Welcome, welcome! Today is the 3rd installment of the Learning to Blog series here at the Grant life. [First part was where to start and second was naming your blog.] I was going to go straight to how to register a domain but I realized that I needed to take it down a notch and talk about picking a platform first. I’m just going to cover the two most common ones (and the ones I have the most experience with) blogger vs. WordPress.
A blogging platform is the actually place where you write and share your content. It all may look intimidating at first but once you start using your blog regularly everything becomes routine. But which platform do you pick? Today I’m sharing the pro’s and con’s of using a Blogger.com blog and both versions of WordPress.
Option number one – start a free blog on Blogger.com
- Its free! You literally sign up and start writing. They even walk you through the design process with free basic templates.
- Its user friendly. Very user friendly. The dashboard is easy to navigate and contains everything you need to write a post. Also, the design side is easy to customize with a few simple tutorials.
- Its common. The majority of bloggers that I know start on a blogger blog and some very successful bloggers still use and love blogger!
- You can monetize it. You can put Google Adsense or outside advertisers on your blog to help generate an income.
- Its owned by Google. Which means Google owns all your content on your blog. Yes, you wrote and published it, but since you are using a free service provided by Google, they technically own your content. And can shut your site down at any time. I have had this happen to friends and its scary. One friend almost lost 3 years of content because Google wrongly shut her down. Not trying to scare anyone, just letting you know all the facts first.
- Not as SEO friendly. SEO means search engine optimization or how people find your site through search engines. (Ie google or yahoo) SEO has to be hard coded into your website which should be done by a professional.
- Switching later is tough. If you ever want to switch off a blogger you either need to read up on it or hire someone to do it. It can be costly and you may lose content.
Option number two – start a free WordPress.com blog
- Its free! Again, you sign up and are walked through a simple design process before you start blogging. Takes a few minutes max.
- It has plugins. Plugins are essentially apps for your blog that do different things. They are only on WordPress blogs and do a wide variety of things to help your blog. (More on plugins later)
- SEO friendly. Unlike a blogger blog you can download plugins that help with SEO (search engine optimization.)
- You can not monetize your blog. WordPress.com blogs are not allowed to have any sort of advertisements on their site. Its against the Terms of Service when you sign up.
- The plugins are limited. You don’t get the best plugins, although you do get a wide variety.
- Less user friendly
Option number three – start a WordPress.org blog
- Fully customizable – Most professional websites and blogs are built on wordpress.org sites. You can totally customize your site using this platform.
- Unlimited plugins. A WordPress.org blog comes with all the bells and whistles for optimizing your site. There are unlimited plugins available to use.
- SEO Optimized – There are a bunch of different plugins that are based only on SEO (search engine optimization).
- You own your content. No one can take your content from you. Its yours and you don’t have to worry about your site being shut down for good.
- Its not free! If you start a WordPress.org blog then you have to buy your own domain and hosting for your site. Granted its not a lot, but its money you have to spend out of pocket when the other two options are free.
- Less user friendly then a blogspot blog.
Most professional blogs are WordPress.org blogs, that’s just a fact. They offer the most options and control over your content. I started on a blogger blog and transferred to a WordPress.org site after a year. There was a slight learning curve but I am fortunate to have great friends that are willing to help.
–> Tip: Pick whatever platform you feel comfortable using. Just do your research on each one first. You can move from one platform to another but it may be a hassle (and potentially expensive) to change. <–
Hope that helps you make a decision on which platform to use for your blog! If you have any more questions or want to join others in your blogging journey, head over to our Facebook page.
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