When I first started Hipstercrite in 2006 as the shittily titled PlasticLA- which garnered about 8 visitors a week- the only blogging platform I knew of was Blogger. It was common and easy to use. The templates were simple and I didn’t need anything fancy. I stopped blogging for awhile and started back up in 2008 where I jumped from 8 visitors a week to 10. I really only began taking blogging seriously in 2009 when I moved from LA to Austin to work on my writing and where I saw my followers jump from 4 to over 1,000. This was due in part to receiving Blogger’s Blog of Note in December of 2009. Blogs of Note is when Blogger features a blog of their liking for the week. My blog wouldn’t be where it is today without that honor. Between all my social media profiles and blog feeds I have almost 6,000 followers thanks in many parts to Blogger.
However, as time has gone on and Hipstercrite has expanded, the inevitable has happened. I want to move to a more professional and sleeker looking blogging platform. People have been telling me to make the move over to WordPress and I’m about 90% ok with the idea of making that transition. So what 10% is holding me back? Money, alienating my wonderful followers, and the fear of the unknown.
Knowing what blogging platform is best for you is f’ing hard.
This has been a stressful and educational process for me. Unless I’m blind, it’s been difficult finding information about the pros and cons of Blogger versus WordPress. When I converse with web designers they’re mostly proficient in WordPress or Drupal with little to no knowledge of Blogger and Blogger aficionados don’t really understand WordPress. However, the other day I came across an excellent breakdown of the pros and cons of Blogger and WordPress from one of my new favorite blogs, Will Work 4 Followers, by Dan over at Single Dad Laughing. This blog is a great resource on how to become a successful blogger. He also points out that his very good-looking blogs are made on Blogger.
I’ve been working with a wonderful web designer who is proficient in WordPress and studying Blogger in order to help me better with my situation. He has also been really patient with my back and forth on the two blogging platforms. He and I have come up with a list of pros and cons of Blogger versus WordPress and though WordPress definitely comes out ahead in terms of the next step, it is still a difficult decision to make. If you’re thinking of making the leap from Blogger to WordPress here are some of the questions and obstacles I’ve faced listed below.
*Note- I’m in no way an expert on Blogger or WordPress so my info below could be off. If you see anything that is incorrect or that I may be forgetting, please let me know in the comments section!
-I’m already on Blogger so I won’t have to worry about transferring content and followers over.
-Blogger has looked after me (loyalty to platform).
-Will cost me less money to customize versus create new blog at WordPress.
-Has a wonderful vast network of bloggers.
-I’m familiar with it and it’s simple to use.
-Blogger now offers up to 10 static pages, but makes it difficult to divide old content onto them if you want to create separate categories of your content (i.e. wanting old ‘Austin’ tagged posts to get placed in a new ‘Austin’ static page).
-Doesn’t offer a lot of widgets, especially progressive and useful ones.
-Less snazzy looking templates (old school-looking) and often boring. Even when customized doesn’t always look that great.
-Web designers are less knowledgeable in customizing a Blogger blog.
-Less control over SEO as compared to WordPress.
-Better SEO than Blogger.
-Ability to self-host and own content.
-Snazzier looking templates.
-Tabbed pages to divide up content or have bio page etc.
-Better platform to incorporate advertising.
-Easier to create posts from mobile device.
-More progressive widgets.
-Will cost more money to transfer content/followers over and set up new design/template.
-Wordpress is a platform I’m not familiar with yet.
-I can either use the free version, WordPress.com, which has limited templates and doesn’t allow customized templates or plug-ins, or I can use the costly version, WordPress.org, which requires me to find my own host and deal with my own back-up/spam/upgrades. Though self-hosting might not be much money a month, having someone knowledgeable in all of this (for I am not) and to take care of my blog for me could end up costing me a lot (see morehere).
-Potentially screwing up my migration of content and followers from Blogger over to WordPress.
What are your thoughts? Should I try to drum up the extra money to put this blog on WordPress or should I stick with the platform that I’m familiar with?