How to find the best blogging platform

As I write this I am on my 5th or 6th web project and have experience of using various platforms that allow me to actively build my site. Based on this I thought I would share my thoughts with a view to help guide others.

What are you posting?

This is an important first step, you need to have a think about what it is you want to post. For my blog I needed to post long form text, a social feed, my music and photography. So your first bit of homework is to have a think about what it is you will be posting.

What are the requirements?

Now you need to think about what you needed in a site, to get you started here were my requirements

  • I needed to be able to update wherever I was, so had to be accessible from web and iOS
  • I needed to be able to post my images in full screen format
  • I needed to be able to post my music for playback via the site
  • I needed to have a side pane that contained my social feed and details
  • I wanted my URL and site to be managed by the same company, one bill

Options?

First off are you willing to pay? If you aren't then here are the best options

  • Wordpress: lots of themes, relatively easy to use content management system (CMS) but you will have a .wordpress.com as your URL or host on your own server
  • Tumblr: Great for images and sharing video content, not great for bloggers wanting to post long form

If you are willing to pay a little more

  • Squarespace: all in one solution, great free templates, friendly user interface and flexibility to customise
  • Wordpress: you can pay for your own URL and hosting at Wordpress, lots of paid themes and the majority of the blogs you see around are based on it

Summary

For me, as a blogger and musician Squarespace has been my choice. I am able to post from wherever I am, the templates have worked out to what I needed out of the box, it links with my social networks and has been rock solid when my traffic has spiked when I have been linked to by other sites.

My second choice would be to get Wordpress to host your site for you, the CMS is less intuitive than Squarespace but once you get your head around it you will be fine and with a host of templates (some free, some paid) available you will be able to create the site that you have in your head.

Let me know how you get on in the comments.