Blogger or WordPress: which is best for student blogs?


This is an article by Rosey Stones.
You could write for Behind the Spin too. Find out how here.

Why blog?

Some think that in this age of social networking blogging has become a thing of the past.

Why bother writing a blog? Can we not just publish our thoughts via tweets? Do people not prefer these quick, straight to the point status updates?

Well, in response to this, I don’t think so. Blogs should be used as a visual aid. They allow us to add images and videos directly to the post. This way, others can view them instantly on one page. Blogs also allow us to go into depth and express ourselves in full, rather than being restricted to 140 characters.

Although Twitter is an extremely popular way to share thoughts and opinions, blogs still allow a further extension of this. Using Twitter does offer the advantage of being able to easily reach an audience. I guess that’s why so many people use Twitter to promote their blogs, because it does allow one access to more potential viewers.

But Twitter alone restricts a writer’s creativity and does not offer you the opportunity to express yourself in full. So don’t underestimate blogging in modern society. I don’t think we’ve had enough of reading others’ ramblings just yet.

When it came to starting my PR blog I was torn between using Blogger or WordPress. Both seemed equally popular and both seemed to offer everything I needed. However, there are differences between the two that may sway your decision.

Blogger

Timothy Curtis uses Blogger

Many first first year students follow Timothy Curtis in preferring Blogger.

Before coming to university I had already started a blog on Blogger, as it was recommended by a friend.

I started it in order to track and record my progress through my A-level results and also to voice my opinions on particular stories. I needed a site that would allow me to make quick posts in my spare time, almost like public diary entries.

When first looking at the Blogger site, I was immediately impressed by how easy it was to start my blog. Literally at the click of a button I was redirected to enter my details. Once this was complete I was then led to a home page, where I could easily manage my blog on a well-navigated account page.

It was relatively simple to make new posts, and within those posts I was able to add images from files and other media. It was important for me to be able to add images to illustrate what I was saying in the posts, as I understand how overwhelming a long paragraph of words can be.

My blog using Blogger

However, as my blog progressed, I realised that there wasn’t much else I could do with my blog other than make posts, which were then listed down the side.

Although it was straightforward and easy to grasp the basics of posting on the blog I was unable to find a way to make a menu for my posts so they were easier to access, and was also unimpressed with way my blog was looking visually.

The themes seemed to be childish and basic, and often the way in which my blog posts would appear in the “preview” would not be how they then appeared once published on the blog.

I also found that adding HTML was difficult and rarely worked. Although it was easy to use at first, I found myself spending lots of time tweaking codes and fonts in order to make the blog look the way I wanted it to.

WordPress

Clare Siobhan Callery is a good example of a student choosing WordPress for her blog.

Clare Siobhan's WordPress blog

“It has to be WordPress all the way,” Clare told me.

“It has a fantastic interface and just looks so much more professional!”

When I thought about starting another blog to focus on my PR experiences, I decided to have a look at using WordPress.

At first I found the website was presented in a format that made it hard to create a blog quickly and easily.

However once I had got my head around it, and spent some time with it, I was all set up with a new blog.

The thing that really caught my eye was the choice of themes and the appearance of these themes. I tried some out and all of them looked equally professional and smart, as apposed to the childish and often disappointing themes offered on Blogger. These more formal options helped make the blog look somewhat industry standard and in turn I believed it would be taken more seriously.

Admittedly, it was slightly harder to get used to making blog posts with WordPress. There were more options and different processes that you had to go through before, which had me pretty confused. However after playing around on it for half an hour I got used to the format and was blogging away.

The best factor in favour of WordPress is its overall functionality. Navigation within the blogs is much easier and, best of all, you are given the option to separate posts into categories to make them more easily accessible. This was a huge advantage over the Blogger site because it allowed me to create separate pages using the “appearance” page in the “edit my profile” section.

I was much more happy with the overall appearance of my WordPress blog than the blog I had previously created using Blogger.

People preferred my WordPress blog

When both blogs were published, the feedback confirmed what I had already suspected.

Almost everyone preferred the WordPress blog because it “looked better” and was “easier to read”, in my opinion the two most important and vital factors of any blog.

So in terms of the overall outcome and producing results, WordPress would be my personal preference for creating a student blog.

Comments

  1. Hi Rosey,

    Great post. Although I use WordPress for my own site, it’s probably worth mentioning Tumblr as well, which is a really easy way to set up a customisable blog.

    Mark

  2. Bryony Czujko says:

    After reading this Rosey I totally agree! I just set up my first blog on blogger last night (basically because it was the first thing to pop up on Google and was easy to set up!)
    Seeing as though my blog is brand new I think I might just copy and paste it into wordpress ASAP! May as well get it sorted before I progress further 🙂
    Thanks for the advice
    🙂

  3. In my eyes WordPress over blogger all day.

    But this could raise another question. WordPress.org vs wordpress.com, both very different in there own ways.

    Great Post

  4. I am personally not keen on Blogger, and much prefer WordPress.

    However there are plenty other platforms to choose from. Mark suggests Tumblr – which is great for images and sharing content – but maybe not for in depth articles.

    Another favourite of mine is Posterous – this looks simple and is easy to navigate. It is easy to clip information from other sites (Amplify is also good for this) and a post can be submitted so easily by email!

    My blog is built with iWeb, so yet another platform to use! Shop around and find the best that works for you and your content. I think if I were to start all over, I would choose Posterous.

  5. Great article and I agree WordPress is definitely the better option, another reason would be for SEO, WordPress blogs are proven to show up higher on Google searches than Blogger ones.

  6. Can that be right, Laura? Blogger is owned by, er, Google.

    It would be a curious case of choosing competitive disadvantage if Google didn’t rate its own blogging platform.

    Yet Google doesn’t seem to have done much with Blogger in its years of ownership.

    (Trivia quesion: what did Blogger’s creator Evan Williams go on to next? Answer: Twitter.)

  7. Great article Rosey. Having never used either, it is worth knowing the relative merit of each. Personally, from what you say, I can’t see the point of the Blogger, other than quick messaging. I will take a closer look at Word Press.

  8. I guess there are some advantages to using wordpress.com over Blogger, but the real advantage of WordPress is that it’s designed to be used as part of your own website. I haven’t been on WordPress.com for years, but last I checked it wasn’t free – if you wanted to really get into the customisation optons you have to pay to them unlock them.

    If you’re going for professional, I’d say neither Blogger or WordPress.com are near as good as using your own web host and domain. You have 100% freedom over how you design and run your blog, and you prove you have the skills to run a website. As a bonus, it’s not anywhere near as complicated people think. It does cost money of course, but my hosting costs around £20 a year, so I can deal with that.

    I do agree overall though. There’s a place for blogger as an easy, accesible and quick way to post things up, but it’s default themes and layouts are more designed for the online diary of a 14 year old than a PR profressional, in my opinion. Then again, not everyone likes the way WordPress does things, and there are FAR more blogging platforms out there than just these two.

    RE: SEO, Google caches Blogger posts pretty much instantly, but you’ll find it far harder to get your site found on the basis of a search like ‘your name PR’ using Blogger and WordPress.com than you will with your own domain and a bit of SEO work.

  9. Blogger, Posterous and Tumblr are useful blogging platforms, but I would recommend that students spend some time getting to grips with WordPress.

    There are many reasons for choosing WP over its rivals, such as ease of use, increased functionality and SEO – but most importantly it is an industry standard platform and a working knowledge of how it works will certainly be attractive to a prospective employer.

    If anyone is looking to start blogging I would advise looking at Clare Siobhan Callery’s WordPress guide. It’s well worth a read.

    http://claresiobhanpr.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/wordpress-guide.pdf

  10. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for.

    Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you?
    I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome web site!

  11. Early to sleep and first to elevate tends to make a young lady balanced, wealthy as well as practical.

  12. What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & assist different customers like its helped me. Great job.

    Here is my blog … toaster oven

  13. At this time it sounds like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  14. Hi to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this website,
    and your views are good in favor of new visitors.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I’ve always been curious about how it compares to other blogging websites. A blog posted on Behind the Spin by Rosey Stones gave me all of the information I was looking […]

  2. taxi orlando fl

    Blogger or WordPress: which is best for student blogs?

Leave a comment