Thinking of creating a blog? Well, you’re not alone. So do 600 million other people, because that’s approximately the amount of blogs active on the internet today.
If you’re on your way to set up a website, you’ve certainly looked at WordPress and Blogger as 2 highly viable options. They’re among the most used platforms and offer hundreds of templates and monetisation options. Among them, WordPress is used by around 38% of blogs online. Both allow you to host your site as a subdomain for free, with some limitations.
With both, you can also get your own custom domain and host them by choosing an optimum hosting plan. The major difference here is that you can still use the WordPress CMS with other hosting platforms, whereas you cannot use your Blogger domain without hosting via the same.
Acquired by Google in 2003, Blogger is a publishing platform. Released in 2003, WordPress is a content management system. But what’s the difference between the two? It turns out, quite a lot. Let’s take an in-depth look at how both platforms perform.
- Data Ownership
- Templates and Design
- Managing Content
Blogger is a great starting point for people new to the domain of blogging. It’s extremely easy to use, clutter-free, and has a low learning curve. The UI is self-explanatory, Blogger uses minimal icons and gestures, it does not overwhelm, and offers plenty of scope for explorations. The menu to the left offers the main labels. The home page lists the existing posts on your blogs.
Adding new posts, finding new themes, even looking at your stats are easily accessible. Blogger makes everything quick- from posting a new post to checking and adding comments, the number of clicks is much lesser than that of WordPress. It truly is a beginner-friendly blogging site.
However, Blogger subdomains come with their limitations. For example – customisation via coding is heavily restricted. If you’re planning on opening specialised sites like an eCommerce shopping site – you’re out of luck. Blogger is limited in that it can be used to create a standard blog that posts content pieces.
The WordPress UI is simple enough once you actually get into it. The popularity of WordPress means that you can always get some form of help from the people around you. For a domain of your own, the WordPress UI looks something like this.
Whereas a free blog made using a WordPress subdomain offers an overview like this.
The Admin dash is the backend from which you can control everything – from editing posts to changing your settings to adding new plug-ins. The WordPress home page is quite heavy, to say the least. The high amount of items on it can be overwhelming for a beginner, but it works. And it is quite expected if one considers the vast array of features WordPress provides.
From being able to integrate it with multiple tools, to convert it into a true eCommerce site, to incorporating various other widgets on-site, WordPress allows one a great deal of flexibility. The subdomain version bears a similarity to Blogger’s backend and is much easier to use.
Getting a blog up and running requires some serious effort. But who owns the work you post? And what happens to it if your hosting platform shuts down one day? One must understand that Blogger is simply a publishing site, that hosts domains and subdomains. You cannot retain your site and change your hosting platform. Hence, if Blogger ever shuts down, you lose your domain and your work.
Also, any data on Blogger belongs to Google by default. However, you can choose to export it, or save it and that data will belong to you. Not having complete control over your work can be a red flag to many. Whether it is enough to offset the many other benefits offered by Blogger is up to you to decide.
With WordPress hosting, you are the sole owner of your blog. All content is fully owned by you. Moreover, you can always choose to change your hosting platform and not lose anything on your site.
You can still download the open-source software for WP content management and use it with the other hosting plan. Thus, there is much more flexibility, which comes at the expense of a monetary investment.
Templates and Design
Blogger offers many themes of their own, which you can further customise and modify according to your needs. However, the customisation is limited as Blogger does not allow editing via code.
The editor is pretty simple and customisations are offered as basic. You can add new blocks of text, banners, and widgets. Colour and text size changes are possible. Images can be replaced. And you can see a preview of your blog, of course.
All of this makes Blogger a site that one can use to set up a profile in mere minutes. And it’s great for someone looking to learn their ropes!
Apart from these inbuilt themes, one can also buy themes for Blogger “unofficially” online from various sites. However, these may present compatibility issues and are also limited in number.
WordPress offers thousands of themes that one can choose from – both free and paid. Apart from that WordPress has a drag and drop builder that allows you to add your own elements onto the page – you can add text boxes, banners, comment sections, transition sections, and so on.
There are also many other sites like Themify, and Astra Themes that offer WordPress themes. With a domain of your own, you can edit your site by coding as well to edit or add new elements.
If you’re looking to build a new WordPress theme, but don’t know to code – that’s fine too! With a Page Builder plugin, you can create custom layouts. An example is Beaver Themer that allows you to create custom pages and add a theme colour, font, etc to them. On the whole, WordPress offers much more flexibility in terms of design.
As a blogging site, Blogger does content management right. Adding content is as easy as clicking on the Plus sign to the top left. The Blogger content editor is extremely easy and skin to a word document with a few more options. The left section shows all formating options where the right-side panel controls posting options. Here, you can add labels and location tags to easily segregate your posts.
If you’re done, click on Publish and the piece will be upon your blog immediately. It’s all very quick and easy. One thing people might miss at this stage is the lack of plugins.
For paid domains, Blogger offers a standard WYSIWYG editor. Here, you can add text, embed videos, add images and links. You can use the right panel to change settings for comments, schedule a date for posting, or define your permalink.
Blogger’s Post overview allows you to see all posted content with comments, likes, and shares on each. You can also easily add tags to the posts, delete or share them without opening them. They are broadly divided as Drafts, Published, and Scheduled.
There’s no doubt that the WordPress CMS is one of the best – and it encourages an equal focus on both creating and managing content. If you’re hosting a free subdomain, then the WordPress editor is pretty much the same as that of Blogger with a few more options. You can set up featured images, pin them to the top, add excepts to be shown with the featured image, and of course, categorise the post with tags.
However, for a bought domain, you can see that the dash is much complex with multiple panels. Moreover, WordPress allows one to integrate plugins for SEO, backlink checking, internal linking, readability, etc. which can be quite helpful for writing!
Apart from this, WordPress allows you to see an overview of all your posts and their performance. The Media Library allows you to see at a glance all the images uploaded onto the drive. It also segregates uploaded media as images, videos, and so on. WordPress’s post overview to be much more comprehensive than that of Blogger.
Blogger does not allow any plugins, which severely limits its abilities on the backend. As we said before, Blogger cannot be used to create an OTT site or open a store. However, it does allow some amount of flexibility with the use of widgets. These can include integrating social media feeds onto your profile, adding testimonials, QR codes, RSS feeds, contributor lists, etc.
All of these are available from the Blogger control panel under Gadgets and provided by Google themselves. Also, Blogger cannot be used to integrate pop-ups, which can be a great monetisation feature. Blogger was meant to be a simple blogging site – and it has everything it needs to be so.
WordPress on the other hand allows hundred of plugins – both via their own site and on other sites that sell plugins. You can integrate Shopify stores, add transaction gateways, ad pop-ups, and more. The ability to add so many features makes WordPress an extremely flexible management system. On the backend, you can add many management and editing tools.
Both free and paid plugins are available on the WordPress Plugin Store. You can also code and create your own plugins and add them to your WordPress site (and upload them for others to use). Plugins are also constantly updated, which means your site will remain in top form always!
While Blogger does not allow pop-ups (a big blow to monetisation opportunities), it is owned by Google. This means you can place Google Ad Sense onto your site. The feature is already available with Blogger and you do not need to externally install anything.
All you need to do is visit the “Earnings” page and activate it. Once done, this section will show an overview of your earnings from various posts and channels. Moreover, Blogger does not require any initial monetary investment either. If you are accepting money as donations, you can add a link to other sites like Patreon. While you cannot add payment gateways, you can still add affiliate links.
You can add Google Ad Sense onto your WordPress site by using the AdSense Plugin. Apart from this, WordPress allows you to sell products and services on your page. Third-party plugins can allow you to add payment gateways.
Alternatively, you can sell monthly or yearly subscriptions, or open up a transaction gateway for donations. Another thing offered by WordPress itself is the WordAds program. This is only available if you have a hosting plan for Business or eCommerce. WordAds allows you to post advertisements on your site and earn revenue via them. The ads come through third-party sites like OpenX, Lijit, BuySellAds, and even AdSense.
Since it’s owned by Blogger, security isn’t much of an issue with Blogger. You will not need to invest separately to get or secure your servers. Google Servers are extremely robust and you will rarely experience downtime or shutdown due to traffic issues. Blogger does offer exporting options so that you can store your data offline as well. Backups can also be created, though manually.
For a self-hosted site, WordPress does not claim any responsibility. You will have to invest in your own server and security measures. WordPress has its own security guide that offers information on the best practices and solutions. There are some plugins that one can use to create regular backups and set up firewalls. Other than that, exporting data from WordPress is quite easy. You can always import it onto another site with a different hosting platform.
For free sub-domains, there is no call support. Blogger does a comprehensive manual on its site, with detailed FAQs and tutorials. The dashboard has a Help option that you can use to be directed to the FAQ page. There are also support forums you can join where you can get community help.
For free subdomains, the support available is the same as that of Blogger – documentation on the site along with community forums. Since WordPress is a popular choice for bloggers, it’s easy to find help or tutorials that explain most things in detail. They usually have support pages for each plugin as well. WordPress community experts are many and there are thousands of threads on forums across the web.
Some plugins come with their own support team and you can get hosting help from your hosting platform. WP also has contact forms that you can use for major issues. However, if you’re expecting on-call support, then then you will be disappointed. In both cases, you might have to rely on hired professionals for this.
Both WordPress and Blogger are good at what they do. It’s just that what they do is so very different! WordPress is a complete package that you can use to set up a professional site of any type. Whereas Blogger aims to bring blogging to the masses with ease and efficiency.
You can set up a site on Blogger in minutes, whereas with WordPress, it is sure to take an hour or more. If you’re looking to create a simple portfolio site – Blogger would work just as well. However, if you want to launch a new product line of your own – it’s WordPress’s scalability that you’re looking for.
Of course, this also comes with some monetary investment. Hence, the decision between the two depends on your needs. One might also take into consideration WordPress’s portability and monetisation feature – if this is something you’re looking for.
One good thing is – you can create free subdomains on both to get an idea of how it works!