5 Reasons I’m Using WordPress for my SharePoint and Enterprise Social Blog

Joel Oleson October 14, 2013 14
5 Reasons I’m Using WordPress for my SharePoint and Enterprise Social Blog
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1. SharePoint Blogging Template hasn’t improved – I’ve been waiting for SharePoint to improve the blog template with little improvement since 2007 or even 2003.  I’m done waiting. Since Microsoft doesn’t really make money on the blogs, they haven’t really touched them.  It is getting easier for me to write a blog post that looks good!

2. WordPress rocks! It is dominating the blogosphere and has incredible themes and is very easy to consume.  For me it’s not much different. I add an extra step of ensuring I have a featured image and have good categories.

3. Comments actually work! I’ve been missing out on engagement.  I hope people understand that now I can and will respond to constructive comments even on old posts.

4. SEO and Analytics integration – The SharePoint Analytics really got bad in 2013. I wrote about that and even did a webcast about that recently. I do really like the google web analytics and webmaster tools and with WordPress I can easily use both Bing and Google webmaster tools with ease. Amazing free plugins…

5. Responsive Web Design – I LOVE the responsive templates in WordPress and hope to bring some of these to the SharePoint community and by using the WordPress ones, I hope to better understand how to drive improvements into SharePoint based masterpages, themes and site templates.  This means people can more easily read my blog on mobile, ipads, kindles and more.

 

No one should feel like I’ve abandoned SharePoint.  I’m expanding my world, not unlike Mark Miller, Andrew Connell, and Jeremy Thake.  I think that needs another blog for another time. I would personally recommend WordPress to any public SharePoint blogger or otherwise.  Intranet bloggers it’s a longer story and more complicated with it depends.

 

I hear you… There are a few who have commented they’d like to hear how I did my migration.  Let me know if this is still of interest.  I did use a few simple WordPress plugins and ultimately a simple tool that Bjorn Furuknap developed.

 

A Side Note History Lesson

 

WordPress is Microsoft friendly!  Did you know that Microsoft potentially moved hundreds of millions of bloggers to WordPress when they shut down their blogging platform?  Why in the world did they just not buy wordpress? Would they have killed that too?  I use to be a blogger on MSN Spaces which became Live Spaces, all bloggers had a short window to move their blogs to WordPress or be shut down.  My got shut down because I missed the notification and didn’t realize the ramifications.  Now only a few posts are available via the wayback machine.

 

This wikipedia quote on Live Spaces sums it up quite well…

“On September 27, 2010, Microsoft announced that it would discontinue Windows Live Spaces, and in partnership with Automattic, a free opt-in migration of user blogs to WordPress.com will be offered to Windows Live Spaces users. Beginning January 4, 2011, users were not able to make changes to Spaces, but contents were still viewable and downloadable. Windows Live Spaces was fully shut down on March 16, 2011.”

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14 Comments »

  1. Bart van der Meeren October 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    I totally agree! Recently I’ve developed a new website for a dutch SharePoint and MS CRM specialist (www.ctbxrm.nl), which had the same problem.

    The old website was running on SharePoint 2010, which is great, but in the end not meant as a blog or commercial website. It just misses the flexibility and all the great marketing possibilities WordPress (and to a slightly lesser extent Joomla, although I’m getting more and more used to that also).

    What I’m loving especially in WordPress and the community around it, is the focus on great design. Flat design is booming, and I’m guessing it’s mostly because of the great designers of WooThemes etc.

  2. Ravi G October 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post. You just reduced my guilt of using WordPress as a blogging tool instead of SP 2010

  3. Dan Antion November 17, 2013 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Very nice summary. I moved SharePoint Stories to WordPress after my experience with a different my personal blog http://noFacilities.com I tried SharePoint for blogging inside our company, but the feature set is just not there. I still like Live Writer for authoring though. I’ve heard that it will eventually go away. Any thoughts as to good authoring tools?

    • joleson@yahoo.com November 18, 2013 at 9:55 am - Reply

      I also love Livewriter. I have not found a better authoring tool, in fact I often write articles and paste into word because I like it so much for writing.

  4. Doug Skinner November 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Nearly one in five of world wide websites run on WordPress. Vibrant community. Great for blogging. There’s rich set of plugin capabilities, integration with search engines, lots of hooks into social media, Its world-class purpose-built for public facing communications from inception.

  5. Daniel Walker December 31, 2013 at 5:18 am - Reply

    I have been trying to figure out how to do this! I have a blogger account but I don’t yet own a domain. I am getting one soon, but need a good place to host! I bet you couldn’t do it on Office 365 so I would have to have a hosting company right??

    • joleson@yahoo.com December 31, 2013 at 7:06 am - Reply

      Forget blogger. WordPress.com is cheap. If you want more for $100 you can have your own domain and more flexibility. If you want custom themes and ability to really dig into the plugins look at the hosters like bluehost. Office365 does allow you to change your masterpage, but the public site is still quite limited.

  6. TJ January 7, 2014 at 5:01 am - Reply

    I struggled with the blogging tool in SP2007, played with it in SP2013 and am not impressed so far.

    Thanks for mentioning the background of Windows Live Spaces and WordPress.com. I was one of the early users and remarked a few times how it seemed like a consumerized version of SharePoint.

    I like using WordPress.com except that they are so picky about labelling uploaded pictures. At least Blogger doesn’t force that upon you. Somewhere I can hear web standards folks screaming about using ALT text…

    Thanks,

    T

  7. Jared Bennett January 8, 2014 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Are you still willing to share how you pulled this off? Did it replace the “Blog” link on the Profile page of Sharepoint ’13? We run a WordPress multisite and I’m being told by our Sharepoint guy that he can’t turn off the Blog functionality in Sharepoint. I would love to hear how you did this.

    • joleson@yahoo.com January 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      In this example, my blog was the top level site collection… no mysite integration. I migrated the lists to wordpress using a custom tool written by Bjorn Furuknap.

  8. Rick Zeleznik April 2, 2014 at 9:05 am - Reply

    When I finally broke down and decided to make a blog a month or so ago, I was dead set on using an Office 365 public site.

    After a week of getting entirely too wrapped around the axle trying playing with the UI, I (with this post in mind) wandered over to WordPress and just threw a couple of posts up.

    Easy, tons of templates and helped mitigate my largest fear… that the “I want to stand up a blog” idea would become an unproductive time sink.

    • joleson@yahoo.com April 2, 2014 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Sad but true. I almost went down the route of O365 public site, then decided it wasn’t really designed for what I was looking to use it for. It would have also been very time consuming for the designer, cause it would have to be responsive and comments would have to be flawless, and I’d also need good SEO and sharing integration.

  9. Luis April 16, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Glad you’re sharing this. Indeed, I’m also curious to know how you did the migration and if I could do it too in my sharepoint intranet blog.

    • joleson@yahoo.com April 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      I used a custom built tool written by Bjorn Furuknap. I’m not sure how customized it needed to be for me. There were some things that didn’t work, but for the most part it worked for me.

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