If you are familiar with the blogosphere, you will have noticed that most blogs are either run using Google’s Blogger or WordPress (as a framework). These two systems, along with a couple of other such as Joomla, Typepad etc. are the most commonly used CMS (Content Management Systems) and for some damn good reasons too.
Undoubtedly both of these CMSs have similarities and they both have their unique pros/cons. I want to explore both the lovely and the ugly of the two management systems and hopefully it will allow new time (and returning) bloggers to make a better and more informed decision on which system to go with.
First up, I want to make it clear that I’m not really saying “one’s better than the other” because, better is quite a vague term. It really depends on you because what is “best” for you, won’t be the “best” to the next person that reads this post. So, instead of differentiating between the two, I want to explore some key areas in blogging and “pick” whichever of the two would most ideally serve that purpose. There’s a difference!
Also before we get into the mix of things; do notice that I’m referring to WordPress.com and not WordPress.org. The self-hosted version is far more powerful than any other free CMS and comparing it to a free-service Google’s Blogger is just complete stupidity.
I’ve seen several threads on webmasters forums asking for a comparison between WordPress.org and Blogger.com – I don’t even visit the thread, because it doesn’t deserve an extra view count. It’s that shocking. Anyways, with that in mind ~ let’s get into the comparisons!
Google’s Blogger gets my vote for simplicity, all hands down. If you asked anyone to give you one reason on why they think Blogger made it to the top; it would because of how simple it is. Almost anyone, regardless of how computer-illiterate you are – you could set up a blog and start posting your thoughts on the web! It’s almost “click, write, post” routine. Doesn’t get simpler.
In terms of customizing your blog; both services offer several additional services. Unfortunately for WordPress fans, most of the features cost money, especially if you want to customize it further than just the visual themes. Then again, Blogger doesn’t completely support “plugins” as such but you can add some really nifty widgets which are pretty similar.
This point really depends on your circumstances; if you want to keep expenses to a minimum; Blogger will be sufficient but if you can fork out a few dollars – WordPress will suit you much better.
Both CMS are very flexible and versatile. There’s no doubt about that, but this again depends on your needs for flexibility. If you a average blogger that want to K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid) then Blogger will definately be more flexible for you, allowing you to expand to new features at your own pace. If you want to go out guns-blazing and customize you blog and can spend some money ~ WordPress will be almost god-sent.
With the ever-expanding addition of new widgets, Blogger is more versatile in the number features. WordPress.com, unfortunately limits their users considerably but that’s because we sub-consciously compare it with WordPress.org; but even next to Blogger – it doesn’t stand against as a worthy competitor. Don’t get me wrong, WordPress.com has several useful “features” (mainly it’s WordPress.com Stats) but with so many official and 3rd party widgets; Blogger wins this one.
Community / User Friendliness
WordPress.com hands down. This might be a bit of a personal statement; but I just hate how Google’s comment systems and just the overall user experience is built. Commenting on a page is far more complicated than it should be on a post. Having to register with Blogger just to comment? That’s just plain stupid. The user-friendliness of WordPress.com is great and follows the lovely “Read, Scroll and Leave Comment” idea.
Search Engine Optimization
If you had asked me this before Google bought Blogger – then WordPress.com would have been my pick of the better two, but since it’s official shift (quite some time ago too) we can’t help but think that it has an effect on SEO.
Now, no statistic or factual statement proves this point; but personally I think Google crawlers favor blogs hosted by Blogger. Not to say WordPress.com is useless, it’s one of the most Search Engine Optimized platforms on the market.
Just to make things clear, a “out of the box” WordPress site (without nay customizations) is SEO’ed to almost a “perfect score.” Since there’s no facts/statistics behind Google crawlers favoring Blogger accounts; I’ll have to go with WordPress.com being the better for SEO.
Quick Note: Google Adsense
There has been a lot of speculation bubbling in the forums and other communities that new Google Adsense accounts get approved “faster” if they are proposed through Blogger blogs. What do I mean by that? Well, when you open a Google Adsense account, you need to have a stable website before you get accepted into the program.
Now, your site gets reviewed and either accepted/denied. Hence, if this intial site of yours – is a Blogger blog, they just might be that bit more lenient in accepting you. Then again, the difference is almost insignificant – if you have a spammy Blogger account but a well maintained WordPress.com account – the one that gets accepted and the one that gets rejected is quite obvious.
This little tip SHOULDN’T effect your decision between Blogger or WordPress.com but it’s something to keep in the back of your head!
As you can see, those were just some of the aspects of blogging and just my 2 cents. Share your thoughts and your additions below in the comments? If you had a choice between the two – who would ultimately get your vote?