The world of blogging sneaked into Nigeria a few years ago at a time when information and knowledge was recognized all over the world as powerful and liberating. Since Blogger.com, a platform which was initially for personal photos and life experiences, was launched in the year 1999, Nigerians saw in it an easy to use, free platform for expressing themselves and for carrying information. Nigerians in the Diaspora started to set up blogs some two years after. Google purchased Blogger.com in 2003 and matched Ads to blog content opening a new avenue for bloggers on this free platform to make money by the number of ads clicked on their blogs. Seeing this new avenue to make money, the number of blogs increased.
When WordPress made its entry in 2003, creating blogs became fun and competitive. It brought in popular Nigerian blogs like Nairaland which started in 2005. Since 2006, a pool of Nigerian blogs have been created, some of which are still very popular today like Linda Ikeji’s blog, Bella Naija, NotJustOk, Ogbongeblog, 360nobs e.t.c.
Now, every computer literate, computer savvy Nigerian that feels the need to express him/herself or the need to sell products or services has used or will use at least one of these two platforms. If you are truly a blogger, you probably already have a preferred platform. But is that platform the right platform for you?
Many Nigerians in the search for what blogs can suit their particular needs switch from one blogging platform to the other and they give up, thinking that a paid website will best serve their needs. If you are not selling or buying or run a major corporate organisation that needs to put its information out there for the public to access … if all you are interested in is expressing yourself, and a platform where you can showcase your products and services on a small scale, a free blogging platform works perfectly fine.
So what blogging platform will suit your particular needs? Let’s start by weighing each platform’s pros and cons.
1. WordPress and Blogger are free platforms where you can publish online, but while Blogger gives you unlimited space to publish your stuff with 1GB storage of picture storage and no comment moderation options, WordPress gives you 3GB of free space to publish with freedom to modify all the features but to get more Gigabyte space on WordPress involves you paying some amount of money.
2. If you own a Gmail account, you are already on blogger and it is easy to go on from there and open a blog site but Blogger is owned by Google therefore your blog is not owned by you. Google holds the right to shut down your access to it at anytime. On the other hand, Wordpress is a hosting provider that allows you host your own site. You can decide how long you want to run it and decide what content you want to put on it. You own all the data, you can control the information you share with a third party and you can shut it down at anytime.
3. WordPress is an open source software that allows you add new features. With thousands of wordpress plugins, you can modify your site by creating a portfolio or adding a store. There are also thousands of free WordPress themes which allow you create professional looking websites and you can modify and customize these themes to suit your needs. The exercise of getting a great WordPress site might be a little bit taxing so learning how to use WordPress may be needed. Blogger offers you a service with limited templates that allows you modify the colours and layouts using built-in tools, but you cannot create your own layout or make your own modification. Blogger was created with just one thing in mind – Blogging – and they have made that task simple for you to do. It means you don’t need to spend time learning how to blog on blogger.
4. With your Adsense account on Blogger, you can start earning money from day one. If you don’t have one, it is easy to set up the account. On WordPress, it is not as easy. Your site must generate the needed buzz which will bring steady visitors to your site. You can then put up ads, sell products and services on it to make money.
5. With Blogger, you have the added advantage of Google’s security services. You don’t need to worry about securing your blog or creating backups but WordPress as a hosting provider is not responsible for your security and backups although there are plug ins to help you secure your blog.
6. There is more support online for WordPress users than blogger users. Blogger has also not had an update for a while now. Instead of updating, Google has removed some of its popular services such as the Google Reader, while Wordpress is an open source software developed by a community of developers and users. They update their software every time knowing that thousands of business around the world depend on it.
WordPress has more up to date features for its users than Blogger. Therefore it might be the more suitable choice for a business owner but after using up your free 3GB space on WordPress, you will be prompted to buy one of their premium packages which opens you up to more benefits than you have enjoyed before on the platform. So, if all you want to do at the moment is to blog and you don’t want any hassle doing that, the Blogger platform will serve you perfectly.