There’s a war going on in the blogosphere, and it has nothing to do with bloggers dissing each other on their respective websites. The war is about control of the blogosphere by several great, many good, and tons of terrible blogging platforms. The average newbie now has “too many” options to choose from, and the battle for blogging supremacy is hotter than ever.
At my website and blogs, I’m always asked the question “Is WordPress better than Blogger?”. The answer, of course, is “Yes”. But to really understand why it’s important to look at both blogging platforms side-by-side and see which one you really need.
You also need to understand that there are different versions of WordPress, the earliest now termed as “WordPress” at WordPress.org, and the hosted version similar to Blogger now termed “WordPress.com” which is of course available at WordPress.com.
For Part 1 of this article, we look only at the self-hosted version of WordPress. Here’s the comparison scale:
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1) Ease of Set-up And Use
Yes, it’s much easier to set-up a blog with Blogspot.com and get your own Blogger account. You can be done in 10 minutes flat. Once you’re set-up you can start posting immediately. If you want to add a designer’s touch to your blog, there are also tons of blogger templates available for free.
Installing WordPress however can be a major headache if you don’t know what you’re doing. Since you’re going to host it on your own account, you’ll need to download the installation files, upload them to your server, set-up a database, and run the configuration script.
However, if you know which hosting account to get, you can choose one with Cpanel included. With Cpanel, you can do a one-click installation, upgrade and removal of your WordPress platform. There are tons of different hosting plans to choose from, so get one that fits your needs.
2) Customization & Advanced Use
Blogger doesn’t allow categories. You can’t sort your articles into different focuses, unless you know how to hack the platform. With WordPress, not only can you add categories, you can also display each category differently on your main page. In fact with the correct plugins you can even turn your WordPress into a magazine-like portal.
Publishing with Blogger can be a pain in the ass. It can take forever to post articles, especially if you’re making changes to the entire website. With WordPress, publishing is much faster, although if you load your system with all kinds of bells and whistles it can be just as frustrating.
With a Blogger account, you can get additional features like “Shout Boxes” that improve interaction on your site. You can also get pretty themes and nifty little tools that you can add to the core template files. However, that’s as far as you can go with Blogger.
With WordPress however, the sky is the limit. As cliche as that may sound, not only can you get themes, additional “plugins” and advanced tools, you can also extend WordPress to far beyond just a blogging platform.
The talk today is about using WordPress as a complete, user-friendly Content Management System or CMS. Unlike complicated predecessors like PHPPostNuke, B2, Mambo or even Joomla, WordPress is user friendly. Plus, the availability of source codes in this open-source system coupled with a strong community makes it possible to use WordPress as an article management system, classifieds system, direct-selling site and even a paid membership site.
4) Copyrights and Ownership of Content
I started with Blogger and I won’t say that it’s bad. But after a while, I started to get frustrated with Blogger, and here’s why: Google Owns Your Content
Google has the authority to shut down your account without warning if they don’t like what you’re blogging about. You don’t have absolute control over your own blog. With WordPress, you own the domain name and the blog is hosted on your own account. You have full control over your content.
With the self-hosted version of WordPress (not WordPress.com), you’re free to write about anything you want, and use the software in any way you want. Yes, Blogger allows you to publish to your own domain, but they still own the database that holds your content! Don’t forget that!
5) Search Engine Optimization and Traffic
There’s this propaganda that since Google owns Blogger, they tend to favor Blogger accounts. I won’t say that this is illogical, but from my experience, there’s no such favoritism.
I’ve heard as many stories of getting indexed fast and ranking high in search engines from both WordPress and Blogger users. As long as the content is good, the spiders will come.
When you post in Blogger, you can only “ping” a limited amount of sites, whereas with WordPress on your own domain you can ping as many blog directories as you want, and start getting more traffic.
As a conclusion, I would say that WordPress is only slightly ahead in terms of optimization for search engines, and building large amounts of traffic.
6) Money-Making Potential
There’s no doubt that it’s easier to get started with Google AdSense if you have a Blogger account. In fact, you can now apply for AdSense from within a Blogger account. Not entirely surprising considering the fact that both are owned by the same company.
With WordPress, it can get tricky. The default installation is not enough. You’ll need a couple of plugins and even a better theme to really maximize the AdSense potential. However, this seems to be getting easier and there’s even “Adsense revenue sharing” plugins around that allow you to share ad revenue with other contributors and writers for your blog.
When you start using WordPress to build your AdSense websites, you’ll soon discover what I mean. It’s something you need to experience for yourself. I can tell you one thing though – when you go WordPress, you don’t go back.