Choosing blogging software is an important decision for anyone looking to start their own blog. Going with a largely popular platform like WordPress is always a safe bet and the tutorials featured here are focused on using the WordPress software.
There are alternatives to WordPress, however, and each blogger should consider their options before choosing a platform. Once you have decided some tentative goals for your blog, you can decide whether you would like a hosted or non-hosted site.
To host or not to host
Using a hosted (or subscription) platform simply means that your blog will be housed on your platform’s server, while non-hosted (or open source) platforms require you to house the blog on your own server.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types:
Hosted software platforms are very user-friendly and make starting a blog simple. They generally cost less up front and alleviate the need to search for a third-party to host your blog.
Oftentimes, hosted platforms have limitations in terms of HTML and CSS control as well as archive management.
Non-hosted software platforms allow a much greater control over your own CSS, HTML, and archive management as everything is hosted on your own server.
However, non-hosted platforms require a third-party server and generally a little better knowledge of CSS and HTML. Some software, like WordPress.org, offers many plug-ins that make it more user-friendly.
Once you have chosen the type of platform you would like, it is important to look at the features offered by each platform.
You need to consider…
What content will you include on your blog and what features do you require to most effectively present your content? Are you going to need video? Audio? Polls? Widgets?
Make sure the software that you choose will be able to support all the features that you think you may need. Be careful not to sell yourself short on what you may need because you may not intend to use a feature now, but then change your mind and be stuck without it in the future.
How important is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) going to be for your blog and what SEO features you will need to accommodate and attract visitors?
- RSS feeds and permalinks will let your users more easily follow you
- Traffic statistics are great ways to optimize your site and make the most of each post
- Linking to other blogs and notifications are great ways to keep track of your blog network and allow you to work with other bloggers more easily
Are you willing to pay for software?
There is plenty of great free software out there, but if you plan on generating revenue and want additional features, paid software may be worth the fee.
Most popular software
Typepad is the most popular hosted software for top bloggers. It has multiple levels of software (Business Class, Unlimited, and Plus) which allows you to choose a platform that best fits your needs and price range.
WordPress.com is the second most popular and is a free platform with limited customization. Unfortunately, it does not allow advertisements, which means you will be unable to monetize your blog through ad revenue.
WordPress.org is the most popular of all blogging software among top bloggers and for good reason. It uses the same software as WordPress.com but features incredible customization for advanced bloggers.
Movable Type is the second most popular non-hosted platform and supports multiple blogs easily. Its features are not quite as extensive as other platforms but it is still a solid choice.
For a more thorough look at this software, FindTheBest features an excellent comparison of the top platforms.
Need additional help choosing?
If you follow a few blogs that contain content similar to what your blog will use, be sure to look at what software they are using (as was mentioned before, the software used in creating this blog is WordPress).
We have also provided this list of top blogging sites if you would like to take a look at some popular blogs and see what platforms they use. To find out what software a particular blog is using, check the bottom of the page near the copyright information and it is often listed.
Auteur: Marko Saric