Home » The Saturday Series » How To Blog » Blogger Vs. WordPress (1/10)

Blogger Vs. WordPress (1/10)

Wel­come to my new “How To Blog” series! In this series, I’ll try to put my knowl­edge to good use and shed some light on the basic of blog­ging. You will learn how to set up a self-hosted blog, what are the must-have plu­g­ins, how to attract read­ers, how to mon­e­tize your blog etc. I’ll pub­lish a new “How To Blog” post every Saturday.

To start this series, I’d like to answer a much asked ques­tion: what is the dif­fer­ence between Blogger/ Blogspot and self-hosted Word­Press?

Remem­ber, I was on Blog­ger for a year… before I moved to Word­Press. I received a lot of emails and com­ments ask­ing me which one is best and what was the dif­fer­ence between the two.

Indeed, it’s some­times hard to make a deci­sion, whether you are new to blog­ging or are look­ing for the best plat­form. So here is my com­par­i­son chart:

Blogger/ Blogspot Word­Press
Devel­oped by Google Inc. Matt Mul­len­weg (and a team of developers)
How it works It’s a blog pub­lish­ing system.You will need to sign up on Blogspot (open an account) and choose an URL. Then you can start blogging. It’s a blog pub­lish­ing sys­tem writ­ten in PHP and backed by a MySQL data­base­Ba­si­cally, you need to down­load the soft­ware script (Word­Press) and install it on a web host. You will also need to buy a domain name (an URL, the address of your blog).
Price Free Free down­load (under the GNU license) of the Word­Press script.Additional costs: a domain name and a web host.
Typ­i­cal URL www.yourawesomeblog.com
Spon­sored There’s a Blogspot nav­i­ga­tion bar on top of your blog. It can be hacked but this is against the TOS (term of service). No spon­sored link unless you choose to. If you down­load a free theme for your blog, you will most likely have to leave the designer’s link in your footer.
Knowl­edge required You don’t need much tech­ni­cal knowl­edge. Sign­ing up on Blog­ger is as easy as open­ing an email account. Drag and drop widgets.

Tweak­ing CSS is quite easy and only requires basic HTML in most cases.

You will need some tech­ni­cal knowl­edge to install Word­Press (FTP files etc.). Plu­g­ins and wid­gets are quite easy to install (just a few clicks in most cases).

Edit PHP and CSS to tweak your blog.

Help avail­able There’s a Blog­ger Help Cen­ter. Many blogs/ web­site offer help in tweak­ing and hack­ing your blog. There’s an offi­cial sup­port forum but I never found it help­ful. There’s a lot of “geeky” speak and users have a nasty habit of look­ing down at peo­ple less skilled than them,That said, many blogs offer hacks, advices and themes. Among my favorite: Word­Press Max, WPDe­signer, and Hack Word­Press.
Reli­a­bil­ity Pos­si­ble down time due to Blog­ger maintenance.

There is some­what of a grey area on who owns the blog: you or Google? Blog­gers have some­times had their blog blocked or deleted with­out reason…

You have 100% con­trol over your blog.

Prob­lems can include bro­ken themes/ plu­g­ins (espe­cially when updat­ing) and host main­te­nance issues.

Cus­tomiza­tion Choose from a lot of themes (see for exam­ple Jack­book).

Tweak your CSS and add widgets.

Word­Press is an open source project… the sky is the limit.

You can choose from thou­sands of plu­g­ins and wid­gets (Word­Press Plu­g­ins Data­base, Word­Press Plu­g­ins), themes and hacks.

Spam I rarely got spam on Blog­ger… not sure if it was just because my blog wasn’t that pop­u­lar or I was lucky. Word­Press users tend to be spammed more often. For­tu­nately, plu­g­ins like Akismet usu­ally fil­ter spam comments.
Marketing/ SEO Indexed quickly. The URL looks more pro­fes­sional. Great SEO plugins.
Future Google is a major com­pany (duh!) and not likely to give up Blog­ger any time soon. That said, dur­ing the year I used it, I found improve­ments were com­ing slowly. I ended up tweak­ing my blog by myself 90% of the time. Word­Press is updated quite fre­quently and thou­sand of peo­ple develop their own plu­g­ins and wid­gets, usu­ally avail­able for free. There is always some­thing new… and I love it.

Please note that I’m com­par­ing Blog­ger with self-hosted Word­Press, not WordPress.com, which is a free plat­form sim­i­lar to Blog­ger. I’m also aware they are many great blog­ging plat­form… I just choose the two that seem to be the most pop­u­lar, and that I hap­pen to know.

Finally, I’m really happy I switched to self-hosted Word­Press. I think Blog­ger is great and it’s very user-friendly for begin­ners, but I found it lim­ited after a while: not enough hacks, no con­trol over my com­ment pages (which are all designed the same and don’t really fit a tweaked theme), a spon­sored domain name… I find my WP blog much more personal.

Final word: if you’re an occa­sional blog­ger, don’t bother with Word­Press which can be time con­sum­ing, espe­cially at first. If you want to take your blog­ging fur­ther or if you want to be more self-reliant, move to WordPress.

29 comments

  1. I have been try­ing to fig­ure out when to switch. In my case, I need more con­trol over tags, cat­e­gories, etc., so it is eas­ier to locate other posts from the past. But, I am wor­ried about the upgrade process itself. I don’t want to have to man­u­ally link every photo on my blog! As you have seen, I use a lot of pics. :smile:

    Shan­tanus last blog post..Thomas Keller’s Bouchon

  2. Hello! I like your site! Reader from Russia…

    makss last blog post..out connects

  3. What sur­prises me is that there aren’t more WordPress.com hosted sites around. I’ve not yet tried their ser­vice, but am con­sid­er­ing it, as I’m work­ing on con­tent and lay­out for a num­ber of niche blogs, and one can still build a very prof­itable site using free hosting. :idea:

    Layne | Reward Rebels last blog post..The Art Of Inter­net Mar­ket­ing Promotion

  4. Hey Zhu,

    Con­grats on the first arti­cle of this series :grin: !
    This was a great idea; and it gave me a lot of infor­ma­tion (can’t wait to read more)!

    Now, I have a fel­low blog­ger who saw her word­press site can­celled with­out any fur­ther notice (I found it so odd), but that is a nui­sance that occurs in any inter­net com­pany (per­haps except with MS, who reply imme­di­ately) *nodding*!

    I salute your for such a great endeav­our, dar­ling :razz: !

    Cheers

    Max Coutin­hos last blog post..Let­ter to China

  5. Long time viewer / first time poster. Really enjoy read­ing the blog, keep up the excel­lent work. Will def­i­nitely start post­ing more oftenin the future.

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