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Which Blogging Platform is Best?

Dave (a ProBlogger reader) asks:

I am trying to decide what software to use for a new blog. I have a little experience with blogger, but have looked a lot at WordPress and Moveable Type. But, I sure would appreciate what you think are the pros and cons and even a recommendation on the various blogging formats.

I thought I’d open it up for some discussion. What tool do you recommend and why?

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About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Tris Hussey says:

    For a basic single blog…I really think Blogware is awesome. For multi-author situations, Bryght.
    Disclosure: I resell both of these and my blog is sponsored by Blogware.

    So not to appear biased I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but Blogware is simple and pretty powerful. The templates need some work, but I think that is in the works.

    Bryght/Drupal is more complex, but much more powerful and flexible.

  2. Jon Gales says:

    I use MovableType because I like the ability to have static pages. For really high loads static pages will save your butt. If you want ease of setup, go with WordPress.

    (MovableType has other things like multiple blog support going for it.)

  3. Tom says:

    I am a little big confused which movable type package I need to purchase if I want to use the software to make a profit from some new blogs I want to create? (using only google adsense)

    which liscense do i need to buy?

  4. Dylan Greene says:

    I wrote my own. I started about 6 years ago and it has features that many of the more common ones don’t have, such as an integrated photo system with online photo manipulation tools. I’m not giving away the source, but I’ll host sites for free or a small fee depending on traffic and purpose if you tell me you learned about it here at Problogger.net.

    Some sites that use my software:
    http://www.DylanGreene.com (of course)
    http://www.Anoopa.net
    http://www.Bugboard.com

    It doesn’t have a name yet… I’m open to suggestions.

  5. Nicole Simon says:

    Pivot. Except that the page is just not reachable *grrr*, Pivot is a ver nice little blogging application without the need for a database beneath it. :)

    http://www.pivotlog.net/

  6. If you’re thinking about going into the same kind of stuff that Darren talks about then WordPress should suit you fine. I used to design content management systems from scratch and WordPress seems to be carefully built to meet exactly the kind of needs that a professional blogger would have. What I consider to be the distinguishing features of WP are the following:

    1. Posting by email (WP can check a hidden email address and post all of the messages)
    2. Multi-author blog with ten levels of authority
    3. 100% configurable layout (you only need to know HTML and copy how WP calls its functions)
    4. An excellent popup-bookmarklet to let you comment on pages you are viewing (not unique, but good)
    5. Low price (Free)

    MT and Blogger are also excellent, but I’ve found WP to meet my needs well.

  7. Bill Peschel says:

    I’m using pmachine, and recently shifted over to pmachine pro when they made it free (it allows for multiple blogs, plus other features). I’m not sure if it’s right for you, but I chose it over MT mostly because it was much, much easier to install. I know a limited amount of HTML and have been able to tweak my pages to my satisfaction.

  8. I’ve always used Movable Type. The back-end installation stuff can be a bit tech heavy, but as a low to moderate techie I’ve been able to handle it all on my own. I like Movable Type because it has lots of muscle and flexibility. You can set up multiple blogs, you can use modules (even across multiple blogs), and if you’re tech savvy there are a lot of cool plug-ins out there.

    Finding the right license comes down to what you’re using the blog for. If it’s a personal blog and you have AdSense or Amazon referrals and you’re making piddley money, a personal license is fine. But if you’re using the blog specifically to make money, you should really get a business license. I went with the low-end business license and felt it was money well spent.

    I haven’t used WordPress, so I can’t speak to its strengths, but I have heard good things about it.

  9. Duncan says:

    There are some great packages out there and to be honest I’d never of Bryght before the comments above, and after some research I’d note that Bryght is a CMS with blogging abilities but not a dedicated blogging tool. Depending on what your looking at doing CMS packages can be great so please don’t think I’m dismissing Bryght because of this, and I’ll be sure to check it out some time soon.

    On Jon Gales comments WordPress does static pages as standard in the latest version, and did it as part of a plugin in the old version.

    Blogger provides a goodstarting point and is a great place to learn the basics but there are some limitations later on in terms of corporate or money blogging that should be considered.

    MovableType is a strong contender with a lot of time and development behind it, but you’ve got to pay for it if your doing anything other than basic use. To quote the terms of the free version: “For your own use, not supporting a business. A little ad revenue and affiliate programs are OK.”

    WordPress is probably the best well known of the others, and from personal use I can vouch its a great package, and its cheap (free). b2evolution, serendipity and others also provide some great packages that could be considered

  10. Ben says:

    Great discussion guys – thanks for your thoughts so far. I’ve been thinking of making the great leap forward from Blogger to my own domain. It seems as though for my purposes and level of technological knowledge WordPress may be the way to go. MoveableType still intrigues however…

  11. Ben says:

    Like everything… “You get what you pay for…”

    Check out Expression Engine by pMachine at http://www.pmachine.com

  12. Broke says:

    I’m really liking WordPress, though I haven’t any real experience with other bloggin platforms. I chose it because it was free, runs on php & MySQL (coz I know a little bit about it), loads of features built in and a large user community that offer plenty of (free) modifications to suit various needs.

    If I knew nothing about html/php/mysql I probably would have started with blogger or something similar that requires no specific knowledge to install and change layouts etc

  13. Uffe says:

    I’m hosted on a Microsoft platform because I do .NET programming for a living, so all the packages that takes advantage of Apache features (such as mod_rewrite) are pretty much useless to me.

    So I created my own little publishing platform (.NET and MySQL) which enables me to do the exact same things I would like any other blogging package to do, such as SE friendly urls to my posts and archives which is extremely important to me. I have yet to come across a .NET based blog platform that has this feature (at least without the need for special ISAPI filters to be installed on the host machine).

    So home grown has always been the way to go for me. More flexible and much, much more power. I realize not all are as fortunate as me, but if none of the standard packages out there doesn’t satisfy your needs and you know someone who’d be able to build a custom platform for you, do consider doing so.

  14. Lisa V. says:

    I use b2evolution (http://b2evolution.net/) for my blogs and I’ve been very satisified with all of it’s features. Other than a smaller blog system that I programmed myself, I haven’t used any of the other blog programs so I can’t compare them for you. b2evolution is free, open source, and every time I’ve had a question or customization question I’ve been able to find an answer in their message board forums.

  15. There is also Nucleus and pLog.

  16. Jack Swift says:

    I like Expression Engine a lot. I’m playing around with WordPress now and it does seem very friendly, but I’ve been really spoiled by EE.

  17. Oto says:

    We are using WordPress with a great success. It is incredibly flexible and can be setup to handle much more than just your regular blogging. Check out the Portfolio section on our Website and you will see what I mean. The entire content management is setup using the WordPress with a few plugins activated.

  18. dirvish says:

    For a (free) hosted solution I use IlohaBlog – http://ilohablog.com

    On my own server I run WordPress – http://wordpress.org

    I’ve tried Blogger, Pivot, Bloxsom, and a few others and didn’t like them as much.

  19. david says:

    I’m looking at alternative blogging server applications to develop a commercial service to host photo, audio and video bloggs for a a high volume of users. We want to provide an upload or submision application for mobile devices(and desktops) that can talk to the blog and provide the ability for the mobile user to subscribe to other users blogs and download that content to the mobile device.

    Does anyone know of a product that does this already or perhaps recommend a solution that could be adapted to do so. Is WordPress capable or is MT a more likely bet.

    Any ideas would be greatfully received.

  20. Anil says:

    I work for the company that makes Movable Type, but it’s probably worth mentioning that there’s our hosting service TypePad, built on the same engine, or you can also get Movable Type preinstalled from a number of web hosting partners if you don’t want to deal with the technical details yourself.

  21. DebWire says:

    I highly recommend WordPress. I’ve been using it for several years now. It’s latest 1.5 version puts it far ahead of any of the others, imho. And you definitely cannot beat the price and licensing.

  22. marcel says:

    Drupal just upgraded to 4.6
    It can handle multiple blogs/websites on one codebase now…

  23. marcel says:
  24. I have worked with wordpress and Moveable type and its a close race – i use MT for a commercial blog – and it does the job….but

    If you not to clued on coding and customisation – i recommend wordpress – the themes allow easier styling, upgrading is a breeze as is the installation – and an active community and of course its OS….

    Go with WordPress you won’t be disappointed. Mt won’t fail you but customisation is a little trickier

  25. leu says:

    As i have similar sites, i started some time ago with Expression Engine. Some weeks ago i created a site agreggator with WordPress and i was really surprised. Now i’m thinking about creating my new (old) Techblog with WordPress.

  26. Paul -V- says:

    I use Drupal. It might be a little more effort up-front… but it’s so flexible that you will quickly be rewarded as your site matures. It is also very secure and elegant code. (When I started with Drupal I knew no CSS or php. I have been learning as I go along.)

    Another factor: Google loves Drupal. Drupal’s unique taxonomy makes the it’s job easier.

    Your first CMS is a bit like getting married. Once you chose one, you are going to spend a lot of time with it.

    Study them carefully, they all have pros and cons. Visit:

    http://www.opensourcecms.com

    and compare.

  27. Nick Barrett says:

    WordPress,all the way, its easy to use, loads of great themes and very simple set up.

  28. Eric Thom says:

    Maybe I should mention or for that matter bring to lite a liitle company called MyST-Technolgy who’s platform bar none is the finest on the planet for just about under sun.
    Without going into mass detail just visit the blogsite, yes thats blogsite not blog @ http://www.myst-technology.com and try wrapping your haed around it, our buddy tris Hussey did.

  29. zamri79 says:

    i think if a free blog, i go to blogger. Why? Because its easy to manage. you can change your template and look and feel. Even Blogger also give you free image hosting. So its very pleased to use Blogger especially new bloggerian like me.