On her “How to blog” site Emily Robbins goes to great length to compare WordPress to TypePad and comes down pretty strongly on the side of WordPress. What she fails to mention is the fundamental difference between the two.
While both store your data in a MySQL database, how they display the data is different. This is a very important difference.
Blogger, Moveable Type and Radio UserLand all generate static pages once you hit publish. The database takes your entry- and builds a static page that sits on your site just like a traditional HTML page. Every comment rebuilds the static page. If you change your theme, the server then has to regenerate the entire blog/site.
WordPress, TextPattern and LiveJournal all generate each page on the fly. You enter the data and when someone comes to your site, the page is pulled from the database using whichever theme you have selected.
While I could go into the pro’s and con’s of each system, in the on-demand, fast paced world of the Internet, I prefer the build on the fly scenario. It’s fast, it’s elegant, and it’s always fresh- it also allows for much more customization and change options since each change doesn’t require a complete regeneration of your site.