When I was just a Blogger user, who had never used a self-hosted WordPress, I always thought Blogger was the best blogging platform on the internet (I’m not proud of saying that in 2014). During my run with Blogger, I once read an article on why we should never migrate to WordPress. It was an article from My Blogging Tricks. I have nothing bad to say about MBT, but it looked like at that point they had really little knowledge about the WordPress community (they spell(ed) WordPress without a capital W and P).
So here’s what I’m going to do today – I’ll put some quotes from that article and then we’ll talk about if there’s any reality to them.
Money & Pain
If you have resources and the potential to spend bucks to hire a developer who could configure and maintain your site, then wordpress is your best option without any doubts. But if you are not a professional in online business and have limited funds, then switching to this platform will cause you both money and pain. This is where individual bloggers fail to understand the maintenance requirements and trap themselves with the headache of tons of MYSQL errors and broken codes.
All major hosting companies offer one-click WordPress install to their clients, which even a monkey (they all work for WWE as creative writers) can perform. When I started my first WordPress site, I only spent $35 to purchase PHP hosting to install WordPress. Only $35, which is less than Google Adsense’s minimum payment amount.
And it’s only for a hosting plan. In fact, MBT also recommends all Blogger users to buy a hosting account but at the same time they’re not in favor of buying a hosting account where we really need it. Looks like they were really high on pushing Hostgator’s affiliate program to earn some extra bucks out of your hosting purchases.
As far as it stands for pain, I never faced any MySQL errors or broken codes until I start messing with the codes, so DON’T MESS WITH THE CODE if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Extremely Difficult To Customize
WordPress has more freedom for a web developer but a compact space for web designer. Since people learn HTML and CSS more easily compared to any programming script like PHP, XML and ASP, therefore introducing new div sections into the template or creating custom drop down menus or widget sections or even adding plugins on any specific location inside the post-body is indeed a tough job for a non-programmer.
Unlike WordPress that has hundred of files that act as controllers, Blogger gives access to the entire structure of the blog through an HTML editor which clearly displays basic HTML tags like Head and body and hides server side scripting thus making the job of template editing easy even for a non-programmer.
WordPress themes gives you freedom to customize the entire theme without touching a single line of code. MAKE is a free WordPress theme which gives an entire drag & drop layout to create your own version of the theme. Plus, WordPress gives you widgets, menus, custom post types and a lot. Meanwhile, Blogger themes requires you to edit the HTML codes even for the navigation menus.
I don’t know which theme they used which had “hundred of files,” but the themes that I usually play with only contains less than 20 files. And I have no idea what they meant when they said, “even adding plugins on any specific location inside the post-body is indeed a tough job for a non-programmer.” Adding plugins inside the post-body? Are they talking about shortcodes?
Buggy And Out-Dated Plugins
There is no proper debugging done of all plugins submitted to wordpress Plugin directory. Most of the plugins do not support the latest versions of the WP and often lacks design flexibility. Most Plugin’s stylesheet often conflicts and overrides your main stylesheet which distorts the blog template display.
I’m using tons of plugins throughout my WordPress sites, and they all are up-to-date with the latest WordPress version. They all are working perfectly and most of them are free plugins off the WordPress’ official plugin directory.
It’s worth noting that using plugins on your WordPress website is optional, and you can run a site without using any of them. By the way, Blogger doesn’t support any plugins!! No, none, nope, nada, nahi, nothing!
There are over 30,000 free plugins on WordPress’ plugin directory, and I bet you can find the one that suits you just by searching it. If not, then you should listen to John Overall and Marcus Couch’s WordPress Plugins podcast.
Support Forum With No Support & Costly Troubleshooting
Pray that you may never encounter to look for help in WordPress support forum. Most members there are often not developers and the solutions that they suggest often prove less of help. Indeed the community is very active in replying but you will still find several unanswered questions which are over two years old. If you are a non-programmer then no matter who tries to help, you will find every suggestion more like solving a mathematical puzzle.
If you want to receive proper support from WordPress community members, you should post a detailed report of your issues and you’ll receive a proper answer. Plus, WordPress support forums is not the only place to ask for the support because the folks at Stack Exchange are doing some pretty good job. Plus, WordPress community is way too much active than any other community on the internet (not taking anything away from IWC).
If you could not find a solution online or could not figure out or debug an error then you would surely need a developer’s help. It again costs money and as a developer myself, we do charge a lot. 😉
I can’t completely deny this line, but at the same time you can hire WordPress developers for $5 from fiverr. On a related note, I’m a level 2 seller on fiverr 😉
Plethora Of Useless Plugins
Plugins! You will find tons of same plugins with different names. Most of them are either out-dated, dead, or not compatible with your theme style. The best plugins which look professional are often premium and costs a lot. A simple pop-up subscription box or Jquery slider would cost you as high as $70, which is even greater than the cost of one year hosting at Hostgator.
We would agree that there are dozens of useful plugins too but if you are looking for an eye-catching and magnificent plugin that you just discovered at a blog while browsing, then you would often find yourself annoyed when the plugin is tagged as Premium!
Seriously? You don’t need to install all 30,000 plugins to your WordPress, but the one that you really want. You can get over 30,000 free WordPress plugins on the official plugin directory. I’m using a free pop-up subscription box on my other site, which gives me a drag & drop editor to create the pop-up box. You can’t get anything like that on Blogger. If it’s premium, then it’s worth the money because there’s a developer who worked his ass off in coding that plugin to make him eye-catching.
WooCommerce is a free plugin which allows you to run an entire online store on your WordPress website, while WordPress SEO by Yoast takes care of SEO of your WordPress. If you want the performance, then you have to pay the price.
Again, they were busy in selling “one year hosting at Hostgator.”
I have nothing against My Blogger Tricks or anything they represent, but I was frustrated with this article. Yes, it’s a SHOOT! I used to be a reader of their site when I was new to blogging and I appreciate their work. No hard feelings 🙂
If you are looking for detailed instructions on starting a blog with WordPress, take a look at this awesome and comprehensive blogging guide released by FirstSiteGuide, they are giving away a free eBook as well!
I love Blogger, but I think it’s worth migrating to WordPress if you want to take your blog to the next level.