A few years ago, I assumed Tumblr was a second-class blogging platform that looked and worked inferior to WordPress. I’ve now realized I was being pretty close-minded to any Content Management System (CMS) but WordPress, whether for a personal blog or a business website.
That has now changed. Recently, I started helping my best friend establish himself as an influencer in preparation for a future online entertainment venture. So, I did what I always do when I am excited about a new project. I snapped up a URL and started furiously looking for an awesome WordPress theme. At the same time, I conjured grand on-site and off-site strategies in my head and envisioned how efficiently I was going to organically get the site ranked on Google. Then, all of a sudden I realized there will be nothing to optimize if my friend is discouraged by the blogging process. He has no experience with blogs or websites at all, and he hardly ever goes online via a computer. He is always online via mobile apps, and he wants to stay that way.
So, what was I to do? WordPress is an amazing CMS, but I remember that I wasn’t fully comfortable with it until I had worked through it by trial and error. My friend doesn’t have the time or desire to do that. Plus, he wants to do everything via mobile app. So, the CMS I loved so much – and was so search engine-friendly – was, for the first time, not appropriate for my project.
Therefore, I needed to find another CMS that could create an attractive website, offer some way to on-site optimize, and be simple to use via web or mobile app. Though I had always thought Tumblr was inferior to WordPress, I took a second look at it because it is easy to use and it’s experiencing a huge amount of growth.
In fact, Read Write Web reports that Tumblr gets 12 billion more page views than WordPress.com. WordPress still receives more unique visitors and has a higher number of bloggers, but Tumblr is receiving eight times more page views. With this information in mind, it was clear that Tumblr was a good choice for my needs.
• Tumblr receives a lot of traffic
• It is easy to use for someone with no experience.
• It allows for easier social sharing via web and mobile app than WordPress.
While Tumblr has the functionality we need, it does come with these downfalls:
• Appearance: Because Tumblr is a much simpler blogging platform, custom Tumblr themes are often not as visually impressive as many WordPress themes. Of course, the more HTML knowledge you have, the more customized and impressive your blog can appear.
• SEO Features: Title tags and meta descriptions are important for on-site SEO. However, Tumblr offers no built-in fields or plugins that will allow you to create your own title tags and meta descriptions.
• HTML Knowledge: Because title tags and meta description fields aren’t built in, you must have some knowledge of HTML to insert them.
If you don’t know HTML, there are still things you can do to enhance the on-site optimization of your blog.
• URLS: In the right sidebar of each text module, you are given the option to create a custom URL. Take this opportunity. Type the title of your post in the custom URL field.
• Tags: Again, in the right sidebar, you can add tags to your post. Use words that relate to your post and include SEO keywords if they make sense for that post.
• Images: When you upload a photo, use your keywords in the “Image Description” field. This information can act like image alt text in the blog’s HTML.
• Content: In general, make sure your content is valuable, relevant, and includes your SEO keywords.
• Social Authority: Be sure to share your posts within Tumblr, and post links to your blog in other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. This will enhance your website’s social authority for SEO, and it is necessary for gaining readership. Sharing your posts in social networks lets people know your blog exists.
The moral of this story is that CMSs are not “one-size fits all.” If you are loyal to one CMS as I generally am to WordPress, keep an open mind. It’s important to consider what the blog will be used for and who will be maintaining it. Tumblr is great for social sharing and easy use. WordPress is great for sophisticated visuals and more customized features. The best thing you can do is determine the goal of your website and then decide which CMS can most easily achieve that goal.