I was recently asked the following question:
What is your favorite blog host? Why?
Since this is a topic that comes up often, I decided to post my answer in a FAQ-style post.
First and foremost, business blogging is very important. Not only do you increase your SEO, but you’re able to share your knowledge, updates about your business, and your personality with a wider audience than you would encounter face to face. It’s a make-or-break activity, though. You can either establish yourself as a center of influence in your field or lose credibility through poor post quality and overtly sales-y behavior.
Once you’ve established how you want your blog to function and what voice it will carry, you need to think about logistics. Your hands-down best bet is to incorporate your blog into your website. This way, all of the SEO, traffic, and link backs are benefiting your site by helping to bring users directly to the place they can receive more information, be called to action, and potentially even make a purchase right there.
Depending on the host and your goals for blogging, you might be able to incorporate a blog into your website, use the blog as your website, or even maintain your blog separately. I’ve laid out a brief synopsis of my favorite blog hosts and why, as a means of starting you on your journey of finding the perfect host. It can be like dating. Try one out, and if you don’t like it, move on. Just remember, sometimes the prettiest blogs can be the biggest frogs when it comes to being user-friendly.
tumblr has been my most recent personal favorite, because I love how image-centric your content can be. tumblr probably promotes the most sharing, both for within tumblr and outside via your other social media channels. With everything shifting toward social search and ranking for share-ability, I think tumblr is a great platform.
If you have a product or content (photography, graphic design, writing, etc.) centric business or a service business that easily lends itself to a large quantity of share-able images (think: wedding planner, florist, etc.), tumblr would be a great option.
You can share everything from your posting dashboard or even share links to your tumblr content on your social media sites, driving traffic back to your blog. Hello,Pinterest, anyone? There are also a lot of great cheap and free templates available, and you can customize to your heart’s content.
However, I also like Blogger a lot for clients, because it is SUPER user friendly, good for more information (words) centric blogging, and there are also a lot of great ways to customize your site.
Wordpress is probably my least favorite of all the platforms I’ve used (unless, of course, you have a designer/developer friend who can make it pretty for you). As a non-designer, I find the customization tedious and difficult. It’s also really spammy. However, Wordpress is often a go-to when designers integrate a blog into your website itself due to all of the customization and plug-in options. Proceed with caution if you’re going it alone; otherwise, bring in the reinforcements.
Additionally, I have associates who are using Weebly for their full website since it’s free and super user-friendly. They were able to create their whole site on Weebly, complete with multiple pages, forms, and their blog.
FINAL VERDICT: I know there are a lot of options out there when it comes to blog hosts, but I like to stick with what I know works! The best blog host is going to be the one that perfectly marries fashion and function for YOU. Fashion, in that your readers are going to enjoy the aesthetic and it is a perfect complement to your brand. Function, in that it’s easy for you to update, so that you’re able to adequately communicate to your audience through your posts and blog regularly.
Try a few options out for a personal blog of sorts before committing to one for your business blog. Then, if you’re still struggling, seek help.
Readers, what is your favorite blog host? Why?