This is my first post here.
I won’t pretend my arrival onto this website was meticulously planned or thought-out. I don’t really follow any specific bloggers, and yet I must have read hundreds of opinion pieces, articles, commentaries, blog posts, and so on, like anyone who spends a lot of time online likely has. Knowing that I wanted a place to wedge various little personal projects and thought-pieces together, and also knowing that it will be a largely personal endeavor as opposed to some kind of organized venture, I have few grand aspirations for this. People may come for individual pieces of the pie, but I’ll be surprised if anyone wants to devour the whole thing.
So, I was looking for a platform that was amateur-friendly, but not amateurish. I had taken a look at Blogger once in the past and found it to be intuitive enough, so that’s where I first directed my attention. However, as the planned content began to stack up, I realised that as a total beginner I was, in fact, in a privileged position: I might never have another opportunity to swap platforms, with so little to lose, again. I thought about all the job adverts I’d encountered that insisted experience with WordPress would be a boon, and it suddenly clicked that my unthinking assumption that WordPress was just a site for DIY amateur bloggers was very much outdated (if it was ever true). I began sifting through people’s accounts of having used both to see what they preferred, exactly as you may be doing now.
It wouldn’t be smart to let your choice be governed entirely by what a smattering of anonymous internet users have to say, but when I found this thread on reddit.com, I couldn’t help but notice that WordPress seemed to be far more popular among those who said they’d tried both. I signed up, fiddled around with it, and started digging deeper until I’d found enough information to feel like I could make an informed choice.
It’s probably clear enough by now that I’m no expert, but if, like me, you are just looking to get started without being bogged down in technicalities, you might find it useful to know what the main factors affecting my decision were.
One important note: This comparison is between Blogger.com and WordPress.com – not WordPress.org, which requires you to host your own website and is therefore less accessible to beginners.
Things I Preferred About Blogger.com
- Blogger is owned and run by internet super-giant Google, and while the benefits of this aren’t wholly tangible, there’s a feeling of safety that comes with choosing their platform. You almost certainly already use several Google services, so keeping your website within Google’s ecosystem could simplify things for you.
- AdSense support. WordPress.com does not allow you to run AdSense on your website, which bothered me as someone who had already used an AdSense account on YouTube for quite some time. WordPress’s alternative, WordAds, is less well-known, and most of us will have to pay for a premium subscription in order to get access to that (and the ability to earn revenue from our work).
- More technical customization options for your layout (without paying). WordPress.com does allow you to access more advanced customization such as CSS editing, but it requires you to pay for a premium subscription first, whereas Blogger gives you this option immediately.
Things I Preferred About WordPress.com
- The layouts offered for free on WordPress are usually sleek, professional, and unique. As one user put it, usually Blogger sites look like Blogger sites, while WordPress offers such a diverse range of free layouts that it’s often difficult to tell the website you’re on is using one.
- WordPress is growing in influence, while Blogger shrinks. The homepage currently claims that WordPress powers 27% of the internet, including the websites for many huge brands. They point to this Google Trends graph, which shows that interest in the “blogger” search term has been in decline for five years, while “wordpress” appears to be holding firm thus far.
- Google doesn’t give off the impression that it cares much about Blogger. Despite the ground it’s been losing, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious indication that changes are being worked on to reinvigorate the brand. That’s sure to leave some worrying about the long term future of the platform.
- The user interface is more fleshed out. Blogger doesn’t have a bad interface – it has that sleek material design that so many other Google apps do – but in my opinion WordPress’s system feels less dated, and was extremely quick to get the hang of.
I’m sure there is far more that can be said for the two services than what I’ve covered here, so I encourage anyone who’s still unsure to keep looking. However, from my limited experience, those are the reasons my preference tilted in favour of WordPress.com.
Here’s the photograph the WordPress automatically placed onto this post. It’s pretty nice. A million other blogs probably have the exact same one.