Blogger is the grand old man of Internet publishing. In fact, they arguably started the whole “everyone should have a voice online” ideal. Evan Williams started the company back in the 1990s.
After Evan Williams sold Blogger to Google, he went on to found both Twitter and Medium – both pillars of Internet publishing in their own right. Additionally, it was Matt Mullenweg’s dissatisfaction with Blogger that led him to create the first version of WordPress back in the early 2000s.
All that to say – Blogger is an Internet standby. In fact, it’s such a standby that it gets unfairly disregarded for many web projects simply due to its age.
I recently gave Blogger a try for a small project, along with several other website builders. I tried to approach Blogger not as the platform that had my first blog back in 2004, but as a serious platform that might be a good fit for someone’s web project today, post-2017.
Check out Blogger here.
But first, a bit of an overview on website builders in general. Whether you go drag and drop builder; an installed Content Management System (CMS), or hand-coded HTML files, there’s a lot of considerations that go into an building a website and / or blog.
In the end, you really want someone to type in a website address and see your information, presented well with the right functionality in their browser. Whether you are building a simple personal blog or running a business, the way you build your site determines a lot both long-term and short-term.
In the long-term, the tools you use to set up your website affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short term it can add/take away a lot of headaches. In fact, one of the most common headaches is moving a successful blog off Blogger. That said, like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.
What Is Blogger?
On the wide spectrum of website building solutions, Blogger lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It’s in contrast to solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately.
It’s like trading off some control for more convenience.
Using Blogger is like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All the functionality and design that are included with Blogger work seamlessly together as a platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout and content.
One note about Blogger is that it focuses 100% on blogging – ie, reverse-chronological publishing of posts. It has very little in terms of content management (as I’ll mention in the cons section.
As far as competition, Blogger competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Weebly and WordPress.com in addition to pure-play blog / social networks platforms like Medium and Tumblr.
Website builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which provides the free software to build a website that you own & control – see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive in to the Blogger review.[Continue Reading]