Which platform should I use for my blog? (and how to set it up)

Haven’t set up your blog yet?  Thinking about switching to a new blog platform?

As an Audience Ops client, this is our recommendation for which blogging platform to use, and how to set it up.

Our Recommendation:  Self-Hosted WordPress

We always recommend you set up a self-hosted installation of WordPress (i.e. not wordpress.com… More on this later).  WordPress should at least be used to power the blog section of your site (but plenty of sites, including ours, use WordPress to power their entire marketing site).

Why we recommend WordPress:

  • It has become the standard, most widely-used blogging platform on the Internet (WordPress now accounts for over 20% of all CMS!)
  • It has all of the necessary features and enhancements to enable best-practices for SEO.
  • There is a massive pool of developer talent, and 3rd party plugins and themes, available to support your WordPress site.
  • Our recommended plugins are all designed for WordPress (though we have alternative solutions if you’re not on WordPress).

Self-Hosted WordPress vs. WordPress.com

Self-Hosted WordPress (wordpress.org) and the WordPress.com service are 2 different things.

We generally don’t recommend using WordPress.com, since it doesn’t allow for installing 3rd-party plugins, unless you’re on their highest tier.

If you already have your site on wordpress.com, then please read our information about this and our recommendations.

In short:  Go with a self-hosted installation of WordPress instead.  This is very easy to set up using a WordPress-friendly web host…

Our recommended Web Hosting Provider

The web host that we use and recommend is  WPEngine.

They specialize in hosting WordPress sites, they’re fast, highly reliable and they offer great customer support.

What if I’m not using WordPress?

Not using WordPress?  No problem.  We can still work together 🙂 And we can still set up and schedule your blog content in your blog for you.

We’ve worked with clients on SquareSpace, HubSpot, Ghost, Wix, and other platforms.  Again, if you’re getting started or open to switching, we still recommend WordPress, but if you’re already set up on something else, we can work with that!

One thing to note:  We’ll need to set up Content Upgrades differently if you’re not using WordPress.   See our guide about this here.

Can you design my blog?

We don’t offer blog design service. But if you need a referral to a great WordPress designer, we can hook you up! Just let us know.

Most WordPress designers can match the look and feel of your marketing site.  It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 weeks to complete this job.

Many clients choose to go with one of many high-quality, off-the-shelf WordPress themes.  Even the default theme that comes with WordPress is a great start!  You can always switch your theme later without impacting the content we’ll be loading into your site.

These are some of our favorite, high quality theme design vendors:

http://organicthemes.com
https://arraythemes.com
http://themezilla.com
http://themeforest.net
http://press75.com