Almost a month ago a friend asked why Blogger was still a good service compared to Wordpress or other choices. I gave him a quick reply with the promise of extending that into a Blog Post so here it is.
Blogger even now 10 years after it was introduced continues to be the #1 Blogging Platform of the world. Wordpress is now not as behind in the numbers as it was only 2 years ago. Wordpress i will concede that have been ahead in terms of features for almost 3 years now. But that only happened because of Google serious neglect to Blogger. The why on that is subject long enough to be explored in several long blog posts if i truly desired it. But i actually have already done that before years ago. There is not really much of a point now. Not because it is not relevant, but because it would be beating on a dead horse that has been dead for years.
But even with the age and the tribulations, Blogger continues to stand tall mostly thanks to 3 things:
I.- Its core concept is around Freedom.
Blogger is a Free service that gives you all the Freedom to do whatever you want of it. The only requirement for you to take advantage of Blogger is to have the know-how.
Unlike what Google would want you to believe, this was always the concept from the very beginning. Blogger was really so advanced in its core principles and philosophy that it took the world by storm and its first mover advantage gave them such a immense head start that it remained untouchable for almost 7 years.
II.- It is hosted but extensible.
Blogger is a hosted service like Wordpress.com and TypePad.com but unlike them, you can not only do more than what those Blog Platforms can, with Blogger you can now do pretty much everything that a self-hosted Wordpress and Movable Type blog can do. You only need to know how to do it and know the right services and tools to do it.
Blogger big weapons start with Blogger Gadgets and Blogger Page Elements.
There is a ecosystem of these you can use to change your blog and add services that do not come integrated by default.
But you also can count on everything from third parties too. Web services and widgets in general. These same things can be said of the self-hosted Wordpress. but given its nature, that is not the standard way.
Wordpress got a very strong community. But guess what?. Blogger does too. I would say that Wordpress and Blogger are without question the biggest communities too. The problem with Blogger is that the communities are extremely localized given that Blogger is a truly Global online service.
Going Into Specifics
But if i have to specify the why of Blogger is still a great choice for everyone, i would have to give out the TOP 10 reasons why i choose it over everything else, even after having been using Wordpress, Movable Type and other CMS like Joomla and Drupal in the last 2 years i was mostly away from Blogger:
(In no order of importance)
1.-Blogger now got 3000+ Templates.
One of the weakest points Blogger had before it reached version 3.0, the one that we now simply call “The New Blogger” were Themes. There were lot of layouts but not a lot of fully themed templates. Much less really advanced ones.
Now any Template you can imagine in any blog platform can also be ported or you can find a equivalent of it for Blogger.
There are 1000 compatible Google Gadgets that can be used in Blogger if you sum Blogger Gadgets, iGoogle Gadgets (properly formated) and Web Gadgets.
You can also develop your own and submit them to Blogger.
3.-Blogger Page Elements
They are a way to create services for Blogger and even distribute Hacks and Mods into a Blogger blog eliminating all the installation complexity of the old days. They are Blogger version of Wordpress Plugins and two good examples would be Blogger Blog Pagination and Advanced Blogger Blog Footers. Both can be installed into a Blogger blog via a One Click Install page element.
4.-Easy Widget Handling
Handling Flash, Silverlight,Java, JavaFX, Ajax, Media based or any other kind of Widget is not a big deal in Blogger. You only need to put it in the post or at most add it to a third party code sandbox Blogger Gadget (The HTML/JS gadget) and Blogger will let it render.
This is not the case in most Self-Hosted blog platforms. You first need to add a plugin to ensure optimum compatibility for Media based widgets and even for a better handling of Silverlight or Java based ones.
Pretty much any Widget works in Blogger and if it don’t, you can force it to work.
Widget based services can also be very advanced ones like
- Alternative Comment Systems,
- Alternative Profile Systems,
- Ranking systems that output results to a sidebar widget,
- Backup services,
Maintenance, Back Ups and Security could not be easier to check on. You can back up locally and there are also services to back up to online for you. You are able to restore with one click too. Try to do that elsewhere. You will need to set up several Plugins to help you with each thing and if your blog database gets corrupted be ready to fire up a FTP to your host so you can fix it.
You only really need to take care in having a great password and a great secondary security password that links to a secondary e-mail account that also has a different great password. Those things are ESSENTIAL since in Blogger what you need to protect is your Google Account.
Automatic SEO-SEP since it is a Google Property you get INSTANT Google indexation with very good results and without cheating. While there are not SEO-SEP plugins (that i know of) in Blogger. You can archive the same things by hardwiring them to a Blogger blog by copy & pasting code in the right places.
Ads integrations and Ad Management could not be easier.
You got integrated Google Adsense, Integrated Amazon Affiliate options and also you will quickly find out that all of the big Ad Networks support Blogger. then you will only need to do one click installs or drop code into a third party code gadget and you will be in business faster than in any other Blog Platform.
9.-Easy Stats Integration.
All of the Top Ten stat providers work in Blogger, you can choose one or simply go with Google Analytics. Easy peasy.
You only really need to pay for your Domain and that is IF YOU WANT TO.
(If you know where to look, .Info and .Name domains are offered for FREE in exchange of simple link back or a badge, otherwise these only cost $1 a year).
So with a Blogger Blog you got:
- No Hosting Fees,
- Full Source Code Access,
- Free Image Hosting,
- Free Video Hosting,
- Free Stats,
- Free Services
- Free Templates
- Free RSS services
- Free social sharing tools.
- Full Control.
Having a Self-Hosted Wordpress, Movable Type, Joomla, Drupal Blog will run you from 50 to 150 bucks a year compared to the 1 to 15 bucks you pay for a domain depending the kind of domain or what special domain based features you need or want. Even hosted blog platforms will run you from 50 bucks a year and up.
I for example at one time (2006) did a whole organization website network based in lots of custom Blogger Blogs linked with each other since every section (section.domain) or page (domain.com/page) was handled by smart forwarding, domain masking, etc. All based on simply being clever for the low low cost of 30 bucks a year and that i obviously charged a bit more for. The same thing can of course not only be still done, but right now it would be truly impossible to notice it unless you looked at the source code. There are also a lot more of nice domain services and very very powerful Widget based services compared to then.
For everything i wrote above and maybe more, Blogger is a great choice and it can be the best choice for a Blog Platform even now as we are about to reach 2010.
- ▼ December (3)