Blogger review - everything about Google’s blog platform
Blogger is the original online blogging platform that started the rise of blogs and has given countless people a voice since its inception way back in the late 1990s.
The precursor to WordPress and perhaps one of the most influential sites for self publishing, you could even argue that Blogger paved the way for the hyper-connected social media lives we’re all accustomed to today. If you are looking for more powerful website builder for a blog or business, you can check our list of best website builders this year and some of their alternatives.
But is Blogger still useful? How do you use it? And is it free to use? In this Blogger review, we’re going to take a detailed look at the platform and fill you in on everything you need to know.
|Overall score||Great for beginners, but only gives you basic features|
|Ease of use||Really simple to get started and publish a blog|
|Features||Only basic blogging features available|
|Ecommerce||There aren’t any specific e-commerce features but you can monetize your blog with AdSense|
|Help & Support||Help Centre works as an online resource but there’s no support line or chat service|
Blogger pros and cons
As with all online platforms and programs, there are usually some good points and some bad points. If you’re in a rush and just need a quick summary, here are some of the things we love about Blogger, and a few areas that could do with some work.
- Easy to use and get started
- Completely free
- All you need is a Google account
- Themes and templates to personalize your blog
- Can only really be used for a basic blog (unless you can code)
- If you want your own domain name, you’ll need to buy one
- Google may not support the platform long-term
- Limited to 100 blogs per account
Related article: Best blogging platforms in 2021
Blogger vs Blogspot - what's the difference?
Blogger is a free blogging platform run by Google, and Blogspot serves as the services’s host and domain name provider. A domain name is just what comes at the end of your URL address. So if you make a blog on Blogger you’ll get a Blogspot URL, such as www.cybernews.blogspot.com
What is Blogger?
Blogger is one of the first free publishing websites. You can use it to create a personal blog or website, amongst other things. It was originally launched in 1999 by a company called Pyra Labs. In 2003, Google bought Blogger and went on to become one of the most popular blogging sites on the web. It’s helped millions of people to start blogs, earn money and launch their careers.
What is Google Blogspot?
BlogSpot is the domain provider for Blogger. The two services are both owned by Google, they’re both free, and they both work together to create a seamless experience.
When you first create a blog in Blogger, you’ll automatically be given a BlogSpot domain name. Google gives you a free domain provider, but you’re free to change that BlogSpot domain name to something else if you’d prefer.
How do you use Blogger?
Blogger is pretty easy to use, Creating a blog takes just a few steps and Blogger’s intuitive interface and dashboard mean that getting the right look for your blog doesn’t take any design skills.
Here’s an overview of how to use Blogger.
Set up your account
- You need a Google account to use Blogger. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create one.
- Pick a name for your blog.
- Create an address (URL) for your blog. This step may take some tinkering if your chosen URL is not available. If you get stuck, add a number to your text to increase the chance of availability.
- Confirm your display name. This is the title of your blog that will be displayed to readers.
- Click Finish and you’re ready to start blogging!
Manage your blog
Once you’ve set up your blog, you’ll get a whole host of options to help you manage it.
As you can see, once you’ve started blogging, you can use this dashboard to manage posts, check stats, moderate comments and play around with themes and layouts. You can also see if you’ve earned any money from your blog (more on that later).
If you click View Blog, you can see how your blog will look in its unedited state.
Create a blog post
Next up, it’s time to write your first blog. To do this, click New Post on the top left-hand column and Blogger will switch to Create mode.
You get a nice blank slate where you can write whatever you want. You have the usual word processor options along the top, such as bold, italics, bullet points, font type and font colour. You’ll also see options to add in emojis, links, images and video content.
When your blog is looking good and you’re ready to release it on the web, just hit Publish and it will be live on your Blogger site.
Blogger templates and themes
Blogger’s templates and themes give you a selection of ways to arrange and customize your blog. By clicking Layout on the left-hand column, you’ll open up the template you can edit by adding in things like a Wikipedia gadget box, and an About Me section and place it wherever you like. You can do this all really easily with Blogger’s drag-and-drop system.
You can add all sorts of different themes to your blog too. From a simple text-led blog to a dynamic blog filled with images, there’s a great selection of options to help you.
Blogger hosting and security - is Blogger safe?
Blogger is hosted on Google’s servers, so you don’t have to worry about sorting out hosting. You also get an SSL certificate, which means your site and data are secure from online threats.
These features make Blogger a really attractive option for people who are starting out with their first blog.
Other Blogger features
Blogger gives you some more features to enhance your blog, increase traffic to your site, and even make money.
Let’s take a closer look.
Can you make money on Blogger?
You can monetize your Blogger site with Google AdSense.
If you click on Earnings on the left-hand column, you’ll be prompted to create an AdSense account. Google will then start putting ads on your blog in optimized locations, although you’re free to move them around as you see fit.
If you’re happy having ads on your blog, this is a great way to earn some passive income. Of course, to make money from the ads on your site, you’ll need to get as many people reading your blogs as possible.
Can you check stats for your blogs?
Checking the stats on your blog can help you see which posts are popular and which might not do as well. You can then fine-tune your output to give your audience more of what they want.
It’s easy to check basic stats of your pages by hitting the Stats option in the left-hand column. You can also add Google Analytics tracking for even more in-depth analysis. Just head to Settings, then select the Analytics option under Basic. But you will need a Google Analytics account.
Using Blogger as a website
Unless you have a lot of coding experience, Blogger is fairly limited as far as building a website goes. It’s mainly suited for making a blog. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of what you’ve got. You can use Blogger as a portfolio to show off your work, especially if that’s copywriting, creative writing, photography or design.
You’ll find a host of templates and themes to choose from, and you can use them to show off your work in any way you like.
And if you want to sell products, you can do that with a bit of help from PayPal.
All you need to do is write product descriptions, add images so that people can see your items and then add a PayPal button so they can purchase them.
It’s easy to integrate PayPal to your blog, you will need a PayPal account. Find the Create New Button in the My Selling Tools in your PayPal account, then just copy over the code and paste it into your Blogger page.
Blogger pricing - how much does Blogger cost?
One of the best things about Blogger is that it’s completely free to use. There’s no sign up fee, and no subscription costs. You can publish up to 100 blogs per account.
You even get an SSL certificate, hosting and a BlogSpot domain name with your site for free. Blogger offers you everything you need to launch, maintain and even monetize a blog and it’s all for free. Thanks, Google.
Blogger is free to use and all its features, plug-ins, gadgets, themes and functions are free.
As we mentioned earlier, you get a free BlogSpot domain name. However, if you want to add your own domain name, you will have to purchase that separately and link it to your account.
All of Blogger’s themes and gadget add ons are free. But you might find a small selection of third party options that charge a fee. However, they’re all completely optional, so Blogger doesn’t have to cost you anything.
Google Blogger examples
Now that we’ve told you about Blogger, and what you do with the platform, let’s look at some real results. We’ve compiled a list of some Blogger sites we really like.
This attractive site highlights interesting landmarks, points of interests and hidden gems around the world. We really like the layout of the posts, it’s easy to browse and come across new articles to read, and the accompanying images stand out.
Renew Pilates Studio
This site really catches the eye with its big homepage image showing off the pilates studio. It’s a great way to show off the facilities for prospective customers. Scroll down and you’ll find posts on classes, the staff, and more.
Google’s very own blog, The Keyword, is of course a Blogger site. And unsurprisingly, it looks great. It’s clean, easy to navigate and posts are simple to scroll through.
We like The Keyword because, despite being created by one of Big Tech's pillars, it's straightforward and looks like anyone could create it. Google has done a great job showing the kind of results you can achieve by using its Blogger platform.
Blogger is a great service. We like its simplicity, its old school appeal and the fact that it’s free. But whenever you’re picking a service, it’s always worth having a look around and weighing up your options. Let’s take a quick look at some Blogger alternatives.
Blogger vs WordPress.com
Blogger and WordPress.com are both online publishing platforms. Like Blogger, WordPress.com started out as a simple blog publishing site, but it’s since gone on to become much more.
Blogger is great if you’re just interested in publishing a blog, but WordPress.com can offer a lot more.
You can use WordPress.com to create any type of website. You’re not just limited to blog-style pages, and there are a lot more options and customization features. WordPress.com can be used for free too, although paid versions of the service offer more features and functions.
Try WordPress.com over Blogger if you want more features.
Blogger vs Medium
Medium is a free blogging platform that’s all about promoting quality writing.
You don’t have to worry about picking a theme or design for your Medium blog at all. Medium is great for text-based blogs and is often used for long reads and think pieces.
Medium is used by many established writers and is said to have around 100 million monthly readers. It is very easy to use. Its simple interface means all you really have to do is write and hit publish to see your work online.
Medium is ideal for people who just want to write.
Try Medium over Blogger if you’re not interested in themes or customization.
Blogger vs Tumblr
Tumblr is another well known, free blogging platform that also has more of a social media element.
Tumblr is heavy on images and visual content, so if your blog is more memes than articles, it could be the perfect fit. Or perhaps if you have image-based work to show off such as photography or design, it’s a good option as a portfolio.
Tumblr also lets you follow other blogs and join subject-led communities. If you’re interested in building a collection of followers, joining communities and getting your blog circulating, it could be a good way of getting out there.
Try Tumblr over Blogger if you want more of a social element.
Blogger review summary: our final thoughts
Blogger is one of the original internet publishing platforms. It’s really simple to use, it’s completely free and it gives beginners and seasoned users alike a great way to build up blogs. If you’re interested in writing a blog, Google’s Blogger is a great place to start. In fact, if you have a Google account you already have a Blogger account so you really can begin right away.
That said, it is limited, and is only really useful for making basic blogs. If you want more options to create blogs or websites that are more complex, you may want to explore some other blogging platforms like WordPress, or even drag and drop website builders.
But for an introduction to blogging, you can’t go wrong with Blogger.
What is Blogger?
Blogger, owned and hosted by Google, is a free online blogging platform. You can use it to create, write and publish a blog. It lets you publish all sorts of content from written articles to images to video and more.
Is Blogger free?
Google Blogger is completely free to use. There are no charges, subscriptions or sign up fees at all. The only thing you need is a Google account. With that, you can access all of Bloggers features for free.
Do people still use Blogger?
Yes, loads of people still use Blogger. It may be old, but it’s still a very popular online blogging platform. It’s easy to use and completely free, so it’s a great way to start writing a blog.
Can I use Blogger for a website not a blog?
Blogger is best for creating a simple, basic blog rather than a website. You can use your Blogger page in any way you see fit. However if you want to turn it into a more complex page, you will need a lot of coding experience.