The best blogging software or platform wars become really interesting and a large part of the discussion in which I am concentrating now is about what happens to different CMS systems. The market can essentially be defined in 3 major camps: remote-hosted hosted and community-based systems. I have used virtually every blog platform and each of these has its ups and downs. In this article I will discuss the best options for each area, taking into account price, usability, market share and of course SEO potential.
All these products are either open source, completely free or have a functional free version.
Remote hosted best blogging software
(Note: I can not really recommend any of these recommendations from an SEO standpoint, because optimizing a domain that you do not own or manage is obviously not a good marketing plan.)
Blogger is one of the best blogging software or platform that is completely free and currently owns the majority of remote-hosted users, but not a landslide. It was bought by Google in 1999 and actually activated the blogging trend we see today. It is by far the easiest overall solution to use and if you are a novice user looking for a few recipes or poetry, then this is for you. Blogger is completely free and includes some great features such as comments, photo blogging and a basic sense of community with user profiles. Because it is so contained, there are some features that you may not find with Blogger that are only available through external add-ons.
As a side note Blogger weblogs do well in the search engines and this was recently abused because it was the first choice for spam blogs or splogs. A splog is a weblog that is only used to get links or generate thousands of keyword-filled pages with Adsense and the like. The recent Google Jagger update has cleared a large part of it. Free.
Released in 2003 Typepad is largely based on MT, but there are some important improvements and differences. Your blog can contain one or more photo albums with the generation of automatic thumbnail images. You can easily add music, books, and other media to Type Lists, which take a miniature from Amazon and other vendors to easily display them in your sidebar.
Typepad is also much more technical than Blogger, so a little HTML knows how recommended it is. On that note, editing your blog to look at your needs is also very easy and Typepad blogs are known for being very eye-catching, intuitive and easy to navigate. In the business model of SixApart, Typepad focuses on normal home and small business users, while Movable Type is aimed at larger companies or internal intranets. Price: Basic, $ 4.95 per month; premium, $ 8.95 to $ 14.95 per month.
These guys were created in 1999 as the best site for blog software for sharing book, music and film reviews. Although it quickly changed into a fully inflated blog tool, Xanga still maintains the ability to run a powerful review site. Xanga collects data from various retailers such as Amazon.com, including miniatures, prizes and a cover. The software is also very useful for beginners with a powerful WYSIWYG editor that allows easy HTML editing, smilies, links and other symbols. By using Blog Rings, it is also easy to communicate with Xanga’s other 3 million users to share interests, ideas and natural traffic.
Mentions: Blogsome, Blogster, MindSay, Multiply,
Self-hosted best blogging software
WordPress originally started as a mod from an older open source package known as B2. WP is the biggest competition of MT and is often the arena of endless WordPress versus MovableType style threads over the internet. Although it was launched just over a year ago, WP has really overgrown the blogosphere. And rightly so – WordPress is completely free under GNU licenses and is full of many functions that you will not find anywhere else. It is also much easier to install and blog for novice users and has a very large and helpful community.
WP runs on PHP / MySQL and is quite a scalable judging from some of the very large and traded sites that I see use. It also offers sports programs to import files from Movable Type, Textpattern, Greymatter, Blogger and b2. Recently, WordPress increased the ante when Yahoo recently recorded it on their hosting packages, alongside MT. I have to admit that I am coming to see more and more WP and probably Profitpapers to WP
5. Movable type
Apart from perhaps Greymatter (the original open source blogging tool), MovableType dominated the market share of blogging in 2002-2004. In late 2001, Perl based Movable Type of SixApart has retained a large share of blogging market share, mainly due to the fact that there is a free version (support for up to 3 weblogs) and that it is incredibly powerful, intuitive and easy to customize to make. Movable Type-powered by a template also has one of the largest developer and blog communities in the area, which means a lot of support, sharing ideas and of course plug-ins. Movable Type can be configured to dynamically generate HTML, PHP or other pages you like, meaning it is incredibly scalable, fast, and loved by spiders. It is perhaps the most well-known and best blogging software for SEO purposes and it is what currently drives Profitpapers and several of my other projects. Moveabletype is free with 3 authors, 1 weblog and no support or $ 69.95 with unlimited weblogs, authors and full support.
6. Text pattern
Textpattern is the brainchild of Dean Allen and was written to make publishing content easier for people who are not inclined to learn HTML. Just like WP and MT, Textpattern works on PHP and MySQL for easy management, backup and power supply. What really differentiates the text pattern from the others is the integration of Textile. A textile is a tool for easy formatting of content for people who do not know HTML. WP & MT also have modules for textiles, but it is specific to the Textpattern system. Another bonus of the app is the superior handling of response spam due to the smaller market share. On a blog, I keep running WP and MT. I often notice that I clean up spam every day, whereas on some very busy sites with Textpattern I only receive manual comment spam (not bot-controlled). TP is open source.
Listings: Blosxom, LifeType, Serendipity.
Community-based best blogging software
Waaaaay in 1997, Rob “CmdrTaco” Malda launched a website known as Chips & Dips, delivered through its student account at Hope College in Michigan. In 1999 Andover.net took over Slashdot. Shortly thereafter, the underlying code was released as open source software called Slash. Just like Movable Type and Greymatter, Slash runs on Perl, but it also has fixed hooks in MySQL and a very good track record from scaling up to huge traffic levels. To give you an idea, the term ‘slashdotted’ has arisen from getting a link on this now infamous and very popular tech news website – and thus looking at the melting of your servers. If you’ve never messed with Slash, you really have to do that, because it’s a pretty powerful platform. Slash is open source.
Another well-known Perl-based community blogging software is Scoop. Scoop is the software that drives Kuro5shin, DailyKos and many other busy community weblogs. Scoop took over the idea of Slashdot and expanded it, making the discussion rather than the news the focus of the application. Where Slashdot items tend to have a link with added comments that distract the readers from the site, Scoop refers to stories written by members of the community that keep the reader within your own weblog. Scoop is also known for handling large traffic volumes and a large highly technical community. Scoop is free.
Drupal is a well-known open source community and one of the best blogging software platform with a very large community of users and developers. Drupal is not only free, but it is damn powerful. Instead of Perl, which is sometimes quite difficult to decode, even if you are a smooth encoder, Drupal uses a PHP / MySQL platform. Drupal is also a very community-oriented application with a built-in forum, a download area and hundreds of other self-built mods and hacks. Drupal has one of the best blogging software functionality – the project has become quite mature. It is also much easier to use and adjust than Scoop or Slash. Drupal is also another open source project.