What functions should a blog system have

With the desire to start your own blog, the search for the right software also begins. However, numerous providers do not make this decision so easy - especially if you are one of the many career changers among bloggers. As a guide, we have taken a closer look at the various options for you in the following article.

Different types of blog software compared

“More about that on my blog.” These words can be read more and more often, because blogging is undoubtedly the trend.

The motives for becoming a blogger are different: While some see their blog as a creative hobby and publish articles primarily to share thoughts, opinions or experiences online, others aim to blog professionally and sooner or later make money with it to earn. In addition, more and more companies are relying on a corporate blog to provide their target group with relevant content.

It is precisely these differentiated objectives that play the decisive role in the selection of the matching blog softwarewhich can basically be divided into three groups:

  • Blog modular systems

  • Blog platforms

  • Blog-CMS (independent hosting)

When looking for the best solution, you should take into account that the blog software you want to use with criteria such as Usability, range of functions, expansion options, possibilities for monetization and maintenance effort fits your plans.

Another basis for decision-making are the differences in the domain or in the hosting, which can sometimes affect how serious your blog appears to your readers. While with modular systems and platforms you usually do not have a separate domain for your blog and your content is hosted directly by the respective provider, with Blog-CMS you appear via your own domain and can freely choose the hosting provider.

Modular systems: the uncomplicated variant

Software kits like Wix, Jimdo or Squarespace are becoming increasingly popular with bloggers. And there are good reasons for this:

The biggest advantage of such systems is definitely that simple operation, for which you neither need your own web space nor programming knowledge. Simply create a user account, select a design template - and your blog articles can be created and published using drag-and-drop.

You don't need to worry about anything other than your content, because the technical maintenance of the system happens automatically in the background. All in all, this is a comfortable overall package.

But these advantages are of course also offset by certain disadvantages: This is what modular systems usually only offer you limited functions with regard to individual design options, subsequent design adaptations, interfaces to online marketing (e.g. links to social media channels or newsletter registration), responsive design or search engine optimization.

Furthermore, you should keep in mind that a certain Dependence on the software provider arises: With external hosting, you put your content in their hands, so to speak, and you don't have your own domain for your blog. In addition, there is often no option to switch to another provider with your blog, if necessary. If your current provider discontinues its service, you will quickly get into a mess.

Blog platform: the more flexible alternative

A little more flexibility to experiment with your blog, blog platforms such as the Google software blogger.com, wordpress.com or tumblr.com offer. These score points with advantages that are comparable to modular systems, but are based on simple ones Content Management Systems (CMS)that you can use to approach blogging. Just register and you can start blogging straight away. If you want to grow your blog further, this is available too Relocate Thanks to the integrated export functions, there is usually nothing in the way of your content.

However, remains on these platforms the scope for individual adjustments, design diversity or expandable plug-ins is also limited. The biggest drawback here, too, is that your blog is hosted by the provider and the domain is therefore usually called Underside of the platform (e.g. www.IhrBlog.blogspot.com), which can sometimes seem less professional and makes the blog difficult to find when moving.

Create your own blog: free and professional with a self-hosted CMS

If you have something bigger in mind with your blog, the recommendation is clearly to go for one own domain and own web space to put. So you are responsible for the technical maintenance of your blog yourself, which can cause a queasy feeling, especially for beginners. As a blogger, you can do that too unfold without restriction and develop.

The best known and worldwide leading blog CMS is WordPress. In contrast to the blog platform, the open source software offers almost limitless possibilities and is therefore not only used for blogs, but for all types of websites. Countless themes, templates and plug-ins are available, some free of charge, some at an additional cost, and allow ambitious bloggers to draw on full potential.

The only challenge: You should, especially at the beginning Allow enough timeto familiarize yourself with the system and its numerous functions and setting options. In addition, the CMS themselves are free of charge, but domains and web space are covered by self-responsible hosting but still costsat.

Joomla! Is also suitable for blogs and other types of websites. The modularly structured and basically free CMS offers extensive monetization options and countless - in some cases chargeable - function extensions. It also continuously provides its users with security and improvement updates. However, Joomla! compared to WordPress more complex to use. Programming knowledge is certainly an advantage here, which is why it is preferably recommended for technically savvy professional bloggers.

Which blog software is best for you depends on what you intend to do with your blog. If you as a hobby blogger want to publish articles quickly and without great technical refinements, the manageable range of functions of modular systems or platforms will be completely sufficient for you. On the other hand, if you plan to set up your blog professionally, it would be better to rely on a more extensive blog CMS.

Cover picture: Irina_Strelnikova / getty images

Originally published July 15, 2020, updated February 17, 2021

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