Tag Archives: platform

Advice #13: Choosing a Blogging Platform

“I’m wondering, what blogging software do you use? I’m just trying to toss up between different ones and I’m not sure which one I should choose.”

It’s great that you’re giving your software options some forethought. By determining your blogging goals, deciding what you want to gain and what kind of community you want to build, you should get a better idea of which platform is best suited to your needs.

BEFORE GETTING STARTED, CONSIDER:

a. The maturity of the software: Has the platform been around for a few years? Is it upgraded regularly? Chances are that if it’s more established, there will be a bigger selection of themes, plugins and a larger developer community to back it up.

b. Your skill level: Are you savvy with basic HTML and PHP? While WordPress is revered for its user-friendly interface and is perfect for entry-level bloggers, Textpattern is aimed at more skilled users.

c. The level of community interaction: Do you envision yourself managing a single author blog or a huge community? If you’re leaning towards building a community, platforms like Drupal and Nucleus might be better options.

WORDPRESS LOVE

Over here at Nubbytwiglet.com, I swear by WordPress, a stable, state-of-the-art blogging platform that provides thousands of free customizable themes and plugins.


Nubbytwiglet.com relaunched in a blog format in Fall 2007

WordPress was founded in 2003 and since then, it has grown into the largest self-hosted blogging platform in the world. WordPress is the perfect choice for first-time bloggers who want to install their own software. Likewise, it’s also a fantastic option for advanced users who want to modify the code into something that’s more customized. My free theme was completely revamped by coding genius Star, who managed to merge my website with the existing template.

If you decide to use Wordrpess, you’re in great company. Some household names that use the platform include The New York Times, Ford, People Magazine, Delta Airlines, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, BoingBoing and Xerox. And, the list of big-name adopters is constantly growing.

WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER WORDPRESS?

Why do WordPress users preach on about it like it’s the gospel?

1. The install is fairly quick and painless. Simply download the newest version of the platform here (it’s constantly being updated) and follow the steps in the install guide.

2. There are over 2,000 free plugins available from the WordPress site that allow you to customize your experience down to spam filters and comment formats.

Some of my favorite plugins are Akismet, which cuts spam comments down to an almost nonexistent level and ShareThis, which allows users to click on a list at the end of your post and submit it to popular social networking sites.

3. The admin panel in WordPress is web-based so as long as you have an internet connection, it’s possible to update from anywhere in the world. Additionally, the interface is streamlined and uncomplicated.

4. If you’re wanting to manage multiple blogs, WordPress MU (multiple user) is for you. It allows you to run an unlimited number of blogs with a single install of WordPress! It’s ideal for magazines, universities and blog networks.

FREE WORDPRESS THEMES

WordPress is an open source project; this means that hundreds of people around the world are constantly working to make it more efficient and it’s totally free to use. Nearly 200 themes can be viewed directly on the WordPress site. Some other personal favorites include:

1. Modicus Theme:



2. Futurosity Theme:



3. Overstand Theme:



4. Fontella Theme:



5. Modicus Remix Theme:




ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

1. Some of these were mentioned above, but if you’re curious about other blogging platforms besides WordPress, popular options include MoveableType, Textpattern, Nucleus, Mephisto, Drupal, ExpressionEngine, Serendipity and Joomla.

2. Wikipedia has a helpful entry that covers almost everything you need to know about blogging software.

3. Smashing Magazine has compiled 100 free WordPress themes. Other resources for free themes include Free WP Themes, Skinpress and Fresheezy (and too many more to mention)!

What blogging platform do you use? What are some of benefits of using this platform? Would you change platforms now if you had the chance?