One Blogger’s Adventures in Blog Platforms: Which Platform is better? Blogger vs. WordPress

In October of 2004 I used Blogger to publish my first blog. It was so easy getting started with Blogger. In fact, my first blog is still on the Blogger platform. Little did I know that Blogger was only the first step of my blogging platform adventures.

Flash forward to 2008. I start my new blog, Power to Fight the Big Boys. Once again I use Blogger to publish my blog. But as soon as I start promoting this new blog, problems start popping up.

The First Problem

The first problem was that I couldn’t automatically promote my posts on LinkedIn. But if my blog was on WordPress, I could. So I immediately switched to WordPress.com.

Moving my blog to WordPress.com was a snap.  WordPress.com has an import feature that works with Blogger. A minute or two and my blog was now on WordPress.com. Then I added my new blog to LinkedIn using the WordPress application. Piece of cake. No problems . . . yet.

Next stop: Facebook

I created a Facebook fan page. I also connected my blog to the Facebook Networked Blogs application (see previous post). Now my blog posts are promoted across the social media landscape. I’m an internet media mogul. Not so fast, big shot. There’s a new issue. . .

Tweeting and Sharing Blog Posts with Friends

On many blogs you’ll see a tool for your blog readers to “Tweet” about your blog post to a friend. Or you see icons for sharing a post on other social media. Of course, I’ve “gotta have” this on my blog.  Any person with a professional blog has to have this “share” feature.

So I try to set up a share plug-in on WordPress.com. This should be easy. I find a couple of WordPress plug-ins that will do the job. But I can’t figure out how to install them. So I ask WordPress.com about it.

Guess what? I read on the InMotion Hosting Reviews, that WordPress.com doesn’t support plug-ins. You have to host your WordPress blog somewhere else to use all the nice plug-ins. What the  . . . ?

Moving the blog once again

This time I set my blog up with WordPress and Thesis. I host it on it’s own domain. I import my blog and I install all the plug-ins. We’re good to go. Right? Wrong…

My nice search engine friendly links are no longer there. My blog stats are gone. My posts with videos and audio files no longer work. My nice professionally designed blog header doesn’t have a place to upload. Aaahh … but I do have those nice share icons up-and-running and they all work.  Ain’t technology grand?

I’m lucky. I have good techies working in my business. We set-up hosting for clients all the time. So these issues are minor. But I can’t imagine what a pain this must be for others.

All-in-all I’m glad I’ve made this final move. I’m very pleased with the great tools included with Thesis. I’m happy with all the plug-ins. Plus I’m pleased that my blog has a more professional URL all it’s own. It would’ve been a lot easier if I set-up the blog on WordPress and Thesis at the beginning. But then, look at all the fun I would’ve missed.

If you’re running into these issues, ask a question or leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to help you make the move to the more professional hosted blog on your own domain.

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  11 comments for “One Blogger’s Adventures in Blog Platforms: Which Platform is better? Blogger vs. WordPress

  1. January 10, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Hey Doug,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I too intend to move from the WP.com to my own domain. It’s on my 2010 resolution list. I am deciding between Headway and Thesis for the theme. I figure there will be a few hitches in the changeover that will require some techy work and will look out for those noted in your post.

    I am also curious about how you handled the RSS feed — possibly doing a redirect so you would not lose current subscribers?; and also redirects for links in blog posts (to avert losing traffic from incoming links that were pointing to your hosted blog).

    One more thing — what do you mean by the sentence about how you lost all your search engine friendly links? Thesis touts its SEO friendliness, so what did you lose?

  2. January 10, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Fabulous post and ironically a topic I was thinking about last night. In a LInkedIn forum, everyone was singing the praises of WordPress. I have a blog on WordPress (www.themarketingplaza.com), so I won’t put it down. But, I do think it’s an advanced (or at least intermediate) platform. I think bloggers work their way up to it. It requires more technical knowledge than the average blogger wants to have in just getting started, the least of which is finding a host. A host? I’m not sure I even knew what that was when I started in 2006.

    People like to put down Typepad. I think it’s the ultimate next step up from blogger as people progress towards WordPress, and oh yes, something even newer now called Drupal (oh my). Interestingly, here’s an article [http://bit.ly/6t8qx2] that makes an important distinction between blogging services and blog platforms.

  3. January 10, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Very nice Doug, I have been at it for sometime figuring out which blogging platform would be best for me. I am a techie and get excited with the cool new geeky things all the time. However, this has always come in my way of blogging and content creation always suffers.

    As a blogger, I feel the focus should be on content creation. Blogger.com doesn’t daunt you with an extensive feature list yet provides tools which are required to publish and promote (within reasonable limits).

    However, with the fierce competition and content duplication, marketing your blog is essential. I ghost write for 3 blogs and they are all using WordPress for the scalability it offers. You can promote your post as soon as you create from within the system using twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg … you name it. All social media apps are there which makes WordPress an excellent choice for professional publishers.

    This brings me to your point – how difficult it could be for guys who don’t have a blog maintenance team. I guess, for all others Blogger.com is still the best place to start and once they find their voice in the blogosphere, they can upgrade to WordPress.

    Next, I look forward to an interesting How-To on migrating from Blogger to WordPress.

    penisveHarsh

  4. January 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I, too, began a blog on WordPress.com, but soon migrated to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog. Learning how to manage your own WP blog is not for the faint of heart, if you are not a technical person, which I’m not. You have to make a real commitment to learning the basics. I still call on a tech consultant when I need help, but mainly I’m making changes and marketing it myself. I know this will attract a lot of negative feedback from its developers, but my blogging coach and others have said that Thesis is not so easy as it is cracked up to be and WP’s new Builder also has its challenges. Be sure you know what you are getting into when choosing a WP template and keep it simple.

  5. January 11, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Thanks for all the great comments. Several of you asked questions that require detailed answers. So I’m putting together a blog post with the answers and detailed “how to” information. Stay tuned…

  6. January 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Agree with all the others. If you’re going to go with WP, go with the self-hosted version, warts and all.

    Though all the nifty feedburner tools don’t integrate so well with WP since Google snatched it up.

    I’m still on the fence as to whether Blogger or WP is better for the basic blog.

  7. January 13, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I used to use the free version of WordPress, but I switched to the advanced version of Typepad and I love it. I am completely self-service and do not have a background in web design, and I find the Typepad interface easy to use and the few times I’ve need service, they were very responsive. I pay $14.95 a month for ther version I use (there is a free version avail) and have complete flexibility with widgets, plug ins & design. No money needed for a consultant or designer. I think there are trade offs with all platforms, and I do think this is an extremely important decision. Doug, thanks for sharing! Would love to hear comments from any other Typepad users.

  8. January 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Doug. Probably I’m a first time visitor on your blog. and I loved this post. Simply because of the honest account of your experiences while migrating from Blogger to WP. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  9. March 17, 2010 at 5:21 am

    What a good post. Thank you.
    I have been thinking about the wordpress over blogger issues for a long time too. I started out with blogger than I had an school exchange in China, blogger was banned that was the first time I got to know about wordpress.com > free hosting, but they do have their limitation. No ads, No customize css… so here I am after much decision I am back to blogger. Because compared to wordpress.com, getting a domain with blogger is cheaper, it offers more customizable css.
    But I would have to say the linked between wordpress to the social media is easier. Plus when you do a search stuffs on google blog search wordpress is the first to surface.

    thumbs up for thebloggersbulletin :)

  10. March 17, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Thanks Bryan. Welcome to our blog. Glad you found it. Hope it helps you with your blogging adventures.

  11. June 12, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Doug,

    Just found this post from a google search on this topic. Thanks so much…this is what I thought. I haven’t read the How-to post yet, I’m hoping that will tell me that it’s really worth all the hassle to move over to hosting my blog on my new server. It’s very video heavy…so it’s a real labor issue for me.

    I appreciate your clarity – great blog!

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