Those who are new to blogging inevitably ask, “Which is better, WordPress or Blogger?”
Blogger is the easiest of the two platforms to use. You can be up and running in a couple of minutes. WordPress offers the most flexibility and functionally and is the more robust of the two platforms. In fact, it’s increasingly being used as a way to build whole websites, not just blogs. But it will require more work and tech savvy on your part to get it up and running. You’ll need a domain, and you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of CSS.
Blogger is free free free; WordPress can require a small investment.
WordPress claims to have “thousands” of free themes (templates in WPspeak), but it does take some work to find good free themes. The really great WP themes are the ones with a price tag, generally from between $25 and $80. It’s worth the investment; paid themes come with support, and when you set up your first WP blog you’ll likely appreciate a little hand-holding. That said, if you’re comfortable with CSS, you can skip the hand-holding.
Keep in mind when browsing themes that you can customize just about everything — colors, layout, fonts, etc. — in your WordPress theme. Your template is just a starting point that saves you from writing a bunch of php code. If you’re comfortable with CSS (which is pretty easy to learn) the sky’s the limit when it comes to WordPress customization.
Here’s what WP Superstar Mochi has to say about WordPress:
WordPress is free if you create a blog on WordPress.com. You don’t need a separate hosting account.You can even use your own domain name… for a small additional charge. Ditto custom CSS, videopress (video embedding a la vimeo and youtube but better because it’s html5 and works on iphones) more space etc etc.
There are a lot more nice looking free themes, many of which have several styles (colors) and places for a lot of widgets.
That said, the free WordPress framework (from wordpress.ORG) is usually a one click install with most web hosting plans. It’s really not very hard to get the hang of, and is cool if you like messing with themes.
It’s also good and want to run multiple, networked blogs with one database, one admin panel, multiple users, etc.
I’ve also found it very easy to learn how to customize theme CSS by using Firebug in Firefox. Check that out.
If you want to host WordPress on your own domain you’ll need to buy a
domain name (about $12 at godaddy). and a hosting account.
- If you’re in it for fun, go with Blogger.
- If you’re not really sure about blogging, but you want to give it a try, go with Blogger.
- If you don’t want to spend a cent, go with Blogger.
- If you’re not tech-savvy, go with Blogger.
- If you want to make money from your blog, go with WordPress.
- If you’d like more sophisticated layouts and more robust features, go with WordPress.
: Blogger wins in usability, primarily because it is not as sophisticated as WordPress, so ease of use is inherent. It’s pretty goofproof, both in setting up and designing your blog as well as day-to-day posting.
WordPress does require some backend work in setting up a hosting account and database, then uploading the WP theme files to the proper directory in the host account. (If you upload a zip file, this step takes only a couple of clicks.) If you bought your hosting through GoDaddy, they do offer excellent customer suport, and they can walk you through the process.
If you purchased a WP theme, you’ll usually get support with it, although the quality of support can vary widely. Make sure support goes along with the package when you purchase a theme.
Once your WordPress account is set up you can manage your files and post via the WP dashboard which is nicely intuitive.
Despite the fact that Blogger is a Google platform, WordPress has the edge in the SEO department.
WordPress’ hierarchical category structure is something that search engine spiders love to crawl, and you can supercharge your SEO with plugins.
But the thing about SEO is, if you don’t follow SEO best practices, it doesn’t matter which platform you’re using. I’d guess that the overwhelming percentage (like, 90%) of bloggers do not take advantage of SEO opportunities on their blogs. SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it feature. You have to optimize every single post and image for SEO, and if you’re not doing that, it doesn’t matter what blogging platform you use.