AKA as the post in which I kill any chance of ever becoming a Google Certified Teacher.
Let me preface my rant by saying that Google does an awesome job at some things. I’ve used google as a search engine since 1999, gmail since 2005, I think chrome is the best browser at the moment and google docs blows my freaking mind. However having made the move to wordpress from blospot back in 2009, I am sorry to say that the google’s blogging platform comes up short.
I know that setting up a blog with blogspot is easy especially if you already have a google account. I also don’t like that wordpress’s reader doesn’t seem to like blogspot blogs (whereas google will still pick up feeds from wordpress users).
However I am going to outline the reasons why I think wordpress is a far better platform that blogger and why you need to think carefully about which platform to use when starting blogs either for your own use or that of your students.
Yes blogger has that next blog feature, but wordpress has a wonderful selection of posts that are chosen for strong content/interest which they update daily on a daily basis. You can subscribe to freshly pressed here.
Being able to like and reblog posts, pingbacks
WordPress has a nifty like feature which enables its users to not only like the blog but also reblog it on their own blog ala tumblr. Using pingbacks is also useful to let someone else know that you are linking to their site. Ok google plus has the +1 feature but there aren’t enough users on google+ at the moment to make this a worthwhile feature at the moment. On the other hand, wordpress has a community of millions of users.
Better comment management systems
WordPress has a far more sophisticated comment management system. I can choose to moderate all comments, let people who have previously commented have commenting privleges, there’s a chance to comment via your twitter account, as a guest etc. Moreover the wordpress platform lets you edit comments. This can be handy if part of a comment violates your moderating policy but the rest of it is fine. With blogger you can only delete a whole comment meaning the user needs to resubmit it. Oh did I mention that you can now comment with your twitter account on wordpress blogs?
More sophisticated privacy settings
Alongside making my entire blog privately published, I can choose to make some posts password-protected or privately publish them.
Being able to tag posts
Tagging a post on say education brings up a posts from any other wordpress user for you to visit.
WordPress is open source
There’s a reason wordpress blogs look better* not to mention the interface is heaps better. WordPress is an open source platform meaning that the people working on it are actually using it.
You can request feedback on a draft before posting
WordPress has an inbuilt system where I can email someone a copy of my post before publishing which I think is awesome. The person doesn’t even need to be a wordpress user to visit the draft and add comments.
The biggie especially for schools – who owns the data?
With WordPress, you can own the domain name and the blog is hosted on your own account. This means you have full control over your content and don’t have to worry about google shutting down your account without warning if they (or other users) don’t like what you’re blogging about. With the self-hosted version of WordPress (not WordPress.com), you’re free to write about anything you want, and use the software in any way you want. There is also an option to export your site easily meaning that you have access to your data.Yes blogger allows you to publish to your own domain but google still owns the database that holds your content. Something you might want to mull over.
And last one
It is dead easy to make the move over to wordpress without losing your content.
Right I’ve made my case which blogger user is going to bring it?
*Having viewed my blog on an ipad thanks to @stevevoisey I’m astounded at how quickly the platform was able to adapt its systems to compliment a new device.
I had no idea it was open source. Google is starting to turn evil…
Yeah I didn’t realise that wordpress was open source until I started researching this blogpost. Though I think the question of ownership of data is an important one for schools to think about esp in NZ where most schools have thrown their lot in with google.
We use wordpress as a portal for our students to access information about school, key events, gallery viewer, house points update, and quick access links using the sidebar. I can provide different permissions to students, teachers, whanau leaders so they can do updates. It has also allowed students to be able to comment on events as well. The best part of it is that we can get students to create themes for it. It is so easy to update.
Interesting to hear that, I know that wordpress do some work with education so it would be interesting to see.
I switched from blogger to wordpress last year. Moving out of google to my own go-daddy.com account was painful though. I now know how to save myself with an FTP client and rebuild all the errors I create as I go.
WP does have a bunch of scalable features. I’m keen to use it for my school’s website soon.
I haven’t gone self-hosted yet but moving across from blogger to wordpress.com wasn’t so painful.
If you move over to a self-hosted version of wordpress then you get a whole bunch of plug ins for your blog to personalize. As far as I am aware the self-hosted version of wordpress leaves blogger to shame in terms of personalisation features.
I can vouch for the huge plug in selection on self hosted WP. There’s a bunch of plug ins designed to imitate blogger’s widget choice too. Considering also using it for a password protected staff space to share resources.
Whoa ….that was an eye opener.
I, too, had no idea WordPress was open source.
Because many website hosts/builder sites offer WordPress as part of the package, I think many newbies at web building are thinking they are getting something EXTRA for their money.
Now another thing to think about: how many people went with using BLOGGER because they just knew it was free and seemed pretty simple( if bland in appearance) to use?
How many also went with BLOGGER not realizing WordPress is open source? One can only wonder…
There are many good things to be said about the multitude of free GOOGLE services; so no we can’t quite knock Google.
Who knows, maybe one day soon, they will improve upon BLOGGER and bring it up to WordPress standards; even possibly exceeding it.
For now you have given many of us who were clueless about the differences between the two, a lot to think about before making a decision on which to use.
Thanks for enlightening us! Great piece ! 🙂
Yup the open source thing makes WordPress far awesome! Like I said I don’t have a hate for google, they do some things really well but not all!
I just signed up a blog under wordpress and I think it has been so difficult. It has a very limited number of themes and I can’t pick my colors, change backgrounds, etc. I have spent hours on there and there just isn’t much options at all for changing the appearance of the blog. Can someone help me out? I am thinking about going back to blogspot.
I haven’t really found the need to change colours etc. The masthead can be changed to personalize your site.
When you go from a self-hosted WP to WP.com, it’s quite a shock. I couldn’t believe how limited everything is there. I was expecting to be able to bring my theme over but it seems I have to shell out quite a few bucks to even begin to do any changes there beyond the header image.
I’m still on the fence on whether or not to move to blogspot or just move to WP.com and get used to the extreme limits there.
I left Blogger, my blog on which I spent a lot of time has been removed, because it was marked as spam. My blog was just about my city. That is what annoys me when things are connected to Google.
how can I delete a entire gallery? I’m not liking wordpress. Everything takes more time than in the blogspot. There is more resources but it takes a lot of work to do any changes in your blog…
I don’t know, I somehow feel like wordpress blogs seems tacky and pretentious. And there’s to much stuff cluttering the overall feel. I know that you can change all this, but then again, you can customize everything on blogger as well.