Choosing Blogger (Blogspot) as Your Blogging Platform

BlogHer Original Post

Blogger (or Blogspot) is a free blogging platform run by Google. My opinion is that it's a great platform for beginning bloggers who may be unsure about whether they are going to embrace blogging for the long-term or who may be unable (or unwilling) to pay for blog hosting.

Blogger Features:

  • An easy-to-use set-up wizard. You can be up and running with your blog in under five minutes.
  • Intuitive software. Tabs and buttons are easy to navigate.
  • Blogger is owned by Google so it integrates easily with Google Analytics, PicasaWeb (which gives you 1GB of free storage), and Feedburner.
  • The ability to easily incorporate RSS and advertising scripts if that interests you.
  • Free video, picture, and script hosting. You can easily insert pictures and video into your blog without the worry of bandwidth issues.
  • The option to use your own domain (.com name) instead of yourblogname.blogspot.com.

In addition, if you are comfortable with HTML and CSS you can tweak your template so it stands out from the rest. There are many free and customizable templates available for Blogger.

Trisha at Mom Dot gives us a list of things to remember when using a free blog hosting service like Blogger:

  • It's FREE.
  • The software is about near idiot proof. Already set up, its like a plug and play mentality. You need almost zero knowledge to become a blogger.
  • No pesky updates to worry about. Every 2 months I notice an “upgrade” button inside my blog since I am self hosted and its FRIGHTENING to upgrade. If you don’t upgrade, you face potential security risks, so either way, its scary.
  • Remember…they own the content there, so they don’t just give you free reign with FTP.

There are cons to using Blogger as your platform, though. The biggest one is that Blogger blogs are seen as less professional than those using WordPress.org as their platform. However, by tweaking your template and using your own domain name, it's becoming ever harder to determine which platform someone is using. The key to having a polished look on Blogger is to use your own domain name, use a unique template, and ditch the Blogger NavBar.

Other cons to using Blogger:

  • Some people complain about the commenting feature and that it isn't easy to use. You can get around this by installing HaloScan.
  • Many schools and public institutions block the Blogger platform which could significantly limit your audience.
  • I have found the Blogger Help files to be less than helpful. Even the forums are not as effective as the WordPress or TypePad help files. However, there are several blogs that explain the answers to common problems with Blogger. One of the most popular is Blogger Buster by Amanda Fazani.

Further reading:

In this series:
Choosing a Blogging Platform

In the coming weeks:
January 22: Choosing TypePad as Your Blogging Platform
January 29: Choosing WordPress as Your Blogging Platfrom

Melanie Nelson writes tips and instructions for beginning bloggers at Blogging Basics 101.

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