Below is a brief overview of the three platforms, Blogger.com, WordPress.org and WordPress.com which I have tried and tested within the last 12 months, all three have their own good points as well as bad, depending on your needs.
WordPress.org is a self hosted blog/website platform which you install on your own web server. Once installed you simply upload one of the thousands of available themes and plugins, add some content and you are good to go. WordPress.org is open source so doesn’t cost you a penny, it’s fairly easy to install and setup but you will need some basic FTP and MYSQL experience.
Once WordPress is installed, you’ll have complete control over every aspect of your website. You can install custom themes and plugins to add new features to your site, or even modify the underlying CSS and PHP files to create a completely custom site.
If you don’t fancy the hassle of installing WordPress.org yourself then you have the option of using a hosting provider that provides it pre-installed, this option is becoming increasingly popular, one of the major players to offer such a service is HostGator.com.
Both of the options above are limited in terms of support with only community based support forums currently available. It’s also down to you to take care of backups etc.
WordPress.com on the other hand, is a free, hosted version of WordPress that enables you build a simple and powerful blog or website in just a couple of minutes.
During the signup process, you’ll choose a name for your site, which will then automatically include “.wordpress.com” at the end of your site’s web address. You can purchase an upgrade which will enable you to use your own domain name, without this xxx.wordpress.com portion.
WordPress.com also includes the ability to collect feedback from your readers through polls, or ratings on your posts. You can also enable a mobile theme, which will ensure that your site is optimized for display on mobile devices.
With WordPress.com you don’t have to host anything, everything is taken care of for you, pricing is very competitive and setup is a real breeze.
There are some restrictions in terms of what themes and plugins you can use but for those looking for a easy way to get up and running, WordPress.com is a great choice.
On the free plan support is community based but on all of their paid plans support is provided by email and live chat.
Blogger is Googles free tool for creating Blogs. The main advantage to using Blogger is that Blogger is completely free, including hosting and analytics. If you choose to display ads, you share in the profits.
It’s very easy to get up and running but with a limited amount of templates and plugins, in my opinion Blogger is fine for those wanting to run a personal blog with limited content but trying to use it to design and host a full site isn’t as flexible as WordPress.
You can setup the blog using a sub domain of yoursite.blogspot.com or add your own custom domain. In terms of support, it’s all community based help forums, so like WordPress.org very limited.
WordPress.com is the best choice for me.
It’s completely down to you which option you prefer, there are 100’s of other blogging options available on the market, both paid and free and due to everyone having different needs there isn’t one solution to fit all.
Even though I try and do everything within Google I am afraid to say that when it comes to blogging, Blogger just doesn’t match what WordPress offer. I am on the WordPress.com business package where I get unlimited storage space, unlimited premium themes, custom domain, VideoPress support and a recently added addition of being able to add third party themes and plugins.
Support when you need support
On all of the WordPress.com paid plans support is provided by live chat and email, I have used this on about 5 occasions and I am not exaggerating when I say that support was fantastic, even on a Sunday morning I had my chat answered within a few seconds, they know there stuff, they even helped me fix a theme issue. One of the best support experiences I have had.
If you need things fixed quick and your website blog is crucial to your business then you need good, fast 24/7 support.
Feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts, who do you use for you blog?