You have a few options of places you can start a blog. WordPress and Blogger are the most popular options. Have you ever wondered the difference? Are you not sure where you should have your blog, WordPress vs Blogger? Today we are going to talk about where your blog should be, what the differences are between WordPress vs Blogger, and what you should do if you want to move from Blogger to WordPress.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking about WordPress Vs Blogger
When you are investigating starting a blog or looking at growing your blog you need to stop and ask yourself these 5 questions:
- Do you want to make income from your blog?
- Do you want to promote your business (virtual assistant, artist, etc)
- Do you have time to invest in learning to grow your blog?
- Do you have $70 to invest in your blog?
- Do you want unlimited options with your blog?
4 Reasons You Need to be on WordPress
Here are 5 reasons you should be on WordPress if you are earning income from your blog or want to earn income from your blog.
You Own Your Blog
If you are earning income from your blog or start earning income from your blog what would you do if that stream of income was turned off overnight and maybe even gone forever?
When you are on free services like Blogger or WordPress.com your blog can disappear overnight. You do not own the space where your content is being stored. You are giving the free service all the power!
Blogger is known for shutting blogs down overnight after they were flagged as a spam blog. This is very rare, but do you want to take a chance? You are at the mercy of your free host if anything goes wrong. This includes if they have server problems, you can only sit back and wait. You have no real control because you are not paying for those servers.
A good example of this is the Blogger issues on May 11th, 2011. Many found themselves unable to update their blogs. Google lost posts temporarily and lost comments permanently. The worst part of the situation is no real customer service was available. Blogger did not let people know what happened or if it would be fixed.
With a self-hosted WordPress blog you own everything. You pay for the space on the servers and pay a company to give you customer service. If there is a concern you can contact customer service and you have power when you are paying them. If necessary you can have your blog moved to a new host if you are unhappy with the customer service.
Unlimited Options & Customizations
Two of the greatest benefits of a self-hosted WordPress blog is you can customize it any way you want and you have almost unlimited options.
You can customize the look of a WordPress blog using any theme, color scheme, and fonts you want to create your own style. Start creating your brand.
You can also choose from hundreds of plugins with almost unlimited options to create a unique experience for your readers and you. If you can?t find the plugin that does exactly what you want you will find a community of developers behind WordPress available to help you create it.
You Can Build Community
When building a blog your true goal is to build a community. To build community you need interaction and you need to make sure your readers know you are investing in connecting with them.
Commenting on a blog on Blogger can take up to a full minute for a reader. Most give up in a few seconds. WordPress only takes a few seconds for a reader to comment. On WordPress you have the option to email or comment back to the specific comment as well. You have more control and your reader gets more interaction with you. They feel like they are part of your community.
When you invest in your blog your readers will invest in you. When they see a blog that is self hosted, well taken care of, they know that you are there for the long haul. Many bloggers just stop blogging and those readers feel abandoned. Many readers have stopped reading blogs that they are not sure will just disappear.
WordPress is More Than a Blog
If you are blogger that is using your blog to point to a service or outside business then WordPress will be amazing for you. WordPress is more than just a blogging platform. You can use WordPress for a:
- shopping cart
- membership site
- content management system
You can use special plugins or receive help from a developer to make your website with WordPress and build in these special features. Create a dynamic webpage you can change when needed.
4 Wordpress Myths
Self Hosting is Expensive
I see this statement online so often, but let?s really look at the costs of hosting. Lets look at the top two hosting companies WordPress recommends and we will toss in one of my favorites at the end. I included my affliate link to HostGator if you chose to try them out.
- BlueHost: 1 year: $72
- DreamHost: 1 year: $108
- HostGator: 1 year: $67
If you pay more than one year you will pay even less. These are just examples of hosts, I only have researched HostGator. I recommend doing your research and finding the hosting company for you. You can read more about how to do this in my series: How to Research Web Hosting.
WordPress is Hard to Setup
Most of the hosts above have a control panel where you can install wordpress with one or two clicks. If you know you want WordPress ask the host about this before buying hosting with them. Some hosts will install it for you. You can always hire someone (including me) to install it for you as well.
You have to keep updating WordPress
WordPress does need to be updated maybe once a month, but to update it you click a button and it tells you when it?s done. You can even set it up to auto update if you want and you just get an email when it’s been updated. When you see that there are plugin updates in your wordpress menu bar just click and get them updated. It’s quick and easy.
WordPress is Hard
Just like everything new you need to dive in and learn. WordPress makes their software user friendly. If you are not technically savvy or you can?t just jump in and learn: buy a book, subscribe to a few blogs, read some articles, and/or find some Youtube videos to watch. You can also find someone to teach you. I can teach a new blogger about blogging and WordPress in two hours. Someone new to WordPress can learn to start posting in about an hour.
Starting with WordPress = Less Stress
Many successful blogs have been started on Blogger, but you will also find that most successful blogs move to WordPress. If you speak to these bloggers they will tell you about the stress of moving their blogs, but also how much they love WordPress more than Blogger.
When you start outgrowing Blogger or WordPress.com you soon find that you are going to have to move. This can be overwhelming and scary when you realize you have to get all your content and your readers moved to a new blog. If your ultimate goal is to build a large blog to earn income save some time and stress start your blog on Wordpress. If you start on WordPress you will never have to worry about outgrowing your blog, your will grow and develop with you.
What if You Are Already on Blogger?
I don?t want to scare you if you are currently on Blogger or WordPress.com because now is the best time to move. The bigger your blog gets the harder it will be to move. You can move it yourself (I promise it’s not that scary) or you can find someone to help you move your blog. Just remember the sooner you do it the less there is to move.
Quick note about Wordpress.org vs WordPress.com In this post I am talking about self hosted blog via WordPress.org. I do not recommend starting a blog on WordPress.com unless it is just for fun. You cannot earn money from a blog hosted on WordPress.com. Also after all the upgrades on WordPress.com you could actually not that much different in cost from a self-hosted WordPress site.