Why Blogger is better for bloggers than Wordpress or Squarespace

Once every now and then I try to re-design my blog. And it's about time to have a real website that integrates this blog. Therefore, I did some massive research on the Internet, to find out the advantages and disadvantages between Bloger vs Wordpress vs Squarespace vs Wix vs Weebly and others ... 

The internet offers fantastic information on many tech blogs and youtube - but you need to be careful: Most comparisons between Blogger and Wordpress, or Wordpress and Squarespace are written by great IT experts who often happen to be affiliates of one of these sites - and then it can get biased. Or they claim everything is so complicated because they want to sell their own web development / web design skills.

What you cannot do, is to compare Blogger with Wordpress.org - because it is like comparing apples with oranges! You need to compare Blogger's free service with Wordpress's free-ish service at Wordpress.com (dot com). And then Wordpress(.com) looses and Blogger wins! At least that's what bloggers like me say, with blogs powered by Blogger for many years (me, now almost 8 years), and who know how to easily personalise your blog here at Blogger or BlogSpot, not even much HTML coding is required (but it is allowed).

To learn more about the blogging platform and features of Blogger vs Wordpress, and to be able to make a decision, you should read the most unbiased article I found on the internet by Make Use Of. I totally recommend to read Tim Brookes' post and also to read through the comments as he answeres all the questions of his readers and that might answer your questions too.

My short (2 days) experience with Wordpress allows me to say that freedom feels different. I couldn't believe that they shot down my new page (in the making, not even having content yet!). Although, another 2 days later they appologised for the mistake, and I am free to continue (and was asked to delete my cookies as they detected spam). But does that make me feel confident?

Wordpress(.com) can also shot your blog down when they detect any paid or affiliate links. BUT they are free to place any advertising into your posts! Don't like that? You can pay for an ad-free page. Want some small changes in your design? Pay some bugs extra! Videos? Only if you pay 60 USD per year! A favicon (small logo in the URL)? Costs extra! And pointing your own domain to yourname.wordpress.com page is possible, but you need to pay 13 USD per year (not including the registration)... Calculate, it adds up! That's why I say WordPress is "free-ish", as it is not really free.

In seven years with Blogger I had no single technical issue, and unlimited space for media, including videos, my own favicon and no charge for pointing my personalised domain name to my blog. So why I would think of changing after all?

Well, I wasn't a very active blogger (I never made the three posts per week rule). But although I blog less and less (our mission, the renovation and main content of this blog, is accomplished), I want to keep my little writing playround. And now, our beautiful guest residence requires some internet presence as well. - Before starting all over with a new website, I thought, it would be nice to have a professionally looking welcome page, a static landing page, instead of landing on the latest blog post.

My blog needs a static landingpage! 

I tried to tweak Blogger a bit in order to have a static landing page (and another page called "Blog" would feature the blog posts). I followed these intructions to create a static home page.  It is really simple and worked. The problem that I saw however, was a longer loading time. The redirecting worked fine on the PC and on the tablet, but did not work for the smart phone. The error message was about server cannot be loaded due to too many redirection. Also it did not look that great as your landing page shouldn't have a blogroll. With blogger however you cannot change the template design for single pages. There is one frame for all. And a blog needs a blogroll. Otherwise what is the point of blogging if you cannot engage your readers? 

On the internet there are many rumours that Google would close its blogging platform Blogger one day, as sudden as they closed Google Reader. It would be a pitty as Blogger is really easy to handle and you can make your blog look good with the "simple template" and then play around with the template in the advanced modus, or tweaking around with HTML and CSS - and it is all free! You are not even forced to use Google Adsense.

And then there is Squarespace. They are very, very good in martketing their platform! It seems like a hype (maybe their affiliate program is so attractive). They are already around since 10 years with 1,8 million websites/blogs. - They have a different approach. You need to pay a monthly fee. For that you get access to the web building software with top stylish templates and all seems easy to handle. And you have access to a 24/7 custmer support which is great in the beginning. They seem super nice and let you import your blog from Blogger (and others) and export your website to Wordpress, in case you want to terminate the hosting plan ... sounds fair enough.

Squarespace let you try out their templates 14 days for free and then you need to decide if you want to publish with them. I liked it. Their templates are clean and 'pretty'. Great for photographers and artist who want to show their work in galleries. Or for restaurant owners (there is a plug-in for a menue). BUT the features for a blog are very limited! As a blogger I would not choose this solution. I deem Squarespace is mainly for small businesses that do just a little bit of blogging on the side. There is no Html-CSS-fiddling-DIY-tweaking allowed.

Of coures there are many other platforms beside Blogger, Wordpress and Squarespace. A good overview and comparison can be visited here by the Website Builders. I checked Weebly and Wix as well, but they don't have the same good looking templates / themes as Wordpress or Squarespace, and furthermore they also cost some money for ads-free pages, favicon and domain pointing.

In the meantime, I returned to my blog powered by Blogger and have to say, it still looks okay. (I have now moved the blogroll(s) to the bottom of the layout). All these modern stylish minimalistic pages are maybe not even suitable for my love of the simple life in Southern Italy. And blogger is totally free - so best value!

For now, I will continue with Blogger. And one day I might either have a peaceful deal with Squarespace or my self-hosted website with Wordpress.org (dot org and NOT dot com).