WordPress vs Blogger – Which is right for you?

WordPress vs Blogger – Which is right for you?

wordpressvsbloggerWhen setting up a blog everyone has the same question. What platform do I use to make my blog? It’s a very hard one to answer as well as it boils down to two main camps, Blogger and WordPress, both camps will argue amazing reasons why you should use their platform over the other. But in todays post I’ll talk you through my thought process and why I decided to go with self hosted WordPress on my beauty blog.

I have been using blogs since when I started at university; at the time we were told that we should keep a course work blog. Having known nothing about blogging at that time, we had a quick 15 minute lesson and as the whole of my university used Google Apps I ended up with a Blogger account. This decision stayed with me for the time I was at the university. Since leaving I decided that I wanted to keep blogging and needed a change, hence at first why this site was made with WordPress.  Since then I have blogged daily for the past last year, and I have never looked back.  So I feel I am quite well placed to show some of the Pro’s and Con’s of each, and give my honest opinion on each service. As they both have a place, and I feel it depends on what you want out of your blog.

Blogger Pros

  • Free hosting – This is one of the major things that sets everyone off using blogger as the hosting is powered by Google. So it will have very little/no downtime, but it will never be super fast either.
  • Google Account – Most people have a Gmail account or have a Google account, if you have one of these it takes seconds to set up a blogger site. All you have to do is login to blogger.com and your done.
  • Very secure, while WordPress sites need updating once every couple of months to make sure they don’t get hacked. Google handle all this for you making sure that the one weak spot for getting hacked is your account password and even this can be improved – http://www.google.com/landing/2step/.

Blogger Cons

  • No real plugin’s for your blog, they are normally all designed to show off other Google services.
  • No frameworks outside of the standard blogger one.
  • Post editor always felt to be lacking, when compared to WordPress
  • While Google hosts your blog, you should be aware they also own it and the content on it. One questionable post and your blog can be removed.
  • Static pages are a bit harder to get working, as you need to know a little about html in order to get them linked but you can have a maximum of 20 per blog on blogger.
  • The default stats on blogger can be misleading as I always find they have a tendency to report high, I always tell new bloggers to install Google Analytics. Its industry standard and its free!

My Opinion on Blogger.

Blogger always reminded me of MySpace, in that you had access to a small document that allowed you to tweak, and change the whole look of your space, putting fancy backgrounds on your page and moving things around. But it always looked like MySpace. It never really let you change anything major.  It’s a great service to get people use to using blogging platforms, but I just didn’t like the idea that anything I post or upload to the service Google has the rights too.

WordPress Pros

  • WordPress platform is free, you just need to find a home for it!
  • Flexible – This is one of the main things that I love about WordPress, if you want to sell things as well as blog. Just download a plugin and you have a shop. The options are limitless.
  • Very customizable! If you know a little about web design you can tweak to your hearts content.
  • Easy to use without needing to know lots of coding, if you have a idea someone has probably already made a plugin that does that. So you can just install it and away you go.
  • Premium frameworks – You can use frameworks such as Genesis (the one I use on this site). I’ll be going in to this in more depth in coming weeks
  • Your content, you have the final say on what you put on your site!

WordPress Cons

  • Cost – If you get your own domain name and webhosting this can normally set you back £100 a year.
  • Hosting companies can suck – I for one know this, I used to use GoDaddy, as they was cheap. But you get what you pay for, we had downtime that lasted up to 5-6 hours as well as the site just acting slow on a semi regular basis, and nothing worse than wanting to post and the site just didn’t act right. Since moving I have had non of that. So research is required early days to work out what you want from a hosting provider.
  • Doing it all on your own rather than with someone is quite a daunting idea.
  • Easier to get hacked. While this has never happened to me or anyone I know, you can read about it if you search online.

My Opinion on WordPress.

While running a WordPress site is more expensive, if your spending £100 a year on hosting you will end up posting more, or at least for me I felt like everyday that I didn’t post it was costing me money! I feel that if you put money in to running your own blog it gives you way more motivation to post. The same way in taking up a hobby you buy all the equipment first your more likely to keep doing it. I also love having total control over my blog and my little space on the Internet. I can do anything I want with it and that’s great for me.

Common Myths about Blogger and WordPress

  • Blogger websites rank higher on Google – Just not true, Google treats all sites as the same. SEO can be optimized more easily on WordPress than on blogger if anything, but also a bad theme on WordPress can ruin any optimizations.
  • Your posts go on Google faster when using blogger. Again I have read this a lot it’s a myth with the correct submission process any topic can be on Google within minutes.  I’ll do a post on this in the future.

What we use and why

Our hosting is handled by Synthesis, as our readership has increased we was regularly getting issues with our old host Godaddy. Since switching we have had great response time from the server and much faster page loading times. The bonus of Synthesis is that it comes with unique plugins, from W3Pro to SEO tools, to make sure each post does the best it can after its published. The site also gets faster over time as more and more of the pages are cached.

Below is a image of the before and after the server move – YSlow
Synthesis

Summary

It boils down to what do you want out of your blog? If you want a place to speak your mind on a semi regular basic, and your happy with blogger. Stick with that!

If you want a place where you have full control over every aspect, from how search engines see your site, to who hosts it. Go with WordPress. I will be doing a set of guides showing ways to improve your visibility on search engines, like the Twitter Card one from earlier this week.

Let me know in the comments below what you use and why. I always love reading why people use the platforms they use.

Mary Oliver

Mary 24 CRAFTY CREATIVE CLUMSY UK beauty, fashion, lifestyle blogger and vlogger I started this blog in summer 2013 to create my own little space to write relatable content on my personal style for the everyday girl. Yorkshire based lover of tea, floral prints and skater dresses.

  • stephen holman

    handy article thank you i wasnt sure of the pros and cons between the two, I’ve started with blogger but in time might well change like you did to wordpress (once i know what i’m doing a bit more) :)

  • BeautyInAmin

    great information article! I am contemplating on one to do that will be a good match to my youtube videos… I’ll have some things to consider now.

  • Kimberly Ann

    Love this post! I use self hosted wordpress also and I love it!

    Kim
    http://trendkeeper.me

  • CittieBlog

    Right now I use blogger because it is easy to use. I am not very skill at coding but I can at least read html and make minor tweaks which can be helpful. Right now my biggest issue with blogger is that sometimes my posts don’t format properly and I have to go back and play with it to get the post to look right. I don’t mind setting the formatting up but when I set a heading and for some reason half the text on the page is suddenly purple it can be frustrating. I am considering switching to wordpress in the future but for right now I’m going to stick to Blogger until I can set aside a little money to host my blog.

    • Curlmesweet

      I am just starting out as well and I am having the same problem with the texting not looking right. I think it might have been if you changed the alignment on your blog. Just a thought :)

  • Right now I use a wordpress.org script. <3

    Stephanie // aphelium.org

  • I use blogger because I only just started and I’ve had blogspot blogs before. I can’t seem to figure out how to get the Google Analytics working though!

  • Lua
  • Curlmesweet

    Hey! Great post. I am just recently starting out with blogging so I went with Blogger. I can’t wait to read more on this stuff. Keep up the great work.

  • Ola

    I tried both and ended up being back on blogger because I like just being able to tweak here and there and just post. my only downfall is hearing and knowing nothing about SEO.

  • Great post, Mary! Really informative. I’ve been using self-hosted WordPress for years, and I love having total control over everything and being able to change anything I want. And all the plugins are so handy! I’ve read the myth that Blogger blog posts show up on Google results sooner, so it’s a relief to know that isn’t true!

    • I’ll be doing a post showing the correct way to publish posts to Google. The main issue the webmaster tools are all automated on blogger. That will be this weeks Tecky Tuesday post.

  • Leneth

    I think for now Bloggers suits me just fine, but I really like reading posts where the two are compared. Maybe for the future :)

  • I use Blogger but who knows…

    http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr

  • I use Weebly!
    Weebly is so good because it gives you soooo many theme options to use, though it does cost to get extra features and a domain name.
    Sienna xx
    http://www.forteen14.weeby.com

  • I use WordPress and I love it :) I used to use Blogger, but it never worked and the network was always down.
    The information you give in this post is really useful, thanks for sharing!
    Have an amazing day :)

    http://sheseeksvictoria.wordpress.com

  • THANK YOU for posting this great information!!! I currently use Blogger and because of the Google ownership stuff, want to switch to Word Press. I think I need to work on my html skills a bit before switching but I think I shall!

  • Heather

    WordPress! Eventually most people are going to want more control over the look/feel/functionality of their blog than Blogger gives you. Its definitely more work, but I say save yourself the headache of switching later, and just start on WordPress. — Heather @ FBG

  • crystal Ross

    Hi! I have a wordpress blog and I love all the plugins and all the things I can do on it. Great article and thanks for the insight. :)

    Crystalizeyourlife.com

  • I’m definitely happy with Blogger. After just starting our blog we did some guest blogging for a company who uses WordPress and we just found it so difficult and a bit of a nightmare! Blogger is extremely easy to use and the interface doesn’t bother me so I’m happy to stick with it, even if it seems most people are switching!

    Tara x

  • Grace

    Thanks for this helpful comparison! I use blogger now because it’s easier, but I might change to WordPress later if all goes well!

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

  • Chantal

    I use blogger as I just find it really simple to use as I suck at I.T stuff. I’m like Jen from the I.T Crowd cos I know hardly anything about computers hahaha x

  • Connie

    I’ve always loved WordPress since I was in high school (nearly ten years ago)! I tried using Blogger when I re-launched my blog, but quickly felt trapped with customization. I use WordPress’ free service, which eliminates the cost for hosting, but it also restricts me from using fully customizable themes. However, I love the overall dashboard look and feel of WordPress as it’s more user-friendly and less cluttered.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee

  • If you know HTML, blogger can be far better than WordPress.
    I find most people claim blogger isn’t as good as wordpress based on customisation alone, and this simply isn’t true – it’s due to a lack of HTML coding skills that make people feel this way. As some who can design websites, I use Blogger to run my blog because I can customise it fully. WordPress makes you pay for this privilege and I’m against that.

    • Hi Sophie,
      Have to say I adore your blog, I was compering with wordpress.org rather than .com. But fully agree you need a fair amount of coding skills to get blogger looking totally amazing.
      Nice to see you on this blog. x

      • Caroline B

        Aha! The whole post makes more sense now I now there is a wordpress.org as well as a wordpress.com. I used to use Blogger, but the fact that it is so unchanged over years and looks dated – the widgits it offers are so out of date that there isn’t an Instagram or Pinterest one, but you can add rubbish like a like weather tracker or a Google news ticker. So on seeing a lot of WordPress blogs, I swapped over to wordpress.com. Now thinking WordPress.org would be better!

  • WANICULLEN

    So true! Though I’ve tried both but got stuck to blogger (’cause I am kinda lazy) but yeah, your comparison definitely put things into perspective! Thank you!

    tableaupanorama.blogspot.com

  • I am using wordpress, I don’t know if I am self-hosted or not, I know I go through my friends server and I have my own domain name and am using the thesis theme since a friend helped me get my blog started, I am still trying to learn and I am getting the hang of adding links to my sidebars through widgets, but I am having a hard time adding anything to the content part of my blog. I am not tech savy so I am trying to figure out how to get more fonts for me to use in my body area and sidebars but the plugins I have tried wants some css codes and then I get lost. I am very frustrated right now.

  • Kiera

    I think for free, Blogger is the best. You can purchase a (.com) simpler and wouldn’t have to transfer all the posts and stuff. I’ve used WordPress for free, and there was *nothing* you could do with it, not even mess around with the html. But if you have a hundred dollars lying around, I’d use WordPress for sure. :3 But for now, I’ll stick with my Google.

  • Yeah I’m all for blogger, simply for the ease of use. WordPress seems a slightly more daunting for some reason even though its probably not. I find I can get enough flexibility I need from my blog with blogger :) x

    http://rinicawrites.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I keep thinking about moving to WordPress but it just seems so daunting and to be honest i’m happy with my little .com as it is for a mere few quid a year. Every few months I check out wordpress but I always click out. Blogger for me, for the time being that is… xx

  • I’m on team WordPress. What drew me to it was how many options to make the blog, “me.”

    Such a useful post!

    xx Alyson
    Beauty Vanity

  • Great post…so informative! Thank you

    Keisha xo
    http://www.chrysalisgals.blogspot.com

  • Amie Haffenden

    Very interesting post :) I use Blogger purely because it’s easy and WordPress sounds slightly daunting to me haha xx

    belle-amiebeauty.blogspot.co.uk

  • LYNNE PREECE

    Well people – so new to blogging – haven’t got mine started yet and think I may be on blogger but I have recently joined Bloglovin. Have been advised to look at other peoples blogs before I set mine up. I love beautycare and health issues and have lots and lots of articles to share as I love to research chemical free products. So watch this space as one day I will understand most of your conversations !!! Check out my website and facebook pages – any help on bloggin would be most gratefully received … http://www.tropicskincare.co.uk/shop/lynnepreece or http://www.facebook.com/tropicsuffolk

  • I’ve build my lifestyle blog on tumblr. A bit of a different choice, but I really liked it that it’s not dependable on Google, for a change.

    I use WordPress for building much bigger websites where blogging is only one small part of the whole system and not even essential.

    Lu.
    http://www.balgarka.co.uk

  • Great post, thank you! Since I only just started blogging, I feel it’s easier for now to just stay with blogger.
    http://beautychai.blogspot.com/

  • Nicola Simmons

    Wish I’d have read this post two months ago – I was agonising over this for ages!! If I’d seen this I’d have definitely chosen differently! x

    http://somethinglikenicola.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Danielle

    Nice summary! This is a very common question I get.

  • TheAwsomeDish

    Very informative summary! I’ve started blogging not too long ago. So, I’ll follow your advice on sticking with blogger for now. I must admit though that customization is a pain! I

  • The Grits

    This is just wonderful!! I have been wondering a lot about this – I didn’t realize that all of my content is owned by google!

    • The Grits

      P.S. I use blogger. I was originally on wordpress (the free version) and didn’t like that I couldn’t run ads – where as on Blogger you can. I have been debating on whether or not I should switch to a self-hosted WP site. I am still on the fence.

  • I had this dilemma when choosing a blogger or wordpress account. I went with blogger since I’ve used blogger since I was in highschool and I feel its a lot more simpler. Awesome post though and I look forward to your other posts about blog websites!!

    http://melissatruong.blogspot.ca

  • Lua

    I forgot to say!! WordPress have only 5gb and whith Blogger this probem doesn’t exists. And it’s moore easier to work with, for me the best but it could be better. I think the best is how easy is make the design of the blog for the begginers like me. I made a simple design but it looks great! I think. I recomend!!! (Sory for my english, hoope you inderstand!)

    http://itmoonvigo.blogspot.com.es