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Top Blogging Platforms Compared 2018 – Self-Publish Your Writing

Top Blogging Platforms Compared 2018

top blogging platforms


This post compares top blogging platforms for 2018. It identifies the best blogging platforms and provides information so you will know how to choose the blogging platform that’s right for you.

This post reviews the most popular and best of the top blogging platforms. Some are free to use while others are not free. Each of the products review has it own unique features.

Each blogging platform review includes a product description, pros and cons, and cost information.

A blogging platforms functionality comparison chart is provided at the end of the post.

 

What Is A Blog?


Most people know the term blog. It’s a funny word, Its fun to say blog.  Blooooggg.

But most people, me included before I wrote this blog, don’t really know what the term means or where it came from.

writing class journal

Journaling was an evolution of a diary to include more personal thoughts,   feelings, and reflections. I remember when it was a big thing in high school and English teachers would give us homework to “journal” once or twice a week.

Then, along came computers and the journal evolved into a computer-based “weblog” or journal we could publish on the Internet so others could read and respond to our writings.      computer journal

In 1999 Peter Merholz coined the term “blog”, when he broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog.

The term blog is an abbreviated version of word weblog.

 

Blog Platforms – Putting Yourself Out There


Blog platforms provide the tools to write content that can be published on the Internet.

Since a website is needed to put writing on the Internet some blog platforms provide a hosting solution while others require domain name and hosting be bought from another provider.

Blog platforms do not have all the tools and features that the all-inclusive “one-stop-shopping” website builders provide.

  1. Best free personal blogging software: Blogger
  2. Best business blogging software: Typepad
  3. Best blog features: WordPress.com (no affiliate links allowed)

 


 

Blogger – The Google Approach

Blogger was bought by Google and requires a Google account.

One advantage of Blogger is that it is integrated with other Google Apps including Adsense and Google Analytics.

You can buy and use your own domain name or use Google’s .blogspot.com domain.

All blogs are managed and controlled by Google.

Blogger is great for beginners, people who want a personal blog site and some startup business applications because you can use Adsense to monetize your blog.

Blogger Facts

  • Product Name: Blogger
  • Cost: Blogger logoFree $0
  • Creators: Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan co-founders of Pyra Labs sold to Google
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
  • Website URL: https://www.blogger.com 
  • Product Training: Video tutorials
  • Website Domains: blogspot.com or use your own for free
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: Yes
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Articles, Video Tutorials, and Help Forum
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Niche Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: Great for beginners

  • Simple setup and easy to use
  • Owned by Google
  • Easy integration with Google apps
  • Completely free nothing else to buy and no upsell
  • Easy for kids to use
  • Pictures and videos easy to add
  • Help Center has tips, tutorials, and FAQs

cons-graphic

  • Google account needed
  • Template designs limited
  • No comment moderation tools
  • Controlled by Google
  • Not eCommerce ready
  • Not a long term professional web presence solution
  • When kids are blogging need to use Google’s SafeSearch

Summary: Blogger is perfect for personal blogging if you can live with the .blogspot domain name. It allows you to monetize your blog with Google Adsense and track visitors with Google Analytics.   read-full-review

Tumblr – Social Media Microblogging


If Blogger marks the invention of blogging, Tumblr might be credited with popularizing blogging big time.

Tumblr, as of this writing (March 2018), reports hosting over 400 million blogs and 158 billion posts in 18 languages.

Known for its cat memes, Tumblr is a microblogging or short form of blogging and social networking website.

Microblogs were originally known as tumblelogs and provide people with a way to share what they observe in their daily lives such as information about events or opinions on almost any topic in a simple quick format.

Tumblr uses a dashboard feature as a user interface.  It provides a live feed of recent posts from blogs that the user follows and a way to comment, reblog, and like the blogs appearing on the dashboard.

Tumblr provides a way to meet people with similar interests and find content on topics of personal interest.

Tumblr is great for beginners, people who want to connect with people who share the same interests, and develop a fan base. Since Tumblr uses HTML, users can practice their coding and design skills if they want to.

While Tumblr has been a successful social media platform for promoting products and conducting advertising campaigns (such as Starbucks) it is not a top blogging platform for developing and building a business.

Tumblr Facts

  • Product Name: Tumblr                                                 tumblr-logo
  • Cost: Free $0 for individuals
    • advertising on a cost-per-engagement rate for Sponsored Posts
    • one-month-old Sponsored Dot proms negotiated on a flat fee
  • Creators: David Karp
  • Headquarters: New York City, NY
  • Website URL: https://www.tumblr.com
  • Product Training: user posted #training posts and YouTube videos
  • Website Domains: blogname.tumblr.com or use your own for free
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: Yes
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Help Center for technical issues and “general weirdness”
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Niche Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: Great for beginners and social media short blogging

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Large user community
  • Wide variety of interests
  • Ability to connect with Google Analytics
  • Can post text, photos, music, video
  • Image-driven

cons-graphic

  • Limited theme customization
  • Not good for plugins and widgets
  • Server dependent
  • Doesn’t provide for growth
  • Anonymous feature can be misused
  • Requires frequent posting

Summary: Tumblr is perfect for personal blogging on a social media platform. While Tumblr is used for advertising campaigns it is not good for building and growing a business.

WordPress.com – The Bloggers Delight


There are two WordPress sites: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

This review is about WordPress.com. WordPress.org is reviewed in the Content Management System section below.

WordPress.com is a blogging platform owned and hosted by a company named Automattic (the two “ts” is a play on Matt one of the creator’s first name).

In 2010 Window’s Live Spaces, Microsoft’s blogging service, partnered with WordPress.com for blogging services.

WordPress is very powerful and one of the most used blog products reportedly supporting more than 60 million websites.

WordPress.com Facts

  • Product Name: WordPress.com logoWordPress
  • Cost: Four levels from Free $0 to Business $25 per month billed annually
    • Adding cost of themes, domain names, hosting, plugins etc. can greatly increase the cost
  • Creators: Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little
  • Headquarters: A decentralized company without physical headquarters
  • Website URL: https://wordpress.com
  • Product Training: No
  • Website Domains: No
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: No
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Live Chat, email, Support Pages, and Forums
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Nice Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: Yes

  • The best blog features
  • Ability to switch templates
  • 50,000 plus plugins
  • Completely customizable
  • Can use a self-hosting option

cons-graphic

  • Limited number of themes
  • Visual editor not drag & drop
  • Plugin configuration difficult
  • Hosting not included
  • Not WYSIWYG
  • Lots of upsell
  • No email hosting
  • Affiliate links not allowed

Summary: WordPress.com has the best blogging features and functionality. A domain name, hosting, and email must be purchased separately and you will have to tolerate considerable upsell efforts. WordPress.com does not allow affiliate links so this is not a good solution if you want to do affiliate marketing or have an eCommerce site.

Typepad – Corporate Blogging


Typepad is a blogging service originally launched in October 2003. It is marketed to non-technical users and includes author support, photo albums, and mobile blogging features.

Typepad is used by many large organizations and media companies to host their weblogs.

Typepad logoTypepad Facts

  • Product Name: Typepad
  • Cost: 4 Levels from $8.95 to $49.95 per month
    • 14 day free trial
  • Creators: Unknown
  • Headquarters: Burlington, Massachusetts
  • Website URL: http://www.typepad.com
  • Product Training: No
  • Website Domains: No
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: Hosting provided
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Knowledge Base Support Pages, email
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Niche Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: Yes especially for business and corporate applications

  • Simple to use
  • Step-by-step tutorials
  • Ten categories of themes
  • Unlimited number of photo albums
  • Used by a number of recognizable large businesses

cons-graphic

  • Not a website builder
  • Limited number of blogs in one account
  • Layout less flexible than from other providers
  • Cannot create pages only posts
  • Limited plugin capability

Summary: Typepad provides a lot of functionality but is priced a little high considering it does not have website building functionality, cannot create pages and has limited plugin capability limiting functionality. This product is used by and recommend for mid to large business that want to publish a blog.

Ghost – Writing In Code


Ghost was developed by the former deputy lead for the WordPress User Interface team after becoming frustrated with the complexity of using WordPress as a blog.

The idea behind Ghost is to simplify the process of online publishing for individual bloggers as well as provide tools for online publications.

In Ghost, you write or blog in language called Markdown — which is essentially shorthand HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). This is unique to Ghost.

With WordPress and other blog software you’re working with the more familiar WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) text editor.

Ghost Facts

  • Product NameGhost logo: Ghost
  • Cost: Free $0 to build blog, pay to host blog
    • 4 Levels from $19 Personal to $199 Business per month billed yearly
    • 14 Day free trial
  • Creator: John O’Nolan
  • Headquarters: Non-profit organization headquartered in Singapore
  • Website URL: https://ghost.org
  • Product Training: No
  • Website Domains: Included in plan
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: Hosting available
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Support Pages, FAQs, email, developer community on Slack.org
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Niche Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: No

  • Easy to use
  • Flexible intuitive user interface
  • Focused on blogs
  • Open source

cons-graphic

  • Relatively new product
  • Not a website builder
  • Custom features not provided
  • Plugins not supported
  • No commenting
  • Minimal support and no training

Summary: Ghost has an interesting array of features and functionality. You can build your blog for free (open source) but must pay to have it hosted. This product is not recommended because you have to write in Markdown – an HTML shorthand not a WYSIWYG editor.

Blog Platform Feature Comparison

FEATURESBloggerTumblrWordPress.comTypepadGhost
URLhttps://www.blogger.comhttps://tumblr.comhttps://wordpress.comhttp://www.typepad.comhttps://ghost.org

Price
FreeFree: $0 for personal use
Advertising on a cost-per-engagement rate for Sponsored Posts
One-month-old Sponsored Dot promos negotiated on a flat fee
Free: $0
Personal: $4 pm/billed yearly
Premium: $8 pm/billed yearly
Business: $25 pm/billed yearly
Plus: $8.95 per month
Unlimited: $14.95 per month
Premium: $29.94 per month
Enterprise: $49.95 per month
Personal: $19 pm/billed yearly
$29 billed monthly
Advanced: $39 pm/billed yearly
$59 billed monthly
Team: $79 pm/billed yearly
$105 billed monthly
Business: $199 pm/billed yearly
$269 billed monthly
Product Tutorials✔
Website Domains✔✔✔✔
Website Building, Management,
& Hosting
✔✔✔✔✔
Content Developer✔✔✔✔✔
Keyword/Niche Research Tool
Online Business Training
User SupportArticles, Video Tutorials, and Help ForumHelp Center for technical issues and “general
weirdness”, user posted #training posts and YouTube videos
Live Chat, email, Support Pages, and ForumsKnowledge Base Support Pages, emailSupport Pages, FAQs, email, developer community on
Slack.org

Other
Google Account Needed Domain
Name:
use your own domain name for free or .blogspot.com
Images hosted by Picasa
Social media platform
Can use Google Analytics
18 languages
Site Analytics
Mobile Ready
14 Day Free Trial
Smart Stats
Google Analytics Integration
14 Day Free Trial
Open Source
Non-profit Organization
RecommendedYesYesYesYesNo
      

 

What Do I Recommend?


Top blogging platforms provide one means to get information onto the Internet.          What Do I Recommend

Some blogging platforms include websites and support eCommerce while others do not.

The first task in how to choose a blogging platform is to identify your audience and define how you will help them.

Then, you can choose the product that best meets your needs at the best price.

 

To read about my #1 recommended product click here.

Which if the Top Blogging Platform do you think is the best?
Leave any comments, questions, or concerns in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you soon!

The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and are based on a combination of personal experience, published product reviews and users’ ratings.

4 thoughts on “Top Blogging Platforms Compared 2018 – Self-Publish Your Writing

  1. Thank You Steven,
    I found your post extremely interesting, I have heard of most of the blogging platforms you shared. I used to use Blogger all the time for personal blogging, I still have one blog on Blogger I use now, Google does make it extremely easy for someone brand new to start a blog on Blogger. I am using WordPress for most of my blogging now, I really like the extra’s you receive using WordPress.
    Great Post
    Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,
      I have a list of blogs that I bet no one has heard about. They are for another post. I agree, blogger has its benefits bit it certainly is not WordPress by any means.
      Thank you for your comment.
      Steve

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