If you’ve decided you want to start a blog, you have likely also realized that the variety of blog platforms out there are endless. The two biggest and most popular options are WordPress and Blogger. Since these are what most look at, I am going to break down the pros and cons of each for you to choose the right blog platform for your needs.
How To Find The Right Blog Platform
The first thing you must figure out is if you are going to seriously use this as a business or a hobby. If you have no plans of monetizing your blog at any point in the future and just want to use it as an online journal tool, then a free program like Blogger is often sufficient. However, if you are planning to use your blog as a money maker or a serious career, then you want to make the investment into a self-hosted site that sit using WordPress.
Using a free blogging platform: There are two popular options. Blogger which is owned by Google, or WordPress.com. Using a free blogging platform means you can literally begin blogging today with absolutely no up-front cost involved. It also means you do not own your content. This is a huge issue for most who use blogging as a business or money-maker.
Benefits of Blogger:
- Free to use
- Easy to understand and use the dashboard.
- Allows monetization with ads and affiliate links.
- Integrated with many Google-owned programs and social media
- Many free themes and backgrounds available for customization
- Ability to customize your own purchased domain name instead of using the standard .blogspot assigned by them
Cons of Blogger:
- Blogger through Google has poor customer service if you have a problem. There is little phone support or email support, and help threads are monitored by non-staff so rarely are problems solved by their support.
- Blogger owns your content (blog posts and images) when you allow them to host it through their platform. This gives them rights to delete your blog with no warning. Many individuals have lost everything they have saved or written in Blogger and even after multiple attempts never recovered their content.
- Blogger is widely seen by businesses, PR firms, and affiliate companies as inferior and not serious for business, thus, it is less likely to be taken seriously as a blogger. This means fewer opportunities and less money.
Benefits of WordPress.com:
- Free to use
- Easy to use dashboard
- Ability to add popular plugins from WordPress to customize sit
- Large availability of free themes
- Easy to customize images, avatars, and headers
Cons of WordPress.com:
- Limited customizing available for multiple pages or features
- You are not allowed to use your own ad networks or affiliates anywhere on the site – so no way to make money or take on reviews or sponsored posts.
Using a self-hosted blogging platform: Paying for your own host seems like an investment that may not pay off, but you can often find hosting programs and domains that cost you less than $30 per year as you begin. Once you start seeing page views, you will find profit available that can more than pay for the cost of hosting.
Pros of being self-hosted:
- You own your content.
- Freedom to customize your site in whatever way you wish.
- Multiple theme options both free and paid
- Plugins to help your blog experience run better – both free and paid
- Ability to monetize your blog in any way you wish
- Can be used for any type of website, blog, or sales site.
Cons of being self-hosted:
- Cost if you are not making money with your blog
Obviously, self-hosting your blog really is the ultimate best choice of blog platform. If you are serious about blogging as a career choice or side-income, then this is the best choice to make to secure your site and content.