Thousands of people search every day and ask about what free blogging platforms they should choose or which free blogging platform best fits their needs. That’s why I took the decision to explain the pros and cons of each platform and make a comparison table.
Are you a fan on micro blogging? (Tumblr)
Compared to blogger and wordpress, Tumblr is the youngest member of the free blogging platforms. Its blogging environment is simple to use for fast blogging. You have a variety of choices when you publish a blog post, as you it supports posts, images, quotes and other media files.
That’s what makes it a super fast blogging platform. Because it’s super fast, it doesn’t have some many extensive features as the others, but that’s what made Tumblr one of the most famous blogging platforms. If you want a personal and simple blog, then Tumblr may be your best shot.
- It has simple and stylish backend.
- It allows third party tools integration
- Thousands of fancy themes to choose from.
- The plugin support and flexibility is limited
- No commenting (but you can integrate a third party platform like disqus)
- Troublesome in terms of archives
- WordPress.com (Developer Hosted)
Check out Tumblr
If you want a non commercial site or blog, then WordPress.com is the best recommendation. It is extremely easy to use and has a wide variety of features compared to the other blogging platforms (like Tumblr or Posterous). Just like all the free blogging platforms, wordpress.com allows bloggers to setup their blog without the need of a web hosting account and you can use your own subdomain to setup your site.
If you want a domain name, you can buy one from their own services and have your own name. WordPress doesn’t allow custom themes or plugins integration, so if you plan to expand it, then switching to wordpress.org and to a self hosted wordpress site, might be your number one choice.
- Wide variety of themes
- Excellent commenting system
- Multilanguage support
- It has the best supporting community
Check out WordPress
Blogger is one of the most incredible and famous blogging platforms that have been created. It is owned by Google and has amazing infrastructure. Beginners will love it as it is extra simple to create a Google Account (if you already don’t have one) and start creating blogs related to your niche.
- Maybe the largest variety of themes
- Support for third party plugins
- Support for custom themes
- Allows advertising and has easy integration with Google adsense
- The html code in the blogger templates is a bit outdated (compared to the other platforms) and sometimes buggy.
Check out WordPress
Posterous is another great blogging platform, but is limited when compared to the above mentioned blogging platforms. It has recently been acquired by Twitter
- Supports most file types
- No monetization system
- Limited themes (less than 20)
- Limited widget system
Check out Posterous
Now let’s take a look at the following comparison of Blogger, WordPress.Com, Tumblr and Posterous
|Owner of each blogging platform||Google, Inc||Automattic, Inc (The creators of wordpress)||Tumblr, Inc||Posterous, Inc|
|Scheduling of posts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom Domain Mapping||Yes||Yes, but you need to buy it from wordpress.com||Yes||Yes|
|Optimized for better SEO results||Excellent choice as it is made by Google.||Yes, but it’s limited in the free version||YES, Limited||YES, Limited|
|Storage of images and media||1 GB + 1GB from Picasa for storing pictures||3 GB||1 GB||1 GB|
|Analytics||Google Analytics and support for 3rd Party Tools||WordPress Stats, No Support for 3rd Party Tools||Google Analytics and support for 3rd Party Tools||Google Analytics and support for 3rd Party Tools|
|Advertising||Easy integration with Google adsense. You can start monetizing your site as soon as it’s live||No||Limited||No|
My personal preference for the choice of free blogging platform is blogger. It has excellent features and maybe the biggest variety of themes and integration with third party applications. WordPress.org (self hosted version) is the best choice for those who want extended performance for their blog, but they need to pay for their own web hosting package and domain name.
As I mentioned above, you should create a free blog in case that it won’t have any commercial value. In case that you’re thinking of making a commercial blog, then it would be better for you to create a self hosted wordpress blog for the following reasons:
- Self hosted wordpress blogs allow more control over your blog!
- They can be better optimized for SEO.
- They have wide variety of Plugins and themes.
- You can easily place any advertisement you want.
- You can resell your blog anytime you fill like it..
- Ability to backup files via FTP.
- Unique domain name from the domain registar of your choice.
- Larger space storage.
- The content belongs to you! Most free blogging platforms have the right to suspend your account anytime they want if you break their rules.
- All free blogging platforms have their own advertising policies. With a self-hosted blog you set the terms and call the shots
So if having a self hosted blog is so cool, why people still prefer developer hosted blogging platforms? well, the main reasons are:
Complicated setup: Setting up your blog on a self hosted server can be a little bit frustrating at start, but most web hosting providers allow one click installation of various blogging scripts.
Cost: Though most of the blogging platforms (such as wordpress, drupal or joomla) are free, you have to pay for the web hosting plan, in order to host your site on their servers.
Updating: The developer hosted blogging platforms update by themselves. Having your own blog on your own web space, you will need some technical experience over the updates.
Hosting Providers: There are thousands of web hosting providers out there. Some web hosting companies do an excellent job, but there are many that can cause problems to your blog or go down from time to time.
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Which is your favourite Blogging Platform ?
Image Credit: Ed Kohler