WordPress Vs. Blogger

24Oct07

Last Updated : May 07, 2008

Like most of the young bloggers, I started off with Blogger(Blogspot). And then like a teenager, where you want to experiment, I loaded my sidebar with all the Javascript I could. The site became slow, neverthless I was happy. If there was some thing that amused me the most, It was certainly the captcha word verification in the commenting system of blogger. And not to say the times it behaved weird. Adding stuff to the sidebar was becoming increasingly difficult, cos the only way to do it was to edit the html. Just when I was contemplating about a move to another blogging platform, Blogger anounced its beta version. Life looked great again. With the new widget system of the template, adding stuff was as easy as it could get. It was integrated with my google account, so I didnt have to remember another password. There were some new templates and it was altogether a new start. What remain unchanged is the commenting system and the platform that still behaves weirdly at times. While I knew the existance of wordpress, I never got a chance to look at it closely as almost all my blogpals were in blogspot. And then one dull evening when I had nothing to do, I thought why not change the blog platform. And the import feature in the WordPress which promised to import all my Blogger posts and comments only motivated me more. And there you go I made a shift and I never regretted.

This is a post I’ve been planning to do since a long time. The comparision between two most popular and widely used blogging platforms : Blogger and WordPress.

Look and Feel:

Though WordPress offer some clean and fresh templates, Blogger offers more flexibility with templates. If you have a designer eye and would like to play around with your CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Blogger is the best. While WordPress does offer custom CSS, its a paid upgrade. And as WordPress doesn’t allow Javascript in the sidebar or anywhere, most of the funky and cool stuff that you might want to add to your blog remains a wish. You can probably play around and make your blog look the way you want in Blogger, Blogger wins this battle.

The Admin area of the wordpress has improved significantley with the new WordPress 2.5 and wordpress is adding more and more community driven blogging features like possibly related posts.

Commenting/Anti-spam system:

WordPress wins hands down. WordPress has this simple commenting feature, which is easy to use with not many fields to fill ie only ur name, email and website (other than the comment ofcourse). And moreover it remembers this information on a particular system. So surprise yourself when you open the same blog next time from your personal computer, that info is already there. Though Blogger has got three ways of commenting (as registered user, other and anonymous) I do not see much use of them, esp. the ‘other’ and ‘anonymous’ options are redundant.

WordPress has this wonderful Anti-spam system called Akismet. It really works like magic. From what I know it checks for spam if a comment has more than two links. This sounds logical because mostly the spam comments tend to have lots of links. And by chance if some spam makes to ur comment section, just mark it as spam and Akismet learns, Vow! Blogger really sucks at this, it has the age-old captcha word verification system which forces the user to do his part to avoid spamming. i just wish google guys would soon replace it with a more easy to use system.

Tags/Categories:

While WordPress had the tag feature where you can assemble your posts into certain tags, Blogger had none. In those days this was considered a major USP of WordPress. With Blogger beta, it has introduced labels which work similar to tags. So this made WordPress and Blogger equal. But wait, WordPress has recently identified the difference between Categories and tags and has separated the both. While categories are like a table of contents into which you arrange the posts of your blog, tags are more ephemeral, like the key words in a post.

As a CMS (Content Management System):

Editor: I somehow love the post editor in WordPress. I feel it has more useful functionality. For example I always want any external links in my blog to open in a new window. In Blogger I had to edit the html to make this happen. WordPress gives me a small pop-up box where I could choose where I want the link to open. With the new toggle screen option intoduced in WordPress 2.5, you can concentrate just on your post while blocking out everything else.

Timestamp: I’ve also dreamt of being able to schedule the delivery of my posts to a future time. While this feature is readily and visibly available in WordPress, I’m almost sure its not available in Blogger(Plz, lemme know if I’m wrong)

update: Cuckoo just informed me that this timestamp feature of scheduling posts in future is available in blogger too.

SEO:

Blogger being owned by google, one naturally expects Blogger to be better indexed by the google search. But somehow WP has a higher hand in this too. When I had the same post on both Blogger and WordPress, WP post ranked higher for the same search term than the Blogger post. I guess the credit goes to the great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by the WP team.

Advertisements:

There is no way you can put ads on your free WordPress.com blog. Blogger supports this through Google Adsense. So if you are very particular about earning revenue through your blog, you must go to Blogger.

Additional Features:

Tracking Replies: The one additional feature that I love at WordPress and which is still unavailable at Blogger is tracking the replies to my comments on other blogs. WordPress allows me to track the replies to my comments on other wordpress blogs, if I was logged in when commenting. This makes life much more easier. And really makes the comment a conversation.

update: Blogger introduced this feature too, infact with all the blogger accounts associated to Gmail accounts, it also give you the option to email you the follow up comments.

Post Password: though I haven’t used it anytime, for people who want to protect the reading previliges of their posts, they could password protect individual posts.

Recent Comments/Tag cloud: Though you could add them to your Blogger blog via a third party, WordPress have them inherently and they are beautiful.

Blog stats: While the disadvantage of WordPress is that it wont allow a third party stat tool like Google Analytics integrate with itself, it has its own little Stat maintenance page which shows you which posts on your blog where the most popular ones, via which links did visitors visit your blog and the search terms which showed up your blog (this one’s really fun). Yeah for people who want a more detailed analysis, WordPress might suck, but for people like me who seldom open a third part tool to check the stats, this one seems to be more advantageous.

Import/Export: If I couldn’t import my Blogger posts and comments here, I wouldn’t be here. The import function really tempts you to move to WordPress and the export function comes in handy if in future you decide to move the blog to your own domain and host.

As you might see I’m mostly biased to WordPress. All you Blogger fans, let me know if there are any mistakes in the post or if there’ve been any improvements in the Blogger.

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27 Responses to “WordPress Vs. Blogger”

  1. That’s a wonderful post Maverick. Very well thought out and researched. Even I started off with Blogger; stuck to it for about 10 days and then I heard of WP and shifted here πŸ™‚

    Blogger still doesn’t allow another blog to be imported on it (like WP allows). There are so many things at WP that are much better. Anyone without any knowledge of HTML can have a nice blog and with the domain mapping feature, it’s like having your own website. I just wish that WP would make domain mapping free, like Blogger. Probably we’ll get there if WP were to grow.

    Btw, have you noticed that the “Tag Surfer”, “My comments”, “Blog Surfer” have been quite slow at WP lately? Or is it just me?

  2. Must say that this is a great post. I have been hearing a lot of debate on the subject, and it is wonderful to have a first-hand detail.
    You have used a couple of acronyms, CSS and CMS in the post. I am not aware what do they stand for, could you please elaborate [apologies, if I sound too naive]

    – You say that it is easier to customize the look and feel in blogger. My impression was just the opposite, but perhaps it was in pre-beta-blogger days [btw, it is no longer beta :-)]
    – comment/spam: For one, I think that there is a use of “other” and “anon” categories in blogger comments, specially if a person does not have a blog, or wants to remain anon (for whatever reasons) But the advantage offered by blogger in this respect is that you do not have to type in your name etc if you are logged in. But word verification is a pain. Secondly, the algo to detect a spam (more than two links) in WP sounds somewhat primitive – spam may have one or zero links.
    – tracking replies: I agree, blogger sucks here. you mention that you can track replies to your comments on other blogs. Does that apply to wordpress blogs only, or to blogger blogs as well? Eg, if you leave a comment at my blog, how would you know if I replied (unless you subscribe to comment feed, which would be a pain if too many people leave comments on that post) The other question, can it ensure that people who leave comments at your blogs know when you have replier to it?
    – blog stats: Blogger doesnt have this feature built-in, but I can integrate other tracking s/w, like sitemeter very easily. And it allows me to see the referring sites etc. So the search terms that lead to my blog may not be directly visible, but the link from the search page can reveal that. But agree, that a direct “revelation” would be a lot of fun!

    Another question I wanted to ask was whether WP allows users to upload files. Blogger doesn’t, and some people I know find that really frustrating.

    WP appears to offer quite a few advantages over blogger, but for time being I am staying put, so will keep you posted on any exciting features πŸ™‚

  3. 3 Ok

    That was thorough! You are definitely Ph.D. material. I think you should reconsider;)

  4. I left a comment here yesterday … in fact ended up leaving two copies of it .. but dont see it here. Any ideas?

  5. Perhaps it was identified as spam (since it was quite a big one)? πŸ˜‰

  6. @ruhi: 10 days? boy tht was quick. Yeah, tht would be cool if WP made domain mapping free, but i dont know if they have any such plans. I dont use the tag surfer and blog surfer features much. So I really donno abt them, but the My Comments feature seems to be working normal for me.

    @sigma: may be i shd have elobarated, i’ll edit the post. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet, it basically defines the look and feel of your blog. Besides the normal html, having a CSS is gaining popularity these days because of its flexibility. By making use of CSS , if you want to change say a particular look of your blog, u could just make the change to CSS and it will apply to all pages, u do not need to edit the html of individual pages.

    CMS stands for Content Management System, like the name is self explanatory, it allows you to manage the content of ur blog/site via a user friendly front end. Other CMS’s are Joomla, Drupal, etc.

    I see what you are saying about other and anon options but what I meant was if you want to remain anonymous, u could type in some anonymous name in the Name field and some xyz.com in the website field of the ‘other’ option. This is my personal preference though.

    The mechanism i said of ‘Akismet’ is a basic rule i guess. Im not sure if that’s the only way it catches spam. But yes, its algo must be much more complicated bcos its been working great.

    I said

    WordPress allows me to track the replies to my comments on other wordpress blogs, if I was logged in when commenting.

    hope that explains it all.

    yeah I agree, lot of people go gaga over sitemeter, I haven’t checked it though. If you are already hooked to it, it’ll be a pain tht u cannot integrate it with WP.

    Yeah, WP allows its users to upload files. For now it allows .doc,.jpeg and some other type of files for free and much more if you buy a space upgrade.

    Enjoy ur stay and lemme know the new features and yes, its ironic tht on the post i say how efficient WP’s spamming system is, ur comment gets caught in the spam. oops, dont say it to anyone πŸ™‚

    @Ok: hmmm PhD on blogging? may be πŸ™‚

  7. LOL! Did it tell you why it thought my comment was a spam? πŸ˜‰
    I somehow missed the “wordpress” in “my comments on other wordpress blogs” earlier, so that says it all:-)

    Does it allow to upload other kind of document files, .xls, .ppt. And what about executables?

  8. 8 wavesnsands

    wow u seem to have done quite some research πŸ˜€
    as a new blogger i directly chose wordpress and i shamelessly admit that instead of doing any research myself, i asked a friend of mine what i should do ..and here was his post related to that.. http://www.aseemn.org/posts/free-blog-hosts-reviewed/ and i didnt feel the need to read anything else πŸ˜€
    BTW nice look priyatham

  9. Thanks a million for doing this post for me. πŸ˜€
    Not surprised, the way it has come out… great post !! You have really spent time for doing this one.

    I agree it was a pain before Beta version of blogger came up. Whatever you can see on my blog is of that era.. it took hell lot of time to implement/customize each one of feature/look & best part is I don’t know any HTML or CSS !! Learnt hard way.

    I was worried about the javascripts I have on my blogs. Let me see what all I’ll lose. A chatbox? Recent readers? What else?
    I can see you have atleast clustermap.. That’s a good sign. I am hooked to sitemeter. What to do now? Any alternative? πŸ˜€

    Timestamp: You are wrong. Blogger supports it. One can also post from mobile.

    I agree with Sigma on spam detection technique of WP and on remaining anon. I read ur reply to her. Well, I wouldn’t want to think of a fictitious name/domain everytime I want to be anon though it hasn’t happened even once till now but why should one be denied of that?

    Ok, some queries. I am sure you have the answers. πŸ˜€

    1. Are you using both category & Tag? I dont think so. Which one are you using?
    2. Does it support Hindi writing? If not, how do I go about it ?
    3. Does it support keeping a draft version and later modifying/publishing the post?
    4. How does one upload pictures? Can I link my pics of Webpicasa to be used in my posts?
    5. How much time does it take to import & make it look like presentable?
    I’ll come up with some more once you answer to these. Now you are my online help on WP.

    Once again thanks for doing the post.

  10. Just now I saw while commenting on a blog that blogger also supports tracking comments reply. Maybe they have just introduced one. I’ll check it up.

  11. @sigma: he he …. Currently in the free version it allows to upload the files of the type jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt. And if you buy a space upgrade it also allows u to upload the files of type mp3, avi, ogg, m4a, mp4, mpg, mov, wav, and wmv. So obviously i dont think u can upload .exe files.

    @wavesnsands: smart girl, u saved an awful lot of time. thx, i thought this template looked cleaner. btw i’ll keep experimenting with my look too, like u πŸ™‚

    @Cuckoo: Nope, u just have to loose ur chat box, u dont need to loose ur recent reader’s box as its pure html (if u can see, I’ve kept it in my sidebar too)

    hey cuckoo good news for you, a little search says that u could infact add sitemeter to ur WP blog. More info on that here

    Thx for informing me about the timestamp. i will edit the post correcting it.

    And now lemme see if i can answer ur queries:

    1.Yes I’m using both categories and tags. If u can see the section right below my posts it says Filed under:Category, tags: Tags. I haven’t included a tag cloud in my sidebar though to avoid confusion, I have just included a category cloud.

    2.Yes, it does support Hindi writing. You can see an example blog here

    3.Yes, it does. Infact this feature is quite basic and i think almost all platforms support this.

    4. There are two ways of posting pictures in WP.
    a)You could directly upload your pictures on WP as files and can publish them.
    b)You could publish the pictures that are elsewhere uploaded(like picasa, flickr, etc.) by embedding them as links.

    5. When I shifted, I had less than 100 posts and I dont think it took me more than half hour to import the posts and make it presentable.

    My pleasure, sure u can enquire more. And let me know if blogger has introduced the reply tracking feature. I will update my post.

  12. Yes, Blogger has introduced the reply tracking feature. And it is a very recent addition, two or three days at most.
    The downside is, it is similar to subscribing post comment feeds – you receive everything anyone said in the comments, but I think it is the same with WP. I wish they will introduce a kind of reply button, something like Orkut added sometime back. Do yo uthink I could sell this idea to Google? πŸ˜‰

  13. Ha Ha… Before I could come here & say, Sigma replied to that query. πŸ™‚ yes, they have introduced it just at the time when I was commenting on a blog that day. πŸ˜›

    Ok, now one more query. Were you using old blogger or new blogger at the time of shifting? It seems WP supports imports only from old bloggers. If this is true then I am sunk. 😦

  14. @sigma: yes, its the same with WP. The feature which u r saying ie a ‘Reply’ link is already available in blog platforms like Live Journal. So yeah i dont think these guys are not considering the idea. Hmm well you can still try…. only add something more to it πŸ™‚

    @Cuckoo: When i shifted from Blogger to WP, Blogger was out of its Beta version. So I guess there’s no more ‘old’ and ‘new’ blogger. So Im pretty sure it’ll work. Just try hitting import button once, if it works- fine, else u can stay with ur blogger πŸ™‚

  15. Ok. Will try it sometime. πŸ˜€

    One more advantage of WP over Blogger. It allows you to EDIT the comments. i.e. You can publish only a part of it unlike blogger where you have to either reject or publish it fully. I think this post has become like a forum. πŸ˜›

    WTF Maverick!!

  16. @Cuckoo: A forum! lol! with two interviewers (Cuckoo n me) and one interviewee πŸ™‚ Maverick, I hope its not yet giving you the feel of the panel interviews of job-hunting πŸ˜€

  17. hmmmmmm it does remember my name……
    but what i find a bit annoying is disclosing my email id on a lot of wordpress blogs…though that is optional isn’t it?
    guess for a layman who just writes and posts, anything works πŸ™‚
    cheers to blogging…whenever wherever!

  18. @Cuckoo: ha ha, I actually think that’s a disadvantage. see how i added nasty things to ur comment πŸ™‚

    @Sigma: Nope, not at all, infact u r welcome.

    @zee: actually we do have an option to keep the email ID field as ‘optional’ or ‘required’ . Mine’s optional as I want people to be able to comment anonymously on my blog. For a layman yes, but ….

  19. Hey
    Nice one.
    I have to make a move soon, waiting to get a big chunk of time.

  20. Hi…u have given some great details abt wordpress and blogger..
    personally I have used both blogger as well as wordpress free..to wordpress self hosted blog.
    The best thing abt wordpress is customization..
    U have loads and loads of themes..plugins available..
    since i am on my self hosted blog.. i realized the power of these plugins…even for seo u have a plugin where u can give specic tags for a specific post..
    and ur true by saying that WP posts are ranked higher then blogger..sometimes I also wonder why..
    great article..
    thanks
    ~Himanshu~

  21. @SK: welcome to the boat, and lemme say you dont need that big a chunk of time.

    @Himanshu: welcome to my blog. Yeah true, I haven’t used wordpress CMS though, for one of my projects I had used Joomla which was also very good, but ofcourse that wasn’t for blogging.

    @sigma: hmmm this tag. I had already checked this and replied to Cuckoo, only tht now i get to keep it in my blog :). will do it soon, thx for tagging πŸ™‚

  22. Hi Priyatham,
    I need little help from you. I am planning to shift to WordPress. And I would like to move my sitemeters & clustermaps alongwith the existing data to my new blogs. I think it is possible by looking at ur blog. Only prob with me is that I am NIL in html & css.

    I can see you have the clustermap with all the prev data copied onto here. How ? Can u pls guide me what code to copy in the side bar or which php file to be modified for this ? You have my mail-id. Similarly for Myblog, sitemeter etc…

    Even the RSS feeds for comments/posts aren’t working in my case.

    Thanx in advance. You may delete this comment.

  23. FYI,
    Blogger supports OpenID now.
    The main disadvantage of worpress is-“leaving a comment.” It expects us to type Name, email-id(Not sure why it is needed???),web-site; whereas blogger doesn’t demand for E-mail id.

  24. @Manasa: yeah I have seen that, though I have a problem with it. When i select wordpress.com from the drop down list, it expects me to enter an ID and suffixes that with wordpress.com, say if I entered xxx, it displays xxx.wordpress.com. But for users like me whose display name is different than the blog url, it doesnt work very well. I wasnt my display name to be Maverick, but my blog url is whathappenedwas. So I still dont use the Open ID feature, Im going instead with the conventional Name and Url mode.

    And there is an option to make the e-mail ID optional, but I have discovered that in the long run having email IDs is useful. For ex, this one blogger friend of mine made her blog private when I went into a long hiatus, so when i returned I didnt have access to her blog and no way of contacting her. So then I wished I had her email ID. Ofcourse if you do not want to disclose ur email ID u can always enter xyz@somemail.com , some users do that.


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