WordPress and Blogger – which one to choose?

Fairy Blog Mother: blogging help

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One of my new guinea pigs asked me this question soon after she signed up to my Blogging Guinea Pig Group, because she was already writing a blog using Blogger and I was concentrating my book on WordPress. So I decided to do some research to find out the differences.

Blogger.com and WordPress.com are both free hosting blogging platforms. Blogger is owned by Google, so the URLs are http://username.blogspot.com, whereas WordPress is independently owned and a WordPress.com blog’s URL would be http://username.wordpress.com.

The general consensus is that Blogger is easier to set up, so is best used for blogging as a hobby, whereas WordPress appears to be more complicated and can be adapted more for business use. (The reason for my book is to show that WordPress isn’t as hard to use as everyone makes out, and to create a WordPress.com blog is just as easy as Blogger.) However, this may be overshadowed by WordPress.org, the more sophisticated version, which is complicated to set up if you don’t have any web-developer experience, so it is best to hire someone to do that for you. But once you’ve learned the basics of blogging with WordPress.com, doing the same in the .org version is just as easy.

Each platform have their pluses and minuses, as you would expect. It all depends what you want from your blog. The availability of templates (Blogger) or themes (WordPress) vary considerably. Blogger may not have as large a selection of templates, but they do offer the ability to customise them for free, whereas this facility is only available as a paid upgrade in WordPress; however, they do provide over 100 themes to choose from, and some can change their banners, colours and other features.

Blogger can only import posts from other Blogger blogs, whereas WordPress accepts the importation of posts from a large selection of alternative blogging platforms. Blogger only allows the creation of 10 pages per blog, whereas WordPress has no page limitations. Blogger allows 1 GB for image storage, and will only accept images, whereas WordPress provides 3 GB of space and can upload many forms of documents, not just images.

WordPress allows a selection of users: Administrators, Editors, Authors and Contributors, for a shared blogging experience, whereas Blogger only has Administrators and non-Administrators. WordPress can moderate and edit comments to its posts, and provides Akismet for protection against spam, whereas Blogger can moderate but not edit comments, and appears to have little spam protection.

Blogger allows Adsense to advertise on its blogs so they can become monetized, whereas WordPress.com only allows Google-related advertising in certain circumstances. Blogger allows the process of changing to a customised URL for free, whereas this facility is only available as a paid upgrade in WordPress. Blogger allows blog privacy to unlimited Blogger users, whereas WordPress limits it to a maximum of 35 WordPress account holders; however it does provide facilities for password protected and private posts and pages, which could be used as a rudimentary membership site.

There, that is plenty of comparisons. Some of this is quite technical, and may be not of importance to a beginner or hobby blogger, but it does show why I am biased towards WordPress. There is also the added benefit that your .com blog can very easily be transformed into the .org version, with all the extra functions it contains and the supremacy it has on search engines, which is something to consider if you want to develop your blogging experience further in the world of business.

If there is anything I’ve missed out, misunderstood or got wrong, please feel free to correct me by commenting below. It can only benefit all of us!

Update (19/7/11): I’ve just noticed that Blogger have announced a spam filter and improved comment moderation facilities, details available from http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?&answer=187141.

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
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  • Barbara says:

    I wish I’d seen this explanation a few weeks ago when I was setting up a new blog for a client and we were trying to decide between Blogger and WordPress. We opted for WordPress.

    It would be good to read this in an “at a glance” comparison table but thanks for this. It’s really useful.

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