[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series.]
I know it can be daunting challenge and one that seems like you’re peering over a big ledge about to jump deep into the wide world of blogging but it’s not that bad! It can be fun if done right!
But remember that it’s an important decision, and although there are a ton of choices when it comes to blogging platforms (over 100 listed here!) you’re ultimately going to want to choose the one that best fits your particular needs, either as an individual blogger or a business.
So to answer this question directly:
What is the BEST Blogging Software?
The best one is the one that best fits your needs. But here are a few things to consider and a few things to check off the list:
Blog Elements and Considerations
I wouldn’t call a piece of software (or the parent software where blogging is a feature) “blog software” unless it had the following elements:
- Title – The main title, headline of the post.
- Body – Place where your content goes.
- Permalink and URL – A direct link to the post.
Here are some additional things that a blog may or may not have depending on your needs:
- Comments – Allows your readers to discuss the content of your blog post.
- Categories – An index of a particular subject area that your blog covers.
- Tags – Keywords, terms, or meta-data associated with the post.
- Trackbacks, Pingbacks – Links to sites that reference your post.
- RSS – A way to syndicate and subscribe to the content and blog.
Here are a few things that you’re going to want to consider in terms of the general features:
- Images – Can you post images?
- Video – Can you embed and add videos and rich multimedia components?
- Podcasting – Does this software support podcasting?
- Design – Can you manage and change the design of the blog?
- Themes – Like design, are there themes that can be downloaded and used?
- Code – Can you change some of the code to add features and functionalities?
- Moderation – Does this software have good comment moderation?
- Spam – Does this software have good spam management and moderation?
- Plugins – Is there a plugins directory or ecosystem out there for this blog software?
- Community – Is there a healthy community around the development and evolution of the software?
- Cost – Do you want a paid or free piece of software?
- Support – Is there healthy support from the creators of the software? Is it being updated?
- Setup Time – Does it take a long time or little time to setup and get running?
- Admin Panel – Is there an admin panel? And if so, is it easy to understand and use?
- SEO – Does this blog software have native value in terms of Search Engines Optimization?
- Hosted Solution – Is this software a hosted solution? Do they take care of the maintenance of the blog software, updates, etc?
- URLs, Domains – Can I use this on a “proper” domain (http://example.com) or a subdomain (http://subdomain.example.com)? Can I mask the subdomain?
- Backup – Is there a native way to save the content in case something happens?
- Export – Does the system have a way of exporting the content in case you want to migrate to another one?
- Technical Requirements – Does this software have some technical requirements that I need to consider?
- Technical Background – Do I need a technical background to get this software to work?
- Widgets – Does this software have widgets that I can use on the blog itself and outside the blog?
- Integration with Other Platforms – Does this blog software have integration points with other software systems that I use?
- Mobile Access, Management – Does this software let me manage and update the content via a mobile device? Does it allow people to view it on a mobile device well?
- Analytics, Metrics – Does this software allow me to track analytics and metrics? Does it have any built right into the system?
- Advertisements – Can I make money via advertisements on this theme or software? Does the service allow me to do this?
- Social Sharing – Can I easily share my posts via social sharing like Facebook, Twitter, and more?
What you want to do is take a look at this list and see what’s important to you and if it meets the requirements that you have for your blogging experience. Then begin to check those things off as you look at the various different options available to you!
Finally, if you’re curious about the one that I like the most, it’s no secret: WordPress!
[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series. Have you seen the other posts yet?]