Out With the Old, In With the New


Passing Memorial Day meant the unofficial start of summer and with the changing of seasons, rumors again are starting up that Google is discontinuing Google Friend Connect. Last go-round of such gossip is really only the company’s decision to disallow its use for bloggers who don’t use Blogger. The chatter I am hearing this time is quite the opposite. Now with Google taking away its Blogger reader, this is actually a credible “rumor” that is about to be implemented.  

Out With the Old, In With the New. Talking about pros and cons between Blogger and WordPress. All text © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.com

Funny as this may sound, there is a lot to consider prior to starting a blog. First, an author has to decide which platform to use – the two most common being Blogger and WordPress. Secondly, you have to be able to devote time to a blog. No you don’t need to be shackled to it 24/7, but it does entail part of your week depending on how involved – and what kind of feedback, you want from the experience. But enough about that, that’s for another blog post. (And what I’ve learned from blogging is a work-in-progress post.)

RELATED DISCUSSION | A Conversation on Necessary Change and Booktube

Since I didn’t use Reader, I won’t miss that however I know many of you will and are in fact disappointed that it’s an option Google is taking away from loyal users. Instead I used my dashboard and did open a Bloglovin account about a year ago. Again this is a feed many people aren’t too fond of. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of alternatives right now.

Some bloggers made the switch to WordPress long ago because of this very thing. Google and Gmail accounts “forcing” their users into the Internet apps wants of their users to use. After a Twitter conversation and using WordPress as a blog location to archive the book reviews or post older reviews that I don’t share on my “main” blog here, I decided to import this space to WordPress. Right now, that blog is sitting in limbo. I’ve played around with it a bit and am working on formatting all the reviews into the WordPress CSS coding which is, of course different than Blogger. Also, the tedious process of linking all the reviews and changing the links within posts will have to happen at some point. But, I’m happy that I figured out how to transfer any incoming comments to the “new” blog in case I ever decide to make the switch. So, since I’ve been using both platforms for a fair amount of time, I’m sharing some of their differences.  




Create a New Blog Post: This page is easy as pie. All that’s required is a post title, enter your text (since I use Microsoft Word almost exclusively, I copy and paste), add labels, and hit publish – or “schedule” the post for whenever you want it to go live for the world to see. See? Easy as 1, 2, 3!  

The steps are simple and the drop-down/toggle menus on the right-hand side keep the page clean while the author is writing or preparing the post.    

Dashboard: Since Blogger switches to its new “look,” I am especially fond of its appearance and the ease of its use. It’s a “clean” look with a user-friendly interface.  

Design: Personalizing a Blogger design knows no bounds! You can load your own design in the HTML code, tweak the widths and add basically any third-party JavaScript code. Much as HTML coding annoys me, over the years I’ve come to “understand” it more and as a result, it’s become easier with time.


Google+: This is Google’s new “reader” in a sense. I don’t like it. It’s too trendy and reminiscent of Facebook. I have a profile over
there, though rarely use it. I haven’t even hit the “switch to Google+” button because I prefer the Blogger profile page. It gives the reader more a sense of who the person is and is far more personal that a page full of +1 posts.  

Spam Comments: Since I personally switched out to the embedded comment option, I really like it! It lends itself to more of a
conversational platform and is easier for me to use. But, I’m not impressed with Blogger’s spam counteract measures. I took away the word verification because it was growing harder to use (sometimes I have to type in a word multiple times before the comment will publish) and as for “comment moderation,” I didn’t wish to add one more thing to my “updating” of all my social media profiles. Blogger is supposed to prevent a lot of spam and so far, I haven’t been all that impressed.



Comments: So far (*knock on wood*), WordPress has caught every spam comment left on my book blog. It’s very careful to hold back comments that aren’t a “verified” commenter and that makes me happy! As a writer who doesn’t want inappropriate or “fake” self-promotion on her blog, it’s a big thing.     

Also, up in the right-hand corner, you can see all the comments your recently made on others (WordPress) blogs by hovering over the little star and can reply to them right there. It’s not ideal because I like actually answering comments on the blog (which you can do on WordPress, same as Blogger) but it is nice to have all the comments right there and to see if you received a reply.    

The Cons

Add New Post: Writing/pasting in your post. I don’t like this page particularly either. It’s not all that different than Blogger (admittedly) but still… I cannot quite warm to it.   

Out With the Old, In With the New. Talking about pros and cons between Blogger and WordPress. All text © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.com

Dashboard: Clutter is the word I would us, to say the least. To its credit, you can remove/add things (by clicking the “toggle” pop-up). For example, when you log into your dashboard, you’ll see a category showing you all the comments you recently made; that I don’t want to see on my “home page,” that’s what a “comment” page is for. Fortunately with a simple click, you can minimize it. Still, overall the dashboard on WordPress isn’t a design I like; where Blogger features the blogs you follow (which is where my interest lies), WordPress shoves them into a corner.   

For ease of reading your blog feeds, you are better off reading your “reader” directly from the wordpress.com page as opposed to the dashboard.  

Design: Like Blogger, you can chose from a select number of “free” templates but that’s where the ease ends. In order to customize your design at all (change of colors, working in CSS code), you have to pay a yearly fee and “upgrade.” Or this is what I understand. The fee is not overmuch, but isn’t worth it to me. Basically all that can be done is adding links (which is easy) and in select templates, you can add a custom header or background. Putting it to paper does make it seem like there is plenty of design creativity, however, small as it may be, it’s not fun not being able to change a simple thing like the color of links or tweak a width in the coding of the design. Ultimately, I have to confess, Blogger wins my vote for the better of the two competing forms. Tumblr doesn’t even come close to either one – where it’s fun for photo sets and such, it isn’t “writer friendly.”  

Which platform do you prefer? Do you have any alternatives to Reader or Bloglovin? How is Google removing the Google Friend Connect widget going to affect your blogging – or will it? I want to hear your thoughts, share below!

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


    1. Thanks for reading, Chelsey! I had fun with this one – and wouldn't mind writing more like it.

      You have any suggestions? I'd be open to them. :)

  1. I prefer wordpress, and find it easy to use once you figure out the individual pages of your dashboard. It also hooks up really nicely to automatically reblog new stuff to tumblr and twitter. But I'm disappointed you can't do custom layouts.

    1. Now I've played around on both hosts, I feel more comfortable in them. Admittedly, my knowledge of Blogger is likely still greater but I was fair while writing this; sharing both my personal likes and dislikes.

      I do agree with you, Charity; I prefer the ease of WordPress when it comes to synching or sharing everything on various other social media sites. It's right at our fingertips on WP but I've found ways around that here on Blogger.

      Mostly, I miss being able to tweak a personal design on WP. (It's be different to if the fee was a one-time thing rather than yearly.) As much of an amateur as I am at coding, I like to play with it! :)

  2. I must be about the most clueless blogger ever, because I have no idea about most of this stuff. :) I read blogs on my Blogger dashboard, and I've never used Google reader or any of that.

    I did make a Bloglovin account a few months ago when I heard Google reader was shutting down, because I didn't know if my dashboard would be affected and I didn't want to lose track of blogs. But I haven't been back on it since. I think most of my followers probably follow through GFC, plus I use it, so it will be a problem for me if it ends.

    I don't know…I don't like change. I don't like having to worry if I'm going to lose the blogs I follow or if my readers will have a hard time following me. So I wish they'd stop changing things and just leave us alone. :)


    1. I am with you, Kristin: why doesn't Google/Blogger just leave things the way they are!? If it's not broken, don't "fix" it, please. :)

      Losing GFC will not be fun just because I liked how easy it is/was. Since that is bound to happen, like you, I want to know how that will affect my dashboard. I prefer using that above anything else I've tried – Reader, Bloglovin, etc. Visits to Bloglovin' are rare but I pop in over there now and again and appreciate it being there.

      Despite all the angst, I suspect we'll come through okay. :)

  3. Great post Rissi! Like Charity, I also prefer WordPress; interesting that you mentioned that you found WordPress cluttered because that was how I felt with Blogger *blushes* But then again the WordPress.com set-up is a little different from mine since it's integrated with the community so I totally understand. I also feel like there's a lot more you can do with WordPress in terms of organisation.

    You know, I'm actually coming around to using BlogLovin' more often. It's a lot simpler in design and it updates very quickly (unlike the Old Reader because otherwise I would've gone with that).

    I dunno, I'm a bit disappointed with Google lately with getting rid of all these handy tools like the Reader and Connect (though I didn't use Connect) and revamping things that were already working well (I'm still not sure what's going on with the new Gmail) =/

    1. I've heard a lot of negative things about Google, Lianne – and plenty about Gmail. If a blogger has a Gmail account, I've heard all sorts of things go wrong because everything is then synched. Fortunately, I don't use Gmail so I've not experienced anything… weird. ;)

      That's okay to prefer WP. Glad you shared what you like about it. Blogger's dashboard/create post pages are much cleaner and simpler these days though to be honest, I do not remember what they looked like prior to being made over.

      Haven't used Bloglovin' much since I relied on my dashboard, not Reader to read up on my favorite blogs and then would click over to read the ones that I was most faithful too in their entirety on the blog since I usually commented anyway. It seemed more… personal that way and I liked it better.

      Either way, I think they'll be lots of alternatives and thanks for sharing and commenting, Lianne! Always welcome you here.

  4. I used to have a blog on a WordPress-based blogging site, but when I moved to Blogspot, it felt like a giant step upwards! Everything was just so much easier to maneuver around with, and I really don't see myself ever desiring WordPress, if I can manage escaping it.

    I'm one of the people who have faithfully used Google Reader for years. I tried Bloglovin, but it's not the same thing. I have actually found another reader which I will be using, Bloglines. (Tutorial coming soon on my blog!) If the Google Friend Connect really is going away along with Google Reader, it will be sad, as I'll be losing all those smiling faces of my readers from my sidebar, but… I'll live through it. Because I know that my readers are still there, and they'll find a way to keep up with my blog updates. :-)

    Great blog, by the way! I'm new here, and looking forward to perusing some more of your posts.
    ~ Tarissa

    1. Good to hear from someone who used WP then moved to Blogger, Tarissa. I first opened Blogger then also a WordPress site since I unknowingly created one when opening a Gravatar profile to comment on friend's WP addresses. Like you, depending on the changes here this summer, I plan to stick with Blogger.

      Thanks for sharing about Bloglines – that was part of the purpose of this post! I wanted to hear all about what you were converting too or if you had a nice source. Too true – we do have amazing reader's don't we!? They'll still be there even if their smiling faces are gone. :)

      Thank you for visiting, Tarissa! I hope you enjoyed it and will stop by again soon – and often. :)

  5. I've never used wordpress, but I have blogger and I like it. I don't know why they have to upgrade something that seems to already work fine. Oh well.


    1. You say it well, Grace! Why mess with something that works? Guess it's all in the name of technology (modernizing things and making them "hip") and in Google's quest to "control" the ways we read blogs or use the Internet on Blogger/Google.

    1. *high five*

      I don't like that I have zero freedom (for the most part) in the designing on WordPress, Juju and I'd imagine you missed that also! That's half the fun of a blog – expressing creativity and making the "look" your own. I mean, unless you pay the fee, you can't even change the color of links! That is such a simple thing. So far… Blogger is winning and I wish to be able to stick with it.

  6. I had considered wordpress for a while but in the end the trouble of transferring everything seemed like way too much work and carried the risk of losing a lot of stuff. I don't thing the loss of google friend connect will effect me that much really. I have a bloglovin account too but I don't use wither. Maybe I'm misunderstanding all of this but does this mean I won't be able to see blog updates or follow blog's in the same way? I never understand these things!!! But this was a very interesting post. How can I find you on wordpress?

    1. The transfer is actually really easy and simple, Leah. I've even been able to continue "importing" it as I post new things and new comments arrive – and I love that! So far aside from the manual re-linking and re-formatting, everything is lining up nicely.

      No, come July reader's on Blogger will not be able to read blogs the same way (or that is my understanding). If you were a fan of Google Reader, that is going away and also GFC which is the widget that allows you to follow blogs on your dashboard. I have Bloglovin also but know some bloggers aren't fond of that platform so I was curious to know what everyone else was planning to use, hence this blog post was inspired. :)

      Right now, my Dreaming Under the Same Moon WP blog isn't public because I am still working on it (it's a debate whether or not I should open it for anyone who prefers that platform…?) but you can see my bookish blog here: On the Bookshelf

      Thanks bunches for reading and commenting, Leah!

  7. Blogger is all I've ever used, but the thought of changing to something else just overwhelms me! :) It took me a little while when I first started out, but I love the ease of everything on Blogger.

    Someone from WordPress has mentioned that they get TONS of spam comments per day. That has frightened me more from using that one.

    Very useful post! I'll keep it in mind if I ever start thinking of change! ;)

    1. Thanks for reading, Bluerose – as always!

      Blogger was all I knew also and I think I went with it without looking into WordPress just because everyone I "knew" had Blogger. Now I've used both, there are things I like about each of them. Right now, Blogger is edging WP out. It's less complicated and I like the clean design.

      Right now, I don't have a huge comment traffic on my WP blog so perhaps that's why the spam hasn't been bad? I am really not sure but so far they've caught every comment. *knock on wood*

      Glad this was helpful!

  8. We've already talked about this some, but, I recently discovered another way to follow the blogs I like without needing GFC. It's called Networked Blogs, have you heard of it? Sadly, I already set up the "switch" to Google+. I really, really don't like it. Losing GFC and trying to adjust to something else be it Blog Lovin' or Networked Blogs isn't going to be easy for my blog. :(

    When setting up my backup site on WP, I noticed several of the cons you've mentioned. As long as I don't have too much trouble transitioning from GFC to Networked Blogs I think I will stay with Blogger.

    Man, I need to make a post about this too… hehehe.

    1. I found instructions on how by googling "how to turn off google+." I can't remember the website I went to but you could give it a try! :)

    2. Rosie – that's okay, I don't mind re-hashing things. :)

      I have heard of Networked Blogs but don't think I have an account over there. If you recommend it, I'll set one up though! Sounds like another good "back up" to have in play.

      I agree. Unless I encounter too many issues, I'll stay with Blogger. Cannot decide if I want to "open" my WordPress site or not. Probably not unless I feel it's warranted. Glad you were able to import your blog also – it's not hard save for having to manually re-link everything.

      Glad you shared – and do write your own post, girl, I'd read it.

      Check out this Google+ info to check out how to turn it off:


      Kellie – thanks for sharing!

  9. Great post Rissi! I weighed the pros and cons of switching my blogs from Blogger to WordPress almost a year ago. I was forced to either pay for more storage on Picassa (where Google hosts all images that you upload to Blogger but has limited free space) or make the switch to WordPress. I did not like WordPress.com so I decided to self-host and customize my blogs on WordPress.org. With the .org option you have endless freedom and customize as much as you want. There is a definite difference between the two WordPresses To save money I designed my own blog and manipulated all the code myself to suit my needs. I didn't realize how much work I had taken on until I was knee deep and it was a HUGE learning curve. I really encourage people to have a design and functions plan BEFORE they make the switch or at least keep their previous blog running until the new one is finalized. I was able to figure out redirects from links from my old blog to the new one without manually changing anything which was a huge time saver. My advice is, for people with running blogs considering the switch to visit forums and make sure that you have the time and skills to do it themselves otherwise it can be very costly. I really wish I had started on WordPress from the beginning because I really love it.

    1. Lydia, this is invaluable advice! Thank you for sharing it. :)

      WordPress.org does look interesting. Unfortunately – as you suggest a blogger should make themselves aware – I am not sure I could figure it all out. :/ We shall see if I decide to look further into switching out to WordPress or more seriously. For now, I am still okay with Google's host and am happy to have imported to WordPress.com.

      I did find a handy tool that is letting me covert tags/categories so that won't need to be done manually. All else might need to be done manually though – such as re-linking everything. Either way, little by little I am going to work on my WordPress site. I don't know if anyone would be interesting in seeing it "opened" or not. I'm all about making things easier for my readers since I think they're all neat and am beyond appreciative of their support of this blog. It's meant a lot!

      I am not sure if I've mentioned it before but I love your blog/design, Lydia. All that struggle and overwhelming was worth it as your design is very professional yet welcoming. :)

    2. Thanks Rissi! It was certainly a labour of love. I came to the point where I just had to stop touching the design because I was getting overwhelmed by the options LOL

    3. I'll bet – it's very impressive, Lydia. Love the colors, the photos… just everything is lovely. I have actually seen several blogs with the Genesis template that I ADORE but alas, it's only for WP so I am unable to use it – and I am not that good at HTML!

      Overwhelming options aside, The Overweight Bookshelf is gorgeous! :)

    1. Oh and by the way…I had a delightful package waiting for me when I got home last night! So excited to get the book! Once I drag my brain through the Quarryman's Bride and finish Take a Chance on Me (which I'm dying to finish, but better finish Q's B first), I will immediately start reading it!

      Oh and gorgeous card!! I actually put it up on my bookshelf just because it's so pretty.

      Thanks again, Rissi! :)

    2. Oh, yay! I am delighted you got it, Kellie. I also heard from Kanda so I can be comforted knowing you both received your books – I never want to cheat anyone out of something they won here. Thanks for letting me know! :)

      I have the first book in Tracie's new series (the name escapes me now) but haven't read it. Enjoy the rest of 'Quarryman's Bride.' And 'Chance.' That was a charmer. I think I liked Susan's original "Deep Haven" books better but these new ones are still wonderful. Cannot wait to read your review (or get your opinion – either way, please share) on Once Upon a Prince. Hope you like it as well as the general book community has! :)

  10. Yeah losing GFC is freaking me out a little. Honestly? I'm sticking with Blogger and using platforms such as Bloglvn to keep up. Hopefully that will work well!

    1. I am with you, Micah – I don't like the idea of GFC leaving but… it's coming to that, so I am looking into new platforms. Right now, I have Bloglovin' but am also going to look into Networked Blogs. Hopefully between those options, we'll be A-Okay. ;)

  11. I have some friends who use wordpress. I have thought about looking into it, but it took me so long to figure blogger out I'm not sure I could manage learning a whole new one. Maybe someday

    1. It's similar, Jack, so if you feel comfortable using Blogger, a switch to WordPress wouldn't be too difficult. That being said, personally I still prefer Blogger. :)

  12. Having used blogger for 6 years and having moved to WordPress 12 months ago, I can't tell you how much more I love WP! It is so much more solid than blogger – I'd lose posts, have terrible trouble with formatting, and all sorts of other hassles. I prepare my posts much more quickly on WP – I'd never go back!

    That said, I have a wonderful friend who transferred my old blog and customised my new WP one so from that point of view I had it easy!

    1. Wonderful to hear, Rel! Glad to know you are happy in your new "home." It certainly looks great from the perspective of an outsider. :)

      Lydia was just mentioning how there is a difference when you use WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com – the latter is all I've ever used. I think there is also a difference when a blogger has their own URL. For me, WordPress(.com) is very limiting. You have to pay to tweak templates/designs and I don't like that – the design is all a part of the fun after all. :) What it comes down to is the individual as with everything – we all like something different and that is good. I don't not like Worpress but Blogger gets my vote right now.

      Sorry about your bad experiences with Blogger – that does sound like needless hassle. :/

      Your site is lovely, Rel – if I may just say I've always liked the javascript header you have! It's such a cool look – the one time I had one here, I had to nix it since it didn't code right on everyone's browsers. Ah, well! We live. ;)

  13. This is very informative thank you Rissi! This is the question…I'm trying to figure out myself what will be better and I admit, the idea of messing with any form of coding just makes me cringe. Ugh. And I didn't realize there is a cost involved?? Hmm…why google has to change things when they have a good thing running for so long is beyond me and it is so frustrating. Makes me want to ditch them just for doing that…Hmm…will be pondering very hard on what to do :) This post helps though!


    1. Does this mean you will be returning to the blogging community, Jeanine? If so, may I just say YIPPEE! You've been missed. :)

      The cost involves the CSS coding on Worpress.com – or the custom designing elements. So if a blogger wants to tweak the link color, guess what!? That's not possible unless you pay the yearly fee. Or if you want to load your own template, yep, you'll encounter another directive to pay the yearly fee – after that, I would assume that a designer can do anything much like on Blogger.

      I hope you are happy with whatever decision you make, Jeanine – I'll be anxious to know how it goes for you! :)

      Google is just being mean – getting rid of Reader and by virtue GFC is not cool. It's such a simple way to follow blogs and I don't accept the decision.

    2. Ohh Rissi you are always so encouraging, I appreciate youuu :) Yes, don't give up on me yet! I am going to be quite regularly blogging again…it's just been tough with another big move and running around like crazy getting things in order to make the huge leap, that my bloggy was put on hold for a monthish…blahhh. But I am now settled in for the remaining two months and I shall resume! :) Blogging is such a fun way to express oneself and stay connected with so many other freakishly cool peoples, like yourself, that I can't imagine life at this point without it! Hopeless nerd here :)

    3. Can we be hopeless nerds together? If so, I'd like that. ;)

      Oh, great! I will for sure be on the look out for new/more blogging from you then. It sounds like life has kept you busy and while you've probably enjoyed that, know what this community has missed you and we are glad to have you back.

      Wow! Another move? That does have to take a lot of time and energy – I'm glad to know you are settled in and are (maybe?) slowing down. :)

  14. I like Blogger too. I tried WordPress when I first started blogging here and there, but it just wasn't user friendly to me, and I couldn't get the look I wanted. But one day I may have to create an author website, and I'm thinking I might have to go back to WordPress. My attitude is, I'll cross that bridge when I get there. ;-)

    1. Good way to look at it, Gwendolyn.

      I think that after all the dust settles, most Blogger users will stay here – a switch to WP probably won't be triggered by this Google change although if they continue pulling the rug out from under us… who knows! If need be (or if that seems the "easier" route), I will go with WordPress since I am well on the way of setting up Dreaming Under the Same Moon over there. I just hope it doesn't come to that since I don't like being limited in the designing – that's half the fun. :)

      Hooray for an author blog – I hope you get to meet that goal! It sounds wonderful. :)

  15. Great post, Rissi! I admit to doing some checking into WP when I was deciding whether to start blogging. I too, noticed that you had very limited things you could do there "free", which is why I ended up going with blogger. I love blogging. It's a lot of fun. But it's a hobby. And not something I'm prepared to sink any money into (aside from book-buying of course! ;) to be able to have one. Should all platforms ever go that route, I'd probably quit altogether. I'd rather spend money on books at this point in my life. :)

    And like you, I use my dashboard for blog reading. Although I've changed recently and started using bloglovin a lot more often. I'm not a fan of google+ either. And have steadfastly resisted switching over. I'll wait til I'm forced to, I guess. Since I'm not switched, I have no idea how it even works. Definitely like the blogger profile page better.

    Anyway, now I'm off to read all the rest of the comments. Thanks for sharing this! :)

    1. To be honest, I don't think I did, Kara. If memory serves me correctly, I went with Blogger without really knowing there was another blog host. This was because everyone I knew had Blogger and I figured that was the smart move. I am seriously contemplating opening the WP site just to see if readers prefer it and/or how I feel about it. So far, the transition has been simple BUT I detest the idea of being stripped of design privileges. :/ That may be a deal-breaker.

      I agree. I LOVE blogging but it is a hobby – granted one that has rewarded me far more than I'd ever in my wildest dreams expected. I've learned so much in this journey, plus since my aspiration is to someday write professionally, right now, this is a great tool.

      I pop into Google+ some. It's not cool. It's very "trendy" and mimicking Facebook (desperately so) which is one reason I suspect Google is taking so many of these tools away. Occasionally I "update" + by adding my recent posts but like you, I've not linked profile and + yet – the profile page is WAY nicer.

      Happy comment-reading. :)

  16. Really interesting post, Rissi! As you know I've made a Blogger account, I didn't really do in-depth research, it just so happened that most of the blogs I read are also on Blogger…. I sort of have an idea to repost things I post on LJ also on Blogger, but I've been sooo busy, I hardly post on LJ as it is….

    1. That's a great idea, birdienl! In fact, the other day I was thinking of making that suggestion to you. Selfishly I'd have an easier time finding you there however I always encourage bloggers or potential bloggers to do whatever they think is best. After all, a blog/LJ or any social media is and should be the writer's own personal space to do with as they like. :)

      I sympathize you with running out of time; I experience that all the time! No matter my good intentions, there just aren't enough hours in the day. :/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

Optimized by Optimole