Many beginning bloggers start on Blogger because well, it’s free, isn’t it? Plus, it’s not nearly as scary as having to deal with hosting and servers and FTP and who knows what other impossibly complicated things.
The thing is, if you’re serious about your blogging, you’re going to have to deal with these things sooner or later, and the cost for an entire year of hosting isn’t much more than a movie night for a family of four. With professional hosting in place, you’ll feel far more investment in your site.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons WordPress is better than Blogger.
1. WordPress is much more customizable. Sure you can do a few things to pretty up your Blogger blog and there some things you can add on, but when it comes right down to it, the difference between the two is like the difference between renting and owning a home. A rental might let you paint or maybe plant some begonias out front, but ownership allows you to tear that baby down to the studs and go crazy building it back up.
Some people might not want or need that option, but your site IS your presence on the web, don’t you want it to fit you like a glove?
2. You’ll be taken far more seriously on your own domain. Although you can use blogger in conjunction with your own domain, most people don’t go through that step and are thus nameofblog.blogspot.com. It’s not easy to remember and looks amateur. And if you’re going to go through the trouble of buying a domain name and pointing it to Blogger, why not go the extra step and secure your own hosting? Most web hosts will install WordPress for you if you purchase a hosting package and it’s not that much more difficult from that point to begin blogging on WordPress than it would be on Blogger.
3. WordPress is very search engine friendly. Although Blogger is owned by Google, the WordPress platform has an edge when it comes to search engine optimization. Not only is it structured better for the search engines right out of the box, there are plenty of plugins designed to give you every sliver of SEO advantage possible. And with all the competition for search rankings, you do need every sliver you can get your hands on.
Of course Blogger blogs are indexed by Google and can of course achieve search engine rankings, but WordPress does offer a clear SEO advantage.
4. You own your WordPress blog. Blogger blogs are owned by Google and can be shut down at any time. Of course, Google isn’t insane and most of the time they have a good reason for shutting down a blog, but do you really want to be that one case out of 10,000 where they make the wrong call? Even if you’ve saved all the content and images you’d posted on Blogger, how will you rebuild all the inbound links and PR on a new site? If this were to happen to you, you’d more or less have to start from the beginning.
On the other hand, if you own your domain and WordPress site, if your host decides to shut you down because they feel you use too many resources or have violated their policies, you can simply pack up and move to a new host, blog intact. Again, it isn’t likely that Google would shut you down like that, but do you want to give that control to an outside corporation?
5. Blogger blogs have a certain reputation. It’s not fair and nobody should be judged by their platform, but many people have a prejudice or bias against Blogger blogs. I know sometimes I’m hesitant to even try to comment on one as so many make you comment with your Google account and then require a CAPTCHA on top of that. Blogger seems to have a reputation as being more for mommy/journal type blogs rather than serious bloggers.
Of course, that isn’t true of everyone who uses Blogger, but if I were starting from scratch, I’d go with the platform that didn’t come with a reputation for being amateur.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Blogger platform if it fits your needs. But if you have the smallest inkling that one day you’ll grow out of it and want to make the move to WordPress, it’s far simpler to start with your own WordPress blog today and save yourself the hassle of trying to move later.
Hosting can be found for as little as $5 a month and you’ll be working with one of the most customizable blog and content management systems out there. WordPress offers so many advantages over Blogger, it seems silly to start with anything else, unless you’re not planning on going anywhere with your blog.
Sean Platt is a content marketing specialist who offers free WordPress tutorials at WPSimplified.Com. Follow him on Twitter.