Tag Archives: compare

WordPress.com vs. Blogger

WORDPRESS.COM VS. BLOGGER

If you want to go with free hosting and the quickest, easiest start to blogging, your two best options are Blogger and WordPress.com. Here are the main differences between a Blogger site and a WordPress.com site:

  WordPress.com   Blogger
Ads/selling: Can sell ads on your site, using Google AdSense no yes
  Can sell ad spots on your site, direct to advertiser yes, w/ limits yes
  Can sell paid or sponsored posts or content no yes
  Ad-free (ads that you don’t sell or control) for fee: $30/year yes
 
Design: Number of free templates available > 150 7
Design items you can alter on free template 2 to several* dozens
Number of premium templates available > 80 not available
Design items you can alter on premium template 2 to several* not available
Mobile: Built-in iPhone version yes yes
  Built-in Android smart phone version depends on theme yes
Built-in notepad version depends on theme no
Other: Built-in form maker yes no
* On WP.com, different themes offer different options which can be easily edited without code. All themes let you change the header image. Most themes let you change the link color and one or two other items. All themes are open to limitless design options for a $30/year fee.
Got questions? Contact me!
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WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

If you prefer the infinite theme variations available through WordPress vs. the design limitations of Blogger, you still need to decide between WordPress’s “.com” version and “.org” version. While these two options share a common platform and many similarities in the way the admin interface works, there are some important differences.

The main difference is that the “.com” version is hosted for free by WordPress, and requires no set up or installation on your part, while the “.org” version must be installed on a different host, which you choose and pay for.

There are also differences in advertising rules, security and mobile friendliness. Read on…

  WordPress.com   WordPress.org
Hosting: Will gain some traffic just from hosting there yes no
 
Ads/selling: Can sell ads on your site, using Google AdSense no yes
  Can sell ad spots on your site, direct to advertiser yes, w/ limits yes
  Can sell your own items on your site w/ PayPal yes; PayPal or your own merchant account
  Can sell paid or sponsored posts or content no yes
  Ad-free (ads that you don’t sell or control) for fee: $30/year yes
 
Design: Number of free templates available > 150 thousands
Number of premium templates available > 80 thousands
Design items you can alter on templates 2 to several* any, w/ add’l coding
Extensibility: Options available widgets only; no plug-ins widgets + 1000′s of plug-ins
Mobile: Built-in iPhone version yes depends on theme
Security: Responsible for security against hacking WordPress.com you
  Responsible for backups, installations & upgrades WordPress.com you

* On WP.com, different themes offer different options which can be easily edited without code. All themes let you change the header image. Most themes let you change the link color and one or two other items. All themes are open to limitless design options for a $30/year fee.

Got questions? Contact me!

4 WordPress themes ready for advertising

I’ve been doing some research into WordPress themes that are built with space and/or widgets ready for advertising, so I thought I’d share some of my findings. Here are four of the top-ranking, responsive designs.

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“Bangkok Press” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • 7 video tutes on YouTube help you with set-up
  • localization ready
  • drag and drop page builder
  • 1800 downloads; 210 ratings; 5-star average

Bangkok Press, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size):

Bangkok Press, above the fold

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest

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“Deadline” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • widgetized home page
  • localized and translatable
  • English, French and German translation files included
  • 2600 downloads; 360 reviews; 4-star average

Deadline, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size)

Deadline, above the fold

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest

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“Gonzo” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • built to work with AdPress, and still be responsive
  • built-in review system; lets users rate products, for example.
  • can use Facebook comments on-site
  • 3700 downloads; 385 ratings; 5-star average

Gonzo, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size):

Gonzo, above the fold

Page showing ad sizes available.

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest
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“Sahifa” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • built-in review system; lets users rate products, for example.
  • 9 advertising widgets
  • translation-ready
  • 2700 downloads; 385 ratings; 5-star average

Sahifa, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size):

Sahifa, above the fold

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest

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All four themes, as seen on a mobile phone:

If it’s likely that users will be viewing your site on their smartphone — and that’s more and more true every day — you should check any themes you’re considering on one or two mobile devices. This will help you think through which one works best at that size for critical features like navigation. Note that in the four themes shown above, the advertising disappears on two of them.

ad-ready themes, mobile view

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Why I like ThemeForest

  • You can quickly see how many times each theme has been downloaded, and every theme is ranked by users.
  • Every theme includes a link to a fully functional, populated example.
  • “Comments” page gives you a feel for how often developers run into problems with the theme, and how responsive the author is.
  • The filtering system for searching for a theme with certain features just rocks! (WordPress could learn a thing or two from them.)
  • And yes (full disclosure), I get a commission if someone buys a theme via one of my referral links. (You could, too!) But I only recommend companies I have used and love.