Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pros and Cons of Blogger and

Has your blog changed over time?

Mine sure has!  It started as a hopeful way for me to discipline myself to write each and every day and turned into a chronicle of our family life.  Then it became a way to share our journey of homeschooling.  Reading other blogs inspired me to attempt to take decent pictures and my blog became a place to display them.

Through blogging I became interested in web design.  I found that I enjoyed playing around with web design and wanted to learn more about it.  I found learning about html, CSS and Java to be rewarding!

I kept hearing that offered more customization than Blogger.  After a small snafu with Blogger, my husband convinced me to pay for web hosting and try  These are just my opinions about my experience.

The big question to ask yourself before deciding on which platform to use is: What do you want from your blog?  Do you want a journal of your family life, a dynamic virtual scrapbook?  Or, do you want to make a name for yourself in the blogging world?


Wordpress Con: In order to have the customization options of, you need to pay for self-hosting.  This ranges from $3 a month (if you pay several years in advance) to upwards of $15 a month (depending on how in-depth you want your site to be).  In addition to webhosting, you need to pay for a domain name ; privacy so that people can't find out your name and address from searching who owns your domain; back-up of your blog; and a service so that hackers can not go in and hack your blog.  All of that costs about an additional $40 to $50 a year.

Blogger Pro: Blogger, of course, is completely free.  You can pay for your own domain, which is $10 a year.


Wordpress Pro: offers plug-ins.  Plug-ins can be like Widgets in Blogger, little things to add to your sidebar: photos, calendars, etc.  Or they can be things you add that become invisible code and help with Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization is how search engines crawl, find and view your blog and how you show up in web searches.  Wordpress offers the best options for this.  It is hard to get the same optimization on a FREE hosting site.  If you want to make a name for yourself, you will need to pay attention to optimum SEO.

Blogger Con:  Blogger is a free platform, no matter how many meta tags you enter your SEO will never be as good as on Wordpress.


What do you like in design?  Do you like something simple?  Then, you will probably be happy with Blogger.  For free, you can keep your template simple and not detract from your content.  Since you have access to html, if you like to play you have room for that.  You can create things using CS5 and add the code to your template as well as adding everything from pull-down menus to different images on different pages if you are comfortable playing with code.

Do you like sidebars filled with information and little clues for the reader about who you are?  Then really, either Blogger or Wordpress offer those options.  Wordpress offers more, by way of plug-ins, so depending on what you want, you may want to go over to Wordpress, although there are also a ton of options all over the web for Blogger if you are willing to do some searching.

My Experience

After playing with and realizing that the Free themes would not allow me to make my site have the clean, simple look that I was after, I learned that I would need to purchase a framework.

If you don't like to play with your design and are happy to leave it alone, you may be happy with a Premium theme or having someone design a site for you on

Since I wanted to play around with the theme, just buying a Premium theme or having someone design a site for me was not really what I wanted.  I would have needed to purchase an entire framework to play with.  This would have been a one time fee of anywhere from $150 to $300.

A friend pointed out that for about the same price, I could purchase CS5, which would allow me to learn several design software AND utilize those skills even outside the blog world.  That seemed more practical to me right now and is ultimately why I decided to stay with Blogger.

Customization on Blogger

There are a lot of things that you can do with your Blogger template for free just by going into the Customize options.  There are other things that you can do because you have access to the Html.

To check out how some bloggers have customized their Blogger blogs, check out these links: