Written by:2010/07/15 08:23 AM
Guest post by: Devon Dudgeon (http://www.devoninspiration.com)
There are several different blogging platforms to choose from and I’m often asked to make recommendations on which is the best choice. Here are a few pros and cons on Blogger, TypePad and WordPress.
This is the free blogging platform owned by Google. It’s pretty easy and allows for a fair bit of customization without having to get too technical. The only drawback is that it has the Blogger-branded blue stripe at the top. If you’re a stickler for design or don’t want it to be obvious that you’ve used a free blogging platform, then you’re out of luck. For major brands, I would not recommend it, but for small businesses and individuals I don’t think there is a stigma about using a free service. For the non-techie crowd, this is a good choice. Here is an example of a blog I set up with Blogger (which is sadly dormant right now): http://www.glamroad.blogspot.com/ At the time, I had to learn how to hack the HTML code just to get that jpeg above my profile photo. Now they make it easy for newbies.
This is probably the most popular blogging service but without technical help it can cause a few tears (or was that just me?). The best thing to do would be to hire a WordPress designer and customize the look/feel, though I have to say that I see so many sites now that were built with WordPress that they are all starting to look same-y. This can be overcome by selecting a good designer and pushing them to deliver something quality and unique. One of the main benefits of WordPress is that there are a lot of great options for widgets/plug-ins to help content sharing and commenting. All of the blogging platforms have these, but I find WordPress is ahead of the curve.
I’m sure many readers of this blog probably use WordPress and can offer more pros and cons in the comments.
This is what I use for my business blog. www.devoninspiration.typepad.com
If you have your own domain name, you can get rid of the TypePad extension, as I’ve done here: www.a-broad-in-america.com.
If you get the Unlimited or Premium package you can fully customize the look/feel using CSS etc. This was something easily accomplished by my web designer and can be done by any “brave programmer”, but it would be too technical for your average person off the street. For the non-technical crowd, they have a variety of template designs to choose from with some customizations (colors, fonts, etc.).
I think they make it pretty easy to add “widgets” and other plug-ins to the blog, but it does lag behind WordPress a bit. However, they are looking at new opportunities which benefits brands and bloggers, such as TypePad Conversations. I’ve been using TypePad since around 2006 and I have no complaints: no issues with down time, no lost data, no technical glitches, etc.
The one thing I would NOT recommend is to create a customized blog (i.e. without using a blogging software platform). You’ll likely lose out on many of the SEO benefits, you’ll be limited in terms of adding widgets/plug-ins, and you will likely get fewer comments. Plus as the other blogging platforms evolve, you’ll be left behind or have to constantly hire a programmer to keep up to date.
Devon Dudgeon is a strategic digital marketing consultant, experienced in launching products, services, loyalty programs and other customer communications for global brands and entrepreneurial start-ups. Her passion for communications extends outside the office with a semi-professional hobby as a writer, actor and humorist. She created and performed the first show based on a blog at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London Comedy Festival in 2004. Follow Devon on Twitter @ddudgeon.
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