- Which blogging platform should I choose?
I am writing a blog post for the recommendations for blogging platform for the company “Crème de La Catering” I shall be looking for a professional platform to showcase the company’s recipes, tips on running good events and also feature their suppliers of local and ethically produced products. I will be analysing two different platforms and choosing which one is the most appropriate for this company. The two platforms that I shall be analysing are WordPress and Blogger, which are two different blogging platforms that are suitable for our client. I shall now go into detail why these platforms are suitable and which is more appropriate for the company.
The first blogging platform I shall analyse and explain that is suitable and the features are appropriate for is WordPress. WordPress was created in 2003 and runs on a web hosting service. It is the most popular blogging platform with ‘over 417 million people who view more than 14.6 billion pages each month’. For our company to use this platform, they already know that there is an audience browsing through different blogs and viewing hundreds of pages a day.
WordPress with it’s simple design, makes it easy to navigate around the website. WordPress is a free blogging platform, you can buy a domain for a small amount of $18 a year, which gives you the opportunity to display your blog with a domain name ending with .com, .org or .net. This will give your blog a professional appearance in your URL instead of having a blog ending in WordPress.com. Once you have created a blog, you can choose a theme from a large variety, which all have a simplistic template which can be edited and customised. “WordPress is one of the most easily used blogging platforms by newbies. Not a whole lot of coding is required (if any), so if the acronyms “HTML” and “CSS” scare the living daylights out of you, WordPress is an excellent solution.” You can then add widgets to your theme where you can bring in social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook so that the audience have different platforms where they can contact you and where you can direct them. You can also allow a search widget to your theme to give the reader the opportunity to search for what they are looking for on your blog. Another widget that could be used for the company is:
- Tag Cloud, when the author of the post has finished they should put the appropriate tags on the post to make it more visible to the audience and easier to find on the web, a tag cloud gives the reader a chance to click on a tag e.g.: Chocolate, and it shall come up with all the tags relevant to chocolate or recipes that include chocolate.
You can also add:
- ‘Top Posts’ to your sidebar, which shall show the reader the most viewed posts and the most commented posts.
The company can also add:
- ‘Upcoming Events’ widget to the side bar, which gives them the opportunity to show and allow the reader to see which upcoming events that the company has put on and where to go.
Another widget that you can add to your sidebar is a:
- ‘Shopping Cart’ this gives your readers a chance to purchase items that you are selling and able to view and share products with others, this will be suitable for ‘Crème de La Catering’ as they wish to be able to feature their products to customers.
Another set of pros of using WordPress include that the website it updated regularly giving you the chance to keep up to date with the latest designs and new features that you can add. WordPress is also available on mobile devices, which gives the company more visibility and gives the reader a chance to view the blog on the go. The app for mobile phones is available on many different mobile platforms such as iPhones, BlackBerry and other smart phones. It includes all the features to view and comment on posts.
WordPress gives you the opportunity to add more pages to your blog and displaying tabs on the homepage linking you to different pages. For ‘Crème de la Catering’ they can make pages to display their recipes, tips and the products for the reader. These tabs organise your blog and make it more accessible and organised to the audience. WordPress gives you the opportunity to monitor your posts and watch the traffic that is received and you can see what is your most viewed post or most commented. You can also see when your posts get viewed and when is the most popular time of day that your posts get viewed, this can help you decide and plan when you are going to be posting to ensure that you get maximum views.
WordPress can be a good way to get maximum visibility across search engines such as Google; you need to ensure that you are using appropriate tags and categories on your posts to ensure that they are linking to relevant items. You can also improve your visibility by blogging regularly; this will bring you up in the search results on Google.
Overall WordPress is a fantastic blogging platform for businesses as it’s reasonably priced, or free if you don’t wish to have a domain. It has a large range of professional themes that are available to use for free or to buy and gives you the opportunity to display many different widgets to connect WordPress to your other social networking sites and to display your posts. Its simple and easy to use and can be displayed on multiple devices.
The next blogging platform that I am going to be analysing is Blogger. Blogger was launched in 1993 and then brought by Google in 2003. It is a free blogging platform that is popular for its easy and simple design. If you already have a Google+ account then you are already a member of Blogger.
Blogger is an easy to use platform with its already set out templates, all you have to do is input the content. Blogger has a set theme when you join that can be changed and customised by HTML designs, where you can input widgets and set your blog out in a professional way.
Blogger gives you the chance to add pages to your blog so that this will be suitable for ‘Crème de La Catering’ so they can add pages such as ‘recipes’ to their blog and can be easily navigated around the platform. The pages can be edited and you can add content such as videos and pictures, although some images need to be changed to a smaller size to fit on the platform. This can distort images and make them look ‘grainy’, you need to changed you images to a suitable size for them to be clear and high-resolution.
The gadgets on Blogger are limited but you have the basic,
- follow button,
- popular posts,
- search tab
but it doesn’t allow you to stream your social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which is a disadvantage to the platform. You can only add these gadgets if you have an advanced HTML designer to add the gadgets in to your blog, which will come at a cost and may be expensive. A disadvantage to Blogger is that if you cannot afford an HTML designer for your blog you will have to stick with the template design that Blogger supplies, this can make you blog not look professional as you cannot add all the graphics that you would like and may be off-putting to your audience as it is not visually appealing.
You can add tags on Blogger, which are called labels, these help people find the posts easier and make them more visible on Google or any other search engine. The tags also make the post looks more professional instead of saying uncategorised which shows the reader that the author of the blog hasn’t spent time categorising and tagging their posts correctly. As the same as WordPress you can also schedule your posts to ensure that you get maximum exposure when writing your posts that you can plan to release them when you have more traffic coming to your blog. You can also change you link to the blog post to make it more visible by changing the Permalink to an easier link instead of having the name of your blog then hundreds of numbers to follow.
On Blogger you if you have a HTML designer you can allow advertising down the side bar of your blog. This can bring investment towards you blog as you can charge other similar blogs to have their logo on the side which links directly towards their blogs. You can also get companies that see your blog and want to sponsor you and will give you products to review and you get to keep the items in exchange for you talking about their product.
Overall from this analysis we can see that WordPress is a more suitable blogging platform for ‘Crème de La Catering’ than Blogger, due to the more features that it gives such as the widgets that contain a shopping cart for them to sell their products, an upcoming events for the reader to see so that they can all the events that the company has put on and when and where they are. It also allows many different pages for the company for their recipes and tip to be placed and the reader can navigate to and from the pages easily. Also features on WordPress such as the tag cloud give great help to the reader so that they can easily find what they are looking for through your tags. WordPress also gives you the opportunity to join a community and share and comment on posts, the company needs to ensure that they are replying to customers or the audience when they leave comments as it gives the reader a sense of being and they know that they aren’t just commenting for no reason and that they won’t ever get a response. You should start a community and watch the comments and police the comments that are irrelevant or spam to show that they blog is well maintained and looked after by the authors. To compare this with Blogger, you lose out on the professional feel unless you are willing to pay competitive prices for a HTML designer to make you a theme. You also do not have the official widgets that help your blog connect to other social networking sites so that your audience can reach you from different platforms that you are connected to. So I would recommend to ‘Crème de La Catering’ to consider using WordPress for their small retail catering business and use all the features available that they need that are suitable for them. WordPress would be a great way to publise the company, using tags and categories. They should reply to comments regularly and have a connection to their audience. They should use bold headers and bullet points to attract the attention of the reader and entice them. Overall WordPress is more suitable for a professional blog, where as Blogger is for the more amateur blogger.
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