Blogger Vs. WordPress (1/10)

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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
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, 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.


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Hi Zhu 🙂

    That is a very nicely put piece of work, I think you’d been proud of it. And I pretty much totally agree with your conclusion. I like Blogger because it’s so convenient and don’t really have much time for any self-hosted blog. But then again, my blog layout sucks much compared to your ever pretty and improving one hehe 🙂

    Keep up your posts!

    Fengs last blog post..The Fruits of My Labour

  2. Nice post Zhu! I was curious myself of the differences, but never bothered looking. After I saw your URL change to just what you wanted I guessed I had to pay for the domain and that made me decide to stay with blogger 😉

    I’m looking forward to the next parts 😀

    Aiglees last blog post..Things to do

  3. Nice post. I never really knew the distinctions between Blogger and WordPress. I heard that people who use WordPress love it, although there are some problems that they usually encounter, like the spamming thing. Anyway, I am still hosted on Blogger, even though I have my own domain name. I’ve been comfortable with it for the time being, no problems so far, so I need a more lucrative motive to shift to WordPress from Blogger should I make the move.

    Linguist-in-Waitings last blog post..Doublebass Concerti and some Pictures

  4. silverneurotic on

    I get annoyed with WordPress because there’s so many limits of what you can do compared to Blogspot (at least the WordPress hosted version) but I like actually being able to blog when I want to blog, not when Google wants me to blog. 😉

    silverneurotics last blog post..Don’t Panic

  5. I choose WordPress because I wanted to own my intellectual property. I don’t trust Google or NewsCorp or Microsoft or any other company to honor that. Their business model is to monetize their investment. That means, they have control of everything, from content to advertising.

    Seraphines last blog post..A Fashion Show from Hell

  6. my skateboarding blogspot gets massive amounts of traffic, even though it’s a blogger blog.

    while my “blogx” blog gets steady regulars reading it, with no major influx of new hits.

  7. Thanks for all that info! I wondered what the difference is and now I know blogger is right for me,lol…Word Press seems over my head 😯 😆

    Tanyas last blog post..Ack, what a dork I am!

  8. Hi Zhu,

    There are sites that offer free step by step instructions on WordPress. Our friend Reward Rebel has recommended JT Pratts. Another one goes by the name of Technojavi, who gives these out for free. However, you’re right about the geekyspeak nature of their explanations which does not reach out to non-techie bloggers.

    From what I’ve read, those who want to monetize their blogs should get their own domain name, so that no intrusions can be made by the Gods of the blogosphere. Your comparisons are clear and incisive, a wonderful post.

    I’m no techie and I hop all over Asia now and then – meaning I don’t have time to learn new tricks. Blogspot allows me that leeway in terms of time limitations inherent in what I do.I know it’s a little dangerous since the blog is “owned” by Google.

    I will, just the same, read and follow your series and store it somewhere for future use, as I have done with others. I am certain your series will be in layman’s terms and totally understandable; and thanks a lot for that! 🙂 Durano, done!

    durano lawayans last blog post..Initiatives to Inhabit Ivy-League Institutions

  9. Just a couple of points: The original developer for Blogger was a company named Pyra, which was purchased by Google some years ago. Also, blogs can either be the good old HTML templates, or XML layouts; these can be daunting to edit at the code level because much of it is proprietary, but the wysiwyg interface is simple to use, and the widget library is expanding all the time.

    Also, Google has stated empatically that, while they own and control the hosting, the content belongs to the blogger.

    Excellent article. 🙂

    Ghostys last blog post..Steve Jobs, You Owe Me Big Time

  10. The tech side of WordPress is awful.
    I can read and reread the directions
    and still find them confusing. What
    I consider step-by-step instructions
    is considerably different than others.
    It’s like reading a surgeon’s manual
    on replacing a heart valve. A certain
    amount of tech ability is assumed.

    Seraphines last blog post..Hell Week, Part 1: Wrinkles

  11. Good comparison. I’m pretty happy with Blogger,especially because it’s free. It’s given me pretty good service so far, and I’ve hardly had any spam either. I would like to see some of the widgets that are available for WordPress be adapted to Blogger.

    Theresas last blog post..There is Always a Way Out

  12. @Spyder – Thanks! I hope I’ll be able to cover both Blogger and WordPress in this series.

    @kyh – To be honest, I don’t know that much about it. I know that you can have your domain name and blogger, which seems to be a good option as well.

    @Appz-N-Warez – You’re welcome!

    @Feng – Thank you! Blogger is very convenient and it’s okay to not over-tweak your blog 😉 Doesn’t make it less interesting!

    @Aiglee – Yeah, it’s easier with Blogger. Still, I’m happy with WP!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – I totally understand. It’s good you have your own domain name though, in case you want to switch one day it will make it easier.

    @Wakish – Thank you!

    @SEO – Thanks! Your blog is pretty informative as well.

    @silverneurotic – Yeah, isn’t my favorite. It’s actually more limited than Blogger… Blogger is the best free option that I know.

    @Seraphine – That’s one of the reason that helped me decide what I wanted to do with my blog. I love WP and I like its philosophy… not that much Google’s.

    @sir jorge – Huh, funny. Not sure it’s because of the WP/ Blogger thing, it might just be your subject…

    @fahad – Thank you!

    @johnada – You can always move later, you know, when the baby will be crying all night and you will have to stay up late… 😉

    @shionge – That’s a very good reason! And you can still do nice stuffs with Blogger.

    @Tanya – WordPress isn’t that bad but it is time consuming at first.

    @durano lawayan – I only moved to WordPress because last year I knew I would have enough time to study it. It was like a challenge… that said, I don’t tweak much when I travel, I keep that for these long Canadian winter evenings!

    @Ghosty – Good points! Although I don’t trust Google too much. Maybe I’m paranoid… but I saw some really great blog being flagged at spam and the account canceled. Made me think a lot…

    @Seraphine – Totally agree! I’m not too bad with computer, but WP geek speak is too much for me. I learned little by little but not so much with the official WP guide.

    @Theresa – Yes, WP widgets and plugins are awesome. Some have been adapted to Blogger I think but I like the original best!

  13. 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. 🙂

    Shantanus last blog post..Thomas Keller’s Bouchon

  14. What surprises me is that there aren’t more 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. 💡

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

  15. Hey Zhu,

    Congrats on the first article of this series 😀 !
    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 😛 !


    Max Coutinhos last blog post..Letter to China

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