Blogger vs. WordPress: The Ultimate Comparison With Pros & Cons

Blogger vs. WordPress

Blogger.com (or simply Blogger) and WordPress are the two most popular blogging platforms on the web. Of course, there are tons of other free blogging platforms like Tumblr, LiveJournal, Medium, Blog.com, etc. but I’m going to focus only on Blogger and WordPress.

Blogger.com is also known as BlogSpot as all the Blogger.com blogs are hosted as a subdomain of blogspot.com. For example, http://googlesystem.blogspot.com (it’s an unofficial blog about Google). The best thing about Blogger is that it’s absolutely free and is owned by Google.

WordPress is the most loved Content Management System (CMS). In fact, 20% of the web or 48% of all CMS sites are powered by WordPress. It’s a software that lets you create, manage and publish your content seamlessly. WordPress has two flavors, namely: WordPress.com (the free hosted version — like example.wordpress.com) and WordPress.org (self-hosted version — like my blog).

Read: Over 51 Blogging Platforms To Showcase Your Awesomeness

So, WordPress or Blogger: Which is better?

Well, there is no definite answer as the selection of a blogging platform depends entirely upon the purpose of your blog. While a self-hosted WordPress blog is suitable for almost all your publishing needs it may not be the right choice.

For instance, if you just want to start a blog as a hobby then Blogger.com and WordPress.com is the perfect choice. And if you are a freelance writer or a photographer who is looking for a platform to showcase your portfolio then WordPress.com could be a better choice, as Blogger.com blogs are not that appealing (unless you hired a developer to design a custom template).

Finally, if you want to start a blog as a hobby but also plan to monetize it someday then you should go for a self-hosted WordPress blog (powered by WordPress.org). But if you can’t afford it then you can still start one on Blogger.com or WordPress.com and migrate to WordPress.org when you are ready.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons of each platform so that you can select the right one that matches your personal requirements. And I have also included a comparison table to highlight the differences between Blogger.com and WordPress.com.

Blogger.com: Pros and Cons

Blogger Dashboard

Blogger Dashboard

Blogger.com is easy to setup but it doesn’t look much professional since the features are limited and more controlled. But the good thing is… managing a BlogSpot blog is just like managing your Facebook account.

Pros

  • You don’t have to pay a penny. It’s FREE — forever — with no ads! :)
  • You can start a blog and publish your first blog post in less than 10 minutes as it’s insanely easy.
  • You can manage your blog the way you’re managing your favorite social network.
  • You don’t have to submit your content to Google as your blog posts are search engine friendly and are automatically indexed by Google.
  • You don’t have to take any backups as your blog is backed up automatically.
  • You don’t have to take care about its security as it’s taken care by Google.
  • You can map your existing domain name to your Blogger account for free.
  • You can add scripts or custom codes to some extend.
  • You can monetize the blog with ads — from Google AdSense, Amazon, etc.
  • You can customize the blog template to change its appearance.
  • You can upload your own templates or can buy a new one from a third-party if you don’t like the default templates.
  • You can publish as much content as you want because there is no storage limit. Thanks to Google Cloud.

Cons

  • You can’t customize the blog post link structure.
  • You may have to buy a new template (or hire a developer to customize the template) as the default themes are not so appealing.
  • You don’t technically own your blog. If they believe that you are violating their terms of service then they may suspend your account forever.
  • You don’t get FTP access.
  • You can’t upgrade your blog as there are no paid upgrades or add-ons available.

WordPress.com & WordPress.org: The Two WordPress Flavors

WordPress

WordPress.com & WordPress.org are the two flavors of WordPress and both have its own advantages and disadvantages. The name “WordPress” may not be as popular as “Blogger.com” or “BlogSpot” among readers but most probably their favorite blog is powered by WordPress.

WordPress.org is an open-source blogging software. So, anyone can download the WordPress software from WordPress.org and install it on their website for FREE. And then you own it and you manage it.

WordPress.com is the hosted version of WordPress.org and is owned by Automattic (the company who created WordPress). Since it’s managed by Automattic, you don’t have to worry about upgrades, installation, security or maintenance.

WordPress.com offers a free version with limited features as well as a paid version with premium features.

When you sign up for a free WordPress.com account your blog address will look like: your-username.wordpress.com and if you choose the self-hosted version of WordPress (that is, WordPress.org) then you can start your blog with a branded address like your-name.com.

Don’t Miss: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: The Ultimate Comparison With Pros & Cons

WordPress.com: Pros and Cons

WordPress.com Dashboard

WordPress.com Dashboard

WordPress.com is great for beginners who want to start their own personal blog. Because there is no need to download any software or plugin or themes and absolutely no coding skills are required.

It’s simple to use. However, it may take some time to get to know its interface if you are new to blogging. And it’s also perfect for hobby bloggers or professionals who want to showcase their portfolio online.

The best thing about WordPress.com is that you can upgrade anytime to enjoy their premium features. For instance, you can purchase premium themes for one-time fees or can map your existing domain name to your free WordPress blog for $13/year.

And the best thing is… when you want to take your blog to the next level or want to enjoy WordPress to its fullest then you can upgrade to a business plan or can migrate to the self-hosted WordPress platform (by purchasing a web hosting plan).

When you migrate to a self-hosted blog you will be comfortable since both platforms share the same interface and options. But that’s not the case when you are migrate from Blogger.com.

Pros

  • You guessed it right. It’s FREE — forever!
  • You don’t have to care about upgrades or security or spam control as it’s already taken care.
  • You don’t have to worry about backups either.
  • You will love WordPress once you become familiar with its interface and features.
  • You don’t have to submit your content to Google as your blog posts are search engine friendly and are automatically indexed by Google.
  • You have the option to purchase a premium theme without upgrading to a premium plan.
  • You can upgrade the features of your blog as there are a lot of paid upgrades available.
  • You can automatically share your latest blog posts to social media channels.
  • You can map your existing domain name by purchasing their Domain Mapping Upgrade (it costs $18/year and only $13 if you already own the domain name).
  • You can join their ad network WordAds to monetize your blog and make money. But you will need a custom domain name to be eligible.

Cons

  • Your blog may display ads to non-logged in visitors. Or you have to buy the “No Ads Upgrade” for $30/year to remove ads.
  • You can’t customize the blog post link structure.
  • You don’t technically own your blog. If they believe that you are violating their terms of service then they may suspend your account forever.
  • You don’t get FTP access.
  • You can’t install any of those 3rd party WordPress plugins. If it’s anything that makes WordPress special then they are plugins. It’s plugins that can transform your blog into anything that you could imagine.
  • You can’t add custom codes or scripts.
  • You can’t add 3rd party web analytics services like Google Analytics (because you can’t add custom codes).
  • You have to give footer credits — apart from ads. So, they will add “Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com” plus a credit to the theme designer at the footer of all pages.
  • You have to pay a Domain Mapping fee even if you own the domain name. It’s free in Blogger.com.
  • You will end up paying a lot of money as their paid plans and upgrades are pretty expensive. For instance, it costs $99/year for the WordPress.com Premium package (with limited resources) when it costs only around $60 if you start a self-hosted WordPress blog.
  • You will find that the add-ons are also expensive. For example, if I start a on WordPress.com with a custom domain and want to make it ad-free with custom colors then it will cost $18 + (Domain Mapping) + $30 (Custom Design) + $30 (No Ads) = $78. Remember it’s the price of few add-ons and you still can’t enjoy Premium Themes or Plugins.
  • Your final cost of owning a free WordPress.com blog will be much higher than a self-hosted blog if you buy a few add-ons.
  • You get only limited disk space — 3 GB. If it’s a photography blog then you will soon exceed the available disk space and will be forced to upgrade.
  • You can’t monetize the blog with your own ads.

WordPress.org: Pros and Cons

WordPress.org Dashboard

WordPress.org Dashboard

WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.

WordPress.org is an open-source software and is the big daddy in the blogosphere. It’s very flexible, so you can customize it the way you want. That’s why majority of the top 100 blogs are powered by WordPress — including mine (Ahem! :D).

If you have a domain name and a web hosting plan then you can install WordPress from the control panel of your web hosting account in less than 5 minutes (yes, almost all web hosting companies offer one-click WordPress installation).

Or, you can download WordPress from WordPress.org and install on your server manually (very few people do it that way).

The best thing about WordPress.org is that it’s the awesomest platform to showcase your talent and build your personal brand.

Although you don’t have to be a computer whiz to start and manage a WordPress blog, it does require some technical skills (or at least assistance). Because it involves few things like: domain names, web hosting, FTP, backup, updation, security, spam control, maintenance, etc. But it’s not a big deal if you are willing to learn because there’s a tutorial for anything that’s related to WordPress.

Pros

  • You own your blog and it’s you who is responsible for its content.
  • You can customize the blog post link structure.
  • You can monetize your blog the way you want. Unlike WordPress.com blogs, there are no forced advertising.
  • You can control each and every aspect of your blog.
  • You have access to a gazillion Free and Premium WordPress Themes.
  • You can install any of those 3rd party WordPress plugins to transform your blog into almost anything you can imagine.
  • You don’t have to pay any licensing fees as WordPress is an open-source software (like Linux).
  • You can add any custom scripts or codes to your blog if they are compatible with WordPress.
  • You can add any of those 3rd party web analytics services like Google Analytics.
  • You get a huge SEO advantage when compared to free hosted blogs like WordPress.com or BlogSpot.com. Because it’s you  who is in control of the technical aspects of your blog.
  • You blog is not limited to publishing alone. You can transform your blog into an E-commerce website or a membership website.
  • You can easily create your own professional email ids — you@example.com — as you own a server.
  • You can get support from the web as there are hundreds of tutorials and support forums available.
  • You can additionally get professional support for your blog as there are thousands of WordPress developers around the globe.
  • You can also get support from your web hosting company. They won’t help you to manage your blog but they offer technical support related to security, backup, performance, etc.
  • You can install WordPress on your server in less than 5-minutes. Thanks to all web hosting companies as they made it super-easy.

Read: The 101 Best WordPress Plugins — For Anything & Everything

Cons

  • You have to buy a domain name and web hosting plan. Yes, it comes at a cost. The WordPress software is free but you will need a domain name and a web hosting plan. It will cost at least $60/year to buy a reliable web hosting service and an additional $10-15/year for a domain name.
  • You will see yourself learning a lot of geeky stuff. It can bother you if you are not interested in those things.
  • You can setup your WordPress blog in less than 10-minutes but managing the blog is not that easy as it requires some basic knowledge about some technical components like PHP, HTML, CSS, SQL, FTP, etc
  • You may find it difficult to cope with if you are totally new to blogging. But you can always get support from the official WordPress.org Support Forum (they’re really nice).
  • You are responsible for the security and maintenance of your blog. So, you have to make sure that the WordPress software and all your plugins are up-to-date as otherwise it may be vulnerable to attacks. Anyways, it’s not so hard and can be done in few clicks.
  • You will need more server resources as your blog grows and it means your cost will also increase. If you are on WordPress.com or Blogger.com then you don’t have to worry about scalability as you get unlimited bandwidth.
  • You have to fight spam by yourself as comment spam is a big problem for WordPress.org users. So, you have to make sure that the blog is configured with the right plugins to fight spam.
  • You have to take regular backups. It’s one of the most important task but luckily there are a lot of plugins that does that job. Additionally, you can also consider backup services offered by your web hosting company.

Blogger vs. WordPress: The Ultimate Comparison

Features
Blogger.com
WordPress.com
Owned by:
Google, Inc.
Automattic, Inc.
You get a free blog address like:
example.blogspot.com
example.wordpress.com
Can you map your existing domain name —  your-name.com?
Yes (it’s free)
Yes (but it costs $13/year)
You get a storage space of:
Virtually Unlimited
Because there is no limit on the number of posts that you can have. Go here to see the other limits on Blogger.
3 GB
It’s the total storage limit for content, photos, or whatever you publish.
What about the storage for images?
If you have upgraded your Google account to Google+ then your Blogger.com photos will be stored in Google+ Photos and you get 15 GB free storage. Otherwise, your photos will be stored in Picasa Web and it gets you only 1 GB storage.
You can upload photos until you hit the total storage limit of 3 GB.
How many photos can you upload?
You can upload unlimited media because only photos over 2048×2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit.
You can upload as many photos as you want until you hit the available total storage limit of 3 GB.
Can you upload word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations?
No, but you can upload them to Google Drive and share its link.
Yes, but you need a premium plan to upload audios, videos, and zip files.
What is the file size limit?
There is no limit but they recommend file sizes up to 1 GB.
There is a limit of 2.50 MB for images uploaded via mobile.
Is there a limit on page size?
Individual blog posts do not have a page size limit but individual blog pages (home, archive pages, etc) have a page size limit of 1 MB.
No
Is there a limit on data transfer or bandwidth?
No
No
Do they show ads?
No
Yes (It costs $30/year for an-free account).
Can you display your own ads?
Yes (You can monetize the blog with AdSense or any other ad networks).
No (But you can monetize the blog with WordAds if you are eligible).
Can you invite team members?
Yes, you can add new admins and authors.
Can you upgrade your blog?
No, there are no premium plans or upgrades available.
Yes, you can visit the  Store (available in your WordPress Dashboard to add premium features).
Can you connect your blog to your social media channels to automatically share your content?
No
Yes
Can you publish a new blog post by email?
Yes
Yes
Can you customize the theme?
Yes
No
How many themes are available?
You can install the available ~ 50 themes or can find one from the internet.
You can install any of the available 300+ (includes free & premium) themes.
Can you install 3rd party themes?
Yes
No
Can you install 3rd party plugins?
There are no plugins for Blogger.com but you can add widgets with custom codes.
No
Can you add scripts or custom codes?
Yes
No
Do you get FTP access?
No
No
Can you integrate Google Analytics?
Yes
No (but every WordPress.com comes with WordPress Stats)
Can you import content from other blogging platforms?
No, but you can import content from another blogspot.com blog.
Yes, you can import content from Blogger.com, LiveJournal, Posterous, Tumblr, Xanga, etc. and also from other WordPress blogs.
Can you edit comments?
No
Yes
Can you password protect posts?
No
Yes
Is your blog search engine friendly?
Yes
Yes
Can you access the blog via mobile?
Yes
Yes
How can you organize your content?
You can organize your posts by using Labels.
You can organize your content by using Categories and Tags.

Closing Thoughts

As you might have already imagined, both Blogger.com and WordPress.com has its own pros and cons. But the problem is… when you start a blog on any of those platforms you don’t own the blog.

If they believe that you are violating their terms of service then they may shut down your blog. A few years back Google has labelled the blog of a top finance blogger as spam and suspended it (yes, it was powered by Blogger.com) because of a controversial blog post.

That’s the reason why every pro blogger prefer a self-hosted WordPress blog over hosted ones Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, etc.

Again, just because a self-hosted WordPress blog is awesome doesn’t really mean that it’s the perfect choice for you. You can always try any of the other blogging platforms and switch to WordPress when you’re ready.

So, which is your favorite blogging platform and why?

Happy Blogging! :)

Image Credit: Flickr

  • Arshad Ali

    Best post so far on wordpress vs blogger

    i’m a beginner so i think its better to go with blogger

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Thank you, Arshad. :)