WordPress Plugins vs Blogger Widgets – Essential Kit

“Well, what an unfair comparison” you may think. Blogger is what the name itself speaks, a dedicated free blogging platform with standard features, while the master of plugins, WordPress.org, has all the facilities of a CMS. When you are a blogging wannabe however, you most likely start with a checklist of tools and gadgets you seek in your hosting platform. Things are as simple as that – you will choose the one that best meets your needs.

WordPress and Blogger seem to compete in courting users with dedicated enhancements for all purposes. This article nails the essential gallery of features you can find in WordPress plugins directory and Blogger widgets, sorted by their function.

If you like this article, you might be interested in some of our other articles on jQuery Plugins, Button Maker Tools, Glimpse Of Design and Tech Trends Of 2011 And Things To Look Forward To In 2012 and Firefox Plugins.

Anti Spam Protection

Anti spam protection

This is a vital feature for each blog. Filtering comments spam and preventing automatic form submissions can be a knight war at times. Fortunately, both hosting platforms provide effective anti-spam tools. WordPress has privatized the anti-spam measures with plugins such as Akismet, Security Ninja and Short Comment Filter, while Blogger has no external anti-spam widgets and relies on Google spam filtering technologies.

Content Backup

Content backup

It’s always a good idea to perform safety backups on your blog’s content and export an archival copy of the database. WordPress plugins such as WP Backup Complete and the VaultPress Status serve all backup necessities. Blogger, on the other hand, provides an Import and Export feature among the tools in the blog’s settings.

SEO and XML Sitemaps

SEO and XML sitemaps

Of course, we mean on-page SEO. A lot of site owners prefer to perform SEO by hand and not use any dedicated plugin or widget. However, the process could be time consuming and there’s a considerable chance of missing important spots. WordPress again seems to have tools for every purpose: SEO Smart Links, SEO Super Comments and SEO Friendly Images (adds Alt attribute), not to mention the All in One SEO Pack. Blogger lacks in dedicated widgets but we can always rely on Google Webmaster Tools.

Web Analytics, Social Metrics and Posts View Count

Web analytics, social metrics and posts view count

Google Analytics is the universal tool for monitoring traffic on any platform. In addition, WordPress has an extended range of dedicated plugins for each segment you need stats about: Cleveritics plugin as a global web analytics provider, Social Metrics to monitor performance over main social networks and WP Post Views for displaying visitors count on each post. Blogger too, on the other hand, is reach in analytics options: Blog Patrol, Popular Posts, Blog Stats.

Form Making

Form making

Contact forms, order forms for e-commerce, event registration forms – any blog needs at least one of these types. WordPress plugins directory lists a variety of form builders: 123ContactForm, Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7. If with WordPress.org administrators can also choose to code their own forms, Blogger entirely relies on third party services, as this platform does not allow server side scripting. Some of the solutions listed above also integrate with Blogger.

E-mail Export, Mailing lists, Newsletter

E-mail export, mailing lists, newsletter

On WordPress, Joe’s Web Tools plugin helps you export e-mail addresses visitors have provided and Email Newsletter takes on the process of sending messages with the desired template. For Blogger, Google Friends Connect offers a newsletter option, but it’s bounded to this network.

Social Media Sharing

Social media sharing

Options seem unlimited here. For each social network there is a possibility of adding a sharing button or synchronizing the blog posts with the public profile. Among WordPress top plugins for social media we may mention Walleria, Social Box and, of course Sexy Bookmarks. Blogger has Social Feed as well as dedicated widgets for each network.

Feed Subscribers Tracking

Feed subscribers tracking

The first name in this category is Feedburner, for both WordPress and Blogger. With WP, Feed Styler plugin helps create custom subscription boxes with CSS and background images and other plugins mediate subscriptions from YouTube, Facebook and other channels. On Blogger, you need to manage most subscription tasks via e-mail. It’s also possible to create a custom subscription box widget with own CSS, through a different technique than WP but with the same result.

Comment Handling

Comment  handling

This is a key function of any blog. WordPress offers extensive facilities: Facebook comments, subscribing to comments, displaying recent comments and the famous CommentLuv plugin. Blogger too has very effective widgets for comments handling: Easy comments, Recent comments, Top commentators, Disquss (independent platform for outsourcing comments).

Content Management

Content management

Content is king and the features for displaying it in a friendly way are the honor members of the royal court. As a blogger you will need instruments to interlink posts, perform searches, categorize the most popular posts, to archive old entries, to make review-like posts with ratings, have an editorial calendar, embed videos and display lightboxes with photo galleries. Main WordPress plugins for each of these purposes are Insights, Most Popular Posts, Similar Posts, Snazzy Archives, Review Ratings, Editorial Calendar, VidEmbed, Vimeo, Video Gallery. Blogger main content widgets are Popular posts, Related posts, Recent posts with thumbnails, Tag/label cloud, Picasa, Simple search, Archive calendar and Author info (similar to WP author card info).

Communication Tools

Communication tools

Communication tools

Your blog is not just a publishing platform, but also a communication hot spot. There are plugins and widgets that enable real-time message exchange from administrator to visitors or chat between community members. Just activate one of the the Message Bar plugins for WordPress or VideoWhisper Video Conference Integration and you will be the next official speaker of your blog. If you are on Blogger, you can use widgets for Google Talk, Meebo Me, Skype and many others.
To sum up things, you can find great features to match everyone’s preferences on both WordPress and Blogger. While WordPress relies on a set of individual plugins you can choose from to perform the essential operations, Blogger has some built-in features, more robust but with less customization options. In the end, the choice considerably depends on your personal taste.

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