It seems that every man and his dog has a blog (they used to be called weblogs). Whether you’re using it as your online journal to document your personal thoughts or you’re blogging about a specific industry or even producing content solely to make money it helps to know what your choices are in terms of the platform.
In this article we’re going to do a quick run through of some of the more common blogging platforms on the market. All of them are free (which is a good thing) and all of them are capable of powering anything from a basic blog to something with thousands of pages and thousands of daily visitors. So which one is best? Let’s take a look.
Hosted Solutions (e.g. Blogger)
Most first time users tend to gravitate towards the free hosted solutions such as blogger.com. On the surface they probably look like they’ll do the job and you won’t have to mess around installing and configuring applications. That’s a huge plus if you’re not particularly tech-savvy but it also comes with its limitations. The biggest one being you’re pretty much stuck where you are, you can’t move your blog elsewhere and you’ll have trouble getting your own domain name for it when it grows etc so there are quite a few drawbacks. If however you just want a small blog to document your personal thoughts each day then it’s probably more than enough for you.
By far WordPress is the most popular solution out there. It has everything you could possibly want in a content management system and is trusted by millions of people throughout the world. If there is one drawback I’d say it’s the sheer size of the application itself and because it’s so popular it’s also prone to exploits and hack attempts. Frequent patches do enough to combat this but if you’re going to run WordPress you really need to know what you’re doing in terms of security.
They call this the developers blogging platform because it comes with a lot of highly customisable features. With Drupal you’re not limited as you are with WordPress, you can define and configure every aspect of your installation and get your blog looking and performing exactly how you want it to. Whilst there are not as many add ons in terms of themes and plugins as there are with WordPress and Joomla it is quite well supported so you’ll find more than enough options out there for customisation.
Ghost is a platform that is becoming increasing popular, especially with those who have fallen out of love with WordPress due to its bulk and potential for exploits. Whilst it’s not as simple as WordPress in terms of installation and configuration, there are lots of tutorials available that assist with this and once you’re up and running it’s extremely lightweight and secure.
Whilst it’s not strictly a blogging platform lots of people are using Joomla to power their blog. Personally I think it’s better to use a proper blogging solution rather than a standard website CMS but it is possible and it is feature rich. If you’re just literally writing blog posts it’s probably not worth bothering with. However if you want to bolt things onto it then it’s probably worth taking a look at.
Blogging for the most part is all about the content. They say content is king and where blogs are concerned, it couldn’t be more true. But, the platform is important also. As to which one is truly better, I guess it’s a matter of preference. Some will prefer the features of one particular application and some will be so set in their ways having used a particular solution for the past 10 years they’ll see no real reason to change.
I can understand why people stick to what they know but I do think it also pays to try new things out from time to time. Who knows you might end up finding a solution you prefer. Lots of people are saying having tried the likes of Ghost they’re considering switching permanently etc.