I chose WordPress as my replacement for Blogger because it is actively supported by a tremendous network of open source developers.
One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is that its initial installation can be enhanced with hundreds of user-developed plug-ins that provide special features not everyone needs.
I use and endorse the following WordPress plugins on the frontend of this site: [Ed Note: this list is due for an update]
- Hide/Cut Post Text is a simple plugin that enables hiding text without using comment tags, and allows cuts.
- PodPress is a robust imbedded audio-player that aids in getting your podcasts onto iTunes.
- Word Stats provides the stats paragraph on my main about page, and provides some statistics on the backend site.
Behind the scenes I use the following WordPress plugins:
- Akismet checks comments for spam, and is indispensable.
- Custom Posts Per Page is a quick and dirty way to edits the amount of posts per type of page. See this post for the code.
My infamous, now-retired first layout was a modified version of the ingenious Vistered Little theme designed by Nik Iliadis. My background images were purchased via fotolia, except for the clouds, which were graciously provided by the photographer at Ugly Green Chair. The images are not mine to lend or give.
At times I also feature a “Currently Listening” sidebar which isn’t a WordPress plugin – it actually runs via the ingenious Now Playing iTunes plugin by Brandon Fuller. You can achieve similar results with sites like Last.fm, but Now Playing removes the middle man and has iTunes speak to your site directly via FTP.