By 2020, the number of bloggers in the United States is expected to reach 31.7 million. As this number continues to increase, you may wonder how you can be competitive in this increasingly crowded market.
One way is to choose the right platform. When deciding to start a blog, you’ll want to consider the advantages of using a publishing platform like Blogger or a content management system like WordPress.
With Blogger, you can publish multimedia content, like blog posts or GIFs, to attract readers and grow your brand without having to worry about site maintenance or paying for anything other than a custom domain. In exchange for this ease of use and low cost, you’ll forfeit virtually all control over your site.
For more control over the design and functionality of your blog, you can create and manage a self-hosted blog on WordPress. With a content management system, you can have a custom domain. You can choose the colors, fonts, and layouts of your blog. You can add social media buttons, forms, affiliate links, and other features via plugins.
Below we’ll take a closer look at the differences between Blogger and WordPress.org.
Blogger vs. WordPress
Blogger is a free blog hosting service by Google. Due to its ease-of-use and low costs, Blogger is a popular platform for beginners to create simple blogs. Users looking for more control over their blog’s appearance and functionality can self-host a site on WordPress.org. WordPress is a flexible content management system that provides the customization options and advanced features needed to build large and more complex blogs.
With Blogger, you can quickly set up a blog by creating an account, selecting a template, and adding content. Because Blogger will take care of all the technical aspects of running a blog, you can focus on publishing content and understanding what topics and types of posts are popular among your readers. This will enable you to establish yourself as a thought leader in a particular industry and grow your readership without paying for features and services you aren’t taking advantage of.
With WordPress, you need to download and install the software and pay a small monthly fee for hosting from a third-party provider like Bluehost. You’re also in charge of the security, performance, and maintenance of your blog. While this greater degree of ownership will require more time, effort, and budget, it will also afford you more freedom. You can select your own hosting plan, install any theme and plugin you want, and edit the source code as you please.
Now that we’ve given a brief overview of the differences between Blogger and the self-hosted variant of WordPress, let’s compare their pricing.
Blogger vs. WordPress Price
Whether you’re just starting out or have been blogging for years, budget is an important factor to consider when choosing your blogging platform. Let’s compare the costs associated with creating and running a blog on Blogger and WordPress below.
Blogger is a free blogging platform that provides everything you need to create and launch a blog quickly. You don’t have to pay for hosting, an SSL certificate, or templates. You don’t even have to pay for domain registration if you’re okay with using a blogspot subdomain. In that case, your URL will look something like: www.mywebsite.blogspot.com. (Not to be confused with Blogger, Blogspot is afree domain service provider also owned by Google.)
If you’d prefer a custom domain, then you’ll have to purchase and connect it. You can buy a domain directly from Google or from another domain registrar like GoDaddy. A custom domain typically costs $12 per year.
What sets Blogger apart from other free platforms like WordPress.com is that it will not run ads on your free site. That’s why many beginners choose to start blogging on this platform.
Though WordPress is free to use, there are costs associated with building and managing a site on this self-hosted platform. You’ll have to pay for domain registration in addition to hosting and any premium themes or plugins you want to install.
Because of these variables, building and managing a WordPress site can cost anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand. Luckily, creating a blog similar to one you’d create on Blogger sits on the lower end of that spectrum. For example, hosting a blog with a free domain on a shared server can cost as little as $3 per month.
There are different ways to optimize your blog for search engines. You can focus on the technical aspects, like load time, or on-page SEO, like keywords, meta descriptions, links, and images.
To optimize both these types of SEO, you want to look for a platform with the built-in functionality and add-ons required to maximize your efforts. Let’s compare the features of Blogger and WordPress below to see which is better for your site.
Blogger for SEO
With Blogger, you can take several steps to optimize your blog for search engines. You can customize your permalinks, add keywords to your post and page titles, add headers, optimize the alt text of your images, hide pages from searches, and tell search engines not to follow certain links
Since there are no plugins available to help simplify or automate these processes for you, Blogger is ideal for users who are already familiar with or have the time to learn SEO best practices.
WordPress for SEO
With WordPress, you get the SEO features you expect and much more. Not only can you add image alt-text, meta descriptions, headings, and custom URLs in your posts and pages, you can also maintain granular control over every part of your code to ensure it’s optimized.
If you don’t have coding skills or aren’t familiar with SEO best practices, then you can download some of the most popular and advanced SEO tools from its plugin directory or third-party sites.
For example, you can install the Yoast SEO plugin to simplify the process of optimizing your on-page SEO. This plugin will offer suggestions for creating readable text, using your keywords, optimizing your meta descriptions and image alt text, and adding internal links. Other plugins will help you optimize your images, generate and update XML sitemaps in one click, integrate with Google Analytics, cache your site, and more to improve your technical SEO.
Blogger vs. WordPress for Blogging
Blogger and WordPress were both originally established as blogging platforms. However, WordPress has since evolved into a multi-purpose content management system that can be used to build nearly any type of site.
Let’s consider the blogging features and layouts of each platform below to help you decide which is the right platform for you.
Blogger for Blogging
Blogger provides the standard functionality you’d expect to quickly create and launch a blog.
Like WordPress’s Classic editor, Blogger’s editor looks and functions like a word processor. Once you’ve added text to the post editor, you can then format it using a variety of buttons in the toolbar. You can make bold, italicize, or underline words, change the font color, add links, include bullet lists, and insert images.
To change the appearance of your blog, you can select a free template. Using the built-in template designer, you can easily rearrange elements by dragging and dropping them. However, because this takes place on the back end, you’ll have to click preview to see how the template will look on the front end, go back and make changes, click preview again, and so on until you’re ready to activate the template.
Blogger offers some advanced functionality that you can’t find on other free platforms. For example, you can restrict access to your content to a select group of Google users, organize your posts with labels, share them on social sharing sites, and monetize them with Adsense.
But if you’re looking for any other functionality, then you’ll need to use a more flexible platform like WordPress.
WordPress for Blogging
While Blogger has remained relatively the same product since the early 2000s, WordPress has constantly been updated and improved. It offers standard blogging options that you might expect — like a drag-and-drop block editor, native commenting system, tags, and categories — and more advanced options for publishing a complex blog.
You can assign user roles and permissions, make your content public or private, secure posts and pages with a password, or build a site in your language. You can also change the appearance of your site by selecting from thousands of themes that are specifically designed for blogging.
In short, WordPress provides much more control over your blog — but requires a steeper learning curve.
The Key Differences Between Blogger and WordPress
Whether you’re creating a personal or business blog, Blogger and WordPress offer unique advantages. Selecting the right platform will boil down to how much flexibility, customization, and ownership you want over your blog.
Below you’ll find a summary of the key differences between the two platforms.
Proprietary publishing platform
Open-source content management system
Free with blogspot subdomain. You can purchase a custom domain for $12 per year on average.
Free to use the software. Costs associated with domain registration, hosting, and premium plugins and themes range, but you can host a blog with a free domain for as little as $3 per month.
Standard features for customizing your permalinks; adding keywords in post and page titles, headers, and image alt text; hiding pages from searches; and telling search engines not to follow certain links.
In addition to standard features, you can select from hundreds of plugins to simplify the process of optimizing your on-page and technical SEO.
Offers more functionality than most free platforms — like the ability to restrict access to your blog to particular readers and monetize it with Adsense — but lacks content management features and customization options to create a custom blog.
Offers advanced blogging functionality, including user management, multi-lingual support, and a drag-and-drop block editor, and a vast selection of blogging themes. Customization options are virtually limitless via plugins and coding.
Originally published Jan 1, 2020 2:36:00 PM, updated March 11 2020