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5 Best Blogging Platforms Provide 6 Key Benefits

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Wordpress logoThe best blogging platforms have many of the same characteristics that are useful to a business or professional blogger.

But they vary from one to the other in how well they deliver on these benefits.

Knowing which one to choose depends on which benefit is most valuable and fits the goals of the business or blogger.

At this time, the Internet is dominated by five major blogging sites. The list below includes their monthly U.S. unique visitors estimated by Quantcast at the time of this writing:

  1. WordPress – 123 million
  2. Tumbler – 105 million
  3. Blogger – 48 million
  4. Typepad – 10 million
  5. SquareSpace – hidden by owner

For the record, WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger all have both free and premium member accounts while Typepad and SquareSpace have only premium accounts. Premium accounts all typically start at around $8 a month.

The seven major benefits are:

  1. Audience reach
  2. Advertising capability
  3. Ease of use
  4. Design flexibility
  5. Functionality
  6. Marketability

Some people may dispute this list,  but it’s not meant to be all inclusive. It is meant to cover some of the most common and popular uses of a blog.

1) Audience Reach

Audience reach is not just about the number of people who use or visit a blogging platform, it’s about the ability of that blogging platform to guide visitors to a specific blog.

WordPress is the winner here and not because it has the largest total audience. It does a great job of distributing posts on individual blogs to topic pages that are followed by members of WordPress.

As a result, a blog post has a strong possibility of receiving a “Like” and a somewhat strong possibility of getting Followers. With Followers come greater and greater reach for individual posts.

Tumblr comes in second place, although it really depends on the blog topic.

Best choice: WordPress

2) Advertising Capability

Blogger and Tumblr tie because they both allow ads on blogs for free accounts, while WordPress doesn’t allow them on free accounts.

Typepad and Squarespace allow ads, but again it doesn’t have a free account option.

The most common type of ads on all accounts come from Google AdSense.

More advanced advertising environments will require using an outside server such as Google DFP.

Best choices: Blogger and Tumblr

3) Ease of Use

Squarespace has the ability to build a trial account right from the home page — and without having to enter a credit card.

The interface is simple and intuitive. It is ideal for someone who doesn’t have strong technical skills.

Tumblr also is easy to set up and start using, but it is more limited in its capabilities than some other platforms.

Then again, someone with strong technical skills might say that WordPress is easy to use. That’s certainly the case for that kind of person, but it’s not the case for beginners.

Best choice: Squarespace

4) Design Flexibility

BloggingAll of the best blogging platforms offer ready-made templates for anyone who doesn’t have the time or resources to design their own.

For someone who wants the flexibility to change those templates or produce their own, the options are less clear.

WordPress is the easiest platform to edit templates for someone who has some basic HTML and CSS skills.

Creating a custome template is possible but no easy task in WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger because each has custom platform tags mixed with HTML and CSS.

Best choice: WordPress

5) Functionality

This is an easy one. WordPress wins thanks to an enormous number of plugins that are easily updated if the blogger has a blog with a separate hosting company and not on WordPress.com.

For anyone with a blog on WordPress.com, few plugins are available to free accounts. Anyone who wants access to a large library of them will need to upgrade to a premium account or host their own WordPress site.

Common forms of functionality include commenting, mobile version and calendars.

Best choice: WordPress

6) Marketability

Any blogging platform worth its salt should have the ability to cross post over to social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

They also should be able to integrate social buttons and boxes onto the site.

WordPress takes it a step further and also has the ability for an independent WordPress site to cross post to Tumblr and a WordPress.com child blog. In that way, a blogger can have three blogs at once, although the content will be duplicated.

Blogger.com, which is owned by Google, has one nice feature with social media. When a post is published, there is the option of cross posting it over to Google+.

Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr has resulted in more traffic to Tumlbr sites from the Yahoo search engine.

Best choice: WordPress

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