Why I’m Still On Blogger

Why I’m Still On Blogger

I’ve contemplated on writing this for some time now and so yes, it is therefore a long post. So if anyone is interested in what I have to say about this, please read on and thank you in advance! :)

I believe I have mentioned a couple of times here on my blog that one of the things I’d like to be is a web or graphic designer. Months ago, I searched for the best Blogger template and design that would fit my personality.

I found a lot but I figured that I could also do something like those and so I embarked on a journey to research helpful information on how I could design my blog on my own. From then on, I became confident with changing my blog’s design by playing and working with codes.

I've been meaning to write this post because with so many posts I’ve read online about blogging, quite a lot of them always say that a blogger needs to be self-hosted to be successful. There were also even some that mentioned “if you want to be taken seriously, you need to have a self-hosted blog..”

To be honest, I was kind of hesitant in publishing this post thinking that I may receive negative reactions and feedback but I guess one good thing that blogging has taught me is to stay true, honest, and open-minded. So here I am making bold statements about blogging as what I’ve learned for the past 5 years. Also, I was inspired by this post from one of my favorite bloggers, Dana Fox from Wonder Forest – Blogger vs. Wordpress: Which is better? What you need to know.

I don’t have anything against those blogging nuggets of wisdom. In fact, several of my favorite bloggers are self-hosted on Wordpress and we interact greatly – no platform barrier whatsoever. Maybe some of them switched to Wordpress because they’ve  had negative experiences with Blogger before. Or they started with the free Wordpress version and would like to monetize their blog since the free platform doesn’t allow it or they simply like Wordpress better.

But like what I always say, people are always entitled to their own opinions and I like that most bloggers say that what they post are not hard and fast rules, they are general guidelines so no one size fits all. Now it’s just that I strongly believe that your blogging success is not based on the blog platform you’re using. You may or may not agree with that, it’s perfectly fine with me. After all, we have different perceptions of what success in blogging is.

Why I’m Still On Blogger

The main reason I’m still on Blogger is that I don’t have to purchase and pay hosting fees. Months ago, thanks to Jhanis, I was actually offered free and unlimited hosting from the same hosting company she’s using now and I was so giddy and excited!!

I did heavy research and was so ready to switch to Wordpress because hey, I don’t have to pay anymore! I was so eager to DIY everything. It sounded so simple, I just didn’t have the guts to do it myself that time because I was afraid to make a mess and lose everything or lose myself! So if you who are reading this did it yourself, kudos to you!!! :)

BLOGGER IS FREE. Along with this fact are so many bloggers saying that FREE means there are several limitations and restrictions. And that’s why many bloggers prefer to use the self-hosted Wordpress version.  I also just want to emphasize that when I say self-hosted, I meant the yourblogname.com (Wordpress.org) and not the yourblogname.wordpress.com (this one’s a free platform).

Long-time and pro bloggers already know this. And for you to be self-hosted, you need to purchase hosting first. Basically, you need a place to “house” your blog. Using Blogger on the other hand means your blog is housed in Blogger/Google servers and you don’t have to purchase hosting, 99.9% uptime too! I strongly recommend to get your own domain though – instead of yourblogname.blogspot.com, you can purchase yourblogname.com and it’s not that costly.

In case some of you may ask if I know what I’m talking about, ahh, don’t worry.. I spent so many days and nights researching on this when I was planning to switch. Haha, yep I admit! :) After lots of research though, I wasn’t convinced to move to Wordpress anymore. WHY? Because my blog is perfectly fine with Blogger. I love it the way it is and it does serve its purpose until now. Like what people say, if it ain’t broken then don’t fix it.

Why I’m Still On Blogger

I can always improve my blog even when I’m using Blogger. Again, that’s just me and yes I know that Wordpress is a great platform and it has so many functionalities that are not available on Blogger. It’s just that I don’t see myself using those functionalities anyway.

Trust me though, I’ve already gone through several debates aside from bloggers saying that FREE means there are several limitations and issues in using the platform. Here are the ones often cited and my opinions about them.

1. Your content is not yours, Google owns it.

Everything you publish on the internet is considered public. There’s always the risk of plagiarism or people copying your content and your photos. And I’d like to quote what I’ve read from Dana’s post that I linked to above.

“Google does not own your content. They own their servers and can do what they like with them, the exact same way a web host can. If you had a Wordpress site, you could say the same thing, only instead “Web Host Owns Your Content.” Google owns the servers that host your stuff, they can’t claim copyright ownership over your work though.”

So technically, this is true for any other server or service you’re using unless you host your own website on your own computer.

2. Your blog can be deleted anytime and be lost forever.

According to Blogger’s Terms and Conditions, your blog will be terminated if it has illegal content or if it violates its policies (ie. spamming). Yes, I’ve heard Blogger users saying that their blogs were just deleted without prior notice even when they know that they didn’t violate the policy. But people, it doesn’t just happen to Blogger users, it can happen to anyone.

We never really know. I’ve also heard Wordpress and other platform users saying that their blogs were deleted too. So really, the key here and one thing we should all learn to do all the time is to BACKUP our blog every so often like once a week or once in two weeks whichever we feel is necessary.

3. It’s hard to gain traffic because Blogger is not set up for SEO.

Blogger is now owned by Google so there’s always that opportunity to get your blog out there. Then again, your blog platform won’t just magically do it for you. If you want to get your blog out there, you need to work hard and promote it yourself and know the basics of SEO whatever platform you’re using. Also, I haven’t heard of brands or networks choosing bloggers who are using one platform over the other. Have you?

4. You can’t do so much with Blogger themes and widgets. 

Unlike Wordpress that offers a variety and tons of plugins, Blogger have limited widgets and themes but you can always do a quick Google search and you’ll find lots of step by step tutorials on how to easily customize your blog to your liking. I did so myself! I know it seems overwhelming at first but hey that’s always the case when you’re getting started with whatever platform you’re using.

If you choose not to customize your blog theme on your own, there are several pretty, functional, and affordable Blogger themes out there - try Etsy or Creative Market. You can even Google some free themes if you really don't want to spend. 

5. It can be hacked easily.

I have several Google accounts and I can say that Google does a great job with account security. And even with whatever platform you’re using not just for blogs but even on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, hackers are all around. It is thus important that we employ the best security measures in place to protect our accounts and at least know what to do and where to report in case a security breach happens.

I do hear a lot of Wordpress users who complain that their accounts are hacked so be sure to update your security plugins! 

OVERALL, I just want to say that I hope I’m clear with the purpose of my blog post which is to share why I’m still on Blogger and didn’t make the big move to be self-hosted. I don’t intend to stop any Blogger user from switching because really, deciding on which blog platform to use is ultimately your own decision – whichever platform you’re most comfortable with. I am satisfied with Blogger and whether or not I’m moving to Wordpress in the future is still out there. I’m not saying there’s no possibility of me doing that.

Why I’m Still On Blogger

I think the decision heavily relies on what you’re ready to do and give for the love of blogging, or whether or not the platform you choose can satisfy the purpose of your blog in terms of functionalities. How would you like it to function? Is it possible using Blogger? Wordpress? Maybe Tumblr or Typepad?

Then again, I’d like to reiterate that we have different perceptions of success in blogging. Personally, I haven’t experienced any issues with Blogger for the last 5 years of blogging (update: no problems until now that it's 2017). All 3 blogs I started with Blogger previously are still alive until now although I don’t maintain them anymore. They were never deleted and I never had issues with them.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you can always use the platform you love as long as you know what you’re doing or you’re willing to pay some fees if anything goes wrong that’s out of your scope. I have lots of favorite bloggers too who are using Blogger and they are successful in their own ways. YES, they are definitely taken seriously because of their great content.

If you have questions about Blogger, I’ll be happy to answer them the best way I can. Aside from Dana’s blog mentioned above, you may also find her other blog helpful – I Can Build A Blog – where she shares the basics of blogging in layman’s terms. You can also check Janine's blog over at J9 Designs for other practical tips.

Update: I'm getting asked about these a lot. 

1. Yes, you can have ads on Blogger-hosted blogs. You can write sponsored/paid posts too.
2. Yes, you can change the URL or permalink of your post but the month and year will be retained as well as the .html at the end of the URL.

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