The Most Popular Self Hosted Blogging Platforms
In a previous post, I talked about free blogging websites like Blogger and WordPress, where you can create free blogs which are hosted on their own servers. This is one common way of blogging; it is totally free but it has some disadvantages as well.
For example, when you build a free blog on such a site, you will not have full control over your blog and you will have to abide all the rules of that site. Furthermore, your blog's fate will be in the hands of the moderators of that free blogging site and depending on their terms, they have the right to take your blog down for any reason at any time.
Such blogging websites might be nice for creating simple personal blogs or hobby blogs; however, I would never use them for a serious blog that I make money with or I want to develop a lot further. You shouldn't either do that, because every now and then we hear news about established free blogs being taken down for some reason even if they follow all the rules. What that means is that a lot of time and effort put into those blogs become wasted and the owner is left with nothing once the blog is removed, even the image files and posts are gone forever if he/she hasn't backed up them before.
Whether you want to build a business blog, a professional personal blog or a niche blog and even if you will not monetize it, the first thing you should do is to take the full control of that site. And you can do that easily by using one of the self hosted blogging platforms that I will talk about in the next paragraphs.
What is a Self Hosted Blogging Platform
I guess it will be better to explain what a self hosted blogging platform is before I move on to the list. Self hosted means that you are not using the free hosting provided by free blogging websites to host your blog. Which means that you host your blog yourself by installing the self hosted version of that blogging platform, either using your own servers or on the servers of a hosting provider that you pay a monthly fee. Considering the advantages you will have by hosting your yourself, the price you will pay (about $5-$10 a month for a nice hosting package) is totally worth it. Wouldn't you pay 10 bucks a month if you were running a business website that brings thousands of dollars each month? Would you rely on a free blogging website and leave your blog's fate to them? I wouldn't.
Ok, let me continue with the list of most popular free blogging platforms.
Popular Self Hosted Blogging Platforms
I will list 6 of the most popular blogging platforms here, there are other less popular blogging platforms that you might find useful as well but I will leave them to another post.
WordPress is the most popular open source blogging platform on the web. It is used on millions of websites around the world and in my opinion it is the best. WordPress is built with PHP and it is available in many languages. With all the improvements and awesome plugins, WordPress has become the greatest blogging tool over the years. Additionally, its user base is one of the largest communities online. I have more than 5 WordPress blogs except this blog, I wanted this one to be a custom designed blog since I will be documenting how to create a custom blog on this site. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend that you do soon since I believe you will like it a lot.
Movable Type is another highly popular open source blogging platform that is freely available. Some of the well-known blogs like The Consumerist and Ars Technica are built on Movable Type platform. You can learn more about Movable Type on its documentation page.
ExpressionEngine is a paid blogging tool that is widely used by bloggers and professional companies. I really didn't have a chance to try ExpressionEngine yet but I know a lot of popular websites built with it. See the demo on the homepage to have a better idea about this tool.
Another widely used open source blogging platform is BlogEngine.NET. It is coded with ASP.NET and if you are comfortable with working ASP.NET, this will be a good choice for you. You can find lots of themes and extensions on the official site to enhance your blog.
Joomla is probably the most popular open source content management system and it is also used as a blogging platform by many webmasters. Joomla is built with PHP and it is easy to use. You can create nice-looking sites with Joomla once you get to know the basics.
Another great free content management system is Drupal and it is highly popular among bloggers as well. It is based on PHP like Joomla and it is preferred by many web designers. You can read about how to get started with Drupal on this page.
As you see, there are many wonderful free or paid blogging platforms and you can choose the one you like the most among them. I can personally recommend WordPress as I am a big WordPress fan but you can also create cool websites using other tools as well. Please let me know if you have any questions, thanks for reading.