Should you start your first blog on Tumblr or WordPress?
If you are thinking about creating a blog on the Internet then you have many choices to make. One important choice is the blogging platform that you want to use as you need to make sure that it gives you all the freedom you need.
Two popular choices are Tumblr and WordPress which do not really look that different on first glance. There are however differences that you do need to be aware of before you start to sign up for one of the services.
Both services let you create a free blog on their websites that is hosted on a subdomain by default. What this means is that you will access your blog using an address such as yourblog.tumblr.com or yourblog.wordpress.com by default.
You can use a custom domain name instead which looks more professional, but it is not a requirement at all.
WordPress, unlike Tumblr, offers paid packages that provide you with additional features for a yearly subscription fee. This includes email or live chat support, advanced customizations, premium themes and more storage for data.
While you can post textual and media contents of any length on Tumblr, it is often referred to by many as a micro-blogging site based on the average length of posts on the site. It is often used to post a single image or short amount of text.
Creating a new blog is really easy. You pick a title, select an url and decide whether you want it to be private or publicly available.
You are then taken to the dashboard where you can start to post right away.Â The interface is simply and concentrates on posting and nothing else. You can however make modifications to the theme used and a couple of other features, including hacking the HTML and CSS code to customize the look and feel of your blog.
Tumblr is big when it comes to social interaction. You can follow blogs on the site and their latest posts are automatically displayed in your dashboard so that you can easily comment, like or re-blog from there. Re-blogging is very similar to re-tweeting a message on Twitter. You basically re-post a blog post on your own blog.
While this is not the best idea in terms of SEO, as it creates lots of duplicate content, it may not matter that much depending on what you want to achieve with the blog. If you are interested in social interaction then there is nothing wrong with it though.
- Easy to set up and get started.
- Clean interface and basic customization options.
- Focus on social interaction between Tumblr users (re-blogging, following, liking).
- Re-blogging may create duplicate contents.
- No integration of a statistics service, you need to add code to your blog to do so manually.
WordPress is an established blogging platform that provides you with a lot of features even if you sign up for the free plan. Probably the first thing that you will notice is that it displays a lot of options in the dashboard that may overwhelm you right from the start.
It takes time to get to know the admin dashboard and the functionality it makes available. While you can hit the posts option right away to get started, you will notice that it too is not as easy to use as the Tumblr post page.
WordPress does not distinguish between different post types, e.g. text or video, but uses a single form for all different types of posts you make.
If you browse around, you will notice that some features become only available after you pay for them. The custom design option for instance costs $30 per year and enables the use of custom fonts, colors and CSS code on the blog once purchased. Without it, you are limited to a few basic customization changes that WordPress provides you with.
- Powerful blogging platform.
- Integration of external tools, including Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Center and Analytics software.
- Option to add other users to the site that are allowed to post and administrate.
- Paid upgrades for a variety of features.
- Displays many menus in the dashboard that take time getting used to.
- Displays ads on free blogs.
Both blogging platforms have a lot to offer and while WordPress is more complicated if you have never blogged before, it should not take too long to get accustomed to it. The core difference between both platforms is Tumblr's concentration on social interaction between users of the service which WordPress does not offer in this form.
If you like Twitter, then Tumblr is the logical step to go forward as it resembles the service in many ways. It is also the service of choice if you do not want ads to be displayed on your site. Keep in mind though that there is no guarantee that the Yahoo acquisition won't change that in the future.
WordPress has the advantage that it is relatively easy to migrate your hosted blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog which makes available a wider range of options, including the use of plugins.Advertisement