Posted 04.12.2010

Determining a Platform

A while back, I wrote a post: CMS Comparison: Choosing the Right Tools to Power Your Blog. Great blog title, right? (In all fairness, it has received more traffic than some of my other posts.) I was talking to a friend the other week, in a moment of weakness, he admitted that he didn’t know what I meant by a site’s back end. (kind of funny, when you think about it literally!)

I realized in that moment, that I needed to take a step back. So, instead of taking a geeky approach, as before, I’ll look at it from the blogger’s side.

A CMS stands for Content Management System. Basically, it’s a fancy way of updating your blog. In the olden days (10 years ago), anytime you wanted to update a site, you had to know code or know someone that knew code. You’d have to publish each page individually. If there was a global element that needed to be updated and you had 100 pages to your site, then you had to update 100 files. Pretty cumbersome?

Since then, we’ve gotten smarter (or lazier). Now, we’ll store all our information in a database and let the code pull in what it needs as it’s requested. The Content Management System does exactly what the name suggests, it manages your content. The end user doesn’t see it (that’s why it’s called the back end). It allows you to log in, fill out a form, and upon submission, that page is auto-magically created for the world to see.

As a blogger, you have several different options for your blog. A lot of it will come down to personal preference.

My personal opinion?

I’m glad you asked. —It depends.

What you’re trying to accomplish.

Does your site focus around a blog or are there other things you want to feature as well? For example, my site has a contact us, about us, and portfolio pages in addition to my blog. Look into an option that supports pages.

How much money you want to invest

If you’re looking for free,, Tumblr, or Blogger are you best options.

How much control you want

I’ve realized I’m a control freak when it comes to code. If you’re anal, like I am, Expression Engine will definitely give you the most control. WordPress is a close second.

Love a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Editor

Try SquareSpace. They offer a 14 day free trial. Everything is drag and drop.

I’ve shared my opinion, what’s yours? What’s your platform of choice?