Starting a blog can be a time consuming and daunting task.
Not only do you need to worry about promoting your blogs by learning SEO techniques and reaching out to new readers, you need to discover the ins and outs of the blogging platform you’ve chosen. But first, they need to choose a blogging platform.
Two of the major platforms for heavy text-based blogs are Blogger and WordPress, both offer a plethora of designs and features, which can be kind of confusing for newbie bloggers. Though they both offer eye-catching features, the best blogging platform for the novice blogger might not be the best for the advanced blogger. Another deciding factor you should keep in mind is the purpose of the blog. If you want to reach out to a large fan base and keep track of your visitors and statistics, you might not use the same interface as the blogger who simply wants to keep in touch with friends and family and set up an online presence as a way to create a virtual scrapbook or online journal.
Despite all of the similarities they have, WordPress and Blogger have many notable differences. These differences could affect the way you run your site. So which one is right for you?
In this guide, we’ll be taking an in-depth look into what WordPress and Blogger have to offer. When you’re trying to figure out which platform to go with, you need to analyze what each one has to offer and see how they compare to your needs. We aim to see how these two platforms stack up so that can get all the information you need to make a decision for your future blog.
Blogger was started all the way back in 1999 by Pyra Labs. While it was quite popular back in those days, it wasn’t until the platform was purchased by Google in 2003 that things really started to take off. In 2006, all blogs were moved to Google servers and integrated into the company’s large ecosystem, which only helped to spur even more growth. Google also integrated many of its core monetization features into Blogger. These include Google AdSense, Analytics, and more.
According to recent stats, the Blogger software is used by about 1.4 percent of websites with known content management systems. This equates to roughly 1 percent of all published sites on the web. Blogger is often the go-to for personal blogs because of its accessibility. As always, it’s free to use. You can even get your blog hosted for free with a blogspot.com subdomain.
WordPress is, by far, the most popular platform on the web. It’s an open-sourced platform that can be used to create everything from online stores to private websites. Currently, WordPress Sites make up about 30 percent of all active sites on the Internet! That’s pretty impressive considering that it was founded in the early 2000s.
There is some confusion about what WordPress offers. While they are often used interchangeably, the services you get from WordPress.com are completely different from those on WordPress.org. WordPress, on its own, is a content management system. This is what you’ll find on WordPress.org. You must host your blog with a separate company. However, WordPress.com offers hosted blogs with the WordPress subdomain.
In this guide, we’ll be covering the self-hosted option from WordPress.org. It offers more flexibility and is the most popular of the two.
Blogger vs WordPress
Now that you know a bit more about these blogging platforms, let’s dive in and see how they compare. There are several factors to consider when you’re choosing a platform to work with. We’ve outlined the most important and compare how these two platforms stack up.
Usability can make or break a blogging platform. Most bloggers don’t have a ton of coding knowledge, which can make more complex systems a huge hassle to deal with. Even the smallest detail can affect the user experience. You want to focus on building your brand and growing your audience, so it’s always better to go with a platform that’s easy to use regardless of your experience in the blogging world. Luckily, both platforms do very well to appeal to a broad audience of varying skill levels
Blogger has an incredibly streamlined user interface. It’s sleek, modern, and easy to figure out. Once you sign in with your Google account, it won’t take long for you to start building your site. Some basic HTML knowledge will improve the overall experience, but Blogger does have some create graphical features to make things easier.
WordPress is also easy to pick up. However, it does take a bit of extra know-how to take advantage of all that the platform has to offer. You can install a wide range of plugins and custom scripts to your WordPress website. There’s a small learning curve involved. But, WordPress makes it easy to understand. As long as you know how to use a computer, the point-and-click interface will guide you through the rest.
Control of Content
Now, let’s go over how much control you have over the content you make. With both platforms, you can publish pretty much anything you want. However, there are some differences in the ownership of said content. Even if you create your own site from the ground up, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s yours to do what you please. This can have a large impact on the site’s operations and monetization.
If you create your own blog on this platform, it’s owned by Google. Remember, the service is being offered for free by the largest tech company in the world. The free sites are stored on Google servers. They own all of the content and are free to do what they want with it. Generally, most bloggers don’t encounter any issues with the service. However, legally speaking, Google has every right to delete your site or implement restrictions on what you can do. This can be a huge turnoff for some.
WordPress is the clear winner in this category because you own everything that you publish. WordPress is a piece of open-source software that’s. Your site must be published with a third-party hosting provider. No matter who you go with, that content is yours and yours only. You can monetize your site how you want and shut it down whenever you want to move onto something else. Aside from the terms of service from your hosting company, there aren’t any restrictions to worry about either
Creating a Website
For first time bloggers, the process of creating a website from scratch can be quite daunting. Complex coding can make it difficult to turn your ideas into reality. WordPress and Blogger were designed to make website building a breeze.
Starting your site with Blogger only takes a few clicks. You can sign into the platform with your existing Google credentials. From there, all you have to do is open up the website builder and get started. The builder has several themes you can choose from. There’s also a handy drag-and-drop system for full customization. Adding content to your blog is also very easy. You don’t have to implement raw HTML. Simply click on style icons like you would if you were composing an email. The HTML will translate automatically so that you can see how your site will look without any complicated coding.
Creating a new WordPress blog is very easy as well. Like Blogger, drag-and-drop builders and simple themes are available. The great thing about WordPress is that you’re not limited to just one kind of website builder. Because it’s an open-source platform and CMS, you’re free to use any third-party builder that you want. This can open up a world of possibilities when it comes to creating your new blog.
Stock Themes and Design Options
As with anything related to digital content, the overall aesthetics of your site play a big role in success. Having a well-designed website can attract new visitors. Plus, it improves the user experience for your readers, which could lead to more frequent visits and increased browsing time.
Chances are, you’re already familiar with the available Blogger themes. The platform doesn’t have a ton of options to choose from. The themes that are available tend to be quite basic and have been used by thousands of other sites. You can customize the themes a bit with HTML and CSS. You can also modify the placement of certain elements through the website builder.
All in all, Blogger doesn’t provide you with the most freedom when it comes to appearance. The available themes just aren’t up to today’s modern standards.
On the other hand, WordPress provides you with loads of customization options. There are over 7,000 free templates available on the website. Best of all, these themes are split up into several categories. You can perform a simple search based on what your site is about. Whether you’re running a simple blog or are in the early stages of implementing an ecommerce aspect into your site, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a suitable theme. All of the WordPress themes are beautiful and utilize modern design principles to make your blog look fresh.
If you can’t find the right look from the choice of free themes, there are also premium themes available. These do come with an added cost, but they offer something unique. On top of that, you can work with third-party developers to get a theme that stands out. Or, you can create your own theme with the website builder. Ultimately, WordPress provides you with complete control over how your site looks and feels. For that reason, WordPress is best for those who prioritize aesthetics over everything else.
Appearance isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Modern sites are much more than just places to display digital content. They must be interactive and engaging. There are several ways to make your site truly unique. However, your options will depend entirely on the blogging platform you choose.
You’re not going to find as many customization options on Blogger as you would on WordPress. Blogger is all about providing people with a simple way to publish copy-heavy content. As such, the platform is quite limited in what you can do.
There are some tools and useful gadgets that you can add to your site. You can implement ads, contact forms, forums, and more with just a click. Because these features are purpose-built to work within the Blogger platform, you don’t have to worry about compatibility problems or performance issues.
Unfortunately, the drawback of these features is that they’re limited. They just aren’t as feature-rich as some alternatives that you can get with WordPress. The worst part is that there are no alternatives that you can choose from. You’re limited to what Blogger makes available.
One of the biggest reasons why WordPress is so popular is because it’s incredibly flexible. Despite being used by about 30 percent of sites on the web, it’s hard to tell that sites use the platform. That’s because the open-sourced nature of WordPress allows you to implement all kinds of features that cater to your audience’s needs.
Third-party creators make new features available all the time. You can implement ecommerce systems, fun widgets, custom scripts, and a host of other extras.
WordPress sites can be used with over free 55,000 plugins. All of those plugins are available directly from WordPress.org. Of course, you can also invest in premium plugins as well from third-party developers.
Proper security features are a must-have in today’s digital landscape. Hacking, identity theft, and malware attacks have run rampant in recent years. As a result, there’s a lot of potential security threats that you need to keep your site protected from.
A suite of features will keep all of your hard work safe from damage. Choosing a secure blogging platform can also provide your visitors with some peace of mind.
Blogger’s connection to Google has its advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to security, Google’s technology is very beneficial. The conglomerate goes to great lengths to ensure that the servers are safe and in good condition. Because your new blog will be stored on those servers, you’re able to rest easy knowing things are secure.
You don’t have to worry about creating backups, managing resources, or investing in additional security systems. All of those come included. This is especially beneficial for new bloggers. The ease of use of Blogger’s security features makes the platform much more approachable to those who are creating their first blog.
Things are a bit different over at WordPress. Generally speaking, WordPress is pretty secure on its own. However, the platform doesn’t have its own security systems built-in security features as Blogger does. That’s because its a self-hosted option. You’re responsible for implementing your own security protocols.
On one hand, this offers much greater flexibility. Most web hosting providers offer heavy-duty security features. Dedicated WordPress hosting plans, in particular, are known to be some of the safest hosting options you can go with. They usually come with free SSL certificates, built-in firewalls, and so much more.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can also install security plugins into your site for even more peace of mind. There are several applications to create automatic backups or offer an extra layer of firewall protection. At the end of the day, WordPress provides you with greater levels of control when it comes to security. The downsides of this system? Well, you have to pay for things on your own. With more control comes greater upfront and recurring costs.
Next, let’s talk about customer support. Support for blogging platforms is a bit tricky. These are free services, so you’re not going to get the same level of help as you would with a paid alternative. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get assistance when you need it most.
Over at Blogger.com, support might as well be non-existent. There’s a small support system within the administrative panel. Basically, it’s a search bar that connects you to a database of tutorials and guides. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the free service just isn’t capable of supporting a fully-staffed support department.
The community does try to make things a bit better. Blogger has a user forum where people can ask questions and get help. Of course, the questions are all answered by other Blogger users. So, there’s no guarantee that the information you get is accurate.
Because the WordPress platform is used by millions of people around the world, it’s much easier to get help. The WordPress community is large and very dedicated. On the official website, the forum stays active and answers questions about anything you could imagine. There are pages for just about every WordPress plugin or theme. While it’s not the same as having a dedicated support team, you can get a lot of great information from those active forums.
If you’re using a paid WordPress service, you will have access to a support team. Usually, this is powered by the company you’re working with. For example, companies like BlueHost offer dedicated WordPress hosting. As part of that service, personalized support from experts is available. You can get the same kind of thing from third-party application developers. Some companies even offer WordPress support as a standalone service.
At some point in the future, you may want to move your site to another platform and hosting provider for increased flexibility. It’s important to consider how the site migration process would work
Moving your blogger site to another platform is possible. However, it’s not easy. The company requires you to export your data to move it elsewhere. Depending on the size of your blog, this could be a very lengthy process. Furthermore, your site will remain on the Google servers for an indeterminate amount of time after you leave.
There are no restrictions on moving your free WordPress site. Remember, you own all of your content. Thus, the platform doesn’t limit you in any way. You can change hosting services or even switch to a different content management system. The process is simple and relatively painless.
WordPress vs Blogger: SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, can help get your site noticed. This marketing technique is all about producing organic growth by modifying the content to what your audience is looking for. Search engine optimization is not limited in any way by your blogging platform. However, small details can determine whether or not your efforts are a success.
As we mentioned earlier, each Blogger blog can take advantage of built-in tools from Google. Google Analytics is one of the most powerful SEO tools available. It shows you what your audience is looking for and can help you come up with keywords to implement into your content. For this reason, many people view Blogger as a better option for SEO.
However, there is the added caveat of control. The fact that Google owns your content can make it very difficult to maintain your SEO rankings. For example, if you were to leave the Blogger platform and go elsewhere, you would your rankings, followers, and anything else that’s connected to your site. You would have to start over on your new site.
While WordPress may not have all of the built-in features as Blogger does, you can take advantage of third-party options. Many developers have applications and plug-ins that are focused on SEO. These tools work within the WordPress platform for efficiency. So, you can achieve many of the same things as you would with Google Analytics. Plus, you can take your search engine rankings with you if you decide to leave the platform.
Costs of Running a Blog
The Blogger and WordPress platforms are completely free to use. There’s no cost to you to start developing your blog. However, there are some additional costs that you have to factor in.
Blogger is an all-in-one platform. In addition to being a piece of software where you can craft your blog, Blogger takes on the hosting duties as well. This is great for those who don’t want to spend a dime on the launch of the blog. The free version comes with a blogspot.com subdomain. If you want your own domain, you will need to purchase it separately from a registrar and connect it to your Blogger site.
While the free service may be appealing to some, it’s not great for those who are serious about making their site a success. Blogger lacks many of the tools you need to gain traffic and exposure.
WordPress is also a free blog platform. However, you will have to pay for your own hosting and your own custom domain name. Your recurring costs will depend entirely on the hosting company you go with. Some hosting providers, such as BlueHost, offer very affordable plans that happen to come with a free domain during the first year. They only cost a few bucks a month and come with a slew of great extras to make the most out of your site.
While using WordPress will cost you a bit of money, the things you get make the added costs worth it. You’re getting greater control over your site, allowing you to provide growth and monetization as you see fit.
All in all, Blogger and WordPress have a lot to offer. The user-friendly platforms are accessible to anyone and can be adapted to meet your growing needs. The best option for you will depend entirely on your end goals.
If you’re looking to share your thoughts and create fun content, Blogger may be the solution you’re after. It’s a no-frills platform that’s focused on delivering great digital content. However, it doesn’t have enough features for sustained growth. If you want to monetize your blog and continue to grow your audience, WordPress is the way to go. With the thousands of available plug-ins, the creative possibilities are endless.
A self-hosted WordPress blog will give you a lot more control over the look, feel and content you can publish on your blog, as well as giving you the autonomy to make money from blogging via various advertising and affiliate marketing platforms schemes. You will also have your own domain name which will look more professional than a blogspot.com sub-domain which you can get from blogger.
Determining Your Needs
Depending on your blogging experience and the type of blog you want to start, both Blogger and WordPress are good options for novice and experienced users.While Blogger has been around longer than WordPress, as it stands, the site has not changed much over the years since it was purchased by Google. It is popular among bloggers who want to create an online diary or journal, highlighting big moments, such as family vacations, overseas travel and weddings. The easy-to-use analytics help users understand where their traffic originates, and users can easily link their sites to their other Google accounts.
While WordPress tends to be more popular with slightly more advanced users, the CMS has also targeted novice users with their easy-to-use publication tool and step-by-step set up instructions; however, the site’s functions exceed Blogger’s when it comes to advanced options and add-ons for more experienced bloggers.
Both platforms require little investment (a bonus for new users who don’t want to invest too much time or money), though WordPress offers you the option of upgrading to more advanced plugins and sophisticated themes.
If you are interested in setting up your own WordPress blog then check out my tutorial.
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