Blogging, as an online activity has witnessed tremendous surge in the past few years and it still holds a bright outlook for the future. Blogging has put power into the hands of online users to publish their skills, expertise and thoughts on the web. Although the rise of social media has seen blogging to fall a bit out of fashion, it still remains an essential part of online communication and manages to engage and educate the online masses. Blogging is still one of the world’s most top online activity and it has been much enticing to the 21 year old to 35 year olds.
While online blogging is still considered to be technically demanding, it doesn’t require technical skills in abundance. The presence of multiple online blogging platforms have made the act an easy and undemanding one. You would be requiring just the basic operating skills and little to no cash to get started on your blogging and online publishing journey.
Here we will be covering the best blogging platforms and comparing WordPress vs Blogspot vs Tumblr vs Quora Vs Medium to let you decide which one is for you.
What are blogging platforms and why you’d need one?
These blogging platforms are in use by over thousands of online brands and Fortune 500 companies. Having your own space on the internet means a lot and it lets you empower the world with your skills, experience and knowledge. You might be needing one if you own a small business, want to build your online presence or to just dive into blogging and put your first few words on the internet for others to read. Whatever your case might be, having a powerful blogging platform handy will cut down your time tinkering with the website, and let you concentrate on what you’re writing.
The rise of Blogging Platforms
Below screenshot sheds some light on the rise of the popularity of online blogging platforms over time. From what is seen below, Tumblr has quickly picked up pace in 2009’s and has never looked back since then, beating WordPress and Blogspot by a fair margin. After Tumblr was sold to Yahoo for $1.1 Billion to Yahoo, the network has seen some ups-and-downs, but still owns a fair share of the market.
This rise in Blogging platforms has been fairly due to the trust and dependence of online readers on their fellow online counterparts with some experience and knowledge on the subject. 81% of customers in US trust the advice and information from blogs and it simply puts forth how valued blogs are among internet users.
Now that we’ve established the impetus of blogging in the internet age, below we will be taking a look at the Top 5 Best Blogging platform to get started in 2015.
WordPress is arguably one of the most popular online blogging platforms, first released in 2003. Powering more than 60 Million online websites, 23.3% of the top 10 Million blogs are powered by WordPress. WordPress.org offers a free script that can be installed on your online server, although most of the online hosting providers come pre-installed with a variant of WordPress. For others who prefer it clean and simple, but with less customization options could opt for WordPress.com. This is a clean and free web-based network. With a plethora of developers and designers readily available for this service, WordPress community is one of the largest ones for your online blogging requirements.
Tons of functionalities come binding with its original installation, although it can be moulded as per personal requirements with the available plugins, themes, widgets and much more. WordPress offers a powerful scalable solution ranging from a single person blog to a major media outlet. WordPress is best suited for both individual bloggers and professional mainstream media publications with hundreds of authors and thousands of blog posts. Everyone including the internet marketer, social media guru, a small business and individuals requiring an online presence can make the most of this free service.
WordPress.org requires you to have some basic understanding of how the web servers and the installation process works. Although you can set one up under 5 minutes, WordPress.org self-hosted blog demands some technical skill requiring uploading of files to a web server using FTP and such. WordPress.com doesn’t require much technical skill from you and you can get started right away with a simple registration.
- Completely customizable
- Scalable (up-to a certain extent)
- Huge community support
- Tons of Plugins and Themes
- Becomes highly complicated once scaled
WordPress is best suited for
- Individual bloggers
- Sophisticated websites
Blogger, formerly Blogpost is Google’s own publishing platform, bought from Pyra Labs back in 2003. One of the earliest blogging platforms, Blogger only requires your Google account credentials to get started on your free online blog. You can start your online blog on Blogger for free, even without a domain name, by hosting on their free (.blogspot.com) domain. The simplicity of the setup and scalability of the network makes Blogspot rank consistently top among online blogging platforms. With easy integration of AdSense into your Blogspot account, you can quickly get started on even generating some side income through your writings.
Blogspot is best suited for individual and lifestlye bloggers, although it should just do well enough for all other online bloggers. Many authors make use of Blogspot for their online presence and it is justifiable. This platform requires no previous coding knowledge and their drag-and-drop functionality lets you to customize your blog the way you feel, without messing with the code. Blogspot blogs are mainly focused for individuals and they can’t be treated as a business entities, meaning you can’t sell or resell them legally on the web.
Although a little popular in this era, it is still preferred by users for its hardwired cool features of Google and its products like AdSense and Analytics.
- Easy to get started
- Plain interface
- Hardwired with Google AdSense and Analytics
- Not suited for full-fledged websites
- Everything owned by Google
- Can’t sell or resell the blog
Blogspot is best suited for
- Individual bloggers
- First time online publishers
Recently sold by David Karp to Yahoo in a $1.1 Billion deal, Tumblr is a widely popular online blogging platform that appeals to the younger masses. Powering over 220 Million blogs and over 100 Billion blog posts, Tumblr takes less than a minute to let you get started on your online blogging journey. Tumblr is a fusion between a full-fledged blog and Twitter. Tumblr is more about micro-blogging, the blogging of short form and frequent updates, multiple times in a day.
Tumblr is well suited to online users who aren’t looking for a long-term commitment into the time-consuming blogging industry. Tumblr is widely popular among the youth and they are the ones this network is best suited for. Tumblr is a must have weapon in your blogging arsenal, if you cater to the younger generations. Combined with notes and favorites, Tumblr is a powerful micro-blogging platform that will help you get started on one within a few minutes. With a strong social following and a decent mobile app to accompany it, Tumblr is a great free tool to get started on micro-blogging and see for yourselves if blogging is for you.
- Micro-blogging fusion of Twitter and full-fledged blog
- Simple interface and easy to get started
- Owned by Yahoo, ads might be on their way
- Not good for long article blogging
Tumblr is best suited for
- Young bloggers
- Image and short-text centered writers or bloggers.
Medium is a fairly new blogging platform, started in 2012 by Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Medium is a social journalism platform that doesn’t offer much customizations. The platform provides a full-featured WYSIWYG text editor to write your content and post it online. Posts can also be up-voted or Favorited just like in Digg and Reddit. Cleanliness and minimalism are widely appreciated on the web these days and less clutter and more readable content is what Blogs are quickly morphing into to catch the attention of their readers. Medium is based on just all of those features, enabling your readers to read your content on their beautiful minimalistic platform.
The community interactions, in-built analytics, great SEO and beautiful layout make Medium one of the most powerful online blogging platforms for you to make use of in 2015. Its lack of customization is the only drawback, rest all place this network among the top blogging platforms. Medium is a great platform for individual bloggers who want to get their content read by as many people as possible. With support for long form articles, you can publish your content at Medium without any painful pop-ups, widgets and advertisements.
You would be needing no technical skills to get started on Medium and the registration will get you quickly to your editor for submitting a new post. If you are one of those bloggers who doesn’t prefer distractions to their readers, Medium is a great platform to try out your online blogging skills before self-hosting one.
- Clean and minimalistic interface
- Easy-to-read and Write layout
- Great social community
- Potentially very large audience
- No customizations
- Poor content discovery feature
Medium is best suited for
- As a secondary blog for Writers
- Freelance writers and authors
- Industry professionals
Quora is one of the widely popular question and answer website and it had started online user blogs back in January 2012. Quora is a popular website among the industry professionals and knowledgeable and experienced people. This network is best suited for the above mentioned people, who already possess some amount of authority in their respective industry. The average Quora writer witnesses over 30,000 monthly views and this is a great platform to establish and online audience using your expertise and authority. With over 300,000 topics to choose from, you can get started on any one of your choice and make it discover-able by using tags.
Quora has a string of interesting questions and answers and its vaguely qualified users have answers to all sort of your questions. Quora’s blogging platform does not allow much customizations, so it isn’t entirely your space on the web. You can use this network primarily for establishing or expanding your online presence and reach. Well suited as a secondary blog, Quora is a free blogging platform mainly useful for influencers to increase their online presence.
- Strong and active community
- Interesting content
- Lack of customization
- Not suited for personal blogging
Quora as a blogging platform is best suited for
- Industry professionals
- People with some established authority
- As a secondary blog for influencers
Here we come to the end of a detailed comparison of best blogging platforms in 2016. What do you make of these platforms? Do leave your comments below if any of your favorite platforms is left out.