Think of blogging platforms, and chances are your thoughts quickly turn to two of the most prominent services on the web; the open-source WordPress, and the Google-owned Blogger.
With the might of the world’s biggest search engine behind it, the latter platform may have seemed like the obvious choice when you first came to start your blog. After all, it’s free, signing up is no more difficult than logging in with your existing Gmail account, and you can create as many separate blogs are you like, all from one single dashboard.
Yet as much as Blogger is a great tool for newcomers, when it comes to really developing an audience -and your brand- you may want to at least consider moving over to the powerful, dynamic world of WordPress blogging.
Here’s just give reasons why.
One of the things that makes Blogger such a great platform for newcomers is its sheer simplicity. Just log in, create a blog, choose from a small selection of themes, and start posting.
Yet this simplicity can also come as a detriment to more advanced bloggers looking for a little more control over everything from their design to the format of their posts and more. Blogger is fairly limited in what you can do with it, whereas with WordPress the only real limit is -to borrow an old cliche- your imagination.
That isn’t the only downside either. When you use Blogger, your entire content is hosted on Google’s servers, meaning you have little control over what happens to it behind the scenes. Using self-hosted WordPress in conjunction with a top shared web hosting package, and you have a lot more freedom and flexibility to control the behind-the-scenes stuff.
A better looking blog
As we’ve already mentioned, Blogger itself comes with a small selection of pre-designed themes that you can load up. Compare this to the countless free WordPress templates out there, and the open-source platform starts becoming a much better option for creating a design that really suits your brand.
Sure, third-party designers do come up with free Blogger templates too, but these are often based on existing WordPress designs, and don’t always look as good as the real thing.
Easier to customise
We’ve used both platforms pretty extensively in the past, and we can vouch from experience that WordPress is a hell of a lot easier to customize. Blogger’s back-end design tools do allow you to drag and drop certain elements into firmly-fixed placeholders, but to do anything more advanced than that, you need to delve deep into the XML code, which is hardly ideal if you just want to make a few quick changes.
With WordPress however, the majority of the changes you could ever want to make are all handled by easy-to-use menus and interfaces.
Log into Blogger, head to Layout, and choose ‘Add Gadget.’ From there, you’ll have a choice of about 900+ widgets to incorporate into your blog. Whilst this may sound impressive, it’s worth pointing out that a large majority of these widgets are fairly useless, and do very little to improve the user experience of your website.
Compare that to almost 38,000 different WordPress plugins, many of which can add all new levels of interaction to your site, and Blogger’s ‘add pictures of cute puppies to your sidebar’ doesn’t seem all that impressive after all.
Whilst you may think that a blog hosted by Google itself would do a better job of appearing high in the search engine results than other platforms, that isn’t necessarily the case. With WordPress, you have much more control over internal linking, keywords, meta-descriptions and other key Search Engine Optimisation factors, making it a much better option if you’re serious about attracting traffic to your site.