Offering discounts and freebies has always been the center of attracting customers worldwide. The world of websites and blogs is certainly not an exception. And it’s a plus especially for newbies who have just thought of creating a presence online. It certainly doesn’t make sense to pay a dime as domain registration fee & bear the monthly web hosting expenses when someone is just starting out or has no idea of what blogging and digital marketing is! In this post, I’ll help you guide in your search for the best free blogging platform.
When it comes to free blogging, look no further than two clear choices – BlogSpot & WordPress. Although there are a myriad options available between these two choices, but none of them provides a congenial blogging experience so much so that both WordPress and BlogSpot offer. Now let’s dive into a detailed review and comparison between the two most popular free blogging platforms and help you choose the one best tailored to your needs.
I’ve had nearly two years of blogging experience on BlogSpot. In-fact, my first blog ever on Digital Photography was powered by BlogSpot.
Here is a screenshot of the default blogger.com editor as on date:
The first thing that you’ll probably notice about the editor is that it’s very plain and simple, with access to almost everything that you’ll need to create a media rich blog post.
Since it is powered by Google, you’ve the privilege of easily integrating most of the popular widgets/plugins like search, contact form, email subscription, translate and even Google Adsense.
Recently, BlogSpot has also made good progress on SEO front, wherein the blogging platform has started providing basic SEO options like addition of meta description tags for each article and also access to advanced SEO options like noindex, nofollow, noarchive, nosnippet through the provision of custom robots header tags.
In a nutshell, BlogSpot is a good choice for those who wish to learn how to blog from scratch. You’ll learn the basics of how to compose articles, add rich media to your blog posts & also learn the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through experimenting with various available search preferences. Moreover, who doesn’t love to earn some extra side money from the efforts spent on publishing those posts? Thanks to the AdSense integration to free BlogSpot!
Neatness of editorial interface is one of the first things that you’ll notice once you switch from BlogSpot to WordPress. Have a look at the editorial interface as on date:
It’s pertinent to mention that when we are talking about free blog on WordPress, it means a blog created on wordpress.com. Don’t confuse it with wordpress.org which provides a platform for self hosted blogs.
It’s a joy to write and publish media rich posts on wordpress.com. However, the free edition comes at the cost of inability to customize the look and feel of your free website. WordPress requires you to upgrade to their business plans for installing third-party themes and plugins. This costs $25 per month! One more downside of using free WordPress is that it doesn’t allow you to monetize your content through Google Adsense. It again requires you to upgrade your free plan to premium plan, which costs $8 per month. This altogether vitiates the very mandate of “free blogging”!
In a nutshell, a free blog on WordPress.com is for those who just love one thing – writing! It’s not for someone who wishes to build a unique and profitable blog. It’s an ideal choice for hobby writers, budding novelists/directors.
Detailed comparison between Blogger.com and WordPress.com:
|Web Hosting||Free. Owned by |
|Free. Owned by Automattic Inc.|
|Storage Space for content, photos, videos, or anything that you publish||Unlimited||capped at 3 GB|
|Traffic restrictions||No. Since it is hosted directly on Google webservers||No. Since it is hosted directly on its webservers|
|Themes||You can install any supported theme (indigenous / third party)||You can install only indigenously available themes|
|Ability to add custom scripts/codes||Yes||No|
|Google Analytics integration||Yes||No. Powered by WordPress stats|
|Google Adsense integration||Yes||No|
|Monetization of content||Possible. Even besides Adsense, you can add other advertisement/affiliate networks as well||Not possible|
|Do you own your free blog?||No. Even though you are the copyright owner of the content, but Google owns the blog.||No. |
Even though you are the copyright owner of the content, but Automattic owns the blog.
|Mapping of custom domains||Allowed for free!||Allowed, but at a cost of $13 per year|
In comparison to WordPress.com, blogspot certainly provides more options and flexibility to free blogging. Therefore, in my opinion, go for blogspot if you’re looking forward to not only write, but also to build a blog which can be profitably monetised in future. Otherwise, if you do not care for things like blog customisation & monetisation, then WordPress.com is perhaps a better choice! What’s your preferred choice in free blogging and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.