After months and months of Faye’s persistent on how WordPress is so much better than Blogger, I took the leap at the beginning of the year (I had been on WP many, many years before but could only remember it vaguely).
And if you’re following me on Twitter you know that since then I’ve been preaching WordPress at anyone who would listen, and even those who wouldn’t. I don’t mean to criticise blogger blogs, this is meant to be a constructive post.
Here’s my ultimate reason why I’ve been preaching it and then below I will try to explain the actual 3 reasons to be on WordPress. By the way, I’m not talking about wordpress.com – that’s shit compared to Blogger.
Of course you can do perfectly well on Blogger like many, many bloggers do, but if you look at all the websites of the big companies and bloggers, etc, they are all on WordPress. Why? Because it’s better.
Just like you can take good pictures on a compact camera – but pictures are better on DSLRs.
Just like you can do exactly the same stuff hardware and software wise and much more on a Windows computer, but Apple’s stuff is just better, prettier.
Just like you can drive any car, but it’s so much better to drive a car that has more power, more stuff, etc.
1. Independence from Google Pt.1
I was using the internet professionally way before Google came about so I really had a chance to observe their growth and control. I used to believe in Google’s “Do No Evil” motto, but after creating and then axing so many fantastic, massively popular products like Feedburner and now Google Reader, I’m incredibly scared of Google. I can see them discontinuing ANYTHING that doesn’t bring money. Like Blogger.
Think about it. Blogger, besides a little bit of AdSense advertisement if you choose to, Blogger is free. Many bloggers don’t run AdSense and even more so many advertisers limit their adverts through Google to Google Search.
So not a lot of money for the gazillion of giga and terabytes of data stored and transferred between the millions of blogs and their visits. Why shouldn’t they discontinue it? Because it’s popular? Nah, they kicked Feedburner in the head and that was a lot less data / bandwidth consuming and a lot more popular than Blogger ever was/is/will be.
So let’s play worst case scenario (and I’m praying to God this isn’t going to happen!) – Google discontinues Blogger. What then? Screwed!
With WordPress (not wordpress.com, but your own WordPress-based website on another non-Google server) you will get fantastic technical support, which is non-existent to Google/Blogger, as well as actual control. Google cannot screw you over.
Of course this costs money. A FIVER per month. For unlimited everything – no more running out of space and having to buy more space from Google!
Plus you can run multiple websites off one webspace. So if you have multiple blogs or a blog and a business site or whatever, that’s all possible to be run on one webspace!
PS: I’m planning a post on what web hosts are best to sign up with, how much they are, etc very, very soon.
2. Independence from Google Pt.2
Let’s say you like your blog & posts to be found through googling them (have a look at your Google Analytics – you can see the traffic you get from people just ending up on your blog through googling stuff under ‘organic traffic).
Your blog’s and posts’ “searcherability” can be influenced and optimised (hence the term “search engine optimisation”) through really simple things like giving blog posts a good title, etc, because ultimately it can bring you more visitors, readers, etc.
But Google takes about a gazillion factors into account when they figure out which website is listed at which position when someone searches for something. Because Google keeps their algorithm that works out all these different factors in split-seconds before we see the search results, there’s a lot of grey area and guesswork for people who work in SEO.
But some stuff is pretty dead simple, like I said. One of the key things that Google likes, because it helps them, is your website’s structure. And I’m not talking about a good navigation where people can access lots of sections of your website. I’m talking structured in the sense of how you would organise your files and folders on your computer.
Unless it’s pictures, I’ve never seen anyone ever sort pictures into folders named after years and then into sub-folder of months. Have you? Probably not. And why would you – you would have to remember when you saved which document, picture, video, etc. by year and month!
We organise our computers so naturally like all my Blog stuff is in My Documents > Blog > Posted/To Post; all my uni stuff was at My Documents > Uni > Year 1/2/3/4, and so on.
Now picture your website as a folder on your computer with lots of picture files and post files (because that’s technically what it is anyways). The structure is Blog > Year > Month > Post-File which you can recognise from the address of your blog post address (this post would have the address of /2013/04/3-reasons-…).
Next imagine Google being a visitor to your computer who has to figure out what post file is about what topic. Of course you can ask this visitor to open the file and actually read it. A bit much to ask when Mr Google literally has to go through a couple of BILLION files on the internet (no joke, there really are a couple of BILLION things out on the internet now). And not just once, but every time you blog. Every time anyone does anything really.
Busy Mr Google.
So Mr Google likes it when he can already tell from the folder structure what the post is about. Like this post now has /blog-blogging-savvy-tips/3-reasons-… This tells Mr Google that my post has something to do with blogging tips, so that helps him a lot – he could make note of the article as being a technical blogging tips type post without even reading it (of course he still reads it, but this saved a fraction of time and made the post just even more clearer and is thus easier to find if to google for it)
Unfortunately Google is really stupid and doesn’t allow users of their own product (Blogger) change any of this stuff. But then Blogger stats should show the same traffic numbers as Google Analytics but they don’t.
This is something that you can very, very easily control with WordPress, without any coding or whatever. You just create your categories similarly to how you create your tags/labels on Blogger and then you have another setting options where you can set the address of your post to be /category/post-title.html and off you go.
3. More Options, Less Coding
In the last few months since starting preaching WordPress, I’ve spoken to many bloggers who were scared of WordPress and its supposed complexity and coding and whatnot. Total Myth! Once I showed each of these bloggers what the WordPress Dashboard looks like, they were all relieved (and many asked me to move their Blogger blogs to WordPress afterwards).
Of course the Dashboard/Admin Panel looks different, but that’s to be expected. But it sure as hell isn’t rocket since to figure out that ‘Appearance’ has something to do with the look of your website (templates, widgets, etc all live in there).
It takes a bit getting used to.
Just like with a DSLR when you upgrade from a compact camera. Just like with a Porsche when you change away from a sh*t car.
Of course you CAN get into the coding side of the blog too – similar to when you go to Edit HTML on Blogger. The great thing is that the CSS stuff (the style stuff of your website – which you find at the top of your HTML code in Blogger under ‘Edit HTML’) is separate from your actual HTML stuff so you can’t break your blog!
The best part of WordPress by far is its Plugins. Where for Bloggers you need to find and/or write complex codes to have a slider or whatever. There are a million and two plugins around for ANTHING YOU COULD EVER NEED.
Wanna install Google Analytics but no clue of coding? There’s a plugin where you don’t even need to copy a code – you just follow the simple steps of the plugin.
Wanna install a slider to show off your most recent/popular posts? No problemo – take your pick from about 30 different options that are installed and configured in like 2 minutes.
Wanna regularly tweet people about old and new blog posts? There’s so many plugins for this that it’s ridiculous.
Wanna include fancy fonts that aren’t on Google Webfonts? No problem either – there’s a Fonts Uploader plugin.
Wanna run GFC? NOT A PROBLEM! I’ve written a super easy, little GFC for WordPress hack and tutorial that allows any WordPress blog to get or any newly moved ex-Blogger blog to keep Google Friend Connect!
The list goes on. You can optimise your pictures so your site loads fast, you can really do a lot of things, and then some if you’re really into coding because again, you actually have more access to the structural files of your blog.
Please don’t all run off to buy webspace wherever and move your blog across yourself. Especially if you’re already established as blogger, moving from Blogger to WordPress is quite risky if you aren’t experienced in the technical side of things. I’ve even had to fix many blogs that were moved from Blogger to WordPress by professionals.
But you can have your blog on WordPress without your readers even knowing. My blog was IDENTICAL (domain, design, Google Friend Connect & co) when I moved from Blogger to WordPress and that’s doable with any blog!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I hope you guys really enjoyed this post – it’s really not meant as a criticism, each to their own. I can only go by my experience as a web designer and developer! If you did like this post, please share it with the world :)
By the way – I have a ‘Blog & Blogging Savvy Tips’ series – have a look - there are many tips on how to improve your blog, how to set rates for sponsored posts, photography tips, etc!
If you’re interested in moving to WordPress or generally have any further questions, please email me or comment below.
I HAVE A TEST BLOG SETUP FOR YOU IF YOU WANT TO PLAY AROUND WITH IT TOO :)