Blogger vs WordPress: Picking the Right Platform for your Blog

One of the most common questions I get asked as a blog designer are the key differences between Blogger vs WordPress, and if I prefer one over the other. Most people are really curious about whether moving from Blogger to WordPress is worth the trouble and the investment that comes with WordPress.org.

Putting my personal bias aside, I’ve put together a pro/con list for each platform so you can make an informed decision for your blog.

For the record, I will be talking about WordPress.org not WordPress.com. The biggest difference between the two is that the .com version is FREE, and you don’t have to pay a different hosting company such as Host Gator or Blue Host, or even Go Daddy (who are the worst!). WordPress.com limits what you can do on the site, you’re not able to customize the look and feel after a certain degree, and you’re not able to host ads.

Blogger vs WordPress- Which is better?

WordPress.org pretty much lets you own your site, and the content on it allowing you to do whatever your heart desires including creating custom designs. The idea of buying a hosting package and migrating to a self-serve option can seem really scary, but there is help out there. You can search for it online, or hire a professional to do it for you.

Now that we have that under control, let’s get right into the nitty gritty.

Blogger vs WordPress – Which is Better?

WORDPRESS

PROS

  • You own everything on your blog, and have complete control over how it works and what it looks like.
  • Easy access to professional designers who can create the look and feel that you want.
  • Works the same as WordPress.com in the back-end so the learning curve isn’t too bad.
  • One word – plugins! These little do-dads let you add all sorts of additional functionality to your site.

CONS:

  • It can be a little intimidating as there can be a ton of flexibility in the back-end. Too much of a good thing can be scary if you’re not used to it.
  • It costs money. You have to purchase a hosting package (a place for your files), and your domain name from a third party. We love Host Gator and Namecheap. Hosting can range anywhere from $5-25/month (depending on much traffic your site gets) and your domain will cost you $10-13/year.
  • Hiring a designer is a huge investment.

WordPress.org is an investment, but it does give you flexibility over your content, and overall aesthetic. It also makes you look more serious.

Tools for Hosting and Domains:

Note: Free themes aren’t always the best options out there as they are riddled with malware that can compromise your site. I suggest purchasing a theme from a reputable source, and make sure you update whenever you get the notification in your dashboard. Also, investing a backup system like Backup Buddy or WP Engine is great for your peace of mind as they backup your files incase you lose them. This should one of the factors when deciding between Blogger versus WordPress.

 

BLOGGER

PROS:

  • Free. Yep, FREE.
  • Owned by Google, so you’re automatically assigned one if you have a gmail account.
  • The back-end is pretty simple to use. Because of the limited functionality, it’s easy to get a hang of all the features really quickly.
  • You can hire a designer to change the overall look of the blog at every competitive prices. There are also a ton of Blogger templates that you can purchase and install yourself.

CONS:

  • Fewer bells and whistles to do really creative things with. It’s hard to get the design that you really want even after paying designers.
  • Blogger’s photo uploading feature leaves a lot to be desired. One of the biggest drawbacks is that it may automatically resize all the images into smaller dimensions causing you to resize every image after uploading. This is a pain if you have an image-heavy site.
  • You only have 1 GB of storage per blog – that includes all of your files- text, and images, along with anything in your Picasa web albums (although I’m not sure anyone uses Picasa anymore).
  • The back-end stats aren’t always accurate, so you’ll have to install Google Analytics to get the proper numbers.
  • You can’t install plugins like Yoast SEO that can help you with optimizing your posts.
  • Depending on your settings, it can stop people who don’t have Blogger from commenting on your site.

As you can see, the information between Blogger versus WordPress isn’t so easy to break down. It really depends on your needs.

Now that I have that out without being biased, I can tell that you I LOVE WordPress.org, and I’ve used almost every platform out there including Square Space. All of my sites, including my business site, run on WordPress.org because it gives me the flexibility that I want without having to pay an arm and a leg for it. That said, not everyone starts a blog to make it a part time job, some people do it for a hobby, or as a place to just write their thoughts- and if this is the case, then I would suggest saving you money and sticking with Blogger, and transitioning when you’re ready to make a bigger commitment.

If you find yourself at the stage where you’re ready to make the switch make sure you get some help from a pro who knows what they’re doing. It’s easy to lose rankings, and traffic if you’ve never done it before.

Here are some tools to help you with the migration from Blogger to WordPress.org  if you plan on doing it yourself if you’ve picked a side on the Blogger versus WordPress debate:

Migrating with minimal loss to traffic
Blogger to WordPress 301 Re-director
Blogger to WordPress permalink re-direction

Now that you have a basic understand of Blogger vs WordPress-  what are you going to choose?

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Categories: Wordpress
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comments (5)

Julie
July 7, 2014 Reply

Agree that a self-hosted Wordpress can be extremely intimidating for someone who doesn't know a lot of code, but in the end I feel it is a better choice/investment if you're serious about blogging.
The upside to Blogger though, is that the commenting system is through Google, so it helps increase your page/post exposure through G+ and search!

    Marissa Anwar
    July 8, 2014 Reply

    I find that it can be limiting for those who don't have Gmail email addresses, or don't want to use them for their blog.

MArgaret
July 8, 2014 Reply

Great post Marissa - I started out with Blogger and migrated to a Wordpress.org. I will never look back. Although my transition wasn't the easiest, with so many posts and files, it ended up being worthwhile in the end. I'm still figuring out the ins and outs of Wordpress, but the control and creativity is much greater with it.

Linking Blogger with Google+ is a nice to have, but not a must have to succeed in blogging (although Google would like to make it so).

    Marissa Anwar
    July 8, 2014 Reply

    So true!

    Once you get over the learning curve, it's actually refreshing to see how many options Wordpress has. I mean some of the best websites in the world are built on Wordpress.

Delia @ Blog Formatting
September 4, 2014 Reply

Excellent side by side comparison, Marissa! I'll always recommend wordpress.org (self-hosted) to be considered a serious blogger and a professional :)

If however, you need to start free, wordpress.com is a better option than blogger (in my opinion). When you're ready to move to wp.org, you'll feel more comfortable as it's not that different.

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