Blogger vs WordPress, a.k.a Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Blogger vs WordPress a.k.a Should I Stay or Should I GoHey everyone! As you may have noticed, Books, Biscuits, and Tea went through some changes this weekend. I’ve been thinking about moving from Blogger to WordPress for a while but I finally plucked up the courage and went through with it – yay! :) Since many of you have been asking me about my first impressions with WordPress and the reason why I left Blogger, I decided to write a post about it and explain some of my concerns in connection with Blogger and whether it’s worth leaving your old blogging platform or not.

The main reason why I left Blogger was that in the past couple of weeks I’ve had constant issues with comments not showing up, blog titles not showing up, and several other things that made blogging less enjoyable than it was before. Mind you, apart from the time when Google decided to delete my blog for no apparent reason, I’ve been quite happy with Blogger. Up until now.

I’ve only been on WordPress for about 48 hours but I’m in love with it already. For me the most striking difference between the two platforms is how professional WP looks compared to Blogger. And in WP’s case, professional doesn’t equal complicated. I thought I’d be confused with its system and I’d need weeks to figure out how it works but here I am,  typing away with a huge smile on my face. :) Anyway, here’s why I think you should go ahead with moving to WordPress. Mind you, I’m talking about self-hosted WordPress blogs, not the free WordPress ones. For more information about the differences between these two, check out this article.

Why switch to WordPress?

Control over your blog

One of the most important differences between Blogger and WordPress is the amount of control you have over your blog. Blogger is owned by Google and Google has the right to delete your account without a warning. I’m not making this up and yes, it does happen – it even happened to me once. Apparently, Google may remove your blog even if you use a custom domain name (e.g. myblog.com instead of myblog.blogspot.com) so a self-hosted WordPress site is definitely better in this respect. With WordPress, you’re in control.

▸ SEO

Another reason why I switched to WP is SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It basically includes processes behind improving a site’s visibility in search engine results pages, such as Google. What exactly is “Search Engine Optimisation” and why should you care? More info here. What made me think in the first place was April’s article – apparently, if your blog’s HTML coding is bad, your site will be down ranked. Well, I happened to check my blog with W3C validator while I was still on Blogger and there were almost 600 errors in my blog’s html. I mean, 600?!?! Holy shrimp. The great thing about WP and its blog templates is that they are more SEO friendly. Now that my blog is all set up and my template looks almost identical to the one I had on Blogger, I went back to W3C and checked my blog’s html again – guess how many errors it had? 7. Instead of 600. Sounds a tiny bit better, right? In addition to this, WordPress has a great number of SEO plugins you can install and work with and they’re super easy to use.

Plugins

WOW. One of the things I love most about WP is the awesome plugins. WP makes your life super easy – there are thousands of them and you can access each of them right from your Dashboard.

Simplicity

I just love WP’s post editor. It’s quite similar to Blogger so it doesn’t take too much time to get used to it but it’s much better and easier to use. I’ve constantly had issues with Blogger’s editor and photo uploader so it’s such a huge relief to finally be able to use this one. Plus, I know many people who originally write their blog posts in Microsoft Word before they post it on their blogs, but I noticed that it tends to mess up their blog’s template. I’m not kidding, I’ve seen it happen many times. But do you know what? WP has a button which lets you paste a text from MS Word – AND it doesn’t mess up your theme. Cool, huh? You don’t have to worry about it being complicated even if you’re not a HTML expert – the post editor looks almost identical to the one we have in MS word so you don’t even have to go near the HTML editor button.

Privacy

I know some people are obsessed with privacy and captcha (which I still hate, by the way) but they don’t realize that it’s actually the number one reason why people can’t or simply won’t comment on their blog posts. It’s interesting about WP’s comment system is that in addition to being able to moderate your comments before publishing, you can edit your comments too, which you can’t do on Blogger unless the commenter deletes his/her comment and re-submits it. Plus, WP also lets you password-protect your posts – either all of them, or just the ones you’d prefer not to make visible to the public.

I’m sure there’s much more but these are the things I can tell you right away, 2 days after switching blogging platforms. :) All I can say is, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it. I love the fact that WP makes everything so easy and that’s a huge plus when you don’t have much time beside work and reading. I was REALLY nervous about moving because I had no clue how it all worked but thank goodness Bex @ Kindle Fever helped me through the whole process and pretty much did the editing part for me. (Bex, I love you. :D ) If you’ve been considering this move for a while just like myself, I would definitely say go for it. Moving itself doesn’t take too much time, not more than an hour anyway. Making your blog look like the way you’d like it to be takes much longer. Other than that, I’m happy with how things turned out.

Also, Bex and I had a little chat today and we decided that if anyone needs help with moving to WP and blog design, courtesy of my own design studio Sweet Dreams Design, then we’d be more than happy to add a WP design package to my website and help you guys out with moving. We haven’t decided on the pricing yet but do let us know if you’d be interested. Also, feel free to let me know if you have any questions about WordPress or the move itself. :) x

47 Responses to “Blogger vs WordPress, a.k.a Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

  1. Kelsey says:

    I’m glad you switched over! I love WordPress :)I’m glad you wrote this for the people thinking of switching too. Your blog looks good!
    Kelsey recently posted..Bloggiesta 2012 In SummaryMy Profile

  2. elena says:

    I recently moved over from Blogger too and really like on WordPress! I love how much more professional and efficient WP is over Blogger and it really is an easier platform. Moving doesn’t really take that much time, I was surprised at how quickly it was done since I thought it would be a long progress. I think the biggest problem was the layout for WP but we got that taken care of. Great post!
    elena recently posted..(billion dollar fanfiction) review: 50 shades of grey by e.l. jamesMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      I agree! I was so surprised that moving took so little time! :o We had to work quite a lot with the blog design (well, Bex did, I had no clue how WP designs work) but all in all, it didn’t take more than 2 days. And it’s so much easier as well. I think my favourite has to be the SEO plugin – love it!
      Thanks so much Elena :)

  3. I had used Blogger a few times loooong ago when I first tried blogging. It was fun, but now that I’m older (and wiser? maybe?) I find that I like WordPress so much more. It’s just easier to use! And, like you said, so much nicer looking. And the commenting! There are some Blogger sites where I can’t even comment … it’s annoying. I keep saying ‘submit’ and it just keeps bringing me back to the comment form. At that point I give up.

    I’m happy you moved! It’s exciting! :) Hope you have fun here!
    Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) recently posted..COVER LOVE: Starters, by Lissa PriceMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      I know, right?! I’ve heard this from so many people, even though I usually managed to post my comments. My main concern was captcha. It’s okay if you only want to post on one blog. But when you’re visiting lots of them, it gets really irritating after a while.

  4. Hmm…you got me thinking about switching here as you wrote a pretty convincing post about the benefits of WordPress!
    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile recently posted..Cover Reveal: Astarte’s Wrath by Trisha Wolfe + ExcerptMy Profile

  5. I’ve been thinking about moving to WP myself. Thanks for posting this, I might do it very soon, seeing is how everyone I know loves it!

    The only thing I’m worried about is that I just got a new template, how easy was it to move the template over?

    • Vicky says:

      You’re very welcome! :) I know lots of people were thinking about it since Blogger has been quite weird lately, so I thought why not? :)
      Well, the whole process took about 2 and a half days. Moving itself was an hour’s time – the rest was template related. I was the same as you, by the way! My only concern was the template – I liked the one I had over at Blogger so I wanted to keep it. The problem is, the WP template editor is different from the Blogger one so I had no clue how it worked. :/

      Hm, did you get your template done by someone or is it from a third party website? If it is then you can look it up in Google and try to find out whether they have a Blogger version of your template? That’s how we managed to re-create mine :)

    • Bex @ Kindle Fever says:

      Since you have all the cool stuff in the header floating around, I would say those specific things harder to move over, unless you find someone who knows WP coding to do a theme for you! The basics, such as backgrounds, headers, social icons etc. are easier (well easier… but you don’t have to work in the actual coding as much as tweaking it a lot) and as you see on Vicky’s blog, we managed to re-create it almost exactly! :)

      Of course there are ways around the header part at least, and add the two top parts (logo and welcome) together and insert it as a header for example. There are also templates that have the two menus thing, but usually one’s above the other. There are also those that have the 2-in-1 sidebar. :)
      Bex @ Kindle Fever recently posted..Your Fate in Fiction: The Key to Slide Into My MindMy Profile

  6. kimba88 says:

    Waiting on ya gals to make my move..LOL #coward
    kimba88 recently posted..Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne CollinsMy Profile

  7. Natalie Frampton says:

    Well I do want to move over but it is finding the time and I am sooo computer illiterate !

    I’m not too fussed about keeping my design as I was going to come to you soon about buying a new design anyway. Again it’s a time thing…
    Natalie Frampton recently posted..Review: Unravelling by Elizabeth NorrisMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Aw, I know! It’s so hard to find the time to do it :( But whenever you’re ready, just let us know and we’ll move you over! x x

  8. Tamara says:

    Quick Question…. what happens to your GFC followers? How many have actually switched to a different type of following app? That’s my big thing…. I’m afraid I will lose all my GFC followers.
    Tamara recently posted..Oppression by Jessica TherrienMy Profile

    • Bex @ Kindle Fever says:

      Technically your GFC followers would disappear if you moved, however I’ve noticed with everyone I’ve helped move (including Vicky who did it after GFC didn’t allow WP), still sends out updates to GFC as long as you’ve been using FeedBurner previously. For some reason (since you edit the url) it keeps updating like normal.

      I use RSS and NetworkedBlogs mainly, besides Facebook and Twitter myself, and love it. I was ready for GFC disappearing since it was officially announced, but I’m not complaining it’s still updating. Of course we never know how long that will continue either. :/

      I know many are also using Linky Followers these days, although they differ from GFC since they don’t update your feed at all to your readers.

      Personally, I don’t mind being without GFC! I think WordPress is worth it, without a doubt! And people who wants to follow you, will move with you:) It was scary, but I’m happy!
      Bex @ Kindle Fever recently posted..In My Mailbox #36My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Yep, I agree with what Bex just said. The main reason why I didn’t want to switch was GFC. I was afraid of losing my followers. But now that I’m here, I don’t even care. As Hannah @ One Upon a Time said, those who like your blog will follow you everywhere you go ;D

      As for GFC, at the moment I still have most of my followers for some reason – I guess it’s because I used Feedburner before.

  9. Yay! Congrats! I love self-hosted WP and can’t imagine ever going back to Blogger. QQ – what is the tool you used to check for html errors? I googled W37 validator, but didn’t come up with anything.
    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog recently posted..[REVIEW] The Prophet | Amanda StevensMy Profile

  10. Hmmm… I keep seeing so many book bloggers taking the leap. Perhaps by the end of the year I will switch when my life is less hectic. It does sound like it would be much easier to use. :)

    Thanks for the great post. I’m bookmarking it to remind myself why I should switch. ;)

  11. Lei says:

    Wow. I’ve also been contemplating moving to WordPress for a very long time because I’ve heard so much positive feedback about it. I might just go for it soon. :)
    Lei recently posted..High School Life, Oh High School Life: Sykosa by Justin OrdonezMy Profile

  12. Emlyn Chand says:

    Vicky, Vicky! Great insights. Want to guest post this on Novel Publicity also? PLEASE *puppy eyes*

    Emlyn

    PS How did you make your follower count widget thing at the top? I want to do that for my website as well!

    • Vicky says:

      Sureeee, I’d love to! *.*
      Oh, the follower count thingy is a plugin you can install: it’s called “Subscribers Text Counter” :-D It’s so cool, isn’t it?

  13. Thanks for the informative post! I’m still on Blogger and I love it, but I haven’t had the problems you have had. I would totally cry if Google eliminated my blog! That’s wonderful you’re happy with the change.
    Jennifer Lane recently posted..C is for CoincidenceMy Profile

  14. Natasha says:

    I used WordPress for a class in graduate school. I made a website fairly quickly and it was pretty easy to use. And there are tons of plugins although some I had no idea why they were even created.

  15. Suzie says:

    I have to agree WP is so much more professional and easier to use than Blogger. I made the switch in February and have not regretted it. Thanks for writing this.
    Suzie recently posted..Interview with author Justin OrdoñezMy Profile

  16. megan says:

    I was thinking of moving there myself. Though, it won’t happen for awhile because of school (hardly have time to post my reviews lol). But, yes WP is much easier than Blogger.

    • Vicky says:

      I know, same here :( I didn’t have too much time in the past few months. But let me know if you switch to WP, I’m curious about what you think! :) x

  17. While I have no immediate plans to move from Blogger, this post is very informative and you never know. Your blog looks fantastic, by the way!
    NC
    Truly Bookish
    Truly Bookish recently posted..Book Review: The Faerie RingMy Profile

  18. Angieleigh says:

    I had been thinking if Blogger was the way to go instead of my self-hosted WP since Blogger seems to have better templates, but after reading this article and finding a template I’m at least mostly happy with, I’m glad I stayed!

  19. Faye says:

    I am sooo glad that you found the move good for you! I think that’s all that really matters when it comes to blogging! I’m probably going to stick with Blogger for a while longer. Especially now I have WLW to play around with! Maybe after uni’s finished and I have time and money on my hands I’ll make the switch and maybe finally get a new theme for my blog, but until then I’ll continue to back up like crazy and hope my comments don’t disappear on me! :D

    So glad Bloggiesta weekend gave you the chance to do this!
    Have I mentioned yet that I LOVE your blog? Holy cow. <33

    Faye (:
    Faye recently posted..Blood Awakening and Burden of Blood by Wenona HulseyMy Profile

  20. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews says:

    I made the switch over a year ago and have never looked back.

  21. Reve says:

    Great post – I think you outlined the perks and benefits of working with WordPress quite well. I actually made the opposite journey you did – I moved from being a longtime WordPress user to a Blogger user. From a design and front end development point of view (I’m a freelance designer), Blogger’s a bit of a pain in the behind XD. I miss the breadth of control you can have over WP, and I’m much more adept using WP templating tags than Blogger.

    That said, I think it’s easier to establish a brand and following on Blogger from a book review community point of view because of how widespread GFC is. I’m hoping to move back to WP eventually, but for now, Blogger it is!

    Subscribed, btw :).
    Reve recently posted..YA Books – Blog Launch GiveawayMy Profile

  22. Marika Weber says:

    I have two Blogger blogs and now 1 WordPress. I was intimidated at first with WP but I’m soooo loving it. I’m thinking of switching at least one of my blogs over the WordPress but I’m scared. Its my review blog and I don’t want to lose anything. I’ll miss the GFC button but that’s life.

    Marika
    maw1725@gmail.com

    p.s. subscribed to the blog

  23. Melissa says:

    You make some great points…I’m really tempted to switch to wordpress but I also have that silly fear of losing GFC.

    Will people follow me?

    How else will I “prove” my reach to publishers/publicists/authors etc?

    Not to mention the amount of work involved and losing the template that I purchased. It’s a lot to think about…

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
    Melissa recently posted..Interview with Joshua Graham, Author of Beyond JusticeMy Profile

  24. nea barabea says:

    Hey Vicky :) :)

    First of all: AMAZING Post Sweety ;) :)

    Today was an awful day. Ah, I wanted the IntenseDebate commenting system on my blog, because I thought it was awesome. I did it. And then all the hell broke loose. My comments count in the list of post in the Dashboard didn’t work. I mean what the hell?! There were 11 comments but in the statistics there were NONE. Awful. Then I was so so pissed off that I unistalled IntenseDebate. THEN I got even a bigger problem. ALL the comments of today went to hell. I have a friend who is good with programing and he is trying to get them back. I am still pissed off.

    I was actually checking WP today.. it looks good.
    Now I wanted to ask.. How much do you need to pay for this? I’ve read the article you’ve mentioned in this post, but honestly, I didn’t understand much :/
    And another thing.. when you export and import your blog to WP – does with the posts comes also the comments??

    Thank you so so much Vicky! :) And I love your new blog ;) :)
    nea barabea recently posted..In My Mailbox (18)My Profile

  25. Dayna says:

    Hi Vicky,
    I just followed you on Twitter and I’m so very happy and thankful to discover your awesome blog here, yay! :-) I love your energy and wisdom and I’m very excited to learn and glean, especially since I am an author, writer, blogger too! Your posts are great and I am reading them 1 at a time…thank you so very much for sharing your thoughts and writing with such profound honesty, candor, and beautiful simplicity…my kind of writer! I included a link to my blogspot blog, but very soon I will have a new link to my wordpress blog…sadly, perhaps I shouldn’t get down on myself for doing this, but I’ve been blogging on blogspot for several years now and it’s been nice, but not very successful…I agree with all the points you shared in your post and today I wrote my very first wordpress post and it felt great! If you don’t mind my asking, the html tweaks I see here on your blog and the beautiful design, the social media link-ups and all the great stuff, did you design that yourself with a premium upgrade or did you find the ability to do that for free? You are a very creative talented writer blogger, great work! I’ve never been much of a blogspot fan to begin with, but now you have truly sold me! Thank you very much for your help! Peace Love Hugs

    Warm Hugs,
    Dayna

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