5 reasons why wordpress is better than blogger
I was planning on writing this for a while as there are a few reasons why I think WordPress blogs are better for both the readers and authors of blogs, compared to the Google Blogger service, but seeing as Huw over at FFB40 had a few issues with his Blogger blog the other day it seemed to bring the issues to the forefront of my mind once again. There are some pretty obvious differences why WordPress is better than Blogger when you first navigate to or create your own self-hosted WordPress blog, such as the amount of different themes on offer and plug ins, but I will try to go a little deeper than that on why those things actually benefit you as a reader or blog owner 1:
With the amount of free themes WordPress has to offer it’s really not that hard to pick a nice looking one that no one else has chosen. You can also make styling edits yourself just by learning some basic CSS to tweak anything you don’t like. Or if you really want to get badass you could restyle a whole theme or even write your own theme from scratch! Indeed you may not even realise you are on a WordPress powered website when you first navigate to it! From what I gather on Blogger you can choose rudimentary things such as background colours and put your own header pictures in etc, but customisation of look and feel is pretty minimal.
The bottom line benefit for blog owners of this is obvious, if you stand out from the crowd people will more likely remember your site, it’s easier to build your brand, and you will get more traffic. As a reader, the benefits may be more subtle but personally I prefer to look at the owners interpretation of what they think their blog should look like and it gives me a sense of their personality.
I guess this links strongly into point but now we are talking about the nuts and bolts of your blog rather than the look of it. Again it’s obvious to us folk already using WordPress but until you sign up I don’t think you realise how many plug in options you have available to you. It can be a little daunting at first but once you get your head around it they provide so many more usability features, SEO features, email subscription features, widgets, and literally thousands of things you couldn’t even possibly imagine before you sign up to WordPress. And again if you think of some feature that you can’t find in an existing plugin, you can write one yourself in PHP, one of the easiest programming languages to get started with (IMHO), which you could even make some money out of one day!
The possibilities really are endless with WordPress, you can even add e-commerce plug ins and start selling stuff directly from your blog, so you are really future-proofing yourself to any business ideas that might arise out of your blogging activities!
Not only does the big G 2 own your content if you write on a blogger powered blog, but as we have seen they can also limit your advertising options as in the case of Huw @ FFB40. I’m not saying that no WordPress based blog has ever been banned from serving google ads, but even if that were to happen you could still serve any other ads from the myriad of ad serving companies out there if you wished to do so. Blogger will not allow this!
When I say engagement I am really referring to the comments and subscribe sections. There is little scope to customise the reader engagement options on Blogger from what I can tell. For example on WordPress you can have a tick box to sign up to the blog email at the same time as leaving your comment, which will surely convert more people into blog subscriptions.
But what reaaaaally grates me about Blogger blogs is that it is a pain to follow comments. If you want to get a conversation going on a comments thread it is not great for following. I have while researching this article, just learned that you can actually follow the thread if you sign in with and comment with a google account, but if I do that then the link on my username goes to my Blogger profile and not the URL for my blog, which is one annoying step . I am not saying I am only writing comments to get a link back to my blog but it is a nice little bonus for taking the time to write a thoughtful and engaging comment I think. So now I am stuck with choosing between a direct link to my blog (Name/URL option) or being able to follow comments (google account option).
With WordPress you don’t have all of that hassle, you can just leave a decent looking comment with a link back to your blog, and sign up to the comments thread using the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” tick box. Simples!
*Quick Side Note: If you own a WordPress blog and do not have the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” option showing what the hell are you playing at? Do you not want people to engage with your blog!? As you can probably tell this enrages me greatly. If you didn’t know, there are plug ins that facilitate this but it is even included in the Jet Pack plug in which should come with most installs of Wordpress nowadays anyway.
This isn’t really a feature of WordPress itself but I think by committing to buying a hosting package and domain name you are leaving yourself open to advantage of the sunk costs fallacy us humans show. In other words, now that you’ve have paid the money for hosting you are much more likely to commit to your blog and keep writing than if the costs to entry were minimal or zero. It’s part of the reason why people sign up to the gym and pay money, because they think having paid the money it will make them go! Obviously this does not always work but if you are mildly motivated anyway to write a blog I think committing to it by paying a bit of money will only help increase that motivation!
To keep this article somewhat balanced, let’s not forget Blogger does have some large positives as well:
- It’s FREE!!!
- It’s non hassle, you can just sign up and start writing
- It’s good if you don’t know whether you can commit to writing consistently (although in which case I have to ask, why even bother?)
- It’s great for personal blogs, e.g. if you are travelling and your family want to read what you’ve been up to
- It’s hosted by Google so will be uber stable, compared to taking your chances with an independent hosting service – Zyma I am looking at you
- I am guessing there are probably a few more than that, let me know in the comments why you love Blogger!
There are so many benefits and options to hosting your own WordPress site over blog for anyone who is serious about growing an audience and reaching as many people as possible, as well as if you ever want to monetise your blog.
People might think hosting is expensive but I went for the bargain basement iPage $1.99/month (affiliate link 3) deal and I have to say I have had no complaints in nearly two years of hosting this blog. It works great with WordPress and despite not getting the fastest page load times (hey, you get what you pay for!) it is easily good enough for small to medium sized blog like this one, and has survived some moderate traffic spikes when articles have been featured on Monevator, Rockstar Finance, and the Simple Dollar. You can obviously always upgrade the bandwidth and pay more as your blog grows in readership!
*iPage often even have $1/month deals they email me so you could just sit tight and keep an eye out for one of those promotions. That would be £7.78 for a years worth of hosting! Remember you will also have to pay a yearly fee for the domain name registration as well which is normally between £10-£20/year.
So the cost is trivial, the final blocker from using WordPress over Blogger is that you’ve already set up a blogger blog and are worried about the technicalities of transferring it over. Well it turns out that transferring your blog from Blogger to WordPress even seems quite easy if you follow a simple guide such as this one – so now you know my fellow blogger bloggers there is no excuse 4 😉
That’s all folks! I will sign off with one final question to both fellow bloggers and readers, which is…
Do you prefer using/reading WordPress or Blogger blogs and why?!
- Disclaimer: I have never used Blogger so I am making assumptions about a lot of Blogger features based on what I’ve seen on hundreds of Blogger based blogs out there. If you feel I have done Blogger an major injustice anywhere in this article please point it out and I will update it to reflect that! ↩
- Google, in case anyone didn’t know Google owns the blogger service ↩
- This page contains affiliate links, each one is brought to your attention with the cryptic denotation ‘(affiliate link)’. You know what one of those is right!? No…!?! OK well it’s fairly basic… If you click on, sign up through or buy anything via these links I may receive a small fee, which will help to support theFIREstarter blog. The key thing is that it will not cost you anything extra to use these links, although don’t go clicking on them willy nilly just because it may help me! If you think you will find the product/service useful and do click through, then a sincere “thank you” for your support. ↩
- As an aside, if anyone needs any help on doing that give me a shout! ↩