Xanga vs Blogspot, and why I moved.

For anyone interested why I left Xanga, and how it compares to Blogspot. 
Warning: while this might be very interesting for anyone wanting to move or to start a blog, it might be boring for anyone else. Feel free to skip and read something about pores.

Note: I´m comparing the FREE versions of Xanga and Blogger.


I started blogging on Xanga because I was attracted to a completely customisable layout. I still like that part of it, but if you know how to use CSS and HTML, Blogspot is almost just as customisable. With Xanga the annoying thing was that while you could customise the hell out of the main page, you couldn´t change the way the individual post page looked. I also had problem with the tags (aka category) of the post being displayed on the sidebar and not underneath the post. Also, I had no use for the whole Eprop and Minis thing  but I couldn´t hide it (it´s juvenile, cluttered up the page and made commenting a bit confusing for non Xangans). Blogger does have a lot of cool widgets, but I don´t use most of them as I prefer an uncluttered sidebar.

Post Formatting:

In Xanga the heading tags (like <H1>) were really easy to make, I miss that in Blogger. Also, Xanga has a nifty find-replace tool. But Blogger makes removing / changing links in a post a breeze, even showing an invalid hyperlink with a different colour. Blogger doesn´t accept faulty HTML, while Xanga does (I don´t know yet which is better). I also miss the indentation button from Xanga. I like to indent paragraphs.

Search feature

This is the main reason I left Xanga. A blog without a search box is like a room with all kinds of stuff that is permanently dark, with light switch. For a long time, Xanga didn´t offer a search box, and since it doesn´t allow javascript in free accounts, I couldn´t add Google Search. Finally, Xanga added a search box. Then, I found out that if you have a free membership, the search wouldn´t list the older posts ! This was the last straw. This is my content, dammit, that I´ve worked hard on, and now my readers can´t search for it ! 
Why would I pay for that if other blogging platforms provide it for free ?

My other problems with Xanga:

No overview of posts. Blogspot has one, which makes it easier to have an overview of things. Both have an overview of comments, but the one in Blogger is better because you can directly delete it or mark as spam, without having to go to the post first.
I couldn´t display ALL of my tags (categories), only the top ones. Also, in the "tag" view the old unused tags were still displayed.

What I liked about Xanga:

One thing that Xanga had going for it was the prompt reaction to spammers. All their comments on my blog were deleted very soon each time after I reported them. However, the fact that you can insert a clickable link into the comments probably makes spamming more attractive to spammer. I can´t say how it is on Blogspot, since the spammers haven´t caught up with me yet.
Another thing on Xanga was the community. I wasn´t interested in it at all, and have read a handful of posts on Xanga blogs. Still, several of my posts made it to Loveish, Politish and so on, and the extra exposure was great. If I were actually active, I could have gotten a lot of traffic.
Another thing that I miss is privacy settings of individual posts. Most of my drafts were set as "private". Blogger does have post drafts too, but one you accidentally click that "publish" button, you can´t unpublish it !


This was the hardest part of the whole thing. There is no direct way of importing a Xanga blog to Blogger, and besides the Blogger Archive Importer DOESN`T WORK and it doesn´t look like it will be fixed anytime soon. I could import Xanga to Posterous, but Posterous is so simple that it´s simplistic, and doesn´t have the features (like tags or categories) that I find necessary. So I copied the contend by hand, and it took ages. I also had to copy the comments, but in this case I couldn´t set them to their original date.

Photo by Chris Randle    

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