Today, runningpinoy (the blog site) is celebrating its half-anniversary online! (Yay!) It was like yesterday when I posted my first post, celebrated my first month, and now it is six months old! I was looking forward to blogging about this blog and on its first half year online I can get away with it.
This blog was of course a side effect of running on me. I’m very enthusiastic about running and related activities, especially firsts and milestones I achieve. Of course it’s only natural for me to encourage other people to do the sport that I love and share with them my experiences, but I can’t always tell it all in person and in details. Blogging it gave me a channel to share these experiences at the same time save the details of it virtually forever. It was also a good means to have interactions with the running community and hopefully my posts helped you guys out there, whether it be from my product reviews (more coming very soon), road LSDs, or simply from my mis/adventures.
The Search for the “Perfect” Host
I started searching for the best blogging service for me to host runningpinoy, armed with only a post at hand. Initially my search narrowed to two hosts: Blogger and WordPress, both have their pros and cons but of course I had to pick one. I posted my first post on both site (not at the same time) and tested how both worked and which one suited me best. Of course you know now which one won me over, and here’s how:
This was the first blogging service that I actually considered to host runningpinoy. I actually thought it would be the final one because of a lot of its good features:
- Very flexible: unlike most blogging services out there blogger gives you a freedom to customize your site. As a person who had designed several websites before it was a pleasure working with blogger.
- Reputable: blogger has always been one of the “better” blogging services out there so you’d know the quality of service they provide.
- Always accessible: I don’t think I’ve ever seen blogger inaccessible due to maintenance or outage. A very serious issue for bloggers to be always “visible”.
- Easy to use: If you can use a word processor then you can also use blogger.
Easily WordPress has most of the good features of Blogger. To add to that:
- Professional: blogs hosted in WordPress.com have a tendency to look professional.
- Ads-free: despite being a free service WordPress is ads-free, including the blogs it hosts, making blog entries much easier to read.
Blogger vs. WordPress
Both sites are good. It all just depends on how you’d use it—and that ultimately was the deciding factor for me. I started posting my first post on Blogger and with that lone post I started experimenting with the site. As a Web Developer myself I had so much fun customizing the look and feel of this site but it was really difficult to pick a theme. Finally I had a theme picked out and everything just seemed to be ready for consumption until I noticed something: comments. Blogger was very good at letting you customize your site but it’s very inconsistent with the implementation (theme-wise) because your comment page doesn’t conform to your theme! There I was, after spending hours (literally) tweaking my theme to work well for Blogger only to find out that the comment page doesn’t use my theme—that eventually started the search for another host.
The next host on my list was WordPress.com. After copying my post over to WordPress I started playing around with it. At first I was dismayed at how limiting WordPress was—no custom themes! You’d have to pay extra if you want to use a custom CSS; it’s a good thing they have a good set to choose from. Eventually I picked the theme you’re seeing now—the same template that early thebullrunner.com used to apply (which is still one of my favorite running sites), minus the graphic header of course.
At that time I had two hosts serving the same post—it was a matter of finally picking one and dropping the other. Interestingly, even before that time came I received my first comment on Blogger—which kind of swayed me a little in Blogger’s favor.
…And the Winner Is…
Eventually I noticed that I was spending too much of my time tweaking my site’s design in Blogger rather than creating useful content. I told myself that I can’t keep doing that if I was to maintain a blog site so in the end WordPress’ simplicity in maintenance was the winning factor. Yes I can’t put my ads on WordPress nor create interactive custom themes but the absence of these bells and whistles gave my readers a chance to focus on the more important reason why they are on my site—the content. Sure there are a lot of “better,” fancy blog sites out there but I know you didn’t visit runningpinoy.wordpress.com to see some great graphics or animation.
runningpinoy is Launched
November 11, 2008, two days after my birthday, I decided to officially launch runningpinoy. I was receiving comments and already driving some traffic so I was “forced” to pick a good date (i.e. easy to remember) and launch the site. And as a part of my site launching promo I even gave away an original “Be Fit and Healthy for Life” DVD from the Fort Striders Club and Real Life Foundation (internally in our office). And the rest as they say is history.
Thank you all for supporting my site! I didn’t expect to drive this much traffic on my site early in its lifetime so again thank you, I really appreciate it. Keep coming back as I keep striving hard to give you useful content and improve the site. Your comments are always welcome so always feel free to give me one. I look forward to your next visit, until then run safe and God bless!