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)


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