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Blogger versus WordPress

Based on the suggestions left on this past post, some of you would like to hear more about my blogging experiences.  I didn’t know where to start, so I decided to go over the first real choice most bloggers have to make – Blogger or WordPress which are considered the top blog sites. There are obviously other options as well, but these are the only two I know anything about.

I started out on Blogger and migrated to WordPress a couple of months later

.  Here are the benefits of each as I see them:

Blogger

  • Easy to set up
  • User friendly
  • The parts that can be customized are easy to customize
  • I’d say it is perfect for a hobby blogger that does not plan on monetizing

WordPress

  • 100% control over your site and its features
  • Much more is customizable and there are way more theme options – I personally consider this a disadvantage since making non-stop choices for 2 weeks sucked, but it is a major advantage to most people
  • Trackbacks and pingbacks are pure gold to anyone who wants to monetize
  • Plugins allow for all sorts of additional features
  • You can backup your site (Blogger has been known to eat sites)

My General Views of Blogger and WordPress

Personally, if I was just blogging for the fun of it, I would have stayed on Blogger which is the best online website builder in my opinion.  I love anything that is user friendly since I am not techie at all.  Since I did want to get bigger and a personal finance blog feels more like a business than a daily journal, I needed a way to backup my work and to have more control over my site.  That is why I migrated BFS to WordPress.

Migrations are a huge pain because of the amount of work involved (or money – I paid $125 since there was no way I would have ever done it myself), so if you ever think you may want your blog to grow into more than you orginally planned, I would just start with WordPress and save yourself the migration hassle.

If you don’t mind having the word “blogspot” or “wordpress” in your domain name, you can run a blog on either system for free – you can get started with Blogger or WordPress.com.

If you want a domain name free of any marketing and you use Blogger, you can buy your name for as little as $10-$15 a year

If you use WordPress than you will need a host for your site (Host Gator, Host Monster, BlueHost, ect), which will operate as your server and you can get your domain name through them as well.  I ended up going with Host Monster for about $6 a month ($72 a year).

**Update:  I hated Host Monster since they kept crashing on me, so I’ve since switched to Host Gator and have been very happy!**

Different hosts have different benefits such as server size and whatnot, so look over your needs and choose for yourself.  I only needed something simple, so I did not look too hard.  Feel free to be way more thorough than me.  🙂

Once you pick a host or choose to go with Blogger, you will need to pick your general layout (theme).  I am currently using a very flexible theme in WordPress called Atahualpa, but it was a hard choice.  I was also leaning towards F2 and a few others.  A theme can be changed even after you move ahead, but it is easier to simply choose a good one and move on.  I don’t want to relearn theme options any more than I have to…

After choosing your theme and working through its options to get yourself set up, you will be ready to post.  If you do have any Blogger or WordPress questions while working through any of these steps, please shoot me an email and I can see if I can help.  I don’t know about coding or anything super technical, but I do know the basics of getting started and can at least point you in a helpful direction if I am useless. If you’re on a low budget you can still learn how to create a free blog.

Did I leave something out about making money from blogging?  Any other specific questions about Blogger or WordPress?  For all my fellow bloggers reading this, what would you like to add for our non-blogger friends who may be thinking about their options right now?

33 thoughts on “Blogger versus WordPress”

  1. Everyday Tips

    I started with WordPress from the start so I don’t have anything to compare it to. However, I was surprised at how easy it was to just start a blog. As you said, the hardest part is settling on a theme. For me, it was a lot of trial and error, but it is great once you get it all settled.

  2. BFS

    @Everyday Tips, the theme options with WordPress was overwhelming to me since there are so many choices. It was exciting to flesh it out once I finally settled on one…

  3. Nicole

    Very interesting. 🙂

  4. BFS

    @Nicole, I thought it may help out new bloggers like ODWO. 🙂

  5. Little House

    That’s a very nice summary of WordPress. I never used Blogger, but find that WordPress is pretty flexible and easy to customize. It probably helps that I understand a little CSS and HTML coding as I’ve been able to customize my theme through the style sheet (CSS extension files); another advantage to hosting your own blog – you can download the files individually and work on them (just don’t forget to always save a backup in case you make a mistake!)

  6. Haha, it took me forever to settle on a theme in the beginning as well, and now I an already see how I would start changing things here and there, so I might be moving on sometime soon again!

    I like the flexibility, ease of use, and control you get with self-hosted wordpress. With Blogger, there’s always the danger that your blog gets swiped out from under you one day.

  7. ODWO/TFC

    I’ve never tried Blogger. A recommendation by a friend said to start with Woodpress. 🙂

    I’m glad I did start here too. Despite the obvious lack of knowledge in using such. I’m sure as time goes by I’ll ask questions (How can I do this or that? … Again?).

    So far, so good!
    I still looking for that grammer and spellchecker button for the lazy writer (that’s me).

    I have a domain name but one day it’ll be put into woodpress, or is it the other way around? HA!

    One day I’ll be up to date! (Thanks again Ms. BFS!) 🙂

  8. Jenna

    Another great hosting site is Taproot – which uses wind energy to run. Which is great since serves tend to suck a lot of energy from the grid.

  9. BFS

    @Little House, I’m always a little jealous of advanced bloggers that understand HTML and can play with things without them becoming a puddle of goo. That’s a skill I do not have yet – more power to you though!

    @Kevin, even if I wanted to change themes now, there is no way in heck I’m going through that learning process voluntarily again. Hope you find something perfect for you!

    @ODWO, I’m glad you talked to me after my blog migration, or I would have suggested Blogger and you’d be going through a pain-in-the-butt migration at some point too, lol. 🙂

    @Jenna, I hadn’t heard of Taproot before. Good to know.

  10. Jenna

    @BFS – Just google “Taproot Hosting” – they are super great.

  11. BFS

    @Jenna, I’ll look into it if I ever get the motivation/drive to be able to relearn another system…probably would be a while. BUT, I’ll totally pass their name along to the soon-to-be bloggers I meet or anybody who mentions they may be switching!

    @Kevin, Atahualpa has a ton of options that make it pretty cool looking and acting, but feel free to contact me if the shear amount of options gets overwhelming or you can’t find what you are looking for (happens to me to this day but I’m getting better).

  12. Thanks, BFS! I’m gonna have to start playing around with it on a test blog sometime!

  13. BFS

    @Kevin, YES…test blog…great idea! Ms. Crafty set me up for two weeks on a dummy blog before I was anywhere close to being able to operate BFS on WordPress. That was a life saver.

  14. Rob Ward

    I’m one of the few bloggers in the world not using WordPress…I use Squarespace.com instead. I didn’t feel like learning how to set up WordPress, even though I know I could do it (I’m pretty geeky).

  15. Money Reasons

    Before Moneyreasons.com, I had a personal website that I self-hosted in my dorm room… It was blog like in nature… It had columns with links to an ebay product I was selling, but no comments.

    I was too busy to code the comment element piece (I was a busy college student at the time)

    For Moneyreasons.com, it actually started as a hobby as monreasons.blogspot.com. But then I migrated to the wordpress software package, and I love it!

  16. Nunzio Bruno

    I love to keep reading about WordPress and wish I had started with it. When I started and I still use SquareSpace. They probably have THE best customer support I’ve ever had but there’s not too much of a community out there for it. Everything I do is either trial or error or hours of research. What I am a fan of though is their pricing levels – they cater to your needs and as soon as I’m ready to expand I can just jump to the next level and they are already set up to accommodate.

  17. myfinancialobjectives.com

    I lovveee wordpress. I did my research I guess when I started my blog, and opted for wordpress. I’ve been laughing all the way to the bank. No wait, I don’t make any money from blogging lol…I just like WordPress a lot, it’s so easy to use!

  18. Sandy L

    I use wordpress. It was hard just picking with a layout and sticking to it. i could have fiddled with the look of my site forever.

    I also noticed that blogger sites get blocked out more often in company firewalls. I for example can’t post or read comments on any site that is a blogger account while logged in at work. I think it says “restricted, social media”

  19. Financial Samurai

    Everybody always starts on blogger, but then ends up on WordPress. It’s an inevitability!

  20. Squirrelers

    I started on WordPress after having zero blogging experience previously. It’s worked out fairly well in getting my site up and running. Getting it to the next level in terms of appearance may take some work for me, as I’m no expert at code:) But for what I have set out to do, it has worked out well.

  21. BFS

    @Rob, I keep learning about new sites…I’ll keep Square Space in mind too.

    @Money Reasons, yay for another WordPress migrator. 🙂

    @Nunzio Bruno, that’s an awesome review for them! I’ll be sure to include them in my suggestions when people ask.

    @MFO, lucky – no migration headaches. 😉

    @Sandy L, yeah, that’s annoying. I can read A Gai Shan Life and Frugal Scholar, but I have to comment from home…

    @Financial Samurai, hehehe.

    @Squirrelers, I agree, after a few weeks on WordPress, I was glad I switched (there was a lot of cussing and tears for those first weeks though)…

  22. Jenna

    @BFS – Awesome! Thanks! They are pretty seamless in transferring over from other hosting sites so I wouldn’t worry too much.

  23. Serenity

    I thought about using blogger, but one of my favorite personal finance blogs was using WordPress. I actually thought it was easy, but, yes, the possible settings are endless!

  24. BFS

    @Serenity, I think starting with WordPress must be a lot easier than moving over from Blogger – it’s like being coddled for a whole childhood and then dropped off in a crazy bustling place like New York City… 🙂

  25. Craig

    I too started on Blogger. It’s a good place to get your feet wet and figure out if blogging is something you want to do and can handle it (by handle I mean dealing with code and such).

    As quickly as you can though jump to WordPress if you think you will do this long-term. I’d say start there but not everyone can easily get their head around the code (it’s not hard but takes a bit of time).

    I use a paid theme on WordPress. It was well worth the cost as it’s easier to use and has free upgrades and excellent tutorials and forums.

  26. BFS

    @Craig, I hadn’t thought about the paid themes being easier to use. Thanks for the heads up!

  27. Maia Verzekering

    Hi,

    I am going to try WordPress on my website. I am downloading the zip file right now. While downloading i was searching for some info on WordPress. That is how i came acros your blog. Thanks for the information you shared, i will certanly need it when i am going to use wordpress.

    Will come back here!

  28. John Armstrong

    Nice post.
    I am with blogger but considering to go to word press

    Cheers

  29. A.N Raja

    Crystal- Great info and I am in the process of thinking to move from blogpost to my own domain. It is very helpful info

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