I’ve been blogging for a few years now and I’ve had a go with quite a few different blogging platforms. This article is a review of four of the leading providers. These are all free to use and some of them are ideal for not only creating a blog (that is an online journal) but also a simple website.
This is just a quick overview of the pros and cons of each of these platforms. If you want more detailed advice and information do email me, I’d be happy to help!
This is WordPress.com rather than WordPress.org. WordPress.org is the free software you can download to build a website – this is more for techies who like playing with code. WordPress.com is the online blogging platform – also free to use but you don’t need to download anything and you don’t really need to be a techie to use it! WordPress is the platform on which this website you’re reading is based. It is probably the most flexible blogging platform around.
- enables you to easily add ‘widgets’ like a box with your tweets in, a facebook stream from a facebook page and other bits and bobs.
- the statistics you get are brilliant – you can find out how many hits each blog post gets and each page gets and even find out where they came from – for example, if someone clicked a link in Facebook or found you via Google.
- Using wordpress.com you can basically create a website that has a blog in it (like this one) so if you’re wanting to create a website for a small business or organisation this is a really easy way to do it.
- It can take a while to learn how to use the admin side of WordPress.
- The selection of free ‘themes’ (ie. how your blog looks, colour schemes etc) is a little limited meaning that your blog may well look like a lot of other people’s.
Choose WordPress if:
- You want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily.
- You would like to get detailed statistics on who is reading your blog/website.
- You want to integrate other services like Twitter and Facebook with your website.
Tumblr is described as a ‘micro-blogging’ platform. It has a simple, clean interface and is quite easy to use. Often favoured by people wanting to share photos or videos in one simple blog.
- Slick design – Tumblr blogs always look beautiful.
- Good for sharing photos and video content.
- Good for artists or bands.
- No statistics provided on who’s visited your site.
- Not easy to integrate twitter and facebook buttons etc (you have to edit the code which is fiddly).
Choose Tumblr if:
- Design, look and feel is more important to you than statistics.
- You are likely to be sharing photos or videos more than text.
- integrates with your Google account.
- can easily add Google adverts to your blog
- nice drag and drop feature for designing the look of your blog
- not as easy to integrate with social media
- not all that flexible
Choose blogger if:
- you just want to blog and that’s it – you won’t be using the site for anything else
- you’re a fan of Google and want to link your Google account directly to a blog
Posterous – nb Posterous will close 30 April 2013
Posterous is probably the easiest to use blogging platform out there. It’s so simple that you can create a blog post in an email and simply email it to your Posterous site where it will publish it online.
- Really easy to use – requires virtually no technical knowledge.
- Post your blogs really easily to a wide variety of social networks – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
- Nice selection of well designed themes to choose from (which are relatively easy to edit yourself without knowledge of coding).
- You get a views counter on each blog post so you can see how many people have viewed it.
- A really good iPhone and Android app is available for Posterous making it ideal for liveblogging events and conferences.
- Quite a basic platform – not great for doing anything too complicated.
- Bit of a silly name – I’ve found lots of my friends calling it ‘preposterous’!
Choose Posterous if:
- You want a place where you can share cool stuff you’ve found on the internet.
- You want something really simple to use.
- You want to be able to post to multiple social networks with one click.