Guide to Choosing the Blogging Platform and the Best Platform Recommendation
Are you intending to make a blog? Do you experience difficulties? Indeed the process of making a blog is not as easy as imagined.
Apart from you have to determine the topic of your blog, branding your blog, how do you want to interact with the reader, and whether you also intend to open e-commerce on your blog, there are still many other things you should consider.
But don’t feel intimidated by the things above because blogs can provide some benefits for you personally and your business. Especially in today’s time, you can also make money from a blog.
To start a blog, the first thing you need most is the blogging platform itself. Indeed choosing a blogging platform can be a confusing thing because there are many platforms available out there, such as WordPress and Blogspot.
Well, now you don’t need to worry anymore because we will help you determine which blogging platform is suitable for your needs through this article.
Guide to Choosing a Blogging Platform
As I mentioned above, the first thing you should specify is the place where you will build your blog – or what is often called a blogging platform.
Many people do say that it will be easier if you use WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix. Even though there are still several choices out there that can be your consideration.
Everyone’s blog has a different need. Blog or blogger owners also operate or work in different ways. Everyone has a level of experience, creative processes, and different purposes in building a blog. Therefore, every blogger has different blogging needs between each other.
Each blogging platform is specifically designed for use by different niches. For example, a beginner blogger certainly has different needs from other bloggers who have coding skills. In addition, a blogger that aims to increase the number of email lists certainly has a different need with someone who intends to use his blog to help sell the products he sells on the e-commerce website.
To determine which blogging platform that best suits your needs is needed by research. You must pay attention to several factors such as costs, features, support, ease of use, integration, design, and much more.
Here are 5 blogging platforms that are most widely used by bloggers and website owners.
5 special platforms for blogging
1. WordPress.org (self-hosted)
WordPress.org is a Blogging Software or Content Management System or commonly abbreviated as CMS, and is the most popular blogging platform in the world. It is estimated that WordPress currently controls more than 25 percent of the total webs that are made by humans, meaning, 1 out of 4 websites built with WordPress.
It should be noted that WordPress.org only works as a Content Management System or content management system. The software you get from wordpress.org is a downloadable package, which then you have to upload/install on the web server that you have managed. WordPress.org does not provide hosting and domains so you have to buy both separately.
Self-Hosted WordPress is certainly not a thing that doesn’t need to be learned. Installation and then configure it will correctly take 20 minutes to an hour if you have never done this before. However, after that, using this blogging platform every day to publish your posts is very easy. Plus, you can find an online guide that makes everything easier.
Don’t be afraid if you feel doubtful about the available designs. WordPress.org provides very many themes that you can choose for your website in its official directory. In addition, many theme design shops offer a variety of custom designs.
WordPress.org also offers very plugins and extensions. There are more than 42,000 free plugins in the official WordPress.org directory and you can find more on the internet.
Then who is suitable for using wordpress.org?
- Bloggers who want to make money from their blog.
- Bloggers who want to make blogs as part of their business.
- Professional blogger
- Bloggers who want to have control over all aspects of their blog
Because of the possibility of high WordPress customization, this is the right choice if you want to build a professional blog that will play an important role in your business. With self-hosted WordPress, you are holding full control over your site and its display and performance.
Pro / Cons WordPress.org
- The most popular platform on the web.
- The number of designs available.
- Many plugins are available.
- Great Community – You will always find someone to help you if you face a problem with your blog.
- There is no hosting included
- Little learning curves if you just started.
- Prepare your site to fit your needs perfectly can take several hours.
2. WordPress.com (Cloud SaaS)
WordPress.com is a blogging platform built with WordPress software.
WordPress.com is a version of WordPress that includes hosting. This means that instead of having to download a software and install it yourself, all you need to do is register with the account on wordpress.com, and you can start blogging in minutes.
WordPress.com has three plans:
- $ 0 – Free Plan – Suitable for beginner bloggers
- $ 99 – Suitable for blogger professionals
- $ 299 – Suitable for e-commerce
If you create your blog by using WordPress.com and will get hosting automatically at no extra cost. Regarding the domain, you will get a subdomain. Your blog address will look like example.wordpress.com. If you want to have your domain name, WordPress.com offers these options at an additional cost.
WordPress.com is much easier to use than the WordPress.org version because you get a lot of things that might be difficult to be taken care of (hosting, site setup, basic configuration). You still need to go through the wizard, but it’s relatively simple. Plus, there is an official guide to start using it. After the stage of preparation, using this blogging platform every day to publish your posts easier.
WordPress.com provides hundreds of themes that can be selected, and if you choose one of the premium plans, you can also adjust the design you are using. Overall, wordpress.com makes things simple and does not provide many design choices such as WordPress.org.
Plugins and extensions are popular features such as sharing, statistics, comments, and polls included, but there is no choice to install third-party plugins.
Then, who is suitable for using WordPress.com?
- Blogger hobby.
- Anyone who wants to start a blog without investing at all.
- Professional blogger
Overall, wordpress.com is a simple version of WordPress.org. WordPress.com provides all the most important features but also sets aside most of them. If you only care about blogging and don’t want to experiment with your site’s custom features then WordPress.com will be enough for you.
Pro / counter wordpress.com
- Preparation in a few minutes.
- Hosting and subdomain are included.
- You can use it for free.
- There is no possibility to install a custom theme.
- There is no plugin
- WordPress.com can pull the plug on your blog at any time if they find your actions, not in harmony with their rules.
3. Blogger and Blogspot
Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms out there. At present, this is run by Google, so what you need to enter is your standard Google account. Similarly, for wordpress.com, bloggers handle all technical weight removal, which allows you to only focus on creating content.
There are still many people who often feel confused and have difficulty understanding the differences between bloggers and blog spots. Most likely if you type Blogspot on Google, bloggers will come out in the search results. If you try to access www.blogger.com or www.blogspot.com, you will directly connect to Blogger.com. Maybe it’s because this is you wondering what is the difference between blogger and Blogspot?
Blogger. Blogger is a free blogging platform from Google. Blogger provides comprehensive tools and support for publishing articles and web pages in a domain or website. Therefore, users do not need to be confused about storing content – where maybe most people use File Transfer Protocol (FTP). You also don’t need to worry about making website layout designs, website themes, and other technical matters.
Besides, that bloggers don’t have to be used with Blogspot. You can buy a domain from another place and then use blogger as your hosting. Blogger has the same concept as wordpress.org.
Blogspot. Blogspot is Google’s free domain service provider. The web address that will open your web page is hosted on any server. In this case, you can say that your web page is made by a blogger publication service and is hosted on Blogger.com, and the address that lets you open the page is provided by blogspot.com.
The free domain provided is a sub-domain (example.Blogspot.id). This service is provided to support blogger publication services. So if you will try to open www.blogspot.com you will be directed to Blogger.com because Google understands that you want to create a blog so you should use a publication service (www.blogger.com). But if you use subdomain.blogspot.com it will display the content of your host site.
This is arguably a marketing tactic from Google so that people can use domain services from Blogspot and blogger hosting services.
So if you have chosen Blogspot as a domain provider, the site must be hosted on blogger.com only and cannot be hosted elsewhere.
So it can be concluded that:
- Blogger is a free publication platform from Google, which is like wordpress.org
- Blogspot is a free domain service provider from Google, which is like wordpress.com.
- Blogspot can only be used with bloggers.
- Blogger does not depend on Blogspot.
This one blogging platform is indeed easy to use, although it is rather outdated compared to several modern solutions such as WordPress.com or medium. Setting up your blog is still very easy and fast. There is no special skill needed to start blogging under blogger.
What about the blog design? They only provide standard layout editors (Content / Sidebar). Besides that, there’s not much you can do in terms of your blog’s design. Bloggers also don’t have many plugins available.
Then, who is suitable for using bloggers? Hobby Blogger and personal blogger.
Maybe 10 years ago blogger is the most famous blogging platform, but now bloggers are often considered losing to other blogging platforms. For now, bloggers are most suitable for blogging needs.
Pro / Kontra Blogger and Blogspot
- You can get a blog that starts in less than a minute.
- Simple interface for making content
- Hosting and subdomain are included.
- Limited customization
Squarespace is an easy-to-use website maker and website hosting service.
Squarespace is a solution to build the best all-in-one websites out there. You can use it to launch a blog, business site, e-commerce shop, and much more.
Squarespace has several subscription options starting at $ 8 – $ 24 per month. This includes your hosting and domain.
Squarespace is very easy to use, even though this is the first time you build a website or blog. Squarespace has a clear, intuitive interface. The issuance of new content is also simple, and their custom layout engine allows you to organize your blog content but you like it through drag-and-drop.
What about the design available? You can choose many great and modern designs for your site. Squarespace makes it their goal to always follow trends and still follow what is popular with design.
The most important variety of features are included from the start, besides that there are still external plugins available through other sites.
Squarespace is a suitable blogging platform for:
- Business owners who need great and easy to optimized websites, and blogs to visit.
- Artists, musicians, photographers, creative in general who want blogs and also effectively showcase their work.
- Restaurants, cafes, etc., run company blogs.
- Users without design skills want to be able to build a blog from the beginning themselves.
Overall, Squarespace has the potential to be the best all-in-one solution for anyone who wants to build a website or blog that looks professional. There are no design skills needed, and the whole process is very easy.
However, if what you need is just a blog – without additional items – then there is a more suitable solution out there.
Pro / Cons Squarespace
- Good customization capabilities and easy-to-use interfaces.
- Custom hosting and domain are included.
- There are no design or development skills needed.
- The drag-and-drop system for content development.
- 24/7 support.
- Costs can be expensive from time to time when we add monthly subscription fees.
- Maybe this will sound strange but if you just want to have a simple blog, Squarespace can be a platform that is too complicated for you.
Wix, just like Squarespace is an easy-to-use website maker and website hosting service.
Wix works like Squarespace but has some differences. Wix offers similar features in terms of building sites and blog building capabilities, but the execution-style is slightly different.
To use Wix, you can use a free or paid plan. If you use a free plan you will only get a subdomain, but if you use a paid plan you will also get a domain. You will automatically get hosting, no matter which plans you choose.
Wix is very easy to use when launching a new website. However, you need to go through several additional steps to add a blog module. Nothing is too difficult but still. Overall, Wix gives you a step-by-step wizard to complete the whole process.
For website design, Wix provides more than 500 designs.
For plugins and extensions, Wix provides many important site management features, and besides, you can also expand your site through the Wix App Market.
Simply similar to Squarespace, the Wix platform suitable for:
- Business owners who need great websites and are easily optimized, and blogs to visit
- Users without design skills want to be able to build a blog from the beginning themselves.
- Artists, musicians, photographers, creative in general who want blogs and also showcase their work effectively.
Wix is an interesting alternative to Squarespace, especially for users who don’t have a budget to invest. But keep in mind that the blog module cannot be configured. So if the most you want is a blog, you better use other platforms.
- More than 500 designs can be selected.
- Free plans available
- Drag-and-drop system for content
- Good support, plus an online knowledge base.
- The possibility of limited blog customization, especially compared to other platforms that have been discussed earlier
- Not a blogging platform specifically for blogs
After the discussion above, it can be seen that most blogging platforms on this list have their place on the market. It’s just that you need to choose which one according to your online activities needs. We have also prepared an article that contains blogging tips for you.
Now after you read the pros and cons and compare the features between some of the most popular blogging platforms, are you ready to decide?
Tell us which blogging platform will or you are using in comments or share this post on social media to help other blogger candidates choose a blogging platform that fits their needs.
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