Tumblr vs Blogger: The Blogging Face-off

Tumblr vs Blogger

When it comes to starting a blog, there are tons of services to choose from. There’s WordPress, Typepad, Xanga, among many others. However, how do these services measure up to each other? Today, I’ve decided to review two of the most popular, cloud-based blogging platforms: Tumblr and Blogger.

Feel free to voice your opinions on the Tumblr vs Blogger battle in the comment section at the end of the article.

Tumblr vs Blogger: The Facts
Blogger and Tumblr Traffic Rank Trend

Before we start doing any comparisons, it’s best to first see where both Tumblr and Blogger (formerly Blogspot) stand in terms of popularity. This graph shows the change in Alexa Ranking (basically an aggregated traffic ranking) over just short of two years. Blogger currently has the lead with an Alexa Ranking of 5, while Tumblr, which is still a young service in web years, is ranked at 49.

Despite a gap of 44 Rankings, Tumblr’s growth has been impressive to say the least. To jump from a top 1000 site to a top 50 site in less than two years is a remarkable sign of growth, and it doesn’t look like Tumblr has peaked just yet.

On the other hand, Blogger has been in the game since 1999, essentially making Blogger the O.G.. of blogging platforms. Blogger was there before the social-media explosion, and their vast amount of experience, along with their acquisition by Google in 2003, has made them the most popular blogging service on the internet to date.

The Sign-up Process

So, let’s look first at the most important first step of any kind of internet service: the sign-up process.

Tumblr
Tumblr Homepage
I can only describe Tumblr’s registration process as being too easy. 3 things are needed: An email-address, a password, and a blog URL (which you can change later on if need be). Although Tumblr has gone through several design changes over the years, it seems that their one constant has been their simple registration. As a user-experience initiative, this is most definitely an effective strategy, inviting anyone to easily set-up their own account.

Blogger
Blogger Homepage
Blogger’s registration was pretty simple too, but it helps if you already have an existing Google account. While registration is relatively simple for Google Account holders, if you don’t use any of their services, Blogger’s registration structure can be quite cumbersome.  Tumblr vs Blogger- an epic battle.

 

Dashboard Interface

Feeds, feeds, feeds: After all, this is the RSS era. Following people’s every post is very important for us content addicts. Equally as important is the “dashboard”, a way to organize all of the content being generated by the people you enjoy most.

Tumblr
Tumblr Interface

Tumblr’s dashboard is no joke. You have a selection of different kinds posts to choose from (whether it be video, images, or a quote) which makes it fantastically simple to post any kind of content you want. On the right you have the option to customize your blog layout (which we will talk about in a bit), and you also have the option of managing more than one account. In my particular case, I have a public Tumblr account, and then several other private accounts to fool around with (mostly to fool around with code and CSS).

When it comes to Tumblr’s feed, it’s quite well designed. On default, Tumblr has endless scrolling which basically allows you to scroll down for as long as you’d like looking through archived posts. Above each post on the right, you also have the option to either “like” or reblog posts. It can honestly be pretty addicting, so watch out!

Blogger
Blogger Interface
Bloggers dashboard is clean, but a bit more ambiguous than Tumblr’s. You have a feed, or “reading list”, and you also have the option to customize your profile directly from your Blogger dashboard. A new post can be started by clicking a small button labeled “New Post”, and the posting interface is similar to that of WordPress or Xanga. You can also, like Tumblr, manage more than one blog on blogger, which is a nice feature.

Personally I find Blogger’s dashboard somewhat clunky. Tumblr’s dashboard seems to do a good job at balancing the posting aspect as well as the following aspect, but Blogger’s interface seems a bit distracted in that it doesn’t know which dashboard element to emphasize more: feeds, profile management, or profile customization.

However, one thing that Blogger does have that Tumblr fails quite miserably on is statistics. Google used their Analytics experience and implemented it into Blogger, making traffic monitoring easier than ever. Back in the day, Tumblr had a feature called Tumblarity. This allowed users to compare the activity on their blogs to others, leading many to believe Tumblr was turning into a popularity contest. However, Tumblarity is no longer around after many people thought it was gimmicky leaving Tumblr with very few internal traffic monitoring options.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t monitor traffic on Tumblr, as Google analytics works pretty well within their platform. The only drawback is that you have to dig a bit into some code.  In the battle of Tumblr vs Blogger, the next category I’ll look at is customization.

Customization

If you want to start a blog, one of the most important things you consider are the aesthetics and design. So how do Tumblr and Blogger stack up?

Tumblr

Tumblr Customization
Tumblr has a pretty remarkable level of customization. In order to make your blog unique, you have several options. You can either choose from a pool of different layout’s in Tumblr’s Theme Garden, or if you’re up to it, you can use your own CSS and HTML skills to craft your own layout. Tumblr is in fact so customizable that you can make a blog entirely blank if you really wanted to.

 

Blogger
Blogger Customization
Blogger is somewhat customizable, but it doesn’t necessarily have the flexibility that Tumblr’s does. You can select layouts from a gallery and customize text-size, color, and images, but Blogger doesn’t allow it’s users to open the hood and fool with the code. Blogger’s design engine is ideal for beginning or older users who aren’t necessarily concerned with making their blog stick out and just want something that works.

THE FINAL VERDICT

While we respect Blogger for being around for so long and essentially jump-starting the blogging phenomena, Tumblr seems to offer a bit more than Blogger does. Even if you aren’t young and hip, Tumblr, given it’s incredible design flexibility, lack of ads, and straight forward dashboard interface, can be an effective tool for just about anyone. Whether you’re a photographer, journalist, or just need a space to write down your thoughts, Tumblr has a special spot just for you.  Finally after the battle of the ages, Tumblr vs Blogger, has occurred- it looks like Tumblr has emerged victorious.

Don’t forget to check out another article we’ve written about whether Blogger or Tumblr is the better platform and what our users are saying about them.

Luis Queral is a social-media consultant at Webconnection, a web-development/design firm in Baltimore, MD. Contact him by following Webconnection on Twitter!

About Luis Queral

I'm a UMBC student studying UI Design Theory. I'm also a social-media consultant at Webconnection, a web-development firm located in Baltimore. Follow us on Twitter! (@webconnection)