The better platform: Wordpress or Blogger?
April 25, 2012 2:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm considering setting up my company's website on a blogging platform. Since I'm a heavy user of Google services, I was considering using Blogger, especially since it is free. (I use it for my personal blog.) However, my partner said self-hosted Wordpress is more flexible and more professional. Is Wordpress truly better than Blogger? If so, what are the main selling points of using Wordpress over Blogger in 2012?
posted by Bushmiller to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've set up wordpress for someone and I've seen blogger sites but my specific experience with either doesn't go much further.

With blogger are you always going to be mycompany.blogger.com or whatever? Because that usually looks pretty mickey mouse/unprofessional to me. wordpress, if self-hosted, would be mycompany.com which seems better.

Wordpress can either look very nice or very wordpressy like it's just out of the box.

The main question though is, why a blogging platform? Is your company going to blog? Because a blogging platform is not the right choice for a lot of other types of things.
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:28 PM on April 25, 2012


You can use your own domain name with both Blogger and Wordpress.

A blogging platform seems like a solid way to connect with our customers. Our company will be seeking input on our products and other aspects of the company on a regular basis.
posted by Bushmiller at 3:44 PM on April 25, 2012


I've used both, and I seriously agree with your friend.

In my experience, customizing Blogger themes requires a pretty serious level of web design know-how. And even with that, there's only so much you can do. They look like blogs. And, unless you're a design god, they look like blogs circa 2004.

On the other hand, I've helped several friends set up personal websites via Wordpress, and I've found it to be a seamless process. Themes are attractive and easily customized with minimal tech-geekery. There are also a lot of themes that were designed to look less blog-like right out of the box. And even if you do want an actual blog looking blog, I just find the look and functionality so much nicer than Blogger.

I have had trouble getting blogger to point to dedicated .com domain names, whereas that's something that is basically foolproof with wordpress.

I'm with RustyBrooks, though, about why you're choosing to go with a blog platform. I've recommended it before for creative friends who just want a splash page with their portfolio and the ability to add more content easily (the blog aspect is good for that), but I think if it's a legit business not built around content creation, wordpress might not be the right tool for the job.
posted by Sara C. at 3:44 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have used both, and I would never NEVER use Blogger again. Wordpress is easier to use, and has way more flexibility in terns of design and bells and whistles. I also had more problems with Blogger having a tough time handing traffic and going down at inopportune moments. I also had great customer service with Wordpress, which was not the case with Blogger. I agree very strongly with your friend.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 3:48 PM on April 25, 2012


In the online marketing world, Worpress is pretty much the standard, because it's relatively easy to configure and is incredibly powerful.

"Blogging" or regularly updating your site with fresh content is incredibly important for SEO, and from a pragmatic perspective it provides you with credibility and also, if you're publishing the right things, will encourage people to point to your site or even share your content. Which is helpful.

I've used Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress, and from a user perspective, Wordpress is the easiest to actually use as a CMS. It's also really easy to optimize for SEO.

SEO optimization in this case really means just making sure your pages and posts have good titles and descriptions - it adds to the credibility of your site, and also makes Google like you a little better.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:48 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm seriously thinking about moving away from self hosted wordpress since I am sick of dealing with security issues and hacks. I'm hoping to get hosted wordpress to remove this time sink.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:01 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I second KokuRyu, I believe that WordPress is the easiest in terms of user administration when being compared with Joomla and Drupal. In addition, it has hundreds of plugins and themes and it is very well search engine optimized out of the box. In my own perspective, WP sites looks far more professional than blogger sites.
posted by perpetual_dream at 4:14 PM on April 25, 2012


Quite a few hosting companies offer a Wordpress auto-install option, where new updates are provided for you and it's a one-click, 20-second thing to sort it out.

I went this route (with an inexpensive theme, making it look non-Wordpressy and earning constant compliments I don't deserve!) and I'm very pleased with it. Just another option to consider.
posted by carbide at 4:26 PM on April 25, 2012


Self-hosting Wordpress can be a real nightmare. Security / liability, maintenance, etc. I'm a freelance web designer of 12 years, and I stopped offering that option to my clients (I offer a self-developed solution now, and it's been much better, but that doesn't help you much).

Anyway, if I was forced to use WP, I'd probably go with WPEngine.
posted by circular at 5:24 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


If those are your only choices, definitely Wordpress. (I'm dealing with this at my jobs and lost the figt for an inhouse or more powerful CMS, but I'm getting over it).

Wordpress has a better development/customization community, and more site structure flexibility, and generally looks more professional.
posted by itesser at 6:25 PM on April 25, 2012


Seconding cirular here. If you are going to install WordPress yourself, make sure somebody knowledgeable is responsible for maintaining and upgrading it when required. The themes and plugins that make WordPress such an attractive choice also make it vulnerable to all sorts of security issues.

I am not saying it is a bad choice, just that it is not an install and forget option.
posted by AndrewStephens at 6:31 PM on April 25, 2012


If you like integration with Google services you might also check into Google Sites. It's an absolutely horrendous third-party application shoehorned into the Google Apps suite, really only suited for extremely patient people doing fairly simple things, but the one point it has going in it's favor is that it is heavily integrated with other parts of Google, if there's something Google-specific you need to do.
posted by XMLicious at 6:44 PM on April 25, 2012


Well, I've been scared off from self-hosting Wordpress because I don't want to montitor my installation. I'm now leaning toward $99 per year hosted option on Wordpress.com. However, unlike Blogger, on Wordpress.com you cannot upload a custom theme, modify the PHP code behind your blog, or upload plugins. I'm not sure if that's a problem yet.

Since I posted, I found an informative article on pcworld.com: Blogging Service Shootout: Blogger vs. WordPress . It's an interesting read.
posted by Bushmiller at 9:36 PM on April 25, 2012


A company website hosted on Blogger would feel very unprofessional to me, in a way that Wordpress usually does not. It has a "I'm too cheap to spend money on proper hosting" vibe to me. Wordpress at least *looks* modern.

I'm pretty sure that Blogger doesn't let you use PHP in your blog, and doesn't have much support for plugins in the sense that a freestanding installation of Wordpress does.

Honestly, I think you'd be better with a static website and Facebook/Twitter pages to connect with your customers, though. Unless you're in a few niche fields (a publishing company putting free short stories on your blog, a big-name technology company) or paying lots of big-name folks to guest blog for you, I can't see many customers regularly reading a company blog.
posted by catalytics at 5:20 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't one way to avoid security issues be to avoid installing third-party plugins? The only plugin we use is Yoast regularly, but I find that Wordpress' native SEO plugin is more than enough.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:12 PM on April 26, 2012


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