Another big decision is choosing where you want to blog. There’s so many blogging platforms to choose from and it can be a little annoying to switch over once you’ve started – but it can be done. There are so many options and really it depends on you, your preference, your blog topic and what exactly you want form your blog. I’ve had a personal blog over on Blogger since 2009, a blog for college work on WordPress.com since 2010, this blog is self hosted (WordPress.org) and I’ve tried numerous other platforms. I’m going to discuss my experience on each platform which I’ll mention below. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what you choose.
Blogger vs. WordPress
The two most popular blogging platforms are of course WordPress and Blogger. While both are very similar in some way, they do offer different things. I’ve seen a lot of comparison posts, but they always seem one sided and usually on the WordPress side. You don’t need to be on WordPress to be a successful blogger, they’re are plenty of popular bloggers who not only use blogger but who still have the subdomain
.blogspot.com. Although there are many extras available on WordPress, you can pretty much do the same on Blogger with a little extra knowledge. There are benefits of both WordPress and Blogger and I love both for different reasons.
Why choose WordPress.com – “Free” Blogging Platform
WordPress.com is easy to set up and maintain, with 3GB of free storage (posts & media) and a publicize tool to connect your blog to social media sites. You also have access to themes, many of which can be customised further. Premium upgrades are also available, such as custom design for css & fonts, domain url, transfer, ads free, premium themes, redirects, extra space and adding video media. WordPress.com is a good option for new bloggers but it can take some getting used to and it will cost you if you want to upgrade. It has a great user interface, which is better than Blogger’s but it functions the same. Here’s a tutorial about how to set up a blog on WordPress.com.
Why choose WordPress.org – Self-Hosted Platform
If you’re thinking about going with WordPress, then I’d recommend self hosting. It gives you full access without any restrictions and future costs. There’s a wide range of plugins and themes to choose from to help you fully customise your blog. You do have to pay for hosting and a domain name, but it’s not difficult to set up once you follow the correct steps. You can also build your own themes and templates for your blog – by yourself or with a great designer. You get 100% ownership & customisation with WordPress.org. If you’re interested in this platform I do offer installation and custom design services, as well as WordPress Tutorial and Tips.
Why choose Blogger.com – Free Blogging Platform by Google
This is where I first started out and if you’re a new blogger, this is the perfect place for you. It’s easy to set up and customise with many layout options and templates available. As well as the Template Designer, you can also go in and get your hands dirty by editing the CSS and HTML yourself. Blogger is a great place to get familiar with coding and isn’t as restrictive as people think. Blogger offers free hosting (on Blogger) and a free subdomain (.blogspot.com) or an option to purchase a custom domain for no extra fee other than the domain itself. Blogger also provides protection against hackers which is something you have to be smart about on WordPress. Here’s a tutorial about how to set up a blog on Blogger.com and some tutorials about how to edit your CSS and HTML.
There’s a misconception that Google Search prefers one platform over the other and that one is better for SEO but I’ve seen high ranking blogs on each. It’s all about how you blog and how you implement tips for SEO. WordPress just makes this easier but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach the top search results if you have a blog on Blogger. Check out these SEO tips for help. I think a lot of people put Blogger down but they shouldn’t. It’s a great blogging platform, especially for beginners so don’t feel pressured to make a switch.
Other Blogging Platforms
There’s many other options for Bloggers, but here’s my top six options.
- Blog.com – WordPress powered, free, has a lot of themes to choose from. Shows advertisements in the free version and only has 2GB of space.
- Tumblr.com – great for shorter content. Slightly more aimed at photo bloggers, can use themes and customise a little. Easy to set up and use.
- SquareSpace – Easy to use, nice interface. It’s similar to WordPress but without plugins. Gorgeous customisable templates.
- Jux – Cool looking platform, pretty visual.
- LiveJournal – Kind of like a blog and social networking site in one.
- Type Pad – Good for beginners, easy to use but lacks customisation and design.
WordPress vs Blogger – The Conclusion
Blogger is an amazing place for beginners, it’s free with little restriction and there’s such a community over there. It’s important to remember though that Google do own it, this can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. You never know when Google will switch things up with the services they offer. Google’s blog is on Blogger so it’s unlikely that they will remove Blogger from there services but it is something to consider. You do own your content, but Google are “housing” it and therefore can use it – you can read more about this on Google’s T&C. The same can be said for blogs on WordPress.com, so if you want full control I’d suggest self hosted WordPress. WordPress.com is an easy to use platform with a great user interface, but it does have restrictions and you will probably pay at some stage. WordPress.org can be difficult to set up, but a lot of hosting services offer a one step install now. It’s free of restrictions and owned 100% by you. Here is a full comparison of WordPress.com and WordPress.org if you need some more information. Check out my services page, I offer help and installation for Blogger and WordPress.