May 10, 2020

Blogger as a reliable blogging platform

I have been using Blogger as my preferred blogging platform for close to fifteen years now. It's easy and convenient, and it's also free. Blogger is one of the earliest blogging platforms developed by Pyra Labs in 1999, which was bought by Google in 2003. All you need is a Google account to start a free blog on Blogger. Once you create your Gmail account, it can easily be activated as with other Google features. It requires very minimal technical skills. Because it's powered by Google one can expect a secure blogging platform with little no hassle.

Blogger has fallen out of favor because of its perceived limited blogging tools. The theme design templates might be few but third party templates are available for Blogger which are either free or priced low. I don't see this as a downside for this blogging platform. In fact, the simplicity of the theme options makes you focus on the content of your blog. Too many customization options offer unwanted distraction. You are also tempted to use everything at your disposal. Nobody wants to read a blog that looks like an overly decorated Christmas tree. 

Still there are a lot of useful options on Blogger that you can optimize to create a handsome blog. These include customization of theme background and blog layout, text options like font type, color and size, width adjustment of main post area and sidebar, and so much more. There are a wide assortment of gadgets (or widgets) that you can add to your blog, including HTML scripts from third party sources like advertising platforms. If you want to monetize your blog, Google Adsense is a built in feature which you can activate if you meet their minimum requirement. You can also add CSS codes without the need for plugins. All these features come with no additional cost. The only cost I incur using this platform is my annual domain registration which is US$12. 

I have tried migrating to Wordpress a few years ago, and even started another blog using Wordpress a month ago. 

WordPress starts out free but as soon as you want additional features, you have to upgrade to Premium. This costs about $100 per year with a free domain. If you want to monetize your blog, you have to upgrade again to a Business Plan that costs about US$300 a year, purchase a plugin give you control of your blog and be able to add HTML codes from third party advertising platforms like Adsense, Media.Net and Adsterra. This can cost up to US1,0000. WordPress is expensive and is not suitable for personal blogging or a start up business. The blogging platform also calls for advance technical skills including creation of HTML codes. I was so frustrated I ended up terminating my WordPress Premium plan.

I'm sticking with Blogger not only for this site but also for two more blogs I manage - New Durian Cinema, a journal of Southeast Asian cinema, and Cobek Batu Adventures, a food and travel blog devoted to culinary trips around Southeast Asia. Now I have more time to think what I want to write about.

The blogging landscape has changed drastically in the last several years. Once used mainly as a site for creative expression, personal journal and political punditry, blogging has increasingly become a business tool where information on all sorts of things are marketed and niches are your new speciality shops. Information is the greatest commodity of this age.

No comments: