Do you want to blog but you don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re already a blogger and you’d like to check out other platforms and their offerings? Blogging is common place these days but new people are discovering and jumping into platforms like WordPress everyday.
We’ve gathered ten of the best blogging platforms around, along with some resources for things like themes, plugins and tutorials. Take a look at the best of the best and share your favorite resources or platform of choice.
1. WordPress (Self-Hosted or Hosted)
WordPress, as most of you likely already know, is the current king of blogging platforms. It’s easy to use and very flexible. In fact, it’s such a flexible platform that it’s commonly used as an outright content management system. What really makes WordPress stand out, in addition to the previously mentioned, is the sheer number of free and premium themes in addition to the level of community support.
- Premium Theme Marketplace: ThemeForest.net
- Premium Plugin Marketplace: CodeCanyon.net
- 30 Gorgeous WordPress and Tumblr Themes
- WordPress Themes with Unusual Uses
- Dress Up Your Site with 15 Top WordPress Themes
- Top 15 Premium WordPress Plugins
- Net.tutsplus.com WordPress Tutorials, Themes and Awesomeness
2. Tumblr (Hosted)
Tumblr isn’t really considered to be a full-on blogging platform, but rather a healthy cross between semi-micro-blogging and full-on blogging (think mini-blogging). You can really use it as you’d like though and it definitely has a decent and growing selection of themes.
3. Blogger (Hosted)
Blogger has been around for quite awhile, bought by Google in 2003. Although Blogger has made many improvements over the years, people making the choice between it and WordPress typically go with the latter. That isn’t to say it’s a bad platform, it might just not offer more advanced users the features they’re looking for. Blogger is a good choice for those looking for a hosted platform and an easy setup (none really) to get started.
4. Posterous (Hosted)
Like Tumblr, Posterous is intended to be a quick and easy way to share thoughts and media. Blogging via email is baked right in as it was built for using it that way and integration with other social media services such as Twitter and Facebook make it a solid cross between micro-blogging and full-on blogging.
5. MovableType (Self-Hosted)
MovableType is a powerful blogging platform like WordPress and is used by some very high-traffic blogs such as Cameron Moll, the Huffington Post and even Gawker’s blogs. MovableType’s big advantage is how easy it is to run multiple blogs on a single install. It still lags behind WordPress in some aspects but when they brought the platform to the open source arena, it’s made some amazing improvements. The move to open source also helped develop the community, which will make or break a platform.
If you know of some great places to get free or premium MovableType themes, let us know in the comments and we might add the source here.
6. ExpressionEngine (Self-Hosted)
ExpressionEngine (EE) is a feature rich and powerful platform that, while used for blogs, is also used for much more complex sites thanks to its flexibility. Like MovableType, it boasts multi-site publishing capabilities across multiple domains or even subdomains.
While ExpressionEngine is, quite simply, amazing, it also comes at a price. A single “Freelancer” license comes in at $99.95, with Non-Commercial at $149.95 and Commercial at $299.95. The combination between open source and being a commercially paid product results in a higher level of support and a well developed product.
7. Joomla (Self-Hosted)
Joomla is really a full CMS and it’s easy to create almost any kind of site with it such as a regular website for businesses, eCommerce, blogs or even social networks. It’s powerful, easy and has a great community backing it. Like some of the other platforms listed here, Joomla’s extensions really make it shine and give it more power and flexibility.
8. Drupal (Self-Hosted)
Drupal and Joomla are actually quite similar (in terms of purpose), though Drupal seems to be more oriented towards community type sites. Drupal is certainly one of the best blogging platforms around but it also, like other platforms here, has the flexibility to run just about any kind of site. It has a passionate community and a huge collection of powerful modules (like plugins) that give it even more power. In regards to theming, however, it’s more so on the difficult end of the spectrum.
9. Penzu (Hosted)
Penzu is an exciting, up and coming new platform that takes a different approach to blogging. The idea behind Penzu is that not everyone wants to share their blog ideas with all the world, as such it’s built around privacy with the ability to share posts if you’d like.
Penzu is most similar to a journal or diary, though integration with social media aren’t left behind. Media management and post writing are thoroughly enjoyable as the platform is focused more around you writing (like you would in a notebook, journal, etc) than spending time messing about with a control panel (as you would in WordPress).
10. LiveJournal (Hosted)
Although LiveJournal doesn’t seem like it belongs on this list, it apparently still has quite a following. Like most of the other platforms here, LiveJournal is free. This platform is very community driven, with the idea of heavily sharing and making use of other social media. As far as I can tell, unless you’re a paying customer, you’ll have to deal with ads as well. Despite a few drawbacks, it is still apparently a popular and very usable platform worth checking out.
What’s Your Favorite?
There are several other fantastic platforms out there and we’d love to hear what your favorite is if it hasn’t been listed here. Leave a comment with your thoughts!
Share Your Resources
I’ve listed a few resources for some of the platforms above but I very well know there are tons more available. If you have a good resource for one of the above listed platforms, let us know in the comments and I might add it to the list. Thanks!