Blogger or Wordpress? Why I am Sticking with Blogger

Which blogging platform should a beginner blogger use? Many different platforms exist, but the two most popular ones are Blogger and Wordpress.

People use Blogger because it's free, easy to use, and they can start blogging immediately. Many blogging authorities urge authors and illustrators to use (requiring self-hosting) because it gives them full ownership of their blog. Wordpress has powerful features, but I'm sticking with Blogger for these reasons:

1. From a design standpoint, I can tweak a Blogger blog in multiple ways, while I'm limited to the Wordpress themes.

I like how I can start with a standard Blogger template and tweak every element, from the header, to the page labels, to the fonts, backgrounds, and colors:

I can also drag and drop "gadgets" or elements anywhere in the blog. If I want a less traditional look, I can use dynamic views (to see any Blogger blog in dynamic view, add "/view" to the end of the website address).

I can also use any number of free Blogger templates that are beautiful. The one I use for the kid lit website I help run, Kidlit411, is provided by Confluent Forms:

While Wordpress offers some beautiful themes and allows customization, the snazziest themes are paid premium features and are difficult to tweak on an element-by-element basis.

2. Blogger gadgets provide every "plug in" I need.

Wordpress supporters love the plug-ins available to make their sites more functional. As someone who showcases my work and writes articles, I haven't found anything I wanted that wasn't easily available as a Blogger gadget or added through HTML code.  For example, some of the gadgets on my sidebar are:
  • Picture links: I post a photo that is clickable to another link. My Etsy shop is accessible this way.
  • Popular posts: I can show a list of the blog's all time, monthly, or weekly posts, with thumbnails. 
  • Custom HTML gadgets: Blogger includes social media sharing buttons on each post, but doesn't have a good gadget to include sharing buttons on the sidebar. Here are instructions on how to create the social icons on Blogger using the HTML gadget. (I am not an HTML expert, but I do know how to search the internet for instructions.)

Sample Blogger gadgets

3. Blogger is free without ads.

If I never want to spend a penny on my blog, I don't have to.  If I were to use, I could do so for free, but Wordpress can run ads on my blog over which I have no control. If I were to use, I would have to pay for my domain name and hosting. Hosting is not that expensive, but it is a recurring expense.

The only expense I've incurred for this site is to pay for my domain name, (the free version would be

4. Blogger is part of the Google family.

Because Blogger is part of the Google family, blogs are supported by Google's resources. Other Google products like Adsense, Google Drive, Google+, Apps, Picassa Web Albums, Feedburner, and more, are integrated with Blogger. Google continues to provide new features for Blogger blogs like the ability to set one's own permalink or bringing Google+ comments into your blog.

One downside of having a blog on Blogger is that while you own the content, you do not own the actual blog. Therefore, you must abide by Google's terms of service or face a risk that Google can delete your blog at its discretion (generally, for spam or pornographic sites). That is a risk I'm willing to take, as I doubt that a children's illustration site will come close to raising any Google red flags.

5. I don't need to worry about security or bandwidth. 

If I use a self-hosted Wordpress site, I need to keep up with security updates to make sure the site doesn't get hacked, but I don't have the time or inclination to learn about that. With Blogger, Google takes care of security, and it has a good system of screening for spam.

Also, if one of my posts goes crazily viral, Google will have enough bandwidth to accommodate the additional traffic without shutting down the site.

6. It's a wash for SEO.

© 2012 Sylvia Liu

There's debate about whether Blogger or Wordpress is better for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but bloggers shouldn't be obsessing over SEO. If a blogger is posting good, fresh content that brings repeated visitors, SEO will take care of itself. But if one is concerned about it, Blogger has introduced several tools to optimize searches, including setting search preferences, meta tags, and making custom error (404) pages.

7. Blogger serves my purposes.

Basically, it's working, so I'm not fixing it. Maybe in the future I may want to run an e-commerce site and will find Blogger limited. But as a blogging platform, it's perfectly functional, and I enjoy being able to tweak and play with the design at a moment's whim.

The debate continues.

For more perspectives, check out these articles that support Blogger:

10 Reasons Recommending Blogger over Wordpress for Most Websites
Why Blogger Has Better SEO Options Than Any Free Platforms
7 Reasons Why Blogger is Better than Wordpress

Articles that support Wordpress:

Why Wordpress is Better than Blogger by Miles
Three Reasons Why Self-hosted Wordpress is Better than Blogger
Why Wordpress is Better than BlogSpot Platform?

And an article that weigh the pros and cons of each:

Blogger v. Wordpress: Which is the Best Platform

What do you think?  Some friends use Weebly to make nice looking websites. Others use Tumblr. What other good options have you found? What are your reasons for choosing the platform you did?

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