When you search for the best blogging platform, which should you choose? You have plenty of options, but for me, there’s one clear winner.
Are you looking for the best blogging platform? If you’re considering starting a new blog or even changing from your current host, I think there’s a clear winner.
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you probably already know my choice. (The featured image probably helps, too.)
Yes, for me, WordPress is the best. But there’s a catch.
There are two WordPress options.
Over at IMPACT, Maddy Osman posted a list of the 11 best choices. Her first pick is also mine.
But you’ll note she lists it as WordPress.org. She lists WordPress.com in sixth place.
WordPress.org is the option you use when you’re self-hosting. That means you buy a domain. You then buy hosting, which can cost as little as a few bucks a month. You download the WordPress software from WordPress.org and upload it to the server at your web host.
Yes, it sounds complicated, but WordPress makes it very easy. Some hosts even provide the install as part of their basic service.
You have thousands of blog themes and plugins to choose from. That’s easily more than any other service can begin to offer. You have more than enough options.
From there, you blog. You rarely have to even think about hosting or the “under-the-hood” elements of your website.
WordPress.com is closer in comparison to Blogger (which she ranks in second place). The .com version hosts your blog. You can choose from a limited number of themes and options, but the more you want to customize, the more fees you’ll pay. So unless you’re willing to settle for a basic theme without a lot of changes, you might feel nickeled and dimed by the time you get your blog the way you want it to look.
You should consider who’s in charge.
As I’ve said before, starting somewhere else — in my case, it was the long-defunct AOL Journals platform — isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But not being in control of your content can be.
A fellow blogger found that out the hard way many years ago. AOL’s editors received a complaint about one particular graphic and proceeded to delete the blogger’s entire graphics file. Every image was suddenly gone without warning.
While one could argue that there’s a chance your web host could decide to delete your content if there were a major problem, if you’re self-hosting, you can also install plugins that will automatically backup your content. So even if the worst did happen, you’d still have your content, unlike the aforementioned fellow blogger who lost everything.
Besides being in more solid control of your content, you have so many more options with WordPress than with any other hosting platform. WordPress has been around so long that there are tens of thousands of options (for the self-hosted version). Not only that, because of the many, many customization options, there are communities devoted to the platform with people who can help answer questions.
So if you’re looking for the best blogging platform, you should strongly consider self-hosted WordPress. From what I’ve seen, it’s by far the best.