WordPress.com Vs PrimaryBlogger Vs Self Hosted Vs Edublogs

WordPress is the only CMS you should be considering if you are serious about a long term investment. I know Google fan boys will say how Google Sites is free and okay but when the key thing about Google products is that when you decide to leave you can’t take your content elsewhere, it’s closed source, it’s closed off. Google is Microsoft episode 2, we can debate this further but the fact is that if you use posterous, typepad or Google Sites you will be burned in the future.

Schools often ask me how they should be hosting their blogs, should they use wordpress.com, primaryblogger.co.uk or self hosted? I’m biased as I work on primaryblogger but I still feel like it’s worth answering the question.

Bad things about wordpress.com:
No Embed so no embedding primarywall, primarypad, wordle, voki etc. [Excludes youtube and vimeo]
No XMLRPC so no ability to use mobile apps such as classdroid.
You can’t use your own domain IE myschoolblog.com
You can’t heavily modify themes so changing the layout of your blog can be difficult.
No plugin uploads so you can’t access the millions of plugins available in the wordpress Codex.

Good things about wordpress.com:
No need to worry about growth, wordpress.com can handle millions of requests per second.
No need to worry about upgrades or updates.
Preview new versions of WordPress.
All of your data is backed up and protected for you.
Comes pre-loaded with a spam filter.

Bad things about PrimaryBlogger:
No ability to upload your own plugins, you have to put a request in via the community

Good things about PrimaryBlogger:
No need to worry about growth, PrimaryBlogger can handle millions of requests per second.
Can use your own domain name.
Comes pre-loaded with Edu-Focused plugins and themes
Has a community of edu-users
Each blog post gets manually read by a human
No need to worry about upgrades or updates.
All of your data is backed up and protected for you.
Comes pre-loaded with a spam filter.
PrimaryBlogger publishes all of it’s plugins and development open-source so the WordPress community can enjoy using them.

Bad things about self hosted:
You have to worry about scaling which can be a huge technical hurdle
You have to worry about upgrades and updates.
You have to worry about spam.

Good things about self hosted:
You have completely control about how to configure your blog.
Can use your own domain name.
You can integrate your blog with your own authentication mechanism.

Bad things about Edublogs free:
No ability to embed youtube video, animoto, vokis etc.
Your blog has a big edublogs advert on
Limited number of blogs per account
Limited access to themes
Very limited storage space
Dashboards can be unreliable
No stats
No Forum support
All of the plugins are kept closed source and sold through WPMUdev

Good things about Edublogs free:
Edublogs is a big community
You can pay more to get more features, storage etc.

Why we should be teaching blogging in school

Teaching kids how to use the technical aspects of blogs but what is more important is teaching them to be concious creators. The below video shows what happens if you lose focus and become consumed by the connectivity aspect of creativity. The video is 13 mins long but it’s an easy watch and I would recommend it if you are considering teaching blogging or any form of web based creativity..

Of course it’s slightly ironic that I’m blogging about blogging but you can ignore that based on the fact I have a financial interest in PrimaryBlogger

Primary Blogger – How to use your own domain

So you want to move your current website to primary blogger or use a domain you own.

An Example of this is http://www.wilsdenprimary.co.uk

You can do this for free by accessing your DNS control panel and creating a new A record for your domain.

Note: Having 2 entries means if one fails the visitor will automatically try the next. It also means we can load balance (Which is nice because PrimaryBlogger is huge).

Add entries called www that point to, & (Or modify your existing A record to point to these).

If you need assistance with this step please get in touch with Primary Technology.

Once you have set your DNS then log into your Primary Blogger Dashboard by visiting your blog and clicking Site Admin.

  1. Click Tools
  2. Click Domain Mapping
  3. Under add a new domain type in your domain name.
  4. Click OK
  5. Wait 24 hours.

You may want to let us know if you are going to do this.. Why? I hear you ask.. Well we have some clever caching in place that speeds up websites based on their hostname and if your hostname is not included it may mean your PrimaryBlogger blog does some weird things..