Halfdone says New Zealand has about 200 notable blogs. Google’s Blogspot accounts for half of the total. WordPress.com is a shade under 20 percent. Typepad has only a four percent share. The rest are not immediately obvious.
WordPress is intimidating for beginners, but far more flexible and, once mastered, is easier. It makes better use of graphics and has many useful built-in features.
At first, I assumed it is because Blogspot, being owned by Google, has a higher profile. It is easier to find and the Blogspot name is more descriptive of what it does.
These things matter for raw beginners.
Safety may also be a reason. People know who and what Google is, so they feel comfortable. WordPress is obscure by comparison and something of an unknown.
There could be a mercenary reason. Blogspot allows users to place Google Ads on their blogs, which, theoretically at least, means they earn money. Not much. I doubt if anyone below the top ten New Zealand blogs has seen as much as a dollar from Google advertising.
WordPress doesn’t allow Google ads on its hosted blogs. Occasionally WordPress may put one of its own ads on a WordPress.com blog. You can pay a small fee to have this switched off.
There is a strong WordPress community in New Zealand. The annual WordCamps are well attended. You’ll find me at them, sometimes as a speaker.
Scrubone, who runs Halfdone, suggested the reason for Blogspot’s success is that it’s been around a lot longer than WordPress. This is true and it is a likely reason, even though many Blogspot sites on the list are recently created. Being the incumbent in a technology market is often enough for success.