Whether you have been blogging for years or you're just getting started, it makes sense to compare your options. There are dozens of blogging platforms worthy of your consideration. The one that you choose will depend on your preferences and what you want to accomplish. If you feel that you're stuck in WordPress Land, use this guide to decide whether it makes sense for you to stay there or move to another platform.
Why People Get Stuck in WordPress Land
Image via Flickr by theanthonyryan
Before exploring other platforms, let's look at WordPress to see why so many people choose it. Currently, WordPress says that over 62.6 million sites use their platform. A map on the company's website shows WordPress activity all over North America and Europe with plenty of activity in South America, Asia, and Australia. Other than the occasional comment or like, few people in Africa seem to care one bit for WordPress.
There's a good reason that so many people use WordPress: it's a great platform. It offers:
- Flexible themes
- Social networking tools
- Traffic analytics
- Blog platforms for mobile devices
- A dashboard in more than 50 languages
- Tons of WordPress plugins help you take control of your content and analytics
Clearly, this option has plenty of great features to offer. Now let's look elsewhere to see what the online blogging competition does better (and, in some cases) not nearly as well.
Blogger Offers Similar Features With More Money-Making Potential
Blogger, a platform run by Google, has many similar features as WordPress. When you create a blog with Blogger you get:
- Flexible themes
- Plenty of traffic analytics tools
- Easy-to-use controls, even for people who don't have much Web design experience
OK, so they have a lot in common. But where do they differ?
Many people choose Blogger because it has more money-making potential than WordPress.org. Since Google owns Blogger, it's easy to implement Google AdSense to start making money from your site. WordPress.com also uses ads, but it keeps the money for itself. With Blogger, you get to keep a portion. That's great for anyone who wants to start a side-career in blogging.
Some people find that they can integrate video, slideshows, and other types of media into Blogger posts. WordPress is actually pretty flexible about this, but it takes a lot of tinkering before you get the hang of it. With Blogger, you can put your media anywhere on the page without any problems. That's a big advantage considering that readers like blogs with video content.
Joomla Works Great for Big Websites, If You're Experienced
Image via Flickr by fsse8info
Compared to WordPress, hardly anyone uses Joomla. Still, Web-users visit approximately 394 million Joomla pages a month. That makes it a pretty serious contender worthy of consideration.
The thing is that Joomla will never become the most popular blog platform. WordPress and Blogger will always attract more people because they have the smallest learning curves. You can learn to use WordPress and Blogger fairly well within an hour. Joomla, however, asks for more of your time.
If you already have plenty of experience working with computers, Web content, and intensive media, then you should consider learning how to use Joomla.
Many designers who use WordPress for basic blogs turn to Joomla when they want to make larger sites with games, e-commerce functions, and intranet management features. (eBay currently uses Joomla to manage an intranet used by more than 16,000 employees.
If you know your way around a computer and you want to create a unique website that stands out from everything else you see online, this is a good option. If you just want a simple blog, then you probably don't need to spend your time on Joomla. Still, it's a great resource that designers should experience. It might not apply to you now, but next year you could find that your expectations urge you to venture outside of WordPress Land.
Joomla is a good place to start experimenting.
Tumblr Lets You Get to the Point and Get Out Fast
Not everyone wants to publish blog posts that run on for thousands of words. Some people don't even want to write posts with more than 100 words.
Those people will love Tumblr.
In some ways, Tumblr is more like Twitter than WordPress. It focuses on microblogging, which doesn't have to include words at all. You could simply post a picture, video, or other media format.
It's quick, it's easy, and it's versatile… But that doesn't mean it's overly limited.
Tumblr actually has some pretty cool features that make it look impressive next to other platforms.
First off, Tumblr doesn't post ads on your blog. If something is one your blog, it's there because you put it there. That lets you keep a clutter-free experience. Despite this, Tumblr is free. You don't have to pay anything to use it.
Secondly, Tumblr has a great collaboration feature. If you have a Tumblr account, you can allow other people to post content to your blog without any micro-managing. WordPress purposefully doesn't work this way. Like most content management systems, it gives one person control to publish content. Writers can submit posts, but they won't get published into the admin approves them. With Tumblr, anything goes. That makes it fun for people who aren't trying to keep a reputation or make money from their blogs.
Tumblr also gives you interesting ways to update your blog. Some options include:
- Publishing audio posts that you make with your windows phone
- Publishing posts via email
- Publishing posts via text messages
You can even set Tumblr to instantly share everything tag online. That's a comprehensive way for you to keep track of things that interest you and letting the rest of the world get a look inside your head.
Chances are that WordPress will dominate the blogging industry for several years. These three alternatives, however, have features worth looking at. What are some features that you like about Tumblr, Blogger, and Joomla? Could they ever pull you away from WordPress?