WordPress vs Blogger – Which is right for you?
When 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.
- 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/.
- 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 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!
- 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
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.