Blogger Versus WordPress

blogger versus wordpressDeciding that you want a blog is easy. Figuring out how to set one up is another story. And then there is the decision of what blogging platform to use. There are many to choose from – Blogger, WordPress, Drupal, Typepad, and lots of others I probably don’t even know about.

I found that the a good way of deciding on something like this is to do a Pros and Cons list. I have experience with both platforms and this is what I came up with – Blogger and WordPress.

Blogger Blogging Platform

Blogger Pros:

  • Free hosting
  • Drag and drop gadgets (widgets) around easily
  • Owned by Google
  • Can create static pages
  • Easy for a “newbie” to understand how to use
  • You can place ads on your blog to monetize it (make money)
  • You can add a custom domain name without paying for hosting
  • Free access to edit the HTML and CSS if you want to
  • Images are hosted for free with no limits (that I see)
  • Let’s you export your blog for backup on your computer (posts)
  • Let’s you backup your template
  • Creates a free archive daily, weekly, or monthly

Blogger Cons:

  • Limited gadgets (widgets)
  • Limited features (like WordPress plug-ins)
  • Cannot send a link to a new window unless you know HTML
  • Requires knowledge of HTML to add certain features
  • Limited professional looking templates available for free
  • Google can delete your blog at any time if they wish

Now that I gave you this list let me explain a bit more.

Pros:

Blogger is owned by Google so getting on the search engines seem to be easier. I had a couple of Blogger blogs appear on page 1 of the search engine results for my topic in 3 days using a free Blogger blog domain name (.blogspot.com). Hosting is always free even if you own a custom domain. Google allows you to monetize (make money) with your blog by adding Google Adsense ads and other ads. It takes approximately 5 minutes to set up a Blogger blog using one of their standard templates and even a person who is new to blogging can understand how to create a post within a few minutes. You can create gadgets (sometimes called widgets) easily and if you get “tired” of where they appear on the blog you just click and drag them to a new location. You cannot create a real static page using Blogger. I have, however, found a work around that makes posts look static and have gadgets appear only on the homepage.

Cons:

There are limited free, professional templates available for Blogger because more designers seem to be making templates for WordPress blogs. There are limited gadgets (widgets) available unlike WordPress which let’s you install plug-ins that give you more options. The limited features I am talking about would be the plug-ins that WordPress offers such as the All-in-One SEO package, printing a page option, threaded comments, and more. These things are possible with Blogger but you would need extensive HTML knowledge to create them or at least feel comfortable “tweaking” the HTML code.

One big issue with keeping your blog on Blogger.com long-term is that Google can and will delete your blog at any time if they wish. This happened to me a couple of times and other mom bloggers I now of too. Once they delete it you can’t get it back. If you haven’t backed up your posts they are gone forever and you may have to start all over. The reasons Google may delete your blog are various and most have to do with whether you are complying with their long list of policies. Someone can also report your blog – maybe a rival blogger – and have you blog taken down as well.

WordPress Blogging Platform

WordPress.com Pros:

This first list is for WordPress.com if you decide you don’t want to pay for your own hosting account.

  • Free WordPress platform software
  • You can send links into a new window easily through the post toolbar
  • Add categories and use tags
  • Can create widgets for the sidebars
  • You can create static pages like on a website
  • Let’s you export your blog for backup on your computer (posts)
  • Free Professional templates available all over the Internet to download and upload through your Dashboard
  • Thousands of free plug-ins available that give you the ability to do lots of tasks
  • You can tweak HTML and CSS

WordPress.com Cons:

  • you can’t put ads on your WordPress.com site to make money
  • Limited space, must pay once you reach the free space limit
  • some templates are not available to use on the WordPress.com site

Now that I gave you this list let me explain a bit more.

Pros:

WordPress.com gives you a free blog and a wordpress.com domain address and also hosts your blog for free. It does provide some good quality templates and the ability to add widgets like link lists, HTML code, etc. There is a lot of help available on their website and WordPress has more professional-looking templates than Blogger. You can use thread comments which let’s the owner of the blog reply to a comment and it stays with that particular comment instead of just showing in the list of comments. The new version is much easier to use than just several months ago. Upgrades are automatically installed for you and they backup your site. You get a certain amount of storage so you can upload pictures and videos for free until you reach that limit. The WordPress dashboard is sleek and modern looking.

Cons:

With WordPress.com (free version) you are limited to the templates available in the gallery. Although there are many professional WordPress templates available on the web you cannot use them. You cannot use the free plug-ins on the free WordPress.com site and you cannot add javascript or monetize your free blog. If you cannot add javascript then some things like adding a Twitter widget or a photo gallery widget will also not work. You cannot tweak the HTML code on the free site but you can if you pay for hosting and download the software.

Setting up a custom domain on the free WordPress.com site is available for a $13 to $35 a year fee under the Premium Features.

You can also purchase other upgrades like more storage space and the ability to tweak all of the CSS.

Self Hosting with WordPress

Self hosting means you purchased a domain name and a web hosting account and will be installing WordPress through that host.

Pros:

  • See above for the basics about WordPress
  • You own everything, content, posts, theme, etc and can do what you wish with no restrictions

Cons:

  • You must pay for hosting
  • You must keep your own backup
  • You must figure out how to install the software on your host
  • You must manually download and install all upgrades yourself
  • You will have to deal with any plug-ins, hosting issues and viruses or hacking issues

Why I Choose Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs

For 2 years I had all of my blogs with Blogger.com because I liked how easy it was to setup and use. I also liked that I could easily access the HTML and CSS to modify it, add Adsense and other ads to make money, and everything was free. As more and more mom bloggers were having their blogs deleted by Blogger I decided to get my own hosting, a shared account at first, and move my main blogs over to that host using WordPress. Yes, there was a learning curve and there were things I didn’t like and yes, there is a lot more responsibility when things go wrong. But, the biggest thing with having your own hosting is that no one will ever delete your blog. The host may put limits on you and temporarily take it down if you get too much traffic but you won’t have a fear that the blog will get deleted and you will never get it back like with Blogger.com. This one issue is huge and was the only reason I moved to self-hosted WordPress.


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Comments

  1. I have been using blogger since I began blogging over 4 years ago. I’ve considered moving to self-hosted wordpress many times, but I love the ease of blogger. I have my own custom domain name and bought a custom theme (I have never had a problem finding many blogspot themes to choose from). There are more widgets being offered every day and SEO has been greatly enhanced. There seems to be less and less reasons for me to move to WordPress.

    • Mom Blogger says:

      The only real reason to move from Blogger to WordPress is that Google (they own Blogger) can delete your blog without warning. It happened to me on a blog I owned that I was making money on. I never got it back.

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