What are the pros and cons of WordPress and Blogger? Which one is a better choice for your blog and why?
This Blogger vs WordPress comparison will show you the main differences between Blogger a.k.a. Blogspot and WordPress. Let’s get started with these two free blog platforms.
WordPress vs Blogger: In brief
Too long didn’t read? Here’s the Blogger vs. WordPress summary:
Blogger has far fewer design and functionality features. It also has a less attractive user interface. Good thing is that everything is sorted for you. It’s best for those who want a simple blog that’s easy to use to start writing right away.
WordPress requires more attention regarding the setup of a great design, features and maintenance. WordPress gives you full control but has a medium learning curve. It’s best for those who want to build a modern and feature-rich blog.
Note that WordPress exists in two different editions. WordPress.com which is the commercial hosted platform (which still provides a free blog option) and WordPress.org which is the free and self-hosted platform. Here’s more on the difference between WordPress.com blogs and WordPress.org blogs.
Blogger vs WordPress comparison infographic
This gives you a brief WordPress vs Blogger comparison by looking at the different factors to consider such as ownership, customization options and monetization:
Having complete control and ownership, the look and feel, and the way I present my content are the main reasons why I use and recommend WordPress.
WordPress excels with these and that’s why it’s my preferred blogging platform. In the battle of Blogger and WordPress, my clear winner is WordPress.
Action Point: Consider which of the above items are essential to you personally and which of the two platforms do a better job at things you care about.
How to install self-hosted WordPress.org
Self-hosted WordPress is open source software and it needs a domain name and a web host server to work.
A domain name is the address people will type to get access to your blog. The hosting server is where you’ll store your content making it accessible to anyone in the world.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue making guides like this. If you click my link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote products that I truly believe will be valuable to you.
Which of the WordPress hosts should you use? There are so many capable and affordable hosting providers.
My blog is hosted on GreenGeeks and they have everything you need for a great WordPress user experience:
- They specialize in WordPress hosting, have over 10 years of experience and are home to hundreds of thousands of WordPress websites
- Based in Los Angeles, California with a 24/7/365 customer support via live chat, email and phone. They also have a 30-day money back guarantee just in case.
- You get a free custom domain name, a site that’s loading fast, is easy to maintain thanks to the automatic updates and is secure to use.
- It will take you 10 minutes to get your WordPress blog up and running and to host one blog costs $2.95 per month.
These are the step by step instructions to install WordPress:
Step 1: On GreenGeeks WordPress hosting page, choose your plan. I pay for Ecosite Pro at $5.95/month as I run more than one blog. Ecosite Lite at $2.95/month is the best value for those with one blog only. Click the big green “Get Started” button.
Step 2: Register your free custom domain name. Type your chosen domain names and click on “Check Availability“.
Step 3: Fill in all your personal details in “Account Information“.
Step 4: In “Package Information” you see the summary of your chosen plan. To get the best value monthly price you need to sign up for 3 years. This is the way most hosting companies set their pricing.
3 years of hosting on Ecosite Lite is billed $106.20 total. If you wish to purchase one year only, the total price will be $59.40.
You can choose your “Server Location“. Options are the United States, Canada and Europe. Pick the one closest to where the majority of your target audience is.
“Coupon Code” with the highest value is automatically applied. You always get the best possible deal.
Step 5: Fill in your credit card details and click on the “Create Account & Get Started” button. Wait for an email with your account login details.
Step 6: Log in to your GreenGeeks account and click the “CPANEL” button. Search for “Soft” in the top box to locate the “Softaculous Apps Installer“. This is the easy way to install WordPress.
Step 7: Click on WordPress and on the next page click on the “Install Now” button.
Step 8: In “Site Settings” type your Site Name and Site Description. You don’t want your blog to be “my WordPress blog” or “just another WordPress site”.
Step 9: In “Admin Account” select a new personal username and a strong password. Don’t use the defaults. These will be your WordPress login details.
Step 10: Click on “Advanced Options” and choose to Auto Upgrade WordPress to “Any latest version available”. Auto upgrade plugins and themes too. Set “Automated backups” to “Once a week”.
Step 11: Click the “Install” button and wait until your blog has been set up. You can log in on yourblogname.com/wp-admin/ with your WordPress username and password. You’re ready to blog!
Action Point: Follow the simple instructions to start your own WordPress blog. Then you’ll be up and running for the whole world to see.
Which is better Blogger or WordPress? A detailed look
Here’s a further look into the differences between Blogger and WordPress and which of these blog platforms is best for a new blogger:
Control and ownership: Renting a house vs owning a home
Using the Blogger platform is like renting a house while using WordPress is like owning a home. If you run your blog on Blogger, your blog is owned by Google.
When using Blogger you need to work within the limits that Google sets for you.
A company that owns your blog can simply decide to shut it down without giving you a warning and without even giving you the reason or explanation for their action.
There’s a well-documented example of Dennis Cooper’s blog. Blogger hosted it for more than fourteen years but suddenly deactivated it.
No explanation was given other than that “specific Terms of Service violations are ones we cannot discuss further due to legal considerations.”
Professor and author Allen Downey had a similar experience in September 2018 explaining that his “Blogger account had been suspended for violating terms of service, but I got no information about what terms I had violated.“
Allen’s resulting action was this: “I have moved Probably Overthinking It to a site I control, hosted by a company I pay, a company that has provided consistently excellent customer service. Lesson learned.“
Most blogs may not be affected by this but it’s essential to know that you don’t have the full control.
You don’t want to risk being in a similar situation. Losing many years of your work without a warning or an option to back it up.
Open-source blog platform such as WordPress gives you full ownership of your blog and your content.
Summary: With Blogger, Google is in full control of your site. You play within their rules. WordPress, on the other hand, puts you in the driving seat.
Blogger vs WordPress for making money
How do you monetize your WordPress blog? WordPress is also the king when it comes to making money with your blog.
You are entirely free to use any monetization strategy that you want. You can even use Google Adsense on WordPress.
On Blogger, you rely more on Google’s integration with Google Adsense.
Design, features, appearance and flexibility
WordPress.org allows you to build anything you can imagine.
The open source community behind WordPress provides many of the unique benefits and advantages of the platform.
WordPress will save you weeks of time and lots of money. You won’t need to design or build any feature or functionality from scratch.
Most of them are free. All this without needing to know how to code. There is also a vibrant ecosystem of premium themes and plugins.
Blogger platform hasn’t seen any development from Google for a while. The user interface and usability look outdated compared to some of the best blogging platforms.
The plugin and theme options are severely lacking too. This fact makes Blogger not the best choice when it comes to long-term sustainability.
It just cannot compare to WordPress, a platform that is continuously upgraded and improved by the active community of developers.
The fact that the platform is so adaptable and that it puts you in full control also means that there’s a medium-sized learning curve.
You will also need to register a domain name, find a host, and manage the security and backup of your content. There are plugins that will help you with this process.
Summary: WordPress is a very advanced and extendible platform which means that it comes with a medium-sized learning curve.
Portability and the ability to move your content
WordPress allows you full and complete control over your content.
There are in-built features to import content but also to export content to other platforms or download all the content to your computer.
A free tool has been developed by the WordPress community to import posts, images and comments from Blogger to WordPress.
This “Blogger Importer” plugin was used by more than 500,000 people to transfer their Blogger content to WordPress.
Here’s my complete guide on how to move from Blogger to WordPress.
Summary: WordPress makes it easy to export and import your own content including content from Blogger.
Maintenance and security
Blogger is a straightforward platform. Its ease of use if perfect for new bloggers. It gets you writing reasonably quickly and you don’t need to worry about safety, hosting, backups or maintenance.
Google takes care of that for you and is as simple as it gets for you.
With WordPress, you run and own your own site which means you also need to take care of the maintenance and make sure you use strong passwords and take regular backups.
Luckily enough, the massive open-source community has built many features that make all this simple.
These features include the ability to automatically upgrade to the latest WordPress version, to automatically take backups but also ways to secure a WordPress site.
Summary: Blogger platform does everything for you. You don’t need to worry about updating anything, doing any maintenance or anything else. On WordPress, it’s all your responsibility.
Support and getting help
Blogger is a free service from a large corporation. The support you can get is minimal.
WordPress, on the other hand, has a huge community of WordPress users, fans and developers who are willing to help. There are also multitudes of WordPress resources, people ready to help, conferences and meetups.
Overall popularity and usage
Over 75 million people and brands have chosen to use WordPress to create a broad range of beautiful and impressive WordPress websites.
Summary: It’s difficult to argue against WordPress when looking at the adoption numbers. It fits anything from a casual blogger with a small personal blog to an official site of a huge corporation.
The future potential
One of the biggest concerns around Blogger is that Google just doesn’t seem to be that much interested or involved in it anymore.
There’s a lack of development effort and resources. Google seems just to patch things up to keep it from completely breaking down.
Look at this list of updates. Since the start of 2015, the only significant update was the HTTPS introduction.
It’s surprising that Blogger is still around. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Blogger site in my searches, and it sure doesn’t have a lot of mindshare. Google also has let the platform linger and hasn’t integrated it with any of its newer services. The same thing could be said for Google+, too, of course. Google cuts some services because they have no users and no traction. That could surely be said for Blogger and Google+, but here they are, still getting periodic updates. I think the writing is on the wall, though, and I wouldn’t expect them to survive the next major Google spring cleaning.
Some of the few changes Blogger has done in recent years have negatively affected users.
These include trying to restrict users from posting certain types of content and even blocking access from specific countries.
On one hand, Google is one of the most innovative companies. They run great apps such as Photos and Inbox. On the contrary, they’ve decided that Blogger doesn’t fit in their plans.
That’s what the lack of updates and innovation tells us. Everyone has seen the fate of Google Reader, Google+, Google Inbox and other apps Google decides to neglect.
Summary: Blogger hasn’t had any significant updates in a long time and could be on the path to the same faith as Google Reader, Inbox and other forgotten projects.
WordPress vs Blogger pros and cons
- WordPress is a flexible solution with lots of room to grow and expand your blog.
- WordPress platform is the one to use if you want full control, flexibility, and ownership.
- It’s open-source software with a vast and vibrant community of developers and designers.
- A wide range of design templates to help you create a pretty looking design without the need for design skills. See my guide on how to design a blog with WordPress.
- There’s a plugin for everything within your WordPress dashboard. Make changes and add features without any coding know-how.
- Ability to export and import your content to and from other platforms.
- Manage your blog from anywhere. In the browser, using desktop clients for Mac and Windows, or mobile apps for Android and iOS.
- You can monetize your WordPress blog in any way you want and this includes Google Adsense, affiliate marketing and more.
- Blogger is a nice place to start your adventure. It can help you discover what it’s all about. It’s got the basics covered and it’s very straightforward and easy to use.
- Your default URL is yourname.blogspot.com, but you can transfer your own domain names.
- Template Designer makes it easy to change simple things such as background, column width, and change font types and colors.
- You can do HTML changes to your template through a browser interface.
- No plugins, but a decent number of simple gadgets that you can use to improve your sidebar and footer.
- Integration with your Google Adsense allows you to add banner advertising and start making money.
- Thanks to Google it’s also easy to integrate Analytics and Search Console.
- Your WordPress install needs a domain name and a server to be hosted on which will cost you about $3 per month.
- You are responsible for managing the security, the backups and the uptime.
- Too many themes and plugin options demand a lot of time to do research and find the right ones for you.
- There is a medium-sized learning curve to get used to thanks to the many professional opportunities. If you have some more custom and advanced needs, you may need some technical knowledge.
- It’s limited, outdated and not future-proof. If you have bigger ambitions, such as creating a professional web presence or building a business, it’s not the ideal long-term solution.
- Google owns Blogger which means that you don’t own your content. You risk having your blog shut down without warning or explanation.
- Limited choice of design templates means it’s hard to make your blog design look different and unique.
- You need to have a Google account in order to use Blogger.
Final thoughts and the beautiful benefits of having a blog
Blogging is such an excellent activity and a great way to spend your free time. There’s a great value in having your online presence and building an audience.
I recommend it to everyone and I hope that you will get to experience some of the great benefits.
It’s fantastic to see all the people take up blogging, start their blogs, and share their skills with the world.
I’ve experienced many incredible benefits of having a blog. It has made an incredible difference in my life.
I’ve met new people, became a better writer, communicator, marketer, and even got a new job thanks to my blogging efforts. Whatever blogging platform you choose, you have my full support.
Either of WordPress and Blogger will allow you to quickly start your blog and have an online home where you can share whatever is on your mind.