Friday, December 12, 2014

Why I moved my food blog back to Blogger

Uploaded from computer directly to Blogger

After a hiatus of almost 6 years, I moved my blog back to Blogger.  While Blogger triggered the blogging revolution, bloggers began to jump ship to Wordpress for its perceived advantages. For a time, it seemed that every serious blogger and website developer used Wordpress as their preferred platform.
I did too until recently.

However, I decided to return to Blogger and I’ll tell you why.
  •  It’s free. I blog as a hobby and I wanted it to be self contained. Instead, I was spending more than I was making from my partnership with Blogher Publishing Network. At the beginning the cost was negligible- just a few dollars a year for the url and monthly hosting fees at Bluehost. Then I decided to switch from Feedburner to Feedblitz, another feed management provider because the web was in hysterics over the imminent demise of Feedburner (that was several years ago and Feedburner still exists).  This also cost money. On top of that, I invested in a premium theme which worked well the first few years but eventually became outdated and caused conflicts with the blog platform.
  • Working with Blogger is efficient and user friendly since it is integrated with Google Accounts and all things Google.  Blogger works seamlessly with Google’s image hosting system and photographs can be easily uploaded to the blog. Not so with Wordpress. There I had to either host the pictures on Bluehost (which can be costly if storage surpasses memory allowance) or upload them to Picasa and only then add the correct url link of the photograph to the blog. This was a tedious and annoying process.  Since Blogger is part of Google Accounts, there is only one sign up for everything.  
  • Google’s integrated blogging platform reduces the chance of conflicts between theme, hosting platform and plugins. There have been numerous times when a seemingly innocent plugin caused elements on my blog to stop working correctly. This can be fixed by removing the problem plugin. However, when my entire blog disappeared off the web because the theme was in conflict with the blogging platform there was very little I could do but hire professional help.  Again, more money. More time.

  • Blogger is versatile. In the past, Blogger lacked many features that Wordpress offered. Now I can choose from a variety of layouts as well as add pages, sidebars, header, footer and even a favicon. The column width of the body and sidebars can be adjusted. Background and header images can be uploaded. Text color and font can be adjusted.  Those who know HTML are able to open a much wider array of customization options. In addition the web is filled with sites that offer a huge variety of blogger templates to download, many of them for free or for a minimal cost.  

  • Setting up a new blog is ridiculously easy. Self-hosting a blog is time consuming and confusing for those who are not trained web developers and who don’t know code. Sure it’s possible to figure it out, but most people just don’t have the time nor the patience to do it.

    Photo edited in Google+ Photos and uploaded to Blogger

  • Adsense can easily be added to Blogger to capitalize on website traffic. In reality, Google kicked me out of Adsense without giving me a reason and rejected my appeal (and took off with my $50 which I didn’t appreciate, but that’s a different story).   

  • Wordpress must be updated often to avoid security risks and to keep the platform compatible with all its features. Plugins need to be frequently updated as well for the same reason. Google takes care of this for you.


Cons:
You are at the mercy of Google. This might be true, but I’m not too worried about it as long as I backup my blog.
Hopefully with the blogging administration relegated to Google I’ll have more time to blog. I still have a few things I like to change and add on the Blogger platform but overall, I would recommend it for those who want to reduce costs or have minimal time to deal with the technical aspects of blogging.

What platform do you recommend?