Blogging is an effective way to increase your brand awareness. Whether you are creating a personal or business blog site, there are several benefits of starting a blog. Maintaining a blog increases your website’s search engine ranking. Blogging enables you to connect and share engaging content with your site’s visitors.
As you are developing a plan for your blog, it is important for you to select a suitable platform to host your blog’s site. There are hundreds of blog platforms available.
Some user-friendly platforms require very little technical skills. Other platforms are more suitable for people who have an in-depth knowledge of coding.
To help you navigate through the maze of blog platforms, here is information about the pros and cons of 8 of the most popular blogging platforms.
In terms of popularity, WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform throughout the world. In fact, approximately 75 million blog sites depend on WordPress technology. That is 19 percent of the world’s blogging population.
There are two blogging platforms that are associated with WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Each platform has different features.
WordPress.org allows you to use the WordPress Content Management System on a site hosted by another company such as Bluehost. WordPress.com allows you to host your blog on the WordPress.com site.
Pros –WordPress provides continuous software updates and improvements. It has a scalable blogging platform that can be used by individual bloggers, small companies and large corporations. WordPress features user-friendly blog setup and update features. WordPress blog layouts are able to be viewed on tablets, mobile devices and PCs. It offers plug-ins that enable bloggers to engage in e-commerce. WordPress features a variety of basic and customized themes.
Cons –Customized themes on WordPress require time and technical knowledge for setup. Its regular updates require bloggers to be manually apply them to their WordPress sites.
Cost – WordPress.com has a free option for basic templates. WordPress Premium offers a free site, custom domain, advanced customization, 13 GB of storage space, no advertisements, storage of dozens of videos and direct email support. It costs $99 per year. WordPress for business offers a fee site, advanced customization, live chat support, unlimited storage space, Google Analytics, over 50 WordPress themes and no advertisements. It costs $299 per year.
Tumblr is a platform that enables users to post short-form blog content. It hosts approximately 265 million blogs with different areas of interest. Users like Tumblr because it contains features that are similar to Facebook, Twitter and Blogger.
Pros – Tumblr offers a built-in community of other bloggers within the site. This platform allows you to interact and build relationships with new people. There are a variety of customization options for themes that are easy to apply. Tumblr’s template themes are well-designed. It is an ideal platform for bloggers who are creative. Photographers and designers love it because they are able to express their ideas through pictures and videos. This site is perfect for bloggers who want to engage with younger audiences. Tumblr is SEO-friendly.
Cons – The age of users in Tumblr’s blogging community is not diverse. This platform is not ideal for bloggers who want to connect with users in various age groups. It can be challenging to find other bloggers to follow. Tumblr favors short blog posts and pictures. Longer blog posts can get in the sea of pictures and videos. Tumblr is a time-consuming platform because it requires users to update content several times each day. Bloggers who are not able to provide regular updates may not like this platform.
Cost – Free. Bloggers can purchase a domain name from Tumblr.
Blogger is a site that is owned by Google. It is a flexible blog site on which bloggers share content about politics, family experiences or just about any topic.
Pros – Blogger gives users the opportunity to have multiple users for one blog. It has templates that are easy for bloggers to use. There is secure platform that manages a blogger’s server. There are no advertisements on the Blogger platform. Bloggers can publish their content quickly. Google automatically indexes a blog’s content in their search engine. Bloggers are able to use Adsense and Amazon to monetize their sites. Bloggers can upload a third-party template to change the look of their blogs.
Cons – Google owns the content of every blog. This ownership gives them the power to control a blogger’s access to their blogs. Blog sites can be suspended by Google for any reason at any time. Blogger offers a limited amount of templates and features. Blogs on this site cannot be customized. It is difficult to move your content to another platform. There is limited amount of customer support. Google does not regularly update this platform. Blogger does not offer paid upgrades for blog sites. Blogger does not provide FTP access.
Cost – Free unless users want to spend $10 per year on a domain name.
LinkedIn is a social media site that has almost 400 million users. LinkedIn’s blogging platform has grown to over 1 million users since its launch almost 2 years ago.
Pros – Blog posts can be viewed by a large number of LinkedIn professional. Bloggers are able to command attention as an expert in their industry. Blog content is attached to the user’s LinkedIn profile. Blog content differentiates a blogger’s LinkedIn profile from the people in the industry. LinkedIn can distribute notable blogs throughout their sites. Blog posts are available to users who are outside of the blogger’s immediate LinkedIn network. LinkedIn is a great platform to get quality traffic.
Cons – Blog content is only seen by the professionals in the LinkedIn network. Blog articles are owned by LinkedIn. Bloggers who do not play by LinkedIn’s rules can have their blogging privileges revoked at any time for any reason. There are no blog configuration options. The LinkedIn blog platform contains a lot of competing content. LinkedIn will promote a blogger’s content when they pay sponsorship rates.
Cost – Free. Bloggers must have a LinkedIn account.
As a blogging platform, Medium has grown into a great place for new bloggers to get started. This platform has the potential to reach diverse groups of people.
Pros – Medium gives users the ability to make blog posts more attractive with its extensive post-editor. Bloggers can instantly set up their blogs. It is user-friendly. Medium requires very little technical knowledge to use its platform. It is so easy to master that users can release a blog post in minutes. Medium is linked to Twitter. It enables bloggers to connect with their Twitter followers who use the Medium platform.
Cons – Medium has limited offerings. Bloggers are not able to self-host on their blogs. There are limited things bloggers can do to customize their sites. Medium does not offer custom domain support. Bloggers are not able to use the Medium platform to generate ad revenue. Medium has a small amount of users who blog on this platform.
Cost – Free
This blogging platform was created in a unique way. In 2013, it was developed out of the $300,000 raised as part of a Kickstarter campaign. Although it is not the most popular blogging platform, it does have appealing qualities for bloggers.
Pros – Themes on Ghost can be customized by bloggers. Its platform is powered by Node.js technology which gives it speed and responsiveness. Blog sites are user-friendly and require little technical expertise. Ghost is available as hosted and self-hosted options. It uses the user-friendly Markdown code to format text.
Cons – Ghost does not add new features often. Users find that it is challenging to self-host on Ghost. Although bloggers can learn how to use Markdown, Ghost is not a site for bloggers who do not have the desire to learn code.
Cost – Free for self-hosted option. If Ghost hosts the site, prices for hosting begin at $8 per month.
Jekyll is a blogging platform that is powered by Ruby software. Ruby is a programming language that is simple and productive for users.
Pros – Jekyll is capable of handling a large amount of site traffic with very few glitches. Bloggers can create their own editors for their sites. It is highly customizable for users. It is easy for users to modify Jekyll.
Cons – Bloggers must know how to use code in order to successfully build a blog on this site. This platform is not for bloggers who are not technologically savvy.
Cost – Free hosting with GitHub pages.
Contentful delivers blog content using an Application Program Interface (API). It gives bloggers the capability to create a blog post that is delivered as a code.
Pros – Bloggers can create mobile applications and access them through Contentful. This platform gives bloggers the freedom to select their own interface or programming language.
Cons – Contentful is not for bloggers who are not well-versed in code. Bloggers have to create their own blog from scratch.
Cost –Free option includes up to 3 users, one thousand blog entries and 100 thousand API entries each month. Plus option is $99 per month. It includes up to 5 users, 5 thousand entries and 1 million API requests perm month. Pro option includes up to 10 users, 10 thousand entries per month and 2 million API requests per month. Contentful has a trial offer for 30 days of blogging services.
Which Site Is Better?
Each of the 8 blog sites have features that differentiate them from the other sites. However, bloggers should be mindful that there is no such thing as the best blog site.
Selecting a blog site is subject. The best blog site is the one that is right for you. Here are questions you should consider as you select a platform.
- What is the purpose of your blog?
- Are you blogging as a hobby, or do you want to generate revenue from your blog?
- Will your blog be self-hosted or hosted by the blog site?
- Are you able to learn code?
- Do you want to customize your blog site, or is a theme a good option for you?
- Do you want your readers to be able to post comments?
- What type of content will you be posting online? (articles, videos, images)
- How much money do you want to spend on a blogging platform each month?
- Do you have time to update your blog on a regular basis?
New bloggers should select a platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Many new bloggers have selected the WordPress platform because it is a supportive environment for new users.
For new and experienced bloggers, ownership of a blog is a big deal. Bloggers should have control over content that is posted on their blogs. Ownership means having a custom domain name on your own self-hosted site. It might not seem to be a big deal for you in the beginning. However, after months of hard work, it would be a shame if your platform closed your blog site without warning.
Selecting a blogging platform can be easy to do if you know what features are important to you. With proper research, you can find the perfect platform for you to start your own blog.