: I posted an update at the end of this article.
As you know ... I use Google Blogger for all of my blogs. This article is written from the standpoint of a (proudly) untechnical person.
When asked in the past why I use Google I told everyone:
"I am of the opinion that WordPress has way, way more features, and possibilities. But everyone I know who uses it has constant trouble and spends a lot of time on fixing issues.
Google can do less but what it can do it does without problems. Also, I never need to fear changes of Googles' extensive book of rules. With a Google blog, you're good."
Now look how pretty my WordPress entrance page is already:
WordPress and a sea of tears
Wait, let me think ... how did it all start? What made me so reckless? Ah, I know. I needed a hosting contract and it came with WordPress. I clicked and it asked which kind of site I wanted.
"None", I thought. But I still clicked on "store". Wow ... it seemed so easy. Within minutes I had a store. It looked ugly, but if you can build it in a few minutes, how hard can it be to make it cute?
Very hard, my friend, I tell you.
I fell in love with idea that I can separate my digital products from my coaching services, and I decided to use this WordPress store. The store was missing a few features so that I tried other e-commerce options.
And soon I was one of them. A WordPress user activating and deactivating plugins ... trying and crying, searching nerdy help-forums. And sure enough, I even had to touch code. You have to buy a service here and a missing feature there. That costs time.
The same happened with other seemingly great and simple to use features:
- Membership site
- Affiliate program for the store
- Booking system
I already had to deal with comment spam, setting up a firewall for my WordPress site, installing my own SSL, and and and. All of this is alien to a Google and "out of the box product" user.
My worst fears came true when the second person emailed me that they cannot purchase. "Sorry, .... has been removed from the cart, the product cannot be purchased anymore". I realized that there were no orders for a few days.
I do not want to learn how to code. Or become an expert in anything else than my craft. To me, all time that I cannot spend to serve people or enjoy life is wasted.
At first, it seems like there is just a small issue to solve. Then the next. Turns out that the issue is not that small after all. Without you noticing you get pulled into a sea of tasks. And once you're in production you have to fix issues right away.
Long story short:
I purchased a plugin for $ 150 to get rid of my most severe issues (and naturally I also had to purchase a "professional" theme, SSL certificate, "pro" features, integrations, etc). Not a lot of money but enough to expect professional communication. The reply to my support request:
Ahhhh. Polemic. Gotta love it.
An interesting point is, that one of their USPs seems to be that "it does not break".
Google Blogger wins, WordPress wins
Yes, WordPress has a ton of options and functions. Endless possibilities. And an endless potential for trouble. That's why it wins.
But you`ll end up with a collection of maybe compatible plugins from developers with different skill levels. It's hard to fight the "shiny object syndrome" so that you might spend a lot of time trying things.
Not counting the time and potential loss of sales - until you're done creating a halfway secure and functional WordPress store/site you spent more money, time and nerves than with a ready-made solution. And it will potentially still look "WordPressish". That is a negative. I never had to think about comment spam (in a larger scale), https and things like that.
In my opinion, for a simple blog, Google is the better solution. And for a more complex scenario, I prefer an integrated ready-made tool. That's why Blogger wins.
Your WordPress store/site can break with every new update. Getting support can be quite difficult, especially when you are not sure which plugin causes the problem.
If you don't mind fiddling with technicalities, WordPress might be the right solution for you. Just keep in mind: There is no such thing as free lunch.
It's not free when you have to spend the time you could have used to generate sales.
You can either pay a fixed price upfront or an unknown amount of money, time, nerves and possibly even reputation later.
Would you like to see where my WordPress store for my digital products is at after switching to a new theme a few hours ago?
It`s still work in progress ... but, hey, the checkout is working already - and the affiliate links are too.
Update after two months of using WordPress
So many possibilities. So many problems. Sadly, I currently spend way too much time with tasks I never had to worry about. Security problems, plugins that cause problems, speed problems.
I stay with my opinion: If you have no serious reason (functionality not available in Blogger) I would stay there.