“Should I use WordPress or Blogger?” is one of the frequently asked questions from newbies. This comparison will explain you the differences between Blogspot and WordPress.
WordPress vs Blogger: At a glance
Is this guide too long for you to read? Here’s the TL;DR for you:
Do you prefer to look at the pure facts to help you make a decision?
Blogger (also known as Blogspot) and WordPress are two well established platforms. But there is a clear winner in terms of usage.
Over 75 million people and brands have chosen to use WordPress to create a broad range of beautiful and impressive sites. Many of the largest organizations such as Facebook, Google Ventures, eBay, CNN, NASA, and Mozilla use it too. Here’s a list of Fortune 500 companies using WordPress to power their sites.
What’s the difference between WordPress and Blogger?
Here’s the infographic that gives you a quick look at the different factors to consider:
How to install WordPress
Self-hosted WordPress needs a domain name and a web server to work. A domain name is the address people will type to get access to your site. The hosting server is where you’ll store your content making it accessible to anyone in the world.
For the easiest possible install I recommend Bluehost. They offer a free domain name, 24/7 live support and WordPress recommends them.
More than 2 million WordPress sites are hosted there. And you can get started at $2.95 per month.
It will take you 5 minutes to get your site online with the 1-click installation feature.
Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you sign-up using my link at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to buy through my link, thank you for your support!
A detailed look at WordPress pros and cons
- WordPress is a flexible solution with lots of room to grow and expand your site.
- It’s the platform to use if you want the full control, flexibility, and ownership.
- It’s an open-source software with a vast and vibrant community of developers and designers.
- There are also multitudes of online resources, people willing to help, conferences and meetups.
- A wide range of templates to help you create a pretty looking design without need for design skills.
- There’s a plugin for everything. Make changes and add features without any coding know-how.
- Ability to export and import your content to and from other platforms.
- Manage your site everywhere. In the browser, using desktop clients for Mac and Windows, or mobile apps for Android and iOS.
- Your WordPress install needs a domain name and a server to be hosted on which will cost you about $3 per month.
- You are responsible for managing the security, the backups and the uptime.
- Too many themes and plugin options demand a lot of time to do research and find right ones for you.
- There is a medium-sized learning curve to get used to thanks to the many technical opportunities.
Note that there are two versions of WordPress. The self-hosted WordPress.org and the commercial version at WordPress.com. In this article, I talk about the self-hosted WordPress.org. Click here for my detailed guide on the difference between the two versions.
WordPress.org allows you to build anything you can imagine. The open-source community behind WordPress provides many of the unique benefits and advantages of the platform. It will save you weeks of time and lots of money. You won’t need to design or build any feature or functionality from scratch. There’s a plugin or design theme for anything. Most of them are free. All this without needing to know how to code.
Having a complete control and ownership, the look and feel, and the way I present my content are the main reasons why I pick WordPress. This is where WordPress excels and why it’s my preferred content platform.
The fact that the platform is so adaptable and that it puts you in full control also means that there’s a medium-sized learning curve. You will also need to register a domain name, find a host, and manage the security and backup of your content. There are plugins that will help you with this process.
A detailed look at Blogspot pros and cons
- Blogger is a nice place to start your adventure. It can help you discover what it’s all about. It’s got all the basics covered and it’s very straightforward and easy to use.
- Your default URL is yourname.blogspot.com, but you can transfer your own domain name.
- Template Designer makes it easy to change simple things such as background, column width, fonts, and colors.
- You can do HTML changes to your template through a browser interface.
- No plugins, but there is a decent number of simple gadgets that you can use to improve your sidebar and footer.
- Integration with your Google Adsense allows you to add banner advertising and start making money.
- Integration with Google+ allows you to post there and integrate Google+ comments.
- Thanks to Google it’s also easy to integrate Analytics and Search Console.
- It’s limited, outdated and not very future proof platform. If you have bigger ambitions, such as creating a professional web presence or building a business, it’s not the ideal long-term solution.
- Blogger is provided by Google which means that you don’t own your content. Google owns it and you may risk having your site be shut down without warning or explanation.
- Limited choice of design templates means it’s hard to make your site look different and unique.
- You need to have a Google account in order to use Blogger.
Blogspot is a very simple platform. It’s easy to use and gets you writing fairly quickly. You don’t need to worry about hosting, backups or maintenance.
On the negative side you do have very limited options for changing the look and feel, adding features and functionality. The platform hasn’t seen any development from Google in a while. The user interface and usability are outdated compared to more modern platforms.
Google seems just to patch things up to keep it from completely breaking down. Look at this list of updates. Since the start of 2015, the only significant update was the introduction of HTTPS. Some of the few changes Blogger has done in the recent years have negatively affected users. These include trying to restrict users from posting certain types of content and even blocking access from specific countries.
There’s a well-documented example of Dennis Cooper’s blog. Blogger hosted it for more than fourteen years but suddenly deactivated it. No explanation was given other than that “specific Terms of Service violations are ones we cannot discuss further due to legal considerations.”
Most sites won’t be affected by this but it’s important to know that you don’t have the full control. A platform that owns your site can simply decide to shut it down without giving you a warning and without even giving you the reason or explanation for their action. You don’t want to risk being in a similar situation. Losing many years of your work without a warning or an option to back it up.
On one hand, Google is one of the most innovative companies. They run great apps such as Photos and Inbox. On the contrary, they’ve decided that Blogger doesn’t fit in their plans. That’s what the lack of updates and innovation tells us. Everyone has seen the fate of Google Reader and other apps Google decides to neglect.
This fact makes Blogger not the best option when it comes to the long-term sustainability. It just cannot compare to WordPress, a platform that is continuously upgraded and improved by the active community of developers.
10 steps to move your content from Blogger to WordPress
Sometimes the time is right to move your content from one platform to another. You may have outgrown the platform. You may want to do a change that the platform doesn’t allow you to do, or you may just need a fresh place to work in. Blogging platforms are flexible and allow the content archives to be exported/imported into other platforms.
Now that you have your WordPress site ready and installed, it is the time to transfer your Blogger content to it. It is simple to move your Blogger to WordPress. The open-source community of WordPress is ready to welcome Blogger users.
A free tool has been developed to import posts, images and comments from a Blogger account into WordPress. This “Blogger Importer” plugin has been used by more than 500,000 people to transfer their content.
Following is the step-by-step guide on how to transfer your content from Blogger to WordPress. All this without losing your subscribers, search engine rankings and traffic.
- In your new WordPress Admin area go to Tools > Import in the left-hand sidebar. Click “Blogger” and on the pop-up window click “Install Now”.
- Then click on “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”.
- Now click “Authorise” to tell Blogger to let your new WordPress account access your Blogger account.
- (Note that if you get an error message about Google no longer supporting OAuth 1.0 use this plugin instead: Blogger Importer Extended.)
- Click “Allow Access” to your Google Account.
- Click “Import” to start the transfer process of your Blogger posts, comments, images and links to WordPress.
- Click on the “Set Authors” button when the import has been completed.
- Select the user you’d like to assign the posts to and click “Save Changes” on the “Author Mapping” page. This assigns all the imported posts to your author name in WordPress.
- In Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress admin make sure to select the URL structure to fit the structure you had on Blogger.
- Congratulations! The process of importing your Blogger content to your WordPress has now been completed.
12 steps to redirect your Blogger visitors to WordPress
Now we need to tell Blogger where your new site is. This is done to automatically redirect visitors and subscribers but also to keep your search engine rankings. Here’s how:
- Activate “Blogger To WordPress” plugin made by rtCamp in your WordPress admin.
- Go into Tools > Blogger To WordPress Redirection in your WordPress admin.
- Click on the “Start Configuration” button.
- Click on the “Get Code” button next to the correct site on the list of imported Blogger sites.
- Copy the generated code.
- Go to “Template” menu and click “Edit HTML” on the theme you are using in your Blogger Dashboard.
- Paste the copied code replacing all the existing code in the template and click on “Save Template”.
- Check that everything works by entering your Blogger home page or one of your old Blogger post URL’s in your browser. It should automatically redirect you to the new WordPress URL.
- Don’t delete your Blogger as it is still used in order to redirect your visitors.
- In Blogger Dashboard go to Settings > Other.
- In “Post Feed Redirect URL” click “Add” to enter your WordPress feed URL – by default the URL is yourdomain.com/feed/.
- Click “Save Settings” to redirect your RSS feed subscribers to your new feed.
Your Blogger posts and comments are on your new site now. Your search rankings are intact and your visitors and subscribers automatically get redirected to your new URL. You are ready to start growing your audience. The admin dashboard is where all the day-to-day magic happens. Explore the opportunities and possibilities for your new WordPress.
The wonderful benefits of having a site
Whatever platform you choose, you have my full support. Either of the platforms will allow you to quickly start your site and have an online home where you can share whatever is on your mind.
Blogging is such an excellent activity and a great way to spend your free time. There’s a great value in having your online presence and building an audience.
I recommend it to everyone and I hope that you will get to experience some of the great benefits. It’s amazing to see all the people take up blogging, start their sites, and share their skills with the world.
I’ve experienced many wonderful benefits of having a site. It has made an incredible difference in my life. I’ve met new people, became a better writer, communicator, marketer, and even got a new job thanks to my blogging efforts.