Blogging platform comparison

blogging platforms
There are multiple blogging platforms out in the market and new ones keep coming up. But only a few are authorities in this market.

Some are more suited for some specific job then others, but if you look at the usage statistics, there is clearly a king among them – WordPress.

In some situations, you might choose one platform over the another. But that very much depends on the type of project, your skills in styling, coding, extensibility etc.

So which one you should actually choose for you? Here’s a list I’ve compiled with most popular platforms and their key points.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Well with what else to start if not with WordPress. It’s the most popular blogging platform to date – by latest data WordPress controls nearly 60% of the cms market.

You may not know but there are two types of WordPress sites if you could say so. WordPress.org (self-hosted) and WordPress.com (hosted blogging platform with WordPress software).

There’s a big difference between them so here some things that define them:

WordPress.org keynotes:
  • Price – 0$ for the software.
  • Hosting – hosting is not included, you must choose your own where the software will be upload / installed.
  • Domain – not included. You must purchase it yourself or get it together with hosting package.
  • Designs – there are a lot of free themes available so you’ll probably find something that will catch your eye. Also, there are many theme stores available (e.g. mythemeshop.com) where you can find something more specific for your needs, taste.
  • Plugins – thousands upon thousands of plugins available in the official directory which offers really good extensibility.
Best used for:
  • Bloggers that want to make a professional and respectable blog as part of their business or with an intention to make money from it.
  • Professional bloggers.
  • Bloggers that want to have control over all the content, data, designs, extensions etc.
  • Beginners or hobby bloggers that do not have extensive skill set but want a well-designed blog with extendable functionality.
WordPress.com keynotes:
  • Price 0 – 25$ per month. Multiple plans available, but as you’ve might have guessed, cheapest offer fewer features and are more limited.
  • Hosting – included in the same price per month.
  • Domain – by default for a free plan you’ll get a subdomain like mysite.wordpress.com. It’s changeable to a custom domain name, but with additional cost. For paid plans, a custom domain name will be included in the package.
  • Designs – few hundred themes are available for selection. Premium plans offer some customization but comparing to self-hosted version it’s way more limited.
  • Plugins – only highest paying plan currently allows installing plugins. So it becomes quite costly if you need some extra functionality. Other than that other plans get only few default plugins.
Best used for:
  • Bloggers that at the moment don’t want to make an investment at all.
  • Hobby bloggers that want to make a personal blog.

One of the things why some beginner bloggers don’t start off with self-hosted WordPress site or in the matter of fact any other self-hosted blogging platform is the learning curve that comes with it.

But fear not, if you’ll give it a try you’ll soon see that it’s really not that difficult. Also, there are many great and very detailed tutorials available which will help you get that site up in no time.

WordPress due to its ease of use is an excellent choice not just for a beginner but also for an experienced blogger that wants to start a blog or small commerce site.

Drupal.org

Drupal is also an excellent choice as it’s not just a traditional blogging platform but a complete content management system.

This software is a very powerful tool in the hands of an experienced developer. Unlike WordPress, Drupal offers only the software so a hosting will be required.

Also, note that it’s not that user-friendly for a beginner blogger so the learning curve is a bit steeper.

But it’s among the most powerful content management systems that are available straight out of the box.

With that in mind, some basic knowledge on html, php or other common language is recommended. But that isn’t an absolute necessity.

drupal.org keynotes:
  • Price – 0$ for the software.
  • Hosting – hosting is not included, you must choose your own where the software will be upload / installed.
  • Domain – not included. You must purchase it yourself or get it together with hosting package.
  • Designs – there are quite a few themes available from the official directory (2000+), but compared to WordPress the number difference is big. Also, many theme stores are available.
  • Plugins – Thousands of modules available for use but there could be a wider choice as some might lack the functionality that the project demands.
Best used for:
  • Professional bloggers that want to make a complex site with custom functionality.
  • Bloggers that want to have control over all the content, data, designs, extensions etc.
  • Developers that want to use the framework to the fullest, not just for the blogging possibilities.

Drupal would be perfect for those situations where it’s necessary to build a very complex site with a lot of functionality in mind as it performs better if compared to it’s two biggest competitors – WordPress and Joomla.

Starting out might be a bit harder for some, but it’s very intuitive once you get used to it.

Joomla.org

Joomla is another great option for bloggers due to its relative simplicity. Learning curve may be steeper than WordPress, but definitely easier than Drupal.

The great thing about this content management system is that it combines the WordPress ease of use and power from Drupal. This helps even non-tech savvy people run great sites without the need for technical support.

Joomla.org keynotes:
  • Price – 0$ for the software.
  • Hosting – like WordPress offers to host your site. Or you can use self-hosted option.
  • Domain – not included. You must purchase it yourself or get it together with hosting package. Included custom domain name with a paid plan and hosting on Joomla.
  • Designs – has many templates. Also just like WordPress and Drupal many theme stores are available.
  • Plugins – wide variety of modules for extensibility, though possible to have compatibility issues. And just like Drupal has built-in core functionality that in WordPress is available only through plugins.
Best used for:
  • Beginner or hobby bloggers that don’t want to invest anything at the start (if choosing to host the site on Joomla).
  • Bloggers that want to have control over all the content, data, designs, extensions etc.
  • Professional bloggers that want to make a complex site.

Joomla had seen better days since its launch in 2004. But it still holds considerable market share among other content management systems.

While not the most popular choice it’s still going strong. So it’s safe to say that support for current software will still roll out for years to come.

Blogger.com

Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms that is still going, so it requires a mention. All you need to have is a Google account to make a blog there.

And that’s it, nothing can be easier than that.

Blogger.com keynotes:
  • Price – 0$.
  • Hosting – blogger.com takes care of it.
  • Domain – by default you’ll get a subdomain like mysite.blogspot.com. Unlike some other platforms, it’s possible to add a custom domain, that you own, free of charge.
  • Designs – standard layout, not much customization available.
  • Plugins – no extensions.
Best used for:
  • Hobby bloggers that want to have a personal blog but don’t have an intention to monetize it later on.

To sum it up – Blogger is an outdated platform compared to other modern content management systems.

The biggest plus to it is that it can be started in a matter of a minute and it has a simple interface for content creation.

But I don’t advise using it for anything more than a personal hobby blog.

Tumblr.com

Tumblr is a great platform for visual, short content, image, gif and video bloggers.

While it excels in those it fails in text content which also isn’t it’s purpose. So writers will need to check out other platforms.

Tumblr focuses a lot on its own community so it provides great sharing and reblogging features for each other’s work.

And just like blogger.com, this platform also is pretty simple and straightforward to use.

Tumblr.com keynotes:
  • Price – 0$.
  • Hosting – tumblr.com takes care of it.
  • Domain – by default you’ll get a subdomain like mysite.tumblr.com. Unlike some other platforms, it’s possible to add a custom domain, that you own, free of charge.
  • Designs – quite a lot of designs to choose from but they do cost extra.
  • Plugins – no extensions.
Best used for:
  • Hobby bloggers that need a simple blog.
  • Micro niche blog that is more tended to visual information – images, videos, posts.

Tumblr is perfect for micro niche visual bloggers with not a lot of content.

While it’s great there, bloggers that will want to cover a topic in greater depth will need to look at different platforms.

So as long as you don’t intend to turn this blog into a business blog then go for it if visual blogging is your calling.

Wix.com

Wix platform is more suited to build a website but it’s possible to transform it also into a blog.

It offers quite an intuitive user interface and rapid modification of the page. Also, a well set up documentation is available and there is also good customer support both email and phone wise.

Just a note, if all you want is just a plain blog then a different platform might be more suited as Wix blogging features are just a part of it.

Wix.com keynotes:
  • Price – 0-24$ per month but the cheapest plan still displays adds from Wix.
  • Hosting – wix.com takes care of it.
  • Domain – by default you’ll get a subdomain like mysite.wix.com. Possible to add a custom domain, that you own.
  • Designs – comes with quite a lot of designs which up to some point can be modified.
  • Plugins – some essential ones are built in while others can be added from the Wix market.
Best used for:
  • Users with no design skills that want to make a site from scratch.
  • Bloggers that want to have a good looking site along with a blog

Wix is more suited if you want to build a small site to represent your business. But as stated before blogging feature is available too.

While not the greatest option, it’s an option nonetheless.

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