WordPress versus Blogger

Today’s “tutorial” is really more of a discussion about WordPress versus Blogger.

(I just want to give you a quick disclaimer that I am not an expert.  I have used both pretty extensively and I would like to share my opinions and research with you).

Let me start by giving you a little bit of my background.  When I first started blogging I created my blog in both platforms – WordPress (the free one) and Blogger (also free).  After a couple of days poking around in both, I decided to go with Blogger and stayed there for over a year.  During that year I noticed a few bugs that continued to drive me to do more and more research on WordPress and after Blogger was down for almost 24 hours one of those days, I finally made the decision to call it quits and move to WordPress.  Since I wanted more control that the free WordPress allowed and I was picked up by BlogHer ads, I decided to move to a self-hosted WordPress model.  Let me give you the breakdown of the 3 platforms as I see them:

Blogger

  • Free
  • Allows you to have your own domain (direct link, i.e. http://livinglikethekings.com)
  • Pretty easy to get started and easy to personalize
  • Allows you to manipulate to your heart’s content
  • Allows connections like Live Writer to further manipulate posts
  • At times, buggy (in my 1.5 years I noticed multiple times when I couldn’t comment or parts of my blog would stop functioning)
  • I found their built-in plug-ins pretty scarse – if you wanted more, you would have to grab the code from the plug in site

WordPress (the free one)

  • Free
  • Simple to use and set up, as well as load plug ins
  • Allows you to have your own domain (direct link, i.e. http://livinglikethekings.com) (updated thanks to Gina)
  • Limited personalization options, unless you are willing to buy a template
  • Somewhat limited in what you can do unless you chose the self-host option

WordPress (the self-hosted option)

  • It costs a hosting fee
  • Allows you to have your own domain (direct link, i.e. http://livinglikethekings.com)
  • Possibilities are pretty endless and the plug-in variety is amazing
  • The SLA (Service level agreement…aka your guarantee that your site will be up and running) is dependent on your host (i.e. mine, Go Daddy, guarantees a 99.9% up time)
  • A variety of free templates and the option to purchase an upgraded template (i.e. I use Thesis…it costs $$) (update: I’ve switched from Thesis to Genesis for my blog’s theme)
(One of the biggest cons to me for Blogger versus WordPress used to be the commenting feature, but since then Blogger rolled out a new comment-reply feature that seems to work well.)

I know that a few bloggers mentioned that migrating from Blogger to WordPress can be painful, but I actually found the experience to be rather simple – but that’s for another time.

At the end of the day there is no simple answer about a “better” platform; in my opinion it’s really about what you want from your platform:

If you’re interested in being able to have your own domain and you want flexibility, but don’t need the up-time guarantee or the snazzy plug-ins, I think Blogger is a great platform for you.

If you want something a little bit different or a you want just a little more from your platform and you’re willing to pay for it, I think WordPress is an amazing platform with a lot of support and a large variety of plug-ins.

Which platform do you prefer?  

I’d love to update this post with some of your feedback or add links if you’ve posted similar information.

(please note: the links above are affiliate links. however, I promise I won’t recommend anything I have not used and loved myself or currently use)


Comments

  1. I’m so glad you posted this today! I have been thinking about switching my blog from Blogger to WordPress for a long time and after this post, I’m pretty sure I’m just going to stay put. I like being able to manipulate and customize until my heart is content. I wish I knew how to do more of the technical things but because I designed my blog completely on my own, it’s forced me to learn as I go. I’m still curious as to what it would be like to use WordPress, but I think I will hang tight for now :)

  2. You know I love these! One thing though, you can have your own domain on wordpress.com (the free one). I did, you just have to buy it! I don’t think many people realize that and it’s unfortunate b/c losing the .wordpress.com or the .blogspot.com is probably one of the best things you can do to get your “name” out there in the blog world. The simpler it is for people to remember your url, the better!

    • Yeah, I also pay for the domain just through wordpress, however, I want to switch into a different hosted site to run better ads (I got accepted to wordads through wordpress, but they are super ugly)

      How is the process of switching to a self hosted site?

      And I agree, I love WP wayyyy more than my old blogger platform.

      • Megan- I hired someone to do the transfer and set up my new site (I also bought Thesis like Kat has) on my self hosted platform so it wasn’t too bad b/c I didn’t do any of it! I have pretty much like zero technical ability and the whole move scared me so it was worth it to pay someone for me. The customization once you’re set up is night and day and it’s pretty easy to tweak too once you’re up and running, I was just worried about the whole transfer of posts, feeds, etc. b/c that’s what I didn’t know how to do and if I lost stuff, I’d have been pissed.

  3. Thanks for this! I just started blogging last year and I am still getting into the consistent blogging. I looked into both Blogger and WP extensively, and for what I needed at the moment, I just went with Blogger. Its really easy to use and for the free version was just what I needed. At some point, I may be willing to pay for my domain for more features, and will look into WP again, but thank you for your opinions. Its easy to research and compare on my own, but its always super helpful when someone who has had experience with both gives me information! Love it! :)

  4. I definitely prefer WordPress…I started out on Blogger but WordPress is much preferable IMO. Switching and moving posts over was fairly easy, too.

    I self host. I use HostGator right now and have been pretty happy with them.

  5. Thanks for this post! I’ve always wondered about the pros/cons of WordPress as a Blogger user.

  6. I moved to WordPress officially last fall, and the push for me was attending BlogHer in San Diego and having so many fellow bloggers convince me to make the switch. I ended up treating myself to a new blog design AND the transfer via Designer Blogs. There were some hiccups for sure, and sometimes I still find issue with very old content, but overall I am pleased. I would love to learn more about the plug-in’s you like, tips for troubleshooting design issues, etc. I feel pretty trapped into hiring that out again since I am not too confident on my WordPress technical capabilities overall.

    • thanks for the feedback Alexis! I plan to keep these going, at least until I run out of ideas to share. ps- if you ever want help with something in particular, shoot me an email.

  7. I’ve been with blogger for awhile with a couple diff blogs. I ended up switching last yr to wordpress (to try it out) I hated it, I lasted a couple weeks, getting frustrated and not finding my way around and finally decided I was better off with blogger. I was able to do much more and to me it was more user friendly. I heard everyone rant and rave about wordpress but, I found I prefer blogger over wordpress.

  8. I’m loving all your blogging tips lately!!

    And I didn’t even realize that blogger now has the comment-reply feature, until you mentioned it. It was one of my biggest pet peeves about blogger. Thanks!

  9. When I inijtially commnted I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I get four e-mails with the same comment. Is
    there any way you can remoe me from that service? Thanks!

    • Bryon-
      I will look if I can, but you should also have a link at the bottom of each email letting you know how to remove the subscription to notifications. I’ll look if I can override it as well.
      kat

Newer Post:

Trackbacks

  1. [...] WordPress versus Blogger [...]

  2. [...] Now…….on starting your own blog with a self-hosted WordPress site.  To read a little more about Blogger versus WordPress.com versus self-hosted WordPress, click here. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*