- Internet & the Web
Blogger VS WordPress
Introducing Blogger and Wordpress
If you're brand new to the internet or blogging you might not be familiar with Wordpress Blogger (Blogspot) debate. Chances are though, that you've at least heard the names. Blogger and Wordpress are both "web log" or blog programs. They can be used as publishing platforms for online diaries, newsletters, or "magazines". If you want to make money with the internet, you can do that too. Each has it's own strengths and weaknesses that might make it more or less suitable for your application. Let's break each one down into it's strengths and weaknesses, starting with Blogger.
- Very Simple
- Search Engine Optimized right off the bat.
- Easy to "tweak" HTML
- Easy to monetize
- Easy to change layout of page elements
- Limited expandability as opposed to Wordpress
- Not as many themes available
- Somewhat limited page layout options
- Can't be hosted on your own server
- Easily expandable via plugins
- Thousands of free theme options exist
- Various levels of administrator control for multiple authors
- The ability to host on your own server.
- You cannot monetize the free version
- Not all themes will work with all plugins
- Harder to "tweak" HTML
- More options add more complexity
Now lets take a look at what all these bullet points mean and how they affect you.
Blogger Control Panel
Blogger Strengths and Weaknesses
A Blogspot.com blog is very simple. You can see by the image above how simple and clean the Blogger layout is. There are only 4 tabs to deal with and each has 4 or so options. You've got simple text editing controls and you can click the "Edit Html" tab and tweak the look of your post via HTML. What I do not like is there is no text editor control for HTML heading tags. You'll have to click the HTML tab and add <H2> tags yourself if you want them. I suspect this is because the type of <H> tags is related to the SEO of your theme and un-judicious use could hurt the SEO.
Blogger is (mostly) Search Engine Optimized. If you're trying to make money online then this is important. Blogger is owned by Google and it does most of what a search engine likes. The urls of your post (called permalinks) are your actual post title, and not some cryptic code the neither search engines or humans understand. Its use of <H1> tags are correct. It puts sidebar content after your post content. One thing it does not do is put your post title before the blog name in your browser title bar. Search engines consider the first few words in the title most important, and if you want to optimize for your post names, it will come after the blog name.
Here's an example suppose your blog is called "Bob's Blog" and you write a post "5 Reasons Why Bob is Great" If your blog name comes first "Bob's Blog" doesn't really give any information to the search engine. "5 Reasons Why Bob is Great" is what your really want it to know. So 5 Reasons Why Bob is Great | Bob's Blog give more information to the search engine than Bob's Blog | 5 Reasons Why Bob is Great.
Blogger makes it easy to tweak HTML. If you know HTML or CSS and you like to change the look of things it's fairly easy to do in blogger. Most of the default themes are labeled well, and all the CSS/HTML is contained in the same place on blogger.com. Not so with Wordpress, and you can't edit the CSS with a Wordpress hosted blog.
Blogspot is Free. Blogger is hosted at Blogger.com Your URL will be yourblog.blogspot.com.You can use your own (paid) domain name if you wish, and you can host your own files. Blogger does not own your content they just host it so you are at their mercy if you don't follow their Terms of Service. The same is true with the free Wordpress blog.
Make money with Blogger. If you want to make money with Blogger, you can make money with Google Adsense on your blog, the ability to do so is built in. See the "Monetize" tab? It lets you control the layout of your Adsense ads. You'll need to sign up for an Adsense account. I believe your blog will need to be at least 90 days old, but you can sign up with an older blog then add yours.
Blogspot blogs make it easy to change page elements. The sidebar "widgets" can be moved to either side, top or bottem. You can lay out your page by dragging and dropping. That means you can have a right or left sidebar, even top or bottom. Not so with the Wordpress blogging software, you'll have to find a theme that has the look you want.
Blogger Control Panels
Blogger is not as expandable as Wordpress. Wordpress has plugins that allow you to have a static front page, imbed custom audio, email forms, the list goes on and on. Blogger has a similar feature, but not quite as extensive as blogger. Almost anything you'd want to do with a web page you can do with Wordpress. A lot of people have created plugins that help you make money with Wordpress, if that's your deal. That's why many people use WP as a web page, and not as a blog per se.
There aren't as many themes available for Blogger as there are for WP. It's hard to find a "magazine" layout for Blogger. I've seen it done, but there are dozens of them for WP. There seems to be more variety of WP themes in general
Blogger Layout is easier to change than WP, but you are limited in where you can place your page elements. It's more difficult to make a magazine type layout, or newspaper type layout with Blogger. You also can't have a static front page, and you can't completely remove the date stamp from posts.
Wordpress Strengths Vs Blogger
Wordpress is very expandable with third party plugins and widgets. You can have a static front page like a regular web page, imbed your own audio, spam filter your comments, add specialized tagging, the list goes on and on. There's a plugin for just about anything you'd like to do. If you're looking to make online money, then there's plugins for that too. You can add Chitika or Clickbank to a self hosted Wordpress blog, (not a free one). You can also be an eBay affiliate or whatever you want.
Wordpress has thousands of themes available, many free and high quality. You can find just about any look you'd like, from the wicked worn look, to clean and modern. There also are many premium paid themes, optimized for SEO, or advertising.
Wordpress can allow many different users with various levels of access on Wordpress. Suppose you'd like multiple authors that can post but not change the layout. Or authors that can post, but must be approved by an admin. You can do that with Wordpress. You do have multiple author access with blogger but the levels of control are not as minute.
Wordpress can be hosted on your own server. You can install the WP blogging software on any host that allows PHP and MySQL. In fact many people use WP as a content management system or CMS. They can create standard webpages using the WP software. You don't have to worry about your data violating Google's TOS. Of course you still have some of the same worries with your hosting provider, but you are more in control if you're self hosted.
Wordpress Weaknesses vs Blogger
The free version of Wordpress cannot be monetized. That means ads, affiliate sales links, whatever. It's against WP's terms of service. If you self host then you can do whatever you want, go nuts. In this case making money with Wordpress is as easy (or easier) than Blogger. Blogger has Adsense built right in, you can also add other types of make money plugins, but there's probably more of them with Wordpress. Seems like most people who want to make money on the internet use a self hosted Wordpress site.
Not all Wordpress plugins are compatible with all themes. There are plenty of good themes out there, but plenty are terrible. Some are badly coded and have ads hard coded into the theme by the creators. That means you can't remove them without hacking the code. Some plugins are the same way, they don't play well with other plugins, or some themes.
Wordpress is harder to "tweak". Wordpress uses PHP and CSS. If you know HTML you can kind of figure out what the PHP does, but it is more cryptic. It's usually not all in one place though, depending on how the programmer coded it. That means you may have to check through a few files before you find the code you want to change. That's not always such a bad thing, so if you're poking around in the sidebar file and break it, your whole theme isn't broken.
WordPress can get complex quickly. If you are using the basic blogging functions, it's only slightly more complicated than Blogger. There are more things you can change though, which means you can personalize it more. Every time you add a plugin you add a layer of complexity and you run the risk of not everything being compatible with everything else. How complex it gets is up to you though.