Tumblr: My Blogging Pressure Release

I’m starting to settle into my Tumblr blog.

It’s taking a while to get used to a different blogging platform but I’m optimistic about it.

When you consider that I’d given up on blogging, using something different to WordPress has opened my eyes to writing again.

That I’ve got to give it credit for. It’s taken the “burdens” away that I felt with WordPress.

Moving To Tumblr

I decided to start from scratch when I moved to Tumblr.

I had started to feel confused about the direction I was heading with my WordPress blog.

This blog will be a place to share my thoughts on life and blogging. Just that, nothing more and nothing less.

I have kept a backup of my old blog. I hadn’t planned to reintroduce any posts from it.

Although I have republished one about bounce rates because someone requested it.

I’m not sure if any others will make an appearance just yet!

Pros and Cons Of Tumblr

There’s no escaping the thousands of Tumblr blogs sharing annoying animated GIFs.

I hope that isn’t all that the platform can be, although beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course.

What I find to be a negative attribute, others might see as a positive.

No Web Host

When I had my WordPress blog I was paying out what felt like dead money every month to a web host.

OK, so with Tumblr I don’t own the real estate and my blog could disappear at any time.

But then again I could get run over by a bus tomorrow. So I think I’ll take my chances.

If I were making a tonne of money through my blog, I might feel different.

Until that time, I’m happy to pay for my domain name only and redirect it to my Tumblr blog for free.

No Plugins

This is both a godsend and a bit of a nightmare.

Having no ability to add plugins means I’m not tempted to bog things down with endless extras.

The only way to customise your blog beyond getting a custom theme is to get down and dirty with the code.

If your Tumblr theme doesn’t come with sharing buttons, then you’ll need to add the code yourself.

That goes for opt-in forms too and anything else you can think of that you might have grabbed a plugin for.

No Comments

Tumblr doesn’t have native comments so you either have to do without them or use something else.

Depending on how you view blog comments you might not miss them.

Many themes come with the functionality to add the Disqus commenting system.

Or you could add other commenting systems like Intense Debate or Livefyre if you prefer.

If your theme doesn’t include the relevant code for those already though, you’ll need to add it.

Tumblr used to have a commenting system but they removed it last year.

Perhaps they will bring it back in the future.

No Pressure

For whatever reason I felt pressured into following certain ingrained blogging “rules” before.

That was due to the blogging community I found myself in and the established “influencers”.

Now I’ve entered the unknown world of Tumblr, I feel I can leave that behind and move on.

In my final few months on WordPress I had been moving in the right direction.

That I hope to continue and also to reignite blogging friendships which I had made in those months.

This blog might end up being all over the place but what does it matter?

Whatever happens, there’s no longer any pressure to conform. Or at least I don’t feel any!

  • Hey Tim,

    It’s good to know that you are gong to try Tumblr. There are many scops with this platform.
    As you have mentioned above about the absence of plugins, comments and more.
    It will make easy for you to handle it.
    Best of luck.
    ~Ravi

    • Thanks Ravi.
      Tumblr just brought comments back but not everywhere around the world so I’ll stick with Disqus for now.
      I’m quite enjoying Tumblr. I don’t have to think about so many things that I had to with WordPress.
      I’m not sure about it in terms of SEO but I’m not going to worry. I’m enjoying blogging again and that’s a good result.

  • Hi Tim,

    Nice to have you back in the blogosphere, even on Tumblr! To be honest, I know absolutely zilch about Tumblr, so it’s good to hear what you have to say about it.

    I hope you can enjoy your stress-free blogging experience and just let it be a natural way to express yourself.

    Keep in touch and let us know how you progress!
    – David

    • Hey David
      Thanks mate. I don’t know that much about Tumblr myself yet but I’m getting used to it.
      I’m definitely going to keep this blog as a way to express myself. I felt miserable by the time I ditched my WordPress blog. That’s not a good way to be!
      I’ve started to get back into blogging and am enjoying just writing when I feel like it. I’ve begun interacting with other blogs again and am getting back into social media too.
      Good to hear from you and I’ll certainly keep in touch!
      Tim

  • Tim,
    I went through a similar process about 8 month ago when I moved from WordPress to Squarespace. Similar to you, I felt I was spending all my time, and a huge amount of money, on hosting, template, plugin, and technical issues instead of building content.

    I had been using self-hosted WordPress for over 2 years, but was just finding I was spending most of my time solving site, technical, and performance issues, instead of building content, which was always my goal.

    I never went into this to become an expert is CSS, Caching software, or CDNs.. just to put some ideas and thoughts out there to try to help people.

    Time will still tell if it was the right switch, since it is still early in the process.

    But I think it is a mistake that many “experts” tend to dismiss platforms such as Squarespace, Blogger, or WordPress.com – they are perfect for many “hobby bloggers” and even some business owners.

    If you understand the pros/cons of the platforms, and their limitations/differences, they serve overlapping needs.

    And my experience is that WordPress is MUCH more expensive then what I am paying for Squarespace. Sure, you can get a free theme and throw it on crappy shared hosting for $5 a month, but good luck with support, performance, and security.

    My very “modest” WordPress site was costing me much more on a “true annual basis” then I am spending currently for my SquareSpace site. If you add in my “time”, it is no comparison as to how much cheaper SS is for me.

    Again, this is my experience, but it is based on almost 3 years of experience with WordPress, and there are definitely things I miss from WordPress – but so far, nothing I can’t live without or haven’t found a reasonable “workaround”.

    You can learn about my thought process as to why I made the switch in a recent post I made to my site:
    http://www.emailoverloadsolutions.com/blog/switched-wordpress-squarespace-productivity
    Regards,
    Michael

  • It sounds like we’ve had a very similar experience when it comes to blogging Michael.

    I’ve not heard of Squarespace before so it was interesting to read your take on it from the article you shared.

    I couldn’t justify any more spending on WordPress hosting for what I want from my blog. So now I only have my domain name to worry about with Tumblr.

    Like you, there are things I miss from WordPress. I also don’t like the Tumblr dashboard at all. I do most of my writing in Hemingway and then copy it over.

    I thought about using WordPress.com but I didn’t really want the additional monthly cost when Tumblr allows me to have a custom domain for free.

    I haven’t been very prolific on my blog of late. I’m still trying to decide exactly which direction I want to take it in and how I go about it!

    I’m glad to hear that you’re finding more time to blog now that you don’t have to think about the technical side of WordPress.

    • Tim,
      Yep.. I think I am in the same boat as you. I looked into both wordpress.com and even blogger, but they both had some limitations. Squarespace is really big here in the U.S. It is definitely NOT free, but the basic plan is pretty reasonable. What I like about it is that it is pretty much an “all in” price. It includes web site templates, built-in metrics, built-in shopping cart, Google apps integration, hosting, domain, etc. I actually still have my domain with GoDaddy, and they integrate with that very easily. The cost depends on how many pages you want if you want “commerce” or not (their integrated shopping cart with ‘Stripe’ as their payment method). I have their commerce version, but may actually step back down to their simpler “personal” version since I haven’t really had much luck with selling products.
      Like you, I miss some of the features and flexibility of WordPress, but what I don’t miss is all the TIME I spent dealing with technical issues on my site instead of just building content. With SquareSpace, I am 90% focused on building content. With WordPress, I was 90% focused on technical issues!
      Good luck with TUMBLER and whatever you decide to do.
      Michael

  • Hi Tim

    OH it has been long. I do understand the pressure in WordPress blogs, not to talk of the costs.

    It is great that you took a new direction. Thanks for sharing

    • I decided to leave Tumblr behind again and move back to WordPress.

      I missed so many of its features that I just felt I had to pay up and get my self-hosted blog back!

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