Extra Features/Power Tools
Looking to make some pocket change -- or possibly more -- from your blog? Want to add nifty features such as displaying a different design for iPad users? Want to publish blog posts from your Android or iOS device? Then you'll want a host of power tools and extra features.
Blogger has been designed for people without much technical experience, so -- not surprisingly -- I didn't find a lot of power tools here. There are some, though.
If you have more than one blog on Blogger, you can easily switch among them. A main screen lists all of your blogs and shows you basic statistics about each, including the total number of page views, the total number of posts, and the last time you've posted. In addition, you can follow other Blogger blogs from the same page.
There are apps that let you create and publish blogs from Android or iOS devices. That includes both text and images; you can also add location information and labels. And you can sync posts between your computer and mobile device, so that you can start a post on your PC, for example, then finish it up and publish it on your mobile device.
You can sign up for Google AdSense, which places advertising in your blog, and then pays you based on the number of click-throughs. You can access an earnings report and a summary of payments.
WordPress has a cornucopia of tools, and most of them within easy reach. (You'll find them right on the Dashboard itself, sometimes one level down, such as in the Widgets section of the Appearance menu.) For example, if you've created a blog on another site -- such as Blogger, LiveJournal, Posterous, Moveable Type, Typebad or others -- you can easily import all those posts and associated comments into WordPress. Similarly, you can export your posts and comments via an XML file. You can also have your site transferred to your own server for a $119 fee.
In addition, I was able to change just about any setting, including how to display the time and date and what language to use. There's also a nifty bookmarklet that runs in your browser and lets you grab snippets of text and images to use in your posts. Given that WordPress can sometimes be confusing to use, I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it was to change settings or add the bookmarklet.
You can create custom menus for your blog and display a special theme for people who visit your blog using an iPad. There are several dozen free widgets that let you build a search form, automatically display your top-rated posts, and create a word cloud showing the most popular keywords on your site. In fact, I found so much that I spent far too much time trying them all, and soon had a page filled with more gadgetry than anyone would want to see -- so I quickly cut back. Still, it's nice to know that it's all there.
WordPress offers an extremely wide range of tools, including plenty of free widgets, the ability to customize just about everything about your blog, and even a theme that will display when people visit using an iPad for optimal viewing. Blogger doesn't offer as much, but if you have dreams of making a few dollars from blogging, it makes it easy to use Google AdSense to try to bring in some revenue.
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