives the same level of plugin support.

  2. Instead of pushing template changes to a bunch of different WordPress installs, it’s much easier (assuming that you’re using WP 1.5+ and all of your sites are running on the same server) to make a shared wp-content folder and symbolically link all the installs to that. In that way you can make a single change in one location and all of your sites *instantly* take advantage of it.

    Outside of your webroot, create a folder (mine is at ~/shared/wp-content) and copy the contents of your master wp-content folder into it (which would have a /themes and /plugins folder in it that would be shared by every install). Then, in your WordPress installs, delete the wp-content folder and run this command from inside the wordpress install directory (changing paths as is fit for your setup):

    ln -s ~/shared/wp-content wp-content

    to create the symbolic link. As far as WordPress is concerned, the ~/shared/wp-content folder *is* the wp-content folder, and by updating the contents of that folder you’re able to update the theme for every site that shares that folder. You’ve also got a common set of plugins that every installation can use.

    Even if your WordPress sites use different themes its convienent to have a single place to upload to. It requires a little technical knowledge, but I think it’s easy enough to implement (assuming you have shell access and aren’t totally afraid to use it).

  3. I’ve recently started with Typepad and I am very pleased with it. I was able to set things up in just a few hrs. I only plan to run a max of 3-4 blogs in the forseeable future but I’m sure if I had 30 blogs I’d need to reconsider. I’m more for a passive income and find this blogging quite time consuming!

  4. I think its important to realize that they are serving two distinct audiences.

    WordPress is for the experienced, hard-core, power hungry, geek blogger.

    Typepad is for the new to intermediate, newbie, “I don’t want to think too much” blogger.

    Typepad is adding “easy of use” features all the time. Eventual the its value proposition will reach the level where the functionality, flexability gap will shorten.

    It will be interesting to watch.

  5. Yep I agree with the separate audiences point to some degree, but WordPress, Typepad, Movable Type, Blogger, etc, etc, are all blogging tools at the end of the day, and they all do a similar job.

    I was looking at them from the point of view of someone building a branded blogging network, which I guess there might be lots of other people trying to do right now.

    I skipped Blogger because I’ve used it before and already knew it wouldn’t be suitable for what I wanted. A suitable Movable Type licence was just too expensive. Typepad seemed a good deal to start with because a) It was ready set up and included hosting so it would be quick to get off the ground with minimum hassle, and b) one of its selling points is that you can run unlimited blogs. So I gave it a go.

    Unfortunately, 100 or so posts and 5 blogs down the line, things were just getting a bit too complex, so I had to bail, and find an alternative.

    WordPress just blew me away with how easy it was to manage – even running multiple installs. But I still stand by the post. You are dead right, in that it’s not fair to compare WP and TP like for like, but I was comparing their viablilty as the backend to a branded network of blogs, not their standing as a generic blogging tool. I even mentioned that Typepad *is* a great service for a different kind of user – and even a different kind of network. Doesn’t shinymedia run off of Typepad?

    I’ll explain more over there… :o)

  6. John: That’s very interesting.

    I’ve got 8 wordpress blogs going on now and I do the 5-minute installation everytime. What I do is one one of them – I have everything – all the plugins, themes, etc I just FTP each into the appropriate folder when I create a new one. Unfortunately, not all is plug-n-play and the odd time you have to make minor modification to header, to wp-admin folder, etc etc .. I just leave everything unactivitated and do the necessary modifications when I finally activate each plugin.

    One thing that certainly saved me a bunch of time ..for my Image Browser upload plugin, I set the folder where my photo galleries stores the raw images (instead of wp-content) for all blogs so when I do upload a picture, it’s available in as an Insert Image in every blog.

  7. WordPress is the best – both for newbies and advanced hackers. I particulary am amazed how easily one can install/activate/deactivate plugins. Without captcha plugin for WordPress I couldn’t live even one day.

  8. If you’re a Java person, you might also consider bljosom, see http://wiki.blojsom.com/wiki/display/blojsom/About+blojsom for more information. Open source, so the price is right, and you get to tweak it to your heart’s content if you have the need for total control… Not for everyone, by any means.

  9. […] burk.net と ProBlogger で、TypePad と WordPress を比較する話が出てます。wurk.net は WordPress の方が良かったから乗り換えた と言ってて、一方 ProBlogger だと 初心者なら TypePad, ヘビーユーザなら WordPress との結論。 […]

  10. John: I am doing that on http://www.blogspk.com :)

    I have tried number of blog tools ranging from textile to drupal and mambo but eventually WP got a thumbsup for ease of use, flexibility and number of available plugins. I have tried at least 4 projects in past couple of months and it was a breeze setting up things.

  11. I just switched to WordPress from Blogger less than a week ago and I am very happy that I did. The install was incredibly easy, and transferring my posts from Blogger to WordPress was only marginally more difficult. I don’t know how I ever survived without categories :)

  12. WordPress is a pain to set up – it takes a lot of tweaking to get those plugins all working together. But it’s also for more extensible than any other tool. Overall, better than TypePad, but you’ll need a few hours to tweak it to your liking.

  13. Darren:

    WordPress is testing a hosted ASP version which does not require an install. I think that version can be more readily compared to TypePad. I am a TypePad user, but I am also participating in the WP hosted beta. If you would like your own beta account, I can send you an invitation.


  14. Thanks Rich – have been testing wp.com for a while now – its an interesting product isn’t it!

  15. […] This is prompted by a recent post by Barry at wurk.net. Wurk has a bunch of blogs on various aspects of careers. I found it via Darren’s link to the Barry’s post. […]

  16. Ricardo says: 10/29/2005 at 12:10 am

    I’m looking into some blogging software that would allow my visitors to post comments including images referenced from the web.


    emial: icaro2002_at_softhome.net

  17. I am using WP now, after using most programs. I have never used Typepad though. I will be running about 5 blogs, so far it seems pretty good.

  18. […] So I am on the prowl to compare the paid blogging service of TypePad and WordPress2.0. Why? I have a hunch that many people see the paid option for TypePad and assume it must be better… Also, I have read problogger’s writeup stating that “WordPress on the other hand is a system designed for bloggers who need more grunt behind their blog…if you want a more managed ‘plug and play’ type system you might find it a bit too heavy on features.” And this was written before WordPress 2.0 was launched. […]

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  20. OK. Client relations 101 for you PR folk out there. At what level of education do you need to offer your client if they are the “blogger”? Can you (figuratively speaking) as a tech-savvy person handle all of the “behind the scenes” and simply let the content come from elsewhere?

    Just wondering how this works.

  21. Just wondering if it is possible if it is possible to get custom domain names from Typepad . Am a non -techie and typepad seem ideal to me.

  22. Discount Shopping wonders: “Just wondering if it is possible to get custom domain names from Typepad ”

    No and Yes.

    TypePad does not sell/host/etc. custom domain names, but you can acquire them elsewhere (TypePad offers several TypePad friendly hosts, such as PairNIC), and then you can use Domain Mapping to map the domain name to your TypePad blog.

    It is very easy to do, though I, actually, have yet to do it myself for silly reasons. :O)


  23. Ok this is probably a dum question, but are we talking about wordpress.com or wordpress.org here?

    I’ve been trying to decide where to set up my blog and had already decided on TypePad when I happened upon problogger and a few other bloggin blogs and noticed that everyone seemed to think wordpress is the way to go…

  24. This comparison was great. But for me, WordPress is far more superior in all angles compared to TypePad. :D

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