In this chapter we are going to briefly review the Top 15 Best blogging platforms you could choose from for your new blog, this is the part-one of it, we will be reviewing just three blogging giants in this chapter.
Recall that in chapter four we learnt how to choose the best blogging platforms for your new blog, please if you have forgotten any part of it, flash back, it is a prerequisite for this chapter.
15 Best Blogging Platforms for Your new website (free and paid)
Below are the top 15 popular blogging platforms as compiled by blognigeria;
WordPress.org is an open source software which allows you to build your website or blog on your own. It is a self-hosted solution, which means you will need to sign up with a Web host company. I have worked with wordpress.org myself.
Twelve (12) Features of Wordpress.org
a. Wordpress.org is a Downloadable blogging (and website management) software.
b. Wordpress.org is the most popular blogging platform on the internet powering about 25.25% of the internet.
c. Wordpress.org software itself is free (open source software).
d. wordpress.org does not host the software for you, you will have to upload/install it on a web server you already manage. (Hosting guide is a big tutorial for another chapter).
e. Wordpress.org don't give any domain/subdomain name. A custom domain name is something you have to buy separately, around $14 (4000 Naira for .com). Then you can connect your domain name to your hosting account.
f. Wordpress.org requires you to have the knowledge of Host Management, also the ability to backup and restore contents, including the installation guide. Don't worry, I have explained it all in this 30 days blogging lecture.
g. Wordpress.org have over 45,000 free and paid premium themes in its store, you can customize your blog to any level, even to the extent of designing your own theme as in the case of vanguardngr.com.
h. Wordpress.org Offer Plugins and extensions , there are more than 42,000 free plugins in the official directory. Plugins add extra functionality to your blog.
i. Wordpress.org is suitable for Bloggers who want to make money on their blog, those who blog as a hobby, a company blog and a personal blog.
j. Wordpress.org makes it possible to monetize your blog with Google AdSense.
k. WordPress.org gives you control over every aspect of your website.
m. Possibility of enabling member’s registration.
2. Wordpress.com (Online) - Pros and Cons
WordPress.com is a hosted version of WordPress. This means that instead of having to download the software and install it yourself on a host, all you need to do is sign up for an account at WordPress.com, and start blogging in a matter of minutes. (I also have the setup Tutorial included in this book). Personally, I am still working with wordpress.com now.
Eleven (11) Features of Wordpress.com
a. Wordpress.com offers three plans:
1. $0 – great for basic blogging,
2. $99 / year – great for professional blogging.
3. $299 / year – great for advanced business solutions.
b. Wordpress.com offers you free hosting, you get your site hosted for no additional payments.
c. Wordpress.com gives you a free subdomain like myschoolng.wordpress.com. You can add a custom domain as well (doing so on the free plan costs $18 / year; for paid plans a custom domain is included).
d. wordpress.com takes care of everything for you (hosting, backup, cron jobs, etc.), all you have to do is add widgets, do some basic set-up and start posting. (I will give you the set up guide in subsequent chapters).
e. There’s a couple of hundreds of themes to choose from, and if you opt for one of the premium plans, you will also get the opportunity to customize the design you’re using. Overall, WordPress.com keeps things simple and doesn't deliver as many design options as self-hosted WordPress.
Wordpress.com does not offer third party Plugins and extensions. But needed features like sharing, stats, comments, jetpack, mail chimp, latest post, polls and many more have been installed by them.
f. Wordpress.com is good for Hobby bloggers.
g. Wordpress.com is also good for anyone who wants to start a blog with no investment at all.
h. Wordpress.com premium plans are great for Professional bloggers.
i. Wordpress.com does not allow External Advertisement such as Google AdSense, you just have to stick with their ads program called wordads.
j. WordPress.com can delete your blog any time, if they find your actions not in tune with their rules. Though it is very rare.
k. Inability of members to Register.
Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (Comparison)
i. Self-hosted WordPress.ORG blogs allow you to easily monetize your blog with AdSense advertisements or sell your own products. While Wordpress.COM Offers Wordads as the best means to monetize your content apart from affiliate marketing.
ii. Wordpress.com (and any other free hosting blog) will own all of your blog posts and will show their OWN ads for random companies on YOUR blog, That is, If you have not applied for Wordads or is yet to be approved. But that's not the case with Wordpress.ORG.
iii. Free subdomain extension, example, myschoolng.wordpress.com don't look professional, though both of them have the possibilities of connecting your own domain name.
iv. Wordpress.ORG needs a little more of your time, for hosting maintenance, and content backup, whereas in wordpress.com, everything has been taken care of.
v. In wordpress.org, you have to worry about hosting issues and downtimes, but wordpress.com it’s online 2/4/7/31/365.
3. Blogger.com (online) - Pros and Cons
Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms out there. Currently operated by Google, all you need to sign up is your standard Gmail account. Similar to WordPress.com, Blogger takes care of all the technical heavy lifting, allowing you to just focus on creating content. I have worked with blogger.com myself.
Ten (10) Features of Blogger
a. Blogger is free.
b. Blogger takes care of hosting for your blog with no payment.
c. Blogger gives you a subdomain like example.blogspot.com. You can also buy and connect your custom domain too, but you have to acquire it separately.
d. Blogger Requires No Advanced skills to start blogging.
e. Blogger allows you to adjust your website layout in the editor (content/sidebar). Apart from that, there’s not much you can do in terms of the design of your blog. Though you can upload your custom templates.
f. Blogger Has no Plugins and extensions. Though latest post, and some important widget are auto installed.
g. Blogger is good for Hobby bloggers and personal blogs.
h. Blogger is very Easy to setup, you can get a blog started in minutes.
i. Blogger is not that OK for professional bloggers, though linda ikeji uses blogger (even though see have her regrets), don't worry the weaknesses of many popular bloggers will be a discussion of another chapter.
j. Inability of members to register.
I personally treated these three together because they are the most popular ones. See chapter six for the rest of them.