Blog Software Reviews at a Glance

Posted on Posted in Blogging

As the observant will have noticed I have been posting reviews of blog software. This is exam results day, let’s see who graduated with honours and who flunked..

Review Scores at a Glance
  CityDesk MT WP bBlog DasBlog CS Drupal
Platform Win Perl MySQL PHP MySQL PHP MySQL .NET .NET MSSQL PHP MySQL
License $ $ OS OS OS $ OS
Installation 5 4 4 2 4 4 3
Usability 3 3 4 3 4 3 4
Comments 0 4 4 3 3 4 4
Search 0 5 5 3 5 5 5
Ping 0 5 5 5 5 4 4
URLs 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
SE Friendly 5 5 5 5 4 4 5
Templates 3 4 5 5 5 5 5
Static Pages 5 3 5 0 2 5 5
Categories 0 4 5 4 5 4 5
Extensibility 2 5 5 5 5 5 5
Support 3 5 5 4 4 5 5
Feeds 3 5 5 5 5 5 5
API/Email 0 4 5 4 5 4 5
Stats 0 3 4 0 4 4 4
Multi Author 3 5 4 3 3 5 5
               
Score 37 69 75 56 68 71 74

MT = Movable Type, WP = WordPress, CS = CommunityServer, $ = Commercial Software

Static vs. Dynamic

It is quite clear, despite the small speed advantage of static pages, dynamic blogs have feature advantages that give them the edge in terms of templates, functionality and extensibility. You just get so much more with a scripted template I wouldn’t want to go back.

Installation Story

Of course though, with dynamic blogs comes a more complicated install. I am not sure my parents would have been able to install any of these packages apart from CityDesk. Some of these systems assumed you were not only technically savvy but a developer, used to installing language modules and databases. Bloggers != Developers necessarily, bad blog developers – bad! The best had nice little install wizards. I would like to see future versions of these packages do more in the installer and have the blogger do less hand editing please. I expect good things from the CommunityServer boys in this regard.

Non-blog pages

Why do so many systems make it hard to have content outside of blog posts? Do they not realise that bloggers like to have about pages and articles?

Docs

Documentation is very important, those who had default template Wikis scored low. It’s not just the content (though that is critical) but the information architecture and instructions that are out of date or incorrect is just unforgivable – its your first impression of the software so trust is lost.

Features

I wasn’t too concerned about blogging via email but it is vital that you can search and have category feeds. Comments are also very very important, as is protection from spam. Good template available was high on this list but more important was that you could tweak them without learning a whole new book worth of code. Thankfully there were few disappointments in that regard. Drupal had a buffet of choice with template engines!

Single and Multi

While primary concern was individual blogging, the way things are going many people will want a second or third blog and have other bloggers help out so we had to discuss these issues. Drupal just edged out communityserver because of ease of use but both are VERY capable platforms and I would recommend either.

Conclusion

In the final analysis WordPress pretty much kicked some serious bottom. I must say I was slightly surprised seeing as on paper it ought to be the lesser professional seeing as fully fledged corporate companies were behind some of the other solutions. Something for the Movable Type guys to think about.

Read the detailed reviews:

  1. Introduction
  2. CityDesk review
  3. Movable Type review
  4. WordPress review
  5. bBlog review
  6. DasBlog review
  7. CommunityServer review
  8. Drupal review

Comments!

Have I got anything wrong? Missed anything out? Have I been unfair to your favourite? Let me know..

Author: Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.

2 thoughts on “Blog Software Reviews at a Glance

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