Sunday, April 26, 2009

Should you use Blogger or WordPress as your free host?

I use both Blogger and WordPress for my blogs. Here’s some of what I’ve learned so you can make your own choice:

How and when did Blogger and WordPress start?
Blogger was launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs offering free blog-hosting services and was purchased by Google in 2003. You need to have a Google email address (which is free) in order to start using Blogger. Although its website is, the blogs it hosts are all sub-domains of In 2007 Blogger was ranked 16 on the list of top 50 domains in terms of number of unique visitors.

WordPress was started in 2003 and claims it has become the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world with hundreds of thousands of sites as a blog-publishing platform ( In 2005 they began offering a free blog hosting service ( with a version of the original WordPress software As a newbie blogger, it took more time than is reasonable to learn that is the software which you can purchase, and is their host platform which is free (and uses free WordPress software).

So how do you get started with your own blog?
Getting started is easy. The tough part involves choosing a domain name that will be used as your blog’s address. For Blogger blogs, you will use “” at the end of your domain name. For WordPress blogs, you will have domains ending with “” You will choose your own domain name which appears before the suffix. I’ll share more info about selecting domain names in a separate future post.

How easy is it to use Blogger or WordPress?
Both free hosting platforms offer a choice of templates – the theme or look of your blog - that you can choose with just a click of a button. Blogger, at present has 31 ready-made themes and WordPress has 66 templates.
Blogger is very easy to use, perhaps due to the fact that it doesn’t have as many options for advanced information management. WordPress is simple, too, but may require more investigation on your part because of its many options.

What about creating and editing my blog?
Both hosts offer WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing, and both also include the ability to upload or link to images for inclusion in your posts.
Both services feature commenting (comments from readers of your blog) as well as support for comment moderation. You can decide whether or not to publish any specific comment on your blog.

Where are blogs published?
Blogger and WordPress save the content of your blog on their servers. Both hosts also allow you the option of publishing the pages to your own server (paid hosting service) so you can fully host the blog with your own domain name, eliminating the need to use a or address.

How about managing multiple blogs?
Blogger allows you to manage multiple blogs from a single dashboard making it easier to post and track the content of your blog. has added the ability to manage multiple blogs from a single account.
Note to Newbies: When I first saw the word, ‘dashboard,’ I thought of an automobile dashboard. A blog dashboard is very similar. It’s like a menu that organizes and displays information in a way that is easy to read.

What about adding widgets? is the most restrictive as it does not allow most external widgets to be embedded in your posts without special codes. Many widgets must be approved by prior to working. You can search for widgets on to get more information on what works and what doesn’t.
Blogger is more liberal than as far as allowing widgets. You can add widgets to your template for display on all pages. You can also add most standard embed codes to your posts. Blogger’s page element features also allow you to add images and slideshows to your blog layout.
Note to Newbies: A widget, also called gadget, is a chunk of code that can be installed on your blog. They often take the form of on-screen tools like clocks, calendars, weather info, calorie counters, etc.

What about monetizing my blog with Advertising?
At present, does not allow third-party ad serving services like AdSense to be present on their blogs. This, of course, could change in the future.
Since Blogger is owned by Google, they completely support AdSense advertising on blogs and even include an easy page element to assist you when adding and editing AdSense ads.

Both of these free hosting services are viable options if you want to start blogging. But if you want to start making money from your blog, it has to be monetized with AdSense and other advertisers. Blogger, therefore, is the logical choice. (to be continued)
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1 comment:

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