Having a website is a must for any serious business. According to Bridget Weston of SCORE, “If a company or a small business doesn’t have an online presence, they are missing a huge percentage of the population that could be shopping at their store.”
But I don’t mean just any online presence.
You ought to have a website. You may have a huge social media audience, but that alone won’t cut it.
That alone implies that a website is among the most important assets for a business.
Now, let’s say that you own a digital marketing agency or you run a business consulting service and you will be required to create websites for your clients, but you have no knowledge of HTML, CSS, or how to write any code for that matter, what do you do?
Use a website builder.
With website builders, creating a standard website can be done even without having the slightest idea of what programming is about.
And like I said previously, these three platforms run on the principle of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), meaning that you will be able to use soft features, like the drag and drop editor, to assemble a website quickly, without writing a single line of code.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to figure out which of them is the best one for you to create your next website with little effort.
Let’s dive in.
In fact, most of the ‘old bloggers’ you still see around started from Blogger.
It is a Google-focused platform, hence its flexibility and ease of use, and one thing that made it endearing to a lot of its users is its pricing. Blogger is practically free.
Unlike some other website builders, Blogger is an all-inclusive platform, which means that it will provide you with everything you need to design and promote your website.
Think of it as buying a fully furnished house in an already developed settlement.
You will only have to worry yourself with the decorating, cleaning, and other soft chores, whereas all the plumbing work, security, and other heavy lifting has been taken care of.
Blogger already has all the functionalities and design set for you, so you only have to worry about blogging.
With Blogger, you have only a little say when it comes to content management.
You can organize your content with only a few movements via its drag and drop function, but you will be relinquishing a huge chunk of control, especially on the backend side of your website.
Let’s look at what makes Blogger so special:
Blogger is one of the simplest publishing tools on earth and it helps that it is a Google platform too.
This means that you will not need to sign up as a new user if you already have a Gmail or YouTube account
Once you go to Blogger, just enter your username and password, and you will be logged in.
If you run multiple businesses and want to have separate web pages for them, you will not be required to create individual login accounts for each business.
You can handle several websites from one account.
The platform is SEO-friendly and you will hardly encounter any security issues.
Before you choose a website builder, make sure you look out for its product focus because a lot of web builders try too hard to do everything and end up being bad at them.
While it may be true that Blogger isn’t what it used to be in terms of its place among the top online publishing platforms, it still maintains its original focus, which is blogging.
So far so good, we haven’t seen that Blogger has made a sudden update to become more like Twitter or Medium.
It still uses RSS and is focused on default comments and allowing users to quickly create and publish comments that will be accessible to anyone in the world.
Now, while this doesn’t give Blogger any honors as one of the most interactive platforms, it does add a bit of relief in knowing that there’s a tool out there that still works for what it has always been known for.
Yes, since Blogger is a known Google product, it is firmly within Google’s ecosystem, so if you own any Google-related account, then you own a Blogger account too, whether you know it or not.
If you have been running a Gmail account before opting to use Blogger to publish your content, then there will be no need for a new username and password.
Just sign in with your existing credentials and Blogger will take you straight into your dashboard.
Once you have created your new website, you can buy a custom domain from Google custom domains to personalize your site.
Speed and Performance
Speed and performance are big deals for any business website. If your website takes a long time to load a page, then you are bound to lose customers to a competitor with a better site.
Self-hosted websites usually have to worry about this problem a lot, but since Blogger handles everything about the backend of your site, it takes care of your
website speed and performance as well, which allows you to focus all your attention on creating high-quality content and promoting it.
Blogger is not the best when it comes to its capacity to grow as your blog grows. And even though we have commended it for sticking to its focus of blogging over the years, that has come to be a weakness too.
It has failed to evolve into a modern website builder, like any of its alternatives.
For example, if you visit a website that is built on a different platform like Wix, it will have a home page and other pages that you can access without going through any awkward redirects, but such a thing doesn’t yet exist on Blogger websites.
You are only left with a website that displays a feed of post in reverse-chronological order, thus you are restricted.
Another instance is that Blogger does not provide resources that let you create different types of display formats for different types of content, which means that you are stuck with a single layout for all of your pages.
Design and Customization
Blogger will let you tinker with its backend a bit if you want to give your site a different look, but I’m sure that you would rather not.
Unless you are a programming wizard, there isn’t much you can do when you see the conditional statements in its code editor.
If you don’t know much about them, you can ruin everything for yourself if you tamper with anything.
However, you can make light changes to your site even if you are not a programmer.
You can change your design layout and theme, and arrange your website’s component with Blogger’s inbuilt elements.
The bottom line is that Blogger is good for blogging and nothing more.
You’ll think that since Blogger is owned by Google, a multi-billion corporation, there will be at least a dozen thousand customer service agents to bail you out whenever you hit a bump.
Blogger does not have any engineers on call for when you want help.
Your best bet is to go on its public forum to find a competent user that can come to your aid. You might be lucky enough to be assisted by a Google staffer though.
By now, the forum will be filled with solutions to most of the possible problems that Blogger users may face, but as with any other tech platform, some problems are unprecedented.
If you don’t find what you are looking for on the forum, you may find solace by casting a wider net on Google or looking through YouTube for possible solution videos.
Blogger is free, but there’s a catch: your website will have a branded extension, that is ‘.blogspot.com’.
But even with this subdomain, you will get unlimited access to run your site, including a free SSL certificate.
If you want to remove the subdomain name, you will have to purchase a custom domain and point it to your website.
Blogger will not charge you a setup fee or run ads on your site unless you choose to opt-in for AdSense, and even then they will reward you with revenue for the ads that are passed on your space.
Wix is one of the most popular all-inclusive website building solutions in the market.
It operates a bit similar to Blogger since hosting and domain management are part of the deal.
You will still have to host your website on its server and you can access and manage it through your Wix admin panel.
One of the major differences between Wix and Blogger is that Wix adds branded advertisements to the top and bottom of your website, whereas Blogger does not.
That being said, Wix is a powerful tool and it is safe to use, so if you are thinking of exploring its features, here are some things to look out for.
Just like Blogger, Wix has a free plan that lets you conveniently set up your website, but unlike Blogger, this plan has certain restrictions that include file storage and a features cap.
If we are being honest, its paid plans are not exactly the best in the world, but they will suffice for short-term projects.
They let you set up a website quickly without encountering any technical obstacles.
However, you might want to pay attention to details of the different plans to see if you really require the features that some of them offer, before throwing in your money.
Before now, Wix has always had some nice and easy themes, but there was always something ‘old school’ about them, recently however, they upgraded to give them a more modern look.
Wix uses artificial intelligence to ensure that designing a website is even easier and faster and whether your website is targeted at mobile or desktop users, it will surely adapt to the device and user’s needs.
This is a very important feature especially because a lot of these website owners will lack the technical knowledge of preparing a site for accessibility, so Wix covers that.
Speed and Security
With a self-hosted website like the ones built on WordPress, you will always have to think of ways to secure your website and ensure that pages open up rather quickly.
However, since Wix websites are hosted on their servers, and they have professionals that handle these servers, the speed and security of your site is not your concern.
Blogger is specific about being a blogging platform and Wix has something of that sort. When you first sign up, you will be required to select the purpose for which you want to use Wix for.
This is so that Wix can generate preset templates for your specific platform and this makes signing up a lot easier.
Apps and extensions
Wix has an open app store where Wix website owners can have access to third-party apps to integrate into their sites.
This app store has a wide selection of apps including native apps that are exclusive only to Wix websites. The only problem with the app store is that some of the apps there do not exist.
They are merely iframes of real apps that are added to a Wix page.
This is one area where you will come to appreciate the modus operandi of Wix. Remember, if you have your sites on Blogger and you experience any difficulty, it will be left to you to find a way out, but on Wix, they will handle your issues for you.
The reason is that there is no possible way that you can track down a problem on Wix sites on your own.
The best course of action is to contact the Wix support team via phone, email ticket, or knowledge base.
Wix has a free plan and like Blogger, it comes with a Wix subdomain name. If you want to make your domain name yours, you will have to upgrade to a premium plan.
The pricing for Wix starts at $4 a month and can get as high as $24 .
WordPress is easily the most popular website building software on the planet. In fact, statistics show that it powers 30% of the internet.
One major reason for this prestige is because WordPress is overly flexible and easy to use, so much so that there’s a common mantra among web designers that if you need the best solution to build your website, “just use WordPress”.
We will try as much as possible to talk about both of them in this article, but let’s first take a look at what makes them different.
WordPress.org is a content management system that helps you power your website on a server.
This means that, rather than uploading your files directly on a server to create a website, you can create a backend on WordPress that will let you create and edit your website.
As for WordPress.com, it is like the Blogger version of WordPress. It is a platform that powers blogs and websites in an all-inclusive deal, so it handles hosting, domain, support, etc.
If we are to employ the real estate narrative here, WordPress.org is like buying an empty piece of land and building a structure on it from start till finish, while
WordPress.com is like buying an already built living space and making a few customizations.
Now, let’s see what makes up WordPress.
Designs and Themes
WordPress.org basically lets you do whatever you want with your themes and designs.
Whichever method you choose, you can always access and edit your theme whenever you want.
WordPress.com does not give you that much access to themes.
You can only choose a theme from the selected free and premium ones that they provide.
They allow you to do a little customization, but you will be restricted.
For example, you can only get full access to CSS editing when you upgrade to a premium plan and even then, you can’t add elements to your designs.
Plugins and Functionalities
Plugins are part of the major reasons why WordPress is as popular as it is.
With plugins, you can think of just about any function and add it to your website without any knowledge of programming or paying a software engineer.
The software has more than 55,000 plugins in its directory and there are thousands of developers that are working to build new ones every day.
For example, if you own an ecommerce site, you can add different types of payment gateways to enable you to start receiving payments directly from your customers, or you can run third-party advertisements on your website.
But WordPress.com does not allow any of these extra functions that are outside of its built-in services, but there’s still a bright side to this.
If you are not using plugins and third-party apps, you will never have to worry about any security breach or speed problem.
If you are not using a dedicated ecommerce builder like Shopify, then WordPress is the next best thing. Heck, some ecommerce website designers even prefer to use WordPress to any other solution.
WordPress has a great software called WooCommerce that you can use to build an online store.
If you are operating a WordPress.org website, you can install the plugin for free with only a few clicks and build the store from your dashboard, while
WordPress.com users can add WooCommerce to their plan.
WooCommerce offers some of the best functionalities that can be rivaled only by Shopify, so you will get two deals for the price of one – a world-class
ecommerce solution on a ‘content-first’ platform.
WordPress has a robust community support system and so it is hard to be stranded for long.
There is plenty of documentation for all of its themes and plugins so you will definitely find a resource to help you out no matter the feature you use.
If you are using WordPress.org, you can also get dedicated support from your hosting company if they have a WordPress expert on call.
WordPress is free, to begin with, but you will have to pay for some extra features.
The free version of WordPress.com usually includes a subdomain, but you can pay for one of its bundled plans to own your domain.
For the self-hosted version of WordPress, you will pay for domain and hosting, and the prices vary depending on the company.
Final Words and Verdict
Now you have seen three of the best website builders to use for your website.
All three of them are competent solutions in their own right and sometimes your choice may depend on a number of factors at that time.
The ‘right’ platform is really a tradeoff between control and convenience.
That being said, I choose WordPress over Wix and Blogger because of its overall superiority as a web publishing platform.