Whether you’re new to the world of blogging or already have several successful blogs under your name, it can be tricky to decide the right blogging platform for your blog. The blogging landscape changes quickly with the arrival of new platforms and new features for existing platforms.
The choice of the blogging platform depends on your needs and objectives. Whether the choice is an appropriate one for you or not is guided by the factors such as user friendliness, storage, hosting, themes, automatic updates and flexibility.
Below is our comparative study of ten of the most popular blogging platforms in the blogosphere. We hope this helps you choose which is the best for your own blogging venture.
WordPress is the most popular blogging system used on the web with more than 60 million websites using this technology. WordPress was released on May 27, 2003. Its founders were Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. It is based on PHP and MySQL.
WordPress offers you two forms of blogging platform. WordPress.com, a free hosted service, provides you a domain with limited customization options. In this form, your domain is a subdomain of WordPress itself.
The other form is Worpress.org. In this form, you’ll have a self-hosted blog and you can choose the right hosting for your needs. For this, you need to buy a domain and integrate it with WordPress to work on the WordPress platform. With this, you’ll get access to thousands of plugins and themes. You can customize your blog in any way you desire with no restriction.
Blogger was started on August 23, 1999 by Pyra Labs. Pyra Labs was acquired in February 2003 by search engine giant Google and hence, Blogger is a Google service now. It is simple to use and requires only a Gmail account to get started.
The benefit you can get from Blogger is that it is by default, search engine friendly. So, you don’t need to give much attention to search engine optimization and can focus on creating great content. You can also customize the themes with appropriate backgrounds, widgets and layouts.
The limitations include the lack of control over your domain. You’ll be provided with only a sub-domain which includes many restrictions. Also, if you violate any rules and regulations, then your blog will be promptly terminated.
LiveJournal was launched by Brad Fitzpatrick on April 15, 1999. It was purchased in 2007 by Russian company SUP Media. The development and management of the site is now done by LiveJournal, Inc. under SUP Media. LiveJournal is available in both free and paid versions.
It is one of the very few platforms that connects social networking and blogging. It encourages you to have communal interactions. You are able use it privately but to take full advantage, you need to get involved in discussions as much as writing.
The major drawback is LiveJournal hasn’t updated its features and tools much over the years. It’s also not very useful for the people who want to blog professionally and become a successful blogger. It is more useful to people interested in personal blogging. You can benefit from its built-in social network, but it isn’t exactly a platform for bloggers who want serious blogging.
Tumblr was created in 2006 by David Karp. It has since been acquired by Yahoo! following a deal on June 20, 2013. Tumblr on one hand gives you easy customization tools like WordPress and at the same time, it feels like you’re using a social networking site like Twitter.
Tumblr seems to be preferred more by the younger generation, who want to share the content they like rather than content they have created themselves. However, Tumblr is more than just a blogging platform. You can also engage yourself in the community it provides. You can repost, reblog and reshare other user’s content through your account. This will help increase your followers and promote you in order to reach wider audiences.
Tumblr also allows mobile apps to submit content. In recent years, photo uploads and customization have been made possible via mobile apps. Due to its easy tools and techniques, many bloggers who have their own blog use Tumblr as their secondary blog.
Squarespace was launched in January 2004 by Anthony Casalena. He created it because of his displeasure at using other personal web page platforms. Squarespace puts a greater emphasis on modern design with high mark of quality and readiness for the mobile.
The designs are simple but very elegant in their simplicity with all the templates appearing glossy like top notch magazines. If you’re searching for elegance and good web design along with ease of navigation and use, Squarespace is a platform that certainly deserves serious consideration.
Squarespace is so easy to set up that you can make an extremely good looking blog without any need for coding at all. However, you can always build your own theme if you don’t prefer the theme options provided by the platform to begin with. This is a paid-only service thar starts at just $8 per month. One potential drawback of Squarespace is that it is only available as a hosted package.
Weebly was founded by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini, and Dan Veltri in 2006. All three were 22 year old students at Pennsylvania State University at the time. It was created as a tool for building a personal website when the university required their students to maintain an internet portfolio.
Weebly is more of a website creation service than simply a blogging platform. It makes use of drag and drop components, which allow you to create great websites quickly as per your requirements. Nevertheless, blogging is also part of the service with access to customizable layouts, free themes and other features offered by Weebly.
Weebly is a great option if there is a need for your website to be transformed from a blog into a fully-fledged website with functionality such as an online store or a Q&A forum in the future. There is certainly a tradeoff when compared with other platforms that solely focus on blogging, which is evident in its poor user experience for simple tasks such as creating a new post.
Medium was founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams in August 2012. Williams was also the co-founder of Pyra Labs which was behind another popular blogging platform ‘Blogger’. It was created by Williams with the notion of allowing users to create posts longer than the 140 characters standard followed by Twitter.
It’s a great platform to share your views and ideas with the online community. The editor is an excellent one and is arguably the best post editor out there in the blogosphere. However, it’s not of much use if you need to focus on things like customization and control as it doesn’t allow you options to customize the theme and change the look of your blog.
There are some other drawbacks with Medium besides lack of customization options. One is that you don’t have the option for a self-hosted Medium site and the other is that custom domains are currently available only as invite-only options for now.
Svbtle was launched in early 2012 by Dustin Curtis. As per the decription on Svtble’s website, it is a “blogging platform designed to help you think”. It is probably the best blogging platform for the sole purpose of writing and it provides an interface that is the slickest among all of the blogging platforms out there.
The interface is extremely simple and offers you only the features that allow you to write and publish a post. This simple interface helps to reduce distractions for reading as well as writing and has been very popular in the technological landscape recently.
Svbtle is however only available as a hosted package, which costs $6 for a month. There are also very limited prospects for customization as it allows you only to make some adjustments of the logo and the colors on your blog.
Pen.io was created by Anthony Feint, who previously founded Task.fm. Its approach is very different from other blogging platforms on this list. Its focus is on being anonymous. This platform also focuses heavily on content rather than design, similar to Medium and Svbtle.
It’s the best platform if you want to share you content anonymously without providing any of your personal info, neither to the website nor to the readers. You don’t have to create an account and login isn’t required. You just need to provide a URL for your post, set a password and you can get started with the post. The platform is totally free to use.
It’s probably the most minimalistic blogging platform with the smallest set of features. However, there are several tradeoffs. As email addresses are not used for the author’s identification, you won’t be able to get access to your page if you forget the password. It also doesn’t support ad placements.
Ghost is the brainchild of the former WordPress deputy lead for its User Interface team John O’Nolan. The motivation for the creation of this platform arose when O’Nolan found WordPress to be rather complicated while using it as a blogging platform instead of a CMS. It was released to the public for the first time in October 14, 2013.
Ghost is available as a self-hosted package as well as hosted GhostPro package which starts at $8 per month. The major benefit with this platform happens to be its speed while the major drawback is its lack of features.
Featured photo credit: Coffee via blogerish.com