Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Techie Tuesdays: The Great Debate - Blogger vs. WordPress

The goal of today’s post is to very simply and very concretely identify the pros and cons of Blogger and WordPress while touching on some "grey" areas. When referring to WordPress for this post, I'm always referring self-hosted, WordPress.org.

  • Free hosting: Only pay for your domain (which you have to do in WordPress)
  • Connects to Google Plus, Google Analytics, Gmail, and Google Webmasters extremely easy
  • Relatively easy to start writing and creating content
  • Simple format with ability for anyone to easy change colors and fonts
  • Built-in mobile responsiveness (formatted)*

  • Automatic formatting can be a nightmare: adding images and text often get different html code attached to it depending on how the person is entering information. Gets a little clunky and not straightforward to use.
  • Functionality: If you are looking for something more fluid, more website-like, then Blogger can’t provide you with that functionality. It can get close, but it is going to be clunky.
  • Built-in mobile responsiveness (formatted)*
    *This is both a positive and negative because its a formulaic responsiveness so that the entire site looks the same.
  • Content Ownership**
    You own all your content, the copyrights to your content, and if someone is plagiarizing your content, you can contact Google and they will help you deal with it. However, Google owns the storage unit where your content is stored and according to its terms of service:
    When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services. - View the Full Google Terms of Service Here

  • Endless Functionality (relatively): Depends on your designer or template you select
  • You own your content!
  • Categories and Tags: Blogger only has labels, but WordPress has categories and tags. You can use either (categories are recommended) to set up an elaborate system of viewing your previous content. I really recommend this for food, diy, or fashion bloggers who want to showcase their previous work).
  • SEO: With WordPress, you can utilize different plugins as well as have easier access to the back end of your site. The use of h1 tags for supporting content is also very helpful.
  • Plugins: Over 30,000 plugins to choose from. Not all of them are good, and actually I would say probably 10-15% are good. But the good ones are fantastic and can really help take your site to the next level.
  • Cost: With WordPress you have to pay for hosting - approximately $3-$5 dollars a month. I’d recommend Bluehost because I like their custom service. From experience working with my clients, I would definitely recommend against Go Daddy and Host Gator****.
  • Customizing: WordPress is not as easy to customize unless you work with a designer or you buy a premade theme. Even purchasing a premade theme can be a process of trial and error.
  • Security: WordPress is the largest CMS system in the world, and as a result, it is most prone to hacks and security issues. With a WordPress site, owners should make sure that they have a secure password and follow these other site security steps.

OVERALL THOUGHTSFor a while, I thought that Blogger was perfect for all blogs to start out on - simple, easy, straightforward, great for testing the waters. However, my opinion has changed. If you are a person who struggles to follow through on things that you start, start with Blogger. However, if commitment is not something you are concerned about, then you should definitely look to WordPress Take a month to figure out what you want your blog to be, maybe even work with a designer, but then start on WordPress. For the most part, I think that WordPress blogs give the impression that they are “ahead of the curve”, but it’s all personal preference.

 **Content Ownership: This issue is something that I would love to explore more with people. From what I’ve heard certain larger blog affiliate programs own your content when you join them. With the plethora of people joining them, I don’t think content ownership is an issue then. It’s a personal preference. My belief is that I want to own what I create, and I don’t want to give ownership to a corporation.

***With Hostgator, the price doesn’t match what you get from BlueHost or DreamHost. 

 Do you have a tech or design question you would like answered? “Techie Tuesdays” is a weekly series written by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative. In order to make this series beneficial to the Midwest Blogger network, you can email your specific questions to Lindsay at hello@whiteoakcreative.com, and she will answer them in her weekly series.


  1. Hate Wordpress. Too hard to use and I don't have the time to deal with that. Won't make the move.

    1. How so? I find that entering in post and pages is relatively similar to Blogger, which is 90% of what bloggers do most of the time. That being said, any platform can be confusing at first, especially if you have become so accustomed to WordPress. When I have clients who are switching from blogger to wordpress, I constantly reassure them that it will be challenging for them to navigate. I often give them tutorials either in person or online so that they can get the most out of it. In the end, it's all about personal preference.

  2. This was very interesting to read. I currently use blogger but am planning on redesign in December. I am trying to decide if I will stay or go to wordpress... thanks for the info!

    1. If you are looking to switch platforms, I'd recommend reaching out to other bloggers you know who've made the switch and find out there thoughts. They will tell you the best information about what they found difficult and what platform they prefer.