Blogger or WordPress? Pros and Cons

Lots of people probably don’t know this, but back in December 2011 when I started this wee blog, it was hosted by WordPress.com. I loved the dashboard, loved the ease of use, and loved its emphasis on clean design. I quickly came to realize, however, that nearly every other book blogger out there was using Blogger, and they all had this fancy Google Friend Connect gadget that I couldn’t use on WordPress.

Determined to not be a fish out of water, and wanting to grow my readership, I decided to switch over to Blogger. You’d be surprised how many “Blogger to WordPress” articles I found, and how very few there were for people like me who wanted to do the reverse. Maybe I should have taken the hint.

After the announcement several months ago that GFC is on the outs, and more bloggers experiencing difficulties with Google and/or Blogger, several prominent blogs switched over to WordPress. More and more of the blogs I follow started doing the same. And the more WP blogs I saw, the more I started to envy my old WP platform and regret my choice to jump ship when I did.

Now I’m re-examining my options from the perspective of a somewhat established blogger instead of a newbie. I know more about what I’m doing, and what I want from my blog. I also know more about the kind of experience I want to provide my readers. I’m still comfortably parked on the fence, but I’m taking this discussion to the blog to gain some insight from you, dear readers.

As a blog reader, do you have a preference?

If you are a blogger, why do you prefer the platform you use?

Here is my own, personal take on the matter:

Blogger

  • Integrates seamlessly with Google
  • Is familiar to me after a year of use
  • Has more options for free gadgets
  • Is easier for fellow Blogger users to comment

WordPress

  • Has a more intuitive dashboard
  • Is easier to use to format posts
  • Provides advance URLs
  • Creates post templates

Some of my primary complaints have been addressed by both – Blogger now offers threaded comments *update* threaded comments won’t work with my blog design, unless I make a stylistic choice to abandon the transparency over my background image – SAD!; WordPress now offers more customization via HTML/CSS. I’m very happy with my new blog design, and it has been a factor in my decision not to move to WordPress just yet. With WP.com limiting the ability to customize their templates, it forces me to only consider the WP.org self-hosted option, which will require me to pay a monthly hosting fee in perpetuity. That’s asking a lot of commitment, and I’m concerned I don’t have the HTML/CSS skills to get the full use out of self-hosting.

If any of you have made the switch from Blogger to WordPress, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the migrating process. As it stands for me, the self-hosting hurdle is a big one for me to overcome, and will require more research on my part – which I’m not sure I’m ready to invest right now.

But I really am curious…what do you all think of this?