Budding bloggers often wonder what the best place to start a blog is. “What platform should I use?”, is one of the most frequently asked question. Blogger’s Blogspot, WordPress and Tumblr are three of the most popular choices. Which platform to use depends really on what your plans are for the site, and what wants and needs you may have for it.
In general I would say that this is a great time to be a blogger as there are so many platforms out there that help you start, allow you to have a place where to publish your opinion and build an audience of fans from all around the world. It is a great time to become a blogger so I definitely encourage you to start a site and experience all the benefits of blogging no matter what platform you end up choosing.
Below is a comparison between Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr platforms. It should help you decide and give you a better idea of where you should start your own site. It is wise to make the correct decision at the start as you don’t want to decide to switch your platform after you have started and already established your site as switching at that point may cost you some search engine rankings and might see you lose some traffic.
Blogger Blogspot – Good integration with Google products
Blogger’s admin look is clean, fast and makes a streamlined blogging experience. The layout is easy to set with a click and drag rearranging. There are several designs and you can also edit the templates HTML. The variety of templates is limited though so it might be difficult in getting a more advanced design unless you can do some manual coding.
Blogger features gadgets that you can use on your sidebars, footer and header to add different functionalities to your blog. There are no plugins so if you do need advanced features and customisations you do need HTML and coding knowledge. As Blogger is part of the Google empire it is pretty simple to integrate your site with other Google products. For example you easily add social media functionality with Google+ integration and you can start making money by displaying Google Adsense banners and ads.
All in all Blogger is a nice place to learn what blogging is about, but can be a bit limited choice in terms of flexibility with the look and feel of your design.
Tumblr – More of a social media site than a blog site
On Tumblr you can have a personal blog to post simple and quick posts with focus on images and videos. On Tumblr you “follow” blogs from other users like you follow people on Twitter. You can “like” their content like on Facebook and share the content by reblogging it.
Your domain name is yourblog.tumblr.com. The process of buying and setting up your own domain name cannot be done directly from Tumblr but can be done via a hosting company. There is a decent range of different design themes but there are no plugins to add additional features. In case you’re into HTML or CSS you have the option for limited customisation of the themes.
Tumblr is growing rapidly and is very popular if you want to have an online space where you can quickly and effortlessly drop and share links, videos and pictures that you have found online. It is really more of a social network than a blogging platform, and is about sharing pictures and videos you have found online, not much about words or writing.
Tumblr is for your casual, but limited, presence where you share quick links or pictures, but not much more than that.
WordPress – a flexible blogging platform
First to clarify the difference between the two WordPress versions as it may confuse some beginners. There are two WordPress versions, WordPress.org which is the home of the software, and WordPress.com which is the hosted site. The difference is like owning or renting a house. I recommended you to use the self-hosted WordPress.org where you own your house (own your blog) and this is what the review below focuses on.
If you’re looking for a flexible blogging solution with lots of different design and functionality options, room to grow and expand your site, self-hosted WordPress is the way to go. WordPress.org is free and allows you complete control and flexibility. I run all my projects on WordPress.org and so do most of the biggest bloggers.
There is a community of thousands of volunteers who create free designs and plugins that allow you to create a site that you want. You completely control everything about it, you can run any ads, you can edit all the files and you can end up create a unique looking design. I use WordPress.org on this blog and most of my other projects. It’s a great piece of software and definitely recommended.
On starting WordPress.org
WordPress.org must be installed on a web server to work. For the simplest possible install, I recommend using Bluehost as you simply click on 1-button to install WordPress plus get a cheap domain name and hosting.
It takes 5 minutes to have your site up and running, no tech knowledge needed. Watch my step-by-step guide on how to install WordPress.org below.