Thursday, February 4, 2016

WordPress vs Blogger ... Pros and Cons

Blogs are a wonderful way to share information in an informal, conversational manner. Even the most stuffy business can share marketing material quickly and with a minimal amount of technical knowledge using a blog. Long gone are the days of renting server space from an ISP just to create every single content-filled web page by hand or with hand modified templates. Now, blogging has opened up the web to even the most technically challenged.

If you blog, or even just want a few easy-to-create web pages, the two 900-pound gorillas of the blogging world are WordPress and Blogger. With both tools you can create a place for web content for free, and associate with other content creators in your field. There are a few other big blogging platforms, such as Tumblr, but I'll stick to WordPress and Blogger for this review.

Free Blogging

You can set up a free WordPress blog over at Free Blogger blogs are available at Both WordPress and Blogger are easy to setup on their free sites. Both sites are well maintained and rarely have technical difficulties.

WordPress also offers their source code free to the public, which means that many web hosting providers offer WordPress as a free or cheap add-on service. users are limited to using Blogger on Blogger's servers. This may sound a bit limiting, but maintaining your own WordPress server along with peak-load handling, and backups is not for non-techies. It can take a serious chunk out of your blogging time.


Obviously, WordPress and Blogger are eating a lot of cost by giving away free blogging services to millions and millions of users. WordPress pays some of those costs by placing advertising on your blog. WordPress requires a fee if you do not want them to put their own advertising on your blog.

Blogger, on the other hand, does not place advertising on blogs unless you request it. That's a deal breaker for casual bloggers. If you don't want ads on your blog, and want to blog for free for yourself or a few close friends to read, then Blogger is the easy choice.

Many bloggers dream of striking it rich on a some-day popular site. If you want to make money on a blog, then advertising comes into play. You need the ability to place ads on your site if you want advertisers to pay you for your writing.

As mentioned above, WordPress already puts ads on your site, and you don't get any of that money. However for a fee, they will remove their ads from your site and offer you the chance to let them pay you to put their ads on your site. There is no guarantee that they will put ads on your site, but for the fee they'll consider maybe doing so. You are not allowed to put another advertising company's ads on their blogs.

You can get around this WordPress advertising limitation by hosting your own WordPress blog at a different ISP or web hosting company. Again, that takes away from your blogging time, and not everyone feels comfortable with the technical aspects of that option.

Blogger encourages you to put their AdSense advertising on your blog, and doesn't require a fee to avoid unwanted ads on your site. Blogger also provides HTML/JavaScript widgets that allow you to integrate AdSense or other advertising company's code on your blog template both for regular computer web browsers and mobile devices (with some very minor coding). That means Blogger is fine with you placing advertising from AdSense and other companies on the blogs you host with them.


If you are looking for customized branding of your blog, you want to have a custom domain. Both WordPress and Blogger offer the ability for you to make your blog look like it comes from its own domain. You get the benefit of having your own personal website, but don't have to deal with the nitty-gritty of hosting the blog yourself.

Custom domains require a purchase of the domain. Both WordPress and Blogger offer to help you with custom domain purchases for a fee. You can also use third-party services such as GoDaddy to purchase your domain.

Once you have a custom domain, you'll want to set up your blog to look like it comes from the domain and not WordPress or Blogger. WordPress requires additional annual fees for this service, or you to host your own blog on your own server. Blogger does not have any additional fees associated with setting up custom domains that you have already purchased.

Plugins and Customizations

WordPress is known for having lots of third-party templates and plugins that are easily installed. Honestly, I found myself using a lot of those third-party plugins just to get the features that Blogger had built in to their service. However, there are a lot of popular WordPress services offered by third-party plugins that you can't easily get on Blogger, such as advanced newsletter management.

Blogger does not have as many third-party plugins, though the gadgets they offer are fairly easy to add in to your template's layout. However, if you are a computer programmer with some experience, Blogger offers access to your custom template code, and is easy to integrate with a free Google App Engine backend for enterprise level powered blogging.

In short, WordPress offers lots of nice plugins–far more than Blogger. However, Blogger's massive Google infrastructure and ability to integrate with Google App Engine, or other cloud services for a backend, makes it the choice for integration into enterprise solutions. To be clear, Blogger will need a separate subdomain from the backend's domain, but the option is there for minimal cost. WordPress only offers this ability if you are willing to fork over $1000's per month in fees, or willing to host the blog on your own servers.

Paragraph Tags vs Break Tags

WordPress allows <p> tags for separating paragraphs. Blogger requires the use of <br> tags for separating paragraphs.

What this means to the average blogger is that if you like spaces between your paragraphs for easier reading in the non-indented world of internet blogging, then you need to hit return twice every time you finish a paragraph on Blogger, but not so for WordPress.

This is a huge deal breakers for a lot of bloggers. Despite the obvious advantages of Blogger over WordPress for my professional blogs, I chose WordPress for years because of this huge limitation on the part of Blogger. I can't blame anyone for sticking with WordPress for this one stylistic advantage.


Both WordPress and Blogger present great blogging platforms. If you hate hitting return twice after each paragraph, stick with WordPress. If you want better control over your own advertising options, stick with Blogger. If you want to host your own blog on your own servers WordPress is also the way to go. Personally, I stick with Blogger these days, because I want a powerful backend that can't be taken down by a viral post, but also provides me with my own choices for advertising revenue.

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