What are the pros and cons of Blogger vs WordPress? Which is the best platform for your site and why? This comparison will explain to you the key differences.
WordPress vs Blogger: My recommendation
So which one should you use for your site between WordPress and Blogger? Here’s my verdict:
Use Blogger if you want a simple platform that’s easy to use to start writing right away. 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.
Use WordPress if you want to build a modern and feature-rich site. WordPress has many more options regarding great design, features and maintenance. It gives you full control over the look and feel but has a medium learning curve too.
What’s the difference between WordPress and Blogger
|Usage and popularity||Most popular CMS which powers more than 35% of the web||Has seen a decline in usage over the years and powers less than 1% of the web|
|Design themes and templates||More than 7,000 free themes in the official directory plus many other commercial sources||More than 10 official in-built templates plus many other from unofficial sources|
|Apps and plugins for added functionality||More than 55,000 free plugins in the official directory plus many other commercial sources||More than 25 official in-built gadgets|
|Blogging and editing content||Complete control over the look and feel of your content with an easy to use interface||You can use the traditional “what you see is what you get” writing interface|
|Ease of use and flexibility||Completely flexible and customizable which means there is a learning curve||Easy to use if you just want to write but needs some coding to add extra features|
|Control and data ownership||Open-source so you’re fully in control of your content and can do whatever you wish||Your content is owned by Blogger and you need to work within their terms|
|SEO||Takes care of technical SEO and there are many SEO plugins to add extra features||Basics are covered but lacks the more advanced SEO settings|
|Ecommerce||WooCommerce platform is well integrated, Shopify and others can be used too||No direct integration but you can use whatever platform allows you to embed|
|Ongoing maintenance||You need to keep your site updated, backed up and secured||You need to keep your site backed up while Blogger takes care of security and updates|
|Customer support||No customer support you can contact but many forums and websites with instructions||No customer support you can contact but there’s the official forum|
|Pricing||Free but you need to pay for a domain name and a hosting server where to install it||Free and you can upgrade to a custom domain name for a yearly fee|
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.
I’ll now show you how to get a site started with WordPress. You can also dig deeper into the full details of my WordPress vs Blogger comparison.
How to get your site started with WordPress
WordPress is open-source and free to use. You do need a domain name (address people will type to get access to your site) and space on a server (computer that delivers your content when requested by a visitor) to make your site accessible on the Internet.
WordPress hosting provider that I use and recommend
My site is reader-supported. If you make a purchase using my link, I earn a commission at not additional cost to you. This helps keep my site advertising free.
There are so many capable and affordable WordPress web hosting providers. I recommend GreenGeeks. I pay them to host my site and they have everything you need for a great WordPress user experience:
- GreenGeeks is an independent company based in Los Angeles, California. They are specialized in WordPress hosting with more than 10 years of experience, more than 40,000 customers and are home to more than 500,000 sites.
You get a free domain name, fast loading site, automatic updates, automatic backup and top security. There’s a 99.9% uptime guarantee. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case.
- Unlike most providers, their servers are environmentally friendly and your site will be 100% carbon neutral. They use energy-efficient hardware and purchase wind energy credits for 3 times the amount of energy they consume.
- They provide 24/7/365 customer support via chat, email and phone. I’ve never had to call, but I’ve emailed and chatted multiple times. They’re fast, responsive and unlike some other providers I’ve dealt with actually solve any issues.
11 steps to register your domain name and install WordPress
It will take you 10 minutes to get your WordPress site up and running. Here are the step by step instructions:
Step 1: Visit GreenGeeks and choose your plan. I pay for the Pro plan at $5.95/month as I run more than one site. The Lite plan at $2.95/month is the best value for those with one site only. Click the big green “Get Started” button.
Step 2: Now you need to register your domain name or transfer an existing domain name. GreenGeeks provides you with your chosen domain name for free. Type your domain name and click on the “Check Availability” button.
Step 3: Fill in all your 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.
3 years of hosting on the Lite plan 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 so no need to take any action.
“Domain WHOIS Privacy” at $9.95/year is selected by default but it’s possible to deselect it if you wish.
Every domain name registered has a publicly viewable database which includes the contact info of the domain name owner. This option protects your personal information with an anonymous registration.
Step 5: Fill in your credit card details and click on the “Create Account & Get Started” button. Then wait for an email with your GreenGeeks 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 an 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 site to be “my WordPress blog” or “just another WordPress site”.
That doesn’t tell your visitor much about what you care about. Fill in your title in “Site Name” and explain what your site is about in the “Description”.
Don’t worry about making this perfect as you can change it at any time in your WordPress dashboard.
Step 9: In “Admin Account” select a new personal username and a strong password. These will be the login details you will use to enter your WordPress dashboard.
Don’t use the default admin username as it makes you a target of brute force attacks. Create a new and unique username for yourself.
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”. These are the best practices to secure your WordPress site.
Step 11: Now you can “Select Theme” that you like. By default, you’ll get the great and modern looking Twenty Twenty theme.
You can change to a different theme with one click in your WordPress dashboard at any later stage so don’t worry about making a perfect choice now.
Click “Install” and wait until your site has been set up. You can now log in on yourname.com/wp-admin/ with your WordPress username and password.
Which is better Blogger or WordPress? A detailed comparison
Here’s a deeper and more detailed look into the differences between Blogger and WordPress.
Control and ownership
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 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 site and your content.
Blogger vs WordPress for making money
How do you monetize your WordPress site? WordPress is 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 which is their advertising platform.
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 and lots of money. You won’t need to design or build any feature or functionality from scratch.
There’s a plugin or WordPress theme for anything. There are more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins and thousands of free WordPress themes for you to choose from.
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. Some plugins can help you with this process.
Portability and the ability to move your content
WordPress allows you 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.
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 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.
WordPress vs Blogger pros and cons
Here is the detailed list of all the main Blogger and WordPress 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.
Blogger vs WordPress FAQ
Here are my answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Blogger and WordPress.
Does Blogspot still exist? Is Google Blogger shutting down?
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. 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.
How many people use Blogger and WordPress?
WordPress is a very popular blogging software and the most widely used content management system. Over 75 million people and brands have chosen to use WordPress to create a broad range of beautiful and impressive WordPress websites.
Many of the largest organizations such as Facebook, Google Ventures, eBay, CNN, NASA, and Mozilla use it too. Here’s a list of Fortune 500 companies using WordPress to power their blogs.
WordPress 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.
Is Blogger the same as Blogspot?
Yes. Blogger is the name of the blogging platform and the content management system. Blogspot is the name of the free domain name provider that’s integrated within Blogger. When you start a new site on Blogger, your domain name will be yourname.blogspot.com.
Is WordPress.com the same as WordPress.org?
WordPress exists in two different editions. WordPress.com is the name of the commercial hosted platform and WordPress.org is the free, open-source and self-hosted platform that WordPress.com is based on. You can choose to run your site using either of them.
WordPress.com is more like renting an apartment where things are taken care of for you but you may not have complete control and flexibility. WordPress.org is like owning a house where you’re in full control of everything.
Here’s more on the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Are Blogger and WordPress free to use?
Blogger is a free service from Google. You can start and run your site free of charge. You do have an option to pay for a custom domain name.
WordPress is free and open-source software. It is completely free to download, install and use but you do need to have a domain name and a hosting server to run WordPress on. This is something you need to pay a hosting provider for.
Whichever blogging platform you choose, you have my full support. Either of WordPress and Blogger will allow you to quickly start your site and have an online home where you can share whatever is on your mind.