Despite being one of the oldest blogging platforms out there, Blogger has yet to lose its touch. Over the years, it’s maintained its focus on blogging, rather than introducing a bunch of new features to clutter its interface or scatter its focus.
While there are more comprehensive blogging platforms and blog sites out there, Blogger serves its purpose well. But before you jump in, make sure you know what you want out of your blogging site. Blogger lacks some features that have come to be expected with other platforms, so it’s more useful for hobby bloggers and businesses that don’t plan to sell through their blog.
Comparing Blogger to the Best Blogging Platforms and Blog Sites
Blogger stacks up well against the competition as the best free blogging platform on our top list. It’s been in the game for more than 20 years, and it’s a low-risk way to get your content out there fast. It gives you all the basic blogging features, along with templates and customization to make your blog your own. Plus, as a free platform, it lets you make money through ads, so it’s worth checking out.
For all these reasons, we included Blogger on our list of the best blogging platforms:
- WordPress with Bluehost – Best blogging platform for most
- Wix – Best for beginners
- Strikingly – Best blogging platform for creatives
- Squarespace – Best complement to your online store
- Blogger – Best free blogging platform
To get a closer look at where Blogger fits in among our other top picks, check out full-length reviews of our recommended blogging platforms.
Blogger: The Good and the Bad
Every blog hosting platform has its upsides and downsides. Here’s what you should consider before you create your blog with Blogger.
Free platform: Blogger makes for a low-risk investment when starting a new blog. In fact, there’s no financial investment at all. Other blog hosting services like WordPress make you pay to start your blog. The free platform also means you can start creating content immediately and get many of the same blog features you would elsewhere.
Easy to use: Blogger’s minimalist platform is easy to navigate if you’re a beginner and have never created or maintained a blog before. It gives you resources and helpful features that make for efficient blogging to support your business.
Google AdSense and Analytics Included: It’s not always easy to find a free blogging platform that lets you make money with it. With Blogger, you can reap the benefits of Google AdSense and Google Analytics so you always know how your blog is doing with your audience and can pull in some extra cash. AdSense, in particular, lets you put ads on your blog and pays you when visitors interact with them.
Website templates: Blogger doesn’t make you do all the website building work yourself. It comes with templates that you can customize based on your business needs right down to matching your aesthetic. Its flexible layouts come with lots of images, and you can also design your own layout if the templates don’t work for you.
Customization features: You don’t need coding knowledge unless you want to get really complex with your customization. Use Blogger’s theme editor to change your blog’s colors, images, font, layout, and more. To this end, Blogger works well as a regular blog but it’s less useful if you plan to do more elaborate custom changes.
An oldie but a goodie: Blogger started in 1999, and it still has plenty to offer today. Many businesses still use it, and it offers a blogspot.com domain as well as the option to buy a custom one. Its experienced platform makes it easier for people with less experience to work with and build upon it.
Integrates with Google: All you need to sign up with Blogger and get its Google+ features is a Google account, which almost every business owner has. Google holds many of Blogger’s best features, including AdSense, Analytics, and storage. You can even link your blog with your Google+ account to make them more shareable and reach a wider audience.
Fast Performance: Because it’s integrated with Google, Google takes care of performance. Blogger doesn’t show its age through speed. With Google’s help, its performance boosts its ranks in search engines, since speed and performance make websites stand out when it comes to SEO.
Store posts and photos: With Picasa, which you also get through Google, you can store and edit any pictures in your blog posts. This feature comes with Google, too, and it gives you access to all your images and even older blog posts you might have chosen to archive.
Minimalist features: Blogger doesn’t have many advanced features like you’d find using WordPress or other newer blogging platforms. That can make it harder to do as much as you want when it comes to business expansion, but it works to your advantage if you don’t want many bells and whistles.
No ecommerce features: You can make money with Adsense, but that’s your only option. Other platforms allow you to set up an online store and sell products and services, which you can’t do with Blogger. For some businesses, that’s a major downside.
Not much customer support: Blogger doesn’t actually have any customer support through phone, chat, or email. The only support you can find is in the Blogger Help Forum, where other users can post and answer questions. For the most part, it works because Blogger is such a simple platform to begin with, but every once in a while, you might come up against something you can’t figure out. If no one else can figure it out either, it makes things difficult.
Solely focused on blogging: Other platforms, like Squarespace, WordPress, and Bluehost, are multiservice platforms. In other words, they let you do a lot more than just create a blog. Blogger is the opposite in that it focuses on blogging alone. That can be an advantage in that because it focuses on blogging, it does that exceptionally well, but that also means it leaves out features, tools, and capabilities that you can find with other blog sites.
Not many new features: Blogger’s age shows in its features. It does have the basics when it comes to templates and customization, but it’s not a full content management system, doesn’t offer ecommerce, and you have less control over your content than other platforms. In other words, it’s not great for portfolios that you want to set up and design yourself, and it doesn’t even let you create a homepage.
Blogger Pricing and Options
Blogger is free, which makes it great for beginners and hobby bloggers, even without ecommerce and advanced money-earning features. It comes with little risk attached, which means the reward is almost definitely greater. The only thing you lose if you don’t like it is time.
Blogger only has the one free package, which you can think of as a strength or a weakness. On one hand, it makes things simple. There are no big choices and no budgeting concerns like with other platforms with paid tiers that offer different features.
On the other hand, the limited options can be a detriment for your business. Without other options and upgrades, Blogger can limit your growth. That might not be an issue if you’re not planning to grow too fast or if you just want a place to show your industry knowledge, but with all the hats that business owners need to wear, it can be easier to use a blogging platform that accommodates them all, rather than Blogger’s minimalist experience.
With Blogger, widgets are called Gadgets, since Blogger is part of Google+. With all these gadgets at your fingertips, Blogger’s possibilities open up for your business. They’re easy to add in just a few clicks using the Layout tab, where Blogger will give the option to add gadgets. These gadgets give you the option to:
- Add your posts to social media accounts
- Embed Google and Facebook reviews on your blog
- Create a chat option on your blog
- Allow popups on your site
- Answer frequently asked questions
- Conduct surveys and create forms
- Display a photo gallery or audio player for people to view your work
With so many widgets available, Blogger makes it easy for you to engage your audience and update your site as needed. They give you much more capability than Blogger’s platform on its own, and it helps Blogger catch up to other platforms that have a leg up because of their comprehensive features.
Blogger Picasa Albums
Picasa Albums comes with Google, which means this feature is yet another advantage of Blogger being part of Google+. It offers a way to store your images in an easily accessible place so that you can plug them into your blog in seconds.
With Picasa’s image editor, you can make any changes you want to your photos before you post them. You can reach them from your admin panel, tag people and locations, and share them on social media.
Because images are an SEO staple, having Picasa make it so easy to add images to your blog means that much less effort in getting your blog and your business seen.
Blogger with Google Video
Video is one of the most important components of engagement online when it comes to running your business. Having Google Video through Blogger lets you quickly add videos to your posts. As a result, your audience gets to know you better and is more likely to interact with your posts and your business—that includes buying your products and services.
With Google Video, you can embed YouTube videos as well as videos from your own gallery. The feature makes it easier to join content across platforms, making less work for you overall. You can even upload videos from your phone.
Blogger has its own Stats tab, as well as Google Analytics, to ensure that you have all the information you need to optimize your blog. These tools let you see:
- Pageviews over time
- Blog traffic
- Session duration
- Pages per session
- Bounce rate
- Traffic source
Each of these factors helps you refine your blog and SEO so that more people come to your site. When you know this information, you can improve your posts and marketing approach so that you create the content your audience needs.
With a simple stats page like Blogger’s, you get enough basic knowledge to move forward. However, combined with Analytics, you achieve a more well-rounded approach that lets you dive into the details of your business.
Blogger’s templates are one of its most helpful resources when you want to share your content fast. They start you off with a fairly simple layout that you can customize based on your business image and persona.
The selection of templates is smaller than other platforms, like WordPress and Squarespace, with only seven to choose from. However, you can alter your template to customize it to your business to ensure it works for you.
While you don’t need any coding knowledge to set up your blog, it can help if you want a really advanced custom blog. Blogger lets you adjust conditions for your site, but if you’re not well-versed in CSS and HTML, you may want to leave the code alone.
For a free blogging platform, one of Blogger’s most enticing features is that you can still make money with it. It allows you to use Google AdSense to put ads on your blog that generate revenue when customers interact with them.
This feature helps generate some extra cash flow for your business—as well as hobby bloggers—but first, you need to get your blog seen. Without regular new and returning traffic, your audience won’t see or click on your ads, which makes them less useful for your revenue stream.
How Blogger Ranks
Blogger made our top picks for its ease of use and its balance of free services alongside its features. It makes a great beginner platform, but it’s middling in terms of what it has to offer for business growth.
Still, it’s not a bad way to start your business blog. You can explore all its templates, customization features, widgets, and more on a simple platform geared toward what it does best. It doesn’t come with the fancy tools that a full CMS might, but that can play to its strengths.
To see more top blogging platforms compared to Blogger, check out our top picks.
If you’re looking for a simple platform that lets you put out your content without much fuss, Blogger may work well for you. With Blogger, it’s a good idea to know your business goals before you jump in, so you don’t end up disappointed if you hit its ceiling too soon. However, even if that happens, you’ll know you didn’t waste money on a short-term platform. We recommend Blogger for startups and businesses that need a no-frills platform for their blog as they build authority.