A lot of people, like Sarah and Daniel Smith, have weighed in on the WordPress versus Blogger debate, and now it’s my turn. I was with Blogger for three years, and have only been with WordPress for about a month, but I can’t say that one is hands-down better than the other. Each platform has its benefits, and for different purposes, each might be the best for you.
Blogger is a great free option.* After signing up, you can completely control your blog, from the CSS and HTML to the widgets. You don’t have to put a penny in to get total control over the look and feel of your blog. In short, Blogger gives you everything you could want for free.
However, I was never fully satisfied with the template options. Oh, I know enough CSS and HTML to redesign my site, but without the necessary graphic design skills, I had to rely on spiffing up my site with CSS only, and that only goes so far. Plus, I did not have the time necessary to learn the Blogger code in order to really redesign my page. In the end, I found myself jealously eying the many beautiful and easy-to-install WordPress themes.
Now that I have switched to WordPress.org (the version of WordPress for people who host it themselves, as opposed to WordPress.com, which is hosted by WordPress), I definitely prefer this way of blogging. Because the user hosts, it allows for extensive customization through themes and plugins. You have complete control over your HTML and CSS (unlike WordPress.com, which requires you to pay for access to the CSS)
5 Reasons I Chose WordPress.org
- I was ready to host my own blog on my own domain with complete control over everything. (You have same option with Blogger, but #2 easily convinced me switch.)
- Thousands of beautiful, free themes, plus many more “premium” themes that you can buy. Even the free WordPress themes feel much more professional than the Blogger themes. But you don’t have to settle for professional, per se. I don’t think my theme is completely “professional” looking, but rather a nice mix of professional and personal.
- All of the plugins give you the ability to add extra functionality to both the back-end WordPress dashboard and the front-end, your site. If you know how, you even have the ability to edit those plugins. I started off with five plugins that Sarah recommended, but I quickly found many more that proved useful.
- The WordPress interface is much more intuitive than the Blogger interface. It does, like anything, take a little while to get used to it, but now that I know my way around, I definitely prefer the WordPress dashboard. It is more logical and economic with your clicks.
- I love the idea of supporting Open Source, even if I don’t fully understand all the implications of doing so in my classroom. I have long prefered Firefox over IE, but I don’t use Linux, and I’ve just recently committed to trying OpenOffice.org**, but as someone who is careful with her pennies, the Open Source movement offers quality software for free (or donation), and I love being able to support that.
Question of the Day
Blogger users: What one thing would you change about Blogger?
WordPress users: What one thing would you change about WordPress?
* There is also completely free WordPress at WordPress.com, but since I have not used it extensively, I don’t feel qualified to comment on it.
** And by “trying,” I mean using as exclusively as possible for at least six months.