This is a complete Blogger review. In this review on Blogger, you will find out everything from features, use-cases, pros and cons, and alternatives for Google Blogger in 2021.
When it comes to blogging, only a handful of blogging platforms out there that can really push you forward; help you achieve your goals, ambitions, and dreams.
Blogger.com (or Google Blogspot) is one of those excellent free blogging sites.
Today, I will review Blogger blogging platform. It is one of the best. 1.4% of the world’s blogs are built with Blogger.
- What is Blogger?
- Blogger vs Blogspot
- The influence of Blogger blogging platform
- Blogger Review: How to use Blogger
- Blogger Review: Features
- Blogger Review: Usecases
- Blogger Pricing
- Blogger Alternatives
- Using Blogger as a Website builder
- Making Money with Blogger
- Tools for Blogger
- Blogger Review: Pros and Cons
- Final Words on Blogger Review
What is Blogger?
Blogger.com is a free blogging platform owned by Google. Hence it is also known as Google Blogger to disregard any confusion with the ‘blogger’ noun (a person).
The history of the Blogger goes way back to the 1990s. It was started by Evan Williams and is regarded as the pioneer of online content publication service, aka weblogging, aka blogging. Evan Williams also contributed to founding Twitter and Medium – both pillars of internet publishing.
Once Pyra Labs which was co-founded by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan sold the Blogger platform to Google in 2003 after four months of negotiations for an undisclosed sum, Google integrated the blogging platform with its servers and enhanced the blogging platform so that anyone can start a blog. In this review on Blogger, I will explore them and help you decide if you should invest in Blogger CMS.
Blogger vs Blogspot
Blogger vs. Blogspot – What is the difference?
You might come to know both terms. In fact, those are the mostly same. Blogger indicates the blogging platform itself, while Blogspot is the hostname for blogs. For instance, you might create a blog on Blogger and get a host domain name that includes .blogspot.com.
The best part is you can hide the Blogspot domain name from the site by mapping a custom domain name which I will further discuss in detail in this Google Blogger review.
The influence of Blogger blogging platform
Currently, Blogger web host might hold a low profile. But several years ago, it was one of the best and most influential blogging platforms. In fact, Matt Mullenweg started on Blogger and his dissatisfaction with Blogger.com was a reason to create the first version of WordPress in the early 2000s.
Some notable blogs and bloggers who get started on Blogger are:
- Amit Agarwal – Founder of Labnol.org – Some of his Blogspot blogs can be found on https://labnol.blogspot.com/
- Google.blog – The official blog of Google.com. The site itself indicates that if you have skills in coding, you can change the appearance of a Blogspot blog and make it unique.
- Harsh Agarwal – Shoutmeloud.com is one of the most popular Indian blogs and it was started on Google Blogspot first
Even our very own blog, Pitiya.com was started on Google Blogger in the 2012’s and moved to WordPress later on.
So, why do people start on Google Blogger and then move to other blogging platforms?
Reasons why people move away from Blogger
- Blogger is the oldest blogging platform. Hence, it has got the popularity and the hand of Google. So, people trusted Google Blogger than other platforms, for instance, Tumblr. But later found some alternatives to Blogger with reasonable features
- Many bloggers from third-world countries got started on Blogger for the low cost. Once made some money and have a sustainable income, moved to a self-hosted blogging platform like WordPress.org or Magento.
- Low customization options. Blogger is one of the least free blogging platforms when it comes to customization features.
- The danger of deleting a BlogSpot blog. Yes, there are many incidents Google removed an entire blog from its servers that broke Blogger terms and conditions.
- Future of blogging. Blogging space changes rapidly. Since Blogger is the least flexible blogging site, you cannot find plugins or reasonable features for current marketing requirements such as Rich Snippets plugins, image optimizations, custom CDN solutions. Not to mention that Blogger offers many blogging-related features at last after many of Blogger competitors offered. E.X: drag and drop website builder
But, that does not mean Blogger is not a good blogging platform. In fact, it ticks many boxes if you are particularly looking for an excellent blogging platform for small projects. I will discuss some of them further in this Blogger review.
Blogger Review: How to use Blogger
The best thing about Blogger is it is free of cost. And its intuitive dashboard is clutter-free and less complicated so that anyone with or without experience in blogging can get started today and make a blog.
In a previous tutorial, I shared how to create a Blogspot blog in detail. But, for the sake of this Blogger review, I will share those steps again and reveal some key features.
First of all, you must have a Google account to have a Blogspot blog. The best part is one Google account can manage multiple Blogger blogs.
Go to the Blogger.com homepage and log in to your Blogger account.
The first step is entering the name of your blog. For example, if your blog is related to foods, you can enter a name like ‘Best Food and Cooking Tips’ or a name of the blog like ‘Pitiya.’ You can change it later.
The next step is entering a subdomain name for your Blogger blog. Depending on your name of selection, the subdomain web address will look like example.blogspot.com. And you can change it later and use a custom domain name instead.
Once you clicked the ‘Save’ button, you will be redirected to the new Blogger blog’s posts section.
Here are the main menu options:
- Manage posts – Create blog posts, edit published ones, delete blogs
- Blog statistics – Get an overview of blog statistics
- Comments – Manage comments by users
- Earnings – Monetize blogspot blog by using Google Adsense
- Layout – Add or remove widgets or reorder existing widgets on sidebar, header or footer. Really depend on the Blogger theme.
- Settings – Modify blog settings — Password protect blog, prevent search engines from indexing, specify who can comment etc.,
Managing Blogspot blog is simple. Here are several features of Blogspot blog management:
- You will get a free SSL certificate from Google. So no need to install any script
- The blog is entirely hosted on Google fast servers. No need to adjust anything at your end.
- You can start changing the appearance of the blog by adding a new theme, adding widgets, changing layout order, etc.
- Edit Robots.txt, header tags, SEO title & description, and redirect 404 pages to optimize Blogger for search engines.
If you click on the view blog button you will see how your site will look like in the unedited state.
Change Blogger theme/template
You will see that the default Blogger template does not match many niches. So, the next step is changing the Blogger theme. Depending on the Blogger theme you use, it will have different Layout structures. For example, some Blogger themes will have header and bottom widget sections, while some only have sidebar widget sections.
Blogger has some free themes. However, many of those might not be applicable to your niche. So, what I recommend is using a custom-built one or a premium Blogger theme. The best place to buy premium Blogger themes is Themeforest. Make sure those are responsive and professional-looking Blogspot themes and allows customization.
Once the theme is changed, you can change the Layout as you’d like.
Custom domain name
One of the best features of Blogger compared with other free blogging sites is that you can use a custom domain name. This will improve the professional look of your site and will improve Blogger SEO.
Head over to Settings >> Publishing >> Custom domain and set up your custom domain. I recommend buying a cheap domain name on a domain name registration service like NameCheap, Porkbun, and later moving the domain management to Cloudflare.
Cloudflare provides a ton of features to improve the security and performance of your site. Also, Cloudflare renews the domain on the wholesale price, not retail pricing.
Once done, add Blogger nameservers to your DNS management to map the domain with Google Blogger servers.
Now you have set up the blog theme and domain. The next step is creating a blog post. I will explain a bit about it in this Blogger review. For more details, I recommend checking out this ultimate guide to Blogger SEO.
Create a blog post
Click on the ‘New Post‘ button at the left sidebar, and Blogger will switch to the create mode. In the Blogger post editor, you will find several features and tools.
- Use Google fonts inside post editor (style individual blog posts with different fonts)
- Use emojis, images, and videos
- Switch between the text editing and HTML code editing modes
- Use input tools to blog on international languages
- Change post permalink, add labels, and post publish date
Another small but important addition I want to show in this Blogger review is the mobile view of blog posts. Click on the ‘Preview‘ button and select the ‘Smartphone‘ icon to see blog content.
Here is a complete video tutorial on setting up a Blogspot blog in 2021.
Blogger Review: Features
In this review on Blogger blogging platform, you found the basics of Blogger. But, there are some features that will be notable if you want to have a blog on BlogSpot.
Blogger hosting and security
One of the main advantages Blogger has and dominates over most other blogging platforms is the hosting and security.
As a Blogspot user, you will get unlimited hosting storage, bandwidth, and high-level security. Have you ever heard a Blogger blog has been hacked?
If you take security into high-level consideration over others, Blogger might be a better option than most other blogging sites.
Now you can directly monetize your blog with Google Adsense. However, there are many better ways to monetize a Blogspot blog than Google Adsense.
Here is a video tutorial on running Google Ads on a Blogger blog. It explains how to be eligible for Google Adsense and running auto ads.
You can install new plugins like Facebook Blogger comments, Disqus, or even code your own plugins such as Rich Snippets for Blogspot blogs. Blogger theme code is fully customized, and even Blogger has detailed documentation on it. (#1, #2)
For example, if you want to edit the CSS of the Blogger theme, it can be easier done by editing the Blogger template.
Money making abilities
Another subtle feature I want to emphasize in this Blogger review is the ability to make money with Blogger sites. You can monetize a BlogSpot blog through:
- Displaying Google Adsense
- Displaying banner ads (ex: BuySellAds)
- Using PPC ad publishing networks like Taboola, Propellerads, and Media.net
- Writing sponsored posts, reviews, and product showcases
- Partnering with companies and becoming an affiliate. Using affiliate links on Blogspot blogs is allowed unlike some other Blogger competitors such as WordPress.com.
Google Search Console integration
Google automatically detects your sites and adds them to your Google Search Console account. No need to verify site ownership.
Add moderators and writers
If you have a team of writers or assistants, you can add to your site and ease your blog management workflow.
Google Analytics integration
Although Google Blogger provides basic stats, it is not enough to take important decisions and analyze your blog visitors. The best part is Blogger has integrated Google Analytics so you just need to enter the Google Analytics Property ID to view site statistics on Google Analytics.
Blogger Review: Usecases
So, who should use Blogger?
Blogging is a business model, and you should regard a blog as a business. So, can Blogger be used for professional blogging?
- Blogger is safe for blogging. Your site won’t be hacked.
- You will get enough space and fast loading servers to do your works
- Blogger does not have significant features for professional work.
- Blogger does not provide access to .htaccess file and FTP
All in all, Blogger is an excellent platform to showcase your work by creating a portfolio website or create a mini-site that does not require plugins or high customization.
But, you should also consider the below aspect when you review the Blogger blogging site.
The Google SEO Advantage / Disadvantage
In my complete guide to Blogger SEO, I talked a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of the Blogger platform for search engine optimization. In short, you can definitely rank for keywords in Google. I have done it before. Blogspot provides some basic SEO functionalities such as Robots.txt editor, Header Tags settings, etc.,
But, the issue is the SEO landscape has changed drastically last several years but not Google Blogger!
Here are some key Blogger reviews in terms of SEO perspective:
- You cannot bulk optimize images – In WordPress you can install a plugin like Shortpixel (visit website) and do it automatically
- Lack of plugins kills Blogger performance – The sad reality is even though Blogger performs better in terms of UI and server-side, the emptiness of important plugins such as SEO and content optimization makes the Blogger useless for serious bloggers.
- You cannot use schema templates in Blogger – Yes it is possible to use Schema Markups such as videos, reviews, FAQs, HowTos only if the blog template is supporting them. But, usually many are not.
- You will stay behind others – Another reason why not many people use Blogger is the lack of support by vendors of online tools and software. For instance, WordPress is supported by Semrush (even they have a WordPress plugin) but not Google Blogger. If you want to stay ahead of competitors, you have to use the best tools that provide options for you. Unfortunately, Blogger is not one of those currently.
So, how much does Blogger cost?
One of the best things about Blogger is that it is completely free to use. One Google user account can create up to 100 blogs and each blog will receive unlimited visitors, space, a free SSL certificate, and a custom Blogspot domain name.
Blogger is free of use. But, you can spend money and customize it. For example, you can spend about $10 per year and buy a .com domain name. Also, you can purchase a premium theme and make the blog unique in the eyes of readers.
Furthermore, you can maintain the blog has a real business by using external third-party services such as an email list builder like GetResponse and using a tool like Convertful or ConvertBox to build your email lists.
So, you can fully adjust your budget and use Blogger to run your business.
Blogger is an old-school blogging platform where you could create a basic blog and showcase your works to the world for free. But, the technology has moved rapidly and new blogging platforms born in the last couple of years. Therefore I will explore a bit on sites like Blogspot in this Blogger review.
Here are some best alternatives to Blogger blogging platform.
Brizy Cloud is a fantastic blogging platform. Its drag and drop page builder and advanced assets builder break the boundaries in Blogger.com and lets you have highly responsive sites for any kind of situation. In fact, I have revealed some of the hot topics of the Brizy Cloud blogging platform in this article about Brizy Cloud.
Here are some key features of Brizy Cloud CMS
- Drag and drop intuitive page builder
- Visual theme builder – Customize the entire site as you need with an advanced yet simple WYSIWYG editor
- Advanced custom fields builder – Unlike Blogspot, you can generate custom made websites and blog sites
- Unlimited blog pages, free .brizy.site subdomain name
- Host blog on custom servers – Brizy Cloud has got five different hosting solutions. One of those is custom hosting services.
- Team management
Blogger vs Brizy Cloud
|Unlimited web hosting||Yes||Yes|
|Free subdomain name||Yes||Yes|
|Drag and drop editor||No||Yes|
WordPress.com is another popular hosted blogging platform, and it is one of the best candidates to replace Blogger. WordPress is used by many bloggers outside Blogspot purely because of the customization options and flexibility.
Here are some key features of WordPress:
Blogger vs Wordpress
|Unlimited web hosting||Yes||3GB|
|Free subdomain name||Yes||Yes|
Although Wordpress.com equips with numerous features and tools, most of them come in the paid plans. The free plan is enough for an ordinary user. But the biggest caveat is the ads in free WordPress hosted sites. But, Blogger is completely free and even you can edit the theme code to remove the Blogger attribution link and customize the site appearance, unlike WordPress.com.
If you are serious about using Wordpress.com instead of Blogger.com, I recommend going for a self-hosted WordPress site. BlueHost (for newbies) or WPX (for professionals) are recommended WordPress hosting sites. Also, you can use one of these free WordPress hosting services to test it out!
Another awesome free blogging platform I want to share with you in this Blogger review is Tumblr.com. Tumblr is a mixed social networking and blogging platform. Currently, It is owned by WordPress. Here are some key features:
- Network with other bloggers – Follow blogs and reblog favorite posts with your networks
- Tumblr blog followers are notified of new articles so your articles get traffic, and some articles could go viral
- Receive a free .tumblr.com domain name and you can use a custom domain name too.
- Have multiple blogs (Primary and Secondary) and the ability to switch between Primary and Secondary blogs
- Multiple post types – Unlike Blogger, Tumblr equips multiple post types (Photo, Video, Quotes, Audio, Text)
- Installing custom Tumblr themes and the customization features
Blogger vs Tumblr
|Unlimited web hosting||Yes||Yes|
|Free subdomain name||Yes||Yes|
In my opinion, Tumblr is one of the most underrated blogging sites. I see most users are from English-speaking countries particularly the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. But, if you want to make a blog with enjoying or shareable content, give Tumblr a try.
Another Blogger alternative I want to emphasize in this Blogspot review is Medium.com. It has become famous during the last five or six years due to its features and how Medium works.
- Content publication platform
- Follow other publications and blogs
- Get a free .medium.com subdomain name
- Add your team members
Blogger vs Medium
|Unlimited web hosting||Yes||Yes|
|Free subdomain name||Yes||Yes|
If you own a SaaS business and want to build a blog, Medium would be a good choice because there are many professionals who are using Medium as a reading list management tool daily and give feedback to posts. The users can follow favorite blogs like in Tumblr and even contribute to blogs with insightful comments.
More Blogger Alternatives
Here are more sites like Blogger.com to start your own blog. If you know of any other platform like Blogspot, let us know in the comments below. I will add it to this list.
Using Blogger as a Website builder
One popular question I want to emphasize and discuss a bit in this review of Blogger is whether you can use Blogger as a website builder.
You can definitely use Brizy Cloud for both blogging and site-building. It is equipped with amazing site-building features such as a drag and drops editor and Web Story designer. But, even though you can customize Blogger to host static web pages, it is not ideal to use Blogger to create web pages. Here are why:
- You have to have coding skills
- You cannot A/B test pages
- Not worth your time nor money
Making Money with Blogger
You might wonder if it is possible to make money with Blogger.
The answer is yes, it is!
In fact, I have made a complete guide to making money on Blogspot. Check it out!
In short, you can monetize a site through:
- Google Adsense
- Affiliate marketing
- Display advertising
- Direct sponsored posts, banner ads, and other arrangements
- Providing services to clients
- Using Blogspot as a bridge page
- Selling own services like solo advertisements, consultation services
- Selling products by using tools like ThriveCart or just using PayPal or Stripe Checkout
Tools for Blogger
Although Blogger.com provides many things for free, you have to use different tools and services to stay ahead of competitors and make money in today’s world. For example, you will have to audit your website from time to time by using a tool like WebSite Auditor (download for free from here) to fix critical Blogspot technical issues.
Here are tools I used when I was using Google Blogspot and what I recommend for the present.
- Semrush – My #1 recommendation for any serious blogger. Sign up on Semrush and use it to research competitors keywords, find SERP rankings, audit website and create quality content that rank! Learn more about Semrush and pricing plans and read these articles on how to use Semrush for blogging and traffic cost Semrush estimations for more details.
- WriterZen – An alternative to Semrush and Keyword Cupid. It equips many tools such as Keyword Explorer, Topic Discovery, and Plagiarism Checker.
- Grammarly – Do not make grammatical mistakes on blog posts. Grammarly helps you fix any grammar error with its AI writing assistant. Learn more about Grammarly.
- Convertful – Display attractive notification bars, high converting popups, banners, and gamification widgets. Learn more about Convertful.
- ConvertBox – A competitor to Convertful. It is equally as powerful as Convertful. But, you can buy ConvertBox for a one-off fee with its lifetime deal. Learn more about ConvertBox.
- GetResponse – Build your email list. Send emails about new blog posts, special content, and promotional offers. GetResponse offers a free 30-Day trial. Learn more about GetResponse.
- Integrately – Connect all your apps and automate tasks. With Integrately cheap pricing, it is an affordable task automation tool for many. Learn more about Integrately.
- A graphic designing tool – Good graphics will improve your blog as a whole. My recommended tools are Stencil, Pixteller, Canva, Crello, PromoRepublic, and RelayThat.
- An URL shortener – Blogger does not provide any tool nor plugin to shorten links. Use one of these link tracker tools. I personally use Replug (visit website) for all my projects.
- A social media marketing tool – There are many social media management tools. Some of them are Buffer, Hootsuite, and AgoraPulse. But, I use and recommend ContentStudio for any marketer. It is an all-in-one SMM and content marketing toolkit. Learn more about ContentStudio.
Blogger Review: Pros and Cons
- Unlimited web hosting
- Free custom domain name
- Theme customization and many templates are available
- Low-cost maintenance fee compared with other blogging platforms
- Security and server uptime reliability
- Basic SEO functionalities
- Integrate third-party widgets
- Huge Blogger community. You can find articles on many aspects or issues easily
- No third party widgets due to Google not providing API
- Lack of features compared with other blogging systems
- You cannot remove the date from blog post URL permalinks
Is Blogger worth it?
So, now the question is, is Blogger worth your time?
Here is how I look at it.
- If you are just getting started and/or do not have enough funds, Blogger is worth it.
- If you want to compete with others and grow your business online, Blogger is not worth it considering the limits and lack of features I discussed in the Blogger review.
Final Words on Blogger Review
Blogger is known for three decades. After being bought up by Google, Blogger blogging platform has become the go-to site for beginners to start a new blog. It was secure, provided basic features, and was free of cost.
If you were worried that Google might sunset Blogger as they did for numerous other services before, rest assured! Recently, the Blogger team has made changes to their blogging platform and community development.
However, during the last decade, new blogging platforms popped up. Particularly due to the popularity of self-hosted blog sites specially made with WordPress open source blog software, people could start a blog as little as $5 a month on a fast web server and get more features, tools, support, and flexibility as a whole rather than Blogger.
But, that does not mean Blogger is useless in 2021. There are some bloggers who use Blogspot to host their sites and make a significant income from blogging.
In this Blogger review, you learned every aspect of Google’s main blogging platform. Even though Google has a separate site-building platform called Google Sites, it is not popular and does not come with features as Blogger does.
So, what are your Blogger reviews? Share them below.
Flexibility and Customization features
Support & Documentations
Blogger makes it so easier for anyone to start a blog today and spread the message globally. Its fast severs, low-cost maintenance for the end-user and unbeatable security systems in place attract many bloggers, and the easy-to-use interface and confusion-free workflow keep the existing users from moving away. If you want to create a simple blog, give Blogger.com a try!
- Beginner-friendly blogging workflow
- No technical skills are need
- High-level security
- Free media hosting and fast blog hosting servers
- Integrations with YouTube, Google Analytics, and Google Adsense, and Google Albums
- Theme customization options & Edit HTML of theme and posts (for experts)
- Add team members
- Large Blogspot user community
- Get started for free
- Limited features for Blogging, SEO, and content marketing
- A maximum of 20 static pages are allowed
- Cannot change the permalink structure
- No eCommerce site-building features
- No membership site-building features
- No drag and drop page builder