Reading the signs a couple of years ago it was easy to assume that the art of blogging was set to die a painful death at the hands of social networks like Facebook and Twitter and others. While social has changed how we communicate online, blogging remains a core part of things.
In fact, the truth is that there’s never been a better time to blog. Social networks help build audiences and deliver content to readers, and more established blogs and websites often link to or aggregate smaller sites, sending swarms of viewers to read articles — The Daily Mail aside.
So, whether you’re a blogger returning from a break, seeking a new home or are looking to write online for the first time, here’s our guide to what blogging platforms are out there.
WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org
WordPress has two options: a freemium hosted service that provides .wordpress.com domains — e.g. jonrussell.wordpress.com (but you can still pay to use your own domain) — and includes limited customization. Or the completey free .org version which allows for you to host WordPress on your own servers with much more control, edit themes to your hearts content, hack code and add as many WordPress plugins as you wish.
It is, in simple terms, the daddy of blogging. The platform powers almost 19 percent of the Web and has been downloaded more than 45 million times.
One of the platform’s core strengths is its community of creatives, who have produced thousands of customizations and tweaks allowing WordPress users to add sophisticated and powerful plug-ins (features) to their blogs, or dress it up in a new layout or design.
Pros: Customization, customization, customization!
Cons: Vast array of options can be complicated for less-experienced users — tread carefully.
Verdict: Still the best option out there. WordPress is especially useful for companies or those looking to develop (or have someone else develop) a sophisticated website