Dec 20, 2010

Wordpress or Blogger?

Like the debate over being monetized or ad-free, the debate over whether Wordpress or Blogger is better has been around for ages. Recently I came across this blog post by a design and software development firm that explains why they use Blogger for clients who need an easy to manage content management system. Their examples of the ways they've creatively adapted Blogger is something that a garden blogger using Blogger should look at. Their modifications are simple enough for anyone to carryout



Shortly after reading that blog post I watched a couple of online discussions between garden bloggers about the whether Wordpress or Blogger was better. It inspired the video above. 

Are you using Wordpress after starting out on Blogger? Is Wordpress better than Blogger? Are you a Blogger user thinking of making the jump to Wordpress? Personally, I think Wordpress is overrated. I've used it myself and have used it when setting up or maintaining garden blogs for other people. 

22 comments:

  1. I am lauchIng a new garden word press site in the new year. Presently I am using blogger and like it. I hope word press is easy to use. What I found frustrating in the past is moving my readers with google connect. There doesn't seem to be way to add this to word press.

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  2. I chose WordPress a few years ago because I saw more WordPress blogs that appealed to me (visually and functionally) than Blogger blogs. I've also found it pretty easy to use. That said, I'm not an entrenched WP fanatic like the guy in your video. It's more just that I've spent a lot of time getting comfortable and quick with the interface, so I'd have to have a great reason to switch to overcome the pain. It's like switching banks, in that regard - sure, most are similar, but what a PITA to switch.

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  3. @That Bloomin' Garden, do you mean you'll be importing your Blogger blog to Wordpress or starting a new one from scratch? Since you're interested in moving your GFC readers, I'm going to guess you're moving your Blogger blog over. Recently AllAndrewsPlants.wordpress.com moved from Blogger. I was a Blogger follower and when he moved I was automatically routed to the new blog.


    @Dave, The guy in the video is an amalgamation of WP fanatics I've read over the years. I'm going to start a junk blog and switch it just for the experience. Supposedly the process of importing into WP from Blogger has been made simpler by the Blogger Team.

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  4. I have both freebie Blogger and WP blogs. I'd say there's not a lot to choose between the 2; it depends on what you want to do with your blog as to which one's best.

    I did copy over Veg Plotting onto WP a couple of years ago as an experiment and had no problems, but realised quickly that for that particular blog, Blogger was better suited - it's a link rich blog with lots of sidebar widgets.

    My current regular WP blog is a photography blog. I started it as an experiment to see how I got on with a WP blog from scratch. The big advantage for me on that one is that WP has a 2Gb memory allocation (Blogger has 1Gb) which makes quite a big difference for a photography based blog which is more memory hungry.

    I'm currently putting together a comparison summary of the major blogging platforms ready for a course I'm tutoring next year to enable new start bloggers to decide which platform is best suited for their needs. This is my attempt to cut through the lack of objectivity I've found thus far on comparing blogging platforms.

    I did chuckle at your video: like you I'm a bit frustrated that WP advocates tend to compare self-hosted WP with Blogger rather than the hosted version. A bit like comparing apples with pears rather than just apples?

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  5. Thank you for the link to my article! I think the Wordpress/Blogger battle gets a little mixed up as they're really not apples to apples (sorry, a link to another article I've written). Blogger as a hosted service is pretty superior to the Wordpress hosted solution, but when you start talking about Wordpress's non-hosted solution, it gets tricky. If that's the direction you're going, then why not Drupal or Joomla, as you're essentially using it as a standalone CMS, at which point the other two CMSs are superior.

    The design limitations to Wordpress's hosted solution, coupled with the limitations they place on it and the inability to have your own domain pointing to it, are limitations to the seriousness of your blog (in my opinion). But if you have the ability to code your own template in CSS, or the ability to find a template that you'd like to customize yourself, added it to a blog with it's own URL, earn revenue through ads, etc., and still have 0 installation and hosting costs, Blogger is the way to go.

    But when you're comparing the two (Blogger vs Wordpress) you really need to make it between the HOSTED solutions to make it a fair comparison.

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  6. I started on Blogger and continue to use it today for both my blogs. I've never felt the urge to switch to Wordpress, I'm satisfied with my experience on Blogger. Is Wordpress easier to use? I'm not sure what the primary differences are between both formats. I do get the impression however that Wordpress is seen as a more "professional" platform for blogging.

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  7. HA! I enjoyed your video...so like "real life" in so many ways (and not just blog related). I've actually caught myself saying "I'm on blogger" (and feeling apologetic) or "I really should switch to wordpress" (why!?)...thank you for pointing out the silly double standard. Why would I switch when what I am using works for me and is absolutely pain free?

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  8. This reminds me so incredibly of "arguments" I used to have with my dad that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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  9. I recognize some comments in your video as something I once said in what I thought was a conversation about blogging platforms. At the time, I didn't realize I was arguing with anyone.

    That said, I agree that it's pointless to compare Blogger with Self-hosted Wordpress. It also seems pointless to compare Blogger with Wordpress.com. Use what makes sense to you. If you're frustrated by limitations in Blogger or Wordpress.com, you can squeeze anything you want out of a self-hosted Wordpress site. If you're happy with what you're using, why would you switch?

    If you don't yet have a blog, then it's worthwhile to have a clear understanding of your purpose before choosing a platform. If you want a site where fellow gardeners can visit and share thoughts about gardening, then keep it simple and go with Blogger (or Wordpress.com). If you want to build an online gardening empire with a superstore, membership levels, and multimedia, a self-hosted Wordpress site provides a more capable foundation.

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  10. @VP, Thanks for bringing up the space allocation. The last time I compared them I could've sworn Blogger provided more free space.That was my one reason for not liking the hosted version of WP. Well that and the ads they place on free blogs and that they don't allow you to modify the template for free or add code to it.

    @David, Thanks for stopping by. Your comment got hungup in Blogger's spam filter. Hope people check out your links and see what you've managed to accomplish with Blogger.

    @Elaine, I don't think WP is easier to use. I've used Blogger, WP, MoveableType and others and they're all about the same. Maybe to someone who is really fresh to blogging WP may have a bit of a learning curve that takes some getting used to. I've seen some great professional things done with WP by media outlets, but what they've done is usually beyond the scope of what the average garden blogger can do on his/her own.

    @Danger Garden, LOL. I used to feel the same as you until I realized that it was silly to feel that way. I've yet to be wowed by a garden blog on WP, and now that they're all using Thesis they're starting to look alike.

    @Monica, I say laugh. The post and video are suppose to be funny.

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  11. @CitySlipper, Sorry...your comment got caught by the spam filter. I will not confirm or deny that you are part of the amalgamation of WP fans that inspired the video. :0-)

    I will have to disagree to an extent with your comment. WP gets rather bloated and if an "empire" is you goal, you'd be better off using a different CMS that scalable.

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  12. I was going to comment on this at lunch today but it's extremely frustrating trying to doing anything on a Blogger-based blog on a smartphone.

    After I got my smartphone I started noticing the ways that Blogger and Wordpress deal with mobile users. Blogger simple doesn't while Wordpress is excellent. By default a Wordpress blog will detect mobile users and use an appropriate theme while there is no way to implement something of that nature on Blogger.

    To be honest if I'd never gotten that phone I'd probably still be happily using Blogger, though once I made the switch from Blogger to Wordpress I found a whole laundry list of features I really like about the platform.

    To create a new post on a phone for Blogger you have to pick from a number of third party apps, none of which compare with the Wordpress app that allows you to create new posts, view, approve, and reply to comments, view stats and view your pages. I like Tags being broken down into Categories and Tags. Built in statistics are a great feature as well. Small point but replying to comments as a reply to the comment rather than a reply to the post is nice.

    When I switched from Blogger to Wordpress I first made my Blogger feed into a Feedburner Feed so that when I switched I was simply able to go into Feedburner and change the Feed URL and it made the transition seamless for anyone using an RSS reader.

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  13. @Andrew, I'm on a BlackBerry and I'm not having trouble commenting. Funny that you mention mobile templates? Guess what went live in draft just this weekend for Blogger? I haven't gotten around to implementing them but mobile templates are here for Blogger.

    Can't speak about the App for mobile Blogger because I don't have that smart of a phone :0)

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  14. When I switched over to WP, I was having weird editing problems in Blogger. It just became frustrating not being able to easily post things the way I wanted to. I could list my reasons for my choice, but I get from your video you've already heard enough about WP.

    But, to each his own. I honestly don't care whether a site is hosted on WP or Blogger when I visit. I just care about the content.

    I also don't care whether the blogger uses an Apple or a PC for that matter.

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  15. @Kat, If you want to say something about WP by all means go ahead. The focus of this blog favors Blogger because most garden blogs are on it, but a different perspective is welcomed. If you want you can do a guest post. When I started this blog I had an idea for a point-counter-point style post about the merits of both, but couldn't find anyone to take up the Wordpress side.

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  16. I'll pass. The reasons for my choice are mine. They may not be the same for someone else. There are plenty of comparisons on the web already regarding the specifics. I think it's just a matter of personal preference. Do both work? Yes. Can you have a successful garden blog with either one? Yes. I think the most important thing is to just pick one and get writing. Content is king.

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  17. just to add something into the mix, - I use Blogger, Wordpress.org and typepad for 3 different blogs I have input into.- I'm not a techie, but style and photos are important to me, and i've found typepad the easiest. With Blogger (being a reader of gardening blogs) I found I couldn't comment on some of them without having a blogger account.

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  18. I use Blogger for my blog 'Serenity in the Garden' ..why? because it was easy and i did't know anything about blogging..now of course, I probably should move to wordpress but am too entrenched to move.

    I really appreciate everyone's insights!

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  19. i started my first blog (nothing to do with gardening; it's on how to write college admissions essays! (www.lagunawriter.wordpress.com.) i started my garden/outdoor spaces blog on blogger (www.lagunadirt.blogspot.com) because only blogger had the potential to carry ads. my main frustration with blogger is posting photos, and that it's so glitchy when you try to move them around, especially re-order them. i have posted some garden "tours," and if i leave out one photo, it's almost impossible to insert it later. but i have found both blogger and wordpress intuitive to learn, and both have clear "help" advice.

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  20. I am a veteran Blogger blogger...but recently have ventured into wordpress with a friend to share a blog. I am not sure I enjoy wordpress...but when I do my posts, I use Windows Live Writer, so I don't notice too many issues...and I have been fortunate enough that my blog partner is a veteran wordpress user...so I am still learning. I do find wordpress far more confusing to use than blogger...which is so very easy my kids could use it.
    I agree that blogger is difficult to insert photos into...it seems they go where ever they feel like landing and it is difficult to move them.
    I suppose they both have good and bad points.

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  21. It is a very interesting topic. I wonder what benefits I could get from using other platforms. So far blogger has done a good job for me. The only thing I would like to add is maybe more fix pages. It is the only thing that could make me change to a different. Do you know any workaround the 10 pages limit on blogger?

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  22. Aside from using the "pages" feature judiciously, I can't think of another work around. I'm saving the "pages" for important pages (like an About Page and Contact page & creating wannabe pages out of the regular post. When you create a post you can choose not to allow blog comments and it looks like a page.

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