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Blogging Tools Compared

Susannah Gardner has written an article comparing blog tools that is a good read for anyone considering starting a new blog and wondering which platform is right for them. Accompanying the article is a very useful chart that compares the features of some of the more popular tables.

This is a chart I’ll be recommending clients take a look at.

Read more at Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?

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. Ryen says:

    I’ve read her article.
    I appreciate her blog tools comparison chart. I can imagine the amount of her effort.
    However, her article is not so impressive. Just another summarization, I think.
    And a bit dissapointed. Because she doesn’t cover all the blog CMSs.

    My impression is personal and may be affected by the fact that she even didn’t mention drupal (which I love to use for my blogs.)
    Anyway her article can be appreciated by the people who don’t know about blog tools at all, I think.

  2. duncan says:

    Sorry
    I saw this yesterday and didn’t run with it. Not indepth and doesn’t really take a proper look, stange definitions as well. I know Im pretty much an advanced user so tend to be picky, but even recommending this to newbies is bad form.

  3. Tom Hanna says:

    That chart does WordPress an injustice or two. You can edit template files offline. I have no idea where they came up with only 7 skins (by which I assume they mean themes.) I would guess the number is over 100, just on the Codex theme list alone. Admin panel design and layout can be configured. “Work offline” I’m not sure of the meaning, but you can write posts offline using any XMLRPC compatible client.

    There are also some errors that are arguable since they involve nonstandard installs or plugins. You can easily run multiple WordPress blogs off a single database. http://news.tom-hanna.com and http://library.tom-hanna.com are both running off the same database. Yeah, you upload a second copy of the core files and run a second install, but it doesn’t cost anything for that second copy and without creating a new database the time is way less than five minutes. There is also a mutliuser version available, though I had less luck getting it installed. Photogalleries and CAPTCHAs are both available by way of multiple (free) plugins.

    To be fair, if that many features are wrong on WordPress, they may have underestimated some of the other platforms as well.

  4. amit agarwal says:

    Surprised to see that MSN spaces and Yahoo 360 are in the comparison

  5. Fred says:

    Hello,

    Really interesting. However, as it was mentioned, plugins exists to enable bloggers to do anything with their blog platform(and if it doesn’t exist, they can develop it) like WordPress, b2Evolution, Drepal, etc (all non hosted blog applications).

    I think that if you liked that article, you could like that list that I created with my readers:

    32 things to check when searching for a blog system and a hosting service

    Salutations,

    Fred

  6. While it is at first glance an impressive piece of work, it fails to mention several important and popular software options, and ignores simple plugin functionality. It misleads the reader by implying that the options listed are the “right blogging tool”, and its scholarly appearance and banner gives false authority to a marginal piece.

    Drupal, as mentioned above, and Textpattern are both missing. I know it’s impossible to include every CMS, but imo, passing over Textpattern is a significant oversight. There is a very large base of users, a very healthy library of plugins, and hundreds of tutorials available. And its free. And a heck of a lot easier to install than some of the listed options.

    Not including plugin capabilities on the chart is a huge oversight. I’m at a loss as to why the writer chose to include the API (which only a tiny fraction of the population cares about) and not whether the software supports third party functionality. The three CMSs that I am familiar with (Textpattern, WordPress, and MT) make heavy use of plugins. If one were to go by the chart alone, one would be left with the impression that MT lacks the ability to blacklist commentors (a fact that would likely dissuade most users). In fact, adding blacklist ability is a simple matter of installing a plugin. Plugins are given a short sentence in the body of the article, but leaving their mention off the chart is tantamount to intellectual dishonesty.

    In all, while this is at first glance an impressive accomplishment, it falls quite short of being a useful tool. No mention is made as to what criteria were used to select the programs, nor is any mention made of the plethora of other choices available. The fact that this article is posted at a major University’s Online Journalism Review shows just how far behind the time journalists and academia have fallen.

  7. Well, as per usual, you got me going on a good rant Darren! I’ve continued the above at my place. Be warned, I call you on recommending the chart.

    http://www.peterflaschner.com/index.php?id=189

  8. Mitrax says:

    Like at least a million other people, I’m still with Google’s Blogger.

    I’ve wanted to switch to get the benefits of the fee-based services, but I’ve decided to hang in there because I think we’re in for a pleasant surprise with new (fee-based) features to be announced by Google soon. This is just a hunch.

    See the future for Google’s Blogger:

    http://beyondthevoip.blogspot.com/2005/07/future-for-googles-blogger.html

  9. Baz L says:

    As I do all over when I see talks like these spring up:

    Here’s my Mambo (http://www.mamboserver.com/). Mambo is a very powerful CMS. Mainly used for non-blogs, it has been used quite nicely (with plugins and addons of course) to create some extremly good blogs.

    A big learning curve is needed IF and only IF you dive into all the features which this contains.

    If all you do is blog, you should be up and running in 30 mins. I was.

  10. Ken Musante says:

    I really like the chart. I might switch over to WordPress.

  11. supersusie says:

    Hi folks, Thanks for all the comments. The chart covers only the features that come with the installed version of the blogging tools listed, and I do think that should show up on the chart as well as in the article. I’ll see if that can’t be noted.

    I did want to say that yes, there are hundreds of plugins for nearly all of these, and if you think putting the chart together was a big job, doing so and accounting for all those plugins was even bigger! At any rate, there are many new bloggers who are daunted by plugins and customization. The capabilities included in a tool’s standard-installed feature set is important, no matter how extensible it ultimately is.

    Best,
    Susannah.

  12. padawan says:

    There are lost of factual errors in her chart for MT:

    MT has subcategories
    MT APIs are Blogger, MetaWeblog, MT
    MT has logs
    Datastorage should read Database (MT allows for both a filesystem-based database or a regular database server, but those are both databases)
    MT allows for comment moderation out of the box
    MT publishing interface is of course password protected!

    I wonder if the accuracy is the same for other tools.

  13. suean says:

    Not a really in-depth chart… Amongst many other, she’s also missing pLog (http://www.plogworld.net) which is a multi-blog and multi-user tool really suited for all sorts of communities. The project has gained a lot of momentum lately specially in Europe and Asia: it’s been recommended in e-learning books (http://www.plogworld.net/blog.php/plog_development_journal/2005/06/18/plog_recommended_in_e-learnig_book), it’s been positively compared to MT in Lockergnome (http://channels.lockergnome.com/web/archives/20050701_why_plog_is_better_than_movabletype.phtml), it’s being used by the biggest media group in Norway for their journalistic blogs (http://www.plogworld.net/blog.php/plog_development_journal/2005/06/24/biggest_media_group_in_norway_is_using_plog) and it’s now in many blogging communities specially in China (http://blogger.net.tw/)

    Best of of all, pLog is free (GPL) and runs on PHP and MySQL. What else can you ask for? :)

  14. suean says:

    Not a really in-depth chart… Amongst many other, she’s also missing pLog which is a multi-blog and multi-user tool really suited for all sorts of communities. The project has gained a lot of momentum lately specially in Europe and Asia: it’s been recommended in e-learning books, it’s been positively compared to MT in Lockergnome, it’s being used by the biggest media group in Norway for their journalistic blogs and it’s now in many blogging communities specially in China.

    Best of of all, pLog is free (GPL) and runs on PHP and MySQL. What else can you ask for? :)

    PS: sorry about the double-posting!

  15. I am on the thirty-day free trial with TypePad right now, but I doubt I’ll keep it. Blogger (my current host) lets me make changes to the template (since I DO know a bit of HTML and have the good sense to always save the old template LOL) and I like that. Have contacted someone to design a custom skin, as I see the “Scribe” Blogger template more and more when I surf, and I hate looking like everyone else – LOL!

    Searching for different blogging tools, I saw an ad for “Blog It” (I am in no way affiliated with this company, just curious). It has a fee but claims the user will MAKE money through readership. Does anyone have experience with this? Does it really pay? Is it difficult to use?

    Thanks for the great articles!

  16. Baz L says:

    I’ve finally made the jump from Mambo to WordPress…I’m just feeling out the waters right now, but I must say, they feel fine. :D

  17. alex says:

    Not full description of available blog engines and very subjective opinion.

    I’m using WordPress for my own blog. But now i’m seeking multyblog engine (multiple users, blog hoster), but can’t find good GPL engine!

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