Comparing Blogger and WordPress.com

by Krishna on January 24, 2009

Blogger and WordPress are both blog platforms as well as blog hosting services. The latter allows you to write and post blogs on their servers, saving you the effort of setting up your own server. This is useful if you are an individual blogger, less if you happen to be an organization. I have been using Blogger for hosting this blog and WordPress.com for hosting a more informal sports blog on cricket. Both applications offer similar services, but unfortunately each of them have a few important missing features and some nuisance behavior:

  1. Blogger does not support trackbacks (unlike WordPress), which allow you to notify another blogger if you are linking to his/her post. This reduces your ability to influence the conversation around a topic, and reduces traffic to your blog. Instead, Blogger offers backlinks which work only on Blogger blogs and hardly offers the same functionality.
  2. WordPress provides its own blog traffic statistics which it gets from Google Analytics code that it inserts automatically into your blog. So far, so good, but instead of sending you to the Analytics website, it offers a few simplistic graphs and reports. This is the height of online paternalism. I can understand them doing this for novice bloggers, but for everyone else, this is very limiting.
  3. Blogger only allows you to create blog posts and provides no way to add web pages that are outside the regular flow of blog posts. For example, you may want to add a page containing a summary of statistical information or a calendar of events. This is not possible. Moreover, Blogger republishes posts that have been re-categorized, so re-organization of your site can cause a deluge of posts to your readers’ Inbox or blog reader. Again, I clamor for an integration between Blogger and Google Sites, which may be coming soon. (Google Page Creator has silently died.)
  4. WordPress.com does do the static page thingy, but like the traffic analysis, they don’t allow you to decide what to do with them. As far as I could see, there is no way to organize your static pages, such as deciding their hierarchical order. My current theme displays every static page as a separate tab. Because of this, I have an ongoing integration issue with Google Webmasters that requires me to repeatedly hide and unhide a static page. Blogger does not have this problem because you can directly edit the HTML of the page.
  5. There is no effort on Blogger’s part to monetize blogs. Google got rid of the paid version, Blogger Pro, when they acquired Blogger. Not only does this make the long-term future of Blogger uncertain, it surely means that Google is not investing as much as it could on Blogger’s development. As Google faces pressure to make money off its properties, this could change. WordPress, on the other hand, earns money on upgrades to storage space, number of users and so on. In addition, WordPress is open source software with contributions from hundreds of developers.

Both services are capable of handling the needs of most bloggers, so if you are looking for a quick solution, either is fine. On the other hand, if you are looking for more advanced features from them, take note of what is missing before making a decision.

{ 10 comments }

Rob January 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Nice post…about your point of page creator and google sites… if you look at them both the creator has an updated copyright year wheras the sites doesn’t.

I agree intergrating them all would be nice. :o)

Rob

Xavier Vespa January 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm

good post. I think the way google shaped blogger fits their vision of user generated content and personal expression.

another thing about blogger, you can embed any google gadget from within the layout editor. what sucks is that you can’t schedule posts, whereas it is now possible on wordpress.

Adam Christensen January 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm

If I’m understanding correctly, I’m able to organize pages in wordpress in a heirarchal structure through the “Parent” page option. Perhaps it’s just something in your template that doesn’t allow it?

Krish January 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Xavier, Blogger can schedule your posts. You can even do it through external editors such as Windows Live Writer.

Kate Carruthers January 24, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I just moved off Blogger after many years because Google transitioned my RSS feed from Feedburner over to Google and broke it. After that experience I was not confident that Google would maintain my blog properly in Blogger over the long term. So bye bye Blogger, hello Wordpress.

Krish January 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm

@Adam Christensen

You are right. Thanks for the tip about the “Parent” page option. I have made the corrections in my post.

Abhilash January 25, 2009 at 2:30 am

you seem to attract quite a bit of traffic with post, ha? Great!
I am regular follower of your blog though.

Yo$ yang belajar August 10, 2009 at 1:00 am

my mind still want to use blogger than wordpress..i dont know about you guys…same with me ?

Pierce August 15, 2009 at 6:47 am

These are both very overrated. Why not try FreeBlogZone.com ?

They are new, but extremely simple to use, they have a decent variety of templates, and are unique. They bring many new features that Blogger and Wordpress do not currently have. They have a great support team, and keep everybody updated with what is going on with their websites.

Joshua Horn February 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

They recently released Static Pages, and they have built in the ability to embed adwords.

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