In this article, we will compare WordPress vs Blogger to help you make an informed decision on which is the best blogging platform for you.
Specifically, we’ll evaluate how they compare in terms of:
- Getting started
- Future plans
There are a number of blogging platforms at your disposal, and we’ll reveal how you should make your decision to ensure you get the best return on both your time and money.
Since I started my blogging carrier on Blogger and later shifted to WordPress, I’m going to make a completely unbiased comparison between them with all the pros & cons of both the platforms.
My sole objective will be, to give you a sound understanding of the real unbiased differences between them, as well as illustrate how each of these platforms work.
So without further ado, let’s get to it and compare WordPress vs Blogger.
What is Blogger?
Blogger was created by Pyra Labs back in 1999 and was later acquired by Google in 2003. It’s an absolutely free blogging platform. It was also the first blogging platform in the mainstream that played a crucial role in the acceptance or rejection of blogging as a profession.
You can set up your own personal blog, which is hosted by Google as a subdomain of blogspot.com within a few minutes. Since it’s hosted by Google we can assume it’ll be reliable.
Alternatively, you can purchase your own domain to set up with Blogger and avoid their subdomain.
Before we go deep into comparing WordPress vs Blogger, let’s clear up any confusion between Blogger and BlogSpot:
Blogger is a publishing platform whereas BlogSpot is a domain service provider. Both are absolutely free and interconnected. Either you type Blogger.com in Google or Blogspot.com you’ll end up at Blogger.com.
Even though there are several blogging platforms, Blogger is still one of the easiest platforms to use, and the process to get started is lightning fast. In fact, if you have a Gmail account, then you already have a blog. All you need is to set up your blog with a cool theme and a few customizations.
Blogger takes care of all the background processes necessary to host a blog, providing you with a free domain and some amazing themes leaving you with the task of coming up with great content to publish.
It’s the perfect platform to start with, especially for complete newbies.
The best part?
You don’t have to worry about the installation and software updates. Google takes care of that for you.
The worst part?
You don’t have control over Google, it may suspend your blog at any time if you will go against Google policies and can even cancel the Blogger service altogether. You’re also limited in what you can do.
What is WordPress?
WordPress started in 2003 as a basic blogging tool but has evolved into a well-architectured personal publishing tool and content management system.
From its humble beginnings, it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging and website platform in the world, powering more than a quarter of all sites online and used by tens of millions of people every day, from hobby blogs to fortune 500 companies.
First off, WordPress is a quality Content Mangement System (or CMS for short). A CMS makes it easier for the people to publish their content, through a simple WYSIWYG (or What You See Is What You Get) interface.
It is open source, which means that no single group owns it. So you’re absolutely free to use the software, modify or improve it without paying anyone a license fee.
But one thing I want to take into notice here is that WordPress has two version:
- WordPress.com – A hosted version that comes with some restrictions.
- WordPress.org – A self-hosted option leveraging the WordPress software (you pick your own host).
We will focus particularly on WordPress.org. So, if I use the word WordPress anywhere in this article, it’s specifically referring to self-hosted wordpress.org.
We now know what Blogger and WordPress are and also the difference between Blogger vs BlogSpot and WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. So let’s take a look at getting started with Blogger Vs WordPress.
No blogging platform is easier to start than blogger. The only prerequisite is that you need to have a Gmail account. If you signed up for Gmail, then the good news is, that you already have a blogger account.
If you don’t have a Gmail account, not to worry! Create one, It’s fairly easy.
Once you created your Google account head over to blogger.com, log in, and you can immediately create your blog within a minute.
You then have to choose a good looking theme based on your blog niche, write some super awesome content, and begin customizing the look and feel of your blog. When you’re ready, publish your content, and you’re away.
When compared to Blogger, starting a WordPress blog is a little tedious and will take a little more work. That being said though, it’s relatively straightforward.
First, you will need to purchase a domain and a hosting account. I recommend Wurpe for hosting and domain for a quick and easy setup, although this may be the only part of the article where I’m biased 🙂
Once you have purchased the domain and hosting, pat yourself on the back. You’ve just completed a large part of the setup. Now, you are ready to go!
You have two options. Either install WordPress via the control panel provided to you by your hosting provider or you can install WordPress manually with FTP clients like FileZilla, or in your local environment.
Go to WordPress.org, download the WordPress zip file and unzip it in your localhost, then follow the instructions in the readme.html file if you decide to install it manually.
Round #1 verdict?
Knowing how easy it is to start a Blogger blog, this round undoubtedly goes to Blogger.
Now it’s time to explore WordPress vs Blogger in terms of portability and control.
Portability and Control
The biggest difference between these two platforms is control.
In Blogger, Google has full control of your site and can shut down your access to it at any moment whereas you have full control of your website in WordPress and can run how long you wish. You own your site so your content can neither be suspended nor be deleted (unless your host chooses to).
Though it’s possible to move your website from Blogger to WordPress, there are chances that you might lose your search traffic and subscribers. However, Wurpe will always offer to transfer your posts and media from Blogger to WordPress and work to setup SEO safe link redirects to make sure your SEO doesn’t take a hit. With WordPress, you can safely move your site from one host to another or even to a different Content Management System like Drupal without any data or traffic loss. Hence, opening up the world of possibilities for you.
Round #2 verdict?
Blogger is not even close to defeating WordPress in this space. So, this round goes to WordPress 🙂
We learned about the differences in getting started, portability and control for each platform. So, let us now check out WordPress vs Blogger in terms of pricing.
The biggest advantage of Blogger is that it’s completely free! You do not have to pay a penny to use the service.
Free services always rock!
Blogger comes with tons of free themes and features, free hosting, free SSL certificates and you don’t even need to purchase a domain. In the case of the domain, the bad part is you will, unfortunately, sit with a URL that is a subdomain of Blogspot like myblog.blogspot.com.
However, it’s not a big deal. You can purchase a custom domain from any domain registrar.
Let’s look at WordPress,
WordPress itself is free to download and install, but before you get too excited about all these free features, a quick word of warning!
While using WordPress is free, hosting your site is not.
As I explained earlier, in WordPress you need to buy a hosting service, a domain name, and optionally a premium theme (there are free themes available as well) to bring your site online which can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 as a beginner. It’s a big amount especially when you’re first starting out.
Round #3 Verdict?
Free is incredibly hard to beat, and because of that Blogger narrowly wins this round.
There’s a difference between price and values. If you just need a blogging platform to start with almost zero cost, blogger is the best pick. It has enough features to support having a blog.
If you’re considering to start a blog for making money or commercial endeavor, you should invest in the platform that the industry pros use, which is WordPress.
Now it’s time to take a look at WordPress vs Blogger as far as design and customization options
Design & Customization
First of all, Blogger has a very limited and low-quality set of themes to choose from. There are 50 free themes available and a few third-party marketplaces like New Blogger Themes and Sora Templates. These platforms have some good template collections even though they don’t provide the best quality themes, and can’t compete with some of the other free themes available on WordPress.
When I started my first blog, I was using the minimal blogger template from New Blogger Themes.
What about WordPress?
Well, this is the home ground of WordPress and very few other platforms can compete with it in this respect because WordPress is open-source. There is a huge community of contributors, who create themes, plugins, widgets, and other tools to improve the design and customization options for your blog.
WordPress itself has almost a thousand free high-quality themes, and there are many developers and marketers who offer a countless number of 3rd party themes.
Round #4 verdict?
WordPress is likely to trump any competitor in this space, because of the size of the active community of designers and developers.
This was an easy win for WordPress.
WordPress vs Blogger in terms of features
As far as the features are concerned, both the platforms have some outstanding features which have no match.
Since Blogger has been a Google project for quite a few years, it’s mature enough to have some decent feature that everybody would wish to have on their blog:
- Google AdSense account integration
- Widgets or Gadgets (Google’s in-house widgets)
- Easy customization options.
- Different sets of layouts etc.
As you’ll see, Blogger has all the most important features to get started and write your blog and run it as long as you wish.
A significant difference between WordPress vs. Blogger is that you can expect a wider variety and range of choices in just about every aspect of WordPress and that’s the thing which made WordPress so popular.
Being an open source platform, WordPress comes with a decent range of feature. If certain features are not found in the theme you use. You can easily customize that with additional plugins you integrate into your site.
And if you have some knowledge of PHP you can customize your whole site to the design you want using a child theme.
Even if you have no knowledge of coding you can hire a developer or use a premade theme.
WordPress also comes with some easy to add integrations such as eCommerce, Social media integration, Contact form, plus much much more.
Round #5 verdict?
Once again, it’s a knock out win for WordPress.
With that being said, let us now compare WordPress vs Blogger in terms of SEO.
SEO advantage between WordPress Vs Blogger
I’ve heard a few people saying that since Blogger is a Google product it has SEO advantages over WordPress, which is just not true.
It doesn’t matter whether you choose WordPress or Blogger for a blogging platform. SEO is decided by how you configure your site and the quality of content you give your audience.
Let’s see what actual Google employees say about this. Here’s a video clip from the former webspam team head Matt Cutts:
Interestingly, Matt Cutts also uses WordPress as his own blogging platform being a Google employee himself. He’s also clear that there is no SEO advantage of Blogger over WordPress.
It’s true that WordPress installation is not the most SEO friendly, but with some minor tweaking and plugins, you can optimize it for maximum SEO. The most recommended SEO plugin is Yoast which we use ourselves.
Let’s check out WordPress vs. Blogger in terms of support.
There is limited support available for Blogger, having very basic documentation and forums whereas with WordPress, apart from community support, forums, and IRC chatrooms you get help from experienced WordPress users & developers. Few companies & organizations also offer premium support for WordPress. You can also ask your hosting company if they specialize in WordPress to help you out.
In the case of security, Blogger has the advantage of being Google’s product and its robust secure platform, while in WordPress you need to take care of security, speed, and backups yourself. Unless of course, you go with a managed WordPress host.
Finally, let’s compare WordPress vs Blogger in terms of their future plans.
The future of the Blogger doesn’t seem to be quite secure. As from my experience I haven’t seen any major update in Blogger for a very long time. Google has even killed their popular services like Google AdSense for feeds, Google reader, and the possible demise of FeedBurner.
However, the future of WordPress doesn’t depend on any company or individual. Since thousands of business, companies, and a huge community of developers and users depend on it, I can say for sure that the future of WordPress is bright.
As of writing this article, the WordPress community is working on Gutenberg which is starting out as a new editor for WordPress but plans to be so much more allowing people to edit their site using premade blocks.
To Wrap Up
Okay, let’s bring it all together.
As you can probably tell by now, these platforms are drastically different. Although WordPress is by far the more comprehensive option, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for everyone.
If you are a beginner and don’t have the funds for self-hosted WordPress, you should start with Blogger but don’t stick to it for too long and I’m saying this from my own experience.
I started my first blog with Blogger and later moved to WordPress when I started getting a lot of visitors.
However, If you want to build a brand or business around your blog as many have, then WordPress is the best choice. WordPress is the industry standard and the choice for most professional bloggers.
Hope this might have helped you in deciding the best blogging platform for your need. Comment down below which blogging platform you chose and your experience with it.