A WordPress QuickStart Guide - Compare WordPress to TypePad


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One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started blogging was to start on the wrong blog platform. I used Nucleus, which just didn’t have the power and functionality I needed for the high-traffic blog I was building. Luckily, I realized this early on and I didn’t lose much momentum as I moved from Nucleus to WordPress. It was a pain, but it was the best move I have ever made.

Why WordPress?

For Business Blogging, there are really only two platforms that you should consider: TypePad and WordPress. In this post, I am specifically talking about self-hosted WordPress.org - NOT WordPress.com, which isn’t a good choice for business blogging (they don’t allow advertisements). Notice I’m not even considering any of the free platforms such as Blogger for business blogging - and neither should you if you are serious about your business.

Personally, I would never use any platform but WordPress, but let’s take a look at both, because there will be some infrequent instances when perhaps WordPress isn’t right for you:

TypePad Pros and Cons


  • Easy to use interface that is really user-friendly
  • Widespread and easy support for 3rd-Party services such as FeedBurner and other commonly used widgets
  • TypePad is hosted by SixApart, so you don’t have to pay for hosting (or deal with the technical side of self-hosted setup and maintenance)
  • All around ease of use - if you really don’t know anything about code, and don’t want to learn the basics, TypePad is for you


  • TypePad layouts are far less flexible than WordPress
  • TypePad’s spam protection pales in comparison to Akismet and other available plugins
  • You cannot create pages in TypePad, only posts
  • Plugin options for TypePad are minimal compared to WordPress

WordPress Pros and Cons


  • Flexibility - you can customize and control everything on WordPress
  • Choices - the range of thousands of free themes and plugins is enormous
  • Scalability - you can better change and adapt your site to changing business needs as you grow with WordPress because you have full control over what appears on your site
  • Spam control is better on WordPress, with the plugins catching just about anything that is automated - you just have to worry about the smart spammers (which isn’t specific to this platform)
  • Page Creation - you can create a full blown site with WordPress by using their static page option vs. creating posts


  • Learning Curve - there is more of a learning curve if you are going to host your own blog
  • Bad Plugins - installing a badly coded plugin can temporarily break your site, and sometimes you won’t find that out until it’s too late
  • Level of Expertise - there will come a time when you likely can’t do some of the maintenance or upgrading work that needs to be done on your site, in which case you will have to hire it out. Luckily, if you are growing enough to have this problem, it’s a good problem to have. ;)

Summary of Your Business Blogging Choices

In a nutshell, if you plan on making your blog a big part of your business, lay the foundation NOW for future growth by getting through the learning curve and getting started with WordPress.


  • You will need the flexibility and control that WordPress offers - I promise you!
  • Most bloggers who start out on a different platform make the switch to WordPress when they get serious about their blogging business (or regret the fact that it’s too late)
  • Not starting out on WordPress and using your own domain is one of the top cited early blogging mistakes on nearly every “blogging mistakes” post you can find.

The only time I think TypePad is the right choice is under the following circumstances:

  • You are sure that your blog will not play a major role in your online business marketing strategy, both now and in the future
  • You are so new to blogging that you are willing to sacrifice the long-term flexibility for the short-term ease of starting TypePad
  • You have no desire to go through the learning curve of WordPress, and are unable to hire any help AND you are certain you don’t need the scalability
  • You are scared to death to manage any of the setup or maintenance of a self-hosted blog and can live with the limitations of TypePad

I know it might sound a little harsh, but honestly, after using WordPress as a business blogger for over a year (and in great need of scalability from time to time), I can’t imagine why anyone would forgo the control that this platform offers. I have found it to be the absolute highest quality foundation for future blog growth available to bloggers, and site owners who just want to easily and effectively set up a web site.

Part II :: Find the Best Pre-Installed WordPress Hosting and Get Set Up

Part III :: Essential WordPress Plugins and Third Party Services 

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  • Discussion

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    On July 10th, 2007 at 3:10 pm, ourmonmouth said:

    Thank you for putting this comparison together. Fortunately I have chosen wisely as a new blogger and went with Wordpress. So far so good, however, as you pointed out there are some pitfalls with using plugins. I have had several issues in this area; additionally, it has been difficult to determine what core plugins are required to effectively run a blog. Perhaps this is fuel for a future post or maybe you can point out some good information on this topic.
    Thank you,

    On July 10th, 2007 at 3:13 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Funny you should ask, Howard. This is the first in a 3 or 4 part series, and I will be covering default install changes and plugins on one of the posts! Glad to know that at least one person will be looking forward to it! ;)

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:13 pm, derek said:

    I too was fortunate to start both of my blogs using Wordpress. Before launching my blogs, I had been reading quite a few blogs on blogging and recognized that Wordpress was the way to go and I have never regretted that decision.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:31 pm, jen said:

    Hi Wendy,
    Recently Typepad introduced Pages (as per Wordpress type pages), so this functionality is now available.

    I use Typepad for my personal blog and Wordpress for my www.safarisuit.com blog. I wish I knew what I knew now and had gone with Wordpress back when I started my personal blog over 3 years ago, but as it’s not really a business one I don’t worry too much.

    I very much look forward to your hosting article. Hosting here in Australia is relatively expensive for a small amount of space so I’m looking to move my other blog.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:47 pm, Sarah Lewis said:

    I was going to mention the new TypePad pages as well but jen beat me to it. :) That addition has made TypePad much more usable, but WordPress still beats it, hands down as far as I’m concerned, because of plugins.

    A really good coder can do some tricks with CSS on TypePad to change the design and retain the flexibility of TypeLists, etc., but there’s really nothing that can be done on the plugin front.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 5:57 pm, Matt said:

    Just a note on the thing with Typepad not having Akismet. The Akismet API is open to anyone who wants to make use of it somewhere else than WordPress.

    Someone could just make a plugin for Typepad that takes advantage of the open API for Akismet. It just seems that nobody has, yet.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 9:06 pm, derek said:

    Jen, if hosting is expensive in Australia you should look elsewhere. You don’t need to have your host in the same country as where you reside - that is the beauty of the Interweb.

    I live in the midwest and I have one host with servers in Boston and another that is located in Canada.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 9:58 pm, jen said:

    Thanks Derek, I’ve been looking around and doing lots of reading on the hosting thing and I just can’t make up my mind. Perhaps something like Dreamhost or Media Temple? I’m hoping Wendy’s next post about hosting will help a bit.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:01 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Jen - I spent hours comparing 20+ hosting companies who have WP pre-installed.

    I still recommend Blue Host, my old provider before I moved to a semi-dedicated server. Their tech support was really fantastic (usually - there’s always a stupid person no matter where you go!)

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:37 pm, derek said:

    Dreamhost seems to be quite popular but I have read numerous horror stories about them and had a brief experience with them when a client of mine was using them.

    The two hosts that I have been using are icdSoft and BlueFur - both of which have been great and I haven’t had any problems. Granted I haven’t been put to the test with a digg or anything but they have both held up quite well.

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:42 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    I haven’t heard of either of those Derek - do they have WP pre-installed or Fantastico? And the next time you get a big Digg, let me know how it holds up! ;)

    Blue Host blipped a tiny bit through three big Diggs around here - but on the fourth, my site was up and down for a week (hmmmm… still need to write a post about that one!).

    It’s to be expected on a shared host - at some point, you will outgrow it and it’s not their fault (and it’s a good problem to have!)

    On July 10th, 2007 at 10:54 pm, derek said:

    Wendy, icdSoft does not have WP pre-installed and I thought BlueFur had Fantastico but I just checked my control panel and didn’t see it.

    I apologize for that because I am one that likes to “get my hands dirty” and install everything manually. However, I do have to say they both have outstanding customer service that would likely assist with any WP installation difficulties.

    As soon as I get that big Digg, I will let you know how they hold up. :)

    On July 11th, 2007 at 6:26 am, Sarah Lewis said:

    @Matt (#6): You’re right about Akismet’s open API; I’ve used it for other projects and have found it very useful. I know that some of the open source forums now have plugins available that are built on Akismet (and thank goodness for that!).

    However, since TypePad doesn’t support 3rd-party plugins, I don’t know how you could use it there (unless I’m missing something).

    If Six Apart themselves decided to run with it, it would find its way into the main program, but otherwise I think TypePad users are out of luck.

    On July 11th, 2007 at 6:33 am, Sarah Lewis said:

    As far as hosting goes, Dreamhost has a decent one-click-install for WordPress but is definitely not the most reliable of hosts.

    Because of their incredible features/low price, I use them for my own “play” projects but don’t recommend them to clients because of the number of complaints that generates down the road.

    I usually recommend HostRefugee to small clients who don’t need a ton of features; it includes cPanel/Fantastico, though usually I install WordPress for them so that all the best plugins are there and configured.

    I’ve also heard great things about A Small Orange, and they also have cPanel/Fantastico.

    On July 11th, 2007 at 9:54 am, Ariane Benefit, Neat & Simple Living said:

    Well, I have to chime in and defend Typepad. I have tried both and as someone who has a business-related blog but is not trying to make a full-time living by blogging, I have found that I would much rather spend the little time I have to blog on writing rather than fiddling with plugins.

    I totally agree that the HUGE learning curve with Wordpress is a CON. I know it does great things, but if you don’t know exactly what you are doing it is VERY easy to “break” or you have to pay someone to help you code it properly. Plus a lot of the WP themes out there are not SEO friendly and that adds a whole other issue.

    Typepad may not have plugins, but it does have a lot of widgets and built in conveniences like publicizing your blog automatically to a lot of service. It also has an advanced Template feature that allows you to do a lot of customization. I have found the Typepad Support team to be very helpful and responsive. And lately, it’s been eating spam like crazy…I have very few issues with Spam, so I wouldn’t say it’s not as good as Wordpress.

    As others have mentioned we also have pages and more new features are rolling out every day to compete with Wordpress.

    I definitely envy some of the fun things you can do with Wordpress, but I don’t envy the time investment you have to make since I work full time outside my home.

    Thanks for a GREAT post Wendy!

    On July 11th, 2007 at 10:04 am, Wendy Piersall said:

    Actually Ariane, I TOTALLY agree with you for your business model - your blog isn’t a HUGS part of your business, just a very complimentary part of your main organizing business.

    So in your case, I do think you and TypePad are a perfect fit. :D

    On July 11th, 2007 at 12:41 pm, Jeri said:

    OK - I’m scratching my head over this one… it’s a WP question. How do you manage to update a blog post (like adding volunteer names to your writing project list) without triggering a completely new send of the article in your RSS feed?

    On July 11th, 2007 at 12:54 pm, tanya said:

    Why compare WP (non hosted) with a hosted solution (TypePad) and not Movable Type - out of curiousity.

    On July 11th, 2007 at 2:23 pm, Ricci Neer said:

    I agree! I just redid my entire site with WordPress and a variation on the Gladiola theme. I just love it. It finally represents who I am and it’s so easy to maneuver. I did my moms site and had some issues with the plug-ins too, but overall, I love managing sites with wordpress over anything else I’ve ever used - and I’ve been building my own sites since ‘99 (yeah, before there were wysiwyg editors!)

    On July 11th, 2007 at 2:54 pm, Denise aka The Blog Squad said:

    I also have to chime in for TypePad. I have been using Typepad for 10 business blogs for nearly 3 years and am very happy. The new pages are a great benefit. My partner and I set up business blogs on TypePad for all sorts of professionals and have had no complaints. I think if you’re not at all tech savvy and don’t want to spend time learning the necessary tech skills or being held hostage by a designer, then TypePad is an excellent professional solution for a business blog.

    Wendy, I look forward to meeting you at BlogHer. I’m moderating the panel on blog to book.

    On July 12th, 2007 at 7:53 am, Jill said:

    Last week I finally made the move and switched my blog from blogger to wordpress hosted on my site. (actually my web guy did).

    I used blogger as my training wheels for the first year. It was time to grow up. Still have a lot of customizing and tweaking to do but looking forward to the journey of taking it to the next level.

    Live Your Dreams,

    Jill Koenig


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