This is part one in the series: Blogger Vs. WordPress, and it does contain affiliate links.
“I will never ever move from Blogger to WordPress,” I told myself this time last year after reading several articles about the supremacy of WordPress and the inadequacies of Blogger. I resolved then and there never to be one of those kind of bloggers. You know the ones, right? They proudly make the move from Blogger to WordPress and then tell you that Blogger is worthless and WordPress is the only “professional” platform.
I’m holding true to my resolution, y’all. At least I’m going to try to.
Anyone who says that you can’t blog professionally on Blogger has never read, or at the very least gives little credit to Kelle Hampton, Kelly’s Korner, Living in Yellow, Danielle Moss, The Wonder Forest, Just Lovely Things, The Anderson Crew, and the Wiegands. Not only are these women “making it” blogging, but they’re doing it on the Blogger Platform.
There is no shame in blogging on Blogger. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
So why did I make the switch?
Imagine if you will that the content on your blog is a beautiful grand piano. A family heirloom, in pristine condition, that you inherited from your great-great-great Aunt Gertrude. It not only holds monetary value, it holds sentimental value as well.
Unfortunately you have no room to put it in your two bedroom almost-an-efficiency apartment. So you call up your first-cousin-twice-removed-by-marriage Horace and ask him if you can store the piano at his place.
Cousin Horace has three sets of unruly twins, and a pot-bellied pig that lives inside, so while he’s willing to keep it (for free!) he can’t guarantee what may or may not happen to it while it’s there. You agree to leave your beloved grand piano with Horace (and the twins…and the pig) and as you drive away you have a sneaky suspicion that if Horace ever ends up in a financial bind, the piano might just disappear.
The piano is technically yours. But while it’s in the home of Cousin Horace (and the twins…and the pig) you’ve sort of given up most of the control of the piano.
You guessed it. In this little analogy, Cousin Horace’s home represents Blogger. And the grand piano represents your precious, valuable content.
You do own your content. You own the copyrights to your content, and if you discover that someone is plagiarizing your content you can even contact Google (who owns Blogger) and they will help you deal with it.
But Google owns the storage unit where all your content is stored, and according Google’s terms of service,
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.
And there’s more:
We are constantly changing and improving our Services. We may add or remove functionalities or features, and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether.
You can stop using our Services at any time, although we’ll be sorry to see you go. Google may also stop providing Services to you, or add or create new limits to our Services at any time.
We believe that you own your data and preserving your access to such data is important. If we discontinue a Service, where reasonably possible, we will give you reasonable advance notice and a chance to get information out of that Service.
How WordPress is Different
Using the analogy above, imagine that instead of putting your grand piano in the care of Cousin Horace (and the twins…and the pig) you crunched the numbers and decided to rent a big indoor climate controlled storage unit at Public Storage. You invest the money to protect what is so very valuable to you, signing a lease that leaves you in complete control of what happens to Aunt Gertrude’s grand piano – so long as you continue paying your lease.
Having a self-hosted blog is sort of like signing a long-term lease on a Public Storage unit.
When I moved my blog to WordPress, I purchased server space for the next three years – from BlueHost – that’s sort of like renting a Public Storage unit for the grand piano. I also bought a framework – Genesis – that’s sort of like picking out the layout + options of the storage unit. And I bought a theme – Pure Elegance – which really has no correlation in this analogy, unless you paint and decorate the storage unit so the grand piano looked good sitting there.
The point is: I own this website.
Every word I write, every picture and document I upload belongs to me. I have exclusive access to A Royal Daughter 100% of the time.
Of course, being intangible and electronic, servers fail. (Remember a few months ago when that server up in the North East failed and no one had access to Pinterest, Amazon, Instagram, and a bunch of other websites? Those things do happen.) But barring server failure, a blackout, or a zombie apocalypse, I expect to have guaranteed access to my website. When I was on Blogger I didn’t have that guarantee. And I just reached a point where my agreement with Google wasn’t working for me.
So I made the switch. It was the right decision for me, but I know that it’s not the right decision for everyone. And that’s okay.
Look for part two next week: Blogger Vs. WordPress: Search Engine Optimization. And if you have specific questions, please leave them in the comments. I’ll be doing my best to answer them in part three or part four.