For businesses that use the Internet to reach their customers, blogs have become one of the foundation stones of any good web presence. They give more than just the sales information and introduction to a business that a good website provides, allowing your business to keep customers easily updated on new developments and to become a trusted source of advice. They also provide a platform for a business to talk to customers.
However, there are myriad blogging platforms out there. It can be hard to decide what is best for your business, and difficult to make an informed choice. This article compares two of the most popular blogging platforms – WordPress and Tumblr, in an attempt to make this job a little easier.
Tumblr – Not Just For Teens?
Tumblr is the new kid on the block among blogging platforms. Launched in 2007, it already has as many blogs as WordPress. Attempting to fill the niche between the 140-character brevity of Twitter and the more traditional blog format, Tumblr aims to make it as quick as possible to share content with the internet. However, this is combined with proprietary hosting, which means when Tumblr’s servers go down, your blog goes down, and a lack of customizability. And perhaps irritatingly for customers, you need to be a Tumblr member to comment on blogs. It is currently far more popular with teenagers and college-age adults than with other demographics.
WordPress – Flexible And Lightweight
Four years older than Tumblr, WordPress is regarded as the standard for blogging and content management online. Unlike Tumblr, the blog format is much more flexible in WordPress, and as it is open source software, it is infinitely customizable – anyone can edit the source code. It does, however, require rather more set-up than Tumblr – instead of the instant gratification of the microblog format, it requires a fair amount of configuration for a satisfactory result.
Let’s take a look at each of these platforms closer and compare them side-by-side.
Both platforms have a wide variety of included themes, which makes a basic “out of the box” blog easy to create. They’re all rather generic though, so if you’re serious about making your blog one of the planks upon which your business rests, you will need to customize. Tumblr isn’t hugely demanding in terms of web development knowledge, relying on a few basic HTML calls. However, this is a product of the tight boundaries within which Tumblr operates. WordPress requires rather more expertise, as it has moved from being a simple blogging service to more of a content management system. A surprising number of websites run on a WordPress engine, due to its unparalleled stability.
WordPress wins here hands-down. Tumblr has almost none of the powerful content management features that make WordPress the system of choice for enterprise-level content management. Being open source means WordPress is completely customizable, so it can meet the content management needs of any business. Attempting to do this on Tumblr would be impossible, or at least incredibly unwieldy.
While Tumblr can seem limited by it lack of customization features, its blogs are often incredibly tidy and streamlined in appearance – it is really rather difficult to have a “cluttered” looking site on the platform. The interface is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. Nevertheless, WordPress offers a clear advantage in terms of design. Though building a site on the platform requires a little more effort, it also offers a pleasantly clean interface with which to get started. Unlike Tumblr, every aspect of a WordPress blog can be tweaked, allowing your online presence to be the visual representation of your business you want it to be, and not one from a template. Additionally, WordPress is W3 compliant, meaning your blog should render correctly on any browser.
When it comes to networking, Tumblr has proven itself to be a very powerful tool indeed – it is excellent for connecting to social media. It also makes it easy for interested parties to follow all of your content using tags and keywords. However, it is worth bearing in mind that Tumblr is a microblogging platform, and as such lends itself heavily to visual media content and providing short bursts of information. Unless you are looking to use Tumblr as a way of extending your social media reach, it may not be enough to support the kind of website you wish to provide. WordPress hits a rare stumbling block in this respect as, despite having a far larger user community, it is not as adept at helping them to build networks. This platform demands more work on the part of the user to connect with their audience, but the potentially high levels of audience participation it allows is likely to be worth the extra effort.
We hope this has perhaps lifted the fog a little on the realm of blogging platforms – now you can enter the dynamic and competitive blogging marketplace armed with the information you need to make a smart decision on how you carry out your blogging strategy.