1. I own this. The #1 reason to switch to WordPress, hands down (self-hosted, wordpress.org, just to be clear). If Lisette and Kym’s Blogger catastrophes (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration – it’s just a blog) aren’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what will. On Blogger, you own the content (kind of), but Google can do whatever they want with it. They could flag your blog as spam. They could redirect your site. That scared me and was a major contributing factor to why I switched.
2. The comments benefit YOU. Yes, you, the reader. Leaving a comment on a WordPress blog creates a back link to your site. When you comment on a WordPress blog, it asks for your name, email, and most importantly, your website. That’s a good thing for you! If you click the person’s name in any of the comments on my site, it will take you directly to their site (if they have one). Hint: this also means you don’t have to leave your link in the comment itself. It’s done for you. It’s a win for both of us!
3. Responsive design. 61% of my readers look at my blog on either their mobile device or a tablet. My blog is built on the Genesis framework with a responsive WordPress theme (Wow, that sounds like I know what I’m talking about, doesn’t it? Weird). If you look at it on different devices, it adjusts to give you the best possible view.
Blogger can’t do that. If you view a Blogger blog in mobile view, you lose all design and sidebar elements. If mobile view is disabled in Blogger and you view the full website on your phone, it’s itty bitty. You can test how your blog looks on all different devices here.
4. SEO stuff. At the bottom of every blog draft, there is a SEO section. I hate doing it because you have to do a little summary of your post (a meta description), which feels like homework, but I think/hope/imagine it helps with Google search rankings.
Using WordPress SEO by Yoast (a free plugin) you have the ability to make your title different to search engines. While I might want a cheeky, personal title to show up on my blog itself, I want Google search results to show a title of what the post is actually about. Here’s an example:
See? While people wouldn’t Google “bye-bye long hair”, lots of people might Google “cutting hair from long to short”. Want more on this? Here’s what Matt Cutts said about this during a Google Webmaster chat.
5. Plugins like whoa. Need your blog have a scrolling photo on the home screen? A “pin it” button? Want to catch spam comments or automatically tweet links to your older content or add social media buttons? There’s a plugin for that. Plugins are what sealed the deal on my move to WordPress. There are thousands of tools available on WordPress to make blogging better for the writer and the reader.
6. Add it to your resume. Right now, about 21% of websites (like, all websites that exist) use WordPress. Now I’m no coder, but I could set up a functioning WordPress website or blog myself. I could install a template (I installed my current template myself). I could make it look good. Resume worthy? Maybe. It’s not a bad skill to have. And I’m learning more every day.
7. Accurate stats. The stats in the Blogger dashboard are inaccurate. If you’re on Blogger, compare them to Google Analytics. They just don’t match up. Sure, the inflated Blogger stats make you feel good (I’ve been there, I’ve felt that), but if we’re honest with ourselves, they’re not accurate. Side note: When I sponsor a blog, I want to see Google Analytics screen shots (you can see mine here), not Blogger dashboard screen shots. While Jetpack (i.e WordPress stats) don’t pull the exact same numbers as Google Analytics, mine are consistently much closer (i.e. within 50-70 pageviews).
8. Distraction free writing mode. At first, I didn’t love the WordPress dashboard. I didn’t like the way drafting posts looked. It was cluttered and different from Blogger and it threw me in to a bit of a writing funk. Since then, I’ve discovered (and embraced) the WordPress full screen draft mode, also known as Distraction free writing mode. That’s exactly what it is. Here’s what drafting a post in WordPress looks like:
Now I get that WordPress isn’t for every one. There are plenty of reasons to start on Blogger (I did!) and plenty of reasons to stay with Blogger. WordPress has its flaws. In fact, I even wrote a post about the downsides of switching to WordPress. But now, 7 months after making the switch, I love WordPress more and more every day.
Thinking of making the switch? Lisette did my transfer from Blogger to WordPress and I cannot rave enough about her mad skillz. She has two options: one for those who want just a basic transfer, and one for those who need her to completely take the reins (like I needed!).
What blogging platform do you use? What do you love about it?