Back before I created my online portfolio, I was one of the many debating WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr. I quickly tossed Tumblr out of the running because of its focus on short, sharable content. That wasn’t my goal. After that, I began to debated WordPress.com and Blogger (WordPress.org was out because I wasn’t going to buy server space even though it would have been my first pick). I tested both platforms and eventually picked WordPress since it worked better for a static site and provided more control over the templates and HTML. When I began this blog, I opted to stick with WordPress. However, since then, I have used Blogger at work. I thought I might provide a little compare/contrast insight.
If you have ever used Google Docs or Word, the layout will look very similar to Blogger’s. The editing page features a formatting bar with familiar icons on top with a writing field below. A separate sidebar offers drop down menus for adding tags, scheduling, permalinks, and a few other options. This makes it easy to use and work just like a typical word processing program.
However, Blogger allows background images and colors for the site to be changed, there seems to be only one main template: it was designed for writing. I also know a couple of years back when I tinkered with this side of the software, I found working with it to be confusing. That may have changed since. Also, all editing must be done within the post, as opposed to WordPress which has a quick edit feature. Lastly, for gathering statistics one must register their page on Google Analytics.
Unlike WordPress, one does have the option to change the font types and sizes within Blogger. But unlike WordPress, there are only three levels of headings (as opposed to WordPress’ six). Also, if you set up a new Blogger account, unless you change the default at sign up, it will automatically generate a Google+ account, something you may want to avoid since it doubles as a surveillance software (mostly for generating personalized ads).
WordPress’s layout also closely resembles Word’s as well, but some of the format bar’s icons are different. A sidebar offers publication information (publication status, scheduling, number of revisions, and publicize ), formatting options for the whole post, categories and tags to classify the posts, and if the template offers it, featured image (which will display on the homepage and blogroll). Once one recognizes the icons, it is simple to use.
WordPress offers over 300 themes with multiple templates allowing for multiple uses. Some are geared towards writing; others photos. Plus it offers anything in between. It is simple to choose and switch between themes and most allow for some changes, usually different background colors and number of columns. Also, it allows for widgets to be installed, such as the ones I have for best posts, Twitter, and archive. Custom headers can also be added in most themes and some themes offer the ability to create a footer with widgets. Lastly, from the list of posts one can quick edit. Quick editing allows one to schedule a post; add tags and categories; make the post “sticky” (featured); and password protect a post, should that ever be needed. Plus WordPress.com gathers its own statistics (ex. site hits, posts viewed, and a half-dozen more).
Other benefits include six layers of headings, ability to create and insert tables, a special quotes feature that highlights the included text (ways vary based on theme). WordPress also offers a “request Feedback” options below a post in edit mode that allows a user to have someone from WordPress’s parent company, Automatic, read the post and make suggestions (I have never tried this option).
- Font colors can be changed, links and other media can be added (on WordPress the ability to embed videos costs extra), and the text can be spell checked (WordPress offers fancier options including redundancy and clichés as bonus options via the settings menu).
- On the viewing and “staff” side of the platform, you can click on tags and see other relevant posts.
- There is an option to preview a post before it is published.
- Posts can be scheduled to be automatically released.
- You can type in rich format text (like with Word) or using HTML.
- Allow for a “primary” blogger and multiple “secondary” bloggers per blog.
Overall, if your focus is text content in a blog or article format either Blogger or WordPress will do. If photos or mixed content is the aim, WordPress allows more flexibility. WordPress is also better for creating static webpages and websites. If you desire greater design control, WordPress prevails again. There are more theme options, custom headers, and, for a cost, the ability to make even for design changes (font styles and colors, custom color pallets [as opposed to only changing the background color], tweak the CSS, etc.). While not discussed here, if you would rather post photos/graphics or something slightly over Twitter-length, Tumblr will suit the situation well.
I know this is basic, but perhaps it will help someone understand the difference between Blogger and WordPress from the writer/developers standpoint. Do you have any other glaring differences or forgotten comparisons to add? Or do you wish to add more about how Blogger design themes work now? Please comment if so. Also, feel free to ask questions and I will try to answer them.
Notes: The logos are copyrighted by their respective organization. I opted not to combine my blog and portfolio because I wanted one to focus on job hunting and the other for dispensing information. If you would like to see the portfolio, I only linked to it via by “About” page. In contrast, on my portfolio I have a tab labeled “Blog” that links to this since it holds more relevance than vice versa.