Since they originally built WordPress as a blogging platform it may shock you that the answer is not so simple anymore. Someone who focused on just writing has many options they can choose.
Is WordPress Good for Blogs? Yes, it is one of the best platforms with the most support and plugins of any website builder on the market. WordPress runs many larger websites such as TechCrunch, The New Yorker and even BBC America. WordPress is an excellent choice for someone who wants to grow their blog.
In this article we will dive into why WordPress is a good solution for a blog and what alternatives someone might have for other blogging platforms.
Is WordPress a CMS or a Blog?
When WordPress first came out, it was strictly a blogging platform and not a CMS. The Community behind WordPress was the one that morph it into the giant it is now powering 30% of websites on the web.
The great thing about WordPress is not only the support but the way WordPress handles things like plugin and themes. We can make WordPress into whatever you want it to me which is useful from a business standpoint. Anyone who is looking to start anything that belongs on the web can be sure that WordPress has a solution.
I once heard someone on a podcast say it’s better to price a product low and raise the price than to price it high and make people made who request refunds because they feel cheated. Websites are no different, we could rephrase it to say, it’s better to build a smaller blog intending to expand it later than to build something giant you have problems with.
I tell my clients all the time who want to build a site that if you can’t come up with the content, then just build a simple one page website. WordPress’s strength is that is allows you to expand without the hindrance of worrying about if you can expand.
Why WordPress plugins help you with blogging
One of the best aspects of anyone who wants to start a blog is that they need so many things for their blog. They may want things that are not already included with WordPress. And then they find out about the WordPress plugin directory.
The WordPress plugin directory has over 55,609 plugins as of June 2019. Many of those plugins benefit both blogs and others as they have tons of free plugins which can add functionality to your blog, something that others might not be able to say.
Because of the popularity behind WordPress they have a plugin for almost every situation you can think of. This means that if you started a blog no matter what kind of problem you run into that isn’t included with WordPress could be installed a plugin.
This flexibility adds to the blogging experience because as a blogger it does not stick you dealing with technical issues you can’t control.
The most useful WordPress plugin’s for blogging
While WordPress may have 55,000 plugins you really need to get to the core of what you need if you will do any blogging. Below is a small but helpful list of plugins I recommend you use when you start your WordPress blog.
This free plugin is amazing as optimizing your site with no hassles. I used to be a big fan of WP Rocket but when I ran independent testing; I found that Swift worked much better without being a rocket scientist and tweaking different settings. Anyone running any kind of blog will find that Swift Performance lite helps reduce the time it takes for a page to load.
I included it because the line between both Swift and WP Rocket is tight. They are both excellent plugins and you would be good using either one for your website. It turns out to be a matter of preference.
Unless you plan to run a blog that does not allow comments, you will get some kind of spam on that blog. Akismet is one of the best ways to stop spam traffic and even lets you know how many attacks against your blog it has stopped. I would consider it a must have for anyone who writes content and wants feedback from their readers.
There are so many security plugins for WordPress that you may get confused. You need a security plugin that offers some kind of detection of people trying to hack your site and a firewall that stops hackers. Not installing one of these plugins leaves you vulnerable to attack from hackers. This plugin also helps by blocking brute force hacks (one of the most common attacks) and allowing two-factor authentication which requires the person to use something like a phone or email to verify their identity.
Anyone building a block will run into limits of themes which stop them from being able to make changes to things like headers, footers and achieve pages. Elementor is just one of many page builders which allow you to change you complete WordPress site. If you are not tech savvy, it has enough documentation and videos to walk you through any problems.
Like Elementor Oxygen is another page builder that allows full website customization. Unlike Elementor Oxygen is not the easiest or most friendly out of the box but it is powerful. If you have any kind of background or experience with WordPress, I would highly recommend Oxygen.
Any good blog will also need good images to draw people into reading your content. Shortpixel is a plugin that helps solve that problem by reducing your image file sizes inside of WordPress and showing you what you can save. It also has a ton of optimizations which allow customizing that could be its own blog post. Images are one of the main causes of a slow website and ShortPixel does a fantastic job of helping.
This is a plugin I can not live without. There are a ton of plugins on the market but this one does only one thing, it helps resolve SSL issues. You don’t have to have any technical background. Even a blog needs an SSL if they want to rank higher on Google which has told people that secure websites are no longer a nice to have, they are a must.
Alternatives to Blogging with WordPress
While WordPress is the biggest player on the market, they are not the only player on the market. While I would love to tell you to stay away from these budget alternatives, I know that not every project requires WordPress.
The only warning I would give you is make sure you budget out the cost involved with building a WordPress site and then compare the two against these self-contained ecosystems. One of WordPress biggest strengths for a blog or website is its open source which means many things are free.
We did an article on the differences between Wix and WordPress and while I would not recommend it, it’s one of the closest alternatives I can think of. Wix has a support center and all the same things as WordPress but these often come with a higher price tag.
Wix has a lot that is built into the system which makes it easier for someone who would rather have things like email support or phone support. WordPress most relays on the experiences from other people who have ran into the same problem or support forums.
Blogger is another alternative to WordPress that has been around and might have a better reputation than Wix. Blogger as the name implies focuses on just blogging and not anything beyond that.
The downside is that your blog can’t do much of anything else outside of blogging which means you are limited. Remember the rule above, plan big but start small. Blogger limits your growth because it’s really not made to handle things like eCommerce or other functionality outside of blogging.
Still there are worse solutions just be prepared that when and if you move, it will be a process to move your content.
If the celebrity endorsements and paid ads won’t get you, then you may end up at Squarespace’s door step. Like Wix it suffers from a self-contained ecosystem so you won’t find third party plugins or help outside of the typical Squarespace help. The great thing is the website is easy to control and you can do whatever you are looking to do with it.
If you had to choose between Wix and Squarespace, I would recommend Wix before I would point you to Squarespace but that is my opinion, others may disagree.
WordPress is the blogging platform I recommend
I don’t just recommend it because it’s popular or because I use it. I recommend it because it solves the most issues for anyone blogging out of the box. That means if you started a blog today you can do it cheaper and faster with WordPress than any other solution.
They may say it’s easy just sign up but you will quickly hear the cash register ringing in the background as it forces you to add more to your account just to do the same thing you can do with WordPress. It really doesn’t matter what type of blog you are starting, WordPress has a solution that fits your situation and won’t limit you down the road.
If you plan is to ever make money or evolve your website, then you should always pick it as you go to choice. Don’t allow other website companies to hold you hostage by forcing you to pay money for a service they should include for free. This is my biggest compliant with self-contained ecosystems like Wix or Squarespace.
What theme do I need? There are a ton of themes I could tell you to pick but when you are just starting out, I recommend one of WordPress default themes. Remember, you can grow you blog down the road and changes things without it causing you a bunch of money and headache.
Plugins cost money how do you think WordPress is cheaper? No one says you have to pay a dime for a plugin. In most cases the free alternatives are just as good as the paid and almost solve the same issues. So yes, you may have to pay for a $20, $30, $50 or even $100 plugin but compare that one time payment over the raising price of a monthly payment which leaves you stuck.
WordPress is too hard for me, I don’t understand it? Read tutorials and sites such as this which answer WordPress problems post by post and you can overcome any problem you have with WordPress no matter what the issue is.
Do I need a web developer to help me, what if I have a problem? Because WordPress is so widely used it’s one of the easiest services to find freelancers and companies which offer solutions to WordPress specific problems. A simple Google search will bring up hundreds of thousands of companies which can help you.
I hope this has helped you understand how WordPress is one of the best solutions for building a blog. For those people who want to be serious about their business it’s really a no brainier. And if it interests you in learning more about WordPress, we cover a ton of topics.
But I am interested in hearing what you use for your blog, comment down below. Is there a solution I missed or should consider? I would love to hear your comments.