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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.