If you write a blog, chances are that you use one of the following three blog platforms: Blogger, WordPress.com or WordPress.org. Each platform has its own list of pros and cons.

This guide is designed to lay out the differences between blog platforms in order to help those who are considering migration to another platform, or for those non-bloggers who are interested in dipping their toes in the deep bloggy sea.

Blogger

– A product of Google, this blog platform is popular because it is both free and easy to use. A user can have a free domain (YourDomain.blogspot.com) or purchase their own .com through Blogger (www.YourDomain.com). It is common for a blogger to begin here and later migrate to a WordPress site. Reasons given for migration include the lack of site ownership and lack of tech support.

Pros – Free domain, free hosting, easy to use, and a decent selection of templates and gadgets for customization and improved functionality.

Cons – Google maintains control over your site and can remove your blog if it so chooses (rare, but possible), Google does not provide tech support, many add-ons require adding code to your existing html.

WordPress.com

– Also known as “The Free WP” because you can have a free domain (YourDomain.Wordpress.com) and free hosting with it, much like Blogger. It is possible to purchase your own .com and use it on with this platform, too.

A site on WordPress.com can later be migrated to WordPress.org. The free themes available provide the “professional” look and feel many prefer over Blogger, though many new WP users feel there is a larger learning curve to getting started on WordPress.

Pros – Free domain, free hosting, professional look, tech support forums, integrated “add-ons” called plugins for improved/extra functionality.

Cons – Limited number of available plugins, limited to free themes (no premium options), no tinkering with PHP code, no ads allowed.

WordPress.org

– Also known as the “self-hosted” WP because you have to pay a 3rd party for hosting and need to own your own domain. Both free and premium themes are available and customization is endless. The dashboards for both WordPress options are the same, so there is a learning curve over Blogger for WP.org just like there is for WP.com.

Pros – Ultimate control over your site and its content, ability to run ads, professional look, limitless customization options, all WP plugins are available for installation.

Cons – Cost of domain, cost of hosting, responsible for plugin and theme updates (WP.com handles that for you).

There is no single “right” answer for everyone. Your likes, wants and comfort level with technology all factor in to your choice, as does your desire to make a monetary investment.

What platform do you blog from? Have you ever made a switch? What’s the deciding factor for you?

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