A new blogging platform has recently launched called Terapad, so I thought I would take a look.
It is designed to be a complete all in one solution, with not only blogging but also more advanced features such as forums and Paypal support.
I thought I would give it a try.
It appears quite simple, fill in the usual details.
One major thing of note, it allows you to enter a company name, thus it is designed for business. That might seem obvious, with the Paypal support.
Hmm, the first bug was found… I tried to enter an email address with a “.eu” domain and it was rejected. That is certainly oversight and easily corrected, but strange for a UK company to overlook.
15 – User Conduct
The user shall not:
6. Use the Service as a forwarding service, gateway or advertisement to another website.
I understand the reason they implemented this clause (to fight splogs), but it makes the service effectively useless for any kind of business blogging. One of the core reasons to blog for a business is to send traffic to your core business pages.
- If you have an existing business site, you are going to link to it.
- If you are a pro-blogger of some kind, you are going to use affiliate links
It is good they have Terms on launch, but they may need to clarify them.
Clunky URLS need to be fixed such as
I love the fact that legal terms are included for every blog by default. I wonder if you can adjust them and who owns the copyright on the finished version.
I have suggested in the past on the wp-hackers mailing list that some boiler plate legal documents be drawn up and shipped with WordPress. The developers couldn’t see a need, but having some legal documents is better than none at all, especially when blogging software collects email addresses etc.
There doesn’t seem to be any restrictions on registering multiple accounts, although each blog is accessed by a separate interface. I would much prefer something that allowed you a single login for multiple blogs. Maybe it exists but I didn’t find it.
Thus I have created
http://andybeard.terapad.com (brand identity – I might move Web 2.0 discussion there)
http://plugins.terapad.com (for discussing plugins of various types)
http://keedz.terapad.com (my registered company in the UK – more brand identity)
Terapad seems to have plenty of integration options.
Google Analytics, Feedburner, Sonific, IndieKarma, Flickr, Meebo, Digg, Del.icio.us & Paypal
Something similar to WordPress Widgets is promised. Currently you are provided with 3 entry boxes to place things on your sidebar, and one for entering things like analytics code.
I need to test those out to see what is allowed, such as advertising and MyBlogLog.
Ok this part is actually quite impressive at first glance. It is obvious that this blogging platform has been setup with large projects in mind. Whilst the blog owner has access to everything, permissions can be set on an individual basis for every other major aspect of the site. Have a new site designer? Give him permission to change your CSS. Give volunteers the chance to moderate your forum.
Unfortunately there is no precise control of access to content, maybe for some kind of premium content. It looks fancy, but at the end of a day the features you might want are not there.
Transfer & Quota
It might seem like a massive amount, but it isn’t really. 2GB of storage is probably far enough, but 10GB of transfer isn’t a hell of a lot, especially when it is broken down into 330MB chunks per day. That doubles when you pay for a professional version but there isn’t a lot of information if you want or need a lot more transfer. Remember this is for businesses – you can’t risk your site going down.
Categories and Tagging
Categories are supported, tagging isn’t or at least not completely. They describe categories as part of blog tagging. You can enter additional tags for your content, but I can’t see anywhere that those additional tags are being used. Maybe they are meant to be used in the meta keywords at some stage, but currently they are not. I would like real tagging support.
Categories seem to be limited – no nesting and only one category per post.
Yes, Terapad supports Feedburner. +1
I was going to point out no auto-discovery. That seems to have been fixed while I was writing this review.
The feeds are only for the blog, not for the forum or other parts of the site. I don’t think there is a feed for comments either, although there is a subscribe by email option.
There is support for pages as well as posts. Again really ugly URLS. There doesn’t seem to be the possibility to restrict access to individual pages, integrated with the shop module.
Frankly I am disappointed. It seems to have been setup for selling hard goods. It would have been much better to set it up for selling e-goods, premium content and membership sites via subscription.
I didn’t activate the shop, which requires a public certificate ID to be submitted to Paypal.
You guessed it… ugly URLs again and as mentioned previously, no RSS feed.
Fairly basic but one major saving grace, at least in my opinion. The forum offers threaded discussion.
It doesn’t offer profile pages, just raw URLs, and this are followable. No default sig is possible, which in some ways prevents spam. There doesn’t seem to be captcha support.
I am not ready to move away from using WordPress yet. It provides far more functionality, is SEO friendly, and I own the domains I host it on.
If you are in business, whilst there are technical obstacles you might have to overcome, WordPress on your own domain is a much better long-term strategy.
Maybe my opinion will change in a few months, and I will continue to monitor Terapad closely.
But then I am a technical user, and many people aren’t interested in the technical aspects of setting up a blog.
Pay someone to setup WordPress on Elance, or join a service like WordPress Tutorials for some professional help.
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