The Pros & Cons of 3 Common Blog Platforms

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?

19 Comments

  1. Alex@LateEnough

    best decision I ever made was to start out self-hosting on wordpress.org.

    but if you don’t think that you will be blogging for very long or blogging for more than friends or family, I think blogger (read: free) is great.

    Reply
    • Kate

      I think the days of blogger are over. Back in 2006, I had a blogger blog. But when I started perpetually nesting, I decided wordpress.org was right for me. This is definitely the best option for people who want to blog on a semi professional or professional level. WordPress.com is probably the worst choice due to monetization and customization issues. With wordpress.org, customization is endless. I absolutely love my space and it’s forward thinking, open-source capabilities.

      Reply
  2. Leigh Ann

    I never had any issues with Blogger, but I am so glad I made the switch to WP.org. I’ve only been there a few weeks and I love the control that I have and the options available.

    Reply
  3. JamericanSpice

    I’ve been using blogger since I began in 2008.

    I don’t really have much problems with blogger but I do desire the nice platform of WP and would have switched and learned along the way if I had the money to maintain.

    It all comes down to not having the money to do this.

    Reply
  4. amanda

    I switched mainly bc I needed to be able to keep ads from appearing on sponsored posts. I’m incredibly glad I did. Only a couple weeks into it & I love it bc of the expanded functionality & seo potential. Plus, love the category nav bar. Loved blogger while there but needed to step ip.

    Reply
  5. CraftyMummy

    I have been using Blogger for almost 2 years and have learnt a lot by starting there. I just recently moved to a self-hosted WordPress and I love it. I wonder though whether I would have loved it if hadn’t had the knowledge that I gradually built up as I worked things out in blogger?

    The trigger for me was having blogger down for 24 hours and thinking “what if I’ve just lost 2 years worth of work?!” Also the idea that I’m ready to take my logging to the next level and start getting sponsorship if I can.

    Reply
  6. Kate

    I started on Blogger and was there for over 3 years. It was a great place to start, but as i grew, Blogger couldn’t really grow with me and fit my needs.

    Wp.com is awesome for the growing blog. Love.

    Reply
  7. Kimberly

    I started on Blogger but just recently made the switch to self hosted WordPress. That’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I love it, I love the control and the options.

    Reply
  8. Jen {at} take2mommy

    I’m on Blogger but wish I started on WordPress.org. It would have forced me to learn it. I’m lazy and tech-challenged so I doubt I’ll ever leave Blogger!

    Reply
  9. Jenilee

    I am on Blogger, with my own domain. I have considered switching to WP, because I have heard that companies prefer WP options. So far, I really love Blogger except for the most recent issues. Such a difficult decision! Pay, or stay free… own your blog or let someone else have ultimate control…ugh.

    Reply
    • admin

      It is difficult. There are pros and cons to each, and when money is involved, it isn’t a decision to take lightly.

      Reply
  10. Shawna

    I don’t know how I lasted on Blogger as long as I did. My self-hosted WordPress blog provides so much more flexibility. But it definitely isn’t right for everyone. The only part I wish I could do over was the actual transition process. I made some very silly mistakes (letting all my email get sucked into a black hole for a week, for instance), but no one’s perfect, right? 🙂

    Reply
  11. Alison@Mama Wants This

    I’m on Blogger and bought my own domain. I signed up on WP.com at the same time, but just found it a little too challenging as I was a complete newbie and had no clue what to do. I will consider a switch to WP.org, if I’m still blogging end of the year.

    Reply
    • admin

      We can help you when you are ready. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Karen Peterson

    I know it sounds silly, but one of the reasons I haven’t given any serious consideration to moving away from Blogger is the fact that I like being able to schedule my posts ahead of time and I’ve been told that’s not possible with Word Press.

    Reply
    • admin

      If you are interested in moving to WP, you’ll be happy to know that is not the case! I schedule my posts all the time. In fact, WP even has a plugin called Editorial Calendar that lets you drag and drop posts to different days of the week/month!

      Let us know if you have any other questions about WP.

      Reply
  13. hilljean

    I have wanted to switch to WP for a long time but am so intimidated about doing it myself. It comes down to money and time. Do you recommend paying someone to switch your blog over? Or is it possible to do it all myself? Also, how do you go about getting Google Connect Friends to transfer with you?

    Reply
    • admin

      Personally, I would, and I’m not just saying that because we offer that service. 🙂 I paid someone to move me back in the day, and I find it takes much less time and is virtually stress-free that way.

      Also, is it possible to “bring” your GFC with you. So you do now lose all those followers.

      Let us know if you want to know more about all that migration entails.

      Reply
  14. Heidi Smith Luedtke

    I have two blogs now, and am SO frustrated with the first one. I started it at Typepad back when that was a good choice, and now I am stuck there unless I want to waste a week of my life or pay someone a lot of money to transfer the content to WP. I started my second blog at WP (self-hosted) and am very happy with the level of flexibility. If you have any advice on rescuing my original blog from Typepad, please share. You guys did an “audit” on that blog a while back and I’ve yet to make many improvements because I want to move the whole thing!

    Reply

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