Which blogging platform? WordPress or Blogger?

Mummy blogging is the new black. There are lots of reasons why mum’s all over the world are turning to blogging, from sharing the highs and lows and keeping the grey matter from self imploding after watching too much CBeebies, to promoting  their mumtrepeneur (yes really, I didn’t make up that word) business.

But having made the decision to share the trials and celebrations of life as a parent, which blogging platform should you choose?

Well fear not, Geeky Mummy has the answer. Which tool to use depends on your technical ability and your reason for starting a blog:

If you are a newbie blogger who is blogging for fun as opposed to blogging for a business then Geeky Mummy recommends Google’s Blogger.

Getting started with Blogger is easy and in next to no time you will be changing the design of your blog by switching templates, uploading garish backgrounds and playing around with fonts. There are also a massive choice of widgets to quickly and easily add your Twitter feed, link to other blogs etc.

If however you are blogging for a business and are technically confident, Geeky Mummy recommends a WordPress.com blog.

If you are really serious (prepared to pay money) about blogging then you may want to consider a WordPress.org blog.

This is where it all gets really complicated. WordPress have two different types of blogs. WordPress.com is comparable to Blogger. WordPress.org is blogging software whereby you have to find someone to host it which will cost you money, and whilst it is very flexible, it is also means that it requires a greater level of technical knowledge (or more money so that you can pay someone to do it for you).

The difficulty of the existence of two different yet similarly named blogging platforms is that performing a Google search on how to do something in WordPress.com often brings back answers for WordPress.org.

This makes life tricky as WordPress isn’t as easy to use as Blogger. Actually, that isn’t true. If you just want to write blogs and publish them, they both do that really easily. But once you start on that slippery slope of self journalism you WILL want more. You will want to design your blog and make it an extension of your personality or business.

So before you can scream ‘but what in the world is a CSS?’ let me tell you that for WordPress.com, changing the colour of links and other fine tweaking requires modifying the CSS, and you have to pay a yearly subscription fee for the privilege. It is only $15 (less than £10) per year, but add that to the challenge of learning what a CSS is and how to modify it and suddenly you only have eyes for Blogger.

So why would anyone bother with WordPress? There are a few features that make it that much more professional – and even the lack of some features of blogger actually are an advantage (just because you can change colours/add images etc doesn’t mean you have to). You can instantly tell a Blogger blog from a WordPress blog – the latter are cleaner and less cluttered.

For me, I chose WordPress.com for Geeky Mummy because there is a great Android app that allows me to manage my blog from my mobile phone. The user experience of reading a WordPress.com blog on your phone is so much better than for Blogger, whereby quite frequently Blogger blogs take so long to load that I give up. In contrast, not once have I had a problem viewing a WordPress blog on my phone.

With regards to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – all about getting your blog in pride of place in search engine results) nobody seems to be able to agree on which is best, though there is a lot of leaning towards WordPress being better.

Oh and I already knew how to use Blogger and I wanted the challenge of learning WordPress – I am Geeky Mummy for a reason!

So what if you sit somewhere in the middle? Ask yourself where do you want to go with your blog? If you are hoping to go pro, blogging jobs often require WordPress experience. If you want to try to make money from advertising, a WordPress.com blog will be no good for you as they don’t allow advertising, but you can do what you want with Blogger and WordPress.org.

If you like detail read this detailed comparison of the two platforms.

As with most things, it comes down to personal preference. Both are free to set up, so if you really aren’t sure, sign up for both and have a little play. Just don’t let the choice of a blogging platform be your stumbling block to blogging. Pick one and go for it, the world is waiting.

Do you already blog? Which platform did you choose and why?

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About Geeky Mummy
I am a geeky stay at home mummy. My blog Geeky Mummy shares my experiences and tips for using gadgets, technology and social media with a definite parenting bias. If you want help (whether or not you are a mummy) with anything gadgetty or technical, I want to help or at least point you in the right direction towards someone who can.

4 Responses to Which blogging platform? WordPress or Blogger?

  1. Natalie says:

    I’m all about WordPress self hosted. Never went near .com so have no real idea what that’s like but did start out on Blogger and think it’s fine for basic personal blogs but limited beyond that, especially in terms of flexibility in design and layout.

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      Thanks for your feedback Natalie. I have had a lot of people come back to me and say that they started with Blogger and then moved on to either WordPress.com or WordPress.org. I think self-hosted is quite a scary concept even for established bloggers, but I think I does seem to depend on whether people are blogging for fun or as a business.

  2. ebabeelikes says:

    Hi – really useful article. I chose wordpress because I was told that if I ever wanted to have a separate website of my blog, then wordpress.org was best. So I should start by using wordpress.com and get used to it and then move to wordpress.org. Hope that makes sense – I am somewhat technically challenged!!

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      Thanks, glad it was of help and great question. The answer is, as always, it really depends. If you are not very technically minded and you are blogging for a business then you are probably going to spending money on getting help to get setup, buy a theme or even have one designed for you. And if you are new to blogging it is going to be hard to know what you want.

      The advantage of starting off with a WordPress.com site is that you can have a play before commiting to spending any money. The disdavantage of doing this is that whilst you can convert your WordPress.com blog to WordPress.org, it will require a bit of tweaking. How To Migrate Your Blog from WordPress.com to a Personal Domain has some useful information about how to do this. So if you already know what you want from your blog and that you will definately want to move to WordPress.org in the near future you might be better off just diving straight into WordPress.org.

      Also, there are reasons as to why a WordPress.com blog may not be suitable for you. WordPress will add adverts to your blog but you can buy an upgrade to be ad free. There are also lots of rules about whether or not you can add advertising and affiliate links to your WordPress.com blog – none of which apply to WordPress.org.

      Additionally don’t forget that you are actually quite restricted with the design of your blog. There are only a limited number of templates on offer which is in stark contrast to WordPress.org.

      Many businesses though are run quite happily on WordPress.com so don’t feel like just because you run a business that you have to move across. WordPress are constantly adding new features and who knows what changes they may make in future that might negate any need to migrate.

      Hope the above has been of help.

      Geeky Mummy

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