Which Blogging Platform Is Best For You?

Blogging PlatformsNowadays, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t have a blog. There are a variety of Blogging platforms that can easily set up an individual with their own personal blog. However, the blogging platform plays a major role in the theme and tone: certain platforms are suited for personal use, while others are used to convey a professional tone. Whether you’re starting a personal, business, or niche blog, it’s important to choose the platform that best suits the theme.

Comparing the Blogging Platforms

There are a variety of blogging platforms to choose from, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The following are the most common content management systems used today:

Blogger

Blogger is a blogging service owned by Google, which allows users to create a free blog. While Blogger can be used for business purposes, the majority of users on Blogger tend to focus on personal use. One of the main benefits of Blogger is its easy setup process: anyone with a Gmail account can create a blog through Blogger. (See why people prefer Blogger).

Drupal

Drupal is a content management system that is open source and free to set up. A variety of parties use Drupal for their backend systems, ranging from businesses, personal blogs and government sites. One of the key characteristics of Drupal is its add-ons, called “contrib modules”. These extensions allow users to add various features to their blog and increase functionality. Though no programming knowledge is required in order to setup a site through Drupal, proficiency in PHP may be needed in order to use advanced features.

Moveable Type

Moveable Type is a growing competitor amidst more well known blogging platforms. This content management system allows users to create professional websites with the ability to support an active social network. While Moveable Type offers several free versions, there are a number of advanced, enterprise solutions ideal for businesses.

Tumblr

Tumblr is known as a microblogging platform, type of short form blogging that integrates social media elements. With a highly connected sharing function called “reblogging”, users are able to quickly share and spread content. While Tumblr is commonly used for personal blogs, a majority of users come from creative industries and backgrounds.

Typepad

A blogging platform, Typepad is used by a variety of parties, including creatives, industry leaders and businesses. Typepad does require a subscription, but customers are able to gain access to a domain name, customized blog designs and personal support. However, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution, Typepad also features a Micro version, a microblogging platform that easily integrates with Facebook.

WordPress

WordPress is arguably the most popular and well-used content management system available. With an open source system and a number of free templates and themes, anyone can quickly set up a WordPress blog. WordPress also features an extensive plug-in library, allowing users to expand the functionality beyond the basic architecture. In addition to personal use, many companies and businesses use WordPress to create well-designed websites integrated with blogs.

When deciding among the various blogging platforms, it’s important to take into account a variety of factors, such as user interface, ease of setup and programming language. Choosing the right blogging platform may be confusing, but by considering your requirements, you can find a blog that best meets those needs.

Photo Credit: todaymade.com

This article is written by Rachel Hyun Kim. She is a writer at Resource Nation, writing on a range of topics from social media, blogging and SEO. Resource Nation is an online resource that gives advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs. You can follow Rachel at @rachelhyunkim. If you wish to write for HBB, kindly check this.

5 Great Features For A WordPress Newsletter Plugin

WordPress NewsletterWordPress newsletter plugins are the easiest way to launch a newsletter. However, not all plugins are made equal and when you are choosing which plugin to get, you need to know what matters most. Here are 5 features that are a must for any good WordPress newsletter plugin.

1. Easy to Use, Yet Flexible Opt-in Form

Any newsletter starts with its subscribers. Because of this, you would want an easy to use, yet flexible opt-in form that attracts users to your newsletter rather than scare them away. On the other hand, there are separate opt-in form plugins, so if the WordPress newsletter plugin you have picked has all the other features but its opt-in form isn’t exactly what you like, you can get both plugins and use them in tandem.

2. Reliability and Easy of Use

Unlike the situation in the first paragraph, when reliability and easy of use are concerned, there is no place for compromise. If the plugin crashes every now and then, this will cause you way too much trouble. Similarly, if its installation, configuration, and day-to-day operation is rocket science, this will cause you so much frustration that you will regret you have launched a newsletter.

3. Many and Good Newsletter Templates

The newsletter template you will be using for your newsletter can make or break your campaigns. You can always find third-party newsletter templates but they aren’t always compatible with the plugin of your choice. This is why it is only good, if the WordPress newsletter plugin you have picked comes with an impressive collection of templates. The next best thing is to to allow customization options, so you can make the minor changes you will need to make the template exactly to your liking.

4. Tracking and Monitoring Features

You will never know if you are successful or not, if you don’t track and monitor the performance of your newsletter. Some of the best WordPress newsletter plugins include newsletter analytics but don’t accept this for granted and check if the one you have picked does. Open rate and conversion rate are two of the common parameters to keep an eye on but there are also many others.

5. A Fair Price

Finally, one of the key decision factors for the choice of one or another WordPress newsletter plugin is its price. While there are free WordPress newsletter plugins that offer almost anything you need for a newsletter, there are also many high-end ones that cost really a lot and aren’t necessarily much better. In between come the $20-50 ones and those that are $100 or so but include a multisite license. You need to search a bit and find your price range.

When you know what features matter most in a WordPress newsletter plugin and you know where to find comparisons of the best WordPress newsletter plugins, it isn’t hard to make your choice. Of course, these 5 features on this list aren’t the only features you can expect from a newsletter plugin but they are the essential ones you absolutely need.

This article is written by Mark. He works for Ada, a Blogger Relations Manager at WinkPress – a site dedicated to WordPress, its themes, and plugins. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.

Blogger vs WordPress – Reasons Why You Must Choose Blogger

Blogger PlatformBlogger over WordPress? Are you serious? This could be your initial reaction once you read the title of this article. But yes, I am serious and I can show you some valid reasons why you should build a blog with Blogger rather than in WordPress.

Okay, let me clarify first that I am not saying that Blogger is totally better than WordPress because both platforms have its advantages and disadvantages. Since most people prefer the self-hosted WordPress platform because of its flexibility and security, it is better to understand first the important advantages of Blogger over WordPress that could help change your perspectives over the blogspot platform.

Let me first start the most common criticism that Blogger gets from the public – security. Yes, there are many blogspot blogs that are already defunct because the Blogger team deleted their accounts. The reason is spamming. One of the biggest case is Allan Liew’s moneymakerinfo.blogspot.com. Although this blog is still active, it was already  taken out in Google’s index since last year. To those who are not familiar with this particular blog, it was the number 1 ranking site in the most competitive keyword in the online business industry – “make money online“.

There are thousands of blogspot blogs that are suspended and this highly discourages people to sign up with Blogger. Spamming is a very big issue in the Internet and Blogger is one of the strictest program when it comes to this matter. Since Blogger is a part of Google universe, it is just appropriate to make all their products of high standards all the time. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong in keeping your own backyard clean and less waste (spam).

So let me give you the top reasons why you should prefer Blogger over WordPress.

Search Engine Optimization

If you ask 10 people about which blog platform performs better with regards to SEO, 9 out of 10 people would say WordPress. While this is true, Blogger is not really in a big disadvantage. First, Google does not rely heavily in meta tags and keywords anymore. Second, Google owns Blogger which makes it more easy to distinguish which side you should support. Will Google leave their Blogger program to be dumped by WordPress forever? Of course not, there will be more changes in the future especially if you are within Google’s backyard.

For your information, there are a lot of blogspot sites that tops in Google for various keywords. This includes my own blogspot blog (a health niche) and of course Allan Liew’s previous ranking which were discussed earlier. So if you run a Blogger blog, never be concerned about SEO because you are in good hands.

Free To Use

Blogger is 100% free. Most Internet marketers suggests that you should start blogging with blogspot to familiarize yourself to various aspects like posting, widgets, applications, elements, feeds and many others. Once you learned a lot, you can switch to WordPress anytime through WordPress Import feature.

If you think this way, you will not realize the importance of Blogger as a platform and it will just remain a training ground on your perspectives. As a free platform, Blogger is totally easy to use to all novice and first-time users. But unlike self-hosted WordPress, it highly requires technical knowledge with regards to hosting, servers and other tools, not to mention the expenditures that you will spend for each set-up.

Make Money!

Both Blogger and WordPress allows its user to insert monetization programs to earn money with their blogs. While WordPress have much more flexibility when it comes to advertising space, some Blogger themes are not lacking behind. Blogger templates are customizable where you can insert every ad sizes available. So when it comes to ad space, Blogger is not in a disadvantage.

You can use Pay-per-click (PPC) programs (Adsense, Kontera, etc) and direct advertising to your blogspot blog. Adsense can even inserted straight from your Blogger elements for easy configuration. You can also insert some Blogger hacks to publish ads within individual posts, just like WordPress. With Blogger, you can definitely make money online!

Based on these benefits, why choose WordPress if there is no such big difference? The only thing that you should care about is to abide all the rules and guidelines of Blogger to avoid deletion of your blog. Aside from that, Blogger can challenge WordPress in every department.

So if your blog is in Blogger, I suggest that you support your platform all the way and promote it the way Internet marketers do. After all, blogging is all about sharing valuable content and building a community. So choose Blogger enjoy your blog to the fullest!

Using Plenty Of Plugins On Your WordPress Blog?

plenty of pluginsIf you use plenty of plugins, say like more than 10 and still like to add more but controlled yourself as you have read somewhere written by Pro and Fellow Bloggers, that you should not use too many plugins, then continue reading this article. I basically help people in building their Blog to let their writing skills and selective domain skill improved a lot by making them stand in the shoe as a blogger.

Let me Start it by Sharing my Experience

Some try to obey the instruction I give at the time I complete building their platform to write and promote. And some cannot control themselves and install plenty of plugins after I give the login details to access the dashboard further.

In my experience I have seen blogs generating at least a decent 4 figure income (in USD) and they use Shared Web Hosting with some Quality Web Hosting Companies. They know Hosting is an important investment and they never look for cheap hosting companies, as there will be no proper backup systems or security in place.

Load more plugins to Take your Blog Down

It’s almost like killing your blog all by you own hand. Yes, loading plenty of plugins for several reasons and calling it, as Customizing is totally meaningless. Plugins are meant to do its task and limited does a great job. You must try to accomplish tasks by placing codes manually on index, template and sidebar files.

Less Number of Plugins keeps your Blog Young and Healthy

When you make your blog wear some less number of costume attachments and add-ons then it will show off great and sexy too, that in turn attracts more visitors easily. Ask yourself, do you love to visit a site that has so many features enabled from homepage, pages and posts or the site that looks simple and delivers some essential features?

Just look at HBB, do you see it’s overdressed or taking much time to load when you click on internal pages and links? Don’t you think HBB is sexy and I agree its HOT too. 😉 (my compliments :P)

If you are helping your blog to be SLIM, then it will work 24×7 to serve your contents faster.

It’s not about the Plugins anymore, It’s about the Content

Visitors come to your weblog to enjoy reading the contents and the way you write. So spend more time on improving your Writing Skill and plenty of traffic can be pulled even if you write awesome contents on an HTML page. That will become more famous through Social Media today.

Thanks for your patience and time, and I believe you will try this out to see some positive results in coming days. All the best and Happy Blogging 🙂 fellow bloggers.

RELATED : 5 WordPress Plugins That Are Worth Removing

How To Migrate A WordPress Blog To New Server

It might be a tough job to migrate a wordpress blog, if you are new to websites and blogging. I myself was really frustrated when I first had to migrate my blog to a new server. But when done I was like its a really easy job to do :). There are fews things that you have to keep in mind while doing a migrate. In this article I will tell you what things you must have before starting the migrating process i.e backups and will guide you about the process in 3 easy to follow steps. Will try to include images.

Note : You can also do a clean new wordpress install and then import your database and other files like theme and plugins but the procedure I will be talking about is much more easier and less complecated.

Things you must have before migrating

  • New servers control panel access
  • Database for your blog (Name can be different from the previous one, you can get this by using the export function of phpmyadmin)
  • Database login details and hostname (hostname generally localhost)
  • Database backup
  • Home directory files backup

Now lets get started with the process.

Step 1 : Upload home directory files to new server.

For doing this I would say to archive all you files into a zip file and upload it to the your cpanel and then use cpanel’s extract feature to extract it. After extracting there will be a new folder with the name of archive just open that folder select all the files and move then to the root or one level up.

Step 2 : Open the new empty database using phpmyadmin and use its import function to import your database.

Go to your cpanel and find phpmyadmin it will be under databases column. Click on it, it will open up in a new tab. After that from the sidebar choose you newly created database. After that there will be a tab saying import click on it to import your database.

You are almost done now.

Step 3 : Change the database login details in wp-config file

Browse to wp-config.php file in the file manager, select it and click on edit. There you have to change 4 fields.
hostname, database username, database password, database name.

Code in the file will look something like this

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'new database name');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'new database username');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'new database password');

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

There you go, you now just need to change your nameservers to shift your blog to the new server. You might loose some comments if your blog is too active because it usually takes 4-5 hrs for nameserver propagation (they say upto 48 hrs).

8 Unusual Themes From WordPress Themes Directory

For all its wonderful features, usability and ease of accessibility – WordPress sites can sometimes feel a little bit generic. It’s not surprising really, with so many people using it. But with such a massive pool of free themes to choose from, surely it should be possible to make your own blog stand out?

With that in mind, here are 8 less known themes which might give your blog the novel and unique style you have dreamed of. You can find all of these in your WP admin panel, simply by searching for the theme name.

1. Autofocus – (Download)

Autofocus

This theme is brilliant for photo bloggers and anyone who wants to display their blog posts very visually. You can do away with the tired sidebar and simply display your latest posts using their featured image and in a slick mosaic.


2. Adventure Journal – (Download)

Adventure Journal

This is one of my favourite themes – perfectly designed for travel type blogs it allows you to use really vibrant and inspiring images which will enthuse your readers and keep them on site if only to gaze at your holiday pics!


3. Jasov – (Download)

Jasov

This quirky little theme is great if you want the opportunity to keep your site navigation in focus and provide a focal point for your readers. It is certainly different too. The posts scroll, and the navigation (to one side) does not… Cool huh?


4. Carrington Mobile – (Download)

Carrington Mobile

This theme is simple and has few features. It is designed for mobile browsers and is a great way to ensure that all of your users have a usable experience, regardless of device.


5. Skulls – (Download)

Skulls

Perfect for bands and anyone who wants to show a bit of personality. The theme gives lots of space to show the site’s background – you can either upload your own cool artwork or stick with the standard imagery included.


6. Ice Breaker – (Download)

Ice Breaker

This theme is perfect for blogs which are still being developed – it simply presents a holding page for any visitors who do find you and offers the opportunity to sign up for emails.


7. Bare – (Download)

Bare

This theme is designed for coders who want a little freedom. There is literally no styling added, so you have complete control over how you shape your website. Do it yourself, without the need to first un-do all the styles that come as standard.


8. Revolt Basic – (Download)

Revolt Basic

Honestly I can’t do this justice, but as far as unusual themes go, this is the unusual-est. Basically it’s a guy (you) holding some cardboard with blog posts on it… See, told you it was odd.

This article is written by Muzammil Bashir. She is the Senior Editor of whoishostingthis – Visit their website to see the latest HostGator reviews.

Using phpMyAdmin To Backup WordPress Database

Backups are frequently overlooked but absolutely essential. Relying on your webhost to keep backups of your data is bound to backfire some day. Companies go bankrupt, data centres burn down, and hackers can be very destructive. In fact, one recent web hosting company in Australia lost all of their customers data – including backups – after hackers broke in! I hope you remember how Anshul lost his WordPress data and regained it later.

Many of you are likely using WordPress, in which case you have the option of using the WordPress database backup plugin, located here. However, this does not backup plugin data and thus, is not a true image of your website setup. Furthermore, for other CMS platforms, this is not really a solution. Thankfully, the procedure to backup your database through phpMyAdmin is relatively straightforward. The vast majority of web hosts come with phpMyAdmin; if yours doesn’t then the following steps aren’t going to be of much use to you.

Backup Your WordPress Database (MySQL) Using phpMyAdmin

Step 1. Login to your web host’s control panel and click on the link to phpMyAdmin. Depending on your control panel software it might simply be an icon, or might be in a menu labeled something like “Hosting Features”. You may be prompted for a username and password for phpMyAdmin, which will be the same as those you chose when you setup your WordPress installation (check wp-config.php in your installation folder, the username and password will be in there under “DB_USER” and “DB_PASSWORD”)
(An alternative method to Step 1 is to visit www.yourdomain.com/phpmyadmin and login directly to phpMyAdmin)

Step 2. There should now be a phpMyAdmin icon in the top left. Click on the home icon on the left, then select your WordPress database from the list. If you are unsure what your database is called, you can again check wp-config in your installation folder – it is under the entry for “DB_NAME”.

phpMyAdmin 1

Step 3. Your database tables will show up in a column on the left, with the database title at the top, as per the screenshot. Click on the Export tab.

phpMyAdmin 2

Step 4. Ensure that all items in the export box are selected (click “Select All”). Down the bottom, tick “save as file”. I find that using compression tends to be problematic, so leave compression set to none. Then click Go in the bottom right. The browser will appear to do nothing for a few seconds then pop up a box asking you if you wish to save a file. Save it. Depending on the size of your database the download could take a few seconds to a few minutes. Now exhale, you’re done!

phpMyAdmin 3

Send Email To All Registered Users [WORDPRESS]

If you own a Multi-authored blog, then you would have faced the pain of sending emails to your contributors and editors individually. HBB boosts 500+ registered users and guest authors, and we use Email Users WordPress plugin to keep them updated about our privacy policy and guest blogging rules change.

Send Email to Registered Users

This plugin allows you to send an email to all the registered blog users. Users can send personal emails to each other. Power users can email groups of users and even notify group of users of posts.

Below you can see the sample email, like how your contributors and editors will get.

Send Email - HBB

You can also use this plugin for affiliate marketing by sending tips and suggestions.

[Download Email Users WordPress Plugin]

Which Suits You Better? Blogger or WordPress?

Many bloggers ask me whether to chose Blogger or WordPress. Many others get confused for choosing the right one. So, this is the post which tells you which is the best for you! This article mainly concentrates on the what you can do with Blogger or WordPress or which suits you the best.

Blogger Vs WordPress

Blogger suits you if:

  • You want to invest less.
  • You want to make it professional with your CSS & HTML skills.
  • You don’t want guest authors.
  • You don’t want multiple authors unless you know them personally (as there is no “Submit for Review” option).
  • You want to be good in SEO with great effect (like adding the image alt tags manually).

Even my site is hosted on Blogger. Because I don’t wanna invest more on my blog unless I get more traffic and earnings!

WordPress suits you if:

  • You want to have a professional look and don’t have any knolwedge of CSS or HTML.
  • You want to invest more on your blog.
  • You want to have guest authors, even you may not know them personally.
  • You want to be good in SEO with less effort.
  • You want to show your professionalism!

This article is written by Paul Santosh. He is a 14 years old kid, struggling to manage studies and blogging at the same time. If you wish to write for HBB, kindly check this.

2 Free WordPress Themes That Look Like Google+

What makes Google+ click? As a fan of simple design, I believe the clean layout of Google+ can make a different. That doesn’t apply only to Social Networking sites, but also for WordPress blogs. Right now we have two free WordPress themes from my friends that look like Google+.

WP Plus WordPress Theme [Download | Demo]

WP Plus

This theme has Styled sticky post and they avoided Graphics for fast loading. It is WordPress Custom Menus compatible and Background compatible.

WP Plus is designed exactly like the design of Google plus. It is a 3 column WordPress theme with two sidebars and one content area. One sidebar is on left and the other is on right.

The theme loads really fast because it don’t uses any graphics at all. WP Plus is compatible with WordPress Custom Menus and Custom Background. You can easily change the links that appear in the navigation bar from the dashboard page without editing the coding of the theme. You can also change the background from dashboard if required.


PlusOne WordPress Theme [Download | Demo]

Plus Theme

This is also another good WordPress theme that looks like Google+.

PlusOne is a WordPress theme that looks exactly like Google+ interface. Please don’t remove the footer links if you want to support further development of the theme. This is Version 1.0 of the PlusOne theme. In future versions, I will add custom nav menu support, color selectors, options page and much more. Future development depends upon the feedback I get for Version 1.0.

Do download these themes and tell us what it works for you. Do you know any other cool simple WordPress theme?