Looking for a home for your future blog is the first step in the blogging world. There are many websites who provide free web space for your blog such as Tumblr, WordPress, and Blogger. But there are also lesser known platforms, such as jabry.net and 000webhost.com.
The main purpose of websites such as WordPress or Blogger is the same: provide you with a platform for your blog. Although they both provide a spot for your blog, they both have their own quirks and selling points. Your decision is based on which website best meets your needs for the blog that you have.
Below, I have discussed the similarities and differences between Blogger and WordPress.
The first website I was introduced to for blogging was Blogger (now closely associated with Google). And it has greatly changed since the days in Middle School when I first started on it.
Known. Blogger has been around for quite a while. If you’ve surfed the internet for more than an hour, you have probably come across someone’s blog on this website without even knowing it. As far as craft websites go, most are located on Blogger (which is annoying when I am on WordPress!)
Simple. Blogger is very clean cut and precise. Here are the buttons. This is what they do. Boom.
Easy. Blogger provides a great start for those who are entirely new to the Blogging atmosphere. If you play around on the website and press all the buttons, you will eventually be able to find your way around and quickly become a pro at Blogger. This is perfect for a person who is just starting a blog.
Connected with Google’s AdSense. This is one of the few times where Blogger beats WordPress, in my opinion. Blogger provides the simplest and easiest way to put ads on your blog and make money. Although capable with other platforms, I have yet to see a provider make it so easy for their users.
Your own domain is $10 year. This is a great price, but I have not purchased one so I do not know the details, but I assume they would allow you to write or edit your own code for your website.
Only 7 layouts.I am a girl who likes options and ability to change even the smallest of things about my website. If the blue background is a shade too dark, I like to be able to go into the code and fix it myself. (But reading and edit code is an entirely different issue)
You can’t edit the code. Without purchasing a domain from Blogger, you are unable to edit the coding language your blog is built on. For users who are able to read, edit and write code, this provides an annoyance. You are not able to create your own layout for your website, but forced to use what they offer you and only edit it within certain limitations.
The options are almost too simple. At times, I feel like I am a child in the “Safe Mode”. Although this is a great option for beginners, perhaps not for intermediate or skilled.
Bogged down with Google+ For some reason I am unable to go to blogger.com and have its own website without having Google+ all over the place. Annoying.
WordPress is a great choice for intermediates and those who have mastered website code. I started learning about WordPress after I had taught myself some code and the basics of website building, however, I am pretty confident when I say WordPress is also a pretty good choice for beginners and those who are absolutely new to blogging. I almost want to describe WordPress as the “hipster” of blogging because it has incorporated many great new techniques about the blogging world into its services.
Pros of WordPress
Pretty easy to use. Once again, here’s the buttons, this is what they do. Boom. However, these provide much more detailed options for having more control over the details of your blog.
Many layout options. You could spend hours scrolling through the laundry list of options WordPress has provided their users. Not only the basic free options, but nice corporate/business looking layouts for your blog (or business website). They are nice, clean, and look quite professional.
Easy to find other similar blogs. WordPress has a “Reader” option which has any type of category you could search for and find other blogs in that similar category. You can go find all the craft blogs that are hosted by WordPress, or automobile blogs, personal blogs, finance blogs, fashion, food, mom, etc.
For $18 you can become the master of your own WordPress blog with your own domain. Yes, I realize this is $8 more than Blogger, however, WordPress does give you full access to your blog once you buy it. They also have other options, such as, buying more space, VideoPress (for videos), or simply just buying the ability to edit your code. A bundle is available for $99/yr to have a little bit of all of that.
Details. Everything is so well organized into “Comments”, “Pages”, “Options”, “Media”, etc. I am just absolutely in love with the organization. The menu continues to be on the right hand side, tells you what page you are on, so simple and well done.
Widgets. These are “Add-Ons” to your website. And they are dreadfully helpful. I can’t imagine life without them. What is a widget? A widget can be accessories for your blog. If you have a twitter account and want your tweets to show up in the right hand column, we call this a “widget”. WordPress has an option for you to fill out a small form to pull from your twitter account and place it on your blog. Think of widgets as invisible squares. One square holds certain information, although the square may not have a visible line around it, the information is contained in that small space. Free widgets that are available to you through your free WordPress blog are incredible enough, however, people have websites detailing all sorts of different widgets from countdown boxes to small games, etc. They don’t even have to be technically on your blog, but additions to your user menu to help you further with managing your blog. Check these out (http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2012/10/wordpress-widget-plugins.html)
More than Blogger. Although $18 is a great price for what they offer, it is still more than Blogger’s $10.
Limitations. With any free service, limitations exist with editing the small details of your blog
Both WordPress & Blogger…
- Provide easy and quick ways to purchase your own domain (and have full access manipulating your website) through their websites and still have the capability of using their programs to
- Without purchasing more space/ability to edit the details, space is limited. Depending on your website will really determine if actually purchasing your own domain is right for you.
In all honesty, it comes down to what do you want to do with your blog? Do you want to make money off of it? Is it personal? Is it informative? What is your point?
If you want to make money off of it, first thing is first: be realistic. Great websites that earn income do not happen over night. It takes a lot of work, editing, knowledge, and promotion to get not just visitors, but reoccurring visitors. It will take time and a little bit of money to get started. Check out some more tips.