If you want to start a blog, but are unsure of which platform is best for you, the most important factors to consider are time and goals. If you’re wondering if one platform offers more than another or more users prefer a specific blog platform over another than you’re in luck! Not only are there several popular blogging platforms to choose, switching from one platform to another as your requirements change is earlier than ever due to cross-connection.
Free Blogging Platforms VS. Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms
WordPress is a popular choice as it can be hosted by WordPress or on your own server, providing more “control”. While reliable hosting costs and server maintenance are certainly important aspects to consider, Tumblr a micro blogging platform has gained a respectable audience as a viable business blogging platform.
Balancing the Pros and Cons
Before you choose what a blogging platform let’s keep in mind the following:
1. Are you comfortable with installation, configuration, and self-hosting your blog yourself, or would you rather rely on a hosted service?
2. Do you want to design your own blog theme, or are you satisfied with using or modifying an existing theme?
3. Do you want to be able to install custom plug-ins or are you satisfied with the functionality built-in to the platform you choose?
4. Will you be writing more long-form posts or posting interesting things you find online? Perhaps you require both options?
5. Do you want others to be able to comment on your posts and interact with your content in a social way or do you simply want to be able to have a place to publish your writing statically where people can read it and nobody can contribute?
6. Are you willing to pay for this blogging platform? Is this for business or personal use?
7. Will you require multiple user access to your blogging platform for contributing, managing plugins, and administrating user’s permission roles?
Blogging Platform Options
This list covers the majority of popular and well established blogging platforms suitable to most needs along with a brief explanation of its strengths and what type of blogger would gain the most benefit.
Tumblr is a free microblog platform that’s designed to take most of the effort out of actually blogging. Unlike conventional blogging platforms that publish posts, Tumblr is a social community that shares interesting content from various online sources and reblog the content in the hopes others of the community will enjoy the content. This is a great method of filtering mediocre content from interesting content with the potential gaining notoriety (going viral). Tumblr can also handle original content as well, but it’s not designed for anyone who is looking to create a long-form blog. If you simply want to share interesting content and have a social network built-in to your blog so you can easily interact with other users, Tumblr could be the right blogging platform for you.
Asaph is a self-hosted microblog platform similar to Tumblr where you add content via a bookmarklet for ease of use. You can create your own themes or choose from the selection that is included. If you like the idea of Tumblr but want full control, Asaph’s open-source option might be what you’re looking for.
Posterous Spaces interprets the content you provide it allowing you to post from the Posterous site and alternatively through emailing what you want to post on your blog. It’ll turn photos into galleries and convert video into a player as well. It`s a great option if simplicity is of importance and you don`t require a lot of control.
If you’re looking to host only one site and you want to make something more complex than your programming skills allow and willing to invest in a paid blogging platform that offers customizable themes with the option of modification to make it your own for those well-versed in Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) than Squarespace may be the right fit. The entire interface is an easy to learn web-based designed to create full web sites very quickly and easily without the hassle of the end user having to figure out where to host their software, how to install it, and how to set it up. Although, Squarespace is very versatile and completely capable of creating blogs as well, the convenience you pay – a minimum of $12 per month, means you lose a degree of control over what you can do with your blog/web site and how it can be customized.