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Web Design Blog

Toolkit's Guide to: Blogging Platforms

When it comes to fresh and constantly updated content, blogging is the perfect tool. Creating and sharing blog posts is GREAT for search engine optimisation because you are supplying your potential customers and clients with good quality, relevant and useful information regularly, and responsively.

Google has a job to do. And that is to provide people with the most accurate and useful search results, depending on what they've typed in to find. Google wants to make sure that the user is only given suggested results that are appropriate and that the content is going to be exactly what the user is after. Usually by just browsing the top 5 results.

In order to make sure you are up there, and that your content is what Google deems "good quality" and "relevant" is to make sure that it is both of those things, as well as regularly updated, and fresh. Having a blog is a perfect solution for this. Why? Because you can set up a blog, style it, and link it to your website for people to be able to find it. Then, all you need to do is start writing blog posts that you feel your target audience would want to read and would find useful.

Each blog post you write can include information and keywords that will not only be found in search engine results, but be of relevance to what your target audience are looking for. Having it attached to your website means that it works fluidly with your online presence, and all blogging platforms give you the ability to brand and style your blog in a similar style to your website.

At Toolkit Websites, we favour Blogger as the blogging platform that we recommend. Not only is it owned by Google themselves, but also because of the flexibility it provides to you as the user. It's easy to manage, easy to customise and has brilliant options for you to use it alongside your Google Analytics (view statistics of how it's performing!)

We also have a specialised knowledge on how to use Blogger and can provide bespoke styling, to match your blog to your website design, or provide a design to your specification. 

We take a look below at the top 3 blogging platforms, and we've provided you with some information on each.

The Pros of using Blogger

Blogger is Google's free blog-hosting site. You have the option of using a free blogspot.com domain, or you can purchase a custom domain for the blog to be hosted on. The hosting is free, and Google manage it so you don't have to take any back ups, or anything as it's done for you.

It's easy to use (for beginners) and eases you into blogging gently without needing any specialised knowledge to create and share posts. There are more advanced complicated options, but if you're comfortable with HTML or you have a web design company that can provide this for you, it's hassle free. If you don't have either of those, you can choose from one of Blogger's FREE themes or designs.

You can easily integrate AdSense and any other monestisation onto your blog (banners, text links etc) if you wish to use your blog to generate an income. 

By default, Blogger will display the mobile version of your blog when viewed on mobile devices. This is a simplified version of the blog, stripped of sidebars, footers and custom header. Plus the images are optimised meaning that your blog will pass Google's mobile friendly test with flying colours.

Unlike WordPress, when it comes to security, Blogger is water tight. It also has spam filters for comments and such like to help out with that also.

The Pros of using WordPress

WordPress is a popular blogging platform with over 60 million users. When using WordPress you're best of creating a custom domain. You will need to purchase a domain and find a company to host this for you. WordPress doesn't offer a free hosting service. You have full control over your blog in terms of how it looks and the design, but you will need some advanced knowledge of this in order to put it into practice.

There is a lot of support out there when using WordPress, including an active community forum and companies available with premium support if you wish to pay for it. There is a page builder application offering responsive, column layouts if you need it also, which is really useful.

Unfortunately, WordPress is not so clued up when it comes to responsive design. You will have to find a responsive template if you want it to pass Google's mobile friendly test. And even if you do, your images will not be optimised and the sidebar (if you have one)  will still be displayed under the posts. You'd need the knowledge of how to code and tweak it to your specifications.

Another factor to remember is that WordPress posts take a couple of days to index, whereas Blogger posts are indexed instantly.

The Pros of using Tumblr

Tumblr are the newer more fashionable blogging platform in this list. Founded in February 2007, it now has 152 million users and is incredibly easy to use, customise and share.

There are thousands of themes to choose from, if you're unsure of how to go about styling a blog yourself, and many of these are responsive meaning your blog will pass Google's mobile friendly test. When you join Tumblr you immediately become part of the internal community. You are able to gain subscribers, answer questions from readers and interact with other bloggers.

Tumblr describes itself as casual and quick blogging. It focuses more on visual imagery, small brief posts and a collage of news items.

Good luck with getting your blog up and running! We hope this guide helps.