You want to blog, but do you need a WordPress blog? (The self-hosted option that is.)
Believe it or not, that question triggered a big argument at one of our writers’ group meetings. That’s unusual.
Our meetings are fun. We laugh, and chat. That meeting however grew heated.
Is a self-hosted WordPress blog for you?
I work in marketing, so I’ve used WordPress for well over a decade. Although I enjoy it, I’m not convinced that it’s the best platform for every blogger, whether they’re blogging for business or pleasure.
My opinion, FWIW, is that unless you need all the customization options that WordPress offers, it’s best to choose a hosted blogging platform.
Here’s why. Although WordPress has made huge strides over the years, and is very user-friendly, problems always arise and they take time and/ or money to fix.
Whether the problem is a misbehaving theme or plugin, or something to do with your hosting, you will have problems, and they’re frustrating.
When you choose a hosted platform, you’re problem-free. If there’s a hassle, a quick email to your blogging provider fixes it.
So let’s look at some easy blogging platforms to consider if you want trouble-free blogging. I’ve used all three of these platforms to set up blogs for marketing clients.
1. Squarespace: sleek and elegant
Choose a Squarespace template for your needs
When you create a Squarespace blog, it’s simply another page on your website, so you can create as many blogs as you choose on a single Squarespace site.
You might create a blog for your company news and press releases, as well as for a product FAQ section, for example. If your site is personal, you could create a blog for each of your hobbies.
On Squarespace, templates are all-powerful. The Help page advises:
Blog posts are sub-pages of a Blog Page. Each blog post has its own page and dedicated URL.
The layout, design options, and special features for your blog posts vary by template. You can add as many blog posts to a Blog Page as you’d like.
To help you to get up to speed, here’s some info on Squarespace templates.
Clients for whom I’ve set up websites and blogs on Squarespace are thrilled with how easy their sites are to use, as well as their commercial options. Creating an online store is simple.
2. Typepad: rock solid, with great support
If you’re looking to create an commerce store on Typepad you can, but you’ll need a plugin. Unlike Squarespace and Weebly, Typepad started out as a purely blogging platform.
Since Typepad’s been around for many years, the platform’s a rock solid option for bloggers. The company’s support system is first-rate.
3. Weebly: lots of free templates
Weebly offers around 100 templates from which you can choose. It also offers great options for web designers; it’s easy to create a client portal to manage your all clients’ Weebly websites.
Like Squarespace, Weebly is first and foremost a website builder, rather than a focused blogging platform, so it’s easy to set up an online store on Weebly.
Should you choose a WordPress blog or an alternative?
Of course, the big benefit of self-hosted WordPress is its immense power. You can turn it into any kind of site you choose.
Although alternatives may not have as much power, they make blogging simple and mostly painless.
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