A while ago Roddy MacLeod asked me why I’d chosen the WordPress to host my blog. After having used WordPress for over 10 weeks I ‘m now in a position to give my thoughts on it.

I have to confess that I didn’t carry out a thorough evaluation of the wide range of blogging services. Rather I wanted to use a hosted service (to avoid the inevitable delays in carrying out a evaluation and then having the software installed and tested). I wanted to use a free service, so there would be no costs (in case I decided that the blogging service was flawed or that I wouldn’t have the time or inclination to post consistently). I also wanted to use a mainstream blogging service – one that was widely used and likely to be used by members of my community (so that I could advise others based on my experiences and learn from others).

I looked at (and still use) Blogger and LiveJournal. Blogger was fairly basic (although new subscribers will now get an updated service which provides an AJAX interface). And LiveJournal is more suited to an individual’s personal blog (you can choose an icon representing your mood when you post an item).

As TypePad is a subscription service that left WordPress as the service to look at. After about 60 postings over the past 10 weeks, I can say that I am happy with the service. There are a range of attractive looking designs I can choose from and a small number of sidebar widgets I can use (I’m using the text and RSS widgets to include static text and RSS feeds, together with the Meebo widget which provides a realtime chat service). The service also allows me to assign categories to my post – something I think is important and will return to. And as WordPress is a popular service, there are various third party tools which support it.

What I’d really like, though, is to be able to use the WordPress MultiUser service. This is software you need to install locally. This would enable me to embed JavaScript in posts and sidebar widgets. Also a wide range of sidebar widgets are available. I’d particularly like to have the opportunity to explore the extensibility which that would provide.