As part of this assignment, I have been tasked with creating a blog to document my ideas, research and thought processes. So, first things first. Which blogging platform do I choose?
Before starting any specific research I jotted down the names of blogging platforms I was already aware of. Three platforms instantly sprung to mind; Tumblr, WordPress and Blogger. As much as I was aware of the platforms, I was certainly no expert on what each individual platform could offer in terms of functionality. I needed to find out more information.
I started my research online, by searching for “different blogging platforms”. I very quickly found that there are a multitude of choices; Wix, Jekyll, Weebly, Contentfull, Ghost, to name but a few in addition to the well known names already mentioned. As there was such a wide choice available, I needed to find out which offered the best features, and to find out which platform would best suit my requirements. Ease of use being my main criteria, along with great theme choices and excellent customisability.
The infographic table created by Banner (2016) provided me with some invaluable information to enable me to make easy comparisons across different platforms, as shown in the table below.
After reading through the comparison chart, I decided to focus my research on the top 3 rated blog platforms; WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger.
Tumblr is primarily image based and suited to short and snappy uploads of text, pictures, links or whatever else you can think of to upload. My preconception was that this platform’s largest user group would be aged somewhere between 14 and 22. I was therefore surprised to learn that in 2015, the largest user group of Tumblr were aged between 25 and 34 (Infographic: Who’s Really Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in 2015, 2015). This demographic accounted for 27% of Tumblr’s users. Had I wanted to blog imagery and short captions rather than write lengthy posts to promote my business in the real world; this would likely have been my platform of choice as it captures my target demographic well. However given that the platform would not be suitable for the task at hand in terms of ability to write long posts, I discounted Tumblr as my platform of choice.
When looking at the comparison chart, WordPress had the highest overall rating at 9.5/10. There’s no doubt that WordPress is an incredibly popular platform to use. When searching online using generic terms such as: blogging, blogging platforms and best blogging platforms; WordPress came up in the results time and time again. In an article written for Forbes Magazine, Colao (2012) stated that, “WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet”. To further cement WordPress’powerhouse status, in July this year, Smith (2016) reported that 26% of all websites globally use WordPress. Not so hard to see why WordPress crops up time and time again.
As shown in the table above, WordPress offers the largest amount of themes which was one of my key criteria, rates very highly on ease of use, is suitable for business use and has a variety of plugins available. As Blogger is a very similar platform, but simply didn’t tick all of these boxes, I decided to use WordPress as opposed to Blogger.
My choice to use WordPress was also in part, because I am using WordPress to create my website. I felt that using the same platform for both tasks, would enable me to learn about one particular platform in depth enabling my to increase my knowledge to a deeper level as opposed to learning two platform interfaces.
In terms of which is the “best” blogging platform; my deduction is that this is subjective. Each platform offers their users something slightly different to their competitors. Therefore it’s more about what you are looking for from a blogging platform and which features and functions are most important to you individually. Tallying up your requirements with the specific platforms functions will provide the best user outcome.
Banner, M. (2016) List of Best Free Blogging Sites & Platforms. Available at: http://www.onblastblog.com/best-blogging-platforms/ (Accessed: 13 October 2016).
Colao, J.J. (2012) With 60 Million Websites, WordPress Rules The Web. So Where’s The Money?. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2012/09/05/the-internets-mother-tongue/#4a439d4b55fe (Accessed: 31 October 2016).
Infographic: Who’s Really Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in 2015 (2015) Available at: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/new-social-stratosphere-who-using-facebook-twitter-pinterest-tumblr-and-instagram-2015-and-beyond-1622 (Accessed: 17 October 2016)
Smith, C. (2016) By the Numbers: 29 Amazing WordPress Statistics. Available at: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/wordpress-statistics/ (Accessed: 13 October 2016)