A website is an essential part of any modern business. A few years ago, you would have to hire a designer or learn HTML in order to keep your site up on a daily basis. Now, you can use platforms such as Typepad and WordPress and they’ll do the design work for you. Each has its own pros and cons which you’ll want to learn more about before choosing the one that’s right for you.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms. WordPress.com is a free blog hosting site similar to Blogger or LiveJournal. Anyone can sign up but there are restrictions on the design and features.
Self-hosted WordPress is a program that is installed by your webhost absolutely free. It can be customized with a wide variety of themes and plugins, many of which are also free.
Compared side-by-side, a Typepad blog looks very much like a basic WordPress blog, but they’re very different underneath. When you sign up with Typepad, you can direct the blog to your own domain but the blog will be hosted on Typepad’s servers.
Typepad does offer a variety of themes but customization is limited. When you sign on with Typepad, what you’re buying is simplicity. They do the design work and handle the functionality so you can concentrate on posting informative content.
Typepad vs. WordPress: Cost
Both types of blogs require you to purchase a domain name for $7.00 to $15.00 a year, plus monthly hosting.
If you go with Typepad, hosting is included in the monthly fee. Pricing plans begin at $8.95 a month and go up to $29.95 a month for the pro plan. On the high end, the plan includes priority support and the ability to create multiple blogs.
For WordPress, you’ll need to buy a hosting package from a third party. You can find economy plans for under $10.00 a month, but for a business site, you’re better off spending a little more so your site won’t go down if its hit with a lot of traffic.
Functionality and Customization
Typepad’s main benefit is that you can launch a beautiful site design in under an hour. You can make it your own by adding a banner and adjusting the colors to suit your business. If you have an Unlimited or Pro account, you’ll have access to their Advanced Template Set which offers even more options.
Though there are a lot of available options, they’re all based on the basic top to bottom blog template.
WordPress goes a step further with themes that break out of the blog mold. You can build a blog that features rows of photos or videos, blogs that slide from side-to-side and blogs that look like traditional websites.
The downside is that some of the more creative themes are difficult to implement if you’re not familiar with WordPress coding.
Also, since WordPress is so widely used, the number of available themes and customization plugins is staggering. With a little time and a lot of patience, your WordPress blog can do almost anything you need it to do.