Blogger is a platform that gave me the opportunity to start my first blog without spending a penny (I owe for that). I’ve been using Blogger since 2013 and I become very familiar with its functionality. But, at certain time, you start realising that you have to move on to take your blog to the next level. Because, when your blog starts getting significant traffic, you give more attention to look and interface of your blog and also you realize that you need some advanced tools, that Blogger does not provide through its free blogging platform, to make your blog more search engine friendly. Eventually or reluctantly, you decide to migrate your blog to some other blogging platform like WordPress.
Despite lots of limitations, I still recommend to use Blogger if you’re not more concerned about look and feel of your blog. Here, I also would like to tell you that don’t build castles in the air if you think after moving your blog to shared hosting, you’ll start getting more traffic then you’ve very wrong perception. Yes, WordPress provides you more tools than Blogger but your blog ranking depends upon your writing and SEO skills only. I have mentioned it because as our blog name indicates, we’re vowed to provide you accurate information.
In this post, I’ve highlighted 10 reasons which forced me to migrate my Blogger blog to WordPress. If you’ve the same reasons that are listed in this post, then you might think to switch to self hosted WordPress otherwise I suggest you to do some more research before taking this precious decision.
Kindly Note: There are two WordPress sites: wordpress.com and wordpress.org and both are different. Let me give you a quick glance, wordpress.com is a free blogging platform and somewhat similar to Blogger except you cannot show ads on it. On the other hand, wordpress.org is also free to use but it does not provide you free web-hosting therefore, you’ve to buy hosting from a hosting provider like Bluehost, Hostgator, to start your blog. Here in this post, I’ll be discussing on wordpress.org.
10 Reasons to Move From Blogger to WordPress –
1. Lack of Themes –
First and foremost reason behind Blogger migration is lack of professional looking themes. In this information technology era, thousands of new websites or blogs (nowadays both are almost same) are launched every day on similar niches, therefore, to make your blog stand out from the crowd, your site layout and interface should look professional. But unfortunately, Blogger fails to provide professional themes or templates which is very much essential in today’s fast paced internet world.
If your site layout is not compelling then your readers may not read your articles thoroughly despite how important or valuable information you have provided to them.
Though Blogger has recently added 20+ themes to its library but still it has to do more slog over to retain bloggers who have reached on a certain level. Blogger also has upgraded its coding language from strict XHTML markup to HTML 5 which will also help customization easy but still there’s a long way to go.
Last year, Google had got mobile searches more than desktop.
Nowadays, a large percent of searches are occurring on mobile devices, therefore, it becomes crucially important to make your website responsive across all devices. To achieve this, you need a well coded and well designed theme. Though, Blogger offers mobile template option separately but doesn’t provide you mobile customization facility which is very much needed to organize your site content.
On the flip side, WordPress themes library is heavily crowed with free and paid themes. As of now, it’s 4,666 professional, SEO optimized, responsive and elegant themes to choose from its latest theme section.
Also, you can buy premium theme from its theme library and as it (WordPress) is an open source platform, therefore, you’re free to buy your theme from any theme provider like StudioPress and DIYthemes.
2. Lack of Widgets –
Blogspot bloggers badly need widgets because there are very few widgets available in Blogger widgets section. Even it (Blogger) does not provide recent posts widget that is very much essential to decrease bounce rate. I spent hours in finding how to show recent posts in Blogger post footer section, I approached to Blogger help forum but could not have found any solution. Thanks to Krishna .M, a Blogger Help Forum expert, who especially wrote a post pertaining to my query and mentioned me in that post (Link of that post). But it’s very hard to get things done when your blogging platform is Blogger.
As you may already aware that widgets are very crucial for a blog, we need widgets to show recent posts, popular posts, comment forms, subscription forms, author boxes and the like. The worst case scenario is that there’s no widget available to help you write an SEO friendly blog post and you have to do entire on page SEO on your own.
On the contrary, WordPress widgets area is loaded with a variety of plugins, at the time of writing this post, it had 50,054 plugins to choose from. If you’re a non-techy blogger then to do customization you don’t need to be familiar with coding because you can find plugins for everything. I like one thing that you can find free and paid versions of renowned plugins like Yoast SEO, Constant Contact Form, and Jetpack etc.
To write a search engine optimized and reader friendly post, you can use Yoast SEO plugin, it has two variants: free and paid. You’ll get suggestions from this plugins to improve readability and SEO ranking of your post. This is a very helpful plugin. You can find thousands of such plugins on WordPress.
3. Ownership Issue –
You may already know that Google Blogger, as per its ToS (terms and conditions), has the right to shut down your blog anytime without any notification; if you found violating its ToS. Though you don’t have to worry about it because there are very rare chances of such incidents, however, it’s a matter of concern.
As I said earlier, there are very low probabilities but it can happen for example Google has discontinued many services like IGoogle, Google Reader, Google Answers etc, in recent years because these were not profitable for the company. Though, as per the guidelines, you own your content that means the content that you’ve published on your blogspot blog belongs to you. But what about search engine ranking?
You might also know that as per Google Blogger ToS, you’re not allowed to sell your blog to third person. But if your blog is on WordPress then you can do so in the name of website flipping.
You own everything on your WordPress blog. You’ve a separate space on the web that you own and you have full control over every aspect of your blog.
4. Search Engine Optimization –
There are rumors out there that Blogger blogs are less SEO friendly, I totally deny it. If it’s true then how did my Blogger blog reached on a level where I had to move it. Blogger consistently improves its blogging platform for example it’s upgraded its coding language to HTML5 from XHTML and has added 20+ themes to its library. You might have read some bloggers cite that Blogspot is less SEO friendly, just ask them it belongs to search engine giant Google then how it can be. I feel embarrassed when people recommend such things to earn incentives by giving such baseless pleas.
Yes, there is lack of SEO tools on Blogger where it loses the neck to neck race.
On WordPress, you get many SEO tools like Yoast SEO Plugin, that can help you create search engine friendly pages to rank high in search results.
5. Customization –
I’ve customized Blogspot blogs and WordPress blogs and personally speaking both platforms blogs are easy to customize if you’re familiar with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). However, WordPress blogs are little bit easy to customize than Blogger blogs because you can find classes and IDs easily with the help of plugins like Genesis Visual Hooks.
As I cited earlier, your readers may not read your articles if your blog layout isn’t well organised, therefore, you should pay full attention to this aspect to force visitors to explore your site. Everyone (including you and me) likes elegant and eye-catching layouts so take advantage of it.
On WordPress, you can hire a web designer to make your blog look attractive and search engine friendly. If you’re not DIY kind blogger or you don’t have time to do this then you can think of hiring a web designer to do the job. You can find web designers on Freelancer and the like sites.
6. Flexibility to Show Ads –
This is another major reason that forced me to migrate to WordPress. I have a separate blog that I only use for Adsense and when it’s on blogspot, I used to feel that I’s not able to monetize my site properly. I was getting significant traffic but due to lack of control over Blogger, I couldn’t have placed ads where I wanted to which was directly affecting my earnings.
In terms to monetize your blog properly, you should have full control on your blog but as you already know, Blogger offers little or very less control.
After thinking and analyzing pros and cons of Blogger to WordPress migration, I moved my blog to WordPress. I’m getting good results but yet to obtain desired. Now, I have the flexibility to place ads where ever I want like in between posts content, under the header, under the post title, before the last paragraph or after the first paragraph, in the middle of the post, or in short anywhere.
I’ve have purchased StudioPress Genesis Framework, that is an ad ready and responsive framework, for my site. I’m happy that I took a smart decision and now I’m getting good results. I’ve mentioned 10 reasons why I chose Genesis Theme for my WordPress blog.
7. Permalinks –
Blogger includes date, month, and year to its permalink which makes ever green posts obsolete. Though it has recently added custom permalink option but still, you cannot remove date, month, and year from your Blogger permalinks. Ever green posts require permalinks without date and month but Blogger does not allow its users to remove date and month from their permalinks.
WordPress has a number of permalink options to choose from. You can choose only post name as your post URL if you write ever green posts.
8. Seriously, Are You A Serious Blogger?
Having your own web space on the internet shows you’re a serious blogger. Though, Blogger is a free blogging platform but, “is there anything really free out there?”
Let me elaborate, you spend money to buy a custom domain for your Blogger blog (Who uses .blogspot.com sub-domain nowadays), your computer machine consumes electricity, you pay your broadband bill, and at the top, you’re spending your precious time; which is the most important thing that we have. So in conclusion, you’re spending some money and your precious time to run your Blogger blog.
Honestly speaking, Blogger is not for serious Bloggers who want to make money from blogging. But, it’s a valuable service for newbie bloggers, who want to brush up their blogging skills, and for personal blogging purpose.
9. Endless Opportunities –
If you’re a full time blogger then there are endless opportunities to earn money on WordPress. On your Blogger blog, you’ve two options to earn money either you can monetize your blog using Adsense, Bing Network, and the like services or can use affiliate links. But, if your blog is on WordPress then you can add donation button; visitors like to donate if you’re really providing them valuable information, can start your online store; there are many plugins available, and can get advertisement offers along with Ad serving networks and affiliate programs options.
Even if you’re an expert of a specific field like web design, SEO, or writing etc then you can offer your services through your blog.
10. Social Media –
Social media plays a vital role in a blog’s success. You need attractive, compelling, and eye-catching social media sharing and like buttons to compel your visitors to join you on their favorite social media platforms. You get a vast list of social media plugins on WordPress that allows you to add elegant social media buttons to your blog.
In blogging, you need a large audience base to make your blog successful that’s why a majority of bloggers offer free tutorials and services. Once a visitor reaches to your site then your aim should be to retain him/her by offering subscribe and like buttons.
Final Words –
Blogger is still my favorite blogging platform but you cannot continue with Blogger after reaching at a certain level. To take your blog to the next level, you’ve to take this difficult decision one day. If you’re thinking to move your blog to WordPress but concerned about your ranking and page views then I would like to tell you that by following proper procedure, you can move your blog to WordPress without losing your search engine ranking. You can read my post how to migrate custom Blogger blog to WordPress, this post will help you to move your blog (Custom domain Blogger blog or Blogspot blog) to WordPress without losing your search engine ranking and page views.
Nowadays, Bluehost is offering web hosting at the rate of $2.95 or Rs. 190 (may slightly vary) per month only, therefore, you should try it. Bluehost gives you free look period (30 Days) once you buy hosting from it. If you don’t like its services then you can apply for refund without any reason.