Blog Baby Blog Week 6: Blogger vs Wordpress

I'm back for Blog Baby Blog this week with a Blogger vs. Wordpress showdown.  Want to catch up on the other posts from this summer?  Here you go:

Maria from Kinder Craze and Emily from Education to the Core were nice enough to help me out.  Not only are they amazing bloggers, but they are kind of Wordpress bosses.  These ladies know what they’re doing.

I thought it would be funny to photoshop pictures of us looking tough and facing off on a field, but it's not actually at all accurate and would have been time consuming and maybe a little creepy.

So, you get nice smiley pictures of them instead.
I've been on Blogger for three years now, and I'm very happy where I am.  Maria and Emily made the switch to Wordpress some time ago and love it.  The two platforms are very different though, so it's good to know about both.  It's not like Walgreens and CVS, identical concept but different logos.  There are pros and cons to both, and you have to think about what's going to be best for you as a blogger.

Here's a very basic break down:

Blogger Pros:

•If you’re just getting started, Blogger is easier to learn.  You go to, click on new blog, put in your blog name and address, and you’re ready to post.  There is also a log of support and tutorials within the teacher blogging community to help you get started.

•Blogger is free.  You may choose to pay for a design or .com yourself, but actually blogging on blogger is free.

•You don’t have to do anything to your blog.  Since it’s hosted on Google, they’re doing all the work for you.  Those widgets on your sidebar? They update themselves.  You never have to update your Blogger software.  Everything is stored for you.  Getting a lot of traffic or writing a ton of posts? No need to worry about storage, bandwidth, etc.  Google’s got you covered.

•If you do want to purchase a blog design, they are many options out there in a wide variety of price ranges.  The WP designers aren’t trying to rip you off.  It’s just a lot more expensive to design for Wordpress sites.

Blogger Cons:

•There’s a whole wide world of widgets and plugins out there.  The Wordpress world is a lot bigger giving you a lot more options.

•Blogger’s layout is pretty limited.  You can make customizations to it, but it takes a lot of HTML knowledge to override that.  Also, since it is an override, it can make your website kind of clunky-slow to load and many overrides don’t work on mobile view.

•Google owns Blogger.  They own the servers.  They’ve got your stuff.  They can shut you down.  (Before you go in panic mode, the same is true for Instagram and Facebook, but you’re not going to run screaming from them.)  With Wordpress, you’re paying for the hosting, so it’s all managed by you.

Wordpress Pros:

•That wide world of plugins? If you are looking for a more business driven site, this can be very useful.  You have a lot more options for functionality and layout than with Blogger.  (Be careful though-sometimes I visit a blog and can’t figure out where the heck the blog posts are.  You can do a lot with Wordpress, but don’t try to do it all or the site can be overwhelming.)

•SEO say what? Search Engine Optimization (helping people find your content) can be optimized in Wordpress if you are willing to put the time into it.  You would think that a Google owned site would be best for helping people find you, but you can do more to make your content searchable with Wordpress.

•Wordpress is a more professional platform. You can do more with it and customize it to fit your needs.  It much more easily lends itself to a website looks and layout.

Wordpress Cons:

•Wordpress is more expensive.  And I don’t just mean the designs.  You’re going to need to pay yearly hosting fees which add up quickly, you’ll need to purchase a framework, and a theme.  The plugins? Many are free, many aren’t.  I just set up a practice site for designing Wordpress, and all I can say is ouch.

•You have more maintenance.  You have to make sure your software and plugins are up to date to work properly and keep your site from being vulnerable.

•Making the switch is not cheap.  If you have been on Blogger for a while, migrating your content over can be expensive.  I know there are plugins that will do that for you, but a plugin like that is a bandaid.  If the plugin goes down or Wordpress stops supporting it, where is your content?

So how do you know which one is best for you?  This part is my personal opinion based on my blogging experience and experience designing blogs for others.

Are you a . . . .

New Blogger?

Completely just my opinion, but--Don't do it.  You will hear people say, "I wish I had just started in Wordpress."  Keep in mind those people are B4Ls (Bloggers for Life).  Blogging is in their blood, they live for it, they love it, they are killing it.

I work with a lot of new bloggers.  Often, I install designs for people that try it for a few months and quit or even never end up writing a single post.  And you know what?  That's perfectly okay.  How do you know if you like something without trying it first?  Because of the up front expenses as well as yearly expenses associated with starting on Wordpress, it's not something I would recommend.  (Yearly self hosting fees, framework, theme, additional design costs, it adds up quickly.)

Established Blogger?

What kind of established blogger are you? Do you post routinely or is it hit or miss whenever you can squeeze it in during the school year?  If you blog routinely and you are ready to take your blog to the next level and really maximize it (i.e.: put time and effort into learning the extra work necessary to do that), then it is time for you to really think about making the transition.  Since there is greater cost and learning involved, it needs to have recognizable added value other than it sounds cool.

Professional Blogger

You've grown your blog, social media outlets, and you are ready for more.  Sounds like a Wordpress switch would make sense for you.

**Side note on sounding cool
Someone did actually say that to me recently, and she meant it in the best possible way.  She is an awesome blogger and definitely has the knowledge, skill, and drive to take her blog to the next level, so all the good things she heard about Wordpress did sound cool to her.  As in, it is really cool that I can get all of these additional features to maximize my blog.  Don't do it if you're talking about it sounding cool in the way Girbaud jeans were to me in junior high.

Feeling nostalgic?  You can go buy some Girbaud jeans on Etsy:

So, why am I still on Blogger?  I'm lazy.  That's it.  I love blogging.  Love love love it, but there are times that this little blog gets neglected.  I know with teaching, TPT, blog designing, and my family, I'm pretty much lucky to get anything on here.  I really can't do more during the school year other than hope to post once a week.  Plus, I have Etsy listings for Girbaud jeans in my post for crying out loud.  How serious am I about blogging?  Could that change in the future?  Absolutely.  But for now, I'm good.

Having said that . . . .

I'll be making the switch to Wordpress for A Bird in Hand Designs.  It does make sense there.  I'm going to start offering Wordpress designs in the next few months.  For me to do that authentically, I need to know what the heck I'm doing not just design wise but with the actual experience.  It also offers bloggers a chance to "see" me in Wordpress action there and in Blogger action over here, as well as giving me some other features and configurations that are not possible in Blogger.

What do you think? Are you Blogger for life or seeing the Wordpress light?