Blogger And WordPress – Feature Comparison For The Non-Technical Blogger

by Maskil on 14 Sep 2009

In a post a couple of weeks ago, I endorsed the conventional wisdom that serious or professional bloggers should favour WordPress, while those blogging as a hobby or sideline can safely continue using Blogger as their blogging platform.

In my own case – because of my lack of coding skills and Blogger’s limitations when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – it would have been wiser for me to have started out on WordPress, an error I have now rectified (although I can’t help feeling that the 2 years I invested in Blogger have been wasted).

Category Blogger WordPress
Cost Software and hosting free (Remember that free also has a cost!) Software – Open Source, hosting – for your account
Domain Names Choice of or blogname.tld (Custom Domain) Must be a Custom Domain (blogname.tld)
Hosting Hosted by Blogspot or self-hosted (Optional). Self-hosted
Data Ownership ? You
Ease Of Installation Very simple. Tick boxes Manual or scripted. Moderately easy
Availability/Responses Excellent, but no service level undertakings Depending on configuration and Web host provider
Upgrades Automatic, Infrequent Frequent/regular. Can be automated
Support Best effort, mostly peer/user-supported Automattic for WP software, Web host provider. Essentially your responsibility!
Templates/Themes (Availability, Quality) Very few bundled templates. Some 3rd-party templates available; tend to be poor quality Basic default themes. Huge variety of 3rd-party free and premium themes. Quality varies, but tends to be high
Aesthetics (Look And Feel) Unless customised, Blogger blogs tend to all have a very similar look and feel Blogs using default themes are easily recognised, but creating a unique look and feel is far easier
Plugins No plugins, but 3rd party services have created elegant Widgetised installs to add functionality Huge variety of 3rd-party plugins available to extend the standard WordPress functionality in countless ways
Widgets Most blog services include a Blogger sidebar widget Most blog services include a WordPress sidebar widget
Skills Base Few specialise in Blogger skills. Seen as being for entry-level bloggers Vast pool of WordPress skills. Seen as a mainstream CMS
Customisation Code snippets and Widgets for enhancements.

Coding skills needed for other changes

Plugins, code snippets and Widgets for enhancements. Coding skills for larger changes. Huge skills base
Coding Skills Required? Only for customisation Only for customisation
Pages Not supported. Posts only Both Pages and Posts supported
Post Editors Native (Web) and 3rd-party (Web or Desktop) Native (Web) and 3rd-party (Web or Desktop)
Scheduled Posting Supported Broken from WP 2.7!
Categories And Labels Supported Supported, but better SEO?
Slugs (Variable Portion Of Blog Post Permalink) Fixed Variety of permalink options available
Post Teasers On Home Page Only with 3rd-party templates or coding Fully supported
Comments Native or 3rd-party comment systems Native (customisable) or 3rd-party comment systems
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Practically non-existent (surprisingly, as Blogger and Google search owned by Google).

Very few standard SEO “artefacts” supported

Good SEO out of the box. SEO enhanced by correct Theme and SEO-related plugins.

All standard SEO “artefacts” supported

Webmaster Tools (Bing, Google, Yahoo) Limited support. Access to Web Root usually required Fully supported
Sitemaps (Machine And Human Readable) Difficult to create and maintain Easy to create and maintain using plugins
Feeds Native, FeedBurner, FeedBlitz, etc. Native, FeedBurner, FeedBlitz, etc. Also feeds for Categories, etc. (3rd-party)
Data Backup Manual or 3rd-party Automated, manual or 3rd-party
Migration Migrating from WP to Blogger possible, but unusual Migrating from Blogger to WP supported, tools available, very common
Summary Offers a great deal out of the box Can be customised and extended to a far greater extent, even without coding skills

I drew up this matrix following an e-mail conversation with a fellow J-blogger (hope you enjoyed the convention!) who is also considering abandoning Blogger in favour of WordPress. I’m sharing it here as I think it might be of interest to others. Hopefully others will avoid my mistake in committing to a blogging platform that doesn’t align with their blogging needs and skills.

(WordPress refers throughout to self-hosted WordPress(.org) rather than the free WordPress(.com) platform.)

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