Tumblr vs. WordPress

Brett Kelly has a post about why he uses Tumblr instead of WordPress (or something else) for http://nerdgap.com.  Here are a few of his major points:

  • Tumblr is hosted so he doesn’t have to mess with the server or install.
  • Tumblr limits what he can do, so he has to focus on the content instead of fiddling with other stuff.

It is an interesting read.  As someone who started off using TypePad for Productivity501 because of his first reason, I’m not sure he’ll feel the same way a few years down the road when reason number two starts really limiting what he can do. I finally bit the bullet and got some really good (and expensive) hosting in order to not have to worry about the server side of things.  Like Brett, I’m perfectly capable of managing my own server, but it can be a huge distraction from writing.

Still, I’ve found it very useful to have the flexibility that I get from a self hosted install of WordPress.  Brett is basically saying that “content is king, so lets eliminate anything that distracts from great content”.  I don’t agree.  Content is very important, but it is just as important to do intelligent things with your technology.  In fact, the revenues from two of my sites have gone from paying for a couple bills to paying the mortgage, taxes and insurance on a 4,000 square foot house when I stopped focusing so much on content and started trying to be smart about how I used and customized the technology.

I want to checkout Tumblr based on Brett’s recommendation, but I still think that the flexibility from self-hosted WordPress is very necessary if you want to turn a blog into a significant source of income.

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3 Replies to “Tumblr vs. WordPress”

  1. Hi there

    i have a tumblr blog based on the recommendations of a friend, It’s a fashion blog however I do not want to use it for personal reasons. I want to generate an income from it. From what I read above I think I should move to wordpress but what is the difference between the options available i.e what is the self-hosted option you talk about. My knowledge on these terms and technology is very limited.

    Your response is greatly appreciated.

    1. The biggest thing you need to do is get your own domain name. You can even do that at Tumblr. Self-hosted wordpress means getting your own domain and your own hosting account to run your blog. This will give you the flexibility to host ads, javascript or anything else you can think of. If you like Tumblr and want to use it until your site starts getting traffic, you might just consider switching to using your own domain name. That way when/if you do decide to switch to something else, you can take your domain with you.

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