So you’ve decided what you’re going to blog about. Great! Now you’re stumped with which platform to go with. No worries. I’ll break down each and every platform best recommended for bloggers and my personal experiences with all of them and how I’ve come to make the proper decision. If you’ve subscribed to my blog then you’re already aware of the pros and cons of all 4 platforms I’m going to introduce to you here that you’ve downloaded from 3 C’s to Blogging Consistently for Beginners. But now, I’m going to give you my personal testimonies to each and every one of them below.
What are the major recommended blog platforms?
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I’ll start from the beginning of my discoverings. About 10 years ago, when I was about 15/16, I started my very first blog on Blogger (formerly known as Blogspot). I absolutely loved this platform and frankly, still do. So you’re probably wondering why I strayed away from this after many years of loyalty and that has a lot to do with me being inconsistent in the beginning over the years which I discuss how to nip in the bud in this post. I love Blogger primarily because aside from being owned by Google, it was literally the perfect tool for all upcoming and already established bloggers. The name literarlly was named after us! Any one who ever had a blog back in 2005 and up used blogger; it was the preferred platform.
Years later, when I decided to dive back into blogging, I decided to take a gander at other platforms. Squarespace stole my attention for a split second. They had beautiful, simplistic layouts that I absolutely adored. The only reason I didn’t stick to this is that I couldn’t modify or change any of the modules on the templates. It’s extremely limiting, and being that I come from a Front-End Developer’s background, visual design is important to me. If I can’t edit or fix the layout as I choose, I didn’t want to bother wasting my time. If you’re completely easy to please with a minimal layout and have no problem solely using Squarespace just for posting your blog, then this is the site for you. From there I decided to give Wix a try.
Wix is absolutely splendid for those who want complete hands on with their layouts and have the imagination to take it to the next level if they choose. There is no excuse for any one site to look the same. The reason why I strayed away from Wix was for two reasons. One of them is that over time when they began to update user features, the site as a whole became “glitchy” and took forever to load every time I changed one small thing. When you have creative ideas itching from your brain to your palms that you want to get onto the screen, waiting minutes at hand every time you made the slightest change can be overwhelming, to say the least, and of course frustrating. Today, I’m sure they’ve done something to change this issue but I haven’t been a user in about a year so to stick around and find out. The ultimate reason for leaving was that, I wanted more access to things Wix wasn’t ready to give or didn’t have the ability to do yet. On the homepage, I wanted to do something as simple as have recent posts showing, and then another section showing underneath with all the similar posts I’ve done for a certain label. For example, I created a whole page for my creative writing. Because Wix only allows you to have “one blog”, I had to create a whole new page and make space for the words and pictures myself as if it were another blog on another page on the same site. Sounds confusing but continue to follow me. After doing this for a few times, I realized that if I had over 10 “posts” for creative writing, the page would scroll on forever. Because Wix didn’t have options to label your blog posts under certain tags or subjects, it would be harder to find posts similar to the other. It was all too much and I felt I was putting in way too much effort into something that had to have already existed elsewhere that would give me fewer time constraints. In addition to that, editing Wix for mobile is different from Wix for desktop and that also would grow frustrating because things would move you wouldn’t be aware of if you didn’t choose a simple site and decided to customize every little detail yourself. So I broke away after a year.
I migrated back to my first love, Blogger. For a few months, I was more than satisfied. Though Google had yet to update Blogger, I pretty was much satisfied. I was able to get the layout I liked and tweak it as necessary. I could add widgets that would do exactly as I wanted. However, since Google didn’t update this platform for a few years, some of the widgets made for Blogger were also outdated or people stopped making widgets that were needed and were up-to-date with today’s technology for Blogger. That eventually grew frustrating. I had my final straw when I finally wanted to upload a video in one my blog posts Being that I produce high-quality videos for a lot of projects I’m on, I’m going to want to showcase this. It’s imperative and if it weren’t for this, I probably wouldn’t have left Blogger. But sometimes, the video either wouldn’t show up or if it did, it wouldn’t play. And that was my final straw.
Then alas came WordPress. There are two routes to go when it comes to WordPress. Wordpres.com or WordPress.org. This is the troubling question when people are finally ready to transition to this route. After reading the differences between the two, I didn’t want to pay for anything. I wanted everything to be free. That’s why I loved Blogger so much. However, as stated above, Blogger hadn’t been updated in years. Also, if Google decided to delete the platform altogether, all my content would be lost. I absolutely didn’t have time for that. WordPress.com’s free membership seemed appeasing until I realized two things. I couldn’t customize my layouts as I’d like (which is the whole reason for me going through three whole platforms to get here in the first place) and WordPress ads would be advertised throughout my entire site. I didn’t think that would look professional, given that I wanted to take my blog to the next level. I began looking at the other plans WordPress.com had to offer. I just didn’t feel like spending money monthly again for another service. So I did my research and sat down and looked more seriously into WordPress.org. WordPress.org had more work for me to do but I sensed more benefits at the end of the day. I am solely responsible for backing up all my content. However, there’s a plugin for that so you don’t have to worry. I am also required and responsible for having a domain and hosting for my site. Paying for a domain is easy and something you would’ve had to do regardless of any platform you’re on if you want to appear professional and be taken seriously. Hosting seemed complex to me. A lot of my newbie bloggers are probably wondering what is hosting? Hosting is when you store a website on a server so that it can be accessed over the internet. Most hosting companies will require you to have a domain but if you don’t have one, they’ll more than likely be able to help you purchase one. I go through GoDaddy for my hosting which is pretty cheap. On WordPress.org, you can host your site for less than $49 a year depending on the plan you choose and the services you select. After sitting down and reading as much information on the two, WordPress.org had .com beat.
Now don’t get me wrong. WordPress.org has a lot of learning curves it threw at me the first two weeks which overwhelmed me. But I looked at it as a way more advanced version of Blogger. From time to time, I still get a bit confused especially because with WordPress, unlike Wix, there is no support line you can call and you can barely email anyone. Your best bet, which hasn’t served me wrong yet, is Google. Google all the questions you have. You will definitely find your answers, I promise! There are forums as well to help. Not one question you may have hasn’t already been asked which is one of the reasons I adore WordPress.org.
I chose WordPress.org and hopefully the descriptive route I explained above helped you to understand why I did so. If you feel WordPress.org isn’t for you, any of the others will do. Just remember, if the site decided to be shut down, you don’t own any of your content. With WordPress.org (not .com), you own all of your content. This is important. Whenever you’re ready to make the switch and transition over, there are options to help you export your blog to WordPress if need be. It can be a bit of pain at first but it most definitely is worth it!
Now that you’ve gotten the full load on which route I took for my preferred platform, what will you take? Drop a comment below explaining why or if you have any other questions I may not have covered and share this post! You never know if any of your friends may have the same questions they may need to be answered too!