There’s always something to howl about

Real estate weblogging software?

Ardell raises the question, and I had the same conversation Friday with a real estate instructor who is taking the plunge into weblogging to demonstrate to a book publisher that she can attract an audience. What she said was, “We’re going to set it up on”


If you’re doing a cat blog, okay. If the weblog is just something extra to put on your business card, like a real estate designation, okay. But if you’re goal is to build something more lasting than bronze, you need software that can take a beating.

My take, taking it for what it’s worth: WordPress. [URI edited per comment below.]

It takes some set up, including server-side set-up, and the learning curve is steeper than other options. But it’s a superior weblogging platform right out of the box: Hands-free trackbacks, built-in commenting, spam control — and all those plug-ins. As the lost, lamented 4Realz pointed out, WordPress is a full-blown Content Management System — you can use it to build your whole web site, with an RSS feed for every page if you want. This has SEO implications that keep me up late at night…

I do have a bias. Given the trade-off between easy-to-use and full-control, I will almost always take full-control. Open source, continuously upgraded and free, a tough combination to beat.

The sites you really like are almost all in either WordPress or TypePad. If you imagine that you might someday want to move your weblog to something more robust (which WordPress will do for you), why not just start with WordPress to begin with?

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    12 Comments so far

    1. BTC Technologies » Self serving August 28th, 2006 11:42 am

      [...] Check Greg’s post about why you should WordPRess. [...]

    2. Todd Tarson August 28th, 2006 1:00 pm

      I’ve set up a wordpress site, but am still using blogger for the time being.

      I’m still trying to get used to features I might find on any blog, terminology… that kind of thing. Adding links is sure easier than messing with HTML for sure, but I’m still rather clueless on some other things.

      I do think that WP has more potential though. I’ll keep messing around in the mean time though with blogger.

    3. Joel Burslem August 28th, 2006 2:06 pm

      I’m a huge fan of WordPress as well. But just to clarify for your readers Greg, the link you posted ( is to the hosted, free version of WordPress. is much easier for a new blogger to get started with (it’s more like Blogger in that sense) but you do give up control on custom themes, plugins etc. – plus not having your own domain name.

      To download the standalone version to host on your own server you need to go to

    4. Greg Swann August 28th, 2006 2:07 pm

      Doh! Thanks for catching that!

    5. Greg Swann August 28th, 2006 5:56 pm

      > Adding links is sure easier than messing with HTML for sure, but I’m still rather clueless on some other things.

      That’s a funny difference. I have no idea how to work in WP’s WYSIWYG editor. Everything you see here is hand-coded HTML. It’s how I made the error Joel caught — I just typed the URI from (faulty) memory.

      > I’ll keep messing around in the mean time though with blogger.

      Understood. Email me the address of your WP blog, if you want, and I’ll take a look.

    6. Magnus August 28th, 2006 10:33 pm

      Another blog/web-content tool to take into consideration is Squarespace ( I’m using it myself and I’m very happy with it.

      Yes, there is a learning curve but it’s worth it. For a believer in well designed interfaces their service makes me to smile.

      Finally, 37signals ( are using it so it has to be the best… ;-)

    7. Jim Duncan August 29th, 2006 6:08 am

      Just another WordPress plug – the WP community is one of the best reasons I continue to use it (and I have invested an extraordinary amount of time so far). I posted this yesterday, as an aside, and in about 2 hours, the plugin developer posted offering her help. Outstanding.


    8. Maureen Francis September 15th, 2006 8:30 pm

      I just made the move from blogger to Though the learning curve is steep, my new tools make me giddy. I feel like my blog just grew up.

    9. Greg Swann September 15th, 2006 9:06 pm
    10. Pat Kitano September 19th, 2006 9:26 pm

      Thanks Greg for the advice… I’ve been searching for a new blog platform and you’ve made WP compelling. Since I’m not a techie, I’m planning to use the WP install4free service. I’m thinking the best way to migrate transparentRE is to develop the WP transparentRE on a separate dummy url or to a separate directory within the domain transparentRE and then make the switch to transparentRE when finished. Does that make sense? I’ll also be asking WP support about the best way to migrate a blog.

    11. Greg Swann September 20th, 2006 5:28 pm

      That all sounds reasonable. I don’t know if WP will transfer your existing content. It will from Blogger or TypePad, but I don’t know about Starfield. Good luck!

    12. Links for those who are now considering entering the Blogosphere

      /images/33632-31387/einstein.jpg”>As mentioned before, I’m now persuading my network of real estate professionals to consider developing blogs for their business. I promised more than a few of those contacts that I would provide a basic introduction …