Monday, October 25, 2010

Blogspot vs Wordpress

WordPress Vs. Blogger: Which Should You Choose for Your Professional Blog?

You've made the decision to start a professional blog. Now you have another decision to make: which platform should you use? This article weighs two of the most popular blogging platforms to help you choose which one will work best for your business goals.
You have decided to base your business model, or just make some extra cash, by joining ranks of bloggers. That means that you will need to create a professional blog. Maybe it is simply to reach out to potential customers and make them aware or your brand. Maybe you are trying to convert viewers into buyers. Maybe, you just want to give your professional opinion.
Either way, you have already put yourself above the majority of personal bloggers. Rather than just picking a platform at random and beginning to write, you have decided to do some research first. That gives you a distinct advantage.
You can get the best platform for your needs, and wants. That is why today we are going to look at two of your options, Blogger and WordPress. That way you can decide for yourself which platform is right for you.

Why Blogger and WordPress? Aren't there other options for professional level bloggers?
Yes, there are other options for bloggers. You could use services like Moveable Type or Type Pad, but Blogger and WordPress are two of the largest blogging platforms on the planet. Most people have heard of them, even if they do not happen to own a blog. That means you can draw in some traffic, simply by using their hosting. That gives you the ability to get some initial traffic from that community.
The question is, which one of these titans of the digital publishing world is right for you? It is not always an easy decision to make, which is why today we are going to look at some of the factors that will help you with your decision. Then you can make one that is based on facts, and not the half truths that fan boys give you.

WordPress Vs. Blogger: Which Should You Choose for Your Professional Blog? - First, Let's Deal with Reputation

Lately, WordPress has gotten a reputation for being the most versatile of the blogging platforms out there. Today we will try to find out if that's true, or if it just happens to be some clever marketing.
The best way to do that is to put it up against one of its largest opponents in the world of blogging platforms. Let's use Blogger. Since they are relatively matched for scale we can make more of an apples-to-apples rather than an apples-to-oranges comparison.
Let's begin with some of the most coveted features of blogs.

Sub Domains
Both WordPress and Blogger offer you a free account with your very own sub domain. If you choose to use these you will still get a fully-featured blogging platform. People may just have a bit of a harder time finding your site at first.
On the bright side, if you want to create a blog based on a sub-domain, you can do so easily on either platform. Just be aware that many people will suggest that this is not a good idea.

Both of these platforms allow you to host on your own domain name. How they go about doing it, however, is very different. When you switch to a domain name blog with Blogger you pay a one-time ten dollar fee each year, and Google will take care of the rest. The catch is that Google owns the domain name, not you. That means if you decide to change hosts, you will have to change domain names again.
If you choose WordPress you will own your domain, but things are more complicated and cost more: to use WordPress in this case, you have to buy your domain name from a registrar, find a WordPress host and choose a plan. Getting a host that works with WordPress does limit your choices. You will then have to pay whatever the monthly cost of that plan is, which could range from four dollars a month to 20.
Yes, you can keep the costs lower, but you had better do your homework before you set up. You do not want to end up with an unreliable host. They vary in quality from service to service. Since you are here, you are obviously not research shy. Flex those muscles, and you will be rewarded. After all, you do not want to end up with a host that has your site down when visitors come by. That is a good way to lose them for good.
If you already own a domain and have a host, then you may find that they are already set up for hosting with WordPress. If not, then you will have to transfer your domain over. This can be a pain, so be sure that you can do this easily before you make a decision.

Editing Posts
Both of these services allow you to edit either in a WYSIWYG editor or via the HTML directly. When it comes to larger HTML changes that we need to make, you may find Blogger to be easier. People who are not very familiar with the back end of sites usually find that is easier to get to the code in Blogger.
Don't worry about technical skill. If you need to add to the HTML for an add on or to edit your templates, you will be able to find a wealth of tutorials for each of these platforms.

Both hosts offer you a wide range of templates that can give your blog a custom look. There used to be a great deal more of these for WordPress-based blogs. In recent years, however, that has leveled off. More templates are designed for Blogger. WordPress templates are even being reformatted for use with Blogger.
For the most part, you can get similar, or the same, templates for both hosts. They range from the basic to the more advanced. One the of most popular styles of templates are magazine style.

What about magazine-style templates?
One of things that WordPress users, especially ones that are creating a professional blog, enjoy are the magazine-style templates. These allow you to display a lot of content on the site, in a very visual way. They are also highly attractive to readers visually. For a while these templates were largely a WordPress-only affair; recently, however, more and more of magazine-style templates have been either created for, or adapted to use for, Blogger-based blogs.
If you want to find a magazine-style template for either of these hosts, you can do so quickly and easily with your favorite search engine. There are lots of sites that host a whole bunch of them. It gives you one-stop comparison shopping. If you are very concerned about the visual impression, and not much else, then you may want to pick a template that you love, and then choose the host that works with it.

Add Ons
Both Blogger and WordPress offer you the chance to customize with plug-ins or add ons. You can find many of these for both platforms. Both Blogger and WordPress each have a list of customizable add ons.
Finding add ons is very simple. Both hosts provide a site with a list of plug-ins you may want to consider. You will be able to find a lot of indy sites that are willing to give you a list of which plug-ins are worth using, and which are not. Again, if you have a specific feature in mind that is not common, you may want to do the research first and pick your platform based on that. Those situations will be fewer than you think. Most features are set up for both platforms.

Custom post footers
The bottom of a post can be a great place to integrate ads, put in important links, and generally provide the reader with any information that couldn't fit in the post. WordPress gives you a great deal of flexibility for customizing the bottom of the post inside the post. If you want to do the same on Blogger however, you should really be using the formatting box in the publishing tab.
On the bright side, this prevents you from having to use a lot of repetitive code. On the down side, if you don't want to have the same thing in every post, you would need to take it out manually. As for ads that are created by AdSense, they can be easily inserted between the posts in Blogger, so you will not need to worry about them being a footer issue if you choose Blogger.

When it comes to search engine optimization, WordPress offers a lot of control for creating SEO elements for individual posts. If you do not want to have to think much about your search engine optimization, then you should strongly consider going with WordPress. It will all be plug in and publish.
If however, you have fallen in love with the idea of using Blogger, it can be made SEO friendly. You will have to willing to put in a little bit of work, in finding and installing all of the needed plug-ins.
There you have it, two platforms are really quite evenly matched for functionality. It all depends on what you need, at least for the average blogger.
Now that you know the basics of hosting with Blogger and WordPress, you can make a sound decision as to which is right for you. If you have any special needs for your blog, then consider doing an independent analysis. For the majority, however, Blogger will be just as good as WordPress, only without the monthly hosting fees.


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