Why Not to Use Blogger or WordPress.com

If you’re serious about blogging, I strongly advise you to avoid using Blogger, WordPress.com, or *shudder*, LiveJournal. The first thing you should do when you start a blog is get a domain name. At $7-$10 per year, it’s not going to empty your bank account, and it will be a good investment. (Not to mention that people will take you much more seriously if you have your own domain) You could point your domain pretty much anywhere. You could use it with your Blog*Spot or WordPress.com blog, but I would advise against it. While Blogger and WordPress.com are most likely the two best “free blog services” available, they’re limiting in terms of what you can do.

If you pay for a cheap shared hosting account (1and1 has a $3.99/mo plan, which is good for a beginning blog), and install a copy of the free WordPress blogging software (that’s WordPress.ORG, not .com!), you gain much.

By hosting your blog yourself, instead of relying on a free service, you gain the ability to customize your design in ways impossible with the free services, to use WordPress plugins, run your own ads, and you’re not dependent on the service. If WordPress.com decided to charge a subscription fee instead of providing the free service they’ve provided, you’d have to pay or abandon your blog, pretty much. What if they changed something about their service, and you didn’t like it? (An example would be adding a big, forced banner ad to the top of your blog.)

If you’re using a free blog service, you can still make the switch to a self-hosted blog. WordPress has the ability to import posts from Blogger, WordPress.com, LiveJournal, and a few others (including RSS). However, you can lose some data in the transition. Depending on which service you use, you may or may not be able to keep the comments on your posts, for example.

Free blog services are great for personal blogs, and experimenting with blogging before deciding to commit to it, but if you want to run a serious blog, I highly recommend going with a self-hosted WordPress installation. At the very least, if you have a tight budget, get a domain and point it to your free blog. That way, if you decide to go the WordPress route, you will be able to move and keep your readers and backlinks.

  • http://www.crayce.com Julie

    interesting article! i’m currently using blogger, and you mentioned in your article that they are limiting to what they can do? could you elaborate on this a little more?

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com Matt

    Well, Blogger is a bit less limiting than WordPress.com. Blogger does, however, lack the ability to install plugins or PHP snippets to expand your blog’s feature set (look at the WordPress plugin directory for some examples of what plugins can do). Also, with Blogger you can’t have static pages (useful for contact forms, lengthy bios, etc). Just a couple examples.

    If you’re happy with what you have, though, don’t feel like you need to switch. It’s good to keep the option open though, just in case you want to switch later.

  • http://www.thetechjuice.com Sean

    While I agree that a domain name is absolutely essential, using blogger as the platform for my blog is great for me. It allows very decent freedom in design and customization options, a small amount of image hosting, and great tech support for free.I would prefer to have something that would process PHP or ASP.net so I could code my own site a little bit more thoroughly, but I will stick with Blogger until I feel that urge to get up and get hosted.

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com Matt

    @Sean, as I said before, if you like Blogger, and don’t feel the need to switch, don’t. But make sure the option stays open, in case you do decide to make the move.

  • http://www.backlinkcreator.info Backlinks generator

    Good Article!! Perfect for newbies.

  • http://gogreenchum.blogspot.com GoGreenChum

    Yeah great article in deed. I know I presently use blogger myself and I use custom domain names for some of them. One question I have is with the blogger platform are we still able to use it if we host it ourselves and does abyone know how to do that and point hosting to our own servers. Is there a blog post here on this or does someone know where there is a good one.

    Love the blog and I will come back again for sure.



  • http://www.dnbbeats.com Bill

    Just the sort of information i was looking for. Thanks for the tip. I'm new to all this blogging stuff and there is a mountain of information to go through. Straight and to the point. Cheers.

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