There’s a war going on in the blogosphere, and it has nothing to do with bloggers dissing each other on their respective websites. The war is about control of the blogosphere by several great, many good, and tons of terrible blogging platforms. The average newbie now has “too many” options to choose from, and the battle for blogging supremacy is hotter than ever.
At my website and blogs, I’m always asked the question “Is WordPress better than Blogger?”. The answer, of course, is “Yes”. But to really understand why, it’s important to look at both blogging platforms side-by-side and see which one you really need.
You also need to understand that there are different versions of WordPress, the earliest now termed as “WordPress” at WordPress.org, and the hosted version similar to Blogger now termed “WordPress.com” which is of course available WordPress.com. Only the latter comes with free hosting on a sub-domain account. We’ll discuss this in Part 2.
For Part 1 of this article, we look only at the self-hosted version of WordPress. Here’s the comparison scale:
1) Ease of Set-up And Use
Yes, it’s much easier to set-up a blog with Blogspot.com and get your own Bloggger account. You can be done in 10 minutes flat. Once you’re set-up you can start posting immediately. If you want to add a designer’s touch to your blog, there are also tons of blogger templates available for free.
Installing WordPress however can be a major headache if you don’t know what you’re doing. Since you’re going to host it on your own account, you’ll need to download the installation files, upload them to your server, set-up a database, and run the configuration script.
However, if you know which hosting account to get, you can choose one with Cpanel included. With Cpanel, you can do a one-click installation, upgrade and removal of your WordPress platform.
2) Customization & Advanced Use
Blogger doesn’t allow categories. You can’t sort your articles into different focuses, unless you know how to hack the platform. With WordPress, not only can you add categories, you can also display each category differently on your main page. In fact with the correct plugins you can even turn your WordPress into a magazine-like portal.
Publishing with Blogger can extremely furstrating. It can take forever to post articles, especially if you’re making changes to the entire website. With WordPress, publishing is much faster, although if you load your system with all kinds of bells and whistles it can be just as frustrating.
With a Blogger account, you can get additional features like “Shout Boxes” that improve interaction on your site. You can also get pretty themes and nifty little tools that you can add to the core template files. However, that’s as far as you can go with Blogger.
With WordPress however, the sky is the limit. As cliche as that may sound, not only can you get themes, additional “plugins” and advanced tools, you can also extend WordPress to far beyond just a blogging platform.
The talk today is about using WordPress as a complete, user-friendly Content Management System or CMS. Unlike complicated predecessors like PHPPostNuke, B2, Mambo or even Joomla, WordPress is user friendly. Plus, the availability of source codes in this open-source system coupled with a strong community makes it possible to use WordPress as an article management system, classifieds system, direct-selling site and even a paid membership site.
4) Copyrights and Ownership of Content
I started with Blogger and I won’t say that it’s bad. But after a while I started to get frustrated with Blogger, and here’s why: Google Owns Your Content
Google has the authority to shut down your account without warning if they don’t like what you’re blogging about. You don’t have absolute control over your own blog. With WordPress, you own the domain name and the blog is hosted on your own account. You have full control over your content.
With the self-hosted version of WordPress (not WordPress.com), you’re free to write about anything you want, and use the software in any way you want. Yes, Blogger allows you to publish to your own domain, but they still own the database that holds your content! Don’t forget that!
5) Search Engine Optimization and Traffic
There’s this propaganda that since Google owns Blogger, they tend to favor Blogger accounts. I won’t say that this is illogical, but from my experience, there’s no such favoritism.
I’ve heard as many stories of getting indexed fast and ranking high in search engines from both WordPress and Blogger users. As long as the content is good, the spiders will come.
When you post in Blogger, you can only “ping” a limited amount of sites, whereas with WordPress on your own domain you can ping as many blog directories as you want, and start getting more traffic.
As a conclusion, I would say that WordPress is only slightly ahead in terms of optimization for search engines, and building large amounts of traffic.
6) Money-Making Potential
There’s no doubt that it’s easier to get started with Google Adsense if you have a Blogger account. In fact you can now apply for Adsense from within a Blogger account. Not entirely surprising considering the fact that both are owned by the same company.
With WordPress, it can get tricky. The default installation is not enough. You’ll need a couple of plugins and even a better theme to really maximize the Adsense potential. However, this seems to be getting easier and there’s even “Adsense revenue sharing” plugins around that allow you to share ad revenue with other contributors and writers for your blog.
When you start using WordPress to build your Adsense websites, you’ll soon discover what I mean. It’s something you need to experience for yourself. I can tell you one thing though – when you go WordPress, you don’t go back.
With permission from the Google AdWords Guide: Novice to Expert to Superhuman – http://www.AdwordsCampaign.net
A primary aim is to reduce your cost per click (CPC). Google will favour you with a low cost per click if you master the concept of relevance. If you don’t, your pay-per-click rate will be high, your profits will suffer, your campaigns will probably fail, and your competitors will beat you.
Google is the undisputed leader (by far) among search engines because it provides searchers with results more relevant than those of any other. When a surfer types in a search term, Google’s complex algorithm returns pages that match closely the words searched for.
Google applies the same principle to AdWords advertisements. Ads that are more relevant than others are given preferential treatment. Less relevant ads are allowed to compete, but they are penalized by a high cost per click.
Google AdWords employs two distinct modes of measurement of relevance: A. Robot; B. Human.
A. An automated program compares the search term not only to your advertisement text, but also to the keywords in its Ad Group, to the URL of the specified landing page and even to the textual content of the landing page itself, to determine how relevant these components are to each other. If all four are tightly integrated with the search term, you’ll pay a very low cost per click — perhaps only 5 cents — and still command a high position on Google’s first page. Any component that does not match the search term closely causes the CPC to rise, perhaps even by a factor of a hundred!
B. Every time Google displays your ad, it records the fact. This is known as an “impression”. If a surfer clicks on the ad, Google records that also, and divides the number of clicks by the number of impressions. The result gives your ad a “click-through” rate (CTR). A similar calculation is made for your keywords that appear in the search term, to give them their own click-through rate. Google AdWords assumes that, if a human clicks on your ad, it is probably relevant to the search term typed in.
As your CTR rises, so do your keywords’ Quality Scores, and, as more and more keywords’ Quality Scores rise, so does the Quality Score of the entire Ad Group. The higher the Quality Score is, the lower will be the cost per click. Conversely, the fewer clicks your ad gets whenever it’s displayed, the lower your Quality Score and the higher your cost per click will be.
How to Increase Relevance of the 4 Components (keywords, ad text, URL, landing page)
If you create a campaign manually (rather than by “brute force” means), use only one keyword phrase per Ad Group, e.g., “adwords guide”, and specify exact match initially. Once the Ad Group’s Quality Score has increased, expand it to phrase match also, to capture phrases such as “online adwords guide” and “adwords guide for beginners”. (To specify broad match, to capture search terms like “adwords online guide” and “guide to adwords”, is impractical unless you use “brute force” software.)
Use the precise keyword phrase in the heading of the Ad Variation, and sprinkle the keywords in the two description lines.
Use the keyword phrase, hyphenated or unhyphenated, in the display URL, e.g., “/adwords-guide” or “/AdWordsGuide”. Not only does Google’s robot consider it relevant, but humans do, too, and are more likely to click on the ad.
Use the keyword phrase, hyphenated or unhyphenated, in the destination URL of the landing page, e.g., “/adwords-guide.html” or “/AdWordsGuide.htm”.
If possible, register domain names, both hyphenated and unhyphenated, containing the keyword phrase. Use the hyphenated one in the display and destination URLs, and redirect the unhyphenated one to the hyphenated one for other promotion purposes.
Use the keywords in the landing page content as follows:
— The precise keyword phrase in the