In today’s world, writing, starting, and maintaining a blog is not a small achievement. You will be confronted by a number of issues starting with the platform you will use to publish your work. Settling on the idea to blog about is only half the battle; though once
you do there are a number of platforms to choose from.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the two most common blogging platforms. Features, cost, maintenance, compatibility and more will all be topics of discussion.
WordPress has two platforms which are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The .com platform is a freely hosted service and users are not required to work on any initial setup.
This free service enables the user to blog with a number of themes to choose from. Most of the themes here are free but the more sophisticated ones cost nothing more than a penny.
If you’re seeking more features than the free option that Automatic then a premium
Package that goes for $99 per year is also available. This package comes with:
- A custom-domain name which gives the user the option to switch from the
wordpress.com extension to their existing WordPress.com website
- The ability to add HD videos directly to your blog with VideoPress. No ads, no
time limits, no watermarks — just your video.
- The ability to choose custom fonts and colors with Custom Design, or
alternatively go under the hood with the CSS editor.
- It has a No Ads feature upgrade which ensures no ads show up on your blog.
- An extra 10GB of storage space which comes in handy if you plan on uploading
lots of images, audio and video.
The difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com is that, WordPress.org is open source software available for use to anyone out there.
Your WordPress installation can become anything you can imagine, especially when modified or expanded on by the plethora of plugins and themes available from the community.
The core software was built by hundreds of volunteers and has a huge collection of plugins, widgets, and customized themes available for any user.
A large number of users who go by this approach install their own software on their website and install a completely custom theme, which they probably created or
Advantages to Using WordPress
WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform. Some of the advantages that draw a lot of users to it include:
- A huge developer community who are always available to offer support or make
- The longest list of plugins available for a website software package.
- Users are able to Customizable their blogs easily.
- Support for more than one Site within one installation using WordPress Multisite.
- Offers one of the most complete documentations available (WordPress Codex).
- It is expandable and users can customize it to include a social platform (BuddyPress) or
- an eCommerce CMS.
- A Comment functionality built inside software.
- Allowance for Multiple Users with different roles.
The WordPress admin dashboard is the backbone of any blog. From here, users are able to create, edit, and delete content that goes onto your website.
Within the WordPress dashboard you can:
- Create posts
- Create pages
- Edit, approve or remove comments which all depend on the settings you have
- Adjust site-wide settings
- Install plugins
- Install widgets
- Customize code
- Add, edit, or delete menus
- Maintain a gallery of media items like photos, audio, video, and some common file
- Export and import settings
- Change or apply a new theme
- Update plugins and even WordPress itself
The WordPress plugin repo is loaded with thousands of options available which make it a favorite to many. Having all of these features available makes updating or changing your WordPress website so much fun.
Whether you develop your own theme or use a custom built theme from Elegant Themes or Studiopress, WordPress allows you to tailor fit it to your specific needs.
How is WordPress Built?
PHP allows for the dynamic aspect of WordPress we all know and love to take place while MySQL serves as its database, filling them with content such as posts, comments, media, and more.
This content is stored and readily available when we need it using
WordPress’s archiving schema.
The loop is the genius that displays all your blog posts dynamically. There are some changes a user can make to their code to alter what posts are displayed if so they wish.
The Ins and Outs
The easiest way to familiarize yourself with WordPress is to experiment with the interface. Add new posts, pages, or plugins and look at how they appear.
If you become interested in developing your own themes, you can start the same way by dissecting the
code after you download it.
Look at the files that make WordPress function and change code around until it fits your needs. You may break things here and there but it’s the only way you will learn.
WordPress works and plays well on all operating systems and all the user needs to do is to provide the software with the right environment for good performance. Keep your browser up to date and you are good to go.
Tumblr is a little different and it is very synonymous with people who love photography, music, and video.
Tumblr is a little more focused as compared to WordPress since WordPress has become more of a Content Management System.
Tumblr takes on a simpler approach with its user interface, types of posts and available options, which is why you see most people use it to post videos online.
I like to see Tumblr as more of a “fun” site rather than something you should use for an actual site in which you are looking to make money with.
Tumblr is absolutely free though there are some premium themes and plugins a user can purchase. However, at the moment Tumblr is free to use.
Just like WordPress, they give you the main functions for free, but you will have the plugins and themes which you can purchase, which is one of the ways that Tumblr makes its money.
Tumblr’s dashboard is quite minimal. It’s basically a bold blue background that has a section of icons in the middle. This area basically consists of links that the user can use to post different types of media.
As you can seem Tumblr is much more minimalistic than WordPress. Personally, I feel Tumblr is best for personal blogging and learning to blog.
Then, once you’re ready to step up and start making some money off your content, upgrade to WordPress, which I think is more for professional use.
Actually, I take that back. WordPress is just as easy and will benefit you more in the long run. Tumblr is cool and all, but more people use WordPress for many reasons.
In the end, it is really up to you. For personal blogs, either or will work just fine. If you are looking to do more than talk about your pet fish, I always suggest platforms that do more than just CSS type stuff.
I use a site called the Wealthy Affiliate, which allows me to not only build out my site, but also to get domains, have them hosted, and get all the support I need.
If you were to do this all on its own, you will still have to pay no matter how free WordPress and Tumblr are. Nothing is ever really free, right?