10 Weblog Engines Reviewed

Advertisement

Choosing blogging software can be a scary process, especially if you are new to blogging. There are many different types of engines and content management systems (CMS) that could be used. Picking the software that you’ll need is not an easy task, given the wide variety and types on the Web today.

There are many different aspects to consider when choosing which blogging software to pick. For instance:

  • Programming language.
    Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.
  • What features you’ll need.
    The type of software you might choose is very dependent on the type of blog you are going to run. Some blog software is geared more towards new users, while others are more developer and designer friendly. It’s a matter of finding software based on the features you need.
  • The size of the software’s community.
    If the software community is larger for one blogging system and much smaller and less active than another, the more active community is usually a better choice for software. More active users within the development community means more improvements on the code base, in a faster time frame.
  • The age of the software.
    The age of the software shows the maturity of the blogging platform. Young projects are more unstable, and are more likely to have bugs.
  • If you are planning on extending the blog.
    If you are thinking about adding things like forums, a store, or some other feature to your blog, some blogging software will be more suited to fill that need than others.

The blog software that you choose can have a big impact on your blogging. It’s important to choose the right software in the very beginning, so you can avoid the hassle of migrating to different engine later on. Here are the pros and cons of the 10 most popular blogging systems.

1. WordPress

WordPress1 is the most famous and widely-used blogging platform. It features a very intuitive web-based installer so anyone from skill level novice to expert can quickly install the software without any hiccups.

The WordPress community is a major asset to the blogging software. It has one of the largest and most passionate communities of developers and users2, so one could find just about any theme or plugin imaginable. The possibilities for extending the software are endless, and many web sites and services have used the WordPress code base to build entirely different applications. WordPress also features integration with Akismet3, one of the most effective spam protection systems for blogging software.

wordpress4

WordPress makes it easy for new bloggers to not only install the software, but also to download and install automatic upgrades to plugins with only one click. The learning curve for WordPress is fairly minimal, and if a new user runs in to problems, they can always check the extensive documentation5. WordPress is perfect for the new blogger who wants to get his feet wet installing their first blog software, or the advanced developer who’s looking to extend the stable code into something entirely different.

If you are wanting to start a multiple-blog site, you can also check out WordPress MU6. WordPress MU is the same code base as the mature WordPress single blog code base, with some added functionality.

Sites powered by WordPress

Web Designer Wall

Screenshot7

I Love Typography

Screenshot8

Binary Moon

Screenshot9

Superflous Banter

Screenshot10

2. Movable Type

While WordPress is the most widely-adopted blogging platform, Movable Type11 has the most prolific installs of high-traffic blogs. Their high-profile installs include (and certainly aren’t limited to) Huffington Post12 (the most popular blog on the Web), Gawker blogs13 (Lifehacker, Gizmodo, etc.), BoingBoing14 and dooce15.

movable type16

A major reason for so many high-profile sites using Movable Type is the built-in support for multiple blogs running on one install. You can quickly create as many blogs as you wish, creating blog networks like Huffington Post and Gawker instantly.

While Moveable Type has historically been a step behind WordPress in terms user friendliness, Movable Type has made great strides to improve their interface and installer, and possibly the biggest step forward recently was moving the platform to open source17. This has grown the community18 considerably.

Movable Type is a great choice if you are wanting to run multiple blogs or a blog network with the software that can handle large amounts of traffic.

Sites powered by Movable Type

Kevin Kornell

Screenshot19

Cameron Moll

Screenshot20

Dave Shea

Screenshot21

Dan Cederholm

Screenshot22

3. ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine23 is a very robust blogging platform, but isn’t free. The best feature about ExpressionEngine is the feature to publish multiple websites, either using different subdomains on a single domain, or across multiple domains.

You could use one code base to power multiple sites across multiple domains. The software features an extremely clean and simple backend that shouldn’t confuse the blogger. Designers and developers love ExpressionEngine for the fact that it’s quite easy to hand over a site and have the client update his own blog. It’s a solid all-in-one package.

expression engine24

ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site, but anyone can use the software quite easily thanks to its thoughtful and elegant design. A single license costs $99.95, but if you’re running a personal blog you can download25 the core version of EE.

Sites powered by Expression Engine

Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain

Screenshot26

Veerle Pieters

Screenshot27

4. Drupal

Drupal28 isn’t your typical blogging software. While it has an incredible community behind the code and many blogs use it for blogging software, it’s not just blogging software. Drupal is community software.

Drupal really shines as blog software for a blogging community. Performancing3229 is a great example of using Drupal as a community of blogs. Whether you are wanting to power one blog to a 100, Drupal is an excellent choice.

drupal30

Another strong point about Drupal is the versatility of the software. It comes packaged with a robust user system, but also a lot of community-friendly features like forums, books (for creating documents in a “book” structure) and a tracker which allows you to follow updates and content that other users have published recently.

Drupal also comes with a large community of developers and modules31. With these modules, one could build any type of site or add nearly any sort of functionality to their Drupal installation. Many top-notch sites use Drupal to publish their multiple blogs and user communities. Performancing3229, Spread Firefox33, The Onion34, and Ubuntu35 and others.

Drupal is the perfect blogging software for anyone wanting to add a community to their blog with forums and extensions.

Sites powered by Drupal

43 Folders

43 Folders36

Abduzeedo

Abduzeedo37

5. Textpattern

Textpattern38 is a much simpler blogging platform than any of the above mentioned software. It isn’t even packaged with a WYSIWYG editor, and instead relies on the Textile39 markup language to format the text.

Textpattern is very similar to ExpressionEngine, except without many of the features that ExpressionEngine provides out of the box. (You can read more about the differences between the two blog platforms40.) While Textpattern is a stable, mature piece of software, it’s not the top choice for beginners, as they have to learn the Textile language or write posts in html. If they’re wanting to have a WYSIWYG editor, they’ll have to install the plugin, as it’s not provided by defaul.t

textpattern41

There are plenty of themes and extensions42, and while the developer community isn’t as large as WordPress’s, Textpattern has an extremely loyal and dedicated developer community.

Textpattern is a great choice for a more advanced blogger who appreciates simplicity and doesn’t mind learning Textile.

Sites powered by Textpattern

Hicksdesign

Screenshot43

UX Magazine

Screenshot44

NZRN

Screenshot45

Erratic Wisdom

Screenshot46

6. Joomla

Joomla47 is a CMS that is similar to the community-friendly Drupal, and gaining traction every day. While Drupal is geared more towards developing community-flavored sites and blogs, Joomla seems to be geared more towards ecommerce (you can read more about the comparison between Joomla and Drupal here48).

joomla49

Regardless of their differences, Joomla is very much like Drupal in the fact that it’s easy to get anything from a simple site to a community blog in minutes. Joomla has a vibrant development community which has created many extensions50.

Joomla is perfect for anyone wanting to build a blogging community site, or add ecommerce functionality to a blog.

7. b2evolution

b2evolution51 is another blogging platform that allows for a single installation of a blog, or a whole network of blogs, right out of the box. b2 probably has the weakest developer community behind it, with only a 200+ plugins (compared to Joomla’s 3,400+).

While the b2 developer community may not be very large, it has a very promising code base and many people still use b2evolution to power their blogs and blogger communities.

b2evolution52

The software features a very easy-to-understand backend, ideal for beginners. b2 also has has a built in stats feature, which is something most blogging platforms don’t have out of the box. The software also features a post editor with a very minimal WYSIWYG editor, which is perfect for a beginning blogger.

8. Nucleus CMS

Nucleus53 is yet another single or multi-blog/multi-author blogging software package. It is fairly comparable to b2evolution in terms of features and development community, and has a list of fairly extensive and useful plugins and themes54 that can be added to customize any installation.

nucleus55

Nucleus has a much more polished look and feel than b2evolution, and the backend area is simple and clean. Also, Nucleus has a much more active release schedule than b2, which means the code is more actively worked on. Here’s a demo site56 if you are wanting to play around with the software before trying to download57 it.

Nucleus is a great blog platform for anyone needing a straightforward blogging platform for one or more blogs.

9. Serendipity

Serendipity58 takes pride in the fact that it is a beginner-friendly blogging platform. Serendipity keeps your plugins59 up-to-date by automatically checking the plugin repository online and downloading the updated version if needed from a fairly extensive library of user-contributed plugins. The software also features nested and threaded commenting, which many blog platforms don’t support without a plugin of some sort.

60

Serendipity uses the high-performance Smarty templating system61, and makes use of fast and clean PHP code under the hood. If you are a new blogger, Serendipity offers a setup wizard that makes blog installation a breeze. Unlike b2evolution or Nucleus, Serendipity doesn’t offer a multiple blogs with just one installation, but you can have multiple users to the single blog installation.

10. Mephisto

Up until this point, we haven’t even mentioned any blog software that runs on any other language other than PHP. Mephisto blogging software62 is blogging software built on Rails. Mephisto offers a very clean look to the backend, and has an intuitive feel to it. You can control every aspect of the look of Mephisto with the built-in template editor, without the help of FTP clients.

mephisto63

There isn’t much in terms of extra themes or plugins to help with customizing the blog’s layout or functionality. Mephisto is more of a bare-bones blogging software that up until recently64 hasn’t been developed too extensively.

Mephisto is more of a blogging platform for designers and web developers who are able to create their own themes and plugins to customize the site. Beginners might fare better trying WordPress or Movable Type. These two popular blogging platforms make customization easier with all of the plugins and different themes offered.

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few blogging systems that weren’t included that deserve mentioning.

  • Dotclear65
    Dotclear is a French blogging platform that is also offered in English. It supports multiple blogs with one installation, and offers a very user-friendly backend.
  • Symphony66
    Symphony is a “web developers” blogging platform. It’s based in xml/xslt, so it requires a bit of a learning curve. Symphony is highly versatile and customizable, and perfect for the advanced blogger wanting fine-grain control over the site.
  • Habari67
    Habari is an up-and-coming modern blog platform that focuses on tackling at the core level many of the shortcomings that other blogging software communities have tried to address with add-ons. Habari prides itself in being standards compliant and more secure than other blogging platforms.
  • Pixie68
    Pixie is a small CMS that allows for fast creation of websites or blogs. It’s simple, easy to use, and free. It features a beautiful backend, with easy to understand navigation and layout.

Other Resources For Choosing Blogging Software

Glen Stansberry writes for the web development blog Web Jackalope79 (his blog’s feed80).

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.wordpress.org
  2. 2 http://wordpress.org/support/
  3. 3 http://wwww.akismet.com
  4. 4 http://www.wordpress.org
  5. 5 http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page
  6. 6 http://mu.wordpress.org
  7. 7 http://www.webdesignerwall.com/
  8. 8 http://ilovetypography.com/
  9. 9 http://www.binarymoon.co.uk/
  10. 10 http://superfluousbanter.org/archives/2007/04/web-20-cultists/
  11. 11 http://www.movabletype.org
  12. 12 http://www.huffingtonpost.com
  13. 13 http://www.gawker.com
  14. 14 http://www.boingboing.net
  15. 15 http://www.dooce.com
  16. 16 http://www.movabletype.org
  17. 17 http://www.movabletype.org/2007/12/movable_type_open_source.html
  18. 18 http://wiki.movabletype.org/MovableType:Community_Portal
  19. 19 http://www.bearskinrug.co.uk
  20. 20 http://www.cameronmoll.com
  21. 21 http://www.mezzoblue.com
  22. 22 http://www.simplebits.com
  23. 23 http://www.expressionengine.com
  24. 24 http://www.expressionengine.com/
  25. 25 https://secure.expressionengine.com/download.php
  26. 26 http://31three.com/weblog
  27. 27 http://veerle.duoh.com
  28. 28 http://www.drupal.org
  29. 29 http://www.performancing.com
  30. 30 http://www.drupal.org
  31. 31 http://drupal.org/project/Modules
  32. 32 http://www.performancing.com
  33. 33 http://www.spreadfirefox.com
  34. 34 http://www.theonion.com
  35. 35 http://www.ubuntu.com
  36. 36 http://www.43folders.com
  37. 37 http://www.abduzeedo.com
  38. 38 http://www.textpattern.com
  39. 39 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textile_(markup_language)
  40. 40 http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/expression-engine-vs-textpattern
  41. 41 http://www.textpattern.com
  42. 42 http://www.textpattern.org
  43. 43 http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk
  44. 44 http://www.uxmag.com/
  45. 45 http://www.nzrn.com/
  46. 46 http://www.erraticwisdom.com/
  47. 47 http://www.joomla.org
  48. 48 http://www.alledia.com/blog/general-cms-issues/joomla-and-drupal-%11-which-one-is-right-for-you?/
  49. 49 http://www.joomla.org
  50. 50 http://extensions.joomla.org/
  51. 51 http://b2evolution.net/
  52. 52 http://b2evolution.net/
  53. 53 http://www.nucleuscms.org/
  54. 54 http://wakka.xiffy.nl/plugin_by_category
  55. 55 http://www.nucleuscms.org/
  56. 56 http://demo.nucleuscms.org/
  57. 57 http://nucleuscms.org/download.php
  58. 58 http://www.s9y.org/
  59. 59 http://spartacus.s9y.org/
  60. 60 http://www.s9y.org/
  61. 61 http://smarty.net
  62. 62 http://mephistoblog.com/
  63. 63 http://mephistoblog.com/
  64. 64 http://mephistoblog.com/2008/4/18/mephisto-hits-0-8-moves-to-github
  65. 65 http://www.dotclear.net
  66. 66 http://21degrees.com.au/products/symphony/
  67. 67 http://habariproject.org/en/
  68. 68 http://www.getpixie.co.uk/
  69. 69 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weblog_software
  70. 70 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_content_management_systems
  71. 71 http://www.cmsmatrix.com
  72. 72 http://www.opensourcecms.com/
  73. 73 http://welovewp.com/
  74. 74 http://movablelove.com/
  75. 75 http://expressionengine.com/showcase/
  76. 76 http://www.drupalsites.net/
  77. 77 http://welovetxp.com/
  78. 78 http://www.joomlabased.com/
  79. 79 http://webjackalope.com
  80. 80 http://feeds.feedburner.com/WebJackalope

↑ Back to topShare on Twitter

Glen Stansberry is the editor at Web Jackalope, a blog about creative Web development.

Advertising
  1. 1

    There is one unique software “YikeSite” written in Rails and has one of the easiest interface. But comes as a Self hosted app. which enables all kind of users to manage pages easily, and lets a n00b to run his own website. And Still on the phase of development
    http://yikesite.com

    0
  2. 2

    Really nice post but what about Php-fusion? In my opnion it is just as good as many of the above menhtioned CMS systems

    -1
  3. 3

    There are also a lot of other blogging engine written with other languages, like Ruby or .NET.
    You should mention them as well sometimes

    1
  4. 4

    Programming language.
    Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.

    In a list of 10 items is 90% PHP (9 items) and 10% RoR (1 item). Now that is convincing that most run on either PHP or Rails. That opening trashed my whole opinion about this article.

    It’s terrible article!!!

    1
  5. 5

    I’m shocked that Blogger didn’t even get a mention in this list! Next to WordPress, this is one of the most popular (and documented) Blogging services, used by millions of Bloggers all over the world.

    Is there a particular reason (or bias) why Blogger was not included?

    0
  6. 6

    Nice article – interesting to see what platforms different sites run on!

    0
  7. 7

    Great article!
    Never heard of Movable Type. Gonna try that one time:)

    0
  8. 8

    “Up until this point, we haven’t even mentioned any blog software that runs on any other language other than PHP”
    MovableType runs python.

    0
  9. 10

    nice post…. i think it’s very hard to get wordpress from it’ throne… but movable type is doing a good job so far.

    0
  10. 11

    dotclear is french which doesn’t help the userfriendlyness….

    0
  11. 12

    Textpattern doesn’t “rely” on textile. You can of course, write in HTML or install the TinyMCE extension and enter content in a word processor like interface.

    0
  12. 13

    Erenon: MovableType is built with PHP and Perl AFAIK.

    0
  13. 14

    Just to let you know, the url for Movable Type above is broken (has a space in it)

    0
  14. 15

    ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site

    Expression Engine is geared towards the simple brochure site, through single blogs, simple ecommerce to multiple sites to whatever you need to publish. As their site says, ‘Publish Your Universe’, not matter how big or small it is.

    And they do have a free version, if you are setting up a non-commercial, personal blog.

    The beauty of Expression Engine is that it allows you to expand when you need to because the functionality to do so is built in, thus removing the need for endless hacking around with plugins that other blogging-only platforms have.

    Interesting article overall, but seems to lack evidence of proper research.

    0
  15. 16

    I use ExpressionEngine for most of my development. Having tried almost all the others listed, I stuck with EE due to the fact that it acts almost more like a framework than an out of the box blogging system. I realize that may not appeal to a lot of people, but it’s helped me to build some pretty complicated sites without needing to take a refresher course in database development.

    0
  16. 17

    I understand that not so many web designers use asp.net but there is one outstanding open-source engine written in asp.net: BlogEngine.NET (www.dotnetblogengine.net). It is incredibely easy to customize, both functionally and visually.

    Here is my overview of this engine, if you are interested: http://www.jankoatwarpspeed.com/post/2008/04/16/BlogEngineNET-Powerful2c-open-source-blog-engine-written-in-ASPNET-20.aspx

    1
  17. 18

    From the server-side, I really like Pivot.
    It is php-based, but writes to files. No SQL-Server needed.

    0
  18. 19

    I’ve recently switched from Textpattern to Expression Engine after almost 3 years. They both have a really easy to use templatingsystem which is great if you build your own themes. WordPress has a steeper learning curve when it comes to custom themes.

    The reason why I switched from Txp to EE is because Txp lacks a lot of functionality and is not as flexible as EE. With EE you can customise the new post interface to your liking. For instance, adding a second text area is a real pain with Txp (it requires some hacking in the code), but with EE it’s really simple.

    Another big plus is that EE is more complete. Although Txp has a lot of great plugins, you simply need less with EE.

    So if you’re building a more complicated (magazine like) website, you’re definately better off with EE. If you’re looking for a reliable, fast and free cms, you will probably do just fine with Txp!

    0
  19. 20

    kamikaze.cockroach

    August 29, 2008 4:30 am

    Another site powered by Expression Engine is Barack Obama’s campaign site.

    Expression Engine 2.0 is being built from Code Igniter which is completely Open Source and community driven.

    0
  20. 21

    Movable Type is written in Perl not Python. Also if you use dynamic publishing it uses php.

    0
  21. 22

    I’m a little surprised that MODx didn’t make the list. Very flexible, easy to install, suitable for both novices and developers, and allows for complete custom application development.

    Definitely worth a look!

    -1
  22. 23

    Remington Phillips

    August 29, 2008 4:46 am

    Thanks for the great article Glen.

    I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for my network of websites, so your roundup has helped me figure out “who’s who” in the blog software game.

    0
  23. 24

    besides assigning one article to multiple categories and having sub sections and categories, joomla is the only way to go. Even wordpress is a joke comparing to Joomla!

    0
  24. 25

    Great reference! Thanks for the excelente job!

    0
  25. 26

    What about Dotclear and its last amazing release 2.0.1 ?

    Tast it now!

    http://www.dotclear.net/

    0
  26. 27

    Frédéric de Villamil

    August 29, 2008 5:15 am

    Funny to see Mephisto here as it’s not a blogging software but more a CMS. And btw, there is a much more active, old and complete blogging software in ruby on rails with plugins and lots of very nice themes. It’s called Typo

    0
  27. 28

    As often in english spoken article, few interest is given to the internationalization stake. One of the big disadvantages of the blog platforms you present is the lack of full internationalization.

    DocClear, a french blog engine, is really a good choice with very few bugs, a great stability and a good internationalization. The version 2 has just been released. Give it a try, it worths it.

    Thanks for this very good article either.

    0
  28. 29

    Nope, MT runs Perl

    0
  29. 30

    dotclear is french which doesn’t help the userfriendlyness….

    @jbcarey :
    DotClear has always been available in English, since its beginning, and in a lot of other languages. I’m really surprised not to see it in this list.

    0
  30. 31

    I currently use WordPress, but am currently making the move to Squarespace. I have tested numerous platforms over the years and IMO, Squarespace is easily the best out there. It’s not free, but it’s worth it for its ease of use and customability. You can read my review of their new V5 platform here.

    0
  31. 32

    Michael Thompson

    August 29, 2008 5:34 am

    Joomla is terrible.

    0
  32. 33

    Great overview! I’m a serious WordPress fan though.

    0
  33. 34

    I use Habari – the Admin interface is superb, the article editor simple and uncluttered and a variety of themes and plugins support all the key functionality required for a blog.

    While Habari has some rough edges, it is actively being worked on with new features being added daily. Don’t be deceived by the 0.5 – Habari is perfectly capable of running a blog – today.

    0
  34. 35

    b2evolution is a good bloggin app.

    0
  35. 36

    vBulletin appears to have an official addon to add a full featured blog software to your online community forum.

    0
  36. 37

    You don’t mention Habari, why not? It’s a very nice new blogging application, that is quickly growing into the platform that WordPress was supposed to be, but without making the same mistakes. It’s focus on usability, good design and a sane architecture, combined with being community-driven, make Habari a winner in my book.

    Also it should be noted that several popular packages such as Joomla and WordPress are continuously encumbered by security issues.

    0
  37. 38

    I know this has already been said, but this article did not mention blogger.com…

    0
  38. 39

    @ erenon: it would be great, if mt would be programmed in python. unfortunately it’s the read-only perl.

    0
  39. 40

    Dooce is no longer powered by Movable Type. They now use Drupal, as explained here.

    0
  40. 41

    ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site

    I disagree with the above statement. That is definitely one of it’s pluses with the “Multi Site Manager” but definitely not who EE is targeted for. I’d venture to say that majority of EE users do not have a multi-blog site.

    As was said above, they also have the free “Core” version of EE, so it’s not just a paid platform. I run two sites with the free “Core” version.

    0
  41. 42

    Another Expression Engine user.
    It is so much more than a blogging tool, I have built several sites on it due to the flexibility of the way you can store and access data. You can create multiple data fields and customize them in many ways.
    It is a framework that you use to build custom sites, rather than just another weblog.

    0
  42. 43

    I think your summary of ExpressionEngine was really shortsighted, and I’m sure thousands would agree with me. ExpressionEngine isn’t primarily geared for multiple-site blogs — that’s just a simple feature. It’s REALLY geared for mind-blowly flexible content management. Sure, it does blogs well. Ridiculously well in fact. But due to the nature of it’s expression tag system, it allows someone without knowledge of PHP actually build out custom features and functionality right into the HTML/CSS. The sky is pretty much the limit in the type of site you want to build.

    It really fits for nearly 95% of all client work in my case — full corporate sites right down to a simple blog, all easy, all flexible. I recommend everyone checking it out!

    0
  43. 44

    You should check out Symphony. It’s XML/XSLT based, so the learning curve is a bit steep. It’s more of a full CMS rather than a blog engine, but can do blogs easily. Verson 2 is almost out of beta and rocks. My current fav CMS — and I’ve used a lot!

    0
  44. 45

    Nollind Whachell

    August 29, 2008 7:34 am

    I’m assuming this review was for non-hosted blogging solutions, since platforms like Typepad and Squarespace aren’t listed.

    For example, I still haven’t found another platform that compares to Squarespace in it’s ability to structure your site before you add content to it (since most others you structure your site after you add content, as you need something to work with). I mean I don’t need a site map from my clients because their content structure (shown within the Architecture area of Squarespace) almost replicates this.

    Even more so, I have yet to see another CMS provide a built-in Style Editor like Squarespace. I mean you’d have to purchase a desktop solution like Stylizer to get something comparable.

    All said and done though, it is a hosted solution and it limitations are what you pay for it’s simplicity and ease of use. With Version 5, you no longer have access to templates but they are working on ways to let you edit anything (with about 95% achieved now), so there won’t be a need to mess with XHMTL code. However you can play with CSS as much as you want, as it’s CSS template structure is probably the best I’ve seen versus other solutions. In a nutshell, Squarespace is optimized for “designers” rather than developers. So those who prefer immediately visualizing and conceptualizing their content, layout, and designs without having to play with too much code in the back end will probably like it considerably.

    0
  45. 46

    I get the impression that whoever wrote this article hasn’t actually USED all of these systems. Some of the information here is false or misleading, and the rest of it is too general and doesn’t really speak to the essential qualities of the various platforms. Terrible article!

    And regarding Textpattern – you do NOT need to use textile to publish in Textpattern. It’s actually one of the few platforms that you can use straight HTML/CSS/PHP with – one of the few systems where you don’t have to muck around with some silly template system, and can just develop your pages “normally”.

    0
  46. 47

    Textpattern forever :-) With PHP knowledge you can do wonders with Txp.

    0
  47. 48

    We didn’t include blogger because we were focusing on only blogging software, not hosted solutions. It’s a great blogging service though! :)

    0
  48. 49

    Drupal and Text Pattern are CMS. If you mention Drupal you can also talk about Joomla and others which can have same blog features. All these systems you said are made to download so I can think that’s why you don’t talk about Blogger and Vox. Am I wrong? Regards…

    0
  49. 50

    @L2: You can find a blog platform for just about any language. I chose to focus on the most widely-used software, which unfortunately is mostly PHP.

    0
  50. 51

    Expressionengine si not just a blogging tool, it is true web cms. Lot of flexiblity, plus the templating language is supreme to WP and movable type. Have you guys every really looked at these system before recommending them.

    I HAVE througly reviewed most of the systems you listed. A pretty interface is one thing, but the templating system and flexiblity is the core of the system. Expressionengine wins hands down.

    0
  51. 52

    Also, I do like Textpattern but not quite as much as EE. Templating engine is similar. But EE has more flexibilty built in without plugins. Also, EE’s documentation, user community, and support are extremely organized. Don’t take good documenation for granted especially. A system could be great, but if it’s not documented in a way a developer can use it who cares.

    0
  52. 53

    Last thing, look at the code you have to use for b2evolution to list the last 3 entries in a “blog”.

    ” title=””>

    get_item() )
    { ?>

    permalink() ?>” title=””>title( ”, ”, false ); ?>(issue_date() ?>)

    “>

    Take a look at EE:

    {exp:weblog:entries weblog=”blog1|blog2″ limit=”3″}

    {title}

    {body}

    Posted on {entry_date format=”%M %d, %Y – %h:%i %A”}

    {/exp:weblog:entries}

    enough said…

    0
  53. 54

    I’m looking for a really straightforward and simple cms. The primary need is to enable our partners to update their own websites. So the basic requirement is a multi-site capability. No fancy plugins needed. Simple and easy to use. Any suggestions?

    0
  54. 55

    eric-from-boston

    August 29, 2008 9:03 am

    what does smashing use for a platform?

    0
  55. 56

    I’m putting in my support for Textpattern. As stated, Textile is not required for writing blogs, but it makes it simpler to style text without having to explicitly know XHTML.

    If you know XHTML and CSS, you can go far with TXP to build any kind of site, whether for blogging or commerce or business or whatever. Easy to install, easy to use and completely free.

    ExpressionEngine looks promising as an alternative to TXP, but until they finish 2.0 and give users a file management system (already present in TXP), I’ll wait before I add it to my arsenal of CMS tools.

    0
  56. 57

    This is a post I’ve been waiting for for a while! I’m an avid user of WordPress at the moment for my little design/portfolio blog Make Design, Not War, but for a while I was hunting around madly for which engine to commit to.

    As a designer with a little programming experience (enough to build custom WP or EE themes at least), I really wanted something that would A) not require me to learn a ton of new information to setup and B) a platform that I could rely upon for easy content management once the site was built.

    I tried out Expression Engine for quite a while (and liked it) before deciding that the open source aspect and thriving growth of the WP theme and plugin community is a platform that I don’t mind committing to because of it’s flexibility – plus it’s free. In any event, thanks a ton for summing up the top 10 blogging platforms.

    As a side note, I love the UXMag site – one of the most unique blog designs I’ve seen. I only wish they updated their content more often – those articles have been pretty much the same on the front page sine last Feb as far as I can tell. Beautiful example of how far you can stretch a blog design.

    0
  57. 58

    @Gary Horsman:

    There already is a “File Manager Module” that would give this functionality. It’s a third party module but from what I understand, it’s solid and works like it’s suppose too.

    0
  58. 59

    Joomla is the worst. I’m surprised it was even considered – probably out of popularity, but that’s it.

    Joomla’s output code is so useless it’s not even funny. I had to build a custom Joomla-based website from scratch (I used both versions to test which one was better – neither of them were decent), and I can honestly say that those 5 days turned that week into the worst week of my career.

    Stay away from Joomla. Stay far far away.

    0
  59. 60

    As mentioned by some other people, Moveable Type is written in Perl and Dooce.com switched to Drupal a couple of months ago.

    0
  60. 61

    Thank You very much SmashMag

    But DotClear is very wonderfull as WordPress… but “français”

    a french webdesigner

    0
  61. 62

    You should also not BlogEngine that runs on ASP.NET. It is one of the simplest blogging engines to setup and use and you can create new themes for it in litlerally minutes.

    0
  62. 63

    Textpattern is not just a blogging system, It’s full CMS. You don’t have to learn Textile there is a WYSIWYG toolbar plugin that takes a seconds to install. It has a very solid community and dev team. The templating language is beautiful, great for those that don’t want to learn PHP. It’s by far my favourite CMS and i’ve tried them all.

    ExpressionEngine is also great for the bigger sites.

    0
  63. 64

    Expression Engine has a very feature-ful free version that I used to learn EE with. EE rocks.

    0
  64. 65

    b2evolution is a repulsive piece of shit. Completely unoptimized – if you have any level of traffic whatsover, you might as well send up smoke signals, b/c it will kill your server.

    0
  65. 66

    WordPress FOREVER!!!.. I dont think u should have to ever pay for blogging software. WordPress by far has exceeded its competitors obviously by being included in fantastico

    0
  66. 67

    err… and Blogger?

    0
  67. 68

    The link on Drupal – Joomla comparison is 1.5 yrs outdated and it doesn’t portray a true picture any more. A lot of progress has been made since on both systems and many points are not valid.

    Lots of readers will now be going through that article without realising the fact that some major parts are not accurate any longer.

    I’m surprised you have actually posted it, it’s misleading.

    0
  68. 69

    There is a typo in the DotClear link that breaks it, the ‘n’ should be removed.

    DotClear used to have a whole section translated in English for non French speakers, but it seems this section has not came back yet on their new website…

    0
  69. 70

    I’m a designer not a developer.

    I tried a few CMS’s for my design portfolio. I chose EE in the end, for flexibility, the amount of features, and ease of use for a non-developer.

    I would strongly recommend it to anyone.

    0
  70. 71

    I’ve used WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal from that list!

    0
  71. 72

    Hello. It’s supposed to be Kevin Cornell, not Kornell with a K.

    0
  72. 73

    I use ExpressionEngine for most of my development. Having tried almost all the others listed, I stuck with EE due to the fact that it acts almost more like a framework than an out of the box blogging system. I realize that may not appeal to a lot of people, but it’s helped me to build some pretty complicated sites without needing to take a refresher course in database development.

    This pretty much sums up my experience with it too.

    0
  73. 74

    I would recommend Chyrp for small and simple blogs. Very clutter free and intuitive. A young product that has a lot of potential.

    0
  74. 75

    Anyone else here have had to suffer through Plone? It’s the only CMS used where I work. Terrible.

    Love using WordPress for my personal projects.

    0
  75. 76

    You should also considere sNews for example, altough it’s not meant to be strictly blog engine, it is so lightweight and versatile that a little advanced PHP developer can pretty much run anything on that. For example I have developed an ecommerce solution and a medicinal appointment solution for doctors on that. Everyone was thrilled about it.

    1
  76. 77

    Nice review!!!
    I use a BlogEngine.NET in mi blog and is really nice, this is the creator’s url may you can make a review about they.
    http://www.dotnetblogengine.net/.
    Great!!

    0
  77. 78

    Dooce is powered by Drupal, not movable type.

    0
  78. 79

    Worth while review.

    There are sites here that I assumed were using WP, but they’re not!

    0
  79. 80

    I really miss the blogging sofware ‘pivot’ in this list!

    0
  80. 81

    And the best off all: Drupal is Made in Belgium!!

    0
  81. 82

    One thing you must definitely consider, if you plan to build a popular site is code quality and security. Drupal for example has a strong focus on security also monitoring 3rd party extensions and fixing security vulnerabilities, when they are detected. This is something very valuable since a badly written add-on may ruin your server.
    Something else I deem important is search engine friendliness. Designers must be able to create templates that comply with Web standards and use semantic markup. There should also be support for speaking URLs built-in.
    When it comes to usability, editors without HTML knowledge should be able to create nice looking posts and integrate media such as images. In this regards WordPress excels and Drupal core can really be improved.

    0
  82. 83

    I can’t believe Squarespace is missing from this list. They offer one of the more powerful engines and are unique in their ease to customize.

    1
  83. 84

    Here is our blog engine for Joomla!, it names IDoBlog. You can see it on IDoJoomla.com

    0
  84. 85

    sorry, wont do it again.

    0
  85. 86

    The review of Joomla here (and in many of the comments) is highly inaccurate and outdated.

    We only use Joomla in our business also, but we don’t typically design sites to be blogs, we do work for businesses and organizations.

    Joomla as a blog platform exclusively might be a big of overkill, as Joomla is a CMS and quite robust. I’ve reviewed IDoBlog for the extensions directory (mentioned here in the comments) and it adds the multiple blogging features that Joomla previously was weak in.

    I’m surprised at this because I read Smashing Magazine regularly and the reviews are usually thorough and on-target.

    0
  86. 87

    I find you can’t go wrong with wordpress.

    0
  87. 88

    the cms matrix link is wrong it’s .org not .com

    0
  88. 89

    For me the WordsPress is the favorite but withhut any doubt that there is more powerful engines for runing of blogs or web site.

    0
  89. 90

    The Joomla VS Drupal list is from 2006! Not very reliable to base your choice for a cms right now.
    Check your resources first please!

    0
  90. 91

    its got to bee wordpress with all the coders that work together and help with plugins and now that they have updated newer things it just gets better and better… mines powered by wordpress and its pretty nice and simple.. to manage and to look at.. trcwest.com/blog/

    0
  91. 92

    Ey! Great listing! I found it very useful to redirect people that contacts me about blog designs. I usually recommend WordPress right away, but it’s nice for them to see a good article abut the topic and try out well to see what fills out more their needs!
    Thanks a lot guys!
    Gisele Jaquenod and Birdie’s Blog

    0
  92. 93

    This site uses WordPress too, right?

    0
  93. 94

    yeah why did staff not mention what this site runs on?

    0
  94. 95

    @namdatviet,

    Yeah, i think smashing magazine use wordpress !!

    0
  95. 96

    Tumblr anyone?

    0
  96. 97
  97. 98

    Take Wikidot, it is simply the best. Despite that the default skins suck

    0
  98. 99

    What about blogger.com????????? I can’t believe it’s not even in there

    0
  99. 100

    very nice article

    0
  100. 101

    Nice story!!!!!!! Like it.

    0
  101. 102

    Mentioned before, but still want to mention the lack of pivot or pivotx. I think pivotx offers some great features I find missing in other platforms. They are just not as much used as other platforms.

    1
  102. 103

    Very interesting article indeed. Would’ve been good to see some example sites for the blog software featured further down the list, did the author just get a little tired?

    0
  103. 104

    Blogger is not in the list because it’s an hosted solution. But if you want my opinion, I think it’s great!

    0
  104. 105

    ExpressionEngine rocks. Its not only a blog plataform, its liek a really CMS framework.
    You dont mentioned with the backend can be easily customized, removing all unecessary stuff.

    EE 2.0 will be a CMS killer…

    0
    • 106

      SymphonyCMS tends to provide all of these benefits, except that both the CMS and the extensions are free – it’s actually quite comparable, but better (IMO of course).

      0
  105. 107

    Very useful article. Thanks a lot!. This last week I´ve trying to figure out which platform I should use to open my first blog and it was making my heading. Now I know what to look at. Thanks a lot.
    And… what about an article on tumblelogs??? do you have any? I think it´ll be nice to hear something about it too.

    0
  106. 108

    WordPress is my fav, easy to navigate, cool skin, and freee :D

    0
  107. 109

    Marcello, referring to comment #130 above when you say you don’t include Blogger because it’s a hosted solution, that is plain wrong. Blogger is the same as WordPress; one can be hosted on the native service or be migrated to one’s domain. Ditto for Typepad.

    0
  108. 110

    Glad to see Symphony getting some good exposure! Love that platform more than any other.

    1
    • 111

      I agree! Although I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘blogging platform’ – more of a CMS framework. I think the description SM applied next to it is accurate. Your average Joe isn’t going to be able to easily deploy a blog with it – however if you’re building a blog from scratch then it provides a framework that enables you to do a lot more than WP, without it feeling like you’re bolting inappropriate content into the wrong platform.

      Best CMS available in my humble opinion – all the power with none of the crap.

      0
  109. 112

    What about modX CMS system is that worth mentioning?

    0
  110. 114

    A very nice and useful article.

    0
  111. 115

    I think Habari is the next big thing in blogging engine.

    0
  112. 116

    ZOMG
    People WP is first and Joomla is second ffs!

    0
  113. 117

    Have tried a fair few of these, ModX not being mentioned is not that surprising, its still not that well known, besides its far far more than a simple blogging tool. I use it to build large and complicated sites all the time, makes my life simple.

    0
  114. 118

    Chyrp chyrp!

    0
  115. 119

    Being a designer – wordpress has been a fantastic product – allowing to create indepth websites relatively easily without messing too much with the code – and the community support out there is just fantastic.

    I used Joomla before WP but found it over complicated and the structure of the system just over-complicated it for no apparent reason what so ever. I ended up using freelancers to finish what i had started! Ate away my profit margins!

    There is another blogging system which has been clearly missed on the lists and comments – mainly due to it being rather underground – but Chyrp is a fantastic lightweight blogging engine with a real super duper easy to use admin backend – fantastic for the clients who are scared of computers!

    I haven’t published a site using the engine yet – but will make sure it will be my next project for sure!

    Without sounding cheesey – but the only way to make such projects better – is just spreading the word and developing on it as a community!

    Cheers

    Gill.

    0
  116. 120

    Movable Type is a great platform – easy to use – powerful…

    small typo though – it’s not MovEable Type –

    While Moveable Type has historically

    0
  117. 121

    Mario from venice

    September 7, 2008 5:26 am

    I think a cool cms is also indexibit

    0
  118. 122

    Big ups to Textpattern. It is free and insanely flexible. I am powering my personal site off of it now and am working on a redesign.

    The textpattern community is great also. Very helpul and friendly. I am anxiously awaiting the next txp release 4.0.7.

    0
  119. 123

    In South Korea, Tattertools(or Textcube since v1.5) is most famous and cool engine.

    0
  120. 124

    What about Life Type platform? I like it a lot but noone mentions it…

    0
  121. 125

    Nothing beats WordPress. It’s easy to use, and flexible. I also like Drupal.. These two are really cool CMS to use. Thanks for sharing these stuffs..

    0
  122. 126

    YOu people have to understand… there is a difference to a CMS and a Blog (LEARN THE DIFFERENCE)

    0
  123. 127

    As said before, I would also recommend “PivotX” because it’s doesn’t have an overload of features in it which you’ll never use. Therefore it’s easy to configure, with a great template system, and for the enduser it’s easy to use, even for dummies. Pivotx is a completely rewritten version of the Pivot weblog tool, it’s now also database driven (or flat file if you wish). I use it for weblogs and for website content management. But the most important thing is that I can setup website in a very short time, and because it’s so clearly written, you can make changes fast.

    0
  124. 128

    Which CMS? That is the focus of my Masters. I have struggled with this and investigated 3. Drupal – good when you know but not easy to template and control minor details, WordPress – very good but limited to blogging and a plugin pain to get to to do otherwise and Expression Engine, amazing, more work but more control over the others and I feel anything is possible. Community is more responsive than Drupals where my cries for help were burried under the shear submission volume.

    Actually I wanted to float an idea. For my masters by research in which CMS I thought it might be more interesting to watch a video of many systems being demonstrated from install up. There would be a basic page design and content to implement, so we would see 1 design + functionality implemented by people who know them well.

    These videos would give instant visual comparison without the focus being on feature compare… CMS matrix does that already. I am interested in the personal experience and development of building a site. I would host and maintain the site.

    Anyone interested?

    Lance

    0
  125. 129

    Eli Witherspoon

    March 3, 2009 7:42 am

    I can second the negative comments on Joomla. I have coded nearly 200 sites on Joomla because of my employer’s preference and it is by far the worst system listed. (I wouldn’t have even listed it, it’s so bad.) Joomla might have 3,400+ add-ons available, but to any coder who knows his stuff they are mostly complete garbage. This is a perfect example of the open source community failing to quality check the add-ons. Anything goes on Joomla.org! Also, the code base and back-end management is so poorly done it’s laughable. When you start finding misspellings in the backend, that’s a sign to stay away from the system. IMO, using Joomla is a lame excuse for someone who doesn’t know how to code or take the time to learn a good system.

    I would recommend you stay far far away from Joomla as well.

    0
  126. 130

    We need to delve a little more in the problem.

    0
  127. 131

    WordPress is working efficiently and quickly. There is, however, for any use.
    Cameron Moll is a very interesting solution. This is a good template.
    It is clear, clean, functional.

    0
  128. 132

    very nice ,Great article thank you.

    0
  129. 133

    Nice post, very informative. Thank you…

    Oh by the way, how come some of my comments powered by wordpress are being discarded? I have followed the policies and i think my comments are nice. And its not a scam. Why o why dont they want to post it? Im sad…

    0
  130. 134

    This brings back to mind something funny that my father would always say…
    Then its definitely not appropriate just now…

    0
  131. 135

    I miss some destinguishments…

    type of user (personal, non-profit, community, professional)
    php knowledge required (yes/no)
    html/css knowledge required (yes/no)
    learing curve (1-5)
    templates available (appr. 1-x)
    price
    documentation quality (1-5)
    updating process ease (1-5)
    server requirements (apache, IIE..)
    database requirement (mysql, oracle…)
    customizable (1-5)
    add-ons available (1-x)

    I personally use expression engine. it’s an absolut fantasic cms! it has a very steep learning curve and is not free, but once you know how to use it, you won’t use any other cms again. it has only a few templates and a few add-ons. most of it can be handeld by expression engine itself.

    for professionals I would only recommend expression engine or drupal…
    cheers
    s

    1
  132. 136

    I tried Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and Typepad out. My choice fell on: WordPress. Easy, simple and verry nice.

    thanks for the great contribution he has helped me a lot! I am very proud of the result.

    0
  133. 138

    Good preview!

    0
  134. 139

    I think blogger is not just for free host blogs…I’ve used it before with my own domains.. Its great, but wp for me is greater :) .wp is the pimp..

    0
  135. 140

    I’m looking for a multiple blog engine for my ecommerce site to allow customers to make their own cooking blogs. I will also of course have some paid bloggers plus affiliates.

    Any advice?

    Nofia

    0
  136. 141

    Thanks so much…

    0
  137. 142

    Thanks for pointing out “Pixie”. Its just what I need. I am fed up of full fledged systems like drupal, wordpress, joomla because you have to learn a lot to write even a small modification.

    0
  138. 143

    Is blogengine superior to hubpages in some manner? Really needs to be because it is becoming more popluar as of late.

    0
  139. 144

    Very nice Post i like it

    0
  140. 145

    Well… that’s the way to go!

    0
  141. 146

    Nice article, very helpful.

    Just wanted to tell that the CMS Matrix link is broken (it should point to .net, not .com)

    0
  142. 147

    Great post! Thanks for the great article,I really like it.

    0
  143. 148

    Thank you for the very detailed article and the CMS platform comparison. I chose Wordpess a long time ago.

    0
  144. 149

    Nice article, a little outdated though. B2evolution is being abandoned and there are new comers like posterous.com

    0
  145. 150

    Haja Peer Mohamed H

    June 7, 2011 6:23 am

    Excellent post! and lots of choice to choose! thanks for sharing!

    0
  146. 151

    I <3 WordPress :)

    0
  147. 152

    Mica Piepenbrink

    August 22, 2011 2:35 pm

    Great information it is really. I’ve been awaiting for this tips.

    0
  148. 153

    “Up until this point, we haven’t even mentioned any blog software that runs on any other language other than PHP”

    Yes you have :)
    Movable Type runs on perl :)

    -1
  149. 154

    Nice article! WordPress is an easy and flexible CMS to use!

    0

↑ Back to top