If you're just starting out a new blog, or making some major changes to your current layout, you'll most likely be faced with the decision to choose between Blogger vs WordPress. Both are stellar services that are going to make your life as a blogger much easier, but ultimately, your decision must come down to one. So don't cross over, let's walk this path together and ensure that you don't get lost in the wonder world of web, looking for answers.
Before we start!
WordPress as you might have noticed, comes in two different flavors, wordpress.org and wordpress.com. Seemingly same, but practically, not. Like in Blogger vs WordPress, hosting at wordpress.com is like renting a corporate apartment where the corporate is responsible for maintenance and facilitation of your place. While hosting at wordpress.org is similar to buying your own apartment, where you are responsible for your place's security, maintenance and many others.
So, wherever in this post you see the word 'WordPress'; know that it refers to wordpress.org.
WordPress is a clear front-runner in the blogging and web design community in terms of how many people actually use the platform. The founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, provided eye-opening statistics that around 18.9% of the entire Internet runs on WordPress. Compared to a 2012 study done by Blogging.org, of all the actual blogs on the Internet, WordPress makes up 43%, Blogger 35%, and the remaining blogs are Tumblr or other less known services.
However, just because something is used more often than another, it doesn't mean it's easier to use. The problem with WordPress is that it wasn't designed for beginners who just want to take up blogging as a side hobby. In order to set up your own WordPress blog, you have to have some previous knowledge of things like hosting, bandwidth, HTML and SEO practices. There are WordPress services out there that will help set up your site and get you online, but WordPress itself comes as a set of files that you are expected to download and configure to your own site.
Some hosting companies have made the idea of using WordPress a little bit easier with things like one-click downloads; but it's still a pretty steep learning curve for new bloggers to overcome. You also have to deal with paying for the costs of hosting your site and acquiring the domain name. If you opt to use one of the many WordPress services instead of setting it up yourself, you'll be stuck with a URL such as 'yourwebsite.wordpress.com', which takes away from the professional image you may be trying to portray.
Blogger is entirely based on Google and makes setting up a blog a breeze. With Blogger vs WordPress all you need to get started is to sign up for the service using your Google account, or make a new account like you would if you were setting up an email account. From there, Blogger takes responsibility for all your files, backing up the systems and the details associated with operating a content site like a database. Blogger is so much easier in terms of walking you through the steps, providing you with everything you need to be successful and it's at little-to-no cost to you.
Design & Customizability
Hosting at WordPress means stepping into the Disney world. With hundreds of featured rich-customizable design templates, you would find yourself literally lost in the WordPress arena, ensuring that your site looks unique, catchy and simply marvelous to visitors. The wide array of WordPress templates include customized designs for nearly every walk of life including fashion, entertainment, music, health, kitchen, etc.
Blogger templates, some would say, are not responsive; but let me tell you a secret. With a little search online, you can find hundreds of free, highly customizable, responsive Blogger templates that you can easily integrate into your blog, so that you, and your site visitors stay in touch with your blog through their handsets. For WordPress, however, you don't need to wander around. By default, it has rich and responsive native designs, making WordPress ideal for mobile bloggers.
Both platforms will allow you to make modifications to the theme and features of the site if you have experience or feel comfortable to use HTML and CSS. They also both provide helpful post areas for when you go to submit new content. These post areas will also include HTML and some basic functions to change the font style and the size of your text.
One design feature between the two that may tip the scale toward Blogger in the Blogger vs WordPress discussion is that Blogger is integrated with other Google services like Google Picasa. Picasa is a photo sharing site that will allow you to share all your personal photos, or the photos that you plan on using within your posts. These can then be accessed via the text editor when you are submitting content and can be easily included with the content.
Gadgets, Widgets & Plugins
Talking of plugins, WordPress provides you with thousands of easy to integrate plugins from security to multimedia, enabling you to add any feature or functionality in your site, in a couple easy steps. Users of this platform have submitted thousands of independent plugins that you can install for just about anything you would need, from SEO to E-commerce. There are so many interesting plugins available, that blog owners often make the mistake of cluttering their site with too many and distracting their readers from the content.
Blogger may not have as many plugins or widgets as WordPress, it does have enough to provide you with what you need. Blogger's simplicity in many ways provides it with an edge over WordPress because you are able to focus most of your time in producing great content, instead of seeing how many bells and whistles you can add on the site.
The SEO Question
Not every person that starts a blog is looking to make money off the content; some people just like to write for the sake of writing. Whatever your goals are for starting the blog, search engine optimization - or SEO for short - is a key strategy in growing your readership, so others might enjoy what you have to share.
Over 1 quadrillion searches are performed via Google each year. The goal of most SEO producers is to implement strategies that can appease Google so that their content will be ranked higher up in search query results. Blogger is a service created by Google, so it's obvious that they added their own formulas to the service to ensure that those blogs are doing what they need to do to be found.
Sticking to Blogger means Google would optimize your blog itself from a SEO perspective. All you need to do is check / uncheck a couple of options from your dashboard and Google will start crawling your site with just a click of a button. WordPress takes a hands-on approach that will require you to know a little bit more to modify your website design and content to meet these standards.
And the Blogger vs WordPress Winner Is…
In terms of Blogger vs WordPress, both services might be worth trying out, but ultimately Blogger comes out as a winner in all four categories discussed above. For new or returning bloggers, it is a fantastic service that makes it easy to focus on what you love, regardless of all the add-ons and fancy additions of WordPress. Blogger's simplicity is perhaps one of it's greatest advantages and provides bloggers of all experience levels a chance to succeed.