What to Look for in a Blog Service
Blogging should be fun and enjoyable. However, choosing the right blogging platform can cause some level of frustration for some people. Choosing between WordPress vs Blogger can be confusing especially more so if you are just starting out. I think this is the reason why I always wanted to help other people with knowing what to look for in a blogging platform. Reason being is because I myself had the same questions and experienced the some frustration when I first started out online 4 years ago (wow time flies).
Blogging is usually a personal or professional journey, if you’re setting up a blog, you likely have a purpose in mind for doing so. In order to make the best decision and ‘start off on the right foot’ you will may want to take a step back and evaluate what your needs are.
Keep in mind that the blogging needs of a professional or a business are going to be different from the blogging needs of an individual who wants to blog for fun and enjoyment. This is why its important that you take a look at the blogging tools that are available in any blogging platform before you decide to sign up and start your blog.
What blogging tools are you looking for? You want to look for the tools that are going to best enhance your blog such as plugins, customizable themes and templates, visitor tracking, analytic integration etc. When looking for a blog service, choose the one that offers you the best kind of exposure while also helping to complement your area of expertise.
Below are some of the criteria you can use to evaluate blog service providers:
Promotion/ Tracking Tools
Make sure that the blogging platform you choose has the ability to offer you the tools you need to effectively track and promote your blog, or at least the ability to enable you to add external plugins to carry out this task.
Ease of Use
You want to choose a user-friendly platform that’s simple enough for both beginners and experts to use, no complicated coding or technical knowledge required.
Since many of these blogging platforms are free, a majority of them do have limited tech support. Technology support is limited to just documentation that you can find online such as FAQs, and other user questions. The best platform will also include a weblog as well as tutorials that will help to cover topics and troubleshooting questions will be answered.
Now onto WordPress vs Blogger Comparison:
Now let’s talk about the most popular blogging platform, WordPress. This is an open source CMS ( content management system) that allows you to fully customize your blog or website. This is not to be confused with wordpress.com or wordpress.org, both of which are owned by the same company, however wordpress.com is similar to Blogger since it offers you a free domain name and hosting ( yourwebsitename.wordpress.com ).
WordPress.org meanwhile is the official website for the WordPress project, its also the place that you can download the latest version of WordPress from and can start your own self hosted blog as long as you’ve purchased your own domain name. What does WordPress offer its users ? See below:
- WordPress is completely free. All you really need is a domain name, and a website hosting plan from a hosting company (My personal favorite is Hostgator Hosting ) . WordPress offers its users a one click installation if you select a hosting plan that also has c-panel. Using c-panel you can install WordPress with just one click as well as upgrade and remove WordPress if you need to.
- You can use a personalized domain name such as ”yoursitename.com”, this is essential if you especially own a business or professional website and want to start building on your brand.
- Since WordPress is open source, its also best for coding experts which means that you can essentially make it do whatever it is you want it to do. There are also thousands of themes both free and paid for your choosing and for both personal and professional needs.
- Tons of plugins are available to suit all your needs. Easy to install and activate you can basically add more functionality to your blog or website with just the click of a button.
- Its easy to add some AdSense to your blog or website after you’ve been approved by Google. This is where having a self-hosted blog is a great advantage since you’ll be able to customize your Ad placement in a way that’s more search engine friendly. Most free themes do not have Ad space that’s well optimized to maximize your Adsense potential.
- With the option to have your very own self hosted blog, you can ping as many blog directories and this will start to bring you more traffic which you will need if you intend to make money from your blog/website.
- With a self-hosted blog, you own your blog or website, you never have to worry about someone shutting down your account without any prior warning!
Google owns Blogger and that is why ALL of Google’s policies apply to anything you put on there. The great thing about Blogger is it just takes 10 minutes to get your blog setup using a Blogspot.com account. It’s also very user friendly. After you have setup your blogger account, you can immediately start posting your content. Keep reading to find out more about what Blogger has to offer as a platform:
- With blogger its very easy to maintain your account, you can easily add new posts and pages as well as switch templates and layouts using the templates provided.
- Your domain name will start with ”yourblogname.blogspot.ca” ( depending on your country, I am in Canada so my domain name would end with a ‘.ca’ . Blogger also gives you a choice to select your very own domain name for around $10 USD / year and this will allow you to connect both your Blogger account and your personalized domain name together.
- You don’t need to bother about paying hosting cost to another company.
- You don’t need to have a technical background or know how to code, you will have access to all the features you need that a simple blog should have.
- Easily add widgets such as weather reports, videos, search box, slideshow, currency converter etc. using just one single click. If you know how to arrange these gadgets well, you can create a really successful blog without the need to pay for anything. You can also add your very own gadgets as long as you have the HTML code for them.
- Integrate Adsense easily, since Google owns blogger, they’ve made this task simple when using their blogging platform. You can also use your blog as a place to promote affiliate third party products related to your industry/niche.
- Con: Google owns ALL your data when you have a blogger account. If Google finds out that you have violated any of their policies, they can literally just shut down your account with ZERO warning or notification. Its important that you remain aware of this real fact.
The Verdict for WordPress vs Blogger: If you’re looking just to start a personal blog and don’t plan to blog regularly, would like a place to just share news and information with your relatives and friends, then blogger is the perfect platform for you. However if you want to post regularly, are building your very own online brand or you happen to be a professional or business, WordPress is the way to go.
I personally recommend WordPress.com I’ve been using it for over 4 years without any problems and I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon…and no, they didn’t pay me to say that =)
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