Is Wordpress Or Blogger Better For You?


Here's Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, on whether Blogger or WP is better for SEO...

10 reasons recommending Blogger over Wordpress for most websites

We get asked this question all the time: "Why do you use Blogger instead of Wordpress?" Sure, Wordpress gives you pretty much unlimited freedom to do anything you'd like with your site, there are thousands of plugins, you can self-host, and with server-side code (PHP) and a database (MySQL), the sky is the limit.

But we see that as the problem. Unlimited potential often means unlimited potential to get lost, screw something up, or fail to secure something. And to be blunt, the vast majority of Wordpress sites don't need to be done in Wordpress, but they're paying for hosting, hopefully spending time with security patches, and worried about their site's uptime because they believe it's necessary.

For most of them it's not necessary. Your site could have been in Blogger and you wouldn't have those problems.

Reason 1: is able to fulfill majority of needs

You can make a list of the things that the majority of websites and blogs need, and almost all of the (90%+) can and have been done in Blogger. A simple Google search will find you a tutorial for how to do just about anything in Blogger. A contact form, a slideshow, 5 pages of text with images, a blog functionality with social sharing buttons? Piece of cake.

Reason 2: it's free

No strings attached (so long as you don't violate the Terms of Service by being a spammer or posting prohibited content), no subscription fees, no registration fees, no upsell fees. Free.

Reason 3: high level of customization

Beyond thousands of free templates for download from 3rd party websites, you can use the customization tool to transform your template without knowing CSS. And if you want to go in and edit your template, you have full access to the HTML, CSS, Javascript and underlying Google template code.

Reason 4: free hosting from Google

And not just free hosting, but 99.999% uptime hosting! Should your website get a lots of traffic, or even a very sudden surge of traffic, rather than your hosting company getting mad at you and shutting down your site, or your site getting extremely slow to load, your Blogger site will keep serving at peak performance. With hosting like this you don't need to worry about getting too popular.

Reason 5: integration with Google product suite

Google+, Google Places, Picasa Web, Picasa Creative Kit, Google Drive, Google Docs, FeedBurner, Google Webmaster, Google Analytics, Google Merchant... all of them are continually being improved, and continually being more and more closely integrated into a cohesive product suite. And with Google Apps for Business it makes it easy to manage everything in one place. Don't think of Blogger as a standalone website management tool, but the part of a suite of tools that can be used to extend your site and business.

Reason 6: managed security

Do you know how to update your CMS and implement security patches? Do you plan on staying current on them? If you're using Wordpress, you'd better stay informed before your site gets hacked. But if you're using Blogger you have nothing to worry about.

Reason 7: custom domain pointing

Adding a custom domain to your Blogger site costs you nothing besides the purchasing of your domain, and you can purchase that domain at any registrar that you choose.

Reason 8: show up in search results faster

Did you know that Blogger sites are added to the Google search index within 24 hrs of you creating your Blogger site? And did you know that it can sometimes takes weeks or even months before your Wordpress site is indexed? Faster indexing means your site can start getting traffic even sooner.

Reason 9: search engine benefits

One of the main reasons that people seem to swear by Wordpress is the perceived SEO benefits, not through Wordpress itself, but through the add-ons that give it better SEO. With Blogger's recent addition of search engine preferences the playing field has been leveled. With the faster indexing, advantage goes to Blogger.

Reason 10: easy to use and understand

This is subjective, but even by its detractors, Blogger is considered the easiest blogging platform to use, mainly because the interface and editor are so easy to use. Compare below if you'd like, but we tend to agree.

Add onto this that you can create a new blog in minutes, don't have to understand FTP or follow installation instructions, don't need to purchase a hosting service, don't need to tinker with code, don't need to manage passwords (beyond your own Gmail password)... well, it's just easy.

And from a designer's point of view...Wonder Forest

BlogTrends on Twitter recently asked: "Blogger is free; Is being self-hosted on Wordpress really worth the financial investment?"

I've been wanting to write a post about Blogger vs. Wordpress for quite some time so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

To answer the question, it really depends. First of all, I work with both Blogger and Wordpress. This blog is hosted on Blogger, and I also do websites for businesses using Wordpress often. I've had my own self-hosted Wordpress sites in the past so I'm not completely against one or the other. The thing is, however, there seems to be this idea that if you want to be taken seriously, you need a Wordpress blog. This simply is not true, and I'll tell you why sometimes Wordpress isn't a good idea for some.

Please note that in this post I am particularly talking about the self-hosted version of Wordpress, not the "" shared hosting version, as that doesn't even compare to either and offers only a fraction of the abilities.

Let's get right to it. Blogger offers a free service that is easy to customize. All of your content is stored on the Google servers, so you don't have to worry about hosting fees, or even bandwidth. There is a limited number of widgets you can add to your sidebar, however I don't find that many more are usually needed anyways. You can control the layout and design through Blogger's simple editors and see your changes in real-time through the Template Editor. The post editor also offers all of the basic functions you need to compose nice posts, as well as an HTML area for more advanced users. Photos are uploaded through Google Picasa, which again is stored on your own Google account and not on your own servers. You can easily backup your blog and content through the Settings screen.

Wordpress is a more complex platform. Before you install it, you will need to search for a web host that offers the space, uptime, and bandwidth that your site needs... hopefully at a reasonable monthly cost. If you're not familiar with web hosting, it's pretty common that you could be overpaying for services that you don't need, and on the flipside you could also not be paying for enough. Websites with a lot of traffic consume a greater amount of bandwidth. Bandwidth can be thought of pretty much the same way as your monthly cellular data plan. Only instead of YOU using the bandwidth  whenever you load something up, your visitors are the ones using it. So you can imagine some bloggers' surprise if their web host suspends their site for going over the bandwidth allowance. A lot of hosts now offer unlimited bandwidth, but you do still have to follow their rules in regards to having your site on their servers.

Once you have a web host and plan picked out, you'll need to install Wordpress on your server. Some hosts offer a "one-click" method to do this, while other times you'll have to manually create databases and upload everything yourself.  After you have configured your site, you'll be greeted with a standard, basic Wordpress template. Unfortunately, here is where it could get complicated if you don't know what you're doing. You'll generally need to hire somebody to create a great template for you if you're not savvy with coding/scripting languages. And it can get a little pricey (trust me, I do this!). That is because templates on Wordpress are actually hand-coded and created from scratch and contain a number of files and images which are all stored on your server. Have I lost you yet?

Moving onto creating posts in Wordpress. If you have mastered creating posts, kudos to you! From a beginner's perspective, this could take a little time and you could find yourself getting a little frustrated with formatting woes and HTML additions. Luckily, there are thousands of Wordpress plugins that you can add to your blog, some of which include editor add-ons to save you the hassle of wonky posting. Speaking of plugins, like I said, there are thousands. This is one upside to Wordpress that trumps Blogger. You can pretty much find anything from e-commerce plugins to galleries. The most important thing to figure out when deciding on which platform to use (in my opinion) is figuring out what you want your blog to do and if you will actually be needing any special addons.

Now let's talk about SEO. Since Blogger is a Google product, they pretty much already have Search Engine Optimization covered. You simply click a few settings in your dashboard and Google will start crawling your site. You can always get a little more advanced and tweak your HTML a bit for optimal results if you know what you are doing. (click here to read my post about SEO Basics for Bloggers!)

Wordpress on the other hand, since it's self-hosted, needs to be "prepped" for search engines, and you might want to search for a couple SEO pack plugins to help you out.

Without making this post pages long, I'll just say that Wordpress can be a great platform if utilized properly and by somebody who has the knowledge to use it. It can take a little getting used to, but is generally easy once you get the hang of everything. I personally don't recommend it for somebody who is just jumping into blogging without any real idea about any of these things I've mentioned. It does take a lot more time to customize and tweak, and if you don't have any experience in this department and want your blog to look good, you might consider hiring an outside source. Another thing to mention (and I don't want to scare you, but it's important I think because I've had it happen to a good majority of my Wordpress clients) is that you are susceptible to hackers. Unfortunately since Wordpress is so commonly used and self-hosted, it's not always as secure. There are bots that sniff out Wordpress sites and attempt to crack your passwords. Certain third party plugins you add could be less secure and open up the backdoor of your site, so to speak, allowing access to change your site's internal html/php files. It's quite a pain in the ass to fix, so you really do have to upkeep your site... Install the latest security patches and versions each time they come out, and make sure your passwords and everything are secure. Also do regular backups.

Blogger is my top choice for blogging because of its ease and customizing abilities. It really isn't any less feature packed than an out of the box Wordpress site at all, and I think that is where some people get lost. You can completely overhaul the look of it, and style it to suit your own brand. It's generally also cheaper to hire somebody to customize it for you. Since it is also connected with the Google network, you get additional features like Friend Connect and easy commenting abilities. You can also set up your own custom domain easily. You don't really have to worry about the security issues like you do with Wordpress, because Google has that down pretty well. You DO however have to abide by Blogger's terms of service and if they find your blog too spammy, might delete you. I backup my blog every week or so through Blogger (Settings > Other > Export Blog) just in case something ever happens that is out of my control. It is worth mentioning that this could also happen on any platform though... Self hosted or not as you are still using a third party server.

In short, go with Blogger if you're looking for a free, easy, customizable, no-fuss solution. Go with Wordpress if you have the experience to do so and are looking for more features and want the control over your hosted files. If you start with Blogger, you can always easily move over to Wordpress in the future if you choose. Ultimately the decision is yours, but take the time to research both so you know what they have to offer!

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  1. I've just started blogging and I have very little clue as to what I'm doing. I'm learning as I go. Hopefully, I will pick up valuable tips from bloggers like you. I appreciate your post today.

  2. I've just started blogging and I have very little clue as to what I'm doing. I'm learning as I go. Hopefully, I will pick up valuable tips from bloggers like you. I appreciate your post today.

  3. Good to know Brenda! I've often wondered what is the deal with Wordpress. I still have so much to learn, thanks for all this great info in a nutshell!
    Hugs, Lizy

  4. Great points Brenda, never tried wordpress so I can't compare, but I agree with you so far with blogger. Glad your educating all of us about this! Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the information, Brenda.

  6. My son keeps telling me to go to wordpress, but I hate change and after the issues you had, I am staying put.

  7. Chose Blogger because it's a Google product & they are the majority search engine in my country. They must do better at seo for their own products than others. Right?

    I could be totally wrong, not the first time.

    Have been happy with the results.

    XO T

  8. Thank you for taking the time to address this topic! I was given this question after sharing it on facebook: "What about ownership? I was told Google basically owns my blog and content and can make any changes at any time. Aren’t the larger blogs worried about that?" Can you help?

  9. Thanks for researching it for us. I have only used blogger and have been very happy with it. My friend uses Wordpress and seems satisfied.

  10. Great post, thanks so much! I am a blogger girl, but I have only been blogging about six months and keep hearing about how great WP is. I am really happy with Blogger and so I am sticking, but was always thinking that maybe I was missing out on something better. Now I have good information to ease my conscience! Thanks!

  11. well that settles that argument, now doesn't it? :)

  12. I have a number of Wordpress blogs. I have never paid a penny for any of them, and found it easy to start up my blogs. I am just relating this as I find it difficult to understand all the webblog talk in this article. Anyway, I am just saying ...

  13. He makes good points for either side, an very interesting article...but still a good question to ponder, do we move, or stay.


  14. I created a blog at WP and wasn't terribly impressed. Yes, it was easy enough to set up and navigate. If you're interested in personalization, you pay a pretty penny for everything! My blog isn't much of anything at this point, so I'll stick with Blogger for now. Simple and free.
    I'm always reading about blog 'ownership'. Brenda, what does this mean exactly?

  15. Great article you found here, Brenda. Many thanks for sharing.

  16. Set it up in Blogger, learn for a while, then move it to Wordpress when you hit the BIG time :) That works!

  17. I don't know nothing about nothing, I just know I'm content where I am.

  18. GAH!!! This doesn't really help as I'm about to start the process of switching (after seven years of blogging with Blogger)... so many pros and cons! I've been happy with Blogger but then everyone talks about the content ownership (Blogger owns your content, not you). Of course Blogger is owned by Google so Google likes Blogger blogs better. :) Interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  19. I think there are pros and cons on both sides.You have to chose what will work better for you.I am on WP and am happy that I made the move.


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