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Which Free Blogging Platform Should I Choose For My Blog: Blogger Versus WordPress

Friday, 8 April 2016

free blogger and wordpress comparison


Whether you just seemed to come across this whole blogging thing or you've been considering starting a blog of your own for a while now, anyone interested in starting a blog will have to choose a blogging platform.

I've always encouraged my readers to be more aware before they make a decision. The blogging platform you choose for your blog should be one you are comfortable with not the one someone else likes and is comfortable with. 

I've insisted, time and again that your blogging platform should be your choice, and that too an informed one. This will help you save time and energy by having to go through the trouble of switching from one platform to another, and it will save you money as well.

If you really want help in deciding what platform to choose for blogging between Blogger and WordPress I've compiled a detailed review of the pros, cons, and overall usability of the platforms so that you can compare yourself and decide which platform is the best for your blogging needs.




blogger and wordpress detailed comparison



Why use a free blogging platform?


After having started a blog, and paying for an entire year's worth of domain name, hosting, email and whatnot you find yourself not really liking blogging and decide that it's not for you. This means you've wasted your money.

Or if you simply don't have the time to do it anymore, you have wasted your funds. But blogging shouldn't be costly, you can start a blog on a budget as well. And this means you'll be using a free blogging platform. 

I'm always telling my readers that if they just want to get a feel of how blogging works they should try out on a free blogging platform because this way they won't end up wasting their resources. But if you're more serious then, reading my guide on choosing a blogging platform will be beneficial for you. But this does not mean that those that are serious about blogging cannot use a free blogging platform, I use Blogger, and I love it.


Here are some of the benefits of using a free blogging platform

  • It is affordable, by using a free blogging platform you save on hosting costs, forever. (Just make proper backups monthly or weekly and you should be fine.) This is also to say that you can invest that money elsewhere, such as blogging education etc.
  • In the years that I've been blogging on blogger, my blog has never had downtime. While when you use a self-hosted platform, you'll see your blog does experience downtimes. 
  • Security of your blog is managed by the blogging service provider. 
  • They manage the backend, and you get to concentrate on writing content that you like. 
  • You can monetise (earn money) your blog.
  • You can have your blog mapped to a custom domain.
  • You have a wide variety of gorgeous blog themes to choose from (some are paid, some are free). 
  • Support is available (I provide tech support for Blogger and am also a silver product expert for Blogger). 
  • You own all the content you create.
  • If your blog grows to the point that you want to have e-commerce on it, or you want to start selling your own products, it is possible to have an e-commerce store through both Blogger and WordPress.

I've made a table to depict what features are offered on both the free blogging platforms to help you compare them side by side.



FeatureWordPressBlogger
CostForever free platform with options to upgrade to a premium planForever Free Platform
StorageOffers 3GB of space for storing media such as images etc. this space can be upgraded by switching to a paid WordPress plan.Offers 1GB of space for storing media such as images etc. but if you are using your Google+ profile with your blogger account, then you get a total of 15 GB.

Images with dimensions less than 800x800 are not counted towards your storage. If you ever run out of storage, you will be paying a small monthly fee to Google for more storage space. If you have a Google+ profile activated then high-quality full resolution photos are not counted towards this storage.
MonetisationYou may monetise your blog by running ads if you are on a paid WordPress plan.

If you are using the free WordPress plan and have a medium to high traffic blog, you can apply for WordAds WordPress' own advertising system, but your blog must be mapped to a custom domain.

You can not run any other ad networks expect for WordAds.

However, you may publish sponsored posts, do affiliate marketing as long as the primary purpose of your blog is not just affiliate marketing and doing sponsored posts. Meaning, your blog should actually help your readers and have high-quality original content.
Furthermore, you may even accept donations through Paypal on your blog, and sell your own products.

Upgrading to WordPress' highest-paid plain will give you the flexibility to integrate an e-commerce system (Woocommerce) to be integrated with your WordPress blog, and you may even add plugins which you couldn't before.
Blogger does not impose conditions like WordPress, it is free forever.

You may use Adsense directly through your blog, even accept third-party advertising or sell ad spaces directly. You may choose to monetise through affiliate marketing, accept donations, set up your own e-commerce store, etc.

But if your blog is spammy or if it violates Blogger's terms of service or Google's terms of service your blog will be taken down with or without prior notice.
Domain MappingYou may use a custom domain with the free plan, but it will cost you $13 per year to map your domain to WordPress. Or you can get a domain straight from WordPress and upgrade to a paid plan.Using a custom domain is free of cost on blogger, meaning you will not be charged anything for mapping your custom domain name to your blogger blog.
Themes and CustomisabilityWordPress offers a wide range of free and premium themes that you can choose from to install on your blog. I love a lot f their free themes, and my art blog uses a free theme.

I have noticed that all their themes are mobile responsive and built for specific purposes such as portfolios, magazines, blogs etc. All of them come from WordPress developers and are professionally made.
This year blogger released some new themes into their themes section which are also responsive. For long now people would move away from the platform because they thought it wasn't customisable.

But in truth Blogger is one of the most customisable platforms. You can purchase premade themes for blogger that look amazing starting from $5, and support is also available.

My first theme was from FearneCreativeDesign and cost me $17.70, it comes with full support so whenever I need something changed or am stuck somewhere, Eve, the shop owner provides ample support. She lets me know what things are to be paid for but getting customisations on my blog was easy and ranged from $10-$100 depending on what I wanted. Quite affordable, I'd say.

Now, I have even launched my own set of blogger themes that range from $5 to $35 and you'll know you are getting quality themes with support should you need it and obviously, you can get customisations as well starting $5.

Plugins and WidgetsWordPress is quite strict with its security. Hence, you are not allowed to install third-party plugins on the platform unless you are on their business plan that lets you install third-party plugins. You can not install javascript in your WordPress blog, it is against their terms of service.On Blogger, plugins are called widgets, and not a lot are available. However, Blogger does not need any more widgets than it has now.
This doesn't mean that you can not install javascript from third-parties. You can use Powr on your blogger blog and make do things you never thought possible. Powr has a wide range of plugins available that will help you do almost anything with your blogger blog. 
SSL(HTTPS) AvailabilityWordPress offers out of the box SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) on all its plans, even on custom domains.Ever since Google decided to make HTTPS a ranking factor, and penalise sites that don't have them when people view your site from google chrome (effective from October 2017), there's panic among those already using blogger as their blogging platform.

Blogger offers free SSL for a blog with a blogspot subdomain as well as custom domains.
E-commerce integrationYou can sell your products and services through woocommerce on WordPress' business plan.You may use services like Powr, Ecwid and Gumroad to start selling through your blogger blog and develop your storefronts. All three options help you integrate an e-commerce store into your blogger blog, but you may want to decide on which platform you go with based on your needs.

I offer a Blogger E-commerce (BCommerce) extension as well and it is fully managed by me. It lets you have your own E-commerce store on your blogger blog and uses PayPal to collect payments. The payment plans start from $5. 
Selling through PaypalWordPress allows you to sell your products and services through Paypal on all their plans. You may even accept donations. Just don't sell products that are of a questionable nature (for example - adult content etc.)You can sell your products and services however you want as long as you don't violate Blogger's terms and services.
SupportSupport is available through chat and e-mail. While I was hosting with them they were always nice and very easy to talk to, not to mention they were very helpful as well.Support is available through the Official Blogger Help Forum. I'm a Silver Product Expert at the Blogger Help Forum and support provided there is for free. It is also available through social media (Twitter).

All you need to do is use the hashtag #gHelp, and someone (most likely me) will help you. If you want to bring something to my immediate notice that while you use the hashtag #gHelp make sure you tag me along as well by adding @thezoyathinking.

I also offer premium support, not affiliated with Blogger Help Forum at all for more advanced issues you may be facing with your blogger blog.



Conclusion

I have been using both platforms for hosting my blogs. And I can say both platforms are very powerful and customisable to suit your blogging needs. My art blog was hosted on WordPress (It is now on blogger) and this blog is hosted through blogger. 

Having used self-hosted WordPress, and not liking the unnecessary work of updating themes and versions and whatnot all the time began looking for alternatives or self-hosted WordPress, and I'm glad to say that both blogger and WordPress are good alternatives that are on par with the self-hosted WordPress. 


Have any questions, queries or comments? Leave them down below, and I'll get back to you ASAP! I'd love to help you out in setting up your blog. I read and respond to each and every comment.

2 comments

  1. Excellent comparison between the two platforms. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete