Written by Jessica Ann on June 11th, 2014
Why Blogging Software Rules the World
Blogging is the cornerstone of the Internet. It has created opportunities for writers to find new audiences and it gives those audiences information, advice and entertainment. Because of the blogging phenomenon right now you can learn about net neutrality or you can read about the eerily accurate predictions made in the movie Demolition Man. It is also easy to get started in blogging (as long as you can write, of course) as most of the blogging software that is available is easy to set up and even easier to use.
But there is a ‘but’: there are loads of blogging software platforms to choose from. So to help you get started here are five of the best.
One of the biggest challenges that many bloggers face is overcoming distractions. It goes like this: you sit down to write a blog article and start by doing a little research. Five hours later you realize you are still reading funny Buzzfeed updates or interesting Lifehacker articles and have not written a single word.
It is possible to fall into a similar trap when choosing a blogging platform – endless hours of research that does not involve actually writing. The answer is to use the biggest and most popular blogging platform and forget the rest. And that means WordPress.
With WordPress you have two options. The first is to use your own website hosting and run everything yourself WordPress.org or host it with WordPress.com. Both options offer an efficient and easy to use platform, although the self-hosted version is technically complicated to set up compared to other options. That said WordPress is still one to consider.
Blogger is another platform that is super easy to setup and use. It is owned by Google which is both good and bad. On the positive side it is seamlessly integrated with other Google products. This means you log in using your Gmail account and implementing things like Adsense is easy. The downside is the customization options outside of Google are limited.
It performs well as a tool to write articles and post pictures, however.
New blogging platforms spring up regularly. Some last but many dwindle and die. Typepad has seen them all come and go and it continues to do its thing – provide a robust albeit basic blogging platform.
Typepad is one of the oldest blogging services available on the internet. It has not developed and grown like the other old-timers on this list such as WordPress. And it doesn’t have some of the fancy customization and usability features that some of the newer platforms offer. Its benefits are that it is the easiest to set up and the easiest to use. It is not free but the costs are minimal so it is one of the best sign-up-and-start-writing options available.
There are several social media platforms that can double as blogs. This includes Facebook through Facebook Notes, Google+ and LinkedIn. They all have limitations that keep them off this list except for Tumblr. It is the most effective at bridging the gap between social media functionality and blogging functionality.
Many of the users on Tumblr use it to simply share content created by others rather than to produce content of their own. This has given it a reputation as a micro-blogging platform (shorter attention spans) but it looks great and its mobile functionality (posting, editing etc) is unrivalled.
Medium is the newest and least known blogging platform on this list. It was founded by two people who also co-founded Twitter: Evan Williams and Biz Stone. The objective was to deliver an option similar to Tumblr – a hybrid between a blogging platform and a social media network.
As you might expect it is heavily influenced by Twitter in terms of design and functionality although there is one big difference – posts are not limited to 140 characters. It does not offer all of the widgets, add-ons and plugins that a service like WordPress includes but bells-and-whistles are not the point. Instead Medium is all about words so if you want an attractive place to write, it’s simply a good choice.
Your choice of blogging platform will come down to design and functionality. But remember the more options that are available the greater the difficulty level. And never forget that your worst enemy when writing is distraction. This means you need to strike a balance between a platform that does not frustrate you because of its limitations and a platform that does not waste your time configuring and customizing.