Blogs are perhaps the oldest medium of sharing ideas and knowledge on the web. This wing of social media has been there even before Facebook and Twitter existed. Blogs are quick and easy to set up, and provides you with great exposure. Anyone and everyone can own a blog–why not? It’s free. Blogs can be about sharing your personal views, or can be commercial, which have a potential to fetch you good money. To mark your presence on the web, set up a blog before planning a website. The question arises where to start from? The first thing you need to decide on is your blogging platform. While there are old age, tested platforms such as WordPress, some are fairly new and innovative. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each so that you can pick the best one for yourself.
Blogger is an age-old blogging platform, and its maturity has made it more common than famous. Owned and operated by Google, Blogger offers a considerable support for customization–all free of cost. It has great features like instant setup, drag and drop editing etc. Blogger is integrated well with editing tools such with Microsoft Word, Windows Live writer, and Google docs. It is a good option for people looking for a hosted blog platform.
- Absolutely free of cost, and available to all
- Instant set up and easy to manage
- Backed by Google; it is definitely an advantage on the web
- Geo-tagging for location based blogging
- Blogger offers a hosted service with no self-hosting option; can be discouraging for some
- The offered SEO support is nowhere near the Google standards
WordPress is among the veterans of the blogging world–not to mention also the leader. This platform has an edge over Blogger as it offers a more dependable support, and an excellent self-hosting version. WordPress is unmatched in terms of popularity; that is why most of the starters blindly choose WordPress as their blogging platform. Backed by a large pool of followers and developers, it’s probably the best blogging platform available.
- Self-hosting option
- Unlimited number of blog themes which include both free and premium
- Around 14000 plug-ins to choose from
- Easy to install and set up
- Excellent anti-spam filter
- Self-hosted version would require a fair amount of technical knowledge
- Advertisements displayed in the free versions can be bothering
Tumblr is an optimum choice for micro-blogging–mainly because of its high speed. This platform provides a quick mode of communication for spreading content faster–especially with its social networking features. It’s something that looks like a full-fledged blog and works like twitter. Tumblr is well known for its interface, and is more preferred among young bloggers.
- Free of cost
- Quicker than most of the other blogging platforms
- A good number of themes to experiment with
- Absolutely no support for comments and RSS feed
- Not suitable for commercial blogging
Movable type is a fairly new addition to the open source blogging platform market. Since its arrival in 2001, it has made some serious improvements attracting new users. This platform is capable of supporting high-traffic blogs; users include the famous Gawker’s blogs and Huffington Post.
- Multiple blogs can be easily managed with a single install
- A reliable search engine
- Free for personal blogging
- Premium charges apply for commercial purposes
- Extended entries; the user has to click and wait to view the whole post
Typepad is quickly gaining popularity among business professionals, mainly because of its excellent customer service. If you have any problem regarding installing or managing your blog, you can either find a step-by-step tutorial, or get in touch with the company–it’s easy. It does not have a fairly large community, which somehow helps as if offers more attention to its users.
- Just like WordPress, it offers your own domain name to spread
- Excellent customer service and overall support
- It has a good integration with both Facebook and Twitter
- Just takes a few clicks to get started–very quick
- Limited customization options
- Subscription is a mandate
Choosing a blogging platform should be an important decision when establishing a commercial blog. Your decision should be based on your needs rather than the popularity of a platform. Blogging platforms are favorable to specific niches. Weigh the pros and cons of the ones you like, and be sure of your budget and target audience before making a choice. But if you want a blog for personal use, it’s really a matter of choice. Pick the one you find convenient to use and manage.
About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology.