Complete Guide to Blogging Platforms
Writing a blog is one thing, but finding a place to publish it is quite another.
The sheer volume of online blogging platforms can be overwhelming at best. With hundreds of options with thousands of possibilities, narrowing down the list can be challenging. And if you happen to be looking for a technical blogging platform, you might feel a bit over your head.
The best blogging platforms are way more than a glorified PDF. The cream of the crop provides SEO support, forums for community comments, integrations with other tools, and even plugins that streamline your workflow. It pays to know what you need in advance, and choose a platform that scales alongside your blog and brand.
Making a great decision starts with getting great information. We’re going to take a step-by-step approach for looking at the most popular blogging platforms for your startup, including some pros, cons, and what to keep in mind. We’ll also walk through ways to narrow down your final criteria, especially if you’re having trouble sifting through the choices.
- What to know about modern blogging platforms
- 10 best blogging platforms for the technical blogger
- Choosing between multiple blogging platforms
What To Know About Modern Blogging Platforms
Before we get into the weeds, we need to talk about the two major types of modern blogging platforms: hosted and self-hosted.
Hosted blogging platforms allow you to keep your site, domain, and blog content under a single umbrella. WordPress and Squarespace are two very common examples of this. Self-hosted blogging platforms allow you to use their software on your owned domains and web pages. Most of the options listed here have self-hosted options.
Although neither choice is better than the other, it’s important to note that hosted platforms may be slightly more efficient for technical companies. Not only do they look more professional to customers, but they are extremely flexible as well. Plus, you won’t run the risk of having your blog removed or struggling with security breaches along the way.
The criteria you choose for picking a blog platform will be between yourself and your business. However, you might want to consider the future growth of your brand, and the types of content you might be producing in 6 months, a year, or even 5 years. If you’re planning on partnering with freelancers or agencies, you’ll also want to consider the platform’s ease of use and manageability. It’s best to save yourself from as many headaches as possible!
10 Best Blogging Platforms For The Technical Blogger
If you’re looking to get up and running on a blog platform in a technical space, you’ve got plenty of options. These 10 providers have a long list of features and benefits, and can be easily adapted to meet a wide variety of needs.
As a platform that powers more than 40% of the internet, WordPress is a powerhouse in the blogging space. It’s not hard to see why: users can create a blog with plugins, themes, content moderation, and more in just minutes.
WordPress is very straightforward, but not a development platform. Consider your technical needs before making any lasting decisions.
Static site generator GatsbyJS is fast and focused platform used by thousands of technical blogs. It’s not the most intuitive option on the list, but its tools and plugin metaverse are extremely helpful in the beginning stages of a blog.
You can choose to use the site’s preset templates to get started, or branch into creating your own Gatsby starters. Note that Gatsby is based on React rather than Vue, which is similar to Next.js. You can find the full Gatsby vs Next.js comparison here.
Up-and-coming Hugo might be just a baby, but its speed simply cannot be matched. There are multiple hosting options available, as well as support for menu integration, image processing, site mapping, and live reloading. You can also create some beautiful Hugo themes with just a little bit of work.
Hugo is a static site generator much like Jekyll, but one that was written in Go rather than Ruby. Not sure which static site generator you prefer between Hugo vs. Jekyll? It might boil down to semantics.
Another open source provider with excellent value, Ghost makes technical blogging quick and easy. Users can use their own themes to get started fast, or develop a headless CMS using Ghost’s API.
This is a platform that plays very well with others, as Ghost can be deployed with Docker for developer blogs. Its versatility is a boon for younger tech startups.
If you want to start writing ASAP, Hashnode is hands down one of the best options on the list. The platform is a community rather than a site generator, and allows you to house content on-site before migrating it to an owned domain.
This is a great option for technical bloggers that don’t yet have a personal domain. Start creating content and thought leadership immediately while fleshing out the rest of your blogging strategy.
Static site generators are extremely popular with devs for many reasons, including the services provided by Publii. This SSG lends itself extremely well to simple blogs, and works well with formats such as Markdown.
Publii also provides a wealth of SEO tools, and scores significantly higher than other platforms in its category. If you’re looking to create discoverable content, this might be a good option.
While Github isn’t a blogging platform per se, it’s still a common and powerful way to share technical insights with the world. You can use it to build a personal blog site, create custom 404 pages, and much more.
Keep in mind that Github is one of the pricer options on the list. You’ll need to pay per user to access pages and wikis, among other things.
Like WordPress, Squarespace is a website builder that offers templates, hosting, and some limited CMS services. The templates themselves are particularly eye-catching and extremely simple to drag and drop into place.
Do keep in mind that this site is more known for its support to eCommerce brands and B2C. If you have a B2B SaaS, you might want to lean toward something more technical.
People unfamiliar with technical website building often turn to Webflow for no-code templates and hosting services. The benefits are obvious: CMS options, gated blog content options, and SEO support.
However, Webflow is probably not right for you if you want more technical accessibility, especially as you scale.
The blogging platform provided by Jeykll works as a static site generator using your computer’s command line. It’s open-source and works with a variety of formats, including Markdown, Liquid, HTML, and CSS.
Jeykll is both efficient and minimalist, and fairly intuitive for technical users. But depending on your projected growth and future needs, you might find yourself needing a fuller suite of tools – including the ones offered by WordPress. We recently wrote a piece comparing the differences between Jeykll vs. WordPress, if you’re curious.
Choosing Between Multiple Blogging Platforms
There are (quite literally) dozens of different blog platforms available to choose from online. Thankfully, knowing your options is the first step toward making a final decision. From technical support to basic writing features, the option you end up picking should reflect your personal needs, business type, and customer expectations.
As you evaluate the various platforms available to you, ask yourself:
- What price are you willing to pay? How is that going to effect your options in the future? If you don’t have a domain yet, consider hosting or membership fees as well.
- How much technical support are you going to need? Can you settle for something less complicated (like Ghost)? Or will you need a solution that has lots of options?
- Is the end goal of your blog platform to make money? If so, start ruling out the options that don’t offer advertising.
At the end of the day, the blog platform you choose to use will have lasting implications on your content, your domains, and even your branding. Choose well and choose wisely; you owe it to your business to make the best possible decision.
If you still have some questions about choosing a blog platform, or if you’re not sure where to start with your technical content marketing plan, Draft.dev can help. We specialize in the design and execution of blog posts, tutorials, and other technically minded content that appeals to software engineers and decision-making devs in your industry.
Book a Discovery Call to learn more about your blogging needs and how Draft.dev can make a difference.
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