Whether you are blogging for hobbies or for the purpose of growing your business, you are going to need a publishing platform. Chances are, you’ve probably heard of Blogger, one of the pioneer platforms in the blogging world. But, is Google Blogger any good for you? Will it meet your expectations in growing an online audience? Let’s find out more inside this review.
What Is Blogger?
Launched way back in 1999, Blogger was originally owned by Pyra Labs before it was acquired by Google in the year 2003. Following the change of proprietorship, all web files are now stored on Google servers, which provides better security and reliability.
It is also sometimes known as Blogspot, which is actually the subdomain extension of a site created using this platform.
How Does It Work?
Getting started is fairly easy. All you need is to sign up for a Google account and under the product selection, simply look for the Blogger icon.
Once you are in, you would create a name for your blog. This name will eventually become your domain, followed by the Blogspot extension. For example, it would read as – myfirstblog.blogspot.com
If you are used to writing with Word Processors, you’ll find a lot of similarities on Blogger as well. The user interface is easy to navigate and edit in terms of theme designs and blog publishing. In order to add more features, Blogger offers a variety of basic ‘gadgets’ that can be easily activated on your blog.
What Do I Like About Blogger?
If you are new to blogging, you are likely to favor this platform for the following advantages;
- It’s free and accessible by anyone. There is no domain, hosting or publishing fees involved.
- It’s easy to set up once you are connected to your Google account.
- You don’t need to have any technical or web skills; if you know how to use a Word Processor, you’ll know how to use Blogger without any problem.
- Unlike other ‘free’ blogging platforms, Blogger allows monetization in terms of advertising (Google Adsense) as well as affiliate links.
It sounds like a pretty user-friendly place, right? Well, that was what I thought too until I encounter some unforeseen limitations.
What I Don’t Like
Most of you don’t know this, but my first blog was actually published on Blogger. When I reached my 10th article or so, I began to notice the shortfall of this platform.
- First of all, my blog looked dull. The layout and the designs are pretty old fashioned and they don’t suit my theme (so did all the other templates). Besides modifying the background and colors, the theme selections are very limited.
- To add to the frustration, I couldn’t customize my blog to the way I want it unless I do some coding work. This process can be a very steep learning curve for beginners.
- The so-called free service actually comes with a limit – you are only allowed up to 1 GB storage. That’s fine if you are just posting text-based articles, but if you include multimedia (images, videos and etc.), that storage space will not be sufficient. For long term blogging, this limitation will become a major problem.
- Implementing SEO is inevitable if you want more people to read your blog. Although Blogger does provide this feature better than most free platforms, it still lacks in certain aspects. For example, you can’t create a meta title and a meta description for a specific post. It is only applicable to the home page. So imagine publishing 100 posts and not getting them indexed effectively in the search engines, how will your audience ever discover your blog?
- What’s even riskier is when I realized that I have very little control over the platform. Blogger can shut down my blog at any time, there’s no reliable technical support to get help from and it’s actually more difficult to create your own identity/branding without a custom domain.
These limitations prompted me to search for a better blogging platform and that’s how I ended up using WordPress instead.
WordPress – The Blogging Platform That Performs
WordPress is the latest blogging platform and since its release in 2003, 76.5 million blogs have been created with 50,000 new sites being added daily. That’s how popular it has become over the years. When I used it for the first time, I knew immediately that I can do much more with this publisher than anywhere else.
And I highly recommend that you used WordPress for your blog too because;
- With so many different themes, plugins and widgets, you can easily customize your blog to make it look more modern and professional. For advanced users, you can also use the FTP access to modify certain features. Due to this, you would hardly find two WordPress blogs that look alike.
- Many web professionals contribute to the development of this platform so you can be reassured that it is constantly up-to-date with the search engine’s requirement.
- Optimizing your blog is a breeze because there are specific plugins for SEO that will cross-check every post and page that you publish and not just the home page.
- WordPress is capable of handling huge web files so if you used a good hosting service like SiteRubix, the allocated storage space can be as big as 30 GB.
- Since it is such a versatile platform, there are plenty of resources – user forums, professional bloggers, hosting companies, etc. – that can provide you with reliable technical support.
However, there are two types of WordPress that you need to be aware of. The free WordPress.com that comes with certain limitations and the self-hosted WordPress.org – my recommendation – that offers all the advantages listed above.
So, Is Google Blogger Worthy of Your Time?
To be frank, I haven’t seen many Blogger sites rank on the first page of the search results for some time. I believe that they either lack the capabilities to do so OR more users are simply moving over to a better blogging platform like WordPress.
This graph pretty much sums up the trend for Blogger (Blogspot) in comparison to WordPress.
If you want to achieve more with blogging like growing an audience or even starting an online business, WordPress is clearly the winner here. You will not be disappointed with what it can deliver.
I hope this review has helped you understand whether Google Blogger is any good or not. If you have any thoughts or questions about this topic, please leave them in the comment below OR check out my recommended hosting solution here to create your first WordPress blog for free.
Riaz Shah says
I’ve used a lot of Google’s stuff – Google places, analytics, drive, even the games but this is the first time I’ve heard of Google’s blogging system could you believe that lol. I’m quite confused though, is Blogger and Blogspot the same?
Either way, I quite agree with you on WordPress being the best platform for modern-day blogging. Very professional and believe it or not, most of my clients’ sites I created are actually WordPress sites and they are very satisfied too.
Great to have you back, Riaz. Let me clarify this for you. Blogger is the name of the platform and Blogspot is the subdomain that you get when you create a blog on Blogger. When working with clients, you definitely want to use something like WordPress because they are easier to customize according to the needs of the organizations.
This is perfect timing. I am looking for a comparison between Blogspot and WordPress. WordPress is a free service that I have been using for over three months now.
I will stick with WordPress due to all the valuable plugins that you can add and like you said, the wide audience attraction that the platform attracts.
Not only that, WordPress makes content organization easier than most free platforms. It’s easy to navigate and to edit your files, you don’t have to deal with all those slippery drag-and-drop interface and they simply look more stunning.
I have seen many people using the Google Blogger. Thought would give it a try as well, but since you have just said here that I won’t have too many options to customize my site , I’m reconsidering my decision on actually using the platform since the space it offers is pretty less as compared to WordPress. Not sure if that’s going to be worth my time.
Great info. I have heard of Blogger and BlogSpot before but was not familiar with it. I guess it would be best for people who are just looking to blog for fun, but for those that are seeking a long term quality website it is best to build with WordPress. Thank you for the review!
Jaco Duvenhage says
Thanks for the great article. I myself is a huge WordPress fan. I agree with you that Blogger and other free website platforms are limited and risky. If they suddenly close down, then you loose all your hard work. I don’t like the fact that the ranking of these free website platforms are so poor. Not a good thing in my eyes. I hope people take your article to heart. This can safe them a lot of time and wasted effort.
The other thing about free blog sites is that they are not capable of housing a lot of content. With minimal web content, you have very little chances to rank on the search engines and even slimmer chances to compete with others in the same niche, if you are using your blog to run a business.