WordPress has become synonymous with blogging.
Over the years, this blogging platform has provided people the opportunity to create their own little online space where they can write whatever’s on their minds. This activity has spread onto others like wildfire, as hundreds and thousands of users have registered for a WordPress account to do the same.
Seeing how effective blogging is, businesses tried their hands at it, producing blog posts catered to their target audience with the purpose of gaining leads and customers.
Along the way, however, WordPress just stopped becoming a blog. In fact, it started to become even more than just a blog, if not better.
People see WordPress now as a robust content management system (CMS) allowing them to create beautiful websites (from business landing pages to personal blogs) that cater to their need. Due to its accessible support and documentation, WordPress can easily be customized to achieve the look and feel you want for their websites. Also, the wealth of downloadable plugins and themes allow people to supercharge their sites or blogs and provide their visitors with a unique experience.
With the changes in WordPress lie the fundamental problem: the emphasis is no longer on the content.
This is what the new wave of minimalist blogging platforms wishes to take back.
Sites like Medium, Ghost, and Svbtle, among other blogs, hark back to the old days when blogging was all about publishing content-rich posts without disruptive elements popping up from your screens like ads or opt-in forms. These also enforce users to tell a story and communicate ideas and thoughts into well-placed words. No plugins and themes to choose from and install.
The depiction of minimalist blogging platforms above may sound problematic, since most websites are going big and “supercharged” with bells and whistles to produce the desired effect. But there is something elegant and sophisticated in simplicity, which is what these platforms aim for.
The bare to the bones appearance of the blogs is the allure. Due to the limited customization options offered in these platforms, users are instead forced to ramp up with their content efforts in order to stand out from the pack. They won’t have to rely on cheap tricks to get the attention of readers. In other words, they let their content do the talking.
These blogs also connect you to awesome content written by great writers, publishers, and journalist using the same platform. For instance, Medium’s Staff Picks and Top Stories feature some of the best and most interesting content online. You also have the option to follow users whose writing you’ve fallen in love with and subscribe to their posts.
While this feature bears a striking resemblance to WordPress.com’s dashboard (their Reader feature also highlights top content published by WP users), the quality isn’t up to par compared to the ones shown from the blogging platforms. (And with good reason, since most WordPress users go with the CMS version, whose content does not appear in WordPress.com’s Reader).
Don’t get me wrong – minimalist blogging platforms are far from perfect. Since the posts will be hosted on the platform’s servers, you cede some of your rights to the content you publish on these blogs, as per their Terms and Services (this rings true with Medium). They have the option to use your posts in any way they want without your consent. Also, there will come a time when these blogging platforms will attempt monetizing from your feed to feature less-than-stellar content that won’t pique your interests.
But these are problems of tomorrow. For now, minimalist blogging platforms are solutions to today’s online publishing problems, one that involves content not being at the forefront of every website.
More on blogging platforms: