Welcome to another post of Fashion Blogging 101 | The Series by Brett Robson. My first post concentrated on whether or not you should start a blog. If you missed that post, I suggest you read it – here.
Today I would like to tackle the topic of choosing a platform to start your blog on. Because let’s be real, before you actually get your first blog post up there is a ton of things you actually have to do. Choosing a platform is one of them. In my opinion, I think you should be looking at either WordPress or Blogger. I don’t know much about Tumblr or Tumblr blogs, but from what I have seen & heard it is not what you should be even considering. If your opinion differs, leave a comment below, I would love to know what your thoughts on Tumblr blogs are. What I am educated in is Blogger & WordPress as blogging platforms, so here I can speak from personal experience.
I started my blog using Blogger back in 2010. And boy have I come a long way since then. My whole aesthetic has changed. Blogger was so easy to use & navigate. So, as a newbie blogger I loved loved loved Blogger. And I believe was at the time very popular for bloggers, especially personal style bloggers. To sign up for a blogger blog, all you need to do is have a gmail address. You sign in & out using that email address & password. I started with a .blogspot.com blog & it remained that way for 3 years. Blogger was free, & easy to use & that is why I used it. In reality, I shouldn’t have stuck around for 3 years.
Because Blogger is essentially owned by Google, there are lots of cool, nifty applications & themes you can install onto your blog. I would constantly google tutorials on how to install this or that. I learnt about HTML coding because I tried to modify my Blogger blog. Initially I was happy to have my www.fashionbybrettrobson.blogspot.com, but eventually I decided to buy a domain, www.brettrobson.com. With the domain I decided to shorten my blog address as well. However, for at least a year, all I did was redirect traffic from www.brettrobson.com to www.fashionbybrettrobson.blogspot.com. Not all that professional at all. If you don’t know anything about purchasing a domain name, I suggest you try GoDaddy or Afrihost. Buying a domain name is cheap, not more than $10 – $15. At some point I did do the full on transfer of my domain & it was www.brettrobson.com when it was still on Blogger. I used GoDaddy for hosting at the time.
In a nutshell…
- Blogger is run by Google.
- FREE to join & sign up.
- You can buy your own URL and still run your site through the platform.
- Template customisation is fairly easy. Googling tips & tricks helps.
- Blog can be easily backed up in the Settings area.
- You can operate a Blogger blog with little money.
- You can’t sell or re-sell the blog as it is owned by Google.
There is WordPress Free & WordPress Self-Hosted. I made the crossover to WordPress (self-hosted) in April this year. With the launch of my online shop, SHOP BRETT ROBSON, I decided to redo my blog as well. So while I had my web developer Paper Jet Studios working on the online shop, I had them work on my blog too. To be quite honest, I am at a point in my life when my time is extremely valuable. And that is why I outsourced my blog set up. I literally just gave input on changes & told them what I wanted it to look like. Even the other day, I needed to add a PIN IT button over the images. Two years ago I would’ve figured it out for myself, but now I send a text/email & voila it’s done. I just get a bill to pay.
However, I am aware that not all of you can afford to outsource your WordPress blog set up, but don’t worry – the process isn’t that difficult (I actually started a test blog last year as a way of figuring out if I wanted to move to WordPress). No doubt WordPress is more complex than Blogger, but that is also because it offers you so many more options. I love that part. There are so many Plug Ins you can install as well. It really is so customisable. Whenever I got into conversations with other bloggers about changing over to WordPress, I simply would not entertain it. But the change has been brilliant.
In a nutshell…
- Opt for the self-hosted WordPress if this is the platform you choose.
- You can find an answer to just about any WordPress question you have by Googling.
- You can purchase blog themes & customise them to suit your needs.
- You can run 3rd party ads or Google AdSense, as well as use affiliate links and post sponsored content.
- Widely believed to be the best self-hosted platform available.
- Monthly hosting fees will need to be paid.
Overall I think most bloggers end up migrating to WordPress. Personally I couldn’t be happier after migrating. However even with saying that, I never had issues with Blogger. The only reason I migrated was because I couldn’t achieve some of the things I wanted to do with my layout on Blogger.
I think that you need to look at both these platforms & decide which one you feel will suit your needs. I would never sit here & tell you which to choose, because honestly I have had a good experience on both platforms. But what I will point out is that many bloggers locally & internationally moved over to WordPress, so perhaps that says all we need to know.
If you already have a Blogger blog, are you considering migrating to WordPress? And if you are just starting out, which platform do you believe will suit your needs better.
I hope you guys found this article to be helpful. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.