Ask LH: Which Blogging Platform Should I Use?

Dear Lifehacker, A simple but challenging question: With sites like Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous, which one's a guy to choose? Thanks, Beginning Blogger

Dear Beginning,

As with so many questions that get asked here at Lifehacker, there's no single obvious and correct answer, and we expect that readers will have some additional comments to offer on what you might choose. All the services you mention will perform the same fundamental task: giving you an easy way of posting your thoughts to the world without requiring you to set up (or pay for) your own site. While there can be good reasons for doing that (and we've got plenty of guidance on how to do it, letting someone else handle the technical details lets you concentrate on what you actually want to say.

The difference is mainly a question of emphasis and features. Posterous is designed to be updated via email, which makes posting extremely simple. Tumblr emphasises brief, Twitter-style updates. Blogger offers integration with other Google account tools, and WordPress has an open and frequently updated code base which enables lots of good-looking themes. We looked at each of the options you discussed in our Hive Five roundup of blogging platforms last year, which will give you a more detailed overview, so we won't repeat ourselves here.

One other point: this isn't necessarily a choose-one-only approach. You might select Tumblr for quick thoughts which you update frequently, while using a WordPress blog for more in-depth but less regular musings.

Cheers Lifehacker


Comments

    The question is kind of impossible to answer without knowing what your blog is going to be about.

    If you're going to talk about your day in small updates - they're all good, but tumblr is probably smoothes for simple and short updates.

    If you're going to be more the conventional blog idea (using the blog as a content management engine to post pictures, journal entries, random thoughts for the world, etc), wordpress and blogger don't have a huge amount to sepperate them. I prefer the tools at wordpress though.

    Tumblr is great for networking with other people who blog - you don't have comments, you add on to what other people say by literally reposting it and adding stuff. It's very good if you want a constant stream of info from other people to you - it's why fandoms flourish there, it's a free for all sharing environment.

    If you want a more traditional format of posting a blog and let people discuss in the comments though, tumblr is not the place, as even with disqus comments enabled, it doesn't integrate well with the main site.

    The best thing to do would be to identify what you will be blogging about, and then check out the available options with that in mind, and see how other people use those services as comparisons. There's no one 'best' blog service.

    The free and powerful Windows Live Writer tool in combination with Blogger.com works great for me. I post lots of programming/code samples and images.

    Windows Live Writer really makes things easy taking care of the escaping/formatting nonsense, allowing seamless posting of images, and also its ability to easily update an existing blog entry.

    if you want a more substantive experience with quality interaction with other users, i recommend LiveJournal...the rest are just about LOOK AT ME!

    I'm interested in starting a blog too, but would like to be have the option to update on the go, using my iPhone. Is there one blog / app combo that offers more control and is better at doing this?

      WordPress has an iOS app that allows you to write & manage posts (including pictures and movies) and comments. It's certainly not as full-featured as the web interface, and you definitely won't be tweaking your theme from it, but for simple content management it does the job.

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