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Where To Blog- Blogger vs Wordpress
When you first enter into the world of blogging it can be a little daunting. You probably have a subject in mind already but which software or site are you meant to use?
There are many blogging platforms available for creating a blog, but the two most popular and successful are Blogger and Wordpress.
So out of the two which is best? Well here's a comparison based on my experience of each, which will hopefully help you decide which one is best for your needs...
What is Blogger?
Blogger (also called Blogspot) is a blogging platform owned by Google. Launched in 1999, there are literally millions of Blogger blogs and users. It's one of the two most popular mainly due to the fact that it's completely free*, very user friendly and can be customised into a highly professional site.
- Free~ Blogger hosts your entire site and don't ask for a penny.
- Ready to use~ Technically once you have chosen your name you can start blogging. Other than that there are a few easy to manage settings, no installing, no fuss!
- In many ways unlimited~ You can add as many pages and posts as you wish, but watch out for the new images restriction (see cons)
- Easy to use~ despite the new layout it's still easy to find your way around, post and even design your blog. You don't need to know any coding to use it but for those more advanced you can completely customize the code.
- Themes~ There are a huge number of pre-built templates available. Some you have to pay for, many are free.
- Customisable~ It's integrated Template Designer lets you easily create a unique look for your blog whatever your talents.
- Mobile~ Provides mobile BlogSpot so your blog is easy to read on smartphones.
- Google integrated~ Blogger uses your Google account so everything is easy to find and integrates with other Google services including +1, Adsense and Feedburner
- Reputation~ It's often considered an unprofessional choice and many don't take you seriously as a blogger. I think the thinking here is 'why should I take you seriously when you're not prepared to even invest in web hosting'. I personally don't agree, but this can go against your blogging reputation. Thankfully there are several little things you can do to make your blog look self-hosted, such as removing the top bar and adding your own favicon.
- Storage limit for images~ You can store up to 1GB of images for your entire Blogger account. If you are good at keeping your file sizes small, 1GB last a long time, but anything over that needs to be paid for. You can view and delete images through the Picasa Dashboard.
- Blogspot domain name~ Free means your domain name will look like http://yourblogname.blogspot.com adding to the theory that Blogger is not for those who take blogging seriously. This can be changed though buy adding your own domain.*
*You can use a custom domain name. I bought mine for just £2.50 through GoDaddy
The Difference Between Wordpress.com And Wordpress.org
Wordpress.com is a bit like Blogger but with more restrictions. It's hosted by WP and there are certain limitations such as add-ons (called widgets and plugins on WP) and domain names.
Wordpress.org (self hosted, with the official website at wordpress.org) is a blogging platform you install onto your own paid-for web hosting. The only limitations for self-hosted are to do with your hosting plan and software knowledge. This article is comparing Blogger with a self-hosted Wordpress blog.
Considered the choice for the professional blogger, Wordpress has a reputation to be proud of...
- Professional~ As mentioned above, this is considered a very professional choice for bloggers. The fact that you can find plugins and widgets for practically any purpose means you can have a highly customized site that isn't limited to being a blog. Many use Wordpress to create business web-sites, portfolios, ecommerce sites and more.
- Multiple users~ You can have more than one author and people can register at different levels creating more of a blog community with more interaction.
- Full Control~ You have complete control over the look, usability and code.
- Plugins and widgets~ There are thousands and thousands of widgets (items added to your sidebar) and plugins~ little extras you can add for specific purposes such as spam filters, photo lightboxes and social network buttons.
- Unlimited~ You are only limited by your hosting package. Wordpress itself do not limit your images, pages, plugins or posts.
- Free software~ That is to say the software is free to download and install. Your domain name and hosting are up to you.
- Community~ There's a huge online community ready to help. So if you can't find what you need on the help pages chances are you'll find it in the forum.
- Not free~ You need your own domain name and web hosting. This normally involves paying monthly. It doesn't have to cost a lot but still costs more than free.
- Not user friendly~ If you have a web hosting package that includes an auto installer such as Softaculous installing is easier but still a bit of a pain not just to install but is quite complicated to use compared to one ready to use.
- Security issues~ When I had a Wordpress blog, no matter how much I kept my spam plugins up to date I still got spam! This became very tiresome and time consuming after a while.
- Too open~ Watch out for third party plugins, themes and widgets that include malicious code~ hurting your Google ranking, adding links to 'questionable' sites and even containing viruses.
Wordpress Vs Blogger: So Which One?
I actually love both. I started on Blogger many years ago, went over to Wordpress in search of something more professional and recently went back to Blogger. Why? Because Blogger has upped it's game and you can now create a very professional blog on there without lots of hassle and coding. As someone who likes to keep things simple... Blogger is just easier!
There will always be a need for Wordpress and if ever I want to create a site including multiple users, or something more advanced than a blog then WP will be my first choice. But as far as simple blogging goes, for me Blogger is the winner.
Which do you prefer and why? Please let us know below...