Picking a Blogging Platform: Blogging Tips #1

I’ve decided to put together a series of posts on how to blog. As of now, I plan
on kicking this off with posts looking at the technical decisions one has to
make in order to be a successful blogger.

Enough intro. Let’s get to it.

Picking a Blogging
Platform



One of the first decisions you’ll have to make before you begin blogging is to
pick the platform you’ll use to publish your posts. A platform consists of a
front-end where people read your posts, and a back-end where you can administer
your blog (create posts, manage categories, comments, design, etc.). A few
popular examples include WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type, MySpace, LiveJournal,
and TypePad.

Short answer: Use WordPress.org

Longer answer:


Portability: The most important choice you
can make when
choosing
a blogging platform is to choose one that easy to export from. At some point
in the future, you’ll likely decide that you want to change platforms, but it
may not be an easy thing to do if you didn’t choose an exportable platform on
your first round.


Plug-Ins: The second thing to consider is
plug-ins. Most blogging platforms can be customized with plug-ins to add
additional functionality. For example, this blog currently runs a
plug-in
that displays related posts, forces people to typed a special code when
commenting to deter spam, and allow people to subscribe to comment threads.

Integrations: I don’t know if
“integrations” is the right word for this, but what I mean here is integration
with other web sites. Many web sites have made it easy to publish directly from
their sites to your own blog. For example, I can
publish
a blog post with a photo directly from Flickr.com or a
video
with commentary directly from YouTube. When 3rd party sites add this type of
functionality, they tend to start with the biggies, like WordPress, Blogger, and
Movable Type, so be sure to check which blogging platforms are supported by your
favorite photo or video sites before tying yourself to a platform.

With that in mind, WordPress is currently the leader when it comes to
portability, plug-ins, and integrations with other sites. Going with the market
leader is advantageous since whatever next year’s flavor of the year happens to
be will have to make it easy for WordPress users to make the switch if they want
to gain market share.

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