Want to Test the Waters Before You Start a Self-Hosted Blog?

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There is a decision to be made when you’re ready to become a blogger. The choice that you will need to make, regardless of what you plan to blog about, is what blogging platform you are going to use.   If you’re just starting out, you may want to practice with Blogger or WordPress.com’s free hosting blog.

Please Note: It’s ultimately best to host your own blog (You can get that at wordpress.org)   (not .com), becuase you get a lot more flexibility, and are in complete control!  With the two free-hosted options discussed in this post,  you are somewhat limited, but it will be good practice before you go out and purchase a domain name and hosting account.

The two most popular blogging platforms out there are WordPress.com and Blogger (blogspot). When you’re making this decision there a couple things you’ll want to know about. I’m going to lay out the pros and the cons of using either WordPress or Blogger, and by the end of this article, I hope you’re ready to make the choice.

Here, I’ll start with the benefits of each:
WordPress.com (Free Hosted):

  • First off, it’s FREE! So yeah, it’s hard to get better than free.
  • WordPress has a great user interface; however it can take some time to learn it. Once you’re proficient within the interface everything else is cake!
  • You have a little bit of an upper hand with rankings here with WordPress, because it is very search engine oriented.
  • The backup process with WordPress is completely automatic and all of your information is saved on their server

Blogger.com (Free Hosted):

  • Again, Blogger is completely FREE! Everyone loves freebies.
  • The set up process and management is very user friendly, and doesn’t take a lot of time to learn and become proficient when using it.
  • You can use your original domain name, if you already have one.
  • Ads are able to be displayed with Blogger.
  • Blogger is powered by Google, so your posts are indexed automatically and Google is notoriously reliable
  • There are no ads on Blogger.
  • Again, with Blogger, you don’t need to back up your data.

So, between those two, the benefits are pretty similar. My personal opinion is that Blogger is a great way to get started with blogging if you’re not very comfortable with new interfaces. As I mentioned earlier, WordPress has a really nice user interface, but it takes a little bit of practice to get used to the way they do things.  The bigger benefit with Blogger is that it’s owned by Google, so your blog and subsequent posts are automatically indexed, which can help your site get the recognition you deserve.
Next, we’ll talk about some of the shortcomings:

WordPress.com (Free Hosted):

  • Unfortunately, with WordPress.com, you don’t own your blog.
  • You cannot try to make money with WordPress.com through adsense.
  • You might find that you have a slight limitation when choosing themes and plugins.
  • There is no FTP (file transfer protocol) access with WordPress.com
  • WordPress.com will display ads no matter what, unless you prefer paying for the ad-less version, which runs about thirty bucks a year.

Blogger.com (Free Hosted):

  • Much like WordPress, with Blogger, you still don’t own your blog.
  • There is also no FTP with Blogger
  • You only get one gigabyte of storage on Blogger, so that can set some slight limitations if you’re planning to write a whole bunch.

Now, I’m sure you’ve reviewed the lists, and perhaps you thought…”well, WordPress has more limitations than Blogger…” and, I’ll tell you that you’re right. However; that does not mean that WordPress is automatically worse. I urge you to check out multiple blogs online and see which ones you think look or feel better than others.
There are a few other little things that could make a difference to you, though. If you’re looking to publish posts in a different language, WordPress supports over 120 different languages, while Blogger only supports 50. If you happen to be an HTML genius, Blogger is completely customizable in the HTML realm, while WordPress wants you to use their interface. Lastly, blogs on any platform, are subject to commentary. With that being said, with Blogger you can’t edit the comments that are posted, with WordPress, you can.

Given this information, you’ve got the basics of the major differences between Blogger and WordPress.com.   Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it’s an important decision to make. At the very least, if you haven’t already formed your own opinions, I hope that you’ve gained insight and inspiration to further research which blogging platform you’re ready to jump in with.

Remember, these are just the 2 best options if you want to practice blogging.  If you want to take it more serious and to the next level, you’ll definitely want to go to WordPress.org and download their free blogging platform software and host it on your own server with your own unique domain name.  you can learn more about that here: Free Hosted vs. Self Hosted Blogs

So what are your thoughts on the free hosted platforms?

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3 thoughts on “Want to Test the Waters Before You Start a Self-Hosted Blog?

  1. Stacie

    The blogosphere is the place to be these days, and most people have noticed the climb in the population. There are millions of blogs all over the web, and because of that, more people are getting ready to join in. Not everyone who blogs has the intent to make money on their blog, but there

    Reply
  2. Freelancer

    A blogging platform is the best choice anyway for me. I mean by hosting your one blog you have total control but you will have to deal with much more administrative issues and it will take a lot of your time. For me the only reason to self host a blog is when you know how to do it and the blog is going really really well.

    Reply

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