Trying to build your website? Then you’ve probably already heard of WordPress.
As the most popular content management system to date, WordPress powers over 76.5 million websites, be it personal blogs, industry news portals, online stores, or business websites. With its smooth learning curve and versatility, even beginners can get a fully-functional site up and run within minutes.
Today, there are several DIY platforms like WordPress that can help you create a beautiful website from the ground up. From blogging platforms to website builders — below are the alternatives you need to consider:
First, let’s start with the top blogging platforms that are best suited for content creators. Take note that, apart from the content management system, WordPress also offers one the most popular blogging platforms in the world known as WordPress.com. It is an entirely different service without the technical aspects such as plugins, coding, and web hosting.
In turn, bloggers can focus solely on content creation. Although this setup is not ideal for monetization, it is perfect for hobbyists and would-be site owners who wish to own an online portfolio.
Tumblr’s greatest strength is the community aspect. Within the platform, other bloggers can see and share your content. It also has features like HTML/CSS customization, social integration, and about 1,000 themes to choose from.
Blogger is Google’s blogging platform. That said, users have full access to tools such as Google Analytics, Keyword Planner, and AdSense. It is entirely free to use and allows you to access the HTML code of your website.
If Google has Blogger, then Twitter has Medium — a simple blogging platform that can give publishers a clean and straightforward writing space. One of its advantages is the built-in analytics feature that can help you track the performance of your blog over time.
If you are looking to gain instant visibility for your blog posts, then you should consider a premium blogging platform like Typepad. This platform allows you to get on with blogging immediately and publish your work on the website itself. As a paid service, you also get a ton of customization options to instill your personality into your blog.
Ghost is an open-source blogging platform for hobbyists and professionals who want to establish an online presence. But unlike most other platforms, users have the option to use the downloadable version and use a separate hosting service when creating a website.
Website builders may not be as easy to use as blogging platforms or as robust as content management systems. Still, they are perfect for aspiring bloggers who are looking at the possibility of monetization without the technical depth found in full-fledged content management systems. Just remember to pick the right website builder that has all the tools you need to accomplish your online goals.
SquareSpace is a popular website builder that features a drag-and-drop web interface. It is one of the website builders that has eCommerce support, meaning you can quickly turn your site into an online store. Users can also choose from a number of pre-configured themes that can help newbies create a presentable site.
Wix, just like SquareSpace, offers a drag-and-drop interface that can make website creation a breeze. However, Wix has far more options regarding themes and customization. This makes it easier for you to develop your personal brand. On the other hand, your control over the eCommerce aspect of your site is somewhat limited.
Out of all the website builders found in this list, Weebly is probably the easiest one to use. Whether you want to build an online store, a business website, or an online portfolio, Weebly has everything you need to create a beautiful website in no time. It also has advanced features like video backgrounds, real-time shipping tracker, and coupons.
Content Management System
Lastly, content management systems are comprehensive platforms that allow you to build just about any site. WordPress, for example, has thousands of plugins and themes you can combine to give your site a unique look and feel. Although the learning curve for content management systems is slightly steeper than that of website builders, most platforms offer free learning resources to help beginners get started.
Joomla is an open-source content management system that is being run by a large community of developers and advocates alike. If WordPress has plugins, then Joomla has extensions to help improve the experience of your readers. Joomla also has banner and contact management features that can assist you with lead generation and advertising.
Finally, Textpattern is a simple yet powerful content management system. Its flexibility gives web designers total control over how content is presented. But to unlock the true potential of the platform, you need to have some technical knowledge such as XHTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL. Fortunately, their website offers excellent support from the community and tons of documentation that will help you learn along the way.
Website creation can be a unique experience to each blogger or site owner. What’s important is that you pick a platform that can provide everything you need to accomplish your online goals. If you are still unsure, then you should do a test run with some of the free platforms listed above such as Wix, Blogger, and Tumblr.