I often get questions from new bloggers about my thoughts on what platform to use to start your blog on. Couple of popular choices are Tumblr and WordPress and many ask about differences between the two, and positives and negatives about blogging on either of the two. In this post I will compare the two platforms and try to give you a better picture of what fits best for your blogging needed.
First of all I just want to mention that these days are great for starting a blog. There are so many great blogging platforms and they all make it simple for you to get started, create your own presence, share your insights and skills, and build an audience of friends and followers. Blogging is such a great and productive way of spending your time so I am happy you are considering starting a blog and encourage you to do so no matter what platform you end up choosing to go with.
Choosing between WordPress and Tumblr depends on what you want to do with your site. What are your plans with your site? What are your needs for a site? It is also worth asking yourself do you want to have a serious personal or commercial blog or will you be using your site as a more casual online presence? Read on for full details on the differences between Tumblr and WordPress.
Tumblr – casual but limited social media platform
Tumblr is a social network where you can have a personal profile to post simple and quick posts and updates. Most often these posts are short, don’t have too many words in them but include a lot of visual and multimedia aspects like images and videos. They are very often also short excerpts and links that lead to full articles somewhere else. Tumblr allows you to “follow” blogs from the other users like you can follow a person on Twitter. It allows you to “like” their content like you can do on Facebook and even share their content by reblogging it to your Tumblr network.
Your domain name is something like yourblog.tumblr.com. The process of buying and setting up your own domain name cannot be done directly from Tumblr interface but can be done via a registrar. There is a decent range of different design themes – some free, some premium. There are no plugins unfortunately for you to add additional features and functionalities onto your blog. In case you’re into HTML or CSS you have the option for limited customisation of the themes.
All in all Tumblr is a nice place for your casual Internet presence where you share your favourite music videos or some pictures you have found and you like, while connecting with like minded people, but in a very limited way. Tumblr is more of a social network than it is a blogging platform really and it is important to note that before making a decision to spend time there.
WordPress – flexible personal or commercial blogging
First to clarify something about WordPress that may confuse you. Note that WordPress has a hosted and a self-hosted version. .org version is the home of the software, and .com version is the hosted site. The difference between the two is like owning or renting a house. I would recommended you to use the self-hosted WordPress.org as that is where you own the house i.e. you actually fully own and control your site.
If you want a flexible solution with lots of different design and functionality options, room to grow and expand your blog, WordPress is the way to go. Having your own WordPress blog on your own domain name and server allows you the complete control and flexibility. With the impressive range of WordPress.org themes and plugins you can mess with your design much more and create unique looking blogs.
WordPress.org is so flexible that there are several free-to-use Tumblr styled design themes and plugins to turn your WordPress site into a Tumblr-like blog. I run all my projects on WordPress.org and so do many of the biggest bloggers, making it the most widely used blogging software.
I have heard, seen and experienced many wonderful benefits achieved by having a blog. My blogging projects have made an amazing difference for me in my life and career. That’s why I prefer to use the tool that gives me the full control and flexibility, which is the reason that I recommend WordPress for you to go with for your own blog.
Starting your WordPress blog
If you have some serious aspirations with your blog, WordPress.org on your own domain name and server is the way to go. For the simplest possible install, you can use Bluehost as you simply click on 1-button to install WordPress plus get a domain name and hosting for cheap.
It literally takes 5 minutes to have your WordPress.org blog online, no tech knowledge needed. Watch below for my video guide on how to install WordPress.