Choosing from among the different blog platforms can be a major decision for both individuals and business owners. Even those who currently have a well-established presence with their audience might be considering a transition to a different platform that offers a wider range of features, or perhaps they want to duplicate their current efforts over to a secondary platform helping to increase their reach and grow their audience. To bring this daunting task down to size, make a list of your priorities and goals for the blog, along with a secondary list of who would ideally make up your audience. This method will help you make the best decision that aligns with your personal or professional goals. Once you have these two ideas firmly established, choosing a platform will be much easier.
Another important aspect to consider when choosing the most appropriate format for your purpose is the staying power of the platform. Over the years, many platforms have sprung up only to be closed down within the next couple of years. To avoid this, reviewing the history and goals of the company you choose should also be a priority.
In 2015, there are a wide range of platforms to choose from and each offers their own solutions and features to the blog writer. Below is a list of the top 5 movers and shakers of the year that will give you the best creative outlet to suit your needs.
1. The new and exciting: Wix
Great for website creation that allows integration of minimal to light blogging. The building of the website as a whole is incredibly versatile and can create a stunning impact. It also offers tons of community built and supported integrations, but tends to be limited in the depth and breadth of the features that are offered.
Wix is great for those wishing to create their own space, prefer a DIY approach, but don’t have all the knowledge that might be required to design a full-fledged website and blog. Offering a WYSIWYG approach to the designing of your website and blog, Wix offers a serious helping hand to creating a great looking and highly functional website. The blog feature isn’t as thorough as some of the other platforms on this list, but offers a great intro into the blogging community. Despite being a relative newcomer to the blogging scene, Wix appears to have gained a significant following and appears to be in the game for the long haul.
2. The go-to industry standard: Blogger
Widely recognized as an industry leader in free blogging platforms for almost two decades, Blogger is incredibly easy to adapt to a wide variety of uses. It is scalable enough to allow the beginner who just has a few words to say adequate room to grow, while still providing the blossoming professional a platform to use as their clout continues grows. Many users take advantage of the copious amounts of free or paid templates that are available to help them create a blog that is unique to their blogging personality and goals.
Blogger has been around since the late 1990s and is best suited to those who run a traditional blog and who also enjoy a hands-on approach to the blogging industry. The ability to create a wide variety of websites is possible with Blogger, and with basic knowledge of HTML and CSS formatting the limits are just about endless if you choose to strike out on your own and create your own basic blog and website.
Many of the paid templates available also come with support to help with formatting questions and customization of their template to your specific needs. With both Blogger and community based add-ons, Blogger offers a wide variety of options for all levels of user.
3. The upgraded industry standard: WordPress
Usually seen as a step up from Blogger and similar hosting sites, WordPress offers both free and paid services for those seeking to have more options, customization, and support available for their blog. Bloggers are able to build sites around the blog, but regular blogging will remain the central focus of the site.
This platform is much like Blogger in the free and paid templates that are readily available for users. While the price for templates is a usually slightly higher for WordPress than Blogger or Tumblr, the amount of support and features far exceeds what the others are currently able to offer.
Wordpress is great for bloggers seeking to create a full scope blog along with a website presented in one seamless integration. Recipe or project catalogues, blogs, calendars, upcoming events or shows, shopping carts, and so much more are easily able to be given their own space and scope of interactions with the audience.
4. The segue into a new market: Tumblr
Depending on your blogging goals and the audience you wish to attract to your offerings, Tumblr could be a great option for your blogging needs. While Tumblr is a fast-paced, visuals-driven website, there is still a great amount of customization found in the text posting options. Tumblr is popular with a slightly younger audience and using this platform would be a great way to get a segment of this audience introduced to your material. Tumblr is excellent for those looking to duplicate their blogging efforts into the social media front by showcasing photos or shorter hooks to entice readers to visit the main blog post which may or may not be hosted directly on Tumblr. Just as with the other blogging platforms, there are free and paid templates available to help you tailor the blog to your specific needs. Microblogging is a unique and fast-paced field, and if you are seeking to use Tumblr as your main blogging platform making sure your content is intensely visual will help you succeed in this sphere.
5. The writers’ writing platform: Svbtle
If your blog is more focused on showcasing your writing than anything else, Svbtle is a good option for your needs. The limited amount of features that are offered is designed to help you focus on the narrative and flesh a story out over a period of time before publishing it after completion. Svbtle is great for people who have a lot to say. If your primary focus of your blog is to showcase quality writing as a solo act or want it at the same level of prominence as your subject matter, this platform has the stripped down features that allow your writing to be front and center. While still a relative new-comer to the blogging world, founded in 2011, Svbtle has a stable footing in the blogging industry and provides a niche group of bloggers a great platform for highlighting their writing skills.
Having a platform that allows your readers to have the best experience while still allowing you as much help or freedom as needed is an important balance to find in your choice of blogging platform. Finding the right fit for your needs may not happen straight away, so being open to reevaluating your choices in the future as your blog’s needs evolve is an important key to success. Knowing your audience and goals allows you to choose the best option, while keeping up on the current trends and offerings of other platforms will allow you to maintain your blog as an ever-evolving process that will challenge your creativity and hone your writing skills over the years of use. Any one of the good blog platforms will help you with this and make the process a much better experience for blogger and reader alike with fresh features and fresh content.