Lee Odden

When WordPress Isn’t An Option, Then What?

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy

Orange Question MarkNot every host has the ability to install and run WordPress. Some hosts use Windows servers where PHP and MySQL are not usually included. So then what? What is the next best blogging software?

My first thought is Blogger. Since the new version was released, it’s back in the running. It has the ability to post to an external site in a directory which is a plus. I’d rather stay away from sub-domains if possible. Blogger also has labels (aka categories), editable templates and enough features for most bloggers. Plus it’s free. The downsides is that Blogger isn’t realy seen as a professional platform and when they have problems, you won’t be able to do much about.

Another one is TypePad. It has a domain mapping feature but I don’t think it can map to a folder. It has to be routed to either a domain or a sub-domain which is unfortunate. If I’m wrong, someone please tell me. I’d love be wrong in this case. Either way, to get domain mapping you need at least a Plus account ($8.95/m) and access to update your DNS records though your domain registrar. Other than that, it’s a pretty decent choice.

WordPress.com also supports domain mapping for $10/year. You get all the WordPress.com features, but it does say that it can only map to a domian or sub-domain. I’d skip this choice for the subdomain option below.

There is also MovableType. If you are a server wiz, or have access to great help, MovableType is a nice choice. It’s feature packed and full of options. It can run in any directory on the server and runs in most hosting environments. Downsides is the price $149.95 for a business and the server requirements which can be a bit much for the average person.

That brings me to subdomains. If all else fails, it may be easier, and better, to setup blog.yoursite.com and map that to a new and cheap, yet reliable Linux hosting account. Then install WordPress and be happy. The downside to this is that your blog is a stand alone site which is why I mentioned I wanted to avoid them above. Check out directory vs domain for a good article on what you should consider when finding your blog a home.

So what is the next best blogging software when WordPress will not work? I’d say MovableType then Bogger or a sub-domain install of WordPress. I’m still a bit leery on recommending Blogger, but it is getting better. Ultimately MovableType or WordPress on a sub-domain will give you full control and ownership which is good.

In the end, WordPress is my choice for blogging software and installing it on your own servers is better in the long run as you have complete control. Hosted services are nice, but you lack some flexibility and you have to rely on them being up and running all the time.

So what did I miss? Is there any other blog software solutions that I may have overlooked?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. I completely agree with you about WordPress, Thomas.
    Just to add another platform to your list, however, I thought I would point you towards Terapad (www.terapad.com).
    It’s a UK blogging business, which just went free this week. Which is good.
    However the reason it is free is it is now ad-supported. Which is not so good.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.
    Neil

  2. Actually, i think if it was a business blog and wordpress is not an option, I’d go for MovableType – if you are gonna make money out of it, you might as well pay for the good stuff.

    If its not a business blog, you can go for MovableType (the free one) but be prepared to face some roadblocks in the installation… if not the easiest solution is blogger.

    WordPress.com does not allow commercial blogs if I am not wrong. 🙂 And.. IMO, WordPress.com blogs are pretty restrictive in features.

  3. phydeaux3 says:

    Also, it’s not been officially announced yet, as it seems to have just been added last night, but the New Blogger is now offering domain mapping, for free. Appears to be inline with Google Apps for you domain, but going to Blogger.

    http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=55373

  4. Thanks for the blog software mention Neil. I’ll have to check it out.

    Kian – I agree that WordPress.com isn’t the best compared to your own install. And that’s a good point about MT. If you are going to make money, spend a little upfront. 🙂

    phydeaux3 – Excellent catch! I hadn’t heard of that before. I wonder what advantages domain mapping has over just publishing to a domain with Blogger. I suppose publishing speed and you don’t need to buy hosting.

  5. I’d like to recommend my Quick Blog application. I think it is very user friendly and easy as anything to get up and running . There is a special running till the end of January to get a free .NAME domain with purchase. you can see details at https://www.securepaynet.net/gdshop/blog/landing.asp?se=+&prog_id=411404&app_hdr=&ci=5276

    Its a great little application for someone who just wants to get a blog up and running quickly. Check it out! Thanks, Jonathan

  6. I have not seen so much traffic to my sites over the last few months it seems as though the internet is speeding up,

    but my sales have increased slightly but not as much in percentages as my traffic, could this be due to more surfers online, or what?

    has anybody else seen the same or not, I have owned several websites over the past 2 to 3 years,

    and have never seen the traffic increase as much as now, but not the sales as yet in tune with the increase in traffic.

  7. Steve Renner says:

    I agree, whatever blog software you use it’s best to host it yourself, rather than use a hosted service.

    Great Blog!

    To Your Success!

    Steve Renner
    Marketing Director
    The Affiliate Community

  8. Derek – It sounds like you are getting unqualified traffic. Lots of people like to see traffic, but if that traffic isn’t interested in what you are selling, then is it really good?

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  1. Alex’s Personal Blog » Blog Archive » Rating test says:

    […] test Yesterday I discussed options when installing WordPress isn’t an option. Quite a few included domain mapping and phydeaux3 informed me that Blogger is now offering domain […]