Which Blogging Platform is Right for You?
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by Nubia Mejia of Nubia’s Nonsense

 

When you start blogging it’s good to ask yourself: What is my goal going to be with this blog? Am I blogging for fun or am I blogging for a potential future career? It’s OK not to know. However, I believe that knowing or at least pondering these questions is a perk.  Picking a blogging platform could be tricky. The majority of fashion blogs I’ve seen on the web are using either Blogger, WordPress or Tumblr. Each of these platforms have there up’s and down’s.

 

Within the last week both Tumblr and Blogger have crashed. Twitter and Facebook went viral and I was reading about it everywhere! I, myself have a blog through the blogger platform and wasn’t very pleased. A lot of blogger members lost drafted post that, unfortunately, they didn’t back up. Some people were so upset by the situation that they’re looking into self hosted sites, while others didn’t take it as seriously and have decided to stay put.

 

I am going to layout a few basic pro’s and con’s about the three platforms. I’m not going to get too in depth because I might go on forever. You decide what works best for you.

 

Blogger

Pros:

  • It is amazingly easy to work with if you’re starting out a blog. Easy dashboard and lays everything out.
  • The site is owned by google so there’s a lot of features to play with. Google Reader, Google Friend Connect and Google Adsense are all good ways to promote your page. But remember, you might want to ask yourself… Are Affiliate Ads Worthwhile?
  • Also, because it is owned by Google the SEO is great. Many believe you don’t have to work as hard on it like with other platforms.

 

Cons:

  • Blogger can delete your blog whenever they decide which I find horrifying! If they don’t like your content they can simply consider it spam and it’s gone without any warning.
  • You can’t customize your themes very much. It’s quite limited.
  • You must have a Gmail account to sign up. If you don’t well…. You can’t use blogger.

 

WordPress.org

Pros:

  • Not waking up one day and going “ahhh where is my blog?!” You have full ownership.
  • Dashboard is easy to maneuver, and widgets are easily integrated in the WordPress Themes.
  • Plugins are big on WordPress. There’s a large variety and you can alter them to help you build a powerful site. WordPress is opensource, so it’s constantly being worked on by a community of enthusiasts.

Cons:

  • While the platform itslef is free,  hosting will cost you. However, If you’re very serious and don’t want to compromise losing your work, it’s worth it.
  • You might have to familiarize yourself with HTML, CSS, maybe even a little bit of PHP, or get someone who knows it.
  • Moving an already existing blog can get a bit messy. It is possible, but a bit difficult. I would highly recommend researching carefully to not loose any material.

 

Tumblr

Pros:

  • A large variety of themes to choose from. Nice clean lay-outs that take seconds . Like Blogger, Tumblr is amazingly easy to use.
  • A lot of sharing and re-blogging going around.
  • Tumblr has a very nice I phone app. It allows you to upload photos and sound very quickly. If you can create good content, this allows you to share fast and effectively.

 

Cons:

  • A lot of re-blogging going around. I listed this as a con as well because Tumblr is so popular for reblogging that I find it hard to find original content sometimes.
  • Hard to build a community if you don’t have a lot of friends on the site.
  • You don’t have as much control over plugins and themes as you would with a site like WordPress.

 

What template do you use? Why would you recommend it to some one else? They all have up’s and down’s. I wish we could pick and choose what we liked from each and make our own mega-platforms. Basically, I think if you’re just starting a blog and you’re looking for something fast and easy to manage, Blogger or Tumblr might be for you. WordPress is a bit more complicated but I believe over all it has more of what I’m looking for personally.

 

If you have any of your own pro’s and con’s you’d like to add, feel free. What I can honestly say is that I’m completely smitten by blogging and have been doing it for sometime now. It’s become a part of my life I give priority to. After the Blogger crash last week and being that Tumblr has a mini web fame for crashing, I’ve decided to move to WordPress and have a self hosted site. I don’t like the thought of any one but myself having the ability to do anything with my content and that’s, that!

 

Image by esra dandin

 


Comments

  1. Don’t forget about WordPress.com, which has all the pros of Wordress.org, but none of the hosting fees! It gives you a bit of wiggle room, like blogger does, in that you can decide later if you want to self host…then the transition’s a bit easier I hear!

  2. I’m a WordPress gal. I can’t officially compare it to anything else because it’s the only platform I’ve ever used. But I’m happy. And that’s a good thing.

    Another pro for WordPress – the help people are amazing! They get back to me quickly and with easy to understand instructions and advice.
    Jordana

  3. Julie says:

    I have a self-hosted WordPress site. I really do love it and have made a few themes for myself and some clients. I really like all the things you can do with it and how you can use it for e-commerce, portfolio and a million things besides blogging.

    As for other platforms, I’ve used WordPress.com (which is even more limited than blogging for customizing), Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous (new and not very know but has beautiful themes like Tumblr and it’s app is just amazing), Drupal (way too much hassle for a blog), and Concrete5 (the blogging part is a bit unstable and not easy to manage).

    The ones I prefer are self-hosted WordPress, Tumblr and Posterous.

    I think that the best platform is the one that you can get familiar with, the one you feel comfortable in and that you like the best. They all have pros and cons and it’s up to everyone to research before deciding on one.

    No matter what platform you choose, there will always be a learning curve and things that you will have to smooth out before your blog is just like you want it to be.

  4. Tineey says:

    I agree with Ashe. WordPress.com can be a great starter platform. I use Tumblr and although it is easy to post, I have to work extra hard to make up for capabilities other blogs have. Also, OnSugar is great too!

  5. Karen M. says:

    I use Word Press and have been very happy with it. It’s easy to learn and use, very SEO friendly and there is a huge support organization behind both WordPress.org and WordPress.com so it’s easy to find answers when you have questions.
    And honestly, hosting is not that expensive – about $100 for a year.

  6. Fantastically timed post for me – I’ve recently held a poll both on here and on my blog using Survey Money to see which people prefer as I’m considering the switch to WordPress from Blogger!

    My poll results? On here 66% of people said stick with Blogger. On my blog 66% of people said switch to WordPress! Gah!

  7. Rocquelle says:

    I was completely taken aback by Blogger’s crash last week; that was the first time I’d ever had a problem. Nonetheless, I’ve learned so much since that time, and have too decided to make the transition to a self-hosted WordPress blog, in the next month or so.

    I used to have a Blogger blog, using a yahoo email address, so I didn’t realize that changed.

    Great and informative article!

  8. I think the good thing about blogger is the bad thing … it is easy to use and wordpress doesn’t come naturally to me.

    I would love to switch to wordpress but am really intimidated by the process.

    You can own your blogger for a small fee and drop the blopspot.com, just using the .com.

    Not sure if those blogs were crashed too.

  9. Samantha says:

    Ooof… I think the con for Tumblr “Hard to build a community if you don’t have a lot of friends on the site” is true for any blogging platform. I actually feel like Tumblr has more of a community feel than any of the other blogging platforms, but I’m speaking from a non-fashion-community perspective. It’s definitely the place to go for community if you’re in any fandom, that’s for sure, but I think being a fashion blogger on Tumblr is very… old boys’ club (especially if you’re a personal style blogger – comments are a nightmare).

    Personally I think a much, much bigger con of Tumblr is that it crashes CONSTANTLY (and sends the #tumblr hashtag on Twitter into a flurry). And I mean constantly.

    My fourteen cents.

  10. Mordrian says:

    I had no idea what so ever that Blogger could just delete your blog! That horrible, all those people’s hard labor and love, just deleted. Does anyone have any more info on that? *im scared now*

  11. Daniel Dunt says:

    I personally self-host my blog using Yola- it has an easy drag & drop design feature which is fantastic for me as you can make a blog look fantastic without being a computer wizz and also, Yola never seems to crash and even if it does, they have fantastic support staff which sort everything out within an hour or so! – Daniel Dunt

  12. Eli says:

    I may be alone but feel this has a tinge of rag on blogger time. I’m going to defend it because out of the five years I have used it, this last problem has been the only major snafu. I had Disqus comments enabled so I didn’t lose the ability to get comments.

    They’ve recently enabled hundreds more possibilities in their layouts. Even before then when it wasn’t I still had a layout template that was easy to copy and paste right over.

    As for not having a gmail to sign up for blogger, you have to create a login just the same way to get into wordpress!

    I really like blogger, and they’re not paying me to say any of this. What’s really cool is that you can use http://www.draft.blogger.com to try out new features that aren’t available on the regular blogger sometimes. It’s like a test lab.

  13. Eli says:

    for some reason that link does not work

    http://draft.blogger.com/home

  14. I want to add that as a blog reader I dislike blogger because of the comment set up. I’ve noticed that wordpress blogs have an easier comment form.

    I’ve had my blog self hosted on wordpress.org since the beginning and I have to say it’s been pretty great. If you’re intimidated by the system I suggest getting a book to help you through. It is managable, but confusing at times.

  15. Cate Young says:

    i’ve been using blogger for 2 years, and last week was the ONLY time i’ve EVER had a problem. everyone is always down on blogger but i’m sticking with it. i love it honestly. i’ve used wordpress for other sites i write for, and i find the interface confusing and weird. totally down for blogger.

  16. HauteWorld says:

    I’m on blogger and from what I can tell, all third-party hosted platforms, whether it’s blogger, wordpress.com, typepad or tumblr, suffer from the same disadvantages. All of them can shut down your blog if they find the content objectionable and any platform (even self-hosted) can just collapse, the way blogger’s did last week. The only differences are minor (i.e. wordpress.com not allowing affiliate ads etc.). I believe wordpress.com actually has better SEO than blogger.

    If I did move, like most, I’d choose a self-hosted platform, but at the moment, I don’t have the time nor dedication to commit to such a transition. I am happy with blogger, aside from that meltdown, but I would like the autonomy of a self-hosted blog. I’ll say that if you are starting a blog and know you will keep blogging for a while – choose wordpress.org from the start. Moving a blog is the biggest hassle.

  17. Malanb says:

    I was thinking about moving all my blogs to wordpress after the big blogger fiasco but moving my blog from blogger to wordpress will be a bit too much for me right now. Maybe in the future I will make the move but right now I going to stick by Blogger.

  18. Ng Lay Peng says:

    I’m with onsugar for this one! Call me dumb if you might, but I couldn’t figure out blogger. I love wordpress but there’s limited customization if you’re just an ordinary user, not good for putting on ads. I love Tumblr because there’s such a strong community over there and it feels like family. That’s where I keep my personal blogs.

    However, onsugar is a great budding blogging platform for fashion bloggers. In the 6 months I’ve been using the blog, I’ve been featured more than 3 times and mentioned a couple of times in the main page of the blog, helping to generate traffic to the blog. Another thing I love about it is the free control on the theme of the blog. Full customization, no limits’ the word. Although I don’t use it very much, they offer free access to Getty photos. For US users, there’s adsense by shopstyle which I’ve not tried it out because I’m from Singapore.

    The cons of onsugar is that it doesn’t back up your post as you’re writing. This was one of the features that I loved best about WordPress. It sucks BIG TIME when you’re done with the post, you lost your internet connection and then BOOM! The entirety of the post is gone! If the blogging interface is as awesome as wordpress, then it will be double double wow!

  19. Ng Lay Peng says:

    I’m with onsugar for this one! Call me dumb if you might, but I couldn’t figure out blogger. I love wordpress but there’s limited customization if you’re just an ordinary user, not good for putting on ads. I love Tumblr because there’s such a strong community over there and it feels like family. That’s where I keep my personal blogs.

    However, onsugar is a great budding blogging platform for fashion bloggers. In the 6 months I’ve been using the blog, I’ve been featured more than 3 times and mentioned a couple of times in the main page of the blog, helping to generate traffic to the blog. Another thing I love about it is the free control on the theme of the blog. Full customization, no limits’ the word. Tons of widgets for use too! Although I don’t use it very much, they offer free access to Getty photos. For US users, there’s adsense by shopstyle which I’ve not tried it out because I’m from Singapore.

    The cons of onsugar is that it doesn’t back up your post as you’re writing. This was one of the features that I loved best about WordPress. It sucks BIG TIME when you’re done with the post, you lost your internet connection and then BOOM! The entirety of the post is gone! If the blogging interface is as awesome as wordpress, then it will be double double wow!

  20. I am using Squarespace.com and I couldn’t be happier. I have previously worked with all of the above mentioned platforms and although Squarespace costs a slight penny handful a month, it is still worth it to me.

    Check it out! The editing platform is unreal.

  21. Mishka says:

    WordPress forever. ;)

  22. Erin says:

    As far as the blogspot “cons” go…It is a very scary thought to think of having your blog deleted, but I wonder how often this happens to active blogs. Also, you can always just save your posts to your own storage. Also, making a gmail account takes about 10 seconds, so it’s not that big of a hassle. Also, the layouts are very customizable, as there is an option to create your own design using html.

  23. I moved my blog from blogger to wordpress.org a few months back, and I am so happy I did. It is like the Jaguar of blogging lol. I would recommend doing the same to anyone who want to feel totally safe and in control with their platform. xx Anika

  24. elia says:

    Good post, but there’s something wrong. You don’t need a Gmail account to sign up in blogger, I don’t have one but I hosted my blog there.

  25. Yen says:

    I decided to go with blogger because of google. However, I’m always afraid that my post will be lost someday. By the way, is there anyone who know who can comment on blogger?(Eg. google account, website url….)

  26. Stevia says:

    my friends have been asking me to make a tumblr considering I take so many pics
    but I couldn’t agree more about the re-blogging
    i find it rather annoying!
    that’s why I only stick to blogger
    I’ve been using blogger since high school and I’m quite satisfied ;)

  27. April says:

    I use tumblr for my Fashion Blog. I love using Tumblr but the only down side is people don’t understand its just not another fashion tumblr where its just posting pictures. I actually write posts on Fashion and Beauty advice, I do interviews with people in the Fashion Industry, and more. But overall, I love using Tumblr.

  28. Just a point re blogger you can also sign up to it with a yahoo account – thats what I do. I agree totally blogger is easy and friendly to start you off, but I am on the move to WP now my blog is too valuable to me to risk it vanishing and there have been a lot of problems with blogger lately too. I have to admit I do not find WP as friendly but I feel I have no choice but to make the move which is a shame as I have always championed blogger – I feel like it cheated on me!

  29. Verena says:

    I’ve been using WordPress from the get-go and am happy with my decision. While I’ve only been blogging for a few months, I had used it for a quick and easy portfolio website before (I’m a stylist). The reason why I stuck with WP for blogging was (apart from me already having the account) that it seemed ‘cleaner’ than Blogger. Also, if blogging goes somewhat well for me, I plan on merging my website and my blog. Looks like it should be fairly straight forward to get a WP.com blog onto WP.org and just add the rest of my content around it via their content management system. At the end of the day, WP just seemed more professional to me.

  30. Robyn says:

    That thing about Blogger is seriously scary I had no idea that they do that. Got me thinking to move my blog to wordpress, I’ve had a wordpress before it’s pretty simple. As for tumblr, I wouldn’t recommended it if your really serious about blogging, it’s something more for fun.

  31. I’m always and forever a WordPress girl.

  32. Amanda Machell says:

    I have to say I love blogger. In the future I might possibly change to wordpress but the blogger dashboard is so amazingly easy and sewn into my mind now, & I feel like it would be difficult for me to love/ adapt to anything else. However, I was completely unaware of them being able to delete without any notice. My heart sank a bit when I read that!

    -Amanda Machell
    http://pristinemachine.blogspot.com

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