Choosing a blogging platform
Recently, I shared that I would be taking my readers along for a ride on my blogging journey. In today’s post, we are starting at the foundation of blogging: what blogging platform should you use?. There are several factors to consider in making the right choice about your blog platform. Many new bloggers naturally gravitate to platforms which are free – which is great, but that is only one element of choosing a platform. I recommend doing your homework before starting your blog. If not, you may end up having to move all of your content to a new platform at some point if you find that the one you are on no longer meets your blogging needs.
Let’s look at some key points in choosing your blogging platform:
Who owns your blog
Wait, what? I own my blog, right? Well, not so fast. Blogger is a blogging service provided by Google. It is free, usually reliable, and provides the basics allowing you to publish your blog on the web. However, it is not owned by you. Google runs this service and has the right to shut it down, or shutdown your access to it at any time.
With WordPress, you use a WordPress hosting provider to host your own site. You are free to decide how long you want to run it and when you want to shut it down. You own all your data, and you control what information you share with any third party.
Blogger has very limited tools allowing you to perform only specific tasks or functions on your website. The things you can do on your Blogger blog are limited, and there is no way you can modify them or extend them to meet your needs (which may change as you get further down the road on your blogging journey).
WordPress is an open source software, so you can easily configure it to meet your needs or add new features. There are thousands upon thousands of WordPress plugins allowing you to modify or add features to your site such as adding a store, allowing for social media sharing and using your own brand fonts).
When comparing WordPress vs Blogger for bloggers who wish to, even in the future, monetize their blog, then WordPress is the best choice.
3. The Look and Feel of Your Blog
Blogger offers a very limited set of templates to use. You can modify the colors and layout of these templates using the built-in tools, but you cannot create your own layouts or make modifications of any other kind.
There are thousands of free WordPress themes which allow you to create professional looking websites. There is a WordPress theme for just about every kind of website. No matter what your site is about, you will find plenty of high quality themes which are easy to modify and customize. There are also thousands of premium or for-cost themes (this blog uses a theme called Rachel from Bluchic).
4. What if I want to Make a Change?
Moving your site from Blogger to a different platform is a pain and rather complicated. There is a good chance that you will lose your SEO (search engine rankings), and likely subscribers or followers during a move.
When using WordPress, you can move your site anywhere you want. For example, you can easily move a WordPress blog/site to a new hosting provider, change your domain name and more.
4. Monetizing Your Site
As mentioned above, WordPress offers many plugins which allow you to add a store, offer downloads and more. On WordPress, you can also have greater flexibility on placing ads on your site as well as affiliate programs.
This post is by no means exhaustive in all of the factors to consider when choosing your blogging platform, but should give you a good idea of what to think about before taking the blogging plunge.
It all comes down to this: Blogger is free and easy to use, but comes with a number of limitations for growth and functionality. WordPress, while not free, can be very low cost, yet allow for your blog to be exactly what you envision it to be.