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Free Blog Hosting

There are two main free blog hosting companies. Google hosts a free blog called blogger. Another free blog is offered with WordPress. This article will compare both of these free blog hosting companies and what they have to offer you.

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Blogger, a service of Google, offers free blog hosting at blogspot.com. WordPress offers free blog hosting at wordpress.com. How do they compare? This article examines the two choices.

Terms of Service

• Space—At wordpress.com you get 3 gigabytes (GB) of storage for a free blog. At blogspot.com, the amount of space you can use is not disclosed.

• Termination—Blogger has the right to terminate and suspend your account or service for any reason, at any time. Wordpress.com may also terminate your access to the website with or without cause at any time, unless you have a paid account, in which case your account may only be terminated if you have a) breached the terms of agreement; b) been informed of the breach; and c) failed to address the problem. In addition, if the company shuts down their services, the service necessarily terminates.

Your License to the Blog Site—Blogger belongs to Google, and the Google terms of service give Google license to your material (perpetual license). The TOS states: "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."

The TOS for wordpress.com is similar to that of Google in claiming a license for your work: "By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog."

What Are the Features of the Blog?

  • Set-up Time—Blogger claims to allow you to set up in "a matter of minutes." WordPress.com claims you can get set up in "less time than it takes you to read this sentence.
  • Template Layouts—Blogger lets you edit them; the free WordPress doesn't (but if you use WordPress.org, you have a much wider choice and much greater flexibility - check out some Wordpress tips)
  • Variety—WordPress.com makes more templates available than Blogger does.
  • Static Pages—Wordpress.com has them; Blogger does, too, but they're harder to manage because menus and links must be manually created.
  • Statistics—Wordpress.com has built-in statistics; Blogger allows for integration with Google Analytics.
  • Names—Both services give you a subdomain on their domain. So a Blogger blog has the domain name http://www.<myblog>.blogspot.com and a Wordpress.com blog has the domain name <myblog>.wordpress.com.
  • Features/Ease of Use—Like Wordpress.org, wordpress.com has more features than Blogger, which gives it greater flexibility, but also makes it more demanding to use. That said, wordpress.com is much more comparable to Blogger in its ease of use.
  • Hosting Location—While Blogger provides the capability to publish your blog to your own server, Wordpress.com allows your blog to be redirected to a domain that you choose. In either case, the website will be published with your own address. (N.B. You will have to register your own domain name.)
  • Trackbacks—Wordpress.com has internal support for trackbacks. Blogger has backlinks.
  • File Upload—Allowable file types is broader with wordpress.com than with Blogger.
  • File Import—Wordpress.com support file import; Blogger doesn't.
  • The Google Connection—Being part of Google, Blogger allows you to integrate Google Adsense with your blog. At Wordpress.com, on the other hand, you cannot currently show your own ads. In addition Google text ads chosen by wordpress.com may be shown on your site.

What Are Your Upgrade Options?

All of Blogger's features are free, but you are also limited to the free service: there's no place to go. At wordpress.com, for a yearly fee, you can:

  • remove the possibility of having Google text ads posted to your site.
  • add up to 25 GB of storage
  • addd your own domain name registered through wordpress.com
  • map an existing domain name to your blog
  • upgrade to use custom cascading style sheets (CSS)

Who's Using the Service?

On the Blogger home page, there's a feed that flashes the names of updated blogs as links. Clicking on three of those, I randomly got blogs with absolute nonsense as their content.

There is no comparable option for wordpress.com, which lists top blogs only, but clicking one of those, I found an up-to-the-minute report on the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. There may be nonsense blogs on wordpress.com, too, but if so, they're not advertising the fact, and the result of this and the upgrade service is that wordpress.com feels like a more respectable place to situate one's blog.

 

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