Whether you’re a brand that’s looking to bring in more customers or simply a writer with some big ideas, it’s now easier than ever to share your thoughts with the world. The first step in doing so is to choose the right blogging platform. It’s also the most difficult.
Let’s talk about that. I’d like to go over a few of the best blogging platforms for beginners. Have a look, and see if there’s one that catches your eye.
The important thing to establish about WordPress up-front is that there are actually two distinct flavors of the platform. WordPress.com is best-suited for personal blogs and acts as more of a hosted service with basic functionality. WordPress.org, meanwhile, requires you have an existing hosting plan on which to install the software.
Both versions are free, and WordPress.com offers a number of freemium options that allow access to functionality like plugins.
Speaking of plugins, that’s where the real strength of WordPress comes into play. Thanks to the platform’s extensive plugin ecosystem, WordPress’s flexibility is virtually unbeatable. You can find a plugin to make your website do virtually anything you could dream of – and if such a plugin doesn’t exist, a bit of PHP knowledge allows you to code it yourself.
The trade-off, of course, is that WordPress actually has a steep learning curve if you’re using it for anything other than a simple blog. There’s also the fact that it requires frequent updates (it’s extremely popular and open-source, and plugin vulnerabilities are a fairly common thing), and maintenance.
All in all, the question of whether or not to use WordPress comes down to how much power you need – if you’re just hosting a bog-standard blog, WordPress.org is probably overkill.
Owned and hosted by Google, blogger is a subdomain of blogspot.com. It’s the simplest entry on the list, with no learning curve, a minimal setup process, and quick-and-easy customization. There’s even the option to monetize your content through Google AdSense.
The tradeoff, of course, is that it’s also the most limited of our three options. You’re not going to be able to use Blogger to create anything other than a blog, and it doesn’t offer much flexibility beyond basic customization. Still, if all you want to do is write – and you want to get started as soon as possible – Blogger’s probably the best choice.
Wix is sort of a middle-ground between Blogger and WordPress. On the one hand, it doesn’t have an extensive plugin library or boundless flexibility. On the other, it’s got a much friendlier learning curve, with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop site builder that lets you create stunning websites without requiring any development knowledge.
An interesting thing to note about Wix is that you don’t really have direct authority over your blog. On the one hand, this means you don’t have to worry about stuff like maintenance and support – the Wix staff will handle that for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a bit more control over your content, it might not be the best choice.
Pick Your Poison
So ultimately, which of the three platforms is best? Honestly, it’s all down to preference. There’s really no wrong answer here.
If you’re looking for a simple, free platform that gets you writing as soon as possible, go with Blogger. If you’re interested in a rich, flexible feature-set complete with an out-of-the-box drag-and-drop site builder, choose Wix. And if you want access to an unmatched plugin ecosystem with a ton of flexibility, WordPress.org is the way to go.
One last thing – these are not the only blogging platforms on the web. There are plenty of others. Do a bit of research, and find one that’s right for you.