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A Comparative Study of 10 of The Most Popular Blogging Platforms

A Comparative Study of 10 of The Most Popular Blogging Platforms

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.

1. WordPress

1

    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.

    2.Blogger

    2

      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.

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      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.

      3.LiveJournal

      3

        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.

        4.Tumblr

        4

          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.

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          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.

          5.Squarespace

          5

            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.

            6.Weebly

            6

              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.

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              7.Medium

              7

                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.

                8.Svbtle

                8

                  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.

                  9.Pen.io

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                  9

                    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.

                    10.Ghost

                    10

                      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.

                      It has been written in JavaScript and also uses Node.js. Because of this, blogs created on this platform are quick and responsive even under heavy traffic loads. The themes are also highly customizable, however plugins from third parties are not supported by Ghost as of now.

                      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

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                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                      25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                      Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                      Or even better:

                      What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                      You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                      Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                      How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                      The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                      In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                      • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                      • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                      • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                      As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                      Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                      Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                      But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                      his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                      5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                      Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                      But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                      1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                      2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                      3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                      4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                      5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                      Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                      There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                      • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                      • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                      • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                      • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                      Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                      With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                      25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                      Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                      1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                      If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                      2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                      If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                      If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                      3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                      Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                      =sum(

                      …and then press F3.

                      When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                      4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                      Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                      =match(

                      …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                      When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                      But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                      5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                      If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                      • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                      • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                      • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                      • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                      • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                      6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                      By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                      The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                      For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                      A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                      7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                      When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                      8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                      When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                      9. Use filtering

                      Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                      It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                      To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                      10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                      Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                      Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                      To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                      11. See formula results with F9

                      If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                      Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                      12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                      If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                      13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                      Here’s how to use EDATE:

                      =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                      =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                      14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                      Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                      =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                      =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                      15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                      TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                      16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                      In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                      17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                      When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                      And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                      18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                      If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                      19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                      Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                      You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                      20. Use data validation

                      This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                      • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                      • Create drop-down lists;
                      • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                      21. Use conditional formatting

                      It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                      22. Use formula auditing

                      This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                      The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                      23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                      Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                      It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                      24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                      INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                      25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                      OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                      The bottom line

                      As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                      That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                      If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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