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Blog Tips

WordPress vs Blogger: The Pros & Cons

By Aug 12, 2015 24 Comments

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I was a long-time believer and user of Blogger for many years before I finally made the change to WordPress. Now that I’m on WordPress, I don’t understand what took me so long. I have blogging friends on both platforms, and I think they offer great benefits – but there can be a few downfalls of each platform. I don’t think anything is perfect, but it’s key to find what works best for you.

Let’s look at WordPress vs Blogger, and the pros and cons of each, so you can see which blogging platform will work best for you.

Blogging Tips | How To Set Up A Blog | Thinking of starting a blog or changing blogging platforms? We take a look at WordPress vs Blogger (the pros and cons of each) so you can see which one is a better fit for you and your blog.

WordPress vs Blogger

Let’s be very clear here. I’m referring to self-hosted WordPress, not WordPress.com. There are a few reasons at the end as to why I wouldn’t recommend WordPress.com to new bloggers. The biggest reason I don’t recommend WordPress.com is you don’t own your content. The next biggest reason is you can’t monetize when you’re not self hosted.

Blogger Pros

It’s free. You can have your own domain (for a fee), but the content is stored free.

It’s easy and inexpensive to find templates to use on Blogger. If you’re into code, their stylesheets are relatively simple to edit.

You can have ads and make money on your site. (You can’t do this when you’re on WordPress.com)

It’s relatively inexpensive to update your design. You can find a LOT of Blogger designers who don’t charge a lot for the templates.

WordPress Pros

You own your content.

You have access to great widgets to do helpful things. I love the photo slider on my site – something I couldn’t do in Blogger. It’s easy to customize within the widgets, and I love finding new “gadgets” for my blog.

You can monetize your site – and it feels simpler to add ads to my sidebars in WordPress.

Blogger Cons

You never truly own your content. This was instrumental in my move to WordPress.

Clarification: Google says they don’t own your content – what’s yours is yours. However, you do give them “a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

There isn’t tech support to call on if your site goes down. It’s just….down. This happened to my blog on more than one occasion.

WordPress Cons

You have to stay updated – and you should be able to make the updates and back-ups yourself.

Hosting can be pricey if you want something that holds a larger site and can handle a decent amount of traffic.

The code isn’t always the easiest to manage – if you’re into that side of things.

There are pros and cons to both platforms (obviously). I know more and more people are moving to self-hosted WordPress, and are so happy once they make the move! I remember having my moments of frustration after my initial move, but I knew it was better in the long-run.

Are you on Blogger or WordPress? Have you had to move your site? What challenges did you face?

About Jaime McKee

Jaime writes Love, Jaime. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, young son and cat. Jaime works full-time out of the home and started blogging more than 10 years ago. She is an avid runner, music lover and crafty person – all of which you’ll find on her site. You’ll find her on Twitter @jaimemckee, Instagram @jaimemckee and on Facebook.

24 Comments

  • […] and WordPress.org (and the relationship too!) by Julie of Fabulous Blogging. And check out the pros and cons of WordPress and Blogger (another popular hosted blogging […]

  • TC says:

    Just rebranded my blog. I started the new version in Blogger to conduct an informal experiment. It seems it took longer to get the original WP blog into Google. However, my Blogger revised blog got added fairly quickly (few days). Has anyone else had this experience? Could it be because Google owns Blogger?

    Once I was in Google, I migrated to WP.

  • 8 years on Blogger and still going strong! I have taught myself how to update templates and widgets and found things to very customizable. I use a WP for a non-profit I volunteer with and I can just not get it figure out. I have no plans to switch from Blogger. I’m quite happy with them.

  • Jeannie says:

    I appreciate your attempt to write an educational article about platforms, it is an editorial and your own opinion. I am a 4 year verteran on Blogspot and pay for my domain. Love it. The only issue I have ever had was the beginning of the second year. I bought a pay as you go hotspot device to use while I stayed with my mom after she had surgery. In that same week I tried out using my email to post to my sight remotely. My blog was disabled because of “suspicious activity”. Though I couldn’t find a phone # for support, I did see a contact email and sent them an inquiry of what in the world could be wrong. I was surprised and delighted that someone at Google was watching out for me! Within a few hours (4 to be exact) I got a response and my blog was turned back on. So, your statement that if your blog is “down” it’s just down… is not entirely acurate.

  • Maddie says:

    Having been on both sides of the spectrum, I recommend WordPress! It has much better updates and it works significantly better than Blogger. Great post!

  • Perhaps it would be easier to clear up the misinformation if the article began with
    Blogger Pros: You own your own content
    Wordpress Pros: You own your own content
    That is really what this is all about, isn’t it?

  • Kathe Burke says:

    I have never been asked by a brand or reader what platform I blog on. Brands care more about my readers, my social media reach and my writing style. For that matter, many Blogger blogs are as, if not more, aesthetically pleasing as many WP blogs. There are numerous “big time” bloggers still using Blogger but, because they did their homework, you’d never know it because they don’t look Blogger-ish. When Google updates Blogger your “plug-in” don’t suddenly stop working. It is totally seamless. Google is far too busy running the world to just randomly shut down a blog. If one digs deeper they would probably find that the blogger did in fact violate something in the TOS. Once you purchase your own domain and loose the .blogspot it’s hard to tell what platform you are using. The only ones that seem to care, IMO, are those on WP.

  • Any hosting company has the same legalese about using your content, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to publish it for you.

    I’ve been with Blogger for years now. I switched to WordPress for a while and hated it. I love that I have the best blog security in the world run by the smartest people in the world, it’s being upgraded frequently and it works seamlessly with all of Google’s other services.

  • Kelly says:

    This is a great article! The issue with Blogger having a license to use your content isn’t a myth. When I researched this for a presentation in 2013, I found several lawsuits where bloggers had sued their hosting platform for using their image and blog posts in advertising without compensating the blogger. Here is the exact sentence taken from the Blogger.com TOS:” The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. ” Do you see the word “promoting” in there? So yes, if you become famous someday you’ve given Blogger.com permission to use your old blog content to promote their services without checking with you or compensating you in any way. If you look in your Bluehost TOS, it does NOT include the word promoting. The chances of this becoming an issue might be slim, but it’s good to know what you are getting into.

  • Mendie says:

    Thank you for this. I have been on blogger for years, and haven’t had any issue with blogger really except it sometimes seems to take forever for my pictures to load in posts. But I notice the blogs that I am drawn to, that are more aesthetically pleasing to my eye….always tend to be WordPress themes.

    Not sure if it’s just the framework of the site or if it really is more “adjustable” then blogger layouts are. I dabble in HTML and can tweak blogger layouts a bit, but haven’t been able to replicate some of the features I seem to gravitate towards in WordPress blogs.

    • Trish says:

      Agreed! Nothing wrong with Blogger but in my opinion, personally and professionally, WordPress sites tend to look better and be taken a bit more seriously.

  • I have blogger (and my own domain). I have all of my content backed up on my laptop and can take it with me anytime! That you don’t own your own content is a mistaken myth.

  • Christine says:

    Some really good points. But there is one major discrepancy in your blogger cons section. Every blogger no matter what platform they use, owns their content. Blogger not allowing their users to own their own content is is myth, all you have to do is read blogger TOS section. I don’t know who started that rumor, but even if you dont want to read the TOS article by blogger then read the governments article that says the only thing a blogger does not own (no matter what platform they use) is the comments left by others.

    Blogger is owned by google so to backup what I’m saying – here is proof. If you could update your article, I;d appreciate it 🙂

    http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/
    http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/user_terms.html

    • Jaime says:

      The article should be updated soon. Google doesn’t own the content, but they reserve the right to use your content.

      • Stephanie says:

        So does a hosting site. Make sure you read your TOS for Bluehost or whoever hosts you. You are never truly ‘self hosted’ unless you own your own servers. Your hosting service can shut you down if you break their TOS just like Google can.

  • hchybinski says:

    So – that’s a really big myth about Blogger as a platform . . .you DO own your content, as much as you own it anywhere else, otherwise Google wouldn’t let you back it up and take it with you if you move – right?? It’s just a hosting site – like any of the others, except it’s free. It can go down – just like any other hosting site. They can shut you down or pull your blog for violation of TOS, just like any other host can. I’ve been there for 10 years – from a small hobby blog, to a lifestyle blog that earns a decent income.

  • Pam says:

    I’ve been on Blogger for quite a few years with different blogs. My current blog is the only one I’ve been serious with. I guess I’ve been fortunate in that it has never gone down that I can remember. I’ve considered switching to WordPress many times, but it seems so daunting that I just stick where I am. And, honestly, I’ve been quite happy. I”m able to have my own domain name, so it’s not that quickly apparent that it’s a Blogger blog. (Some articles I’ve read have said that one of the advantages of WordPress is having your own domain name, but I do it with Blogger too.) I just bought a new template for it (with a photo slider! I guess Blogger templates have come a long way!) I’m putting off installing it!

    • Jaime says:

      I think the tipping point for me was owning my own content. I didn’t love the idea that if Google decided to take my blog down one day, it was just gone. And that I didn’t technically own my content. it didn’t take long at all to transfer my content (WordPress has a plugin!) But I was also on Blogger for 8 years and obviously didn’t see a problem with that for a long time!

      • Sarah says:

        I have been blogging on Blogspot for almost 5 years and had no problems. The set up is easy, and I have had none of the issues I see with WP blogs– mainly that plug-ins fail on a pretty consistent basis.

        The idea that you don’t own your content on Blogger is a myth- there are a number of articles out there explaining this, yet the rumor still persists.

        Usually when a blogger on Blogspot has their blog removed, it’s because they have violated the terms of service. This can also happen with a WP blog.

        I have yet to meet someone who has had their blog removed, who hasn’t inadvertently done something wonky with monetizing.

        Blogger can be a great forum. I’ve loved it since the beginning.

      • Mel says:

        Any host, Google for blogger, or hostgator, blue host etc. can kill any blog if they violate TOS. Your content is hosted by someone, unless you have your own server, so you have to follow their rules. I just prefer to let Google do the hard work.

        If you didn’t own your content you wouldn’t have been able to take any of your blogger posts with you when you switched. Google would have kept them since they owned them. Google isn’t known for their generosity in letting others just take what Google owns.

        • Jaime says:

          There should be a clarification posting shortly. You’re correct that Google doesn’t own the content, but blogspot users do give them permission to use/reproduce/store/etc. the content for their use.

          Also, I never said that one platform was far superior than the other. I did move to WordPress, but I was on Blogger for 8 years. I have friends who are trying to decide where they want to stay, and I have pros and cons for both.

          • Mel says:

            Thanks for the clarification post. I have no problems showing the pros and cons of both platforms but they need to be factual pros and cons. That’s all I was attempting to do was clarify in the comments that there was some misinformation.