Archive for 2013

Blogger vs Wordpress (self-hosted)

Note: I'm mainly comparing Blogspot vs a self-hosted Wordpress blog (Wordpress.org). 

I first started making web pages back in the mid-90's.  One of the challenges back then was to find a way to create them without having to do much html coding.   I was exploring a relatively new way to do things because not many people had their own personal websites.

Blogging came along a few years later, and sharing your life online became much, much easier. 

I began my blogging "career" on the blogger/blogspot platform about seven years ago.  I'm not sure exactly why I chose it--maybe because it was simple and free.  I created a custom domain blogger when I decided to target a specific niche.  Needless to say, I've had extensive experience with Blogspot.

I decided to start my first self-hosted Wordpress blog about a year and a half ago.  I was interested in starting another niche blog and I wanted to see if it was really that much better.  It took me a little while to adjust to it, but Wordpress did indeed win me over.  I've since been moving my custom url Blogspot sites to Wordpress.  I may eventually make that move with this one.

I've shared a little background just so you'll know I'm speaking from fairly extensive experience.  I'll explain what I see as the pros and cons of each platform and why I'm using Wordpress more now.

Your Argument is Invalid

I've seen some concerns/criticisms of Blogspot/Blogger that just never have bothered me.  Here are a few:

1. A blogspot url is spammy and/or not authoritative.  
I understand this concern, but I've seen a ton of spammy websites with their own url and slick designs.  I tend to judge a blog based on its content, not the platform.  I believe most people do the same, and there are some incredible, highly successful Blogspot blogs out there. 

2. Content ownership
Technically speaking, Google does own whatever content you post on the Blogger platform.  This has only been an issue one time for me in over seven years of blogging.  I had a copyright complaint about one of my posts because of an image (a picture of an ant, if you can believe that).  Blogger temporarily took my post down and asked me to remove the image.  I had it back up immediately (minus the image), so it really wasn't a big deal. 

But I'm skeptical about Google shutting down entire blogs that don't have illegal content.  They'd kill their own business if they did this.

Advantages of Blogger/Blogspot

I believe there are two main advantages for using this platform. 
 
1. Ease of Use (Front End)
Without question, Blogger/Blogspot is incredibly easy to set up (compared to a self-hosted Wordpress blog).  You can sign up and start within minutes (literally), which makes it a good choice for those with limited technical skills.

2. Monitizing Free Blogs
The biggest advantage for Blogger/Blogspot from a financial standpoint is the ability to create as many blogs as you want and monetize them with zero financial investment.

Advantages of Self-Hosted Wordpress

I've mentioned switching many of my blogs over to Wordpress.   Setting up things with Hostgator was pretty simple, and it's even easier now that I've done it a few times.  It took some time to get used to the new platform, but now I love it.  Here's why:

1. Ease of Use for Writing/Posting
Blogspot is easier to set up, but I've had a much easier time with copying and pasting something from Microsoft Word into the Wordpress platform.  With Blogger I was having to paste it into html mode, then go back and insert paragraph breaks using html code (you can copy/paste into compose mode, but then you end up with a ton of formatting from Word).

I also really like Wordpress' distraction free writing mode, which allows you to go to full screen in the window while composing.

2. Themes
The most aggravating part of using Blogspot was trying to find attractive themes that actually worked.  I usually had to test them on a "dummy blog" just to make sure it wouldn't be a complete disaster.  Finding and changing themes in Worpress is much, much easier in my opinion.

3. SEO
In theory you can optimize both Wordpress and Blogger, but this is something else I've found to be much easier to do with Wordpress.  I usually use the SEO Ultimate plugin. 

4.  Plugins
I've just mentioned plugins, which is another advantage to Wordpress.  There are hundreds of them, and they can help with everything from security (BulletProof Security is good) to setting up a contact form (I like Fast Secure Contact Form). 

Those are just a few of my thoughts on the two platforms. 

Maybe it won't take another seven months for me to write a new post . . . . maybe.

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