When I first started work on the WebMarketCentral blog back in early 2005, I evaluated both Blogger and WordPress. At the time, it seemed that:
- There were a similar number of popular blogs on both platforms.
- The features and capabilities of the two platforms were roughly equivalent.
- Blogger was easier to use.
Today, while I’d argue that the last point above still holds true, on the first two items – it’s not even close. It’s hard to even think of any “A list” blogs on Blogger (okay, Paul Dunay’s excellent Buzz Marketing for Technology, but I mean other than that). And in terms of capabilities, WordPress has advanced with each new release, while Blogger seems stuck in the past. And then there are plugins, of course. As the iPhone commercial says “there’s an app for that,” for almost any cool thing you want your blog to do, on WordPress “there’s a plugin for that.”
To consider just a few differences in capabilities between the two platforms:
- Subscribe by email. This can be accomplished relatively easily with a plugin in WordPress. In Blogger, it can be done, but requires a painful and convoluted workaround using Google Groups.
- RSS feeds. Both platforms make it easy to set up a single RSS feed for all blog content. But WordPress provides far more flexible options as well, allowing users to subscribe only to specific categories, only to comments, whatever.
- Use as a CMS. WordPress can fairly easily be adapted for use as a CMS for a general purpose website, with or without a blog. I’m not sure this is even possible with Blogger, much less simple.
- Add a quick poll. Easy in WordPress. Tried for two years to figure out a way to do this in Blogger, gave up.
- Set up “who links here.” Automatic function in WordPress, painful manual process in Blogger.
- Trackbacks. Again, automatic in WordPress. Blogger requires use of a third-party app and another painful workaround.
- SEO. Don’t even get me started. While WordPress is naturally optimized for search, Blogger seems at best indifferent, at worst hostile to making a blog search engine-friendly.
Perhaps this is unfair to Blogger (feel free to leave comments/corrections below if you think so). I will concede that blogging on Blogger, like most habits, is a hard habit to break. The platform’s quirks and inconveniences can become almost charming. I’ve tried before and failed, but this time I’ve got to quit and take up a healthier alternative. It’s not for me; I’m doing this for the children.