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Best blogging platform review: LiveJournal, Movable Type or Typepad?

Pros and cons of some popular blogging platforms

If micro-blogging is not your thing and you want to try something that is not as traditional and well-known as Blogger or WordPress, this post is exactly for you. We’re going to look through some other popular blogging platforms, which maybe you haven’t heard about – not because they’re not worthy, but because people don’t talk about them as often as they do about WordPress.

LiveJournal


LiveJournal is somewhere in between blogging and social networking. But not in the way that other micro-blogging platforms offer this combination. In LiveJournal you can maintain your own blog, journal or diary and participate in polls, create networks and interact with other users alongside your blog – which are in your friends list. Each blog post has its own web page, which includes the comments left by other users. Each user on the other hand has a user info page and journal page, which shows all of their most recent journal entries.

Pros:

  • Live Journal is very community driven. Its main idea is sharing and using other social networks. That’s why your online marketing can benefit not only from having a blog, but from the power of social media.
  • LiveJournal is free. You don’t have to pay anything to have access to most features, which you really need for your blog. There is a Plus account option, which gives you more extras, but your blog will have advertisements. LiveJournal also offers a paid version, so if you want to, you can add some additional functionality to your account.
  • LiveJournal allows voice posts.
  • “Mobile-friendly”. LiveJournal has a mobile version and applications for most of the platforms out there – iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, MeeGoo, Bada. So you don’t have to worry about your blog, you can manage it and create posts wherever you are.

Cons:

  • Nothing special about blogging features. Compared to other blogging platforms like WordPress, LiveJournal has decent features and its plug-ins are pretty basic.

In fact, the main thing that makes LiveJournal a good choice for blogging software is its unique combination of blogging platform and social network. In Russia, for example, over 80 of the top 100 Russian blogs are hosted on LiveJournal. In every country the community that uses LiveJournal is different, so do your research before choosing this platform.  If you want to have a blog about your dental clinic and the community in your country tends to be more interested in entertainment-related issues, this platform is not the best choice, right?

Movable Type

Movable Type is a powerful blogging platform like WordPress and in fact these two platforms have a lot in common. It powers more than just blogs – it is a fully-functional web site and content management system. Movable Type offers plug-ins to customize the experience for both the blogger and the reader, including Twitter and Facebook integration, code sanitization and photo galleries. Movable Type also comes in two versions – the .com version is for non-developers who want their blog hosted for free by Movable Type, and the .org version is for people who want to host their site using external services for greater control. The .org version is recommended for developers who want an advanced open source platform upon which to build, extend and customize.

Pros:

  • All-in-one solution. Create websites, add blogs, manage content, and build a social community – all in one package. This is maybe the biggest advantage of Movable Type; it’s easy to run multiple blogs on a single install.
  • Variety of plug-ins. There are a lot of plug-ins, which help you to customize your blog according your specific needs.
  • Build an engaged community of readers and customers. You can let your readers interact with each other by letting them become members of your blog. They can also recommend content and comments that they like.
  • Mobile-friendly blog. You can adjust your blog in such way that it looks good on mobile devices – smartphones or tablets.

Cons:

  • Movable Type recommends its paid version for businesses. And its free version for individual bloggers. So if you want to have more than one user in your blog, you have to use the paid version. But for a micro or small business blog, which is managed by a single person, the free version offers everything that you need.
  • Not so simple to set up and configure. You need to have some technical know-how to maintain your blog.
  • No proper mobile version or mobile applications. These days this is kind of strange.

Movable Type powers some of the largest and most influential websites and blogs on the web. There are a lot of similarities between Movable Type and WordPress, so it’s a matter of really doing your research and figuring out which service offers the features, plug-ins and support that you need.

Typepad

Typepad is the blogging platform of choice for a lot of big and well-known companies – like Amazon, Zynga, Yelp, Salesforce, Discovery channel and many more. These names speak for themselves – Typepad is a reliable and flexible platform. Typepad is based on Movable Type’s platform, with the two sharing the same templates, technology and APIs. Unlike most blogging sites, Typepad isn’t free. In an age where almost all blogging services offer numerous features in their free versions, this platform seems to be lagging behind.

Pros:

  • It’s a great platform for the non-technical blogger. You can always rely on the support, so you don’t have to worry about design or any problem you might experience in your blog.
  • Easy to use, set up and post. Typepad is a very functional blogging platform and it’s highly recommended for beginning bloggers.
  • Users get their own .com domain names.

Cons:

  • It’s paid. The full customer support, as usual, means you have to pay to use this platform. You can try it for 2 weeks for free, so that you can explore and see if Typepad meets your needs. Paid packages start from $8.95 per month.

In short, if you don’t want to worry about the technical part of maintaining a blog, if you want to have customer support for every problem you might have and if you don’t have anything against paying for all this – try Typepad!

 

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