Blogging is no longer just used by individuals to share vacation photos. Many blogs today are the basis of a small business. Not only this, but many bloggers are offering their services as affiliate marketers, making blogging an integral part of the modern digital marketing industry.
Because blogging is so essential to online businesses, bloggers now have a multitude of potential platforms to choose from. The increased choice is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, bloggers can choose a platform that it as perfectly suited to their purposes as possible. On the other, the sheer number of platforms to choose between can be overwhelming.
WordPress and Tumblr are two of the most popular blogging platforms out there. In this article, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of both.
Tumblr is what is known as a hybrid microblogging platform and social media site. A Tumblr account is free to set up, and the service has become something of an online phenomenon. As of July 2018, the service counts 426 million users, a testament to its popularity and the reach of its appeal. And while the service has been blacklisted in Indonesia, China, and other countries that are heavy on Internet censorship, user’s all around the world find ways to enter and enjoy the platform mostly via the use of VPN and proxy services.
When making a new post, users can choose from several types – text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio, and video. The Tumblr editor makes formatting posts quite straightforward. Its minimalist interface is intuitive, and it can be integrated with Google Analytics, which is a necessity these days.
Tumblr also allows self-scheduling, so users can write posts in advance and have them automatically published at the appropriate time. Because Tumblr is also a social media site, they have made it easy to share and re-blog another user’s content.
To succeed on Tumblr, users need to adhere to the preferred format, which is heavy on images and light on the copy. Tumblr is a great choice for those who produce very visual posts, but those who write long-form content might struggle to gain a large audience.
WordPress is a much more versatile platform than Tumblr and one that allows for a far higher degree of customization. This increased freedom does come at a price, however; it is a less intuitive platform than Tumblr, and new users will likely need to spend a little time with it before they can use it to its full potential.
WordPress is a free and open source platform, meaning that anyone can download the WordPress platform and then host it with a hosting provider. Users can try the platform for free using the wordpress.com website, but to take full advantage of the platform and the plethora of third-party plugins and themes, users will need to host their blog with an independent hosting provider.
WordPress is an excellent platform for those who prefer to produce long-form content with a lot of copy. Adding images and other visual elements to WordPress is a breeze, and with thousands of plugins available, and a plethora of options for customizing themes after they have been installed, WordPress offers a fantastic balance of ease of use and excellent control over the look and feel of a blog. WordPress will also allow search engines to index your site by default, which is a big help in making your website visible on Google.
However, while it is possible to host a WordPress site on the most basic hosting platform available and work up a professional looking blog in a relatively short amount of time, the quality of the host will determine how well the blog operates. For example, whereas Tumblr acts as a hosting service as well as a blogging service, with a WordPress blog it is the responsibility of the blog’s owner to sort out SSL certificates, security arrangements, and anti-spam measures.
Plugins can help with the security side of things, but many of the best WordPress plugins use a freemium model, meaning that you can get a basic level of features for free, but will need to pay to unlock more advanced functions.
Both Tumblr and WordPress have their respective places in the world of blogging platforms. Neither platform is necessarily better than the other; it depends on the kind of content you want to produce and the amount of additional work you want to put in. Tumblr is better suited for shorter, more visual content, and for those who want to focus entirely on blogging. WordPress offers more freedom and features, further expandable by plugins, but favors more copy-heavy content. It also requires the user to manage their own hosting arrangements.