Categorize under, “Things I wish I would have known six months ago.”
I am in a bit of a pickle. You see, for a long time, up to about a month ago I guess, I was a staunch defender of Blogger. And really, I’m not going to start bad-mouthing it now. I think if you are blogging for fun, there are still a lot of features Blogger offers that are really nifty, including the draft.blogger customized backgrounds that I took advantage of. However, there are a few things I have noticed since coming on over to WordPress, and I thought it only fair to share my experience.
I would say the design features in terms of aesthetics are about the same. However, while Blogger has some very pretty designs, WordPress seems more interested in functionality. Designs are divided more based on number of columns or customizable headers more than “animals,” “food” etc.
Blogger offers a lot of widgets, but some of them kind of make me scratch my head. One nice thing about Blogger that I never took advantage of was the Google Reader feature (Blogger is owned by Google). However, I started noticing that blogging experts like Mack Collier were talking about the value of having “5 most popular posts” easily accessible. That’s something you can’t do in Blogger so far as I know, but WordPress makes it easy. I also enjoy the WordPress categorization capabilities.
My friend Lisa asked me why I made the move to WordPress after so much agonizing. I told her, “Well, Stan over at PushingSocial said, “Darn it Margie, switch over to WordPress. It’s a pain in the butt to share your posts from Blogger.” As it happens, Blogger does not offer a URL shortener, so you are making people work if they want to share your post. I have two different ways to share my posts (hint hint) over here, including a brand new Twitter button that WordPress launched shortly before my arrival (thank you for the welcome!).
This is the real clincher. I was living and dying by my Google Analytics reports for awhile. And that in itself is worth mentioning. Blogger does not have an installed analytics system in place. You have to get your own Analytics code and place it in the blog code. Not impossible, but kind of tricky. Anyway, the numbers were driving me nuts. My report would say that I had 0 visitors on days when I would get the most comments. The more compliments I got, the more my bounce rate went up. When my bounce rate would go down, the time spent on the site would decrease to under a minute.
None of these problems plague me here in WordPress. You get a blog trackers automatically when you sign up for a WordPress blog, which is nice. Now, being a skeptic, I’m not 100% sure the numbers I get here on WordPress can be trusted either. However, the numbers are much more shiny than they were over in my Blogger world. So sue me, I like positive feedback.
If I wasn’t doing my Social Media work here, I probably would have stayed on Blogger. It really is quite serviceable and there’s a lot to like. However, if you are just getting started, I have to recommend WordPress over Blogger. It just might save you some heartache.