Best Blogging Platform: WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, SquareSpace, or Typepad?

blogging platformsIn 2011, Nielsen estimated the number of blogs in the world to be around 181 million. Blogspot, the Google-owned blogging platform, is the thirteenth most visited domain in the world. Its competitors, WordPress.com and Tumblr.com, rank no. 26 and 29 respectively on this list. AOL paid a whopping $315 million for the massively popular Huffington Post blog in 2011. Two years later, Yahoo acquired the blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 Billion.

Check out this course on WordPress blogging!

Blogging, as you would expect, is a big deal.

So now that you’ve finally decided to start your own blog (if you’re still not convinced, this tutorial will tell you why you need a blog), you will need a competent blogging platform. Below, we take a look at some of the most popular blogging platforms around, and why you should (and shouldn’t) choose them:

1. WordPress

Type: Free

One in every six websites runs on WordPress, the most popular blogging platform in the world. WordPress is both a free publishing tool (via WordPress.com), and a content management system for self-hosted blogs (via WordPress.org). With a huge library of plugins and themes, WordPress provides a full spectrum of blogging solutions for casual bloggers as well as full-fledged businesses.

Some of the most popular blogs in the world run on WordPress, such as Wall Street Journal blogs, People Magazine and TechCrunch. The blog you’re reading right now runs on WordPress as well.

Advantages

  1. A WordPress blog is extremely flexible and can be made to run everything from an eCommerce store to a video-focused tumblog.
  2. Free. The only expenses associated with running a WordPress blog are server and domain costs.
  3. WordPress is more than a decade old and has gone through countless updates.
  4. WordPress has hundreds of thousands of plugins, courtesy of its vibrant open-source developer community.
  5. A huge theme library means you can customize your blog’s appearance to your heart’s content.

Disadvantages

  1. With great power, comes great complexity. WordPress, for all its power and speed, can be difficult to use for the average Joes, although excellent tutorials such as this WordPress course do help mitigate this flaw.
  2. To take full advantage of WordPress features, you need to host it on your server, which can add significant overhead in terms of hosting, domain and CDN costs.
  3. Customization often requires tinkering with code.

Recommended For

  • Professional bloggers.
  • Media companies and businesses that require a stable, professional blogging solution.

This course on WordPress blogging will help your blogging ship set sail smoothly.

2. Blogger

Type: Free

Also called BlogSpot, Blogger is a Google owned blogging platform. Blogger was one of the earliest blogging services and was instrumental in bringing blogging to the mainstream. An oft-ignored property in Google’s cache of services, it nevertheless, continues to remain popular among casual bloggers.

Popular blogs on the Blogger platform include the Twitter blog, PostSecret, and most of Google’s own blogs.

Advantages

  1. Blogger has been around longer than the dinosaurs, so all stability issues have pretty much been ironed out.
  2. Monetization is easy thanks to built-in Google AdSense modules.
  3. So easy to get started, even a caveman could do it.
  4. If you’re the curious type, you won’t be able to harm the site by fiddling with the backend code.

Disadvantages

  1. If you’re the curious type, you won’t be able to customize the site by fiddling with the backend code.
  2. Difficult to set up on your own domain name.
  3. Limited themes and design styles.
  4. Little community support in the form of plugins.

Recommended For

  • Casual bloggers
  • Businesses that want a simple bogging solution mainly for internal audiences.

Learn how to create exciting websites with Blogger in this great course!

3. Tumblr

Type: Free

Fresh off its $1.1B acquisition by Yahoo, Tumblr is one of the hottest web properties at the moment. Tumblr pioneered the tumblog or microblogging phenomenon. Instead of writing complete posts, users are encouraged to share individual pictures, infographics, comics, videos and links.

Popular companies with a Tumblr presence include The Atlantic, The Economist and GQ.

Advantages

  1. Publishing on Tumblr is as easy as choosing the post-type (image, video, text, or link) and hitting publish.
  2. Tumblr’s Control Panel makes it extremely easy to manage multiple blogs.
  3. Large variety of stunning themes.
  4. Mobile friendly interface; dedicated mobile apps.
  5. Ability to publish posts on the fly through SMS, email or audio message.

Disadvantages

  1. Highly visual design does not encourage text-heavy blogging.
  2. Lack of comprehensive CDN, caching, or anti-virus plugins.
  3. Emphasis on sharing devalues original content, particular textual content.

Recommended For

  • Casual bloggers who want something between Twitter and WordPress.
  • Businesses trying to expand their brand through visual content.

4. SquareSpace

Type: Paid, starting at $8/month

SquareSpace is a premium blogging platform for professional bloggers, businesses and media outlets. SquareSpace’s biggest feature is its proprietary LayoutEngine technology that allows instant customization through a simple drag-and-drop interface. This platform is usually preferred by small, creative businesses/individuals like Darren Booth and Van Brunt Stillhouse who also want an built-in e-commerce solution.

Advantages

  1. LayoutEngine allows you to customize the site layout to suit your requirements.
  2. Extensive range of visually striking themes.
  3. Dedicated mobile apps for publishing and editing on the go.
  4. Blogs created on other platforms – WordPress, Blogger, etc. – can be imported into SquareSpace with a single click.
  5. Less susceptible to viruses and hacking.

Disadvantages

  1. Expensive, especially for businesses that want an e-Commerce solution (starts at $24/month).
  2. Limited flexibility, owing to lack of a developer community. Unlike WordPress, you depend on SquareSpace for all new features and themes.
  3. Cannot modify the backend code.

Recommended For

  • Creative professionals and businesses that want a cloud-based, no-nonsense blogging solution with extensive customization options.

5. Typepad

Type: Paid, starting at $8.95 per month.

Typepad is one of the oldest premium blogging platforms in existence. Before Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr ate its market share, Typepad was among the most popular domains in the world, housing the blogs of Paris Hilton and Seth Godin.

Advantages

  1. Typepad’s primary advantage is its stability. Since the code is closed-source, it is more difficult to hack than WordPress.
  2. Users can publish via desktop, mobile or tablets via dedicated apps.
  3. Comprehensive built-in analytics tools.
  4. Typepad promotes blogs on its own network, which can lead to additional readers.
  5. Users can customize and build their own themes.

Disadvantages

  1. Expensive, especially when powerful free alternatives exist.
  2. Lacks the features and flexibility of WordPress.
  3. Existing themes look a little dated.

Recommended For

  • Casual bloggers who want something easier and more robust than Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress.

Final Words

The blogging platform you choose will depend on your needs, budget and technical skills. WordPress is the most powerful of the five listed above, but also demands the most in terms of skill and effort. Blogger and Tumblr are easy to use, but do not offer the features and customization options of WordPress. SquareSpace and Typepad are robust, but are a hard sell when alternatives like Tumblr and WordPress exist.

You may also want to read:

Best Logo Design: How to Create a Visual Identity

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Comments

  1. If you are a current TypePad or Movable Type blogger and looking to transition to WordPress, you should check out TP2WP. We convert your TypePad export data into WordPress's own XML standard, allowing you to easily move all of your blog post content including images, multimedia files, comments, authors, permalinks, and more. Check out our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tp2wp.

  2. My recommendation is for WordPress. As wordpress is one of the best opensource CMS platform and also it is very user friendly. And there are many more wordpress plugins are available for various purposes and to make the website functionally work good. Here is one of the sample. http://www.apptha.com/category/extension/Wordpress/Video-Gallery

  3. Awesome. Over 1000 people have signed up for my FREE Blogger course.

  4. Akash Verma says:

    I read your all contain it is very helpful for your service , find some information related <a href="http://www.eworx.in/services/mobile-app-development.html">best mobile apps</a>.

  5. Squarespace…. you can actually inject code all over the template including custom javascript and css. I've done a ton of customization on my trial site there. From zero to almost done in one week. I'm a programmer and it's kinda nice not having to do all of the heavy lifting.

  6. This is my site where you learn about online earn.http://info-online-money.blogspot.comMake money online.

  7. WordPress by far is my favorite—Love the format.

  8. Kathy Andres says:

    I am not a programmer Sean. I want to know if it would be a problem to monetize my blog. Currently I am using Socrates. I am wanting more sleek and modern look for my blog. I am using Google Adsense on my WP/Socrates Blog.

  9. Oh sweetie you couldn't be further from the truth with the "Disadvantages" for Blogger. The Html & CSS are super easy to play with and setting up a domain name couldn't be easier. There are loads of designers who create lovely themes too; Cutest Blog on the Block for one and ours from Plumrose Lane as well ~ so you may want to rethink the portion.

  10. There is one new blogging platform for creating financial blogs http://ggfinances.com/. This will be a good fit if you are creating a financial blog.

  11. Amulya Infotech says:

    All the blogs mentioned here are great. Each one is specific to our requirements and needs. But I could see Tumblr is gonna top the list after yahoo took over and many innovations are brought which suit all types of needs.

  12. All the blogs mentioned here are great. Each one is specific to our requirements and needs. But I could see Tumblr is gonna top the list after yahoo took over and many innovations are brought which suit all types of needs.

  13. My money is on Tumblr! WordPress should be used as a paid hosting option. Here is a FREE Tumblr Power Marketing Course;
    https://www.udemy.com/tumblr-for-business/

  14. I use wordpress for my blog website….<a href="http://techmozilla.com"&gt; TechMozilla</a>. It is very easy to use, plugins can easily be edited.

  15. I use wordpress for my blog website….http://techmozilla.com . It is very easy to use, plugins can easily be edited.

  16. Vincent Leitzig says:

    Well i thought if you got a (Sth).squarespace.com domain it's free?!

  17. Grate post i have used blogger my site is http://www.tecnopark.info

  18. I used WordPress and Disqus for my blogs and clients blogs.

    I like Disqus power plugin for impressive blogs

    Regards

    Ruby
    WordPress Developer
    http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/wordpress

  19. Antonette B Barrett says:

    Than you for the comparison; it is useful to know. I am a light blogger and have been using WordPress since 2010. No problem so far.

  20. "Since the code is closed-source, it is more difficult to hack than WordPress" horseshit. You have *no* idea what you're talking about in this vein. Since it's closed source, security researchers can't inspect and harden the source code. Hackers don't need the code to discover vulnerabilities… windows, adobe acrobat, and MS office are closed source, and some of the most frequently hacked pieces of software on the planet. FreeBSD is open source, and hacked far less frequently because the source code is available for security researchers to fix problems before they pop up, rather than just waiting to see who gets hacked into.

  21. Thanks for sharing such amazing resources.
    http://templendo.com/best-recipe-and-food-wordpress-themes/

  22. Antonio Paez Lagunes says:

    Very informative Kasia, thanks for sharing, this is the first article I read from you, and look forward to the next one..

  23. There's another platform that's becoming more popular. And that's the one you get as part of Weebly's web hosting package. Sure, it's comparatively basic. But it certainly gets the job done and is ideal if you've got a niche website that you want to add a blog to.

  24. There's another platform that's becoming more popular. And that's the one you get as part of Weebly's web hosting package. Sure, it's comparatively basic. But it certainly gets the job done and is ideal if you've got a niche website that you want to add a blog to.

  25. I think Wordpres is the best. I'm on WordPress, tumblr and Blogger. Looking for other FREE blogging networks to expand too. Any suggestions?

  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s true that every blogging platform has certain advantages and also there are some features that differentiate them from each other. When it comes to me, I like WordPress among all other existing platforms. Since, I can easily modify my blog using different themes and plugins. Yesterday, I had installed http://nulledwp.com/kinetico-v5-responsive-wordpress-e-commerce/ on my blog.

  27. Browse descriptions of platforms for the site! A bit academic, but overall pretty informative! I would choose WordPress, though, because he has a huge amount of palginov and extensions! http://djanga.ru/2014/01/normandy-france/ Thanks for the article! __))

  28. Try this out http://tellmeword.com

  29. Hey such as a wonderful and useful information. Thanks to share

  30. A really great list of Best Blogging Platforms, i really liked your list and i really liked your post great effort and good luck!
    The Best Blogging Platforms of 2014

    http://www.afrasiabblog.com/top-5-best-blogging-platforms-2014

  31. You didn't mention udemy, using wordpress-lol I prefer blogger-it is far more customizable than most people realize, and free means my blogs might out live me!-lol
    http://www.widgetsofavalue.com

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