When you first begin thinking about starting a blog, it’s important to consider the different blogging platforms that are available to you. There are many, but the two most popular are definitely Blogger and WordPress.
Which one is right for you?
I recommend putting some serious thought into this ahead of time because it could end up costing you money in the long run. How so? Well, many people start their blogs with Blogger and then after time decide they’d like to move to WordPress because of all the benefits that WordPress has to offer, but they don’t know how. That’s where the money comes in. If you are not sure of how to move your content (posts/comments/feed) from Blogger to WordPress without mishap then you will need to find someone who can. Most often it’s a web/blog designer who can get the job done for you, but that could cost you up to $150.00. Just to move your “stuff,” and that doesn’t include any design work either.
So it’s important to consider why you are blogging, and what you’d like your blog to become in the long run. Are you simply starting a blog to be able to share with family, friends, and the world what is going on in your family? Then you are probably not thinking about making a ton of money off of your blog, and so Blogger would be a nice choice of a blogging platform. It’s very easy to use, and if you are ever thinking of getting a custom design, you will pay a lot less if you have a Blogger blog. I actively used Blogger for my first blog for over a year with relative ease. There were funky things it would do with the spacing on my posts at times that were very annoying, but other than that, it was very easy to use.
On the other hand, if you are thinking about monetizing your blog, or if you simply want access to some wonderful features that could enhance your blog and make it more user friendly, then I’d go with WordPress. But wait, do you choose a WordPress.com blog? Or a self-hosted blog using WordPress.org?
If you simply want access to a bunch of features that could enhance your blog, and make things easier and more interesting for you, but you aren’t thinking about monetizing your blog, then I’d go with a WordPress.com blog. It’s just like a Blogger blog in that it’s totally free. You just sign up with your information, and are given a blog with a domain name that ends with wordpress.com. For example, my domain would be www.thesensiblemom.wordpress.com. You could still use your own domain with a blog hosted on WordPress.com but for a small fee. There are actually many additional benefits that WordPress.com offers for a fee, and there are many cool features that you get for free, too. I’m pretty impressed, actually, with all the great features that WordPress.com blogs get at no cost. The major downside, though, if you want to monetize your blog in any way, ads are not allowed on free WordPress.com blogs.
In the case that you want to monetize your blog, or if you simply want more control over your blog and the design of it (design options are definitely more limited with WordPress.com blogs), then I’d go with a self-hosted WordPress.org install. You get to control your blog. You get to control all the content and whether or not you want ads on your blog and which ones. You have much more freedom when it comes to the design of your blog. You can get a completely custom design made for you by a blog designer if you want to. This is what I have chosen to use for The Sensible Mom, and many, many bloggers end up switching to a self-hosted blog after they’ve been blogging for sometime.
So that’s it guys. Those are the main differences in the two most popular blogging platforms out there, Blogger and WordPress. Next week, I’ll talk a bit about domain names and how to get your own as well as hosting (which you need for a self-hosted WordPress blog).