It’s the battle of the ages—Wordpress vs. Blogger. Which one will meet your needs while providing you with the greatest ease of functionality? For many bloggers today, the notion of paying a designer to create a website from scratch is more than they can handle monetarily. Additionally, the added stress of developing a full design idea and layout is not what they envision as they attempt to grab a piece of the internet real estate.
It is the age old battle – WordPress vs Blogger. Which one is the easiest to use, which one offers the best functionality? In short; which one should you use?
I wish I could answer that question in a single word – it would definitely save a lot of time for me for it is by far the most common question asked on this site. But if the question was that easy to answer, it probably wouldn’t be much asked question in the first place.
Cost and basic functionality
Let’s start with the basics. Both WordPress and Blogger is free. You can have your blog up and running in a few minutes and they both offer a number of features to make blogging easy. Clearly we cannot pick a winner based on this.
Design and templates
For some time Blogger was lagging a bit behind when it came to design. But today Blogger offers a good selection of templates for you to chose from – and changing from one template to another is quick and easy.
WordPress has always offered a huge selection of templates, and in my opinion the best WordPress templates looks far better than the best templates from Blogger. But Blogger does allow you to easily change colours, fonts and layouts and advanced users can also change the HTML and even add CSS. WordPress is a bit less customizable unless you want to download the wordpress script and run your blog on your own server. But that is clearly for the more advanced users. If you run your blog off the wordpress.com site, you will generally have to live with the template you have selected, without much ability to make alterations. However even that is now changing. Some of the templates, like EvoLve now offers you the ability to modify colours and CSS as part of the template.
So again, it is hard to pick a winner based on design and template selection.
How easy is it to get started?
In this category I finally believe we can pick a clear winner. In my mind there is no question that Blogger is by far the easiest of the two to get started with if you have no programming experience and have never used blogging software before. The WordPress dashboard is much more confusing than the Blogger menu and getting started with your first post would definitely take longer. WordPress recently changed their default site layout so that immediately after setting up a new blog, there is a big button saying “Add a post”. This may have made it easier to post your first text, but it has made it even more confusing making small changes and alterations to your posts or deleting your first post (which for most users will be a test post anyway). Even finding the Dashboard now takes some time for a new user. On ease of use, Blogger is a clear winner.
Just as we were finally getting somewhere, having decided that Blogger is a clear winner when it comes to ease of use, we are back to square one. Because just as Blogger was clearly easier to use than WordPress, WordPress clearly offers much more advanced functions than Blogger. I presume the two goes hand in hand anyway. The more functionality you offer, the less easy the site will be to use.
WordPress allows you to select advanced plugins, control your URLs, closely monitor backlinks, pings and comments, manage tags etc. If you are looking for advanced functionality for your blog, WordPress is the obvious choice.
Search engine optimization and availability
Getting your blog ranked high on search engines is obviously important if you want readers. And if you don’t want readers you probably shouldn’t be blogging in the first place.
On paper this should be a walkover for Blogger. It is owned by the largest search engine in the world – Google.com. But in reality it isn’t that easy. Both WordPress.com and Blogspot.com (where your Blogger blog will be hosted) has a Google Page Rank of 9 and Open Site Explorer ranks Blogger as 98/100 and WordPress at 100/100.
The real SEO difference between the two sites is the ability to do proper on-site SEO optimization. WordPress has better functionality for proper static pages where you can focus on individual keywords (Blogger also allows static pages but it will still include a number of mandatory elements such as your picture and images). And WordPress, unlike Blogger, will allow you to create unique H1 content for each page. H1 tags are considered an important part of on-site SEO optimization.
If SEO is important for you, WordPress is definitely a better choice – provided you have the skill and know-how to use it well.
Flexibility and growth
It may come one day, when your blog has grown and you feel more confident in your own technical skills that you may want to move your blog to your own server. Unlike Blogger, WordPress allows you to download the WordPress script and run it on your own hosting platform or dedicated server. To me, this is the single most important advantage WordPress has over Blogger. The fact that people can install it on their own hosting platforms has meant that the number of WordPress users and the WordPress community by far outsize that of Blogger.
So, back to the original question. Which one is best – blogger.com or wordpress.com? Well in the end it all depends on what you will use your blog for and how confident you are in your own technical skills. If you have never blogged before and if you know little or no HTML and web programming, go for Blogger. It will have you up and running in seconds. If, however, you are serious about your blogging and either already know or at least is willing to dedicate time to learn, WordPress will give you more features and flexibility in the long run.
But at the end of the day, don’t forget that there are other blog sites out there too. Weebly.com which we will be reviewing shortly, for example, may be an even better choice for the complete novice.