By: Heather Karbi
Blogspot. Tumblr. Squarespace. With so many blogging sites to choose from, how are you to know which one to entrust with your new blogging endeavor? Which one would be the most helpful for building your online presence? Starting a new blog, especially as a beginner, may be nerve-wracking because you might not know what you’re getting yourself into. You might come to find, months into posting blogs regularly, that the site or service you chose on Day 1 was a terrible mistake. To help alleviate some of this anxiety, we’ve rounded up the top 5 reasons why Wordpress should be the one you choose above all other competitors. Wordpress runs nearly a third of the internet’s websites,
with 50,000 new sites being built every day, and almost 20 million live already. But why do so many people choose it? And why should you?
In terms of easy, accessible customization, Wordpress is your best friend. With hundreds and hundreds of (free!) themes to choose from, you’re sure to find the one to suit your needs. They even have themes set for specific categories, like travel blogs, food blogs, and lifestyle blogs, along with an abundance of more professional-looking ones. New ones are added constantly, so you can keep your blog looking fresh if you feel like switching things up every now and then! The best part is that you don’t have to be an expert at coding to make your website look great. More limited platforms like Blogspot make it much more difficult to have a unique-looking blog that’s set apart from the millions of other blogs you’re competing with. If you’re looking to have a very unique-looking blog, you would have to be quite inclined with HTML coding in order to get a great deal of customization in Blogspot, however with Wordpress you can rest assured that that’s never the case.
Along with the default themes they provide you, you can go even further with your customization options if you tap into their Widgets feature. Although the themes on their own are already gorgeous, the Widgets can take your blog from a default standard design, to a unique, custom-built website that you put together using the foundation of a theme. Although you aren’t required to take advantage of Widgets, they definitely boost your site by making it appear unique from other sites that use your same theme. Building a site that’s identical to thousands of others is not only a bummer, but also a bad move in terms of gaining a following. Readers’ consumption of content can depend a lot on the aesthetic value of your website, with consumers forming their impression of a site in less than a second. Thus, it’s super important that your site is aesthetically nice and creative, as well as having content that resonates with readers!
Wordpress isn’t the only site with a feature like this, but it is certainly more versatile. Blogspot, for example, has their own version called “gadgets,” but they are limited to quite basic functions, like editing your header and adding photos (things that you can easily accomplish on Wordpress while customizing your theme). Comparatively speaking, Wordpress has a wickedly broad range of Widgets to choose from— from ones that simply embellish your site aesthetically, to others that help your readers navigate the site better and find more of your wonderful posts to read. For example, a ‘Most Popular Posts’ panel, an Instagram Widget that displays your recent photos, a Date and Time Widget, a sidebar to display your “About” description, and much more. You’ll be sure to find lots of useful Widgets to make your website more user-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing, and unique.
- Simple, user-friendly posting
Wordpress keeps things simple and accessible. Posting is as easy as writing up a Microsoft Word or Mac Pages document, with a basic format that’s familiar to almost everyone. But don’t let that fool you: as easy as it is to get the hang of, it still lets you do a whole lot. You get added features like media insertion (pictures, videos, GIFs, and other media) so you can make your blog posts stand out, and you also have the more advanced option of customizing HTML. You even have the option of creating a gallery of photos or media that you can return to every time you blog. Even with these added features, the posting format still balances the simplicity and complexity of features— it effectively amalgamates the two into a posting format that lets you choose between utilizing the more advanced, extra features, or sticking to a more basic document. But either way, it’ll be easy for you to find what you’re looking for.
Comparatively, sites like Tumblr and Squarespace complicate the process by introducing extra steps in between composing and posting, like adding source URLs, location, or blog excerpts, and this can make posting significantly harder to follow. But with Wordpress, you can skip the extraneous steps and get right to writing up your amazing blog post. After all, the purpose of your chosen blogging site is to blog.
- Suitable for a broad range of expertise
If you’re a beginner, that’s fine. You’re not forced to use any of the more advanced features and you can still have an aesthetically-pleasing blog that catches people’s eye and makes you stand out from the crowd. However, if you are more tech-inclined, then you are free to fool around with the coding and create some of your very own custom, unique features for your website— the option is always there for you. As such, Wordpress appeals to a broad range of expertise. Remember: WordPress is not only for blogging but entire publications and corporations use the WordPress platform to host their sites too.
Meanwhile, Blogspot is one of those sites which mostly caters to beginners and experts, but neglects the large portion of intermediate level bloggers. Most of us nowadays fall somewhere in that middle portion of the spectrum, where we have basic functions down pat, and can find our way around a website fairly quickly, but we might not have experience with coding or have higher level tech expertise. For a beginner, Blogspot is a site that functionally works fine and will do the job. There won’t be much customization that’s accessible, but it will do the job. For an expert, Blogspot can be just as ideal as Wordpress, because you can customize your HTML to be whatever you want, and the possibilities are practically endless.
Wordpress, however, seems to be that perfect balance between the two— a beginner could use it, pick out a theme for themselves, and the website will look great. An expert can play with the HTML all they want, and the intermediate can add a little more than the beginner, with customizable widgets and colour schemes, but they aren’t forced to tackle HTML and coding.
- It is an ever-growing website platform with new updates added regularly
One of Blogspot’s biggest downfalls is that it isn’t updated frequently. The generally held opinion is that it’s quite an outdated, limited site, and it’s not worth your time. Launched 4 years before Wordpress, users are lucky if there’s a new update once a year. In contrast, Wordpress adds new themes and customization features all the time, as well as updating its social features between bloggers, and its stats reporting. Community is also very prominent within the Wordpress platform. They have volunteers available that can answer your questions on the “support forum” so you’ll always feel supported as you build your online presence and continue growing as a successful blogger. And don’t forget countless Plug-ins available for free and for a fee.
Wordpress is a fabulous site to jump start your blogging career, because it has creative, customizable features that are accessible to all skills levels. There are plenty of platforms out there, but weighing out the pros and cons of your options is important for the big decision of picking which one is right for you. Then again, it always depends on the purpose of your blog, your content, and your individual blog’s needs. If you’re looking to create a personal blog, or perhaps a small business site, Wordpress definitely gets the job done for you in a way that’s easy to manage and conducive to your freedom. Happy blogging!