So you want to start a website. But which content platform best suits your needs? First off, you’ve made a good choice by comparing Blogger vs WordPress vs Tumblr. They’re so widely used and well developed that they have a lot of support. Use any one of these platforms and you’ll have access to rich user forums. You’ll also have clear support and guidelines for domain name mapping, as well as a rich selection of plugins.
A Quick Overview of What Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr really are.
The central tension between these three platforms is between control and convenience. Control usually costs time and money, while convenience is cheap in both regards. In general, WordPress is powerful, but charges fees for “extras,” some of which you might find essential to the concept of a website. For example, they charge for domain name mapping. Unless you want your website to have “.wordpress.com”in the URL, you’ll need buy the domain from WordPress or shell out a few dollars to pay for them to map your domain. Blogger is less customizable, but mapping your domain is free. Tumblr is great for certain types of content, but you wouldn’t use it for a business requiring transactions or a writing blog with long-form pieces.
WordPress allows total control with a wide swath of customizable CSS templates. It’s internal structure also allows you to create accounts for contributors, and a robust internal accounts system allows you to build an organization of writers with different permission levels. Admins can edit the page itself, as well as publish posts. Editors can publish post. Writers can be prohibited from publishing, so you can check their work before they go live. To get started with WordPress, check out the great educational offerings from Udemy. Here are some highlights from the list of introductory WordPress courses:
- How To Create a Successful WordPress Site (great for small businesses)
- WordPress for Wedding Photographers
Other PROs: good social networking options, commenting is easy to regulate
Other CONs: comparatively pricey, tricky to learn and customize
To get the most out of WordPress, you’re going to want to learn more about CSS; Cascading Style Sheets. Style sheets allow you to keep tight templates. Unlike HTML, CSS allows you to regulate your content’s appearance across pages. In the end, you save a lot of time tinkering with identical fonts on different pages. Infinite Skills has a course designed to teach you building WordPress sites from scratch. Robin Nixon’s CSS and CSS3 Crash Course is just right for WordPress users who want a solid intro in web development in general, using WordPress as training wheels.
Want control over your site’s appearance but not ready to shell out the dough? Blogger is simply less expensive to run. It’s also less expensive to learn how to use, as there are many free Blogger courses out there, such as Thomas Grant’s beginner blogger.com course. Though Blogger does have CSS buried into it’s architecture, the main way you can manipulate it’s code is in HTML. Using a fairly clunky template design, you can manipulate the style sheets that run across the site. But, for individual pages, it’s worth learning a bit of HTML. You can learn HTML in this HTML Prep Course.
Other PROs: easy to monetize, easy to map to your existing domain, lots of templates
Other CONs: less control over code (“powered by blogger” will show up at the bottom of every page.
Tumblr is great for a running list of ideas, photos, and videos that you want to share with the world. Maybe that’s why it’s the most viewed website by people aged 25 and under. So if you’re vying to go viral, give it a shot. But if you’d like to build a real website, with AdSense or credit-card-accepting widgets, it’s a bit of a challenge. There aren’t as many template options as Blogger, and you can’t edit the CSS as in WordPress. It doesn’t mean you can’t customize; there are plenty of themes. And like with Blogger and WordPress you can map it to a domain. So if you’re looking to start a site fast and build something bigger and better later, give it a try.
Other PROs: photos looks great, always looks nice on mobile, you can’t break it
Other CONs: poor commenting support