Ultimate Blogging Platform Shootout 2016

And the winner is: you.

What’s the best blogging platform in 2016?

Who is winning the race?

Is there a race at all in the end?

Didn’t WordPress already conquer 50+% of the internet?

Didn’t you write that WordPress sucks a few weeks ago?

Yes, i did, before i stumbled down the rabbit hole and ended up on a completely unproductive odyssey that got me attracted to and trapped on the islands of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) blogging platforms like Blogger.com/Blogspot.com, Ghost.org, Typed.com, Medium.com (which actually isn’t a blogging platform but a social network), Tumblr, Weebly, Jimdo and of course thegrid.io.

Why the hell did i do this to myself?

Because i believed that there must be a good looking, easy-to-use, hyperfast hosted and totally indestructible blogging platform that incorporates all best-in-class features that make creating content that matters in and with them a wonderful experience. With a one-click setup. For a reasonable price. And of course my blog must be running on my own domain in a subdirectory – just like this WordPress installation that you are perceiving right now is indexed to the interwebs on the easy to remember URL that makes perfect sense from an SEO perspective as well: mcgrinsey.com/blog/

Yes, i’m definitely willing to pay a reasonable amount of hard earned eurobucks to pay for a blogging platform that does it all. But i’m not willing to, listen up, pay 100$ per month for a managed Ghost Pro account that allows me to run the Ghost blogging engine in a subdirectory. I would have paid up to 20$ per month for that service in the blink of a click. I could have installed a self-hosted version of Ghost, and i actually tried that, but i ran into an amount of work that in no way justifies the possible benefits. Which benefits again? If i’m self-hosting i can as well run with a proven and tested WordPress installation that takes me just a few clicks at pretty much any webhosting account in the world. For a self-hosted Ghost installation i need my own dedicated or virtual private server, which i need to administrate, and in case i’m starting from scratch i need to install a whole operating system from scratch, install and configure a webserver software, a database software and a ton of interdependent software packages that are required by Ghost – and of course i need to install Ghost itself, which is under heavy development, changing a lot and doesn’t have gigantic community like WordPress that consists of millions of individuals who happily answer even the most arcane WordPress setup question or possibly already created a tutorial covering your question before you even asked it. To summarize the self-hosting Ghost experience: it was a self-ghosting experience.

So, why am i writing this? Why am i so crazy about running my blog in a subdirectory? Why ain’t i happy with running my blog on a subdomain, which is relatively easy to do with blogger.com, medium.com and other managed blogging platforms. Why is a URL like

  • blogger.mcgrinsey.com
  • medium.mcgrinsey.com
  • typed.mcgrinsey.com
  • ghost.mcgrinsey.com

or simply

  • blog.mcgrinsey.com

not good enough for me?

Am i so special?

No, i’m just following common sense and way more importantly the laws of SEO. The laws of SEO state that each and every piece of content that you ever create should take up permanent residence in a subdirectory of your domain, and never rot away on a subdomain. Why is that so? Because every link that anybody might point from their website to your website counts as a signal to the holy Google search engine and influences your ranking in the Google search results. SEO guys call these links “Backlinks”, because they are pointing from somewhere in the vast ocean of the interwebs back to your website. Backlinks are SEO gold. Even if search engine technology is evolving every day – at time of writing aka on 2016-03-11 18:06 cet no search engine in the world can rank websites by topic relevance without taking the backlink profile of that website into account. Long story short: backlinks to blog posts in subdirectories help your domain to rank better. Hosting a blog in a subdirectory is the only setup that makes sense from an SEO and content marketing perspective. Period.

Fast forward: here i am, happily blogging away on a self-hosted WordPress installation.

Blog Platform Shootout 2016 comparison spreadsheet on Google Sheets.

To be continued… …NOT.

I simply have to admit it: it’s not doable to generate the ultimate blog platform shootout for me, at least not now. The simple answer is: use whatever gets you up and running fastest, even if you have to ditch on some SEO bonus by running a blog in your subdirectory. For me that single fact was a no go area, my personal border patrol yelling at the moon “I want my blog on my domain in my subdirectory.” That’s where i drew my line. I know that there might be a technical workaround to host any external URL in my subdirectory via a decent reverse proxy setup, but i simply don’t have the time to learn that right now. So, taking into account my own line in the sand plus time constraints i came to the point where i had to make a decision. Which was a self-hosted WordPress in my case. Does the job for now.

What did i learn?

I shouldn’t seek perfection, but prefer a solution that works right NOW.

I need to know what i want and where i draw the line.

Can we shorten that?

  • What do i want?
  • I know where i draw the line.
  • How can i get it fast?
  • I don’t need perfection.


  • Wants.
  • Go fast.
  • No perfection.

Damn, that’s actually quite close to the Zuckerberg meme: “Move fast and break things.”


  • I know what i want. It needs to work. And i need it fast. I’m trading time for quality. It needs to be good enough to meet my requirement threshold.


  • I need a solution: as simple as necessary, but not simpler.


As simple as necessary.


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