Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Blogger vs WordPress - a comparison of great products

This blog is written on Blogger - I am a big Google fan and I love a lot of their products. Blogger dovetails nicely with the other Google Apps I use and so it's a handy piece of kit. The interface hasn't really changed much in quite a while - it's simple yet user friendly. If you're looking for a blogging tool, it's really quite good.

I started to play with WordPress a short while ago for a client. They are using it to power their website and the more I've played with it the more I like it. There's a great interface - and I really like the new posting experience on it. Here is a comparison of the three different ways you can create a post with Blogger, old WordPress and new WordPress:

How meta! A blog post in a blog post - this is the Blogger interface
The old interface for WordPress - it has some nice features indeed.
The new posting experience in WordPress. Takes a bit to get used to.
I like the stark simplicity of Blogger - I've created about 165 posts (some of which never made the light of day) here at www.ryv.id.au. On the WordPress sites I manage - and there are a few - I've created about the same number of posts. For quick updates and slamming on a short bit of information, the new WordPress is really great.... actually they're all pretty good for that. Where WordPress shines is the management of images and files. It does a great job importing the files and then laying them out. Check out on the Dejero website some of the picture groups - http://dejero.wordpress.com . Periodically I think I'll migrate this site to WordPress but Blogger has been a solid platform for a long time.

All are free and both Blogger and WordPress are backed by great companies. You can set your own custom URL for them - see www.awpd.org or www.northshockey.org - these are WordPress sites hosted by WordPress. It's easy to set up, apply the domain and off you go. And it's easy in Blogger too!

In a world of content I think that you have to be comfortable with how you are delivering it. These three options (WordPress does count as 2) are top of the line for this sort of thing. Taking nothing away from Joomla or Drupal - they are much more complex and fancy content management systems - and are out of the scope for simple blog posting. It's not as hard as it used to be to get information out there - no more html coding for me!

OK so the major things that I find differentiate between the two products:

  • tags and categories are way better than labels - you can do so much more with them
  • WordPress handles image presentation on screen better
  • Blogger has been better when copy/pasting Word documents (which doesn't happen on this site, but does on others)
  • Blogger's minimalist interface gets out of the way of the posting - I find Wordpress to be a bit too fancy at times and it can be distracting
  • I'm actually running the middle WordPress on a tiny VM at home - can't do that with Blogger!
Back end stuff is a lot different. WordPress has a multitude of plugins - Blogger none. Blogger's stats are much better than WordPress's (much better). Ad integration is better on Blogger too (not that I really use Ads a lot but occasionally it's very nice when people click on stuff). 

From my comparison of the two I've just been delighted to have the opportunity to use them both in a meaningful way. Pick one, play with it - if you want to move then jump or simply create a couple of sites and mess with it. Both are free and both are great in their own way.

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