Which is the Best Blog Platform (And Why)?

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WHICH IS THE BEST BLOG PLATFORM?

Best blog platform? If you are thinking about starting a blog, the first thing you need to do is to find the best blog platform for your needs. You will want to choose the best of the lot.

The two best platforms out there are Blogger and WordPress. Blogger is owned by Google, but the open source WordPress is the more popular choice. To figure out which blog platform to choose, we will first look at the advantages and disadvantages of both Blogger and WordPress.

Which is the Best Blog Platform and Why

ADVANTAGES OF BLOGGER

  1. Blogger offers a user friendly interface with widgets that are easy for users to master.
  2. Has many free templates.
  3. Blogger is extremely reliable. Site upgrades are seamless, and the site is rarely down for maintenance or due to other issues, such as hackers.
  4. Many users also love that you can connect your Blogger account to Google Adsense and Google Analytics accounts for powerful tracking.
  5. Can be installed in 5 minutes or less.

Blogger logo blue - best blog platform

DISADVANTAGES OF BLOGGER

  1. Blogger does not offer a lot of options for more advanced bloggers.
  2. There have been many complaints from both novice and advanced users about losing their template customizations.
  3. Bloggers complain about the lack of high-end features.
  4. The features are also limited, and many bloggers complain about the post editing options and minimal comments options.
  5. Limited possibilities for monetization (Google Adsense).

WordPress (self-hosted) on the other hand, can be fully monetized. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress.

ADVANTAGES OF WORDPRESS

  1. Can be fully monetized
  2. Access to almost 50,000 plugins from the WordPress directory that enhance functionality. There are many other plugins for sale that are not listed in the directory.
  3. Access to a growing arsenal of over 3000 themes from the WordPress directory. Like plugins, there are tons of other themes on sale that are not in the theme directory.
  4. Simple enough for novices.
  5. Gives bloggers a more complex blog platform, and is therefore perfect for high-end users.
  6. Gives you total control over the look, feel and content that you can publish on your blog.
  7. Thousands of volunteer programmers worldwide contribute to the continued development of WordPress.

man pointing to wordpress logo

DISADVANTAGES OF WORDPRESS

  1. The technical requirements needed to manage a self-hosted WordPress blog is a little more than that required for a Blogger blog.
  2. Hackers prey on WordPress so you have to regularly keep your website updated.

And the Winner is…WordPress.

WORDPRESS STATISTICS

The following stats should further convince you that WordPress is the better choice of the two.

  1. 27% of all websites on the internet run on WordPress

  2. 2,645 of the top 10k websites on the web use WordPress.

  3. WordPress Sites Make Up 14.7% of the Top 100 Websites in the World

  4. New York Observer, New York Post, TED, Thought Catalog, Williams, USA Today, CNN, Fortune.com, TIME.com, National Post, Spotify, TechCrunch, CBS Local and NBC all use WordPress.

  5. WordPress is (still) the fastest growing Web Publication Software

  6. There are 3,000+ Free GPL-licensed Themes for WordPress in the WordPress Theme Directory

  7. There Are 48,500+ Free Plugins for WordPress in the WordPress Plugin Directory

  8. Over 39% of All Online Stores Run on WooCommerce (run on WordPress)

  9. WordPress is one of the largest open-source projects in the world. Thousands of persons worldwide contribute to its constant development

  10. WordPress can be installed in 5 minutes (or less)

FREE OR SELF-HOSTED WORDPRESS

So now we have what I think is the better of the two major blogging options, it is time to decide between free or self-hosted. Which one will prove to be the best blog platform? Again, what am I talking about?

There are 2 versions of WordPress:

  • a free version through WordPress.com that is technically owned by WordPress.com.
  • a self-hosted version through WordPress.org that you own.

Again, which one should you choose?

WHAT IS SELF-HOSTED WORDPRESS?

web hosting server

Every blog/website has to be hosted on a computer server. Free WordPress from WordPress.com hosts your blog on their server and use their domain name. You get what is called a sub-domain so your website address will be in the format of yourchosenname.wordpress.com.

With a self-hosted WordPress installation, you buy space on a server. You also buy a domain name so your website will become the more attractive, yourchosenname.com.

Free WordPress vs Self-Hosted WordPress

Let’s look at the differences between free and self-hosted.

7 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FREE AND SELF-HOSTED WORDPRESS
  1. With a free installation of WordPress, your website is owned by WordPress. Self-hosted, you own the website.
  2. With self-hosted WordPress, you are free to collect 100% of the profits you make from the blog or website. You are free to participate in any form of monetization you choose. Free version? You are not allowed to sell ads unless your page views reach 25,000 views per month.
  3. On the contrary, WordPress.com places ads on your blog to collect as their revenue, but you can pay them $29.97 per year to keep it ad-free.
  4. WordPress.com is free of cost, while with self-hosted WordPress, you pay for the domain name annually ($10-$15) and hosting (starting at approximately $3 per month).
  5. Free WordPress limits you to themes that they offer. With a self-hosted installation, you have access to the entire arsenal in the WordPress.org theme directory plus others sold privately by professional developers.
  6. The same goes for plugins. Although built with many plugin-like features, you cannot add any free, paid or custom plugins to free WordPress.com. Self-hosted WordPress gives you access to the whole world of plugins that add power to your WordPress website.
  7. Because WordPress.com users are on a network, they benefit from traffic from other blogs on the network. Self-hosted does not benefit since they are not on the network.

And the Winner is…Self-Hosted WordPress

WHY SELF-HOSTED WORDPRESS IS THE BEST BLOG PLATFORM

If you plan to start a blog, it is best to think long-term. You never know if it will really “take off,” If you start on a free installation and it does well, you will then have to go through the ordeal of moving your website to a self-hosted server. If you get an opportunity to monetize, you will lose out until you can move your website to a self-hosted installation. It is best to start with self-hosted WordPress.

MY STORY

I started out blogging using self-hosted WordPress. I began with a photography website, with the intention of just displaying my hobby. However, I quickly learned how to make money from a blog. Since then, I have made what I consider a decent side income. Nothing to boast about, but it did pay the bills. I have even started my own WordPress online business promotion business, which includes my own hosting company. Had I started with a free WordPress, chances are I would not have learned as much as I have. Self-hosted WordPress is the best blog platform for making money.

THE BEST BLOG PLATFORM FOR YOU

Self-hosted WordPress is the best blog platform for you. The big advantage is being able to have your own digital “real estate” on the web, able to earn as you see it fit. It is yours. The domain name is yours as well (as long as you keep the annual renewal up-to-date).

WordPress - best blog platform

Over time, you can resell the blog or website if you wish as it will gain in value. You may also sell the domain name as it too, will gain in value. I am not even mentioning that you can potentially make it a business.

If you plan to start a blog, it is best to think long-term. You never know if it will really 'take off,' If you start on a free installation and it does well, you will then have to go through the ordeal of moving your website to a self-hosted server. Click To Tweet

If your blog is a success, you can say goodbye to your day job. There are many stories of bloggers making 6 figures from their blogs. Although this is not typical, it shows just what can be achieved from a self-hosted WordPress installation.

Summer Blog Special

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See also Why I Decided To Start Blogging and How You Can Benefit from Your Own Blog

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    • BrianGElliott

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