Blogging Platforms

I was asked earlier to advise on blogging platforms… I answered as follows. If you agree / disagree please let me know!!

I have a few and have used a lot of different platforms…

Blogger
I write a blog for booksellers in blogger, which is very basic, but reasonably easy to use (the platform, not the blog, well actually, both). The problem I have with it is that every time you want to do something slightly different from the norm in Blogger you find you can’t do it, or you need expert html knowledge. I know that there have been some advances of late, but of them all, I’d say this is my least favourite blogging platform.

Posterous

chrisrat.posterous.com
classpet.posterous.com
I started properly on Posterous which is superb, really easy to post stuff to, although limited in themes and plugins are almost non-existent. You can email in your post with an image/video/audio attachment and it sorts it for you. Great for a first blog, and for community blogging, but not advanced stuff really. Has been known to have a bit of down time, but nothing massive.

Tumblr

chrisrat.tumblr.com
I use Tumblr just for pictures and videos – incredibly easy to set up, and use. I post from an app on my phone, which Posterous, Tumblr and WordPress also have (blogger maybe also, but I’ve never looked). Very similar to Posterous in look and feel.

WordPress

chrisrat.com
educationblogawards.org

WordPress is the ultimate blogging platform (in my opinion!). It has millions of themes to choose from, unlimited plugins that allow you to have tag clouds, custom menus, voting etc. It is completely open source, so free.

Both of these blogs and are self-hosted. This means you don’t necessarily know it is on WordPress. The Education Blog Awards looks and feels like a website (as does another site I put together, also built on WordPress). The self-hosting is reasonably cheap, and the domain name is as expensive as you want it to be. If you don’t want to self-host, you can use WordPress.com which hosts it for you, but you get a URL that looks like this http://educationsales.wordpress.com/ (if you can see the content of this, then let me know, as you shouldn’t be able to!) The other downside is that you don’t get the added functionality that a self-hosted blog gives you.

One other option if you are a school is to use Primary Blogger, which is based on the WordPress platform and is also free.  It has built in spam filtering and SEO optimization and you get the same ability as with the normal WordPress to post from your mobile.   Over 1500 primary schools use it, and it costs absolutely nothing!

There are a few other blogging platforms, such as TypePad (paid for), Moveable Type (free), Squarespace (paid for), Textpattern (free, but low support).

What blogging platform do you use, and why?

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10 thoughts on “Blogging Platforms

  1. I have tried Posterous, Blogger and Typepad before but have to say WordPress has been my favourite so far and the one I plan to stick with. It is easy to use and customise however I still have a lot to learn!

  2. Hi Chris

    I was having this discussion myself some months ago when I moved my blof from wordpress to posterous. The main reason being that I wanted a more flexible platform that could also handle creating well-styled blog posts on-the-go. WordPress was stating to feel a bit too bloated for my needs.

    Some of the features I’ve liked for Posterous above WordPress would be:

    Hosting on posterous allows you to use your own domain name without incurring any additonal costs. I’ve never been too fussed on self hosting and found myself paying to custom upgrade to use my own domain on WordPress. Posterous lets me use coryhughes.net for free

    Posterous doesn’t require a knowledge of CMS systems (if you don’t want to post from web you don’t have to)

    Themes are limited but easily and freely customisable (unlike WordPress hosted services). Posterous themes give you access to the CSS and just a bit of HTML knowledge allows for easy tweaking which means:

    Plugins are fairly easily to hack and there are some great online guides. Posterous is set up to integrate with feedburner and google analytics so you don’t have to fret about lack of integrated stats (like Tumblr offers). Have seen some good twitter hacks too but haven’t tried this yet – personally I don’t really need my twitter feed showing up so haven’t bothered.

    The app for my iPhone is great, simple and intutive to use. WordPress’s makes me yell.

    Autoposting to other sites from posterous is a doddle. I don’t like the fact that your can’t amend the url before autoposting but have also seen nifty ways to get around this.

    That’s my 2 pennies anyway! So far with posterous, so good.

  3. I’ve been looking into blogs for my school. The two front runners seem to be WordPress and Posterous.

    I am swaying towards Posterous because of its apparent simplicity but I have noticed that it seems to take a while for pages to form on the screen. Is this a common aspect of Postoerous?

      • So would that be the same for WordPress and other blogging platforms? It is the only thing really putting me off Posterous at the moment, although many WordPress sites do have a much nicer look/feel to them.

  4. WordPress is completely open so you if you decide to move away its really easy to host your own. It’s also really easy to make changes and have more control.

    Posterous is a good short term solution imho.

  5. This is a fantastic guide Chris – huge thanks.
    We use word press at my place of work and I set up a WP blog for my son about 12 months ago – nothing fancy, but he wanted a space to write & it did the job. Recently I set up my own blog using the free and very basic format from Typepad. http://suevjones.typepad.com/blog/ Incredibly simple to use, but looks dull & I know I need to switch to something shinier and I was stuck between Posterous & WP. Going to give WP a go – am not tech-savvy at all really, but love just trying stuff out and having a go so hopefully I will be able to make the most of it!

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