Monday, June 3, 2013

Wordpress vs. Blogger

Due to my involvement with a writing group I belong to, I've become quite a bit more familiar with Wordpress as of late.  For those of you new to the blogging world, there are two major (free) blog hosts that seem to consistently dominate the heap: Wordpress and Blogger.

Well, I apparently can't commit to just one so I freely admit to being a switcher-back-and-forther.  The general consensus between the two hosts is that Blogger is more user-friendly while Wordpress is more customizable.

This is sort of true.  Sort of.  If you've never blogged before both platforms are going to have a learning curve.  I also feel that the general consensus is somewhat flawed because Wordpress is only more customizable if you switch over to the paid version.

To help you decide which is for you, I decided to make a more detailed list of what I like and don't like about both.  Keep in mind that this list is only of noticeable differences.  I'm not going to list things that I like that both platforms have.  Also keep in mind that I am only comparing these two platforms.  

So here it goes:

  • Overall, the blog will look sleeker. 
  • You have the ability to make a static site (like a regular website, not a blog)
  • There aren't a whole lot of free themes (the way it looks) to choose from.
  • If you're using the free version, there's not much about the theme you can adjust (so you're stuck with default fonts, colors, etc.)
  • You can automatically have your blog send new post updates to a Facebook fan page
  • Lacks the ability to upload pictures from your computer and place them in your sidebar(s).  Requires you to get your image from an online URL.
  • Dashboard that you use to make blog changes is not user-friendly at all (this is coming from someone who already knew how to blog). 
  • Spam filters are really good at default setting.
  • Can look sleek but takes a lot more work.
  • Dashboard is far more intuitive.
  • Requires you to find a third-party program in order to send updates to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Owned by Google so easily syncs with other Google programs such as Google+.
  • You can adjust just about anything you want with your free blog (background, colors, font, tab sizes, etc.).
  • EasiER to monetize.   Google AdSense is already built in.   
  • As the blog ages, you get lots of spam comments.  Can be avoided but requires some tweaking with the security settings.
Those are the main things that come to mind.  Do note that this list is my opinion of these platforms as of right now.  There is certainly a possibility that features can be added and taken out in future updates.
To sum up:  Even after becoming comfortable with both platforms, I find I still prefer Blogger.  The only real advantage Wordpress has is the swankier vibe.  But overall I find myself annoyed with how limited the free Wordpress blog is.  If you want to pay the small yearly fee, however, the number of Wordpress options does increase.  But I think it's saying something that you have to pay money to get features that Blogger already offers for free.