When creating a blog or a website in general, WordPress and Blogger are still the two most demanded options. But what is the best one for you?
WordPress has been the absolute market leader for many years: 27% of websites worldwide have been created with WordPress.
And we are not always talking about blogs, we are also talking about many sites of the likes of New York Post, CNN or Spotify for putting just a few examples among many.
The crux of the matter is when choosing a platform it makes no sense to speak of “the best” in absolute terms, there is no such thing. All have advantages and disadvantages.
The question to ask is which one is best for you and that depends on what you want to do exactly with your website.
It is not the same to blog just for fun than to do it professionally creates a site that is a support for a traditional business or creates an online site as a business in itself.
In that sense, I will make a detailed comparison between WordPress and Blogger ( Blogspot) to remain the two options most in demand today, although in recent years have been a notable rise in new options for webs (not so many blogs) like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace.
I will detail the differences between them and the reasons for choosing one or another option. In addition, I will also explain the differences between the two variants of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org, something that today continues to generate a lot of confusion among users.
With all this information you should be able to perfectly choose the best platform for your case.
And since I know that the impatient ones have a long post like this, I’ll start with what the conclusions should really be, although I insist: this is not black or white, so it’s best to read it all to know why I get to them, even at another time.
When to use Blogger, when WordPress.com and when WordPress.org
In the first place, I reiterate, in my view, you cannot say without saying that one platform is “better” than another.
The good question is:
What is the best option for my specific needs with the blog I want to create now and in the future?
I would consider the decision according to a series of different scenarios that can be given in this:
You just want to try
If you just want to start blogging about a topic that you like, but without any ambition and no specific horizon, I recommend discarding WordPress.org and hiring your own hosting (the rental of a server on the Internet for your site).
The reason is not so much the cost, since the cost of a hosting is very small, but keeping things simple.
In this way I would also consider the decision between Blogger and WordPress.com: here the question would be what your “relationship” with web technologies is.
Below you will see that Blogger demands more technically. That is, do you prefer not to have to play anything that sounds like technical things like HTML or you would not mind messing around with these things a bit?
If you have a bit of phobia about the technical part, the decision is clear: WordPress.com. This option is more limited, but they are things that you should be able to live with perfectly if you do not have more pretensions.
If you are a bit more “techie” and you like to mess around with things like HTML or CSS, WordPress.com in its variant will be frustrating because basically, you cannot do anything at this level. Now, to get into their paid versions that already allow things to be done, but they cost what a hosting or more, I would go directly to WordPress.org with hosting.
Therefore, here it is more logical to go to Blogger if you want a free option. And, in addition, if at any given time you want to monetize your activity, you will have fewer restrictions than on WordPress.com
You have a serious project, but you cannot spend any money
Here the first thing I want to advise you is to be frank with yourself: do you really cannot afford what it costs to take a few coffees to pay the monthly installment of a hosting?
To get an idea of what we are talking about: Webempresa, Raiola Networks and Hostgator (this blog is hosted in Webempresa, for example). If you enter the links, you will see that we are talking about very little money per month in the basic plans.
The basic plans are usually more than enough for something like 98% or 99% of cases.
Frankly, if you then spend every week in drinks or in the breakfast cafe in the company or superfluous things like that, you are not honest with yourself.
In this case, you are simply not giving sufficient priority to your project. Therefore, my advice would be that you do not even start, because a blog that you are serious about requires work and if, from the beginning, you do not give it, it is a guarantee to never get anywhere. So better not waste your time.
Not having money is that all the months of truth you spend hard to get to the end of the month. In the rest of the cases they are excuses that only camouflage that your project, in reality, does not have priority for you. And it is not criticized, you are in your right to give the priority that you like, it would be more, but better not to waste your time.
Now, if you really find yourself in an extreme economic situation that prevents you from spending money on a hosting, to choose between WordPress.com and Blogger, I would approach the subject as in the previous point based on your skills with web technologies.
And, finally, do not hire a free hosting, stay better with WordPress.com or Blogger.
You have a serious project and you want to generate income with it
If you are not in an extreme situation like the one described above and that really justifies not spending the minimum cost of hosting, there is simply no doubt: I would always recommend WordPress.org.
Otherwise, you will discover that the limitations of WordPress.com and even Blogger (which has much less) are a drag on your project. In addition, you forget from the beginning of future complications arising from the need to migrate to WordPress.org.
And I am not thinking about the limitations for the use of online advertising, in fact, it is the least effective option when you are not an experienced professional and with means.
I’m thinking about things like, for example, affiliate marketing where you need to do things like tracking conversion statistics to know what content works and what does not in order to generate commissions, to be able to design your site with freedom to adapt it to what you need or the integration of a shopping cart to make sales.
If you are starting and you do not have technical knowledge of any kind, consider yourself also very seriously spend a little more on a hosting that goes beyond the normal support in a hosting and also offers specialized support in WordPress.
What it is and how it works Blogger
Blogger is a free service in the cloud created originally by Pyra Labs and acquired by Google in 2003, aimed at creating blogs.
I want to emphasize in particular the fact that it is a service in the cloud.
This means, creating a blog in Blogger is basically as simple as opening an account in other services in the cloud, such as a Gmail email account, for example. It is not necessary to fight with technical issues such as the installation of software on a server, etc. It is to open the account and start working.
In Blogger, after taking the steps to create it, you will again have a URL of the type ” minombre.blogspot.com “. However, it is possible to link a domain of your own to your blog, something that I recommend very strongly always , since a domain costs very little money and greatly improves the feeling that your blog will give.
What WordPress is and how it works
Unlike Blogger, WordPress is a content management system (or CMS for its acronym in English) designed for the creation of any type of website and that began to work in 2003.
Today is the absolute leader in blogging platform, 27% of websites worldwide, if we limit ourselves to blogs, more than half.
Faced with virtually all of its competitors has the peculiarity of being an open source product (“open source” in English). That means that you have the source code of the application at your disposal to use it as you want.
The first thing you have to know about WordPress: the difference between the “.com” and “.org” versions
The fact of being an open source platform has very important repercussions.
The first and most important is that there are two versions of WordPress or, rather, two very different philosophies:
- com: this could be said to be the counterpart of Blogger, a service to the cloud that starts with a free plan with many limitations that you can eliminate in the payment plans.
- org: here you are the one who downloads (free) the WordPress program (its source code) and you are the one who has to install it on a server connected to the Internet (that is, a hosting). In return, there are no limitations here; you access 100% of the WordPress potential that is simply huge.
In both versions we are working with the WordPress application, but in two ways that cannot be more different.
The philosophy of WordPress.com
As I said, the philosophy of WordPress.com is “stuck” to that of Blogger: the company behind WordPress, Automatic, open allows you to simply open a free account in the cloud that will have by default an Internet address of the style of “myname. wordpress.com “.
As in Blogger you can use your own domain, but here we have the first limitation: to use your own domain you have to go to the basic payment plan, the “Personal” plan of WordPress.com. We will then go deeper into the virtues and shortcomings of WordPress.com
Of course, it is not necessary to contract the domain in a domain provider; it is WordPress who in this case is a domain provider.
The philosophy of WordPress.org
In the “self-hosted” option, the platform concept changes radically. In this case, it is no longer about you opening an account in Automatic under which you can access your blog, but you have to download the WordPress application and install it on your own web server.
For this you need to hire a domain and install the application in a hosting service such as, for example, Webempresa (the one used by Citizen 2.0 and we recommend you too) and perform a small maintenance job (approve WordPress updates, plugins, etc.).
Nowadays, hiring a good hosting provider, this is not a big problem.
Now, it is critical to choose the hosting provider well. If the foundation of your website fails, how will the rest work well?
In addition, a good hosting nowadays is already very affordable.
On the other hand, it is true that with this option there is an added technical work to install WordPress yourself, but in return, you access some possibilities that are simply light years away from the two previous options.
For giving a bit of perspective with some first examples:
- In the WordPress.org repository you have +2000 free design templates to choose from. On WordPress.com around 200.
- You have about 50,000 plugins that are small extensions that add specialized features to your WordPress site. Things as powerful as Woo Commerce, for example, that makes it a complete online store. In WordPress.com you simply cannot use plugins.
- Since the code is free (also the one of these products) you can put it as you want. With a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS you can already do very interesting things, or, hire small custom-made jobs to WordPress professionals.
In fact, due to this, Raquel and I launched a few months ago our platform of services in which you can hire this type of professionals if you need them.
To this we must add other commercial products, another consequence of the fact that WordPress.org is free code: it has favored a huge ecosystem (probably the largest in the world of this type) of third-party manufacturers creating WordPress products.
That is, think for a moment about the possibilities this gives and the brutal support behind WordPress. And it also implies that with WordPress.org you have a professional platform, without a ceiling on your possibilities, because anything you can imagine is technically possible on this platform.
To finish this section I have to comment that, in fact, there is one more version that I have left in the inkwell: WordPress VIP .
It is a kind of WordPress.com premium, oriented exclusively to large companies, which you can easily see in their prices: the most basic plan starts at $ 5,000 / month, so we could say that it goes a little out of reach of this post
Common points between Blogger and WordPress
Let’s see now the details of Blogger and WordPress and their differences. For this I will start first with the things they have in common.
They have in common that:
- They allow creating both blogs and “normal” websites (for a company page, for example).
- Both have a totally free option, being the free version of WordPress.com considerably more limited than Blogger.
- They include themes (design templates) and the basic elements that you need in any web: things like comments , contact forms , social buttons , an RSS feed of articles, possibility of embedding images, audio and video in the contents, statistics of visits and integration with the Google Search Console , an essential tool for the author of any web.
- Use as domain by default a sub domain of the site, that is, domains of the type “misitio.blogspot.com” in the case of Blogger and “misitio.wordpress.com”. In both cases, you can also use your own domains, but you already want to pay for that domain.
- Blogger and WordPress.com limit disk space. That is, the number of files, images, etc. what you can upload is limited. In the case of WordPress.org depends on the hosting that has been hired.
Differences between WordPress and Blogger. Comparative
Let’s see now the differences in terms of advantages and disadvantages of each of the platforms.
- Level of captivity and risk of investment
This may sound a bit strange to you, but for me it is, without a doubt, the most important difference of all because it is a matter of great importance. Therefore, I am going to entertain a little more at this point.
The reflection is that both with Blogger and with WordPress.com and with any other option in the cloud similar (Wix, Weebly, etc.) your website is at the mercy of the provider and what you want to do with you. It’s the bad thing about any service in the cloud.
Imagine that you have worked hard for 5 years on your blog in Blogger, with a lot of effort not only in the content, but also in things like the personalization of your templates. You have achieved a good audience and you even generate income that relieves you very much at the end of the month.
Suddenly, Google, given the declining popularity of Blogger (see the graph above), decided to close this service, as it has done without batting an eye with other very popular services at the time (and despite massive protests from users) such as Google Reader, for example.
How do you stay?
At the very least, scared, right?
Although you can migrate from Blogger to WordPress, doing so is not trivial, much less with an old blog in which this task is quite complicated. Doing all this with the rope in the neck in a situation like the one described is not pleasant.
But, in addition, there are things that are always lost, such as the work in your design template and all the knowledge of managing Blogger that you have acquired. Start in WordPress will start from scratch and how much more complex your blog in Blogger more will cost you the transition.
Now, perhaps you will say that, being WordPress.com also a service in the cloud, it is the same.
But there are three very important differences:
- For WordPress, WordPress is your business. For Google, only one of many branches. Therefore, it is much less likely to cease activity.
- Migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is easier than doing it from Blogger.
- And if you have to migrate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org you do not lose the investment in knowledge because both are used the same, WordPress.org.
And do not say that with WordPress.org this risk simply does not exist because everything is in your hands: the code of the program and the site (your hosting). WordPress could close immediately and you will continue to work exactly the same.
But, what’s more, before speaking about the ecosystem around WordPress. It’s so big that WordPress just cannot die. There is too much economic interest in keeping it going. Someone would take care that it was not the current company.
Therefore, I would say that with WordPress.org the continuity of your project is guaranteed 100% for decades.
- A curve of learning and ease of use
Here there has been a lot of debate and we clearly enter a field of subjective tastes.
My opinion: removing the aesthetic differences, the learning curve and ease of use, in general, is more or less similar in broad strokes in Blogger and WordPress, like the organization of the administration panel that is relatively similar is ignored. Purely aesthetic.
Now, in the detail there are differences. WordPress takes the lead in terms of possibilities, for example, in the organization of categories or the creation of menus.
A particularly clear example seems to me the visual editor: the WordPress works much better than Blogger that, at least, in my (limited) experience has given me quite a few quibbles with details like changing suddenly on your own font sizes, etc. . And, in general, I observed that Blogger tends to put more “trasurilla” in the generated HTML than WordPress when the contents are edited.
To this we must add that in the case of WordPress.org, through plugins, the default visual editor of WordPress can be made much more sophisticated, so that Blogger is now totally behind.
In return, Blogger also allows small “hacks” by pulling a little programming that in WordPress.com simply cannot be done.
- Design customization
Here the comparison is relatively simple:
- In my view, the worst option is WordPress.com in its free plan for its limited range of templates (less than 200) and the total impossibility of modifying them, except for some trivial settings. However, it must be said that in recent years they have added templates with very colorful designs.
- Blogger has a template designer included to modify the design, fonts and colors of your blog without knowing anything about HTML or CSS code. Being Blogger also a free option, I think that with this is clearly one or several steps ahead of WordPress.com, although the thing is relative something in the payment options of WordPress.com that add capabilities to modify CSS, etc. But you have to pay.
- org is, by far, the winner at this point. It simply has all the strengths and no weaknesses: infinity (thousands) of free and professional (paid) templates, and all of them can be modified 100% by the user if they have knowledge of CSS. And with a good professional template, for example, Divi, you can do virguerías in a completely visual way, without knowing anything about CSS and HTML code.
- Space limitations and traffic capacity
Regarding space limitations, the situation is as follows:
- Blogger limitations: 1Mbyte maximum size per page. As Blogger will be part of your Google account, share with her the maximum space 15Gb.
- Limitations of WordPress.com : 3Gb of disk space in the free plan. In the payment plans it is successively extended to 6Gb, 13Gb and unlimited space.
- Limitations of WordPress .org: on the WordPress side no limitations on space, traffic supported, etc. The possible limitations in this regard depend on the hosting contracted.
The traffic capacity is a somewhat complicated point because there is no clear information about it, neither Blogger nor WordPress.com are very transparent about it.
In theory, neither of them limits traffic, a hosting that is limited depending on the plan you choose, no matter how many hosting, especially the very cheap ones, who compete for price and not for quality, talk about “unlimited visits”.
However, we have reached many people who faced the slowness of these platforms in blogs with a lot of traffic (thousands of visits per day) we consulted the convenience of migrating to a hosting.
As you see, it is a subject that is not clear. In theory, here the free platforms would win because there are many cheap hosting that are already starting to go wrong with a few hundred visits a day.
In the hostings that we can recommend, as a first option Webempresa and alternatively SiteGround and Hostgator , this does not happen.
Especially Webempresa and SiteGround have a very good capacity of visits even in their most basic options that 99% of bloggers will not get challenged in their life by not reaching enough traffic for it.
- Online advertising (AdSense)
Point is simple too:
- Com is the worst left here: in the free version, comes with “forced” WordPress advertising that the user can not remove. It is eliminated in the payment plans. At the same time you cannot use AdSense own advertising to generate income, although other channels such as affiliation links, etc.
- Blogger earns points because it does not put forced advertising on the side of the platform while allowing the AdSense user to generate income and also affiliate links and other options.
- Org is the best option of all: it simply allows you to do what you want and is much more powerful thanks to the plugins. For example, there are plugins to locate in an intelligent and automatic way in the contents; others allow tracking the clicks of the users, mediating the conversion, etc. All this is science fiction even for Blogger. WordPress.org plays in another league because all these things translate into a huge increase in the site’s revenue potential.
- Maintenance and backup copies
Here come out winning a priori the cloud platforms Blogger and WordPress.com because one of the great advantages is that you simply forget about this with a service in the cloud.
Hiring a good hosting, you will also have automatic backups, etc., but there is a small work of updates to WordPress itself, plugins and themes, resolution of a technical problem with hosting or the WordPress itself that you will ever find.
Here you will evaluate a good support service in your hosting and even more if they include a special support for applications such as WordPress such as that offered by Webempresa or SiteGround , for example.
- SEO On Page
First of all, if you do not know what the term SEO on Page refers to, take a look at the following post because it is an extremely important topic for your future blog:
Here there are also important differences between the platforms, although not as pronounced as in other points.
In the basics, all three are similar: the <title> tag and the <h1> tag are determined by the title of the entry and the rest (<h2>, <h3>, etc.) are determined by the subtitles.
The permanent links (the URLs of the entries and pages) can be edited in all, but with the limitation in Blogger and WordPress.com that you cannot change the date that these platforms automatically interlace in each URL.
On the other hand, WordPress.com does not allow editing the meta-description, Blogger does allow it. Therefore, we can say that Blogger is slightly superior in this aspect, although personally I do not like that their URLs have to end in “.html”, although that is more a simple matter of personal tastes.
And, finally, WordPress.org is, again, far superior to both options:
It does not have any restriction in the permanent links (the URL is put as it pleases the user, for example) and if you use, in addition, powerful SEO plugins like Yoast SEO (it is free), you will add a lot of help that the others do not have platforms and they will make SEO work much more comfortable and effective.
- Integration with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a very important tool when your blog gains a little visibility, here you can learn why it is so important:
Here the situation is also very simple:
- Com: does not allow integration with Google Analytics.
- Blogger: allows integration with Google Analytics.
- Org: allows the integration with Google Analytics and adds again a lot of value with specialized plugins that are freely available in the WordPress.org repository and make the work with it more effective.
- Ease to migrate to WordPress.org
If your blog is successful, sooner or later, you will feel the desire or even the need to migrate to WordPress.org because the limitations of the platforms are becoming too big a problem.
It is no coincidence that these two posts are among the most popular in our blog (note the number of comments …):
Therefore, the question is:
How complicated will it be to migrate to WordPress.org from WordPress.com and from Blogger?
The good news is that you can migrate from both systems; the details are in separate posts. The bad news is that on both WordPress.com and Blogger, you’re going to lose the design template. This is a topic that must be reconstructed from scratch in the new blog.
It should be added that this in Blogger this is more dramatic because of its greater possibilities, people also invest more work in personalizing the template.
As a general view (which you can qualify in these post), it can be said that Blogger is simply more cumbersome, especially if your blog is already large (many posts and, especially, if you have many images). If you have a big blog on Blogger and you want to migrate, you probably need the services of a professional who does it for you.