Today I'm going to share with you my pros and cons of a few popular blogging platforms. To give you a little background; I started back in 2005 with this blog hosted on the blogger platform as more of a hobby and to see what I could create with html. As new services come along, I'll usually create a free account to see how it compares with the others. I currently manage 4 different websites, each on one of the above platforms.
Blogger (example: this site)
Maybe I'm just a little biased because blogger was the first platform that I coded on, but I've always had good luck using it and customizing the templates isn't too hard. I can usually change & customize a new design in a few hours.
- Has been around for a while so there is a large collection of templates available
- Easy customization, provided you're not intimidated by HTML
- Probably one of the biggest blog platforms out there, which means tons of help if you need it
- Html code in the templates can be a little buggy and outdated
- not ment for anything other then basic blogging
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know I'm a total Mac fan, so when Apple launched iWeb a few years back, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and started creating websites left and right. At one point I had 7 iWeb sites, each with proper domain names. I was having too much fun creating sites and could create a site with 20+ pages in an afternoon. The application is very easy to use and any design I could come up with in my head, I could easily recreate it in iWeb. One of the problems however, is with all these great looking sites, Google has a very hard time indexing them so not too many people are finding you via search engines.
- Total drag/drop program
- You don't need to know a single thing about HTML to make an amazing site
- Great for a site that needs galleries
- SEO (search engine optimization) is basically non existent, even with programs like iWeb SEO Tool
- If you want to add flash or some advanced HTML customization, you usually have to jump through hoops (providing you wanted to do something that the webwidgets can't handle)
- Limited templates
- Proprietary, unlike the other services, iWeb is an actual application that runs on newer macs and is intended to be updated with a single computer unlike web based blogging services.
I personally feel tumblr is more about sharing interesting images/photography then anything else. Sure it has features to "blog" or write something witty, but the main purpose is to see something cool, retumble it (repost it), and move on. Now you might be thinking, why the hell would anyone care to do this? It has majorly boosted traffic to my portfolio. How? I'll submit some of my photography to a few "best photo" type tumblrs every few days (example) and hopefully they will post my image along with any contact information I provide. When other people see that image, they may retumble it and so on...so my photography spreads like wiled fire along with my contact info linking back to my portfolio, which then in turn drives new traffic to my portfolio, boosting my rankings in google. More traffic means more potential clients that might hire me to do photo shoots. (it's all about networking for $$$)
- Super easy to use
- Some of the best looking templates
- works great on mobile devices
- most templates lack basic services such as comments or tag searching
- can be a pain to extensively modify the templates
- still too new for most people to grasp full potential
I was first exposed to wordpress at work when I was given the task to redo our law firms website. I figured I had a fresh start so I wanted to choose the correct platform. Our site was to have 50+ static pages that wouldn't be updated often, but in order to keep the site "fresh" the attorneys wanted to do weekly blogs. Wordpress.org mixes static and blog pages quite nicely, not to mention that it is major in helping natural SEO. Like all the other platforms, templates are plentiful, however I went with a paid version called headway which is a mix between the WYSIWYG iWeb editor & blogger. Plus the headway theme adds TONS of options for SEO way beyond the basic free templates. In two weeks after redesigning the firms site in wordpress with headway, our site traffic has more then tripled with just the basic built in SEO.
- Great templates provided you pick the right one with good code
- ease of use
- Can mix blog with multiple site pages (about, contact, gallery, etc)
- Search engines tend to find wordpress.org site easier since they aren't on a subdomain like blogger, tumblr, etc.
- you have to pay for your own domain/server space (godaddy makes this very easy tho with their wordpress package)
My conclusion; all 4 of the above platforms have a special place in my heart, but if you are just starting out with a serious blog/site for a business or your main focus is on traffic then wordpress.org is hands down the way to go. If you looking for fun and not too much brain power, sign up for tumblr. Want to be totally creative and show off to your fiends, then spend an afternoon in iWeb. And if you want a totally free way that will allow you to be a little creative but reserved (provided you are 0-basic with html) then get yourself a blogger account.
I've love to hear your opinions or experiences with blog type platforms.