You’ve done it! You’ve finally made the decision to jump into the blogging world. All that’s left to do is sort out the details. So how do you decide where to begin? You’ve got thousands of ideas floating around just itching to get out but how do you organize them and where do you post them? What you have now are more questions than answers. With a plethora of choices available to you, how do you make the choice that’s right for you?
The secret to picking just the right blogging platform lies in knowing just what your options are and how they weigh out when balanced on the pros and cons scale. Knowledge is the key and knowledge is my gift to you. Deciding on just what CMS system to go with can be a daunting task but if you understand the fine print and how each system works then your decision will become a far simpler one.
The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Let me first introduce you to WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Most likely WordPress has filtered into your awareness in some way or another. Most people believe it to be a free hosting site with which you can create and run your own website and much more. However, that synopsis really just covers the basics. Let me give you a much clearer picture.
WordPress has two options that fit the different needs of its database. WordPress.com is the most basic version of WordPress. Due to its gratuitous nature, this service is a fantastic starting point for those just making their foray into the blogging world. Its themes are limited and it doesn’t allow plug-ins. However, it can be an amazing tool with which to experiment on style and format. WordPress.com is hooked into the WordPress network thus allowing your content to be shared with a wide and expansive audience.
WordPress.org is the deluxe model of WordPress. It is a step up from the basics offering unique features such as the option to create your own domain name and the ability to completely control your site and information. There is a fee for using this service but it allows you to control your site information and exercise complete creative input over the process.
Along Comes Google Blogger
On par with WordPress.com is another service offered by Google. It’s known as Google Blogger and it too allows you free access to create your own blog. Much like its counterpart it’s themes and capabilities are limited. This site is owned and operated by Google and therefore Google holds the rights to your site or information.Â Due to their similarities, WordPress.org and Google Blogger are well worth your consideration when picking a CMS System.
Let’s examine these two entities separately so that we might get a better grasp on what we’re looking at here.
Pros and Cons of Google Blogger
Google Blogger has many benefits. It’s a free, easy to use service with no hidden fees.Â Being owned and operated by Google provides a ready to use security platform that gives you freedom and peace of mind.
However, Google Blogger offers limited themes, technology, templates and support to its participants therefore leaving clients to fend for themselves when faced with operating difficulties and concerns. Once you’ve gone with Google Blogger it’s extremely difficult to move if you change your mind and decide to go with a different blogging platform. You will most likely lose any of the valuable SEO that you have gathered in the process of relocating. Google also owns the rights to this site and the future of your site is dependent on the whims and fancies of a large organization. If the service is no longer viable in the eyes of Google, they are within their rights to shut it down.
Pros and Cons of WordPress.org
If you’re a serious blogger, then you really need to consider the benefits that WordPress.org has to offer. Multiple layout options allow the creative process to be a customized and gives the client the ability to design their blog to their exact specifications.Â Thousands of available plug-ins help the user add to their site at their own discretion. Probably the most noteworthy benefit to WordPress.org lies in the fact that it is self-hosted and your data, information and site belong to you in their entirety. This feature means that any future reorganizing or relocating can be accomplished with far greater ease. WordPress.org gives you access to a complete network with which to share and publish your content thus creating the potential for your site to acquire a wider fan base and audience.
The two main drawbacks of WordPress.org lie in its cost and lack of security. WordPress.org is not a free site. The ability to customize your layout and add multiple plug-ins comes at a price. The more you add to your site, the greater the fee you incur. See the above article related to fees associated with WordPress.org.Â The fees themselves may not be your concern but when it comes to security you are on your own. You are responsible for guarding your own doors so to speak and if you are just starting out it may not be your area of expertise.
If you’d like to learn more about the Pros and Cons of these two very similar CMS Systems, please check out this article.Â Ultimately it is you who must decide what works best for you but it’s good to have all the facts before you take the leap.
While investing your time and effort into creating a blog that is uniquely yours, you’ve got to consider the long-term as well. Your time is valuable and you need to know that the system you pick to support your blog with withstand the test off time. What is the future for each of these unique CMS Systems?
While looking at Google Blogger we must first concede that it is a Google initiative that falls under a large umbrella. We have witnessed the demise of products such as Google Reader and AdSense for feeds. Both of these products were licensed to Google and thus subject to the business decisions made by upper management. This leaves a tenuous future for Google Blogger as it too could be on the chopping block in the near future if it is deemed unnecessary by the Google elite.
In contrast, WordPress is its own entity and not dependent on one company or individual. Globally, thousands of businesses rely on WordPress and therefore it has grown to become one of world’s most popular content management systems. WordPress has bright and long-lasting future to look forward to.
Choosing the right CMS platform means you must have all the facts. Let’s delve into two more essential components of an effective CMS System.
Let me ask you, how much control do you need to have over your site? Are you ok with limited tools that only allow you to perform specific tasks on your website? What if you need to make extensions on your blog to meet a need? Is this an important feature to have? These are some important questions you need to ask yourself. If you deem any of these features essential than Google Blogger is not the service for you. It’s capabilities and tools are limited and thus you are left with the very basics.
On the other hand, WordPress allows you to grow and expand your website with the use of creative layouts and exciting plug-ins that can be added on at any point. If you so desire you could incorporate a store or a custom designed portfolio into the layout of your site. The options are endless!
When exercising control, WordPress wins over Blogger hands down!
When evaluating a service, you need to examine the support quotient as well. What happens if you get into difficulty and you require assistance? Google Blogger offers minimal support to its users. You may discover a user’s forum however it supplies basic documentation and the options are limited.
Now that’s move over to WordPress and see how it measures up. WordPress offers online documentation, community forums and IRC chatrooms where well experienced WordPress users and developers offer feedback and support. In addition to this extensive community based support you will discover that WordPress has a whole host of companies that provide assistance as an additional pillar of the WordPress network.
Blogging is the wave of the future and your business is your baby. Which direction will you go now that you know all the facts?
While both Google Blogger and WordPress.com are free, there are significant advantages to investing your time and effort into a system that is well-established, supportive and self-sufficient. WordPress allows you more than meets the eye. The future of your blog depends heavily on the system you choose to support it, so invest wisely.
While taking all the research into consideration I would highly suggest that you check out WordPress.org for all it has to offer. While free can be a great starting point with which to experiment, it is not always the best option if you want to see your business grow and develop into its full potential. While WordPress.org does come at a cost you don’t have to start off full-throttle. For as little as $12/year you can modestly begin your blog with the possibility of future expansion on the horizon. After all, 25 % of web users favor WordPress over Google Blogger! They must be onto something!
Ride into the future with WordPress.org! The future is here and the path is just a click away!