I am a way huge fan of WordPress
I figured I should get that blogging bias on the table at the outset, so you know in advance where this is going! And now that you know my personal and professional bias, I’ll let you know where it comes from.
Let’s go back a few years. Back to the early days of blogging. There were basically three main contenders for the blogging platform throne; Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad. All three were good platforms, and all three are still around today. There were others back then too, but most have faded into obscurity and disappeared.
Blogger could probably be considered as the “winner” in those early days. It was easier to set up and easier to use, and became hugely popular with the first generation of amateur bloggers. These early adopters consisted mostly of angst filled teenagers and bored (and boring) diarists posting barely readable self-absorbed journal entries about their personal trials, tribulations, and occasional triumphs in their lives. Needless to say, the audience for this was pretty much limited to other angst-filled self-absorbed, literacy-challenged individuals. Blogging looked liked it was on its way to joining MySpace in Internet obscurity. Then things got interesting.
While Blogger (now owned by Google) was concentrating on making things easier for the “average Jane”, a couple of things happened.
The community space occupied by Blogger & MySpace completely migrated to the social media giant. Blogger’s role as a communication platform for bored teenagers and stay-at-homes was basically killed. Facebook allowed for a far richer sharing platform that made it easier to share only with the people that you wanted to—while still making it easy to share with the whole world if that’s what you wanted to do.
Wordpress did something that was pretty much unprecedented as a business model. They split into two divisions. One part (WordPress.org) gave its platform away for free to anyone who wanted to, and was capable of, installing it on a server. The other, WordPress.com, became a profit center. At one end they offered a “free” blog to anyone that wanted one. This was basically as easy to set up as Blogger was, but offered a more polished interface and look. It’s “free” factor, actually fully funded by advertising revenue generated by ads that were run on free blogs. For an affordable, but not inconsequential, fee it was (and is) possible to remove the ads. At the other end, and less widely known, WordPress offers a sophisticated full service hosting platform to major organizations at the Fortune 500 level of the economic spectrum. Blogging became serious business, for serious people.
WordPress has evolved into a powerful and extensible CMS, making it the only serious contender for a website on which blogging is a major component
Today there are several new platforms competing in the DIY space, but none of them really fill the same cyberspace as the blogging platforms. Most of the new Content Management Systems (CMS), like Wix, Weebly, and Sqarespace include a blogging add-on, but WordPress has evolved into a powerful and extensible CMS, making it the only serious contender for a website on which blogging is a major component. Web platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn also offer different blogging experiences, and are all fantastic Social Media Platforms, but there is no way to get the kind of branding experience possible with content on a fully branded blog and website. It’s important to remember that social media blogging is free because, at the end of the day, the content creators (you and me) are the product that they are selling for profit—nothing wrong with that at all, but it’s a fact that can’t be ignored.
So while WordPress is not the only alternative, it offers a compelling (and in my view, unbeatable) combination of features and value. And we haven’t even talked about the huge number of plug-ins that allow bloggers to make a WordPress blog/site do just about anything, or the thousands of design theme templates available for free or for fee, that can make your blog look fabulous no matter what your personal view of “fabulous” is!