When you start a blog you might need to choose a blogging platform or tool to manage your blog.
There are many content management systems or website builder tools online. But first I need to know what to look for.
What to look for when you choose a blogging platform:
Before you decide which blogging platform to go with, you need to understand their basics and additional features. As a beginner you need a simple platform that can be easy to manage. It should have a friendly user interface so that it makes it easy to write your content.
Since you are a newbie, you shouldn’t go for complicated features. You will need to be able to design your own website.
After some time you might want to change the look of your website or blog, add new features as your blog grows.
Another thing to consider is whether the blogging platform has a community behind it. A huge community means the tool is used by many people.
And it also means you can get help easily in case you come across a problem. The community behind the tool can help so most problems without you paying anyone.
The best way to find that community is through a forum, a dedicated forum for the blogging tool. Most well established blogging platforms have a forum where they share their experiences about the tool.
That could help if you come across a minor fault along the way, there’s a high chance that someone else has also faced the same fault before.
Therefore it will be easy to find a solution on the internet through forums.
When you choose a blogging platform you will also be able to choose a web hosting company. The most recommended hosting company is Bluehost, it gives all the necessary blogging benefits. You can also host with Namecheap, that’s if you prefer to use bitcoin as payment.
Here are the blogging platforms to choose from:
WordPress is one of the first blogging platforms and it is an open source platform for bloggers around the world. There are two types of WordPress.com and WordPress.org and there are some differences between them.
WordPress.org is the one to choose, it powers over 30% of the global websites including big company websites. This platform has a massive community behind it and many tutorials and a big forum and you can ask.
Apart from the forums itself you can also find other expert bloggers online who can provide you with answers.
This is a self hosted platform, you need your own domain name to host it and is free to download. Most web hosting companies offer a one click installation and can help you host your own WordPress site.
You can also do most anything with it, including creating a blog, e-commerce sites, business directories and more.
WordPress.org makes it easy to customize the design and it has many themes and plugins to choose from. It can be used by both beginners and experienced users and you can load as much content as you want.
It gives an option to embed videos from YouTube and you can also upload images.
There are few disadvantages with WordPress in comparison with other blogging tools. It might take some time to learn WordPress if you are not tech-savvy.
WordPress provides the best security features, you can install security plugins to add an extra layer of security.
And when it comes to backup, your hosting company can assist you with that, but it is wise to also add your own backup plugins. WordPress versions are released too early including plugins and themes.
If you choose WordPress you will be able to install it on a hosting account of your choice.
Similar to WordPress.org, Joomla is a self hosted blogging platform or content management system that is also free to download. You can create almost any application with it. This platform also has a community behind it with many tutorials and ebooks to select from.
It has thousands of themes to choose from and you can also customize your website the way you want.
You can find Joomla extensions for some of the things that you can not do on the main Joomla platforms. Extensions are similar to plugins in WordPress, you can either download them for free or buy them online.
Some of the disadvantages of Joomla are that it is not easy to use, it’s user interface might take you longer to understand. The community behind Joomla is not as big and active as the WordPress community.
Although there are tutorials you would still struggle with many other things including ranking your site. When it comes to backup you will have to do it yourself, same goes with updates and security
You might have to hire an expert and it could be costly to manage your site unless you have time to learn how it works.
Wix is an online hosted website builder that you can also use to start your own blog. It offers free basic design and premium design. The site used a drag and drop feature which can make it easy to build a website.
You can customize your website using templates. There’s no coding required on wix, even newbies can use it.
Major disadvantages of it is that the free version of Wix will show their branding on your website. There are limited third party apps and also you can not create a free e-commerce site with it, it is only provided to premium customers.
Tumblr is a free microblogging site with some social media features in it. Is good for someone who wants to share images but little text content. You can go premium by choosing a paid template since it offers that option.
Other than that you can not do much about Tumblr, it has very limited features in terms of content, that is not good for SEO because search engines rank websites based on content.
Medium is a blogging platform that helps writers share their story or insights on anything. With medium you can create your own blog posts and let people find them for a read. Is great for anyone who wants exposure in writing or blogging.
It has a good user- friendly editor and some basic seo tools. You are able to optimize your url, add a description of your story.
With a free account you can publish unlimited stories and three exclusive stories per month. If you want more than that you can upgrade to a $5 monthly membership.
You can not entirely rely on Medium though, because it is owned by someone else. You won’t be in control of your domain. Medium is good for building traffic for your blog.
It is capable of sending quality free traffic to your site if you write quality content both on it and on your blog. You can use it to introduce some of your posts and let people continue reading them on your blog. In short it helps you build exposure.
Blogger is a free blogging platform from Google, if you have a Google account you can use blogger to build your website. There are limited features on bloggers and one of them is the limited templates that are available.Blogger is also one of the free google marketing tools you can use.
You don’t need technical skills to create your blog, just sign in with your Google ID and start your blog just like that.
There’s a high chance that your site can look like many other sites on the platform and you will not be able to change it. Is good for someone who wants to get their first experience in blogging.
You are not going to get a unique personalized or business domain name, your domain name will have a blogspot extension in it, whether you like it or not.
Since this is a Google platform, it’s security features are of high standard. You can post as much content as you want. But hey, this Google, you need to be aware of what you post or your site can get shut down in no time.
In terms of the SEO features your site is not gonna do well compared to self hosted sites who are fully optimized for search engines.
Weebly is similar to Wix in a sense that it is a website builder not a blogging platform. You can create a blog with it though but it might not be as good and easy to manage like the real blogging platforms.
With Weebly You don’t need technical skills as well, it offers a drag and drop feature to help you create your site.
You can choose from many free themes to make your site look beautiful but you can not add more features and there is limited integration with other third-party tools.
And the winner is……?
Without a doubt WordPress is the best blogging platform to go for and here are the reasons
Is free to download You can get a self hosted domain name from a web hosting company to host your blog.
It makes it easy to learn since there are thousands of free tutorials, e-books, videos and a large active community behind it.
WordPress is the most user friendly editor. You can choose from thousands of free themes or premiums to make your site look the way you want.
If you need anything, it can be done through plugins since there is almost a plugin for anything you can think of, from E-Commerce, Security, SEO, Backup, Forms and more.
Is easy to integrate WordPress with third party programs like the payment systems like PayPal, VISA, Bitcoin. You can also integrate with any email service providers like Get Response, MailChimp and so on. So WordPress beats all blogging platforms whether free or premium.
It will be easy to monetize your blog with ads or any online money making strategy you can think of. Choosing a WordPress self hosted website enables you to be in control.