"Blogger vs. WordPress" (6 Reasons to Switch & How to Transfer to WP)

Blogger vs WordPress and 6 Reasons to Switch

I have a confession to make — I haven’t always been a WordPress user.

As a young writer roughly 10 or 15 years ago, I found myself looking for an online platform on which to share ideas and write about my day. I don’t remember which now-outdated system I chose back then, but the need to find a simple but powerful blogging program hasn’t gone away.

Today, the debate largely centers around WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, and Blogger, the free tool owned by Google. As WordPress users ourselves, we clearly favor self-hosted WordPress over free services such as WordPress.com or Blogger. (Don’t know the difference between self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com? Check out our resource comparing the two.)

We made the case for why you should turn to WordPress for your blogging needs and will even tell you how to move your site if you’ve outgrown your current Blogger setup.

1. WordPress Users Can Actually Own Their Site — With a Free Domain!

When choosing WordPress, you receive the software to do with what you wish. You host the WordPress software, along with all your website content, on your own account. On Blogger, your content lives on Google’s servers — if they decide to shut down Blogger, they don’t have to give you access to your data. That’s not likely, but wouldn’t you rather safeguard your keepsakes at home instead of a stranger’s house?

In addition to one-click installers to get you started with WordPress, many hosting providers include a free custom domain with your plan. That enables you to host your blog at yourname.com instead of the somewhat more tacky yourname.blogspot.com. Blogger lets you buy a custom domain name for $10 per year.

Get started with WordPress today and enjoy a free domain registration from a top-rated WP host:

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • WordPress pre-installed
  • FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
  • Host unlimited WordPress sites on one account
  • Choice of datacenter locations
  • Get started on InMotion now.

WORDPRESS
RATING

5.0
★★★★★

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 7 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress

2. WordPress is Open-Sourced and Actively Maintained, Unlike Blogger

With a global community of millions of developers working on WordPress, the CMS is always evolving to meet user needs and online trends. The WordPress platform is shared all the way down to the source code, meaning you can change and extend the service as needed. Blogger, on the other hand, is a proprietary product with no outside influence. While the Google team actively maintains the platform and occasionally releases new themes and updated features, the pace can’t possibly contend with the vibrant WordPress community.

3. WordPress and Blogger Both Tout Themes, but WP has Way More

Again, this is a numbers game. Blogger has a limited team behind its designs and only so many options for users to customize or create their own templates. New templates trickle out to the public here and there, but the platform hasn’t gotten a major facelift in a few years.

Screenshot of WordPress theme directory

WordPress includes thousands of themes in its directory, and many more are available externally.

WordPress, on the other hand, has hundreds of thousands of free and premium themes for seemingly every conceivable website need. Each theme is fully editable, and developers with a touch of experience and patience can create and upload their own custom design.

4. WordPress eCommerce Tools Make it Favorable for Making Money

Out of the box, neither Blogger nor WordPress comes with the ability to create an online storefront. WooCommerce, however, is the internet’s most popular eCommerce platform and is owned by the same company as WordPress. In the no-restrictions world of WordPress, however, you can use any number of platforms and plugins — most of which are available for free.

With Blogger, on the other hand, you can only earn money by displaying targeted ads through Google AdSense. To add an online store, you’ll need to reach out to Ecwid or Shopify, third-party eCommerce platforms, to integrate their selling tools.

5. Blogger Boasts Google Security, but No Plugins Means Less Flexibility

Here’s where Blogger might have the slightest of edges over WordPress. Because Google owns and operates the servers hosting your website, along with the blogging software itself, your website will be less susceptible to malicious attacks.

The popularity of WordPress makes the platform a big target, and rookie site owners inadvertently leave themselves vulnerable by not updating themes, plugins, or the WordPress software as a whole. The WordPress Codex provides some great resources to securing, or hardening, your WordPress installation. Recognizing this, however, developers have created hundreds of plugins aimed at securing your site, backing up your information, monitoring for attacks, and automating updates.

6. Moving From Blogger to WordPress is a Pain, so Don’t Start There!

Why do something twice when you can get it right the first time? If you have any aspirations for your blog beyond a private, online journal, you’ll eventually outgrow Blogger’s limited platform. WordPress is the better solution for stability, given the active community behind it. The lack of recent updates to Blogger might indicate that the system isn’t in Google’s long-term plans. Take the time to get started on the right foot.

How to Transfer Blogger to WordPress

Don’t worry, switching to WordPress doesn’t have to be a tedious process. WordPress plugins crop up from time to time that help with this process, but we prefer trusting our websites to the built-in tools both platforms offer. From finding a host to house your WordPress blog to importing your content, we’ll walk you through the process of a seamless transfer.

1. Select a Top Hosting Plan For WordPress

It might seem a little counterintuitive, but your first move for getting started with WordPress should be signing up with a hosting provider, not the CMS. You’ll want a shared hosting plan from a reputable company. In addition to easy WordPress installations, our favorite hosts include tons of extra features you’ll enjoy such as a free domain, unlimited storage space, and extra-fast SSDs for performance.

1.
InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • WordPress pre-installed
  • FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
  • Host unlimited WordPress sites on one account
  • Choice of datacenter locations
  • Get started on InMotion now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
5.0
★★★★★
InMotion: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress

2.
Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • Formally endorsed by WordPress
  • VPS technology and included CDN
  • ManageWP pre-installed
  • Automated data backups
  • 63% discount exclusively for HostingAdvice shoppers
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
4.9
★★★★★
Bluehost: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 5 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization and... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.bluehost.com/wordpress

3.
A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $3.92

  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and 1-click installs for WordPress
  • Turbo Server, SSD speed boost, and A2-optimized caching
  • A2-optimized WP plugins for performance and security
  • SSL certificates, PayPal integration, and 24/7 support
  • FREE HackScan and KernelCare
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
4.9
★★★★★
A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 4 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): If shared web hosting is what you need, A2 Hosting is the perfect host to help launch your site with your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. As part of A2's promise to emphasize performance, they've concocted several A2-optimized... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited RAID-10 $14.99 www.a2hosting.com/wordpress

See more WordPress hosts »

2. Export Blogger to WordPress in Settings

Prepare your Blogger content for its move by exporting it to an XML file. From your Blogger dashboard, go to your setting page and click on the “Other” link at the bottom of the navigation menu. Find the imports and backups section, and click the button for backing up your information. The system will combine your data into an XML file, which you can save to your computer.

3. Import Blogger to WordPress in the Tools Section of Your Dashboard

To get the content in WordPress, log into your new site. From the WordPress admin interface, navigate to “Tools” and then “Import” in the menu on the left. The import page will list several platforms that commonly get merged into WordPress; click on Blogger to install that specific importing tool. Once added, don’t forget to click the “Activate Plugin & Run Importer” link.

The importer will ask you to upload the XML file you exported from Blogger. Upload the file and watch as WordPress imports each of your Blogger posts. When it is done, WordPress will ask you to assign the posts to an author.

4. Set Up Your Permalinks and Redirects for Your New Site

Now that your content has arrived, you can tweak some WordPress options to make sure your readers and search engines can still find your content. First, go to Settings and then Permalinks in the WordPress dashboard navigation to make your URLs more SEO friendly and close to Blogger’s URL structure; that means selecting the Month and Name option.

Now that the content is labeled correctly, you’ll want to set up redirects to funnel your readers to the right website and posts. To point people to your WordPress blog, log back into the Blogger portal. Navigate to the template page in your settings and revert back to the classic template. From there, you’ll want to edit the template HTML — don’t worry, it’s simple copy and paste. Replace everything in the Blogger text area with this code, making sure to change example.com with your WordPress domain:

Save the template and move to the Site Feed section of the Settings area, which is found under Other. Change your Post Feed Redirect URL to http://example.com/feed, again changing the URL to your domain. Now, log out of Blogger — you’re all done with that platform!

In WordPress, however, you’ve got one more redirect to create. Navigate to your theme editor, which is found under the Appearance menu. On the right, find and click on Theme Functions, which will open your functions.php file. To avoid breaking anything, we recommend you scroll to the bottom of the file and find your closing PHP tag: ?> . Immediately before this tag, paste the following code:

You can hit the enter key to put the closing tag back on its own line, if you’d like. Once you update the file by clicking the bottom under the text area, your WordPress site is ready to go! Visitors clicking on a link to an old Blogger post will instead arrive at the same post on your new website.

5. Move Your Blogger Images to Your New WordPress Library

Occasionally, the WordPress importer might miss a few images from your Blogger site. As with basically every other headache you might encounter on WordPress, there’s an available plugin that will ease the pain. We recommend Auto Upload Images; install and update the plugin, which will scan your posts for links to images that still exist on your Blogger site. The plugin will then add the images to your WordPress media library and update the URL.

WordPress vs. Blogger — Why WordPress Wins with Long-Term Value

We say it all the time — free is great, but “almost free” is usually much better when it comes to websites and hosting. Whether you’re blogging, running an eCommerce store, or hosting your professional portfolio, the number of benefits, tools, and security features with a basic hosting plan makes the spare change you’ll invest in your online presence a bargain.


Continue comparing with similar articles on popular site-building options:


Voice your thoughts on either of these popular platforms — or thoughts on blogging life in general — by commenting below!

Laura Stamey

Questions or Comments? Ask Laura!

Ask a question and Laura will respond to you. We strive to provide the best advice on the net and we are here to help you in any way we can.

  • Rgulf Constant

    Nice post.thanks for sharing it.

  • Louise Roberts

    Hi Laura, It makes me so cross; I have had a blog on WordPress for years. It has always been possible to logon using either a ‘Username OR Email address” . I have ALWAYS used my email address, then without warning they change it very recently [perhaps in the last two weeks] for Username only. Had I received some warning of the changes to come I might have had a chance to check my settings