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Is WordPress The Best Blogging Platform?

The number of WordPress-powered websites is still growing; there has been a 1.5% growth from January 2017 to January 2018. The signs are that this trend will not change shortly, which shows that WordPress is a reliable and robust content management system (CMS).

WordPress is a CMS that should be on your list. It’s secure, free, reliable, and multipurpose. WordPress can power any type of site; it’s an excellent platform for anything from simple blogs to complex e-commerce sites. The multitude of themes and plugins available are clear evidence that WordPress is here to stay, and its leading position is in no danger.

But is WordPress really so efficient and versatile that it can satisfy any purpose? Aren’t there competitors that are better? These are common questions among our team, and we decided to share our thoughts with you. In this post, we will feature the pros and cons of the best blogging platforms.

We are in love with WordPress, and perhaps our opinions are biased, but we tried our best to stay objective as we compared WordPress vs Blogger, WordPress vs Squarespace and WooCommerce vs Shopify.

Please let us know if this kind of review is useful for you. We will review WordPress vs other platforms in the future if you are interested. So add your opinion in the comment area below.

1. WordPress.org

wordpress.org website

For simplicity purposes, many people call WordPress.org simply ‘WordPress’. It’s the place where you download the WordPress core that powers almost 20% of all websites. The initial purpose of WordPress was to streamline the addition of new content online. In plain English, the WordPress CMS was focused on blogging. Is it still a good platform for blogging? Let’s weigh up the pros and cons!

Pros

Many Successful Stories

Tonnes of famous brands use the WordPress CMS for their blogs. It looks like this solution is working for them, and it can work for you too! Clearly, seeing that WordPress works for highly visited blogs is a huge pro. People who want to launch a blog have many working examples proving that WordPress satisfies the highest standards.

Themes and Plugins

You would have to spend days (I am not kidding) to preview each theme on ThemeForest and even more days to test the plugins from the WordPress repository. There are literally tens of thousands of themes and plugins to choose from. Certainly, there are themes and plugins for any type of project, budget, requirement, or potential customer.

Free, Secure, and User-Friendly

WordPress is open-source, so you can use it freely and bring your own contributions to make it even better. Despite some negative comments, WordPress is a secure platform, and developers across the globe constantly work to strengthen it. It’s true that other competitors may have simpler interfaces, but WordPress is a handy solution even for less-trained users. These three traits are capital in choosing the best blogging platform for you.

Extensive Support and Helpful Resources

By far, WordPress is the platform with the most extensive support and the largest community. There are many resources from which to learn more about WordPress and how to manage your blog. You can even look through our archives if you want to get a grasp on WordPress. The following posts are a must-read:

Cons

Periodic Maintenance

Unfortunately, sites running on WordPress need periodic maintenance. You have to update the WordPress core, themes, and plugins to avoid security breaches. Also, some plugins and themes aren’t compatible with one another or slow down the site’s loading speed. Webmasters must check their sites periodically or hire WordPress support to do it for them.

A WordPress Site Isn’t Free

Many people believe that owning a site is free because WordPress is free, which is wrong. You need to pay for a domain name and a host to store your site. The costs vary from a few pounds to hundreds per month. WordPress isn’t a working solution for a personal blog with no budget.

Verdict

It’s evident that the pros outweigh the cons. WordPress is a Swiss Army knife, but its main blade is blogging. In conclusion, you can’t go wrong to state that WordPress is the best blogging platform.

2. WordPress.com

wordpress.com website

Many people don’t pay attention to the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. There is a difference between them; check out this article to learn more.

WordPress.com is a reliable alternative and a serious contender to the title of the best blogging platform.

Pros

Free and Secure Site

Creating a blog on WordPress.com is a breeze. Sign up, configure, and customise the site, and it’s up and running in just a few minutes. You don’t have to pay for your site even though WordPress.com’s experts monitor the site’s health and security. There is also no need to consider updating the WordPress core, themes, and plugins and no need to take care of backups. All these are done for free!

Perfect for Your Passion

WordPress.com is the best choice for people who don’t want to make money from blogging. Go for WordPress.com if your passion is getting in touch with like-minded people. The time required for site maintenance is minimal, and you can focus your energy and resources on content (aka, your passion).

Many bloggers started their blogs just for fun, and over time, this activity turned into a profitable business. WordPress.com allows you to scale up your business—either chose a superior account type or move the site to WordPress.org.

Cons

Adverts on Your Site

Adverts placed on your site by WordPress.com aren’t a problem if you blog just for fun. But you will ruin your chances of running a profitable business by displaying adverts placed automatically by WordPress.com. Besides this issue, your site will display a “powered by WordPress.com” link that is removed for Business Plan owners only. Think twice before choosing WordPress.com, and carefully check the features of each pricing plan.

Limited Customisation Options

Your blog needs a unique design to differentiate it from the rest, and you do that with themes and plugins. Except for the Business Plan (the most expensive), you aren’t allowed to install third party themes and plugins. It’s a huge drawback that considerably limits your possibilities of creating an original blog.

Not a Business-Friendly Platform

Generating revenue from a site hosted on WordPress.com’s servers is a genuine adventure. You don’t have any choices about displaying adverts, but you can use the WordArts program (which comes with restrictions) and share the revenue with WordPress.com. Next, it has severe restraints for gathering data about traffic stats; only those with a Business Plan can install the Google Analytics plugin. On top of that, WordPress.com has the right to delete your site if you violate the terms of service.

Verdict

WordPress.com is the perfect blogging platform if you want a small personal blog only. You don’t have to invest in themes and plugins but expect some capital constraints. Do you care about your personal brand? Adverts placed by WordPress.com, basic design customisation, and WordPress.com branding may hurt your brand. Bear these factors in mind when making your final decision.

3. Medium

medium website

Writing a story sounds more intriguing than publishing a post, doesn’t it? An aristocratic air surrounds Medium, and it works like a magnet for many people. Defining Medium is pretty complicated. ‘Medium is a free, open platform for people to read, write and share posts’ is how its creators explain it.

Medium contributors are a mixture of professional journalists and amateurs, standalone publications and personal blogs, original content and re-purposed posts. This subtle blending attracts a wide range of customers who share a common trait: they love reading. So why not join Medium to share your ideas? Here are the pros and cons of using Medium as a blogging platform.

Pros

An Educated Audience

Medium targets people who love reading. The content quality on Medium is higher than that of the average blog. Medium readers are accustomed to top-class content, and publishers know that the audience is receptive to their messages. It’s like an agreement: publishers deliver the best content without cheating people with false titles, and readers don’t just skim the text. Rather, they spend time digesting the stories.

Your target will be an educated existing audience if you start blogging on Medium. It’s a great starting point compared to other platforms. Your stories will get a lot of eyeballs by delivering great content.

A Reader-Centred Platform

The clutter-free interface of Medium stimulates reading, and this feature is vital to creating a loyal base of readers. Content is king, but good design enormously helps readers digest the stories better. The discrete design approach of Medium seems to work miracles; readers benefit from a refreshing user experience regardless the device used.

Unlike other platforms, Medium lets the readers highlight a phrase and comment on it. Apparently ignorable, this option is golden in strengthening the publisher-reader relationship. Other pluses are applause (a Medium unique feature to show appreciation) and social media integration—both are discrete and efficient.

Cons

Limited Customisation Options

Undoubtedly, Medium’s interface is user-friendly, but your personalisation options are quite limited. The competition is pretty harsh, and an original design will differentiate your blog. Perhaps Medium developers will add new features in the future to make it the best blogging platform.

Monetization Options

People who only want to test the waters of blogging can head to Medium. But if you think you can make some money from blogging on Medium, you are wrong. The financial reward system implemented by Medium isn’t fair at all for publishers. It’s based on claps and paying-customer engagement.

Let’s suppose that a story gets a single clap from a reader who clapped only once that month. That publisher will get $5—the monthly fee paid by that reader. Another story receives 50 claps from 50 readers who clapped 50 times that month. The publisher of that story also gets only $5 because each reader’s monthly fee is divided among all the publishers who received the readers’ claps. In this case, one clap and 50 claps equal the same payment to the publisher. Not quite reasonable, is it?

Verdict

Medium is an exciting blogging platform that looks promising. It has a loyal audience, and you can benefit from it. Clearly, the size of its audience is a massive advantage compared to its competitors. However, Medium’s developers should work hard to implement more customisation options, and the investors must re-think how publishers get paid.

4. Ghost

ghost website

John O’Nolan created Ghost as a reaction to WordPress’s multiple purposes. He believed that WordPress should remain a platform for blogging and not a framework for any other type of site. Many people backed John O’Nolan and his ideas, and the output is Ghost—a basic blogging platform.

Pros

Simplicity of Use

The Ghost editor is minimalist and distraction-free; content creators can focus on their words only. Ghost uses a Markdown editing environment that might trouble new users. Luckily, they will be able to get the most out of it in just a few minutes of preparation—it’s simple to use.

The advantage of the Ghost interface is that, besides its simplicity, the content creator sees how the post will look in real time. The screen is divided into three sections: personal settings, content, and draft. It’s simple and efficient.

Blazing Fast Speed

Nowadays, the fastest platform is, in fact, the best blogging platform! Ghost is lightweight and loads super quickly. I am not sure that Ghost’s creators predicted the considerable importance of speed when they created it, but they did a great job.

Cons

Limited Styling Options

It’s true that Ghost is a blogging platform and nothing more. However, that doesn’t mean that bloggers hate the design and styling options. Unfortunately, Ghost isn’t for design enthusiasts; the possibilities of stylizing a site are quite limited. Ghost has comparably fewer themes than WordPress, so it’s mission-impossible to create a unique design for your site.

A Pricey Platform

Ghost is similar to WordPress: you download the software and install it on your host or host your site on Ghost’s servers. The latter version sounds pretty impressive, but it isn’t affordable for tight or even average budgets. The cheapest plan is $19 a month, billed annually.

Verdict

Ghost is unique; it’s a product for a specific target. There is no grey area—you like it, or you don’t. Chose Ghost if your readers and you prefer a minimalist approach. It’s a blogging platform that 100% emphasizes your content. Hence, Ghost fits like a glove for bloggers who produce quality content.

5. Tumblr

tumblr website

Tumblr is another contender for the title of the best blogging platform. At the same time, Tumblr is a social network famous because like-minded people often share other bloggers’ works. Another particularity is that the focus shifts from creation to curation. Let’s dissect Tumblr and see its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Cool Content

Don’t select Tumblr if you want to publish long-format blog posts. Tumblr is the ideal place for people who like short posts heavily based on images and videos. Bloggers, which in this case is almost equivalent to users, don’t spend all day on content creation. It takes less time to upload a collection of images than writing a 2,500+ word article. Tumblr’s bloggers have enough time to create and search for cool images and videos. Less talk, more quality could be the slogan for Tumblr.

A Friendly Platform

David Karp founded Tumblr when he was only 21 years old. This is probably one of the reasons why Tumblr is funny, relaxing, and formal. Chose Tumblr to make new friends, interact with people, and have fun. On top of that, the idea of competitors is diluted here because Tumblr is an enjoyable community.

Cons

Nearly Impossible to Grow

You won’t grow your business by blogging on Tumblr. Most likely, you will create some buzz around your brand, but it’s far from the marketing required by a business. Don’t rely on Tumblr if you want to generate some serious revenue.

Limited Design and Functionality

Tumblr users won’t expect impressive layout designs from you. Still, a default theme isn’t a working solution. People who are serious about blogging and want full control over each pixel of their blog might be frustrated. Paradoxically, Tumblr might attract people who really don’t care about design. Either way, Tumblr won’t change too much in this respect.

Verdict

Tumblr might be good for your hobby, but it’s hard to believe that it could sustain your business. Use Tumblr to spend quality time, making friends, seeing cool posts, and engaging in comments. Don’t use Tumblr if you want to grow a business or make serious money from blogging.

6. Blogger

blogger website

Blogger is a product of Google, so expect quality and reliability. We have already done a shoulder-to-shoulder comparison of WordPress vs Blogger. It’s a must-read if you want to get a complete idea about each platform’s strengths and weaknesses. Briefly, here are the pros and cons of Blogger.

Pros

Free and Secure

Blogger might not be the best blogging platform, but it’s free and secure. These two traits are defining for anyone wanting to set up a blog.

Ease of Use

Creating a blog on Blogger is simple. You don’t need coding skills, and there are more than enough customisation options (although fewer than WordPress) to make a unique blog.

Cons

You Don’t Own Your Blog

Google takes ownership of all your blog posts on Blogger. If you violate its terms of service, your blog ends up in the ether. Would you want your blog made up of 60 posts to disappear completely?

Verdict

Blogger doesn’t have as many options as WordPress.org and WordPress.com, but it’s still a real competitor. As long as everything is free, you can give it a try and see if it fits your requirements.

Honourable Mentions

There are many other blogging platforms available for you. However, their cumulative market share is low compared with the above suggestions. Still, some of them deserve an honourable mention.

Joomla and Drupal are multipurpose CMSs and are suitable for blogging purposes. The downside of both platforms is that they are complex and offer significantly fewer sources for help and support.

Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that comes up with innovative solutions each year. It has the first design assistant based on artificial intelligence. Wix gives its users plenty of options, including the chance to create a fantastic blog. In spite of that, it lags behind WordPress in terms of features and functionality.

Over to you: which platform fits your needs best? Please leave a comment with your favourite and your thoughts about it. We are interested in all your opinions.

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About Daniel Pintilie

Daniel PintilieDaniel is an Internet geek focused on writing actionable content. He loves showcasing WordPress tricks and tips and online marketing strategies. In his spare time, Daniel reads history books and plays football.

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