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Which Blogging Platform Do You Use and Why? – Open Mike

Posted By Darren Rowse 3rd of February 2007 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

I get a lot of questions from people just getting into blogging about which blog platform to choose. I have my own preferences and opinions but try to be objective with my answer. I usually point people to my blogging for beginners post on blog platforms for starters – but I’m aware that even that is skewed by my own experiences of blogging.

So – I’d like to be able to give a more independent set of reflections to my readers also and would love for you to share which blogging platform you use and recommend. Here’s a few questions that you might like to answer in comments below (or feel free to write a post about it on your blog and leave the link below so others can find it).

  • Which Blog Platform do you Use?
  • Why do you use it?
  • What do you love about it?
  • What do you wish they’d improve?
  • What type of blogger would benefit from using it?

I’m looking forward to reading your responses.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Which Blog Platform do you Use?

    I was actually introduced to blogging through Xanga. Most of my college friend had them and that’s how I got acquainted with the process. However, when I wanted to establish my own domain for my marketing blog (The Long Process), I chose WordPress.

    Why do you use it?

    I use it because of its

    Customization ability (so I have the option of making something unique)
    Ease of use (so I can actually focus on blogging instead of upkeep)
    Signifiant user-base (in case I run into problems)
    Technical depth (I have to hunker down and learn things every once in awhile and I enjoy an occasional challenge)

    What do you love about it?

    I don’t know that I really love anything about it. It’s a good blogging platform, but nothing that gets me super excited. The WordPress platform happened to be the one I chose, and it suits my purposes just fine. (but I suppose I do enjoy the auto-save function for posts)

    What do you wish they’d improve?

    I actually don’t mind the program too much, but I wish they would make a user forum that was easier to navigate…maybe some sort of trouble-shooting system. Frankly, when I go to the forum to look for answers, I’m almost always never sure of what the problem is. That makes it a little harder to look for a solution.

    What type of blogger would benefit from using it?

    Someone that has a decent understanding of technology, likes things to be simple, but doesn’t mind the occasional technical challenge.

  2. I use Blogger because I’m a new to blogging and a little technically challenged. I like that it is easy to use and free, although I do use my own domain, and that is a big benefit. What I don’t like? Blogger doesn’t have a good back up system in place. Who would benefit from Blogger? Newbies like me, and people who are looking for something that is easy to use and but allows you to edit the HTML.

  3. For one site, I use blogger, publishing to my own server. When I started the blog I wasn’t sure that it would be worth the investment to register a domain name and get hosting. 2 weeks later I did. Blogger was one of the easiest to get up and running and is somewhat easy to configure.

    My most recent blog is running WordPress 2.0.6. I did a little more research for this and talked with several people on forums before choosing it. The ability to easily have several authors was one of the bigger selling points, ease of theme instalations and plug-ins is wonderful and the codex is full of usefull info. In the 6 weeks or so that the site has been live, I’ve been very happy with it. It installed on my server in less then 5 minutes and I had it skinned and ready to start blogging inside of 15.

  4. * Which Blog Platform do you Use?

    I use ExpressionEngine.

    * Why do you use it?

    Because it is the most intuitive Blogging and CMS Platform I’ve ever come across.

    * What do you love about it?

    Ease of use, intuitive interface, the most flexible templating system, 100% customization possibilities, wonderful sorting options, sophisticated and easy-to-use administration system, good and clean framework, speed, search engine friendly, excellent modules/plugins/extensions, great support.

    * What do you wish they’d improve?

    Gallery capabilities. Tagging.

    * What type of blogger would benefit from using it?

    Anyone who is a hardcore blogger, likes sophisticated and intuitive interfaces and doesn’t mind it’s not an Open Source product.

  5. WordPress
    Because all the best good things in life are free!!!

  6. Which Blog Platform do you Use?
    WordPress. Totally in love with it.

    Why do you use it?
    Flexibility, expansion, hacking, easy-of-use. Has everything I could ever dream of wanting from my blogware.

    What do you love about it?
    Aside from what I’ve said, it’s really well documented, and the support community is great. By publishing pages, I even use it as a basic CMS solution for ‘static’ client sites. They love the ease of use and the cost.

    What do you wish they’d improve?
    Some minor functionality in the editor. Ideally, someone would devise a link plugin that would easily let people link between posts and pages from the editor. Like a popup window that lists all your posts and pages and lets you choose one/more to link too.

    What type of blogger would benefit from using it?
    If you’re self-hosting, ideally you have some basic coding skill and FTP knowledge. If not, willingness to learn it. Otherwise, use WordPress.com for a hosted solution.

  7. * Which Blog Platform do you Use?
    Mainly WordPress. I have several WordPress blogs, and one on Blogger. In the past I have used Moveable Type and LiveJournal.
    * Why do you use it?
    I first changed to WordPress simply because it was easy to do so. My website host provided a simple installation of WordPress through an installer called Fantastico. I prefer WordPress now because it’s very easy, customizable, and has a lot of useful plugins to enhance my blogs.
    * What do you love about it?
    My favorite features are themes, Akismet spam blocking, and the upload feature (lets you upload files/photos and put them in your posts easily). I use plugins that let me do really great things with my sidebar, and let me cross-post to my old livejournal, among other things.
    * What do you wish they’d improve?
    There is very little I would improve. I notice that in my free WordPress blog there is a “statistics” element that tells me how many page views I get. I would love to have this on my hosted WordPress blogs, way easier than digging through my website logs.
    * What type of blogger would benefit from using it?
    Any blogger, no kidding. New bloggers will love what they get from a free blog at WordPress.com, and experienced bloggers moving from other systems will love the functionality.

  8. I use wordpress.
    I’m on vers. 2.1 right now.

    Self hosted not the wordpress.com thing… that’s too restrictive for my tastes. For instance I like having complete control over the domain name and things like the htaccess file. (I’ve set mine up to remove the www if anyone uses it to get to stogiecast.com – just a personal preference but hosting it allows me to do such things.)

    I love the extensibility of it.
    Tons of plugins – and it’s fairly well documented.

    V 2.1 adds a lot of great enhancements… but I’m hoping the next release incorporates the best plugins. It would be nice not to have to think about all the plugins when you upgrade.

  9. I’m using BlogCFC created by Raymond Camden. It’s an open soure setup that is fairly easy to modify and customize. If you’re site is running ColdFusion, you might want to consider this option. I’m in the process of changing my layout this weekend, and my blogs should look quite different by Monday.

  10. Gees, my eyes are getting bad. That’s “source” not “soure.” :)

  11. I don’t see any mention of serendipity yet! (http://s9y.org/) I’ve started using this for nearly all of my new sites and I love it. Smarty templating, built-in plugins + Spartacus for downloading and upgrading more plugins and themes…. Supports Akismet, media/photos and a bunch of other stuff straight outta the box.

    The Smarty templating is nice but its big limitation is you can’t just stick a php include() in there when you need to.

    I used to use wordpress but I’m not a huge fan of the admin interface.

  12. I’m another one to put a vote in for Joomla. I started back when blogging was online journaling and the only tools where text editing HTML code… and we had to do it in three feet of snow! I used Blogger when it came on the scene and found it to be too limited so switched to Movable Type and while it was better, I was still unsatisfied. WordPress was better yet… but I kept searching. Since I have a lot of ideas for what I wanted to put up on my website I figured that a full fledged Content Management System was in order. Gosh golly jee willickers there are a lot of open source CMSs out there! I compared features on the exceptionally useful opensourcecms.com website and settled on Drupal. While it is a fine system, about a year later I was switching hosts and had the chance to clean sheet the platform and after revisiting the options I came to the conclusion that Joomla would be a better fit for me. This is no knock on Drupal since there is basically nothing that Joomla can do that Drupal can’t – or vice versa – it is just that the interface philosophy suits me better. Your millage may vary.

    # Why do you use it?
    Besides the subjective user interface preference, I have to go with the massive feature list. There isn’t much you can imagine that isn’t available for it out of the box or through plugins and extensions.

    # What do you love about it?
    The huge and ridiculously dedicated developer community. They are constantly adding new capabilities and features. You have a question, drop into the forums and if it hasn’t already been answered then it will be shortly after you post.

    # What do you wish they’d improve?
    Speed. It is a tad slow to load pages and save changes while you are in the administrative end of things. The templating is a little more convoluted than I would like… but then again I haven’t really invested a lot of time trying to grok it.

    # What type of blogger would benefit from using it?
    This isn’t for the casual blogger, you need to have some technical skills, although not all that much if you can follow the reasonably well documented step by step installation instructions. If everything goes right it is easy as pie… but if the installation goes all pie shaped then… not so much with the easy. While Joomla is free, you still have to find a place to host it and I don’t know any free hosting sites that have the server side capabilities and backend access that is required so you will have to pay – but there are $5 hosting packages at places like GoDaddy and IX Webhosting.
    If you aren’t going to take advantage of all the features of a CMS then it is a little bit of overkill. Actually, it is a lotta bit of overkill. A midway point is a hosted CMS like Bryght.com with Drupal. It costs more than rolling your own but it might be well worth it for the PHP, MySQL and CSS challenged.

  13. All of them! How else can you stay uop to date with such a rapidly moving technology!

  14. WordPress 2.0

  15. I use Word Press. I’m a relatively new blogger and the flexibility and price were both attractive to me when I was choosing a platform. One of the challenges I’m starting to deal with is making my Blog look a little less bloggy. I wish there were more options available for customizing the layout and flow of the site. Some of the documentation I’ve read, about creating a static homepage for example, is way over my head as a newbie, so my options are a bit limited by my own ignorance. Other than that, Word Press does allow for alot of simple customization within the limits of the template you choose.

  16. I definitely prefer blogger over wordpress (yeah, you heard me!) and Moveable Type.

    Reason? A lot more flexible to use without extra knowledge of HTML, CSS, etc. so that you can focus on blogging instead of coding.

    But if you are a coder, Blogger has opened up its gates to allow you to customize the site as well, something the wordpress hosted sites (to my knowledge) don’t allow.

    Also, having Google host it on their servers makes it even better, and they have done an excellent job at filtering the spam.

    Those are my reasons. :-)

  17. WordPress with Akismet. I don’t think I’d still be blogging if I didn’t have some form of spam defence, so Akismet is essential.

    The only big thing I’d improve would be the use of custom fields and page management. I use WordPress as a CMS for a few sites, and although it does a grand job it still makes life harder than it should be. Custom field declarations in templates and an explorer style view of pages would make me a very happy man.

  18. Anthony C says: 02/04/2007 at 5:04 am

    I really am enjoying reading this blog, I found this article quite helpful…

    Great site!

    ~Anthony C

  19. Textpattern because it is easy to customize. I like the fact that I can create a website with a text editor using modern web design standards, then just plug the whole thing into Textpattern.

  20. […] Darren Rowse of ProBlogger asks :Which blogging platform do you use and why? […]

  21. I have been using Pmachine since 1997 and recently also Expression Engine for starting up a corporate blog as it had to hold all kind of keywords in the generated urls, something the Pmachine set up did not handle.

    I do prefer working with Pmachine though as it is to me a lot easier to handle and I only wish they would have continued offering commercial licenses. Now I am forced to go Expression Engine though… :)

  22. I’ve posted why I chose WordPress and Darren is partially to blame!

    http://qmusings.com/blog/2007/02/03/why-i-use-wordpress-as-my-blog-platform/

  23. I use WordPress, as it’s fast, stable, and the functions are easy to tweak into new designs. Simple, reliable.

    I don’t create typical “blogs” that often, but I use WordPress as a CMS for most sites, just because of its versatility.

  24. Why I like Movable Type…

    We use Movable Type to look after eight websites including two that are not blogs. If you have a lot of content and it can be categorized and tagged, it probably makes sense to use a content management system like Movable Type….

  25. I use Blogger. I investigated other platforms, but it looked like the learning curve was too steep for me to invest the required time.

    This probably makes me typical of the average person who contemplates launching a blog: limited technical skills and a desire to be up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible. Sure, it’s not the most feature rich service, but life is about balancing your considerations.

  26. I’ve been using WordPress for about six months now, and love it. I originally started with the wordpress.com hosted version, mainly because it was free and had some good features. Now I’ve switched it over to my own server, and have integrated it with a broader website. Now I’m happy because of the ease of use and flexibility. It only took me about 10 minutes to get set up on my new server and get all of my posts imported. I’ve found that the structure does a lot for my google rankings too. I’ve had a few websites in the past that never did well in google, but my blog does pretty decent!

  27. I’ve used Blogger. I’ve used Splinder (ita). I’ve used WordPress on my own hosted space. They were too much, not customizable enough, hard to make a custom theme, not quite what I wanted.

    In the end I just wrote my own, that I call Scripta (as in “verba volant, scripta manent”).

    http://millenomi.altervista.org/blog/

  28. I use Blogger, no reason in particular. When I got the idea to create a blog a couple of days ago, the first blogplatform I found was Blogger. I consider it an easy to use platform, but I have no idea if there are free platform which have an easier UI. The only thing that bothers me though is the bar at the top, but thats about the only price you pay for free blogging.

  29. I can see that Joomla guys outnumbered the Drupal guys so I’ll have to say Drupal. It can a wholelottathings.

  30. I started out with Blogger but moved on to WordPress. I still use Blogger for quick personal blogs or when I just want to write something, but WordPress is definitely my choice for something more professional. There are some really well thought out and clean themes available, it has full widget support, and it supports hundreds of plug-ins. It all comes down to the amount of control I have over the look and feel of my blog, and WordPress offers plenty of control and customization options. Some people aren’t comfortable messing around with CSS and HTML or simply don’t have the time, and that’s understandable, but it’s definitely worthwhile and the rewards are great.

  31. Brennan says: 02/04/2007 at 11:08 am

    I use (and recommend) WordPress 2.1 (hosted on my server), for several reasons. Once you know your way around, its pretty easy to use. It publishes posts quickly, and the posts show up immediately. Out of all of the blog platforms I’ve tried, its no doubt, the fastest.

    WP has been reliable and hack-proof. The system’s user registration is very simple, but effective. I love that it is free, and is constantly being updated, upgraded and developed by the owners. There are countless plugins and templates for WP, making it very compatable. The system is flexible, and just overall easy.

    I don’t really have any complaints about WordPress, right now. It probably wouldn’t be a great (but not horrible) idea for “new” bloggers. It does involve some established knowledge of blogging.

  32. On my main site I use Joomla’s CMS, which is great. What I did was to use a wrapper linking my blog from Blogger. As some have shared, for a quick entry, I like Blogger and because I found some decent templates outside of those offered by Blogger, it’s fine. I might venture into WordPress later on, but for now Blogger suits my needs.

  33. When I first decided to start blogging, I didn’t know anything about any of the platforms or anything. I looked around at all of the free ones I could find, and saw that most people were using WordPress and it looked very popular. I wanted full control and to host it myself, so I didn’t consider blogger or any of those. I went with WordPress because it was the most popular, and I figured there was a reason for that. I didn’t want want to spend the time trying all of them and WordPress worked fine.

    There are a few things about it that bother me, like it’s picture uploading for example, it’s not very convenient. And when I want to use an original-size picture, it automatically resizes it to thumbnail size and I have to go in and resize it manually, that’s frustrating. And when it tries to auto-correct my HTML and removes breaks where I want there to be one, stuff like that. I don’t like having to hack around things just to make it work right.

  34. I use blogger but I am not a big fan of it. Their customer service is poor and they release products and enhancements that have not been properly tested.

    I think blogger is great for personal bloggers and journals but for probloggers I think other platforms are better. I will migrate (one day), but I haven’t had the time to sort it yet.

  35. * Which Blog Platform do you Use?
    — SubText 1.9.2.30
    * Why do you use it?
    — Easy to set up and configure. Very simple and built on .Net Technology.
    * What do you love about it?
    — Like I said, very easy to set up and configure. I was also looking for a .Net based blogging engine so that I can customize and extend it to specifically be what I want it to be.
    * What do you wish they’d improve ?
    — Include more SEO related changes in future releases. Also better Skins i.e. templates.
    * What type of blogger would benefit from using it?
    — Anyone currently using WordPress or PHP based engines. SubText is so much easier to manage !.

  36. Textpattern, light and flexible and I feel most comfortable working with it. I’ve played with WordPress but never used it for a production site; I may do in the future when I have time to mess about with it more. More people should take a look at Textpattern though it’s got great potential for creating all kinds of sites not just blogs.

  37. Hmm, I use Blogger now for everything. I have 9 blogs. I tried WordPress and I just don’t “get it”. What really turned me off was their wording to the effect of…”we don’t allow javascript on our blogs because it is not secure… a hacker shut down some sites through a javascript code vulnerability… blah blah blah… and then to end it, “Is your site more important than every site on our server?” or something childish like that. Blogger does it – why can’t you guys figure it out?

    I had just started a blog on WP, posted about 8 times and then I realize – I can’t add ADSENSE to my blog! What the heck? I looked for some plugins that would allow me to do it and couldn’t find any. From what I’ve just read here – it can be done – yes? No matter. I ripped the site down and started again at Blogspot address and no worries.

    I like (not love) Blogger because it’s integrated quite well with Adsense, Google Analytics, Google groups, my personalized homepage with Google. I have all my blogs at the homepage via their feeds. Blogger is easy for neophytes like me. They even allow me to buy my own domain and they’ll point it at blogspot for me – but visitors think it’s all at my site. I have yet to try that but it may be an option later. I’m excited about whatever changes are in the works for Blogger since they have some talented people working on it.

    I wish they had some way for me to add link units into my posts – not just at the end of my post, but WITHIN them… the link units of 4 or 5 links going across the page do well for me on my regular site – but with my blogs I can only put adsense on the right column or after my blog entries. I want to be able to put adsense ANYWHERE I need to. Especially within my posts.

    Bloggers that would benefit from it are those that need something intuitive. It’s blogging for dummies 101. I had zero knowledge of blogging coming in just a month ago. Already, after using blogger and reading Darren’s and 3 other blogs I’m indexed at Google and have $2 per week coming in! :) Big money coming… it’s coming…

  38. For some “quickie” blogs, I use WordPress. However, I have a home-grown solution I use for my main blog. I’m enamored with WP – the depth into which it goes is simply amazing. For something to be that good and to be free is unbelievable. I host my own WP blogs rather than using the free WP service — I own the server, so why not?

  39. i was thinking to make the move on WP, until Blogger upgraded their platform, and now i quite “satisfy” with Blogger and i will stick with it.

    And with regards to the previous comment, it seems that Blogger got the point:
    – Easy to use (even a 7 years old child can use it)
    – No hosting requiered
    – FREE
    – Free image hosting (very important for me @[email protected])
    – Compatibility with the Google services
    – Free bandwidth
    – Fully customizable.

    Now the bad point is:
    – You r marry with Google: They have a right of life or of died on your blog.
    – No PHP
    – Too many bugs
    – Lack of support
    – Lack of plugins and themes (it s killing me)

  40. wordpress. Too many hacking but I still use because of all the plugins. WordPress=World of Plugins

  41. * Which Blog Platform do you Use?
    I started with Blogger in 2003. I moved to WordPress in late 2006 when I got my own domain.

    * Why do you use it?
    * What do you love about it?
    I liked Blogger because it was the first thing I came across. I also liked it better than LiveJournal because I could edit my HTML files directly. I couldn’t be bothered with learning LJ’s management system – not when I had some knowledge of HTML and CSS.

    I switched to WordPress on the recommendation of some of my friends (the same ones who convinced me to get my own domain). I like the fact that I can rely on plugins & widgets to automate a number of things I used to do manually, and still tweak the HTML. I also like the fact that my friends and I can share tips when we learn new things about WP.

    * What do you wish they’d improve?
    I’m not sure yet. Some of the things I wished for were answered by v2.1, but I haven’t upgraded yet.

    * What type of blogger would benefit from using it?
    Practically any blogger. It’s easy enough for a beginner to use (I know somebody who never blogged before using it) and the use of plugins should allow more advanced users to customize it to their needs.

  42. I use WordPress, and would continue to do so until I stop blogging. I love it because of its great features, easy to use. hundreds of free themes, functionalities via the plugins, everything that a serious blogger needs.

  43. Which Blog Platform do you Use? WordPress
    Why do you use it? 1) because it’s free 2) because it’s easy enough for me to use 3) the range of plugins you can download to make you blog better and easier to use.
    What do you love about it? The price :P the plugins, and the fact that it doesn’t take much to learn how to customise it.
    What do you wish they’d improve? Possibly the side bar widgets, if it would be possible to use a drag and drop style thing for the whole page, so you can drag content fields to different spots etc.
    What type of blogger would benefit from using it?
    Someone who wants to move off a blogspot site and start something with their own domain but isn’t really big on programming etc.

  44. I use b2evolution since 0.92, cause it supports multiple blogs, has a cool comunity, has a very clean and well manteined sourcecode. I love the plugins API! In this year, I wait clean URLs for categories in b2evo.

  45. Sharon says: 02/05/2007 at 12:59 am

    I was all set to use WordPress but because of the comments here, I checked out Joomla and… wow, that seems really slick. Now I’m not sure but leaning toward Joomla!

  46. I currently use WordPress. I used to have MovableType (from the 2.x days) and I loved it even though I found it considerably difficult to install.

    When I got into reading more blogs, it was all about seeing them running on WordPress, and there were so many plugins and themes available which made things easier.

    I made the switch to WordPress and don’t think I am going to consider MT in the near future. I personally found MT’s setup as of lately (even today) extremely cumbersome with requiring files to go in the cgi-bin directory (WordPress doesn’t have such restrictions)… it’s an absolute mess compared to the ease of WordPress. Worse, certain hosts have even more frustrating restrictions (like if you run the site on a Plesk control panel, you have to make sure that you disable cgi-bin support — or at least that’s how I got it to work!

    The reasons why I previously didn’t use WordPress have been because it felt more unsecure and I heard about it being exploited all too often — but even those fears have been alleviated and I also update frequently enough that I feel more comfortable using it.

  47. I currently use WordPress – although I am not happy with it. My server company insists a lot of my troubles come from issues with the WordPress software. The only reason why I haven’t switched over to MT is because they don’t have the “next page / previous page” functionality yet. It is my understanding that you have so many posts on your page and then the rest is in archives OR you have to hard code the page numbers on the bottom of your screen.

    As soon as they make that part of their design, I will switch over.. I make money off of my page views (as I am sure we all do) and cannot risk losing out on functionality at this time. So I wait… patiently.

  48. ▪ Which Blog Platform do you Use?
    I’ve recently started a WordPress.com blog.

    ▪ Why do you use it?
    It’s simple, works on my BlackBerry’s browser perfectly and it’s free!

    ▪ What do you love about it?
    It’s really simple and has a whole lotta themes that are clean and neat. It works very well on my BlackBerry and posting from my phone is damn easy. It also has a great support team and a buzzing community forum for help.

    ▪ What do you wish they’d improve?
    Get faster servers! Their speed sometimes is slooooow!

    ▪ What type of blogger would benefit from using it?
    Definitely hobby bloggers. Since you cannot insert java script based ads (like Google Adsense), you cannot monetise the blog. So, it’s a great place to start for beginners and hobby bloggers.

    Overall, I find WP.com a wonderful platform. Although it is not as customizable as self-hosted WordPress blogs, it’s definitely a place to be if you want something right off the shelf.

    Siddharth Thakkar

  49. I’m trying to get South Africans to blog, so my extensive (and hopefully educational) answer to this post can be found here.

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