In an effort to answer all of the frequently asked questions that I get emails about, I’m dedicating every Tuesday post to covering new blogging topics. And to keep it fun, I’m throwing in an outfit too – so it only seemed right to rename it “Look and Lesson.” You can find all of these posts under the LEARN category in my header by clicking on THE LOVELY LESSONS tab.
I’m tackling the infamous Blogger or Wordpress topic in today’s post now that I’ve finally finished migrating my site across publishing platforms! You might have noticed my recent site design which was more than just a little design refresh. The decision was ultimately (finally) made to move APOL to WordPress.org after years on Blogger. This move was procrastinated for so long because I knew how much work it would entail. So now, I’m ready to discuss and maybe help some future bloggers out when it comes hosting a their own blog. Outlined in today’s post are key factors to consider when selecting a blog platform and a comparison look at the pros and cons of Blogger or Wordpress.
Continue reading for more advice on whether to use Blogger or WordPress.
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To be honest, there were no real issues while I was using Blogger, so there was no immediate need to switch – which is exactly what took me so long. But as APOL grows, ownership of the site became more and more important. Blogger is a service provided by Google for free which means Google has the right to shutdown the service or access at any time. With WordPress.org, I decide how long my site is up and running. I own all of my data and the information I share. This was my number one reason for switching.
Blogger’s limited set of templates are easy to use for beginners in terms of modifying colors and layouts. Using Blogger for so long allowed me to familiarize myself with updating simple HTML commands. I became more familiar with how to categorize posts and add alt tags and descriptions. It also helped me start understanding SEO best practices. The Blogger interface was by far easier to navigate and understand for starting out my blog.
Once I reached a certain point with my blog, I started looking for more advanced modifications. Premium WordPress.org themes allow me to create a more professional looking website. While both publishing platforms do have non-official themes for purchase, WordPress allows more flexibility with the formatting. I also have more advanced SEO controls for boosting my site traffic which has allowed me to take things “to the next level.”
Blogger offers widgets specific to blogging only. All of these widgets are performing supporting tasks for your blog but don’t extend much past that. You can add a slideshow or ads or different HTML sections to create visual interest and engagement across your site.
WordPress.org is an open source software that allows you to add on new features through plug-ins. For example, you can add a store to your website, create portfolio pages, insert contact forms, include landing pages etc. If you wish to turn your blog into a business, these are all important features to have access and control over. Again, these features might be unnecessary if you are just starting out our blog.
Blogger has a serious edge in this category because Google hosting has a very secure platform. You don’t need to ever worry about the server crashing or securing your site from attacks.
While WordPress.org is very secure as well, it is self-hosted making you responsible for the security. Installing WordPress plug-ins can assist in the security of your site.
Blogger has very limited support which is mostly provided in a forum of frequently asked questions. In my experience, there were very few reasons for me to contact support or look up an answer via Google’s search engine, so support was not an issue for me.
WordPress offers community forums, chatrooms, and online documentation. There are also many developers and companies that offer premium WordPress.org support. I’ve had to look up quite a few questions since moving platforms, but I’ve always seemed to find the answer pretty quickly.
As you can see, there are various factors to consider when deciding between Blogger or WordPress, but it will ultimately come down to how advanced you want your site to be. In the beginning, I’m so glad that I used Blogger to learn the basics, but over time, I realized that bringing in a developer to help move my site to WordPress.org was the best choice for me and the future of my blog. And I say developer because moving platforms is a very extensive process – keep this in mind if you decide to start on Blogger!
Thoughts and or questions? Shoot them my way – [email protected]!
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photos by Lainey Reed