When I started blogging about five years ago, the choice of blogging platforms were many. Should I go with a pure blogging-only platform like Google’s Blogger? A content management, traditional website-looking platform like Joomla or Drupal with a blogging add-on? Or one that combines the two, like WordPress? It was all a bit confusing for someone just starting out.
After testing them all over sleepless nights and frustrating learning curves, I concluded that since my primary goal was writing, then a pure blogging platform was the way to go. After fiddling around with Blogger for a year, I turned to WordPress and never looked back. However, depending on your needs, time-commitment, and learning-curve accommodation, you should check out a few options before deciding. Here are five:
1. WordPress – With over 60 milion sites, WordPress is the most popular traditional blogging platform. It comes in two flavors: wordpress.com, which is hosted on their servers, and wordpress.org, the self-hosted version, both open source, free platforms. You’ll need to subscribe to a web hosting service like Hostgator to use wordpress.org. I can’t recommend this platform enough. The helpful community, cool themes, and tons of free plugins that extend functionality are hard to beat.
2. Blogger – A Blogger blog is a great way to get your blogging feet wet. Sign up with a gmail account, answer a few questions, choose a theme, and you’re good to go. This platform works best for personal blogs.
3. Tumblr – Referred to as a microblogging platform, Tumblr rivals WordPress in popularity. Internet memes flock to this platform for many reasons — it’s free, quick to setup, and quick to post. But full-fledged blogs and websites are also using the Tumblr platform, like this cool website I came across recently: Inspired Law Practice.
4. Squarespace – For as little as $8/month, you can have your own beautifully designed website, including a blogging platform and a content management system. You won’t have as much control over the look and feel of the site, but if all you want to do is write and not worry about coding and design, this is a great option.
5. Quora – Just yesterday, the popular Q&A website announced its own blogging platform, and if the many chrips around the social networks are any indication, it’s worth checking out. The platform is promoted as great for: writers who don’t have an audience, and bloggers who have an audience but want to reach more people. I’ll check it out and thought I’d give you a heads up to do the same.