Comparing Four Most Popular Blog Engines


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Read how, & blogger,com compare and how a self-hosted Wordpress Install stacks up against these free sites.
Reviewing 17 Features and their implementation. Researched by Birgit Pauli-Haack
Published by Relevanza, Inc.

Published in: Self Improvement, Technology
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Comparing Four Most Popular Blog Engines

  1. 1. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog Engines - Which One Is Right For You?By Birgit |
  2. 2. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog EnginesWhich Blog Software is right for me? How do I get started? Who can help me? These are allvalid questions! And there are no easy answers.Most of the time your decision will depend on a few variables you will need to consider. And,sometimes, after writing (blogging) for a year or so you may decide your original assumptionsare out of date or have changed.What does one do then? Start over? Shell out more money to convert your original site?Our team deals with a variety of different software writing/blogging packages - and we’ve triedmany more. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The world of Internet communication isfilled with trade-offs.So let’s get started…My number one software for about 3 years is WordPress. It lets you start out as a small site, getup and running fast and keep growing. With the help of the community of this open-sourceplatform, you are able to grow and increase the features set and sophistication of your webpresence.In 2012, there are 60 million websites built on top of WordPress. Fifteen percent the new domainnames (URLs) set up last year use WordPress. It’s an easy choice when you have a new businessand need a website: build it on top of WordPress self-hosted.But what if you have had a website and don’t have the time or funds to convert the site? Using asubdomain ( with any of the free services will get you started. When thetime and circumstances are right, you can migrate the whole site into one content & WordPress self-hosted ( & WordPress self-hosted ( come from the same stable of open-source developers and migration from one to another is easy when your site matures.We published last week an info graphic by WPBeginners that illustrated the main differencesbetween a and a self-hosted instance of WordPress for your website.So the two top spots, in our view, are taken by WordPress self-hosted ( (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 2 of 9
  3. 3. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog EnginesBlogger/BlogSpotThere are two more free services that have a long history as well as a lot of users. Oneis Blogger, the blog engine run by Google, which just recently received a total overhaul and isnow equipped with small business level features, like integration of AdSense and site analyticsas well as some great layouts.Blogger was, a long time ago, the distant cousin in Google’s software family. It’s one of theoldest blog engines and has had a large following, especially among individuals and personalblogs. Only recently with the arrival of Google+ has it experienced a major feature upgrade andwas integrated with other Google services. Various themes are available but, of course, not asvast as for or Tumblr. Whoever stuck it out on has been rewardedwith an interesting upgrade. For serious businesses, connecting it with a domain should beobligatory.Tumblr The other free Blog service that made it onto this list isTumblr which had its greatest year in 2011 when it went from 11 million users to 90 millionusers. Tumblr is a blog engine with a restricted set of features but what it lacks in options orintegration it makes up for with social network integration, ease of use, mobile integration forvisitors and contributors and search engine visibility. The themes are mostly customizable with afew clicks and settings. The range of out-of-the box features allows for a fast set-up and widedistribution over the social webs. It also has a great array of social features called “like” and“reblog” to spread the work.Yes, you can integrate it with your own domain name or subdomain of your existing website.Our Social Media Bootcamp blog is built on Tumblr and helped us assess the blog engine in areal life setting that requires rapid updating from various locations.Compare 17 Individual Features to Find the Right Solutions for YouAll four blog engines allow you to update and post via mobile applications, be it from yoursmartphone or tablet. That feature is important these days and, for us, is a serious qualifier forthis list. (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 3 of 9
  4. 4. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog EnginesBelow, you will find a list of features, an overall comparison of the four engines. We have thethree onsite free services stacked up against the Wordpress self-hosted installation.A comparison table features/ advantages and disadvantages for Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr. Ifyou see the symbols, (++), next to a feature, it means you shouldn’t start a blog without it, evenif you work with your web developer, who might have a different preference. When you see thislink, (How?), the link will take you to a page that explains how to implement a particular featureon the blog platform. I didn’t research all features for their ease of implementation but I wascurious about a few and checked them out. Underneath the feature matrix you’ll find briefexplanations for each feature listed.Compare Features across Blog Engines Self-Hosted Feature Blogger Tumblr WP ( hosting fees Account Costs free $8 - $35month (or free free higher) RSS feed/ yes/ yes yes/yes yes/ yes (How?) yes/noCategory feeds (++) (How?) (How?) Own Domain ~10 - $40 per 10 p.year + $12 - 24/year yes (How?)(++) year GoogleApps Y-Integration Subdomain yes, no mention $12-24/year n/A of GoDaddy free ofExisting Domain of cost. (How?) charge w/ yes w/ un/pw yes /w google yes/w.tumblr.c Multi-author profile from WP instance account om account w/ w/ google yes/ w/tumblr Multi-Blogs no Profile account account. Post via email yes yes yes yes (How?)(++) (How?) Auto-post FB/Twitter FB/Twitter no Twitter Mobile Version Yes/via Yes yes yes(++) plugin & theme (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 4 of 9
  5. 5. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog Engines Self-Hosted Feature Blogger Tumblr WP ( no/yes via Export/Move customized yes yes nocontent import/export scripts no, you will see yes on any Adsense/Adserve other people’s Google yes, via network, withr integration advertising with your Adsense account customized Theme. selection of theme content Social Features yes no yes yeson site Share yes, plugins yes yes, yesButtons(++) available Spam Filter for Via plugin Yes Auto-system yesComment (++) (Akismet) Allow 3rd Party yes, via yes, w/ Theme no nocomment system plugin yes, Blogger yes, WP from yes, other from Blogger Import blog blogs only. Tumblr (How?) WP (How?) (How?) Post via MobileApps yes/yes/yes/ yes/yes/yes/ yes/yes/nomore 3rd party appsiOs/Android/others (How?) (How?) ..(++)What do the features listed entail and why they are important?Account CostsThe costs mentioned here are the initial set-up fees. Depending on your level of comfort withconfiguring your own account settings and the settings of your blog, you still might need to hirea professional for the initial set-up. The costs referred to here are only the initial costs to have an (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 5 of 9
  6. 6. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog Enginesaccount and start a blog. Some of the other features mentioned in this comparison chart willincur additional charges.RSS FeedsAre essential and needed to reach widest possible spread of your posts around the internet. Eitheryour integration service set-up will use them or your readers will use them. Around this blog andon Above the Noise we have a whole series of RSS related posts. On your blog you will need tohave categories in smaller groups to help your readers find relevant content. (++)As a business owner, you need to make sure that all your online activities support your brand andmarket your domain. Even if you use one of the free systems, you should invest in your owndomain and connect it to your blog on WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. (++)Multi-AuthorA Blog becomes much richer if you include others from your staff and or associates as authorson your blog. The burden of coming up with new content can be spread around and for yourreaders the experience is so much richer when they can hear multiple sides of an issues ordifferent ways for problem solution or just different opinions. All blog software allows for multi-author set-up. All you need is an account, either on the service or on your self-hosted WP, forexample.Multiple BlogsMost people won’t have a need for multiple blogs. It’s hard enough to fill one blog with good,relevant and engaging content. But, sometimes as a business owner in a niche market it might beuseful to team up with strategic partners and create a multi-topic blog and be great resources toeach other’s customers. It also is helpful when you are part of a networking group with a decentonline presence that you can guest post on the networks site, i.e., also on the same system. (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 6 of 9
  7. 7. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog EnginesPost via EmailSometimes it’s just easier to think about writing an e-mail than posting to the web where youhave to login, get accustomed to a new interface, when technology distracts from the thought youwant to jot down. WordPress programmers recognized this very early on and built in a way topost to our blog via e-mail. (++)Auto-PostIn order to make posting to social media less of a chore after you posted to your blog, you mightbe able to add your twitter account and your Facebook account to the settings page and authorizeyour site to post as you to the social networks.Mobile VersionBy the end of 2012, it’s estimated over 50% of mobile subscribers will have smartphones, it’simperative that your website/blog is recognizes when a mobile device is used to access your siteand presents a different view of the site, optimized for mobile viewing. (++)Export/Move ContentThe big advantage of using free and low cost services is the feature set includes provisions topack-up and leave when you find a more viable system or when you reach the point that youmove on. In our 10 year experience as web consultants, the biggest hurdle to successfullymoving on is the difficulty clients have in untangling content from the stronghold of hostingservices or web developers. Setting up initially on and, later, moving toWordPress/self-hosted ( is definitely the easiest transition path. The export from theTumblr, or Blogger will have its challenges.Adsense/Adserver IntegrationAt first it might not be all that interesting for small business to have ads on their website. But itmight prove beneficial if you participate in affiliate marketing or for a publishing company that (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 7 of 9
  8. 8. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog Enginesdecides to monetize parts of the site.Social FeaturesAs a user on the networks of, and you can followother users, like their posts and re-blog their posts with a few easy steps. You will not be able torecreate easily this kind of on-site connectivity with a stand-alone self-hosted wordpress site orother content management systems.Share ButtonsA row of icons on the bottom of each article that allows for on-click sharing on the most popularsocial networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and also some of the lesser knownones like StumbleUpon, Reddit or Delicious. (++)Spam Filter for CommentsYour blog won’t be able to survive long without enabled comment spam filter. This can beaccomplished with a built-in feature or by allowing a third-party service to monitor yourcomment section or prevent spam from being posted. (++)Allow third-party comment systemFor a richer comment administration, you can consider using an external service for your, Livefyre, IntenseDebate are the most popular systems, and provide their owncommunity of people engaging on different kind of sites.Import ContentIt’s the opposite side of moving between the worlds. One part is the export of existing contentand then you need the new software to have mechanism to import your content from anothersystem. (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 8 of 9
  9. 9. Comparing 4 Most Popular Blog EnginesPost via Mobile AppsYour site might benefit from real-time posting while you are on the road or at an event. Mobileapps on the smartphone or tablet platforms will make it possible to post photographs right fromyour camera to your website/blog. (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Relevanza, Inc. Page 9 of 9