Your website is one of the most critical components of your business. It’s your virtual storefront, meaning it’s your best, if not your only, chance for attracting visitors to your site and convincing them to become customers.
A blog also has tremendous value. Through your blog you can build relationships with customers and engage with them, building trust and loyalty, and it’s also an opportunity to get feedback on what you are doing, something that will help you plan for the future.
When thinking of building and maintaining blogs and websites, it probably doesn’t take long for WordPress to come to your mind. This is understandable, as it’s the world’s most popular website building platform. But is WordPress the best platform for your business blog? Just because it’s the most popular, does that mean it’s the one you should be using? Or could it be possible that there is a better option out there, but you just aren’t seeing it?
The truth is that there is a reason why WordPress is so popular. It’s quite good. But to determine if it’s the best platform for you, let’s take a look at some of its top competitors and see if there isn’t a better option out there.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
One popular misconception about WordPress is that these two sites are the same. While they are connected, they are really very different. WordPress.org is an open sourced website building software. It gives you complete control over pretty much everything on your site. You can add in customized plugins to increase functionality, and you can also personalize the site any way you want.
These features are largely what has made WordPress so popular, and because it’s so widely used, there are constant updates and countless plugins, making it even more customizable.
WordPress.com, however, is a hosting service. It’s free (if you want to allow WordPress ads), and it’s incredibly simple to use. You basically choose from a set of premade templates and then make minor modifications as you see fit. This is great for beginners since it doesn’t require much in terms of tech-savvy, but a lot of people grow out of it quickly. There’s very little flexibility in design, and as you get going with your blog, this is likely to get old.
Since you’re working on a business blog, if the choice comes down to these two, WordPress.org is probably the better play. You’ll have to spend a little extra time (and money) to learn all the ins and outs, but the room to grow it provides is well worth this investment. Let’s take a look at some other options outside of the WordPress family.
This was one of the original blog platforms, and the fact it’s still around and functioning should speak highly of it. But does it hold up to WordPress?
Here are some of the advantages of Blogger:
- It’s incredibly easy to use. Part of the reason it became so popular in the beginning was because of how easy it was. This has not changed one bit.
- Added security. Google owns Blogger and will therefore store your blog on its secure servers, something no other blogging platform can offer.
- It’s really cheap. If you don’t mind the “.blogspot” in your domain name, it’s free. Otherwise, it costs around $10 a year.
And here are some of the downsides to blogger:
- Limited customization. It’s ease of use really holds back more experienced developers.
- Infrequent updates. Because it’s not as popular as it used to be, updates are few and far between.
- Lower quality templates. This is again a product of its declining popularity. Designs are simple, but not nearly as elegant as what you would get from other sites.
This has become a pretty popular option over the years largely because of its ease of use. You choose from a variety of templates and themes, and then you can use their drag-and-drop feature to further customize your blog. Unlike WordPress, you don’t need any coding experience to create a great blog. It’s fairly straightforward, making the learning curve small.
There are also third-party apps (what are called plugins in other platforms) that you can use to customize your site even further. However, because Wix is used by far fewer people than other platforms, the quantity of these apps is somewhat limited. The ones that are there are great, but often times you’ll find yourself wishing for a little more.
Another major drawback of Wix is that once you choose a template, you can’t change it. This puts a lot of pressure on you in the beginning. What makes sense when you are first starting out may not be the best later on. The inability to change as the blog grows is worrying, and it’s a big negative to this platform.
Many small businesses choose to use Squarespace to build their website since it has a great drag-and-drop feature that is easy for anyone to use. You can easily add a blog to this website if you want.
However, outside of its ease of use, there isn’t a ton to love about Squarespace. For example, they put limits on your content, usually 20 pages, a blog and two contributors. This might not seem like a big deal now, but when things start to grow, this could become a problem.
Additionally, you can only include features that are built into their platform, which again limits customization. If you’re looking for a simple, streamlined process and aren’t worried about scaling up, then this could be a good choice for you. Otherwise, you may want to look elsewhere.
And the verdict is…
There are lots of blog platforms out there, and each one offers something different. Few are truly terrible, but few are as good as WordPress. Unless you’re absolutely terrified of the WordPress learning curve, it’s probably going to be your best bet for your business blog. It offers the most features and is the most adaptable, meaning you can keep your blog updated as your business grows.
What do you think is the best blog platform? Do you have any experiences with these platforms you’d like to share with readers?
About the author: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, an online brokerage service. Jock has been featured in Forbes and contributed to numerous websites and podcasts. He specializes in appraising and buying/selling online businesses and enjoys helping other entrepreneurs do business online.