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Why Blogger Sucks

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Beginning bloggers have a few decisions to make before they can even get started. You obviously have to figure out what you want to write about, but you also need to decide which blogging platform to use.

Most beginners start out using a free hosting service such as Blogger (not to be confused with the noun that describes someone who blogs) simply because it’s free.

Blogger: You Get What You Pay For

Blogger is probably the most popular hosting service for beginners, and for that reason alone a lot of people consider Blogger blogs low-quality. I don’t think it’s fair to consider something “bad” simply because it’s geared toward or preferred by beginners, but I still want to let you know why Blogger sucks.

Blogger is a Hosted Platform

Blogger is a hosted blogging platform, which means that Blogger “hosts” your blog on their domain. Once you register and go through a setup process, you’ll be given a web address that is a combination of their URL and the name you chose for your blog (such as mycoolblog.blogger.com) If you’re trying to use your blog for business purposes, this generic domain name sounds amateurish and just about screams, “I use a free blogging service!” It can also make your blog address hard to remember.

You Can’t Customize Blogger

Blogger is pretty easy to set up and run, but you can’t do much with it—especially in terms of design and appearance. You can choose one of their default templates for your blog, but all that means is that hundreds of other blogs will look nearly identical to yours. There are only so many templates offered, so they get used over and over again. This is another reason that a lot of people consider Blogger blogs unprofessional.

You Don’t Own a Blogger Blog

The fact that you don’t own your blog is another big reason why Blogger sucks. You might technically own the content that you wrote, but you don’t own the URL. You’re pretty much at the mercy of Blogger—they can come and shut down your blog at any time. If Blogger’s servers go down, your blog goes down. You can’t control when things are working and when they aren’t, and the fact that all of the posts you’ve written might go “bye-bye” in the blink of an eye is pretty scary.

Blogger vs. WordPress

A self-hosted blog with a quality platform such as WordPress.Org (not to be confused with WordPress.com which is another hosted blogging system) is a much better alternative than using Blogger. You’ll have to download, install and host the software yourself but it’s not as bad as it sounds. After all, somehow I figured it out!

  • WordPress itself is free, but you’ll have to purchase your own domain name and deal with hosting fees. Again, this isn’t a huge deal. You can register most domains for around $10 per year at Name.com and there are several affordable hosting plans available, too. Having your own domain is much more professional than a lengthy, generic-sounding one.

When you choose a self-hosted blog over a free Blogger blog, you’ll be able to have full control over just about everything. If you’re a savvy enough designer, you can create your own blog template, or you can have someone design one for you. This means there’s less risk of finding a blog that looks exactly the same as yours.

  • Web developers have created a huge variety of WordPress plug-ins, which give bloggers the ability to add to their blog and tweak things. Plug-ins are available to display photos or slideshows, control commenting and spam and so much more. New plug-ins are being developed all the time, and Blogger sucks because it offers nothing like that.
  • WordPress also supports categories and tags that make articles on specific topics easy to find for your readers. The categories and tags may also help your blog get picked up easier by search engines.
  • Even better WordPress has many of the best SEO tools for your website.  With the numerous amounts of plugins, it’s not that hard to get a high ranking for your target keywords.  Plus you can use WordPress Premium Themes to create a stylish website.

I definitely haven’t covered all of the “good stuff” that WordPress has to offer, but I think I’ve given you more than enough info to understand why Blogger sucks. Many successful bloggers started out using a free blogging platform, but the most popular, most professional blogs out there are self-hosted with their own domain.

If you use a WordPress blog, then I’d like to congratulate you on making a wise decision.  On other hand, if you’re site is using a free service like Blogger, then now is the time to make a change.  I guarantee you won’t find much success until you have 100% control over the content and design of a self-hosted site.

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 38 comments }

Murlu

Having ownership over it is the biggest concern because if you aren’t making backups – poof, everything you’ve worked on is now gone. I would just quit at that point because there would be no way to recover.

Steve Scott

Back-ups would certainly be a need. It could save your bacon data wise. But even with backup, it would seriously suck. Think of all the backlinks etc. that you work for for a site. Even losing that would be enough to make you want to chuck everything.

Dia

Hi Steve,

I agree wordpress is the way to go. You get to have your own domain name and it looks more professional especially for people who want to own their business online. Thanks for sharing my friend and I look forward to reading posts about how to improve traffic since it got the most votes 🙂

Steve Scott

Yes, wordpress is a heck of a lot more professional looking with it’s own url, and the cost is cheap enough to almost be negligible.

Aaron

Good comparison Steve. WP is very powerful, but does require hosting it somewhere. Using a service like blogReaction or Blogger does come in handy when you are starting out or not needing to be “professional”, but I completely agree that WP on your own server is 1000x more versatile.

Steve Scott

Good points. For a long term “serious” solution wordpress and self hosting are the way to go. As a “starting out” service you make some great points…free does have an allure all alone.

Matthew Needham

Talking of ownership, that’s one thing that concerns me about using Youtube (or any other provider for that matter) if they decided to pull your content or close your account, you’ve lost a lot of files/content and maybe even valuable link juice. Nightmare.

Better to host everything yourslf or maybe use a service like Amazon S3 to hold your files.

Steve Scott

Youtube is a good point too. I am vunerable there. I have a heap of videos on youtube. Of course there are backups etc. I could always put on Vimeo if they ever get snatched up.

Mike

I personally don’t like Blogger much and I can’t think of why someone sacrifices Wordpress to choose Blogger, But then I know why. For a person who doesn’t have any money in hand, you can register a domain and use Blogger to set up your own blog. Wordpress.com doesn’t allow this. It still doesn’t allow users to have customized URLs. In addition, I also hear that blogs hosted on Blogger may be treated for favorably by Google. I’m not so sure about this though. What do you think, Steve?

Steve Scott

The free point is a good one. Playing around with a blog it may make sense to use blogger because of the free part. As a long term solution I can’t see it though…since hosting is pretty inexpensive.

As for blogger blogs getting more favorable results, I have heard that rumor too, but I doubt it. I would believe that “spiders” crawl it more often so it seems more responsive, though

Fran Aslam

Hi Steve:

I really like the fact that you still kept your consistency even during travel. However now people prefer to use word Press. Actually blogger is good for the newbie.

Contents make value and that can be written every where.

Word press has more freedom When it comes to quality there is no comparison.

Steve@Lifestyle Design

Thanks Fran,

Trying pretty hard to keep up the posts everyday. It is not always easy. Good internet does not always favor me.

You are right that content of a site is what really matters, but the issue for me is a lot control over content. You have legal control over the material regardless but if it is blogger and you are not paying for hosting the site is at the whim of google.

Blogger might be fine to play around with while building some content, but ultimately there are enough reasons that anyone should eventually transition to wp.

Justin Whitaker

Hi Steve,

Just wanted to point out one thing: Wordpress.Com sites have the same issue that blogger does (limited themes, hosted URLs), UNLESS you register a domain and host it there.

Which you can also do at Blogspot. Or Posterous. Or Tumblr.

Oh, and you can’t use all those wordpress plugins UNLESS you self host.

Granted, self hosting is not all that expensive, but it is an important point: if you decide to go with WP.com because you want to get started for free, you lose one of the key features of the platform.

I recommend people pick what works for them, and either make sure they have backups, they export on a regular basis, or post via email so a copy is in your sent email folder.

Steve@Lifestyle Design

Thanks for dropping by and commenting Justin,

True, to really get the advantages you need to self host. As you pointed out, though, hosting is such an inexpensive process it shouldn’t hold anyone back. I can see using a free solution for a bit as someone NEW gets to understand the processes, but ultimately anyone serious should transfer to a self hosted scenario, IMO.

Regardless though, having some sort of backups are essential. Particularly if you are on a site you do not own.

william

Hey Steve,

I have a question on why I see so many people using ThePlanet for hosting when they refer me to hostgator instead. I am thinking it is because on “Theplanet” you need web design skills in order to manage your site being hosted there? While on hostgator it is easy to manage your site with their CP. Is that correct or is there more? I see that you are hosted at Theplanet but you do not have much web design skills. Do you hire a proffesional web designer to make your site more unique? And do you recommend doing that or the hostgator way? Because if I host at THeplanet, without a web designer, I would be unable to manage my site right? Or..?

Regards,

William

Steve Scott

William

Just go with hostgator. It is a fine service and very easy to navigate with cpanel. Plus it is nice and cheap

Zarko

Well Steve there are plenty of reasons why Blogger sucks, you clearly pointed that out. the fact is that only a beginner will make a mistake of creating a blogger blog with the intent of having some business success.

On the other hand we all know the vast benefits of WordPress, so I won’t go into that 🙂

PS. while you are over in Hungary and Croatia why don’t you drop by to Serbia, we could have a cup of coffee 🙂

Steve Scott

Yeah, it is definitely a rookie mistake to go with blogger rather, than self hosted WP. There are good points for blogger to just “play around” but certainly any one trying to be serious will.

If I swing by Serbia will try to drop you a line 🙂

Kimi

Actually i have just emailed a blogger friend who has a blog in blogger blogspot.

I did this because i saw him doing link building stuff and he has really good content.

I did contact him to get a selfhosted blog, but it is really not possible for him, he said.

I wish he knew that those domain + webserver costs can be covered back easily via affiliate marketing or adsense even.

I guess for some people, it is really not possible to leave blogger.

I wish them all the best.

Steve Scott

Kimi,

There can certainly be cases where people do not “care” enough to get self hosted. I can also see it as a way to “practice” before jumping in. Both of those make sense. But if your friend is spending his time (which should be valuable) to go and link build and drive traffic, it makes sense it should be time to move to a better platform.

After all as the saying go, for 10$ (1 time) domain fee and 5$ or so a month for hosting it is less than the price of 1 soda a day.

Kimi

Exactly Steve,

Great point you made.

I hope he will see it anytime soon, before it’s too late.

Thanks for the reply.

Bryan

Hey Steve,

I’m glad I made the move from blogger to wordpress a long time ago. Never regret doing it and your post sums it all up in a neat nice package. Wordpress is by far THE best blogging platform I’ve known and I think it will always remain so. Haha talk about being biased

Steve Scott

Bryan,

You never know..things change fast on the internet, some hot new startup could come along and blow wordpress away. -but i do doubt it- Wordpress is just TOO much better than the rest for now.

Farnoosh

Blogger – Google’s blogspot.com website and platform – is indeed extremely poor. Everything you have about it is mostly true. I started my blog on a few different sites on blogspot and soon realized I am just playing around and the real stuff happens with Wordpress.
One question for you Steve, though, I was just at Blogworld and someone told me that the reader audience from Blogspot sticks to blogspot (blogger) sites – and I’d love to penetrate that reader audience somehow. Do you know much about this?
Thanks! 🙂

Ana @ Internet Marketing Tools

I second every single point, Steve.

I didn’t know anything about blogging when I started mine, but even with very little research I knew that WP is the way to go.

Everyone should do such research!

Have a safe trip!

Ana

Jayne Kopp

Steve, I can’t agree more with you on this post, although I have to admit, I started off with Blogger too in the very beginning. I offer a training site for my team to help them get familiar with marketing on the internet. I suggest Wordpress.org first and foremost, but for those who just want to dive in and not get too technical right at the start, I do suggest they take a look at Blogger. If you don’t mind I would love to link to this post as I don’t think I could explain the ‘cons any better! Thanks, Jayne

Steve Hill

I totally agree with you, but you did forget one reason: the overwhelming presence of stay-at-home “mommy bloggers” who seem to have nothing better to do that to talk about what they found on Etsy this week and how their baby’s diarrhea has some sort of spiritual connection. It used to be that all sorts of people were using Blogger but the business people started to gravitate towards Wordpress and the creatives and hipsters moved to Tumblr.

Tola @ SEO Blogger

Yes, Wordpress is better than Blogger, I can’t argue with that. But there are certain facts you stated about Blogger which isn’t quite true. For instance, you can get a customised URL for just $10 as well and don’t have to worry about having xxx.blogspot.com as your URL name. And you can also customise your template if you like. These are just some of the features of Blogger which people don’t know about and assume the worst…

I actually wrote a blog post about some features of Blogger which are quite handy if you’ve already started with Blogger here – http://www.epiphanysolutions.co.uk/blog/tips-for-enhancing-blogs-with-blogger/

Steve Scott

Tola, Good points!

Thanks for sharing and enriching the Blogger side of the argument!

Tom Moore

Steve,
I enjoyed your article. I am one of the “blogger” people and I chose it because of the reasons you described. I am not “techy” at all and would spend all kinds of time thrashing around trying to build a template. Money was not an issue for me, I just wanted something user friendly. It has served it’s purpose for me. I think people having to sign in to post comments has limited comments.
I use my blog as more of a “fun” portion of my site, I write about things that sometimes aren’t even relevant to my business. I actually think some people really like that.
I will continue to follow you and your ideas.

Happy Holidays,

Tom Moore

Jason F. Moody

Free hosting sites is the a place for professional bloggers, but it is a place for amateur bloggers. If your blog isn’t good enough to get visitors then what’s the point of paying money to have it hosted? Free hosting services such as blogger is a great way to get started.

Steve Scott

I will admit you do make a point for someone “starting out” using Blogger. I have an account there myself for ‘backlink’ purposes. But for someone striving to be professional about it, as nice as the free service is, the pay versions are cheap enough and give enough of a boost to be readily worth it.

Elle

I’m still not convinced. I continue to read how superior WordPress is and how amateur Blogger is, but I don’t see it. WordPress isn’t the only show in town and I’ve seen a lot of professional Blogger sites. All the cons you mention can be addressed easily enough. Why would traffic be better on WP? What’s the magic we don’t see?

It just seems WP advocates are cult-like elitists and I cannot see what they see.

My 2 cents. I’m genuinely curious and I can’t seem to get the answers I’m looking for.

What about not being able advertise on WordPress? Or are you allowed if you self host?

Steve Scott

Elle,

Without self hosting, the debate is much more tenuous. Really they both suck. But with self hosting, the options for Wordpress really open up. (and yes, you can advertise all you want)

Mark Johnson

I agree with everything you said about Blogger.com. You did forget to say one thing though. Their new look sucks that if you even made a mistake as such as accidentally deleting your unpublished post that you are working on, it automatically saves it within couple of seconds and you can’t go back or retrieve. I am just pissed off. I had worked on this post for the last 3 weeks on and off. Finally, I was about to publish it today after making few minor saves, but stupid me I hit ctrl z as if I was on Windows window. That just wiped out my whole post and saved it before I could do anything. Now, even if I try to go back, I simply can’t retrieve. I know I can rewrite from scratch again, but it won’t as fantastic as the first time around….. Arrrrrgggh… Oh by the way your post fantastic. Keep up the great work.

Teri Cross Chetwood

Excellent post, Steve. I do exactly as you suggest. I host my own blogs on my own server. Some run on Wordpress, some run on Drupal, depending on what I want the blog to do. Wordpress is the easiest and Drupal is the most flexible.

When it’s all said and done, none of them are hosted on Blogger.com.

Steve Scott

Yeah, don’t get why people are still using this platform.

David

But, i think bloggers able to customize their templates with edit html.

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