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It really can be overwhelming to decide and, having been a web designer for many years, I’ve seen first hand the problems with bloggers choosing the wrong platform. I’d often get contacted to move a blog from a hosted platform onto a CMS (content management service) – always WordPress.org.
I have to admit that I’m biased in favor of WordPress.org, but I’m not alone. Over 32% of all online webistes currently use WordPress.org!
I found a really interesting article written by Shaumik Daityari over at Codeinwp that will help to answer some questions you may have to help you decide what platform will work best for you.
To describe the difference between blog publishing services and CMS (content management systems), Daityari says:
- Blog publishing services — a blog publishing service is a platform where you can sign up and create your blog; you do not need a server and can use an existing sub domain of the platform
- Content management systems (CMS) — a CMS is software that’s hosted on a server, and also needs to be hooked up to a domain name; then, you can take advantage of the CMS’s abilities and edit your blog posts and pages similarly to how you’d do it with Google Docs – via a nice UI
In terms of complexity, blog publishing services are easiest to use, but have a limited ability to customize features. If you plan to create a blog for free, you should choose one of them.
With a CMS, the possibilities are limitless — but it comes at a cost of maintaining a server and purchasing a domain.
Once you understand the difference between the two platforms, it can become a little easier to choose.
Here’s the short summary of the platforms:
- WordPress.org – self-hosted WordPress – the most popular blogging platform of them all and an awesome option for people who want to be in full control of their website/blog. My favorite platform by FAR, and the one I use for myself and recommend for clients.
- Blogger – and old-school blogging platform for those that want to just get a basic blog going. I think this was the first one I ever used – Waaay back when…lol, maybe 2003?
- Medium – a hip new web publishing platform that gives you an audience to read your work, but doesn’t allow you to do much branding or customization with your blog. I like to use this site to post articles to bring traffic BACK to my site, rather than use it as a primary publishing site.
- WordPress.com – currently the best option for those who want to start a blog for free, yet for a non-commercial purpose. This is my least favorite, as it restricts any kind of monetization and, for me, I can’t imagine my websites not paying their own way.
- Wix – an advanced website builder – likely a good option for those who need more than just a blog. This platform can be a little tricky if you ever decide to switch your blog to wordpress.org.
- Ghost – a cutting-edge blogging platform that aims to provide a clear user interface and superb publishing experience; still not a very popular one among the best blogging platforms. I’m going to check this one out, as I hadn’t heard about it before.
To get the whole, in depth story on each of these platforms, plus dashboard screenshots, read it all at CodeinWP
Also, if you’re ready to start your blog, now is a great time to get all your online branding consistent. Check out my Biz Brand Board tutorial for fonts, color palette, background selections.