Welcome to part 3 of this series. Today we will be looking at the different blogging platforms, and how they compare against each other. While there are many different blogging platforms available, a couple of the platforms are popular, and we will be looking at these in depth.
Selecting the right blogging platform will enhance your blog's potential. Some platforms are well suited for social reach while some other are better suited for a wider reach. Depending on your niche and blogging purpose you will be able to choose your blogging platform.
So let’s get started !
Selecting the Right Blogging Platform
What is a Blogging Platform ?
Blogging Platform is a software or service that allows you to convert any website into a blog. It provides the basic framework on which a blog is built.
While a website is composed of pages only, a blog in addition to pages can also create posts. Posts can be dated and assigned to specific authors. Blogging platforms provide all the basic features and technicalities required to setup a blog. They are also known as Content Management System or CMS. Blogs are composed of content, and lots of it, and the blogging platform provide a system to manage it. Due to this combination of content and management, Blogging platforms are also referred to as Content Management System.
Choosing the right Blogging platform will help you in smooth operation of your blog. Starting off with the right blogging platform will make things easier rather than having to change to a more suitable platform later on. Especially in case of free blogs, switching over platforms costs additional money, and in some cases might not even be possible. So choose your blogging platform with care.
Why is Blogging platform so important ?
- It determines the basic language and coding of your blog
- It determines the amount of customization and monetization potential your blog will offer
- Platform will set mood for the type of community you build around your blog. Some platform like Tumblr have very active and close knit community, others like WordPress have very loosely tied community.
- It will form the entire base for your blog to be built upon and hence you will have to get yourself comfortable with it.
- Your choice of blogging platform will determine how much you can play around with your blog. Some platforms like WordPress are highly favoured by developers and have tons of free and paid customization and personalization tools available. While some other platforms like Tumblr do not lend themselves much to playing around.
This said let's look at the 4 major Blogging Platform, and how they compare against each other on some key pointers. This should help you in narrowing down your choice of preferred blogging platform.
Comparison between Popular Blogging Platforms:
|Money-wise:||Free version comes with limited features. Upgrading costs extra.||Fully free, no hidden costs.||Free. Premium themes cost 19$ -49$ per blog for.||Paid at 5$ per month + hosting expenses|
|Hosting Space offered:||3 GB per blog||Unlimited||You need to purchase hosting, so you choose the amount|
|Customization:||Limited opportunity. Free inbuilt themes can be customized to certain extent.||Flexible in terms of customization, with HTML editing option + CMS addition option||Minimalistic and sleek design. Very low customization opportunity,paid themes offer more customization & control.||Full customization freedom|
|Plugins:||Cannot add plugins||Has its own inbuilt tools, very few plugins are available as developers are not much in love with this platform||No fancy plugins or widgets||Tons of free and paid plugins available. Developers love this platform hence it has huge amount of own as well as 3rd party resources available.|
|Monetization:||No monetization in free version. If you upgrade by paying $299 per year you can participate in WordAds which is WordPress's own advertising program.||Since it is owned by Google, it offers Google Adsense integration, also you can add 3rd party content monetization codes.||AdSense can be integrated for content monetization, option to sell ad space also available||Full freedom to monetize, from Adsense to 3 rd party options, you can choose and work with every and any monetization option|
|Community:||Has active community, perhaps the largest blogger community.||Sizable community, more active than WordPress. Bloggers follow each other closely||Extremely active community, bloggers follow, like, reblog posts and interact very closely. Community is socially very active and finds many mentions on Twitter, content sharing is very rampant.|
|Social Media Integration:||Offers option to integrate all social media channels||Since it is owned by Google, they give preference to Google+ over others.||Good social media integration, very popular with Twitter users.||Full Freedom to integrate any social Media as per convenience.|
|Ad Display:||Displays ads on Free blogs, to non-logged in users. Can opt out of ads by upgrading to premium package at 99$ p.a||No ads||No Ads||No Ads|
|Domain name:||yourblog.wordpress.com; can opt for custom domain by upgrading to premium package at 99$ p.a||yourblog.blogspot.com; can opt for custom domain name also for free||yourblog.tumblr.com||yourblog.com|
|Space:||3GB, upgrade to premium package at 99$ p.a for 13 GB space. upgrade to business package at 299$ p.a for unlimited storage space||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Who is it for:||Serious bloggers with no technical knowledge.||Beginners looking for simple customization and quick limited monetization opportunity.||Those looking to catalog things they come across on internet, with ease of use||Serious bloggers, willing to learn some technical stuff and who would prefer full control of their blog.|
Some other blogging platforms worth mentioning are Squarespace, Typepad & Weebly. All of these are paid platforms, with cost ranging from 5$ per month to up to 30$ per month. All these platforms offer decent customization options. These platforms are generally preferred by corporate users, as opposed to individual users. Karl from MonetizePros has written a great post on 11 Best Blogging Platforms, its a must read for everyone.
Most popular bloggers use WordPress.org as their platform, because of its superior features and immense flexibility. This blog is also running on WordPress.org and I find it to be the best blogging platfrom for my blogs. If money is a consideration then you can start off with WordPress.com and later on switch-over to WordPress.org
In next part we will be looking at theme selection. Theme determines the aesthetics as well as major functionalities of your blog. Theme selection is like choosing a dress for your blog. Its fun but requires immense patience. We will be looking at the various points you will need to take into consideration when choosing a theme for your blog. So see you next time.
Meanwhile have you decided on your blogging platform? If yes, do share below in the comments section what is your choice, and if not then do share what's your dilemma. I will be happy to help you in making your decision.