Self-Hosted WordPress vs Blogger – Make Your Choice

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12 Comments Last modified on July 14th, 2013

In a nutshell

In this article we are going to focus on the two of the best and the most sort after Blogging platforms. They are the – Self-hosted WordPress [wordpress.org] and Blogger by Google [Blogspots]. We are going to have a look at the  comparisons between these 2 platforms in various aspects that includes – Security, Page load time, SEO, Bugs, Plugins, Content ownership, Themes and Interface, Dashboard, Mobile friendly, Hosting, and the final take on which one to opt for. So, just keep reading.


The title says it all – this post emphasis on helping the user choose the best blogging platform either it be Blogger or WordPress. In fact this is a topic of discussion from quite some time now. There is a lot of confusion regarding this among the newer class of people who are looking to build new / setup new blog but are unable to zero in on choosing the best platform.

Wordpress vs Blogger

Well to start of with, there is nothing like Blogger is the best or WordPress is the best. It is all about which platform really “suites your needs best“. Whether your need is regarding SEO, Site template, layout, hosting, security and the list goes on…

How about WordPress.com?

I am not a big fan of wordpress.com hence we will not focus on that at the moment. Maybe I will try putting up a separate post some time later on some of the demerits of wordpress.com and why to stay away from it. Not that it is a dangerous material but just that it won’t really work out for you. One main reason being – You will have to shell out bucks at regular internals if you want some of the features unlocked to enhance you blog. In simple terms we put it up as “premium upgrades”. There is hardly any good feature in that and most of the good ones are categorized under premium listing hence I don’t think it’s worth it for you to while your time on that.

Now getting to back to the article, Here are the key differences and a detailed breakdown on each aspects of features that will help you [hopefully] to make the right decision between self-hosted WordPress or Blogger:

New Blogger – First Blog

Some of you reading this article might be first-time bloggers or new to blogging. Primarily for new bloggers, they are advised to opt for Blogger as it is completely free of cost and will be hosted by the ever reliable Google with no downtimes. Also you get to choose over a wide range of themes which you can use according to your needs and convenience. All the spending that you would have to do would be for buying a domain [yourwebsite.com, yourwebsite.net or something like that]. Just to make your blog more professional. Also Now that newbies have read this point,  I reckon you still read further so as to get a better insight on both WordPress and Blogger. So please do not close this page!

New to Blogging

Once you get settled, get familiar with the various aspects of blogging, start to gather decent amount of traffic to your blog and get recognition among people, that is the time when you really face a question before you –  Should I continue with Blogger or shift to WordPress? Keep reading to know more.

Domain

When you are opting for a self-hosted wordpress blog, you have to buy a domain by default be it with any extension [.com, .net, .info, .in, etc]. The blogger comes with a default domain with a .blogspot.com extension that will act as a suffix to the name given to your blog. Ok for begginers, but as the time progresses it is always better to make transitions.

  • That makes your blog more attentive and professional.
  • Having a professional domain name increases the value of your blog ‘n’ times.
  • You get more guest bloggers on your blog,
  • Business opportunities
  • Organisations will contact you for reviewing their product
  • Your blog will be easier to remember for people
  • Helps increase your reader-base.

Why a decent domain name is very important is because with a .blogspot.com extension, people will consider your blog to be ‘Just Another Blog‘ which can be made instantly by anybody just signing into their respective Google accounts.

Also with blogger, you can start of with the default domain provided by them and shift to a professional domain later on. You have that option.

Hosting

Blogger blogspots are hosted on Google so you don’t need to worry one bit when you are using Blogger. It is only a matter of concern for WordPress Users. You got to shell out money for hosting your blog. Although there are quite a few free hostings available out there, but it is necessary that you opt for paid hosting if you own a blog with 200+ user traffic daily so as you face no “server down” or “website suspended due to high resource” problems. It is not a big deal actually. There are loads of cheap shared hostings. You just have to pay on monthly or yearly basis.

wordpress-hosting

We will discuss about the hosting part in another article. To put it in simple words, blogs with around 1000-5000 visitors daily can opt for shared hosting and blogs with figures over that should think about either Dedicated Hosting or VPS [Virtual Private Servers]. Even paying a few bucks for a CDN to load your scripts and images wouldn’t be a bad idea after all. This helps you increases your page load time and eases the load on servers.

SEO

The Search engine optimisation is a very important aspect that most people worry about hence getting into the dilemma of choosing over Blogger and WordPress. In fact both WordPress and Blogger are well optimised when it comes to SEO. But there are loads of SEO related plugins in WordPress like ‘Platinum SEO Pack’ and ‘Yoast SEO’ which helps you configure and optimise your blog to the maximum extent taking into considerations the factors like – Sitemaps, Titles, Meta Description, Keywords, Internal Links, Permalinks, Duplicate Contents and loads more. And these tools are really powerful.

Blogger-and-Wordpress

Blogger is self-optimised with no SEO tool to boost a blogger oriented blog. But of late, I see a lots of blogs using blogger having the upper hand in the Google SERP[Search Engine Rating Points] although they have got comparatively lesser Google PageRank and Domain Authority. Ah, Still an element of doubt in my mind. Very hard to judge who has got the upper hand but a slight balance in favour of blogs put in Google’s backyard.

Here is what the Matt Cutts [the head of Google’s Webspam team] had to say when asked about which of these two is better when it comes to SEO factor.

Plugins

Guess What! WordPress has got a store with over 24,742 PLUGINS and all of them are completely free of cost. They can be downloaded directly through the WordPress Dashboard or by visiting this link. You can implement any feature in your blog using any one of the thousands of plugins out there and tweak your blog according to your needs. That is why WordPress is widely renowned – for it’s plugins.

Some of the most downloaded WordPress plugins are:

  • All in One SEO Pack [Downloaded 14,077,559 times]
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com [Downloaded 5,018,555 times]
  • Contact Form 7 [Downloaded 10,681,130 times]
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast [Downloaded 4,585,943 times]
  • WP Super Cache [Downloaded 4,454,949 times]

To put it up in simple ways, for Blogger there are vitually no plugins or just the very few of them available out there. Even those are not put up at the official Google Blogger Website. You need to search for them manually over the web. Bloggerplugins.org and Mybloggertricks.com are 2 such blogs which provides guides on Blogger tweaks.

Themes

This is one aspect which makes WordPress a standout performer as compared to Blogger. The look of your website is such a crucial factor at most of the times and templates/themes are built exactly for that. WordPress comes with both Free and Paid [Premium] Themes. Premium themes are so magnificent that that they transform the look of your site completely – from a blog to a real website. Corporates, Companies, Organisations and professionals who use WordPress for their website needs mostly use premium themes to make their site look special. For a nominal fee, you can expect a lot in WordPress.

Actually I have never come across any paid themes for Blogger so far. I am not sure if there are coders or organisations out there who are providing premium paid themes for Blogger. Almost all of themes are free hence the themes are not that catchy in Blogger as people don’t bother developing for free. Unless you yourself are a coder and can transform the look of the blog into something splendid, you can’t help much.

Customizing Themes

The theme files like the .php, .html, .js and .css are stored in your server when it comes to WordPress hence you can customize and tweak it to your heart’s content unless you know something about scripting.

The same is possible in Blogger, but it is not that easy to edit files in this platform. Quite a few hassles I must say. The reason being, the file storage is WordPress is quire organised unlike that of Blogger where you cannot download the file, edit it, test it and then upload it back to your server.

WordPress themes are much more responsive and mobile-friendly as there are specially build mobile-oriented themes.

Security and Bugs

Hacking is a termed that is rarely seen in terms of Blogspots so they are quite safe when it comes to Security aspect.

There are quite a few loopholes and bugs in WordPress. But trust me, WordPress is trying to improve and make itself a better platform with every update of theirs. The latest version of WordPress is V3.5.1 and most of the bugs have been fixed in this release. Also you can make it more safe by installing some plugins which automatically takes care of the security facet. There are loads of them out there in the store.

Support

The Support is quite good in Both WordPress and Blogger. You can put up your query in their respective forums, be it a “How-To”, Plugin related, theme related or anything else.

WordPress Support –  Link

Blogger Support – Link

Putting up Ads

Google Adsense is most popular one when it comes to publishing ads on a Blog be it either a WordPress or Blogger. There is a one-click Adsense integration available in Blogger to put up adsense ads for the various sized banners and in various positions. Very easy in-fact.

In WordPress, you need to manually place the codes in the theme files wherever you want the ads to appear. There are also some handy plugins like “Easy Adsense” and “Quick Adsense” using which you can put up ads with ease and no copy-pasting codes. There are quite a few themes as well which are adsense optimised and allow you to easily place the AD codes in whichever position you need them without having to dig into theme files.

Storing Images

Whenever Blogger users upload their images, it directly gets stored in Picasa from the image is fetched using the link. I am not too sure about the storage limit, but for images it is well over 1 GB.

The images in WordPress are stored in your respective server be a shared one or a dedicated one. Obviously depends on what you chose. There is no limit for storage of images when it comes to WordPress.

User Categorization

The WordPress users can be categorized under the following:

  • Subscriber
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Administrator

There is no ranks for the Blogger users. You can categorize only under Administrators or Non-Administrators.

Data Backup

Backing up of Data is really simple in both the platforms. If you are familiar with mySQL, cPanel and phpMyAdmin, then you are at ease when it comes to backing up data files in WordPress. Else, you can even backup stuff from your wordpress blog using the various backup plugins out there. No problem whatsoever.

How about Blogger? Just a couple of steps away from getting your hands onto your data. You can download the backup copy of your templates as well. Quite an easy process.

Dashboard/Control Board

WordPress is famous for it’s resource hogging. It consumes way too much CPU resource of the server where it is hosted. Not a big deal actually. Same is the fact with most of the CMS and forum scripts.

For the numerous features and a good interfact that a WordPress provides, one shouldn’t mind too mind regarding this. The dashboard interface beats Blogger alright, but it also requires a certain amount of Internet bandwidth for the blog to operate and function.

Blogger too has got a decent dashboard if not better than WordPress. With it’s latest update and a better dashboard interface, it certainly is not bad for bloggers. Blogger users should also keep in mind that “Javascript” should be enabled in the browser in order to access all the features available on it.

Content Ownership

This is one face of blogging which bloggers need to consider seriously. Firstly stressing on WordPress. We saw in the above points that   we have to buy storage space [server hosting] for storing the files, scripts, images and what not. So here, we have the complete authority over whatever is stored in the piece of space given to us, be it the articles, posts, images,videos or any other shared material. You have the supreme authority over your goods and everything that has been uploaded by you. But things are different over at Google’s backyard i.e. Blogger. According to the Google’s TOS [I won’t ask you to read it, but let’s just highlight the main points]:

  • We may also stop providing Services to you, or add or create new limits to our Services at any time.
  • We may add or remove functionalities or features, and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether.
  • When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

So this explains it all. Your content is really not safe when stored in remote servers of Google which is out of your reach. Hence you have to very cautious on choosing the right platform which can provide you with the much needed security of your content and the service that you provide. And clearly this is possible only on WordPress.

What we conclude?

If you are a face who is unfamiliar to the blogging world, then Blogger is the CMS for your without any doubt. But then if you would like to create a website / Blog for professional and business purpose, WordPress is considered to be a better CMS [Content Management System]. The reason being – More professional look, more features and easy customization. Now it’s upto you to make your choice. Let us know what you choose!

Image Source – 1,2

12 Responses to “Self-Hosted WordPress vs Blogger – Make Your Choice”
  1. annjannet

    THis artiale is great on comparision of blogging tools.Wordpress is having variety of content and there is no need of login. And many more infornation which shows clear cut benefits.

    • Obat Bius

      I love you for this article and in my opinion anyway, how can we take care of the website that we manage it that much good, if wordpres or blogger so the same if we are not able to take care of and maintain as possible, the same bullshit ya not boss??? regards

  2. Justin

    Good article, hope you don’t mind if I link to it and share with some of my students.

    The advice I always give anyone serious about making money online with blogging is to start a hosted blog at blogger, tumblr, posterous, wordpress and build their self-hosted blog at the same time so they can be making money from their hosted blog while their self-hosted blog is climbing the search engine ladder.

    It is the way I go for every new blog I start.

    Good artricle, good luck!!

  3. iAn

    I started with Blogger in 2007 then I got this very disappointing experience with them in 2010. They or their robot marked my blog as spam – I tried to make appeals but I never recovered my articles. My 200+ articles just disappeared for no concrete reason. That caused me trauma so I moved away from Blogger since then.

    I ma happily using the self hosted WordPress now wherein I have full control over the themes, URL structure (permalinks), javascripts, etc.
    iAn recently posted…sunday-morning-exercise-at-harbour-ccp-garden-450×252My Profile

    • Nikhil P Naik

      Hello Ian,

      Well even I am surprised at times with the way Goggle functions. There are loads of warez stuff hosted on blogger. Google never tries to get rid of those. Instead target blogs which contains useful stuff.

  4. Ash

    I’m new to blogging and don’t understand much.
    But you have answered a lot of my questions.
    Thanks you and keep the good work.

  5. happygoluckygal

    Hi, Iam currently using wordpress.com, and Iam looking forward to earn some income from the website, but I learned that I have to buy my own domain and change the whole blog to wordpress.org etc etc. but I am not in a stage to spend that much now, so what do you advice, should I try my hand in blogger too??or just be patient and continue in wordpress.com and may be after 6 months or so move my blog to wordpress.org , can you please suggest me??

    • Nikhil P Naik

      Hello “Lucky Gal”,

      To say the least, I feel you should move to blogger as it is very powerful in terms of SEO [Search Engine Optimization – In simple terms, increasing the visibility of your site ] and you do not need to do much as far as optimizing and configuring is concerned. WordPress.com is also good, but another advantage with blogger is that – More attractive and premium looking themes are available for free of cost for blogger, but not so in wordpress.com. In case if you want to opt for better themes, you have to pay. Coming to the Income part, you can monetize easily with blogger, as there is also the in-built Adsense Integration, hence there is no need of fiddling with the codes. Loading times are faster as far blogger is concerned. But, finally it is the ranking that really matters, and blogger is way ahead at the moment and the right companion for you to help you raise your blog. Even for blogger, having your own .com domain is really useful. If you are in a position to buy a .com domain now for blogger, that would be the best thing to do. Godaddy sells domain for really cheap price [$10] and if you use additional coupons, you get them for upto 50%-70% discount. Make the right choice and good luck..!

  6. Anjum Shaikh

    Hi Nikhil,

    Thank you for the wonderful posts.
    I am new to the blogging world and don’t understand much.
    I have got a .blospot.com account and want to shift to .com, I am thinking of buying a domain name from yahoo
    however, my concern is I am a freelancer nutritionist and I want to add a paypal payment getway on my blog which is powered by adsense.
    My question is : Will it be advisable for me to add paypal on by blog without hampering my adsense account? Else should I create a separate a separate website (from yahoo – hosting as well as domain) and add my paypal here so to be safe with google adsense terms and condition??
    Please advice. Thanks.

    • Nikhil P Naik

      Hello Anjum,

      You can definitely add the Payment gateway, be it paypal or any other platform. But I did not understand what you meant by – “paypal payment gateway powered by Adsense” ? Both are independent and are nowhere related to each other. So integration of both Paypal and adsense ADS on your blog should not be a problem. Also, instead of buying a domain from yahoo, i reckon you buy it from Godaddy which sells .com names are much cheaper price as compared to other websites.

      • Anjum shaikh

        Thank you nikhil.
        What i probably meant was that i have got adsense on my blog.
        And if i configure paypal button for enabling clients to pay me for my consultations on the blog, will my adsense account be revoked?
        Nevertheless, i understand from your answer that google will not cancel my adsense account if i add paypal or upay or other merchant account on my blog..
        Thanks

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