Vagabond Travelogue: Blogging Content Management Systems No Good for Traveling Webmasters








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Wade from has been continuously traveling around the world for more than 9 years through ov for more than 9 years through over 45 countries on 5 continents. He is open to answer all questions -  email Walk Slow.

Blogging Content Management Systems No Good for Traveling Webmasters

For the second time this year, I have recently moved this travelogue away from blogging systems in favor of publishing it myself. But this move seems to have bothered a few long time readers, as the commenting system on the new version is inferior to the way it was on the Blogger content management system. This presents me with a little difficulty, as it is vastly easier on my end and less expensive to publish the travelogue by hand, though more inconvenient for readers to add comments to the pages.  

Comments are an integral part of any blog, and I hope that I can find a way to make the new self-published format satisfactory. As with most things in life, publishing this website is a journey. Sometimes roads start out rough just to become as smooth as penguin's belly, and sometimes roads start out smooth and end in heaps of rubble.

To acquiesce with the requests of a few good readers who often add great comments to this travelogue, I will begin adding the number of comments and the timestamps of the latest to the index page, as well as create new posts based around exceptional comments (like this one was). I will also make better use of the Vagabond newsletter for readers who were use to receiving feeds sent directly to their emails. Also, for the RSS and Atom readers, I will continue publishing a weekly synopsis of the travelogue entries on the old Blogger format . . . . well, when it is functioning.

Wade from Vagabond
in Upstate New York, USA- January 3, 2009
Travelogue -- Travel Photos -- Travel Guide

There were two comments on Blog Comments and RSS Feeds that rang a few bells on the new Vagabond Journey Travelogue. The first came from a reader named Mercury an went as follows:

"Bloggers may not want to hear this; but comments are a crucial part of any blog. Its not all about you. I read for motorcycle bob's, cym's, g's and barron's comments as much as you (not to detract from you). A good blogger attracts good comments. You attract good comments at least until you made your own platform. The blogger is a moderator of the discussion as much as anything. You launch the ideas and steer the dialogue. You have always done that well. But this new setup will kill the blog aspect of the site. You'll still get readers for your tips, travel questions, and pictures but the blog part will die off without thougtful comments."

Another comment came from Cym of

"Personally I think you should have stuck with blogger awhile longer, at least until you worked out all the bugs, and learned how to add all the features you needed before you made the official switch; because having a clean comments interface and working RSS feed are essential if you want this blog to continue growing. Just seems to me that for the sake of simplifying things, in a way you actually made things more difficult. Also what's wrong with Blogger? Seems to me that Blogger is the perfect publishing tool for vagabonds on a budget, why, because its free! And is mostly reliable (I've been using it for 3 years without any problems whatsoever. I'm not a computer expert, but I was thinking that maybe your problems with it could have had something to do with your recently importing all the old entries from Open Road Song?) allows advertising, offers plenty of useful ready-made widgets, and endless customization. If you just want to focus on writing, why would you want to add the extra burden of having to hand code everything from scratch? That's just more work, and there's more of a likelihood for errors."

My response to these comments are as follows:

The years that I published using Blogger to the Blogger server everything was fine. The problems only began when I began using Blogger as a platform to publish to in June of 2008. The malfunctions have been intermediate ever since, but never as bad as they are now. Sometimes Blogger publishes and sometimes it does not. I do not think that the transferring over of the 400 posts from had anything to with the malfunctions, as I publish another blog at in the same way, and it is not working either. This was a good suggestion though, and I also initially thought this was the problem.

I do not really think that Blogger is a good way for a traveler to publish a blog. It is a way, but I do not think it is a particularly good one. To make a post with Blogger means that you have to log into your account and click through a variety of prompts, upload photos, and a half dozen other things before you can finally publish. On bad internet connections, this can take a really long time. Also, when you use Blogger to publish to your own server it takes exponentially longer than publishing to the Blogger server. Sometimes it simply takes too long to publish for many internet connections to handle. Andy the has also had major problems publishing with Blogger when traveling in remote areas. The publishing method is simply too complicate and takes far too much time. Each minute that I am on the internet is usually a minute that I need to pay for. 

The way that I am publishing the travelogue now I just copy and paste an entry into a template page that I made, save-as it, and it is ready to go. I do not need an internet connection to do any of this. I can then publish dozens of pages and hundreds of photos with a simple FTP program in only a few moments of internet time. I do not even need to open up an internet browser to publish. 

The less time that I am on the internet, the cheaper I can travel. In point, my travel funds are presently really low, and saving myself a couple of dollars a day that would normally go towards paying for an internet connection will enable me to travel a little farther. I generally spend under $10 a day, so a couple of dollars daily is a good chunk of money. I make squat for money on the travelogue portion of Vagabond Journey, and I spend far more publishing it than I make from its advertisements. My fractions are still not constant - there are still holes in my income/ expense ratio, and money is going out a little faster than it is coming in.

Other problems are that some places in some countries, like China, have banned access to, and blogging systems are going out of fashion with search engines anyway. I remember the Hobotraveler's warnings to me in Guatemala:

"Blogging systems are going to go the way of the forum."

Meaning that he predicts that many pages made with blogging systems or other content management systems are going to be devalued in the Google index, much like forums were a few years ago. I believe that this could be true. It is high time to leave blogging systems. Andy wrote recently:

"We are NOT going to use a CMS system, I am even going to dump my system and develop our own one. The reason is this, SEO - Search Engine Optimization. has the math figured out on the off the shelf CMS systems, their day in the sun is over, they are in many ways finished. Organic searches knows you! they have weighed and measured your content management systems and found them predictable."

"Predictable is a problem with a little Bot that indexes your page."


Perhaps it will prove to be beneficial that Blogger began malfunctioning for me when it did. Well, as soon as I straighten everything out with the new travelogue format. This is always a work in progress.

The reasons that I moved away from Blogger were more practical than ascetic, though I do not want to push away many readers in the changeover. I know that in some ways the new travelogue is not as well formatted as it was with Blogger, but I also feel that it is not that bad. There is still a comment form, and a way for readers to give feedback to become a part of the discussion. It is not as good, but it still serves its purpose.   

I really appreciate all of the feedback and suggestions that I have received about this changeover. It shows that people are reading and that they care. I am really thankful to have such a solid group of people who read this travelogue who often leave very well crafted and thought provoking comments. There is no way that I want to push away or otherwise alienate any of these commenters, as their words have a large impact on me as I continue traveling. I returned to the USA to finish my university degree in large part because of the advice that readers gave me in the comments of this travelogue. I really appreciate these comments, they make the travelogue far more multi-faceted.

I thought about shifting back to Blogger last night. So I logged in, made a good change to the comment forms, and then tried to publish. It did not work. It is high time to leave Blogger. It publishes without difficulty to its own server, but when publishing to an external server it is severely prone to malfunction. I checked out Word Press and do not believe that it is any better.  

Thank you for reading and for all of your feedback.

My initial reasons for wanting to leave the Blogger system last April are on New Travel Blog- Why I am moving away from blogging systems.

Walk Slow,


Comment on this travelogue entry

Related Pages:
Blog Comments and RSS Feeds
Blogger Problem Fixed
Blogger or Wordpress Blog
Vagabond Site Without Blogger
New Travel Blog

Links to previous travelogue entries:
New York City Notebook
Blog Comments and RSS feeds
Customs Travel Tip- Dirty Underwear
Vagabond New Year's Resolution
Nature or Nurture Travel Debate #2


Blogging Content Management Systems No Good for Traveling Webmasters

Reader Comments:

1/3/2009 23:44:08 G says . . .

Wade, don't sweat it. Just keep tinkering around, making it better. You'll probably meet a genius programmer in Ukraine who will fix everything in exchange for a couple of beers. Have fun with it. g.

1/4/09 9:30EST Wade says . . .

Thanks G, I really appreciate it.

1/4/2009 15:08:20 Bob L

For the most part I like your new format. Frankly, I didn't like the way the old format did the comments counts anyway. How about making a link to your spreedsheet where comments go, or a similar one, where it would show when the comment was made, and a link to the blog entry it pertains to? Then we could simply click on the link to the entries that we are interested in.

Besides, this is a preference. This makes it only a little easier for us, so it should not take too much of your time. I applaud any move that is towards a more basic, simple way of doing things.

Bob L

Thanks again, Bob, I will publish the spreedsheet where the comments go. The URL is You will now be able to view all comments as they are submitted. There should be the address to the individual posts included, and, if they are copied and pasted correctly, they will be functional links.

Thanks for the feedback.


Blogging Content Management Systems No Good for Traveling Webmasters
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