Monday, February 25, 2013

Building Your Blog: Blogger Vs Wordpress

I've had a couple people ask me how I do some of the elements on my blog. So, for the next little bit, I'm going to blog about blog building. I'm not terribly tech savvy anymore, so I'll keep it simple. We'll see how it goes.

Choosing a Hosting Service
There are two powerhouses in the free blog market: Blogger and Wordpress. In the last year, Tumblr has also muscled into this market. You get nay-sayers on both sides of the isle, but let me give you my impressions of the free sites, then discuss briefly buying a domain.

Blogger is operated by Google and is considered the easiest of the free sites to use. It provides a wide array of layout options. But being the easiest to use, many people consider it a poor hosting site for professionals. Kinda like a bike with training wheels. 1 GB (gigabyte) of image storage space is provided.
Wordpress comes in two flavors: & The .com version is the free side of Wordpress and inserts ads into your blog. The .org side hosts Wordpress' pay to play features. 3 GB (gigabyte) of image storage space is provided.
The main difference, as I understand it, is the code. Wordpress is considered more 'designer friendly,' meaning if you know web design, it's easier to code your own page. Since I haven't written my own html code for almost ten years, I don't know if that's true or not, but it seems to be the general opinion.

Really, with any of the free sites, you'll get about the same service.

I personally went with Blogger because I wanted something simple, and while it has been fairly easy to use, I've still had to spend a LOT of time reading tutorials and trying new things on my blog. But I personally want it to look professional, so I try to push my layout. I've never ran into something that made me regret choosing Blogger. 

Content Ownership
The main disadvantage with blogging on a free site is content ownership. For most free sites, you're going to have to accept the hosting companies Terms of Service. Take, for example, this little clause in the Google terms of service for Blogger:
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.
What's that mean? Google can use anything you put on your blog to operate, promote, and improve their Services, and to develop new ones. So if you create a new feature for your blog or hire a programmer to design something for your site, Google can take it.

Buying Hosting
Alternatively to free sites, you can buy a domain name and hosting space. Prices are cheap and when you do, the web page and everything in it is yours. But unless you know web design, you'll have to purchase a layout and figure out how to upload your content. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but html is fairly easy to pick up. It just requires the time to learn the language.

My advice? Start off simple with one of the free sites. Then, when you're ready to invest in something more serious, make the change.


  1. This is great, Anthony! A lot of my blogger questions have just been answered. Good thing I don't have anything up that I wouldn't mind if Google used. :)

  2. I tried Wordpress for a while, but it wasn't the right platform for me. I enjoy Blogger.

  3. @Shallee: Blogger is very easy to use. However, many problems have arise from HTML coding and image insertion. If you’re going to browse around Blogspot, you’ll see that there are images overlapping the post layout. About Wordpress, I know for sure that when you get to know the full potential of that platform, your point of view will entirely change.

    @Anthony: The self-hosted Wordpress is definitely good for business. There are actually lots of free powerful tools that can help optimize every page of your website to be SEO-friendly.

  4. Awesome blog. This is by far the best template and design I've come across, in free sites at least. Kudos!
    I just started a blog, but being ignorant about anything tech, a design like yours is just a dream...


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