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Wordpress vs Tumblr for Your Dealership Blog

There will be complaints. I can already smell the onslaught of, "what about Blogger" and "Typepad is much more powerful". There will be others that say, "but Tumblr's not really a blogging platform". Let's put all of that to rest quickly...

For business blogs, Wordpress and Tumblr are the best options out there. I'd add "in my humble opinion" but that would detract from the absolute force of my opinion.

Google's Blogger has made some amazing changes recently and I would not argue against it as a decent platform, but it lacks the plugin compatibility of Wordpress and isn't quite as easy to use as Tumblr, so it doesn't fit into this particular argument. We're going to focus on the two extremes - those who want the most powerful and those who want the easiest. Keep in mind, today's blogging platforms are all easy to some extent as well as powerful. The most important criteria is access and comfort. In other words, if you're doing well and posting consistently with Typepad, for example, don't go changing because some guy says Wordpress is more powerful or Tumblr is easier. If it works with you, keep at it.

 

Wordpress is Powerful

For those who want the most gadgets, plugins, and flexibility, Wordpress is the hands down winner for business blogging. It can act as a full-blown content management system for those who know how to use it, or it can stay true to its original calling and act as the premier blogging platform. There are so many themes available and dozens more being created every week. Perhaps most importantly, its PHP base allows it to works seamlessly with modern concepts such as adaptive website design and HTML5.

If your goal is to be a "power blogger" and post regularly, Wordpress is ideal. It isn't hard but there is definitely a learning curve associated with it. One does not simply start blogging out of the gate with Wordpress. Here are some of the benefits of using it, particularly as a self-hosted installation rather than by adding a free blog on Wordpress.com:

  • It has massive collection of plugins. The only bad part is that one must be careful not to install too many as it can slow down the site and bloat the code.

  • With caching, Wordpress is practically indestructible. You could hit the front page of Yahoo with a story and still stay online with a decent host and the stories cached.

  • Google and Bing love the code. Between the instant pings once a post is published to the clean way that the code presents itself to the search engines, those who want to rank with their blog posts must use Wordpress. It ranks better than Blogger, a Google property.

  • Decent access to social media through the right tools makes it one notch below Tumblr when it comes to true social media integration.


 

Tumblr is Easy

Don't get me wrong. Tumblr does have some robust features that allows it to be a strong platform for even the most active power bloggers, but that's not the reason that you use it. It's possible to post as quickly as you can type (or copy and paste in the case of image or video posts). The platform makes it super-easy to instantly format. For example, Wordpress out-of-the-box requires the embed code plugged into the HTML to present a video. You have to know the dimensions of your blog and use the old embed code from YouTube. Tumblr, on the other hand, only needs the URL. It auto-formats it to the right size - no embed code needed.

If you are more concerned about the ability to get content posted easily and quickly and less concerned about whether it's perfectly formatted, Tumblr is the right platform for your business. Here are some of the benefits:

  • A strong built-in community allows for instant visitors to your site through proper tagging.

  • Reblogging makes posting content easier than even posting the unique content. Unlike Wordpress, Tumblr actually encourages reblogging and tracks it for the source.

  • Direct integration with Facebook and Twitter is native to Tumblr; there are Wordpress plugins available, but native is always better for integration.

  • There is nothing wrong with using a subdomain on Tumblr.com. It's just as robust as putting it on your own domain, whereas Wordpress.com is a symbol of weakness.


Again, and I cannot stress this enough, all of the major blogging platforms are powerful and easy. You can do a ton with Tumblr and you can post quickly to Wordpress. It really comes down to preference and what feels right for you. Whatever it takes to get you excited and active as a blogger for your business - that's the right platform with which to go.

Views: 342

Tags: Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Media, Social, Social Media, Tumblr, Typepad, Wordpress

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Comment by J.D. Rucker on November 29, 2012 at 8:56pm

Ralph and Tim, if I had my preference dealers would be allotting the resources to run unique blogs on all of the major platforms. I chose Wordpress and Tumblr because my hope is for dealers to, at the very least, get started with developing a single blog, something that most are not truly doing. Blogger is a great platform and has advantages over the other two, but it loses a bit on social. It's actually better for rankings that Tumblr for sure (and if you've seen it outrank Wordpress as well, Ralph, I believe it's definitely possible) but it is still a tweener - less powerful than Wordpress and not as easy as Tumblr.

Alexander and Justin, you're right. There are so many plugins for Wordpress that give it the status as most robust. I've contemplated the idea of building dealer websites from the CMS itself, but it's simply beyond my and my company's development abilities. PHP is amazing in the hands of masters and a mess in the hands of those who specialize in other formats.

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 27, 2012 at 10:15am

Yoast's is quote good. In fact, he's obviously one of the big players in the WordPress world. You see his names plastered everywhere and at conferences, etc. Like you said, much more powerful, but it takes some time to configure (tried it and deleted it, seemed heavy) and I've found it to be overkill.

Like you've said, quality content is quality content. IMO, Yoast's tool is if you need to hyper configure your SEO settings. There's another article on this site referencing the use of tags (most WP blog systems offer the option of it can be installed easily enough). Tag production through WordPress has helped my SEO.

 

Ex: #8. /tag/pittsburgh-cars/ 1,345 14 00:03:02 194 57.14% 53.85% $0.00 (Metric for the 8th ranking entry point for my blog, data measured via my analytics package)

Comment by Justin Grubb on November 27, 2012 at 9:54am

Alexander, Thanks!  Its an easy analogy for GM's to understand.  I love that plug-in for SEO, by far one of the longest running and most consistent one out there.  Excellent for beginners and has some neat advanced features if you really want to play with it, but in my experience, basic works pretty good if you have quality content.  Ive just recently started playing with a Yoast SEO plug-in and its a lot more advanced than the all-in-one, but so far Im seeing some great results with it on the few sites im testing with.   Not sure if im getting any additional benefit to the added time im spending configuring it, but Im tracking everything (incl config time) and will have some data in the next 30 days or so. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 27, 2012 at 9:50am

Well said Justin, interesting analogy and a good one. Outside of the fact that WordPress forces you to be SEO compliant in many ways. This plugin alone knocks it out of the park: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/

Comment by Justin Grubb on November 27, 2012 at 9:46am

Im a wordpress guy all the way. Have been using it for years and have built more than 600 blogs using wordpress.  For its ease of use, unlimited plug-ins, and huge knowledge-base online, there is almost nothing you cant do with wordpress, and, Its very SEO friendly.   Whenever ive explained it to new clients and they ask if it will do something, I always tell them WP is like your iphone, "there's an app for that". 

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 26, 2012 at 6:39am

Having used WordPress to build a number of full blown websites and automotive retail blogs and having measured their success (evergreen content ranking and conversions), I'm partial to the WordPress platform. As you guys have said, you can run both, but I'd be careful of duplicate content production. Googlebot might not necessarily penalize you for duplicating the content on two separate blog soures. However, it's surely not going to earn you more SEO juice, nor credibility as a content source.

WordPress is obviously a much more robust system (not just a blog but a full blown CMS software platform), highly supported in terms of the open source development community, is easy to use and is highly interactive. Plus, plenty of free and affordable plugins, etc.

To be honest with you, it wouldn't be that hard to produce dealer sites within WordPress, could easily be hacked to do it with inventory installations, API integrations for service and parts tools, etc. One day you'll find a comprehensive theme developed that is flexible enough to fulfill the requirements of the most needy automotive retailer and the bonus, a seamlessly integrated blog. There already a few out there, obviously not going to suffice for OEM controlled stuff.

 

http://wp.contempographicdesign.com/wp_automotive/

List: http://themeforest.net/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&category=wordpress...

 

From an SEO perspective, it's a lot smarter to use a software platform that seamlessly integrates your blog or at the very least within the subdomain of your site http://blog.yourdealership.com.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 24, 2012 at 2:28pm

I have to chime in and agree with Tim Martell... Why chose one or the other? If you are a "personal blogger" I can see focusing on one or the other, but as a business, it seems like resources should be assigned to create, post and optimize content around all the major blogging platforms.  Also, I have seen Blogger emerge as a much stronger SEO platform over the past few years, and at the risk of revealing something I actually do not want my competitors to discover (but know they will, eventually) I have seen the exact same content published onto Wordpress, Tumblr, Ning and Blogger, then the Blogspot.com page appear as the first or second SERP ranked result for a keyword search, while the other platform based identical content did not even show up on the first page.  This includes content published to proprietary Wordpress sites on publisher owned DNS. My own opinion is that Blogger has already emerged as an SEO powerhouse and will continue to get stronger... BTW, the people that argue with me that this is not true are the same people that argued with me when i said Google had already started to filter dealership reviews from appearing... a year ago!

Comment by Timothy Martell on November 24, 2012 at 1:26pm
I feel so unnecessary. JD nailed it with this one. My only comment is why not use both? Wordpress as the primary and a Tumblr (or two) for reblogging? That's what I call power blogging!
Comment by J.D. Rucker on November 24, 2012 at 10:56am

Tagging it is! Mr. Paglia is the master of tagging, but I'll see what I can put together.

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