Blogger or WordPress? Pros and Cons

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lots of people probably don't know this, but back in December 2011 when I started this wee blog, it was hosted by WordPress.com. I loved the dashboard, loved the ease of use, and loved its emphasis on clean design. I quickly came to realize, however, that nearly every other book blogger out there was using Blogger, and they all had this fancy Google Friend Connect gadget that I couldn't use on WordPress.

Determined to not be a fish out of water, and wanting to grow my readership, I decided to switch over to Blogger. You'd be surprised how many "Blogger to WordPress" articles I found, and how very few there were for people like me who wanted to do the reverse. Maybe I should have taken the hint.

After the announcement several months ago that GFC is on the outs, and more bloggers experiencing difficulties with Google and/or Blogger, several prominent blogs switched over to WordPress. More and more of the blogs I follow started doing the same. And the more WP blogs I saw, the more I started to envy my old WP platform and regret my choice to jump ship when I did.

Now I'm re-examining my options from the perspective of a somewhat established blogger instead of a newbie. I know more about what I'm doing, and what I want from my blog. I also know more about the kind of experience I want to provide my readers. I'm still comfortably parked on the fence, but I'm taking this discussion to the blog to gain some insight from you, dear readers.

As a blog reader, do you have a preference?

If you are a blogger, why do you prefer the platform you use?


Here is my own, personal take on the matter:

Blogger
  • Integrates seamlessly with Google
  • Is familiar to me after a year of use
  • Has more options for free gadgets
  • Is easier for fellow Blogger users to comment

WordPress
  • Has a more intuitive dashboard
  • Is easier to use to format posts
  • Provides advance URLs
  • Creates post templates

Some of my primary complaints have been addressed by both - Blogger now offers threaded comments *update* threaded comments won't work with my blog design, unless I make a stylistic choice to abandon the transparency over my background image - SAD!; WordPress now offers more customization via HTML/CSS. I'm very happy with my new blog design, and it has been a factor in my decision not to move to WordPress just yet. With WP.com limiting the ability to customize their templates, it forces me to only consider the WP.org self-hosted option, which will require me to pay a monthly hosting fee in perpetuity. That's asking a lot of commitment, and I'm concerned I don't have the HTML/CSS skills to get the full use out of self-hosting.

If any of you have made the switch from Blogger to WordPress, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the migrating process. As it stands for me, the self-hosting hurdle is a big one for me to overcome, and will require more research on my part - which I'm not sure I'm ready to invest right now.

But I really am curious...what do you all think of this?

11 comments:

Smash Attack! said...

I'm making the transition to WP now. Hubs got all the posts and comments imported, which was very tricky since I had IntenseDebate. Thank goodness he was a software engineer in a former life! I would've given up if not for him. I'm messing around with it this month to see ho it works and such before I point my domain to new site.

I want the freedom and peace of mind. I've stood behind Google for years but I am getting angry at their tactics.

Midnyte Reader said...

I'm getting annoyed at Google too. However, I am just not technically savvy and I have heard that Blogger is good for people like me. I have debated switching, and maybe I'll do it one day, but for now I'm going to stay with Blogger.

Amanda @ On a Book Bender said...

I was on WP.com until I moved to .org so I can't answer any Blogger to WP questions, though I will say that even though I ended up moving my blog to a self-hosted site because I self-hosted my business site (thus making the commitment to my business rather than my blog), I really really enjoy having .org. It's definitely far better than WP.com as far as allowing more freedom. There are also people who will help you to make the switch (such as the person who created my theme, and who I would recommend if you're looking for someone).

Cherie Reich said...

I have my main blogs on Blogger, but I wanted to create a more professional looking blog/website for my publishing and editorial services, so I went with WP. I have to say I prefer Blogger so much more than WP. I find WP to be confusing and awkward, especially when it comes to posts (I can format how I want a post to look so much easier in Blogger than WP).

Logan E. Turner said...

@Smash - I definitely would need to recruit help in the process. I'd be too worried I'd screw something up. Husbands can be so helpful, can't they? :)

@Midnyte Reader - At this point it seems overwhelming to migrate because of all the work involved. My laziness and busy schedule may end up keeping me at Blogger.

@Amanda - Does .org look/work much differently from .com? I'm worried that .org will require tons more work, but admittedly it's because I don't know much about it.

@Cherie - I've always had the reverse problem; I can't get my posts to format using Blogger's visual editor, so I ended up having to do it all in HTML. I didn't remember having that issue in WP.

Hannah said...

I'm a strong believer in doing what is most comfortable to you. As a reader, platform doesn't bother me. I read for the content and okay, it does help if a blogger knows how to keep their layout relatively tidy and not too heavy on load times but that's not really platform related.

As a blogger, I've always used Wordpress. Always. I started in the WoW blogging community and the majority of WoW bloggers used Wordpress so so did I. Then I moved over to book blogging and saw the majority used Blogger and I briefly considered moving but.. I'd used Wordpress for so long and I *liked* it. So I stayed. I'm glad I did but it was because I was comfortable with it. So if you're happy with Blogger, stay with Blogger. If it bothers you, move. :) You have Feedburner and a custom domain so making the switch wouldn't be a problem to your followers! Totally depends on YOUR preferences. <3

BURIED IN BOOKS said...

I don't know jack about HTML/CSS. What little I do know it's for Blogger. I keep hearing that GFC is going eventually from Blogger as well. If so, why change? I'm familiar with everything. Now, I have heard people saying they've had their blogs shut down and that's scary. I wouldn't know the first thing to do about that. I guess you'd never hear from me again! :)

As far as threaded comments go though, they don't work on my account for some reason. I have my settings correct, but they just don't work. So I went back to the comment form.

I love the way your blog looks. The change was amazing and I'd love to steal the whole look from you (I won't). So wherever you go, keep the look!

Heather

Logan E. Turner said...

@Hannah - I know I should just go with my gut, but I can't make up my mind! Argh! :P

@Heather - Thank you! I love my design too, but gosh I miss WordPress. I don't think I miss it enough to kiss my design goodbye, though.

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Aylee said...

I have never used Wordpress but have been wondering what all the fuss is about. I mean, it really must be better because it seems like a ton of people are making the switch. I would love posting to be easier than it is on Blogger, that's for sure. It would be so sad for me though to see you lose your blog design because it's so awesome! I hope you can find a way to work around that without having to do self-hosting.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I'm pretty late on the discussion but I'll give my 2 cents anyway.

I feel the exact same was as you so I'm not sure if I'm too helpful. My concern is the self-hosting. I've considered giving up the blog a few times because it can be a lot of pressure. I'm worried that if I'm paying for it, if I'll feel even more pressure to really give it all the detention it deserves. I also feel that if I stop blogging on blogger, my blog can stay up and be a resource forever. If I'm self-hosting, I'm wondering if I'll lose it all if I stop paying for it. It's hard. Ultimately...I don't want to pay for it.

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