Ready to start blogging? Here is a breakdown of some of the advantages and disadvantages to the most popular blogging platforms.
A popular choice, Blogger is easy to use and get started with. It’s also 100% free. Blogger is owned by Google and thus the incorporation of Adsense is natural. Although it has its advantages, most business blogs would be much more suited for WordPress or Typepad. Blogger is a good choice for personal blogging.
Unfortunately LiveJournal hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s not very useful outside of personal blogging. It has the benefit of having a built in social network, but isn’t a platform for serious blogging. I’d stay far away unless your aim is to blog just for fun.
Another popular choice, Movable Type has built a reputation as a noteworthy competitor in the blogging space. Moveable Type offers both free and enterprise level solutions. Barack Obama’s site is built around Movable Type and is a prime example of what’s possible using their format.
Posterous has a simple mission: to have the shortest and most pain free set up and the easiest updating process of any blogging platform. For those who don’t want to code or bother with a time consuming set up process, it’s an option worth considering,
Squarespace is a top notch platform that starts at $12 a month. Squarespace blogs are professional looking and are a nice option for those who like the functionality of a blog, but the look of a traditional website. Squarespace has a large selection of themes, many of which will integrate social networking sites.
Although classified as a micro blogging platform, Tumblr can be a great choice for a blog. If you’re thinking about using Tumblr, I suggest proceeding with caution. Tumblr is very easy to set up, but may prove difficult to get the design exactly how you want it. Some of the free themes look amazing, but a lot of them are very limited. I use Tumblr for my personal blog and had to spend a lot of time tweaking it to get it just right. Tumblr is also a great option for those in creative business ventures such as photographers, clothing designers, illustrators, and musicians.
If done properly, a Typepad blog can look as professional as any other on this list. One should look no further than Seth Godin or Share Some Candy for proof. Typepad blogs also do well in search engines. Typepad offers a free trial and then has a monthly cost depending upon how many blogs you want to use.
Sparkplug Digital recommends WordPress more often than any other blogging platform. WordPress blogs look professional and have become the industry standard for blogging. A WordPress.com blog is free and easy to set up. A WordPress.org blog requires that the user provide hosting. Out of the box, a WordPress blog leaves much to be desired, but thankfully there has a large collection of themes to choose from. Some are easy to use once installed and others take some basic html skill to get going. There’s a large selection of free themes, but the best ones cost $20-$100. Thesis and Headway are two themes that I use regularly and highly recommend.