This is a question posed by many newbies to blogging. The answer to this question ultimately boils down to the desired outcome of your blogging objectives. Be it using a 3rd party blogging application or a content management system (CMS), each option has its own pros and cons. Following is some of the upsides and downsides of each platform.
3rd party blogging platform
Easier to get started. Ideal for non-techie bloggers.
Cheaper option to gauge interest and traffic on your blog.
Site Housekeeping work like security and backup is managed by the 3rd party blogging platform.
Depending on the 3rd party blogging platform strategic plan moving forward, they reserve the right to decommission the entire blogging site and along with it your blog.
Functions are limited and addons are almost impossible.
Site updates and changes are made by the 3rd party blogging platform without your prior approval.
On the branding front, you don’t own the url.
CMS like WordPress
With more than 50,000 plugins, there is little you cannot achieve on WordPress functionally.
WordPress is Search Engine friendly.
You have a domain to call your own.
You have means to manage site performance.
You can better track visitor behavior on your site.
You can execute lead capture.
You can extend WordPress to include e-commerce functionality.
Though WordPress is free, you would need to acquire a domain name and hosting service.
There is always a learning curve to learning new applications. In that respect, WordPress is no different from other applications. There is a learning curve but not an unsurmountable one. To facilitate easier learning having a mentor or a teacher around is best to help in this learning process.
Many plugins. WordPress’ strength is also its weakness. The various Plugins for WordPress makes it very feature rich and functionality powerful. With the ever growing number of plugins being added, it becomes a challenge to identify the right plugin that best fit your requirements. For each added plugin functionality, there are several options for you to evaluate and consider. Narrowing down to the suitable plugin is a time-consuming activity in itself
Site Housekeeping work like Security and Backup Maintenance is for you to manage.
Hosted blog platforms are not a bad starting point for a newbie to blogging, but they are not a long-term solution and eventually, its limitations will surface. Bloggers need to have a ready back up and migration strategy.
We provide WordPress Classes for newbies as well as advance classes. Do drop us an email for class details.