You have decided to start a blog, but having a hard time deciding which platform you should use. BlogSpot or WordPress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you ?
Don’t worry !! Since you’re new to blogging, it’s natural that you ask yourself these questions. Choosing a blogging platform is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in the beginning. So when it comes to BlogSpot vs WordPress, it’s good to know the pros and cons of each.
Before we deep dive into the discussion – BlogSpot or WordPress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you ? Let’s have a small introduction about both the blogging platforms.
Introduction to BlogSpot and WordPress
WordPress actually has two different platforms WordPress.com and WordPress.org (self- hosted).
WordPress.com is a hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. It has 5 plans:
Free – Very limited.
Personal – $36 per year
Premium – $99 per year
Business – $299 per year
VIP – starting at $5000 per month
Key Features of WordPress.com :
The free WordPress.com platform is a good choice for hobby bloggers and those starting a blog for their family.
- It’s free for up to 3 GB of space. After that you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space.
- You will not have to worry about updates or backups. WordPress.com will take care of that.
WordPress.org (self- hosted) is an open source software that is free to use and can easily be customized. A quite incredible community surrounds WordPress, providing access and support for numerous themes, plugins, and tools. This ensures that WordPress users can create any type of website, producing unique designs, and adding features and functionalities specific to each individual project.
Key Features of WordPress.org (self- hosted) :
- The software is free to use and always will be.
- A great choice for all, from the humble blogger to global businesses.
- Ownership of your website.
- Unlimited customization options.
- Theme and plugins – choose from thousands of WordPress themes and plugins.
- Create any type of website, not just a blog.
Please note that this blog is about comparison between the self-hosted WordPress.org and BlogSpot, not WordPress.com vs Blogger.
BlogSpot is a blog-publishing service, owned and hosted by Google. It was originally created by Pyra Labs and was bought by Google in 2003. Since then, it has become a popular blogging platform, providing a quick and easy to use, free hosted blogging service to the masses.
Key features of BlogSpot :
- Ideal for new or casual bloggers – BlogSpot is very quick and easy to set up.
- Free to use.
- Free templates – choose from any of BlogSpot’s free templates or purchase a third-party template.
- Google takes care of all hosting, security and site maintenance.
- Seamlessly integrates with other Google features like Google Analytics, Google AdSense, and Google Plus.
Now that you know the basics about the two most popular blogging platforms BlogSpot and Wordpress. Let’s compare the key factors about both the blogging platforms in detail. So that you can decide which platform is ideal for you.
Factor #1 : Ease of Use & Control
Most bloggers are passionate writers and storytellers, or they are non-technical business owners. An easy to use blogging platform can empower them to present their stories to the world.
WordPress has a little slower set up process. It takes some time to design a fully functioning website. However, once created, you have total control over your site, and therefore the potential to grow and improve your blog over time.
To get started with WordPress you will need to…
- Purchase a domain name
- Select a hosting provider
- Install WordPress (this should be facilitated by your hosting provider)
Once the setup is done, you can choose a WordPress blog theme as per your requirement. A theme mostly determines the appearance of your blog in WordPress.
After that, you can install the best WordPress plugins to enhance your WordPress blog’s features.
Adding content to WordPress is simple with default posts and pages.You can easily create text content, add images, videos, and other media to your WordPress posts and pages using the simple block editor.
To sign up with BlogSpot, all you need is a Gmail address. Firstly, you will be asked to choose a name for your blog and select one of the BlogSpot themes (covered in the next section). Your new blog will then open within the BlogSpot Editor, ready to edit.
The BlogSpot Editor is where you make all modifications to your website. Here you can add widgets to your homepage, create new pages, and write and publish blog posts. You can also check your blog’s analytics, manage Google AdSense, and much more.
The BlogSpot Editor is relatively straightforward to use. Any alterations made can be immediately previewed, and all necessary blogging needs are catered for. And once you are happy with your site, simply click Publish. Your site will then be live, with all hosting, security and maintenance taken care of – an extremely easy way to publish a website.
However, the features provided by BlogSpot are basic, and adding extra functionality can only be done through a limited number of widgets, or via customization of the CSS code. Therefore, there is a distinct feel of lack of flexibility over how you can customize and grow your site.
BlogSpot or Wordpress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you? – Factor # 2 : Ownership
Ownership of your blog is another crucial aspect to consider while choosing a blogging platform.
Having full ownership of your blog gives you the freedom to do anything, including how to handle it, how to monetize it, and when to shut it down.
With WordPress, you have complete control over your site. It is you who decide what information is shared and when to shut down the site. This is because WordPress uses a web hosting provider to assist you in hosting your personal website.
In BlogSpot Google owns the blogs. Google has the authority to shut down or prevent you from accessing your site. With WordPress, it is more like buying a house while with Blogger it is similar to renting a house.
Factor # 3 : Hosting
If you opt for WordPress you will need to find a hosting provider to host your website. There are numerous hosting services available and you will need to do your research to find out which is best for your site.
Hosting providers vary greatly in price, so whatever your budget you will be able to find a plan that works for you.
The upside of using WordPress is that you 100% own your website. And if you aren’t happy with your hosting provider, you can simply move your website to a different host.
In case you decide to go with WordPress.com. But on a tight budget and looking for free hosting, then check out my article on list of top 5 free hosting sites 2019.
BlogSpot’s hosting is all provided by Google. This means that, not only do you get your hosting for free, you don’t have the headache of selecting the right hosting provider for your new project. Google also takes care of all your site’s security, speed and optimization issues, allowing you to focus solely on your blogging.
The downside to BlogSpot is that, as your blog is hosted on Google servers, you don’t really own or have control over your site. BlogSpot provides a blogging service, and if Google ever decided to suddenly shut it down, or deny you access, then you would lose your blog and all the hard work you put into it.
Factor # 4 : Look and Appearance
The appearance or the design of your blog plays a vital role in attracting users and engaging them on your site. You need an elegant blog design to engage users, reduce bounce rate, and improve the time spent on your blog.
WordPress has a LOT to offer when it comes to themes. If you are looking for free WordPress themes then you should always select and install from the WordPress repository or from a well known and trusted developer. Themes in the WordPress repository have undergone a strict screening process, and you will find them well coded, safe and fully functioning. And with thousands of free themes, you will definitely find something there to fit your needs.
There is also a wide assortment of premium themes that you can purchase. These can again be bought directly from theme developers or through some popular theme markets .
Apart from the decision of free and premium, you also need to pick a ‘type’ of WordPress theme. Many WordPress themes are built-for-purpose, meaning they incorporate particular features to cater for a specific niche. At the other end of the spectrum are multipurpose themes. These themes enable you to design original websites, customizing every aspect of your site.
BlogSpot is a platform that is more suited for beginners and it doesn’t allow you to create your own templates or layouts. Though there are a few of them for you to choose from and all of these layouts can be modified using built-in functions for changing their color and orientation.
BlogSpot or Wordpress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you? – Factor # 5 : Features and Functionality
Adding extra features and functionality to your site will enable it to stand out from the crowd and cater directly to your audience’s needs.
One of the most impressive aspects of WordPress, is that whatever features you want there’s a plugin for that. So if your theme doesn’t ship with particular functionalities that you need, just look for a plugin that can be quickly installed to easily add more features to your site.
As with themes, there are thousands of free and premium WordPress plugins available. These can be found in the WordPress Repository, or purchased from individual developers or marketplaces.
One of the biggest drawbacks of using BlogSpot is the lack of features and customization options. BlogSpot provides ‘Gadgets’. These Gadgets provide a number of different features that bloggers can add to help enhance their site. Gadget functionality includes…
- Email Subscription – encourage your readers to join your email list.
- Blog Search – let your audience search your blog for subjects that interest them.
- Popular Posts List – showcase your most popular posts.
- Logo – add your logo to your blog.
- Profile – display information about yourself.
Factor # 6 : Security & Maintenance
Security is another essential aspect you need to consider while selecting your blog platform. Unless you pick a secure platform, your investment and time can go to waste if your site is blacklisted or hacked.
Similarly general maintenance of your site, including updates, site speed, and backup, are also crucial aspects of website management.
If you decide to build your blog with WordPress, you are pretty much on your own with security and maintenance. Therefore, it is important that you are proactive, and install some plugins that will help you keep your website safe and fully functioning.
Security and maintenance isn’t a concern with BlogSpot, which for many is a key reason for choosing BlogSpot as their platform. As BlogSpot is owned and hosted by Google, all your security and maintenance needs are taken care of. Your blog can also be backed up to your computer in just a few clicks. And all for free.
Factor # 7 : Support
Starting a blog on a new platform can be a daunting task. So it is important that there is the right level of support in place to enable you easily create a suitable website.
WordPress provides community based support. This feature of service is also dependent on the fact that WordPress is open source. This allows the user to be in touch with a wide array of developers who are willing to share their experience with the software. Apart from the online community, there are several companies and organizations that offer premium WordPress support.
BlogSpot comes with extensive documentation, detailing how to set up and manage your blog, as well as tips on how to help your articles rank in the search engines, and how to use Google Analytics to monitor your site’s performance.
Within your BlogSpot Editor, there is a help function, allowing you to search BlogSpot topics and articles. And there is also a Help Forum that provides a community where BlogSpot users can come together, ask questions, and share problems.
BlogSpot or Wordpress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you? – Factor # 8 : Future
The future of your blogging platform determines how far you can go with your blog.
WordPress is an Open Source software which means its future is not dependent on one company or individual (Check out the history of WordPress). It is managed by a community of developers and users.
Being the world’s most popular content management system, thousands of businesses around the globe depend on it. The future of WordPress is bright and reassuring.
Future of BlogSpot depends on Google, and they have the right to shut it down whenever they want. So, the future of your blog also depends on Google’s decisions.
Factor # 9 : Portability
It is essential to check whether your blog platform has secure options to move to another platform or not.
Using WordPress, you can move your site anywhere you want. You can move your WordPress site to a new host, change domain name, or even move your site to other content management systems.
Moving your site from BlogSpot to a different platform is a complicated task. There is a significant risk that you will lose your subscribers, and followers during the move.
Even though BlogSpot allows you to export your content, your data will stay on Google’s servers for a very long time.
BlogSpot or Wordpress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you? –Factor # 10 : Expenses
Comparing the expenses of creating a blog and managing it is crucial.
WordPress.org software is free, but you need to buy a hosting plan and domain name to start a blog.
BlogSpot is an entirely free blogging service. It provides free blog hosting and free BlogSpot sub domain to get started. And, all the themes, gadgets, and other options are free as well.
Factor # 11 : Monetization
If you want to make money online with your blog, then you need to choose a platform which has plenty of monetization options.
There are several AdSense plugins to choose from.
You can install WooCommerce, the most popular eCommerce platform on the web and sell your own products and services yourself.
You can monetize your blog any way you want (sponsored posts, affiliate links, eBooks, etc.)
AdSense is a Google product, hence, it’s part of the BlogSpot dashboard and easy to use.
You can place sponsored content, banners ads, sponsored text links, affiliate links, run giveaways, etc.
BlogSpot or Wordpress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you? – Conclusion
The final decision on “BlogSpot or Wordpress, Which blogging platform is Ideal for you?”, will come down to the purpose of your blog entirely.
A clear advantage BlogSpot has is that it’s free. It’s an ideal platform for those who are looking to create a quick yet small blogging project – an online journal, sharing a travel experience with family and friends, or showcasing an experience like a wedding.
BlogSpot is quick, easy and free to set up – yet the offset of this is the absence of extensive features as well as the lack of control and ownership you have over your site.
On the other hand, WordPress is a socially validated blogging platform used by some of the biggest brands in the world (think BBC, The New Yorker, Sony Music, and many more).
Thanks for reading this article folks.
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Happy blogging !!!!!!!!!!!