When I started blogging a few years ago, the argument of blogger vs WordPress did not occur to me as I only knew Google Blogger.
I, therefore, did not know the pros and cons of these two blogging platforms. My eyes had only seen one blogging platform or content management system, to use the technical term.
It was only more than 10 years later that I discovered that there are other content management systems such as WordPress in this world.
I immediately went ahead to try WordPress as it was the most favored platform of bloggers that I respected.
Over the past 10 years, I have therefore tested both and I have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of both. I have been both a victim or beneficiary of the weaknesses and strengths of both systems.
To this day I still have some of my blogs on Google Blogger and some on WordPress.
I must confess however that at some point I wanted to move all my blogs from Blogger to WordPress. Unfortunately, some experiences caused me to reconsider my decision.
Blogger vs WordPress Comparison: Pros and Cons
In the following paragraphs, I want to share some of the pros and cons of using either Blogger or WordPress. I know that most people would consider WordPress to be the gold standard of a content management system.
While WordPress has many features and allows a lot of flexibility, these same strengths can also be its Achilles heel sometimes.
1. Free Hosting (Blogger) Vs Paid Hosting (WordPress)
When it comes to the cost of hosting your site, Blogger wins hands downs as it is free while WordPress costs you money on hosting. It is therefore a no brainer for someone who is short of cash.
But as I will point out later on anything that is free comes with its own strings. Nothing is completely free in this world. There is always something attached to the “freeness”.
If you opt for WordPress then you have to be prepared to spend money on hosting. And the hosting prices go up when you start getting a lot of traffic.
One of the mistakes that many people make is to go for the expensive hosting packages when they are just starting out.
To be honest you don’t really need from the beginning. You are better off going for the cheaper hosting packages.
I personally recommend going for the Bluehost which is one of the most reliable hosting companies around.
It literally has millions of customers from all over the world. You therefore cannot go wrong with that vote of confidence.
2. Control: No Control With Blogger
One of the cons of using Blogger is that your blog is under the control of Google. It may have your name and work but you stay there at the mercy of Google.
The lack of control is evident in the name itself which has blogspot.com in it. This is because you are hosting your blog as a subdomain of blogspot.com.
And blogspot.com is owned by Google. If Google lost this domain, that will mean the end of your blog as well.
This is different from WordPress where you need your own domain name and you are in control of that blog.
You are free to move it to any other hosting sites and you are responsible for making payment for that URL.
You can get domains for as little as $10 per year from Namecheap.
I should point out that nowadays Blogger allows you to buy custom domains like WordPress.
Another example of lack of control of your blog on Blogger is that if you are deemed to have run foul of their terms of service you can lose it.
You can, therefore, wake up one day and discover that your blog has been deleted.
And that deletion could be the loss of your years of blood sweat and tears in building your blog.
If there is only one reason for avoiding using Blogger this should the one. I once went through such an experience and it is not good at all.
Unfortunately, I did not have any backup of the posts anywhere. As a result, I had to start all over.
From that experience, I made up my mind that once any blog on Blogger started doing well I would always have to move it to another platform. To a platform that allowed me to control my domain and posts.
However, in order to do this without losing your ranking on Google, you need to have a custom domain when you are on Blogger.
This is because if you are using the subdomain of blogspot.com then once your site is deleted you cannot transfer this subdomain. It is the property of Google anyway.
You may therefore has to start afresh on a custom domain or other free hosting sites.
3. On WordPress, You Can Use Plugins But Not On Blogger
When it comes to customization of your blog and content, then WordPress is the best by far.
This is because WordPress allows developers to develop plugins that you can use to customize your blog.
This is not the case on Blogger where your customization tool are very limited. If you, therefore, need to customize it you may have to spend a long time for a thing that takes seconds on WordPress.
If you are a blogger that is serious about the look of your blog then you need to be on WordPress and not Blogger. Blogger is a good platform for those that don’t mind how their blog looks like.
Having said that I have noted that the Blogger team too are trying to improve and giving Blogger more flexibility. They are however still far behind in this area.
4. Blogger Is More Secure Than WordPress
Having been on Blogger for a long time without any incidences of hacking or malware I never took security seriously.
That was to change last year when some fraudsters infected my WordPress sites with malware.
At first, I did not realize that my sites had been hacked when I was getting the white screen of death.
I actually spent a whole four to five months not knowing that the errors I was getting were because of malware.
It was only when I saw some dodgy posts in Google that I realized that someone had hacked my sites.
It is a lesson that I want you to consider when you are starting your blog on WordPress. You need to take advantage of the services of WordFence, Sucuri, and the like to improve your blog security.
Otherwise, you could end up posting stuff that is being maliciously redirected without your knowledge.
And once Google realizes that you will be blacklisted and your sites will lose their rankings.
So when it comes to security for your site, I think Blogger is simply way ahead of WordPress.
I suspect that this could be because WordPress is not entirely controlled by one group.
Any person can decide to create a plugin, a theme and with it could be all sort s of vulnerabilities that can be exploited by fraudsters.
When it comes to Blogger most of it is controlled by Google even though you can use some third party themes. Though these themes are nothing compared to the ones you get on WordPress.
Another thing that I noted about third part themes on Blogger is that they introduce all sorts of issues that may affect your site rankings.
If you are on Blogger you are better off using the standard templates that Google offers.
5. People Don’t Take You Seriously If You Site Is On Blogger
One of the challenges you face by being on Blogger is that people don’t you seriously. This is especially true if you are using the blogspot.com in your URL.
Just think of it will you be willing to click to buy on a post that is sitting on such a site. I would think that the ordinary person wary of fraud will hesitate to do that.
Having said that I must confess that I have seen sites on Blogger that have been customized to such an extent that they look professional. These are however the exception than the norm.
Therefore if you are serious about your blog and are not just casually blogging then you need to move to a self-hosted blog on WordPress.
If you are not sure just see all the big organizations that use WordPress. These include the New Yorker, Bloomberg Professional, and BBC America, etc.
These big organisations cannot be using WordPress without proper due dilligence. It shows some level of trust in this content management system.
A couple of months ago I was looking at one of my sites on Blogger and I was really not convinced with the way it looked.
It looked amateurish for me and had it not been of the security issues I faced recently I would have moved it to WordPress.
But once the traffic picks up and I am earning enough money to pay for security plugins like WordFence then I will definitely move it.
I want my visitors to have confidence in my site and to look at it as a professional site and not an amateurish site.
So when it comes to Blogger vs WordPress for serious bloggers, then WordPress wins for me.
6. You can Easily Get Technical Support From Hosting Site Staff For WordPress Than For Blogger
One of the things that I do not like about Blogger is that you are basically on your own when you start blogging.
If you face problems you have nowhere to go for solutions apart from forums etc.
This is not the case when you are hosting companies such as Hostgator, Godaddy, Namecheap, etc. On these sites, you can communicate with the technical people easily and within minutes in most cases.
I have over the years asked for assistance on issues that honestly are not part of the hosting package. I have for example been assisted when my site has gone down due to errors that have nothing to do with the hosting server.
Even though this is the case my hosting site technical staff have always been there to assist me.
When it comes to Blogger you can only communicate with them when you are appealing a punishment or something. When it comes to technical issues you may have to Gooogle for the solution.
I remember when one of my sites was deleted I had to appeal and I got the answer after a number of days. I am not even sure if the answer came from a real person or not.
And when it comes to appeals, the chances of succeeding are almost zero sometimes.
Therefore if you care about customer support then WordPress and not Blogger should be the one for you. There is simply no competition at all in this comparison.
7. More Templates or Themes For WordPress Than For Blogger
One of the weaknesses of Blogger is that you only have a few templates or themes to choose from. This is not the case when it comes to WordPress as you are really spoilt for choice.
When it comes to templates or themes Blogger’s ones are simply not the most attractive out there. Unless of course you forego the standard ones and go for third party templates.
Unfortunately, as I have pointed out before the third party templates create all sorts of issues that affect your Google ranking. Such that if you are still on Blogger you are better of not using the third party templates.
On WordPress, one has access to all sorts of themes that you can customize in various ways. And if you have the money you can engage someone to create your own theme from the ground up.
That is how flexible WordPress is.
This has resulted in all sorts of customizations that sometimes it is difficult to recognize themes.
Below are some of the most popular themes that you can purchase.
Thesis WordPress theme
Elegant WordPress theme
Thrive WordPress theme
Themeforest WordPress theme