I know everyone has a WordPress vs. Blogger (vs. Squarespace) post and you are tired of reading them, but I swear this is different.
Please note that I am comparing Blogger to the self-hosted wordpress.org, not the free wordpress.com version.
I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for quite some time because there seems to be this idea that if you want to be taken serious, you have to be on WordPress. And I don’t agree with this. I think Blogger is a great option for a lot of people and you shouldn’t feel pressured to move.
This blog was first started on Blogger. There were two reasons for that: I started making premade themes for Blogger and I had a small budget. So I decided to make a free blog and buy a domain to make it look more professional. I only moved to WordPress last year when I started designing WordPress sites. The only reason was that I needed a website to host my demo sites, so it made sense to also move my blog.
I’m telling you this because I like both platforms. To be honest, I don’t know if I could go back to Blogger, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like it as much as I used to. Actually, I recommend Blogger if you are just starting out or don’t want to deal with everything that comes with using WordPress.
The Cons of using WordPress
There are a lot of reasons to move to WordPress, but since everyone is talking about them, I’m going to leave them for another time and talk about what most bloggers forget to mention.
There seems to be this notion that moving to WordPress will magically make your blog more popular, but it’s not really true. In fact, if you don’t know what you are doing when you are moving your blog, you might even lose some of your readers.
Cost. While wordpress.org is free, you will need to buy a hosting service and a domain through a third party site. There are many companies that offer hosting at a small price, but your site might not be as fast or safe as one hosted on a more expensive server.
Security. WordPress sites are a target for hackers and you need to take all the necessary steps to make sure your site is safe: using a good hosting service, buying a safe theme (some free themes come with malware), updating your theme and plugins, and using a backup plugin.
Learning. For a lot of people, using WordPress is very hard and it takes some time to become familiar with it. Even though there is a plugin for everything, you often find yourself in need of HTML/CSS in order to tweak your theme, or you might even need to learn about computer networks. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you will need to hire a developer.
Why you should use Blogger
If you are looking for a good blogging platform, and don’t want a website, Blogger is a good choice because it’s easy to use and customize.
Besides being able to customize the themes that come with it using the Template Designer, you can also find many beautiful themes that don’t look like the standard Blogger ones. Blogger themes are also a bit cheaper that WordPress ones, and even hiring a designer will cost you less.
While some people think that WordPress is more SEO friendly, it’s not really true. Blogger is a Google product so you don’t have to worry about that. Of course, you can tweak your theme to make it even more SEO friendly. WordPress doesn’t come with that so you need to install a SEO plugin (I’m using Yoast’s) or use a SEO friendly theme (like those built on Genesis).
When it comes to monitoring your traffic, Blogger comes equipped with a simple traffic analysis tool, but for better results, you should install Google Analytics. I know you might think that the default stat counter reports incorrectly, but the reason for the difference between it and Analytics is the algorithm. Every stat counter has a different way of monitoring your visitors.
Security might also make you want to stick to Blogger. You only need a strong password and that’s it, Google takes care of the rest. You don’t need to worry about managing your server’s resources, but you should backup your blog every now and then.
The limited number of pages and the lack of plugins can be a deal breaker, but do you really need more than 20 pages? WordPress plugins are great, there’s no doubt about it, but you can often go overboard and that will slow down your site. There are also ways of adding certain features to Blogger with a bit of coding.
The Cons of using Blogger
Of course, Blogger is not perfect. I don’t think any blogging platform is. The biggest con, that is also a pro, is that it’s owned by Google. That means they can close your blog anytime they want. There are many stories about people on Blogger having their blogs deleted for vague reasons or spam, but some of these blogs were restored. If you are on Blogger, you have to abide by their terms.
Blogger only has a limited 1GB image storage space, but you can always upload your images on image hosting websites.
While there are many popular Blogger blogs, there are a lot of people who will not consider you a serious blogger and might not follow you. This might turn out to be a problem if you are thinking of monetizing your blog, but it’s really their loss.
Will you still move to WordPress?
Choosing a blogging platform that is right for you is your own choice and you should not feel pressured into using what everyone else is using. If you only want a blog (even if it’s one you want to turn into a source of income), if you want one that is easy to use, customizable, and affordable, you should go with Blogger. If you want to turn it into a website, add your own shop, or maybe you just need more features then WordPress is right for you. Just remember that you can always switch platforms.
I would love to hear from you! Are you thinking about moving or have you made the move? What tips do you have for your fellow bloggers?