Blog Software Comparison: The Most Popular Tools
Blogs haven't disappeared and still remain an essential component of any digital promotion or marketing strategy. According to the Center for Marketing Research ⇱ as of 2019, 81% of the Top 200 companies in the world operated a corporate blog.
Users can select from a wide variety of professional blog software to ensure that the right content quickly comes online. Of course, finding the option that best matches your individual needs and requirements remains somewhat difficult, so, to help out, we've taken a closer look at some of the most popular options on the market, letting you know which each is strongest at.
Statistics - the Most Popular Blog Software in 2021
Some of the most important things to focus on when evaluating blog software are its ease of use as well as its learning curve for newcomers or beginners. Both of these factors play a sizable role because the point of blogging is, after all, to share content, not to learn how to operate a piece of software.
We wanted to find out which blog software is the most commonly used, so we assessed the 5 million most visited websites in the world, paying attention to which platform they utilized. At the top of the podium, towering over the competition, we found a very familiar face: WordPress.
WordPress launched in 2003 with the promise to help anyone create a blog in five minutes. Since then, the free, open-source platform has evolved into a complete content management system (CMS), all the while remaining as easy and intuitive to use as before.
How has WordPress become so dominant and successful? To start, the platform both set and continues to define web standards in terms of customization. Web standards refer here to the ability of a website to display properly on different browsers. The software also impresses thanks to the enormous selection of design templates and extensions, so-called plugins. WordPress's engaged developer community continues to churn out seemingly endless numbers of themes and tools, providing new solutions for all sorts of challenges, and pushing the platform's design and operational capabilities to ever-newer frontiers.
Thanks to WordPress's wealth of options, users can easily create a visually appealing blog loaded with all sorts of features that draw visitors in and importantly, keeps them coming back for more. As a result, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that WordPress is the undisputed champion of blog software and the most popular solution in our sample.
Easy to use, even in teams
Free, open-source software
Numerous design templates (themes) as well as extensions which provide additional functionality (plugins)
Large global support community
Often targeted by hackers owing to the sizable number of users
Likely too complex for very small projects
Coming in second place is Blogger. In 2003, Google took over the platform, subsequently integrating it into its product portfolio. As a result, anyone who has a Google account also has a Blogger account and doesn't need to install anything to get started blogging.
The free platform is certainly easy to use, however, this comes at the cost of creativity and customization. All the same, for those who dabble in writing or just want a place to share their content, the service should be good enough. However, companies, business owners, or professional bloggers will probably want to look elsewhere to meet their blogging needs.
When it comes to design templates and features, we have to deduct a few points from Blogger. The layouts are outmoded and the selection of extensions and plugins is very limited. This helps explain why the erstwhile leader of the blogging pack has lost its earlier place of supremacy, catering almost exclusively to those new to or unfamiliar with the Internet.
Very easy to use
Free and included in every Google account
Limited and dated designs
Lacking in features and gadgets
Growth and monetization nearly impossible
The Israeli website builder Wix impressed us owing to its ease of use, creative features, as well as numerous design possibilities it offers. The wide selection of extensions made available ensures that the platform is equally appealing to both beginners as well as more experienced users, offering something for everybody.
Wix is free, so long as you opt for the basic version and don't require a unique domain. With that said, we only recommend this for those planning to blog as a hobby, everyone else should opt for a paid subscription.
But here, a word of caution. Less is more, and it's wise to refrain from making your site as complicated and intricate as possible. Wix can do a lot, but even though things appear easy in the editors, implementing them requires large amounts of data and resources, both of which negatively affect your page's performance (i.e. how quickly it loads).
Wix's design possibilities are particularly commendable. Its templates are modern, stylish, and suitable for nearly every kind of site imaginable. The site builder also flexes the degree of freedom it affords users in arranging content on their page: Thanks to the drag and drop editor, anyone, even without a drop of programming know-how, can create a sleek website.
Given the above, it's little wonder that Wix has only grown more popular over the past few years, drawing in ever-larger numbers of bloggers to its cloud-based platform.
Intuitive to use
Designed for both beginners and professionals
Offers users access to a wide variety of features
Modern, high-quality themes
Limited possibilities in the free version
No ability to self-host websites
Up until fairly recently, Ghost was a rather plain and minimalistic open-source blogging platform, however, following an update in March 2021, the developers breathed new life into the software.
Today, Ghost is an elegant headless CMS that offers modern SEO options as well as integrated member and subscriber tools to anyone managing a digital community. This provides bloggers with a number of advantages. Thanks to the headless CMS, backend features like creation, administration, and storage are separated from frontend aspects, such as presentations and publication preparation. This means that the system is less complex, its content output more flexible, and the CMS not linked to any specific platform, instead making data available via REST-APIs.
If hosting Ghost yourself, you'll be able to use it free of charge. Getting started is a bit more complicated than in WordPress since the software doesn't offer a one-click installer. However, after installation, we're certain that you'll be impressed with its high degree of user-friendliness and streamlined architecture.
All of this makes Ghost an interesting alternative for authors and journalists who want to professionally present and release their content digitally.
Professional publisher software
Intuitive to use
Setting up requires technical expertise
Few plugins and/or extensions
Medium doesn't have much in common with the rest of the blog software we're reviewing, but, certainly deserves a mention. The platform was created in 2012 by Twitter founder Ev Williams and serves as a home for high-quality stories, essays, poems, and literature. Users don't create their own website, but instead, add their content into a sort of thematic pool. To start publishing, all you need is a Medium account.
Medium sees itself as a blog catalog that offers all kinds of authors a place to present their work. No foreknowledge of programming or coding is required, which may be appealing to beginners, but certainly does limit the ability to customize or design one's author page.
In exchange, users can count on a committed and interested readership, without having to worry too much about self-promotion or marketing. Readers can comment on submissions, rate them, and share them on social media. Companies and businesses have also started using the blog platform in order to easily and quickly publish releases and engage with the public.
Of particular interest to anyone who already has a blog is the ability to import it to Medium, making it possible to release your content on a second platform. The import tool even automatically dates submissions similarly so that Google doesn't inaccurately identify them as copied or duplicate content.
Very easy to use
No installation or software required
Facilitates quickly publishing unique content
Not an individual blog or blogging platform per se
Few opportunities for monetization
Very limited design options
Tumblr, once a rising powerhouse and challenger to Facebook, particularly among younger users, is a microblogging platform that is useful for discussing a wide variety of topics. Although somewhat diminished in popularity, the Facebook/Twitter hybrid can still count on a dedicated userbase.
Unsurprisingly, getting started with the platform is a walk in the park. After registration, each user is provided with their own page which they can then fill with text, images, videos, or quotes, but that's it. However, for all that ease of use, users aren't given all too many outlets for showing off their flair for design. As a result, the platform is definitely not suited to professional blogging, however, can still serve as an additional marketing channel for reaching an even wider audience.
In 2019, WordPress's parent concern Automattic bought Tumblr. As a result, it remains to be seen what exactly the CMS developer has in mind for Tumblr, and whether it will give the now, somewhat fading platform, new impulses.
Extremely easy to post and share content
No effort needed to set up
Not designed for professional bloggers
Limited features and design possibilities
Not possible to monetize
When it comes to designing a blog, WordPress remains the first choice, thanks not only to its ease of use, but also the seemingly endless array of options it offers more advanced users. After that, with around 98% fewer users, comes Blogger in second place, which is targeted more at private enthusiasts. Neck-and-neck with Blogger is Wix, which offers both a better overall package and seems to be on the ascent.
Among the remainder, Ghost and Medium are perhaps the two most worth watching owing to their potentials as well as the interesting options they provide for individual users.
WordPress remains the undisputed king in the world of blogging, largely because it offers something to both experts and beginners. More than that though, innovation is an ever-present part of the software, and its developers invest heavily in keeping their platform up to date. In this sense, how Tumblr develops following its purchase by WordPress's parent company in 2019 is definitely something to watch out for.
Owing to its ease of use and sleek design, Wix, a site builder, rounds out the Top 3. Although not exclusively for blogs, Wix makes it possible to design an attractive website quickly and professionally, even without a degree in Computer Science or Information Technology. As a result, we have no problem recommending the Israeli blog software.
Ghost and Medium are two alternatives that we feel are particularly interesting for individual authors.
WordPress clearly stakes out first place, accounting for a massive 95.7% of the blogs from our sample for which we could determine their integration. In concrete numbers, out of 5 million websites and 722,542 blog integrations, 691,237 were WordPress.
This depends both on what you intend to accomplish, as well as how technically well-versed you are. WordPress, the all-rounder, offers something for everyone and doesn't set any limits to what is technically possible, however, as your demands increase in complexity, greater knowledge of coding is required. Site builders, like Wix, are more suited towards those with less experience in coding or web design, but at the same time, offer only limited free versions. If you're considering professionally marketing your content, Ghost offers a nice environment for doing so. Medium is interesting for anyone who just wants to blog and reach a greater audience.
If you like the way a particular blog looks and want to know what integrations it uses, check out EXPERTE.com's Technology Check. Our tool will tell you everything you want to know by simply entering the URL of the site in question.