WordPress is the most popular blog platform for a while now and thus the main target of hackers just due to this fact. Also vulnerabilities pop up so often that you just can’t keep up with the hackers. Recently one of the many WordPress Blogs I look after got hacked again by an “online pharmacy”. Of course I’m not the only one. It was the second hack with 3 months of this WordPress blog.
This time the hackers (or more aptly crackers) even blocked my access to the WordPress admin so that it took really hours of work to get it clean and running again. Ironically this blog was the one I kept up to date quite diligently, uploading a new WordPress version as often as I could. Sadly you have to do it almost weekly, yes there are plugins now to do that, but nonetheless you have to take a look what changed (sometimes a major overhaul of the admin interface) and whether your plugins still work etc.
In short: It’s work and it’s tedious and it’s annoying but most of all, it’s dangerous!
So I really can’t recommend WordPress blogs to clients anymore unless you know they’d be able to do all that upgrading and fixing.
In case you need a reliable, easy to look after and secure blog platform for corporate or business blogging and if you want to host it yourself (still the best option for SEO etc.) you need a WordPress alternative.
I watch the blogosphere since 2001 and contribute since 2003 so I’ve seen plenty of blog platforms. There are at least 7 great self hosted blog platforms that are good WordPress alternatives: All of them offer clean URLs, semantic markup (h1, h2 etc.) and similar SEO basics.
- MovableType: One of the most popular blog platforms. It has been bigger than WordPress a few years ago but it wasn’t Open Source and you had to pay for it so it lost market share. Now MT has open sourced and it is marketed aggressively as the secure alternative to WordPress. It certainly is more secure and has less upgrades to be performed. MovableType had some major spam problems traditionally, this might be a drawback though. Akismet on WordPress manages spam almost perfectly by now.
- Serendipity/S9Y: S9Y was the upstarter when it comes to blog platforms. It’s relatively new as it hasn’t been around in the early day of blogging but has a growing community. Some people in the SEO industry use Serendipity so I’d be glad to hear their opinion.
- Drupal: Drupal is more than a blog platform but you can set a blog with it comfortably. Also it has been hailed as SEO friendly for ages. Some pretty large sites that are not blogs use Drupal too and to be honest I’ve hear of any problems with Drupal.
- B2Evolution: This blog platform has been around for ages but never got really popular. It may be name or the lack of character, B2Evolution even attempts to mimic WordPress looks by using the Kubrick theme, but this might be as well an advantage. anyways, just the fact that it’s around as well as “alive and kicking” for a such long time makes it a viable alternative.
- Textpattern: Back when I started blogging it was an easy decision, WordPress o Textpattern. It was a choice like PC vs Mac, the more design oriented bloggers have chosen Textpattern. The community seems a little dormant by now but Textpattern is still a good choice it seems to me. Also there seem to be quite a lot of plugins for SEO.
- Mephisto: This is a comparably unknown blog platform but if you look at the code, screenshots and and WordPress-like URLs it looks very promising. Sadly due to lack of funding and only two developers working on it Mephisto is stuck at Version 0.8
- Typo: In version 5.1 Typo introduced many of the features we’re accustomed to from WordPress or MovableType. Now it seems to be a really good alternative. Like Mephisto the URL structure follows WordPress defaults and the markup looks great.
In case you want to build a blog on a more stable and less insecure and hackable platform than WordPress try one of the alternatives above. Of course I haven’t tried all of them so I’d like to hear some feedback from you:
- What are the drawbacks and advantages of your blog platform?
- Why is is good for SEO or why not?
- What do you miss or why did you dump WordPress or another blog CMS in favor of it?