For the blogging enthusiast who wants to start a free blog, Blogger (or WordPress.com) and WordPress are the two major platforms you’ll be advised to use. They own the lion’s share as far as both free and self hosted blogs go. WordPress has the larger market share. This alone would make it the preferred choice for newbie bloggers.
However, more experienced bloggers would advise comparing between the two based on your needs. If you’re grappling with the question Blogger vs WordPress: Which one should I use? This detailed comparison will help you make an informed decision.
Blogger comes completely free to use. It’s provided through Blogspot. It’s often compared to “renting” rather than owning. All the resources are owned and controlled by Google. This means that hosting, backups and even themes are provided for by Google.
All that you need is set up your blog, which will be discussed further and start adding content. The major drawback with “renting” is that you have limited control over your blog. However, since you’re not paying for some of the essential blogging resources, it can be a good choice.
The free WordPress blog is also a form of “renting”. It’s provided by WordPress.com. The features that come with this free WordPress are quite limited compared to the self hosted option. Though, customizing your website is much easier.
To set up a blog on both platforms, you’ll need to provide your email address. Setting up a blog on Blogger is a straightforward process. You’ll need a Gmail account to set up. The process is quite simple and it can take just a few minutes to set up your blog and publish your first post. Blogger provides an online site editing tool which allows you to customize your blog’s look further making the process easier.
To set up a free WordPress blog, the process is more or less the same. The great thing is that you aren’t restricted to being a Gmail account holder. It becomes a little complicated once you have completed the set up process.
The process of customizing your blog will largely rely on your knowledge of WordPress themes and how to apply them. In addition, you’ll need to understand the process of creating posts and publishing them as well as how to handle other tasks like using plugins, uploading media and any customization you might need to do to make your site more unique.
The power behind WordPress lies in the abundant alternatives you have as far as customization is concerned. There are thousands of themes and plugins at your disposal to make this possible. However, you might need to do some research on the different themes and plugins to find the one that’s right for your site.
Customization is a bit limited with Blogger. Google provides the site editing tool that can come in handy with enhancing your blog’s look. You can also find Blogger themes which can be applied on your blog.
If you have some design skills such as HTML, CSS and PHP, you can easily tweak the code of your blog to enhance its look and functionality.
Most bloggers want to make money through their blog. The free versions of both blogging platforms are a bit restrictive over the methods you can use to make money. The main way to do this includes placing ads on your blog. To get more control over the ways you can make money from your blog using these platforms, you’ll have to shift to self hosting.
With Blogger self hosting doesn’t completely involve everything that the term refers to normal usage. It simply involves hosting your own domain name on the Blogger platform. The only cost you’ll incur therefore is purchasing a domain name.
Self hosting on WordPress on the other hand, literally means purchasing hosting, a domain name and other tools necessary for the running of your blog. Self hosting gives you more control over your blog’s content and monetization. However, it’s still limited in Blogger.
Moving From Free to Paid Versions
Blogger offers the cheaper and simpler migration method. All you need is to purchase your domain name and point it to your free Blogger account. WordPress is a bit complicated and expensive. Apart from buying a domain name, you’ll have to incur other expenses such as a yearly redirecting fee where WordPress will direct visitors to your free site for your self hosted site. You’ll also have to pay a one off fee to be able to point your new domain name to your free WordPress site.
When migrating to self hosting on WordPress, you might also need to purchase a theme and plugins to make your blog more functional.
SEO and Search Engines
As a blogger, SEO is one of the technologies you’ll need to get familiar with if you want organic traffic to your site. Since Blogger is owned by Google, their platform is technically designed to conform to the latest SEO trends.
It’s therefore easier to get your blog up and running and rank better faster on Blogger. Setting up a blog on Blogger also automatically places Google tools such as Analytics and Adsense at your disposal. You also gain Google Plus and Picasa integration.
WordPress has had major improvements with regard to SEO over the past few years. The platform is being regularly updated in order to become search engine friendly. In addition, you might need to purchase plugins to make your blog search engine friendly.
Integration with Google tools and services will also require that you have a Gmail account in case you didn’t use it when setting up your WordPress blog.
Security and Speed
Blogs hosted by Blogger are considered more secure and faster since they are hosted on the search engine giant’s servers. You don’t have to purchase additional services to benefit from adding security and speed.
Self hosted WordPress blogs are usually targeted by hackers. This can be attributed to the platform’s popularity and its open source nature. You might have to purchase security feature add-ons from your hosting provider as well as choose a suitable hosting plan to ensure optimum page load times.
WordPress is an open source project. Its development is attributed to thousands of developers working daily to make it better and the preferred blogging platform. You can expect it to have profound improvements on issues, such as security and a better user experience for beginner bloggers.
Even for the experienced WordPress user, constant updating will be necessary in order to enjoy the different benefits that will come through future development.
As for Blogger, it has experienced a few changes since it was taken over by Google. However, besides the limitations on ownership and how customizable a blog is, the features provided are great for any blogger.
Let me know if you have any questions regarding Blogger vs. WordPress and which one you should choose for your blog. Feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook, twitter and other social network websites.