"What's the best platform for blogging?" is a question I hear from time to time. Judging by the search volume surrounding "best blogging platform" and related searches like "wordpress vs. joomla" and "wordpress vs. typepad" it's a question that a lot of business bloggers struggle with.
On one hand, the best blog platform for you is the one you feel most comfortable using. That being said, our own web marketing blog and the blogs we build for our clients are all on WordPress. In fact, we're so enamored of WordPress we've even installed it as the blog of choice on Joomla web sites that we've built.
Here's why we choose WordPress time and again:
- Ease of setup: In fact, with so many hosting companies offering WordPress specific accounts, chances are it's already set up on a hosting company near you.
- Ease of use: Whenever we're talking about blogging, or using WordPress as a CMS, I tell people, "if you know how to use Word then you have 95% of the skills you need, and we'll train you in the last 5%.
- Wealth of plugins: Chances are if you want WordPress to do something, someone else wanted it, too, and built a plugin for it. From SEO to e-commerce to member-driven forums, there's a plugin for that.
This isn't to say that you can't succeed without WordPress. There are certainly successful blogs being run on other platforms out there. But as we continue to look at other blog platforms, we keep on coming back to WordPress.
Whatever blogging platform you choose, make sure it has these required features:
- Your domain name: If you're blogging for business, it's a deal breaker to have the URL be something like mycompany.typepad.com, mycompany.blogger.com or even mycompany.wordpress.com. You need to run the blog under your own domain name, whether it's a standalone URL like mycompanyblog.com, or part of your regular site like mycompany.com/blog or blog.mycompany.com. This is especially important for SEO and if you ever decide to move to a different blogging platform.
- Your branding: Nothing says fly-by-night like a design that looks like Yet Another WordPress Blog. Have your web designer/developer create a custom template for your blog so that it complements the rest of your corporate branding.
- Plugins & support: Over time you'll want to be able to add new features, like a search, email signup, e-commerce, calendar, etc. If your blog is on a popular platform, chances are there will be support for plugins that will allow your blog to scale with your business.
There are certainly other important features, such as support for RSS, RSS > email, categories, archives, search, and more, but at this point in the history of blogging, we hope that any new blogging platforms would come with these features.
Are you using WordPress, or is there a different blogging platform that you prefer? If so, what is it and why did you choose it? Feel free to include a URL so we can check it out.
[Photo via iboy_daniel]
Rich Brooks is a business blogger and part of the upcoming Blogging Success Summit where he will be presenting on How to Increase Your Search Engine Visibility Through Blogging. You can also stalk Rich Brooks on Twitter, although he prefers engagement.