For each compared platform, you will find the result of the following tests:
- Mp3 posting
- Video posting
- Menu's possibilities
- General comments
The featured pictures will drive you to the beta blog I prepared on the platform (when it was possible, as you will read some platform were actually not free). You will be able to view the result of a beginner user in 30 - 60 min configuration
For some very popular platforms I provide some complementary information. You can access this piece of information by clicking on our monkey friend who guides the most curious of you.
Please note that this is a survey done in 2 days. At that moment I was a beginner as a user of that kind of platform (although I had 5 years experience on blogorama_musicblog). It is possible that I mention some gaps for which there was a solution that I missed. Feel free to comment if you have another opinion. Consider that the solution/ customization was not present or at least not straight forward.
As Is platform problems
In the AS IS situation, I had some major problems:
- above all, the speed was totally not acceptable
- one of the reasons of the low speed is the wild use of advertisements on this blog
- sometimes the site is not available for a couple of days
- design is from years ago. No large offering
- no support at all
- not possible to export
For your info, here is the the link to my ex-musicblog.
MP3 upload: max 2mb . This is really not enough for the (short !) pieces of music I have to upload
Video's: link to YouTube is limited to ... a link, as you can see on the picture (post "Quel chemin parcouru"). I mean there is no picture back from YouTube to click on "play" on the picture straight in your blog
Menu's: are generated based on the categories and subcategories. This is in line with our requirements
General comments: On the plus's, I would mention that this platform proposes lot's of themes.
On the min's: Much less userfriendly than WordPress or Eklablog.
Conclusion: Eliminated due to max size of file upload in free package
Remark : If you pay for the Premium (99$/Y), you can get 10 Gb storage space for your media files, premium themes, get rid of adds, more customisation, and have your own domain in the URL
Link to my beta blog.com
This is the blog solution offered by Google. Given the importance of the supplier, I invite the most curious to click on our monkey
MP3 upload: Not possible
Video's: Very nice interface to import straight from youtube
Menu's: Never managed to create menu's. I begin to wonder if I'm not old fashioned with my menu's ?
General comments: If you look carefully at the URL of my beta site, you will notice that the domain is not blogger.com but blogspot.com. This is not an error. I'm not mixing both. For those who want to understand the difference, click on our monkey friend
Conclusion: with no possibility to upload MP3 file, this blog is not an option for my piano blog
Link to my beta blogspot.com
I really enjoyed exploring this platform as it is EASY
MP3 and video's uploads were just piece of cake.
Menu's . It seems the theme I selected for the design ("Optica") does not provide a menu. I tried to look for another theme, but the choice is rather limited in the free themes. Some of them do have menu's but they seem not to be deductible from the posts categories.
General comments: Even in the premium plan description, I could not find anything in line with my remaining requirements
Conclusion: I consider the gap on menu's as a blocking issue to retain this blog on my short list
Link to my beautiful beta tumblr.com
MP3 upload: I managed to upload 2 files but I was not able to play my 2nd upload. What strange
Video's : ok
Menu's: I could very easily build a 2-levels menu, but the posts are exclusively published in the page "blog" and not in the pages which (I wrongly thought) refer to their category. User needs the category widget on the side bar to surf on the categories
General comments : Nice video tutorial and excellent wizard called "Successful website checklist". This checklist could be applicable for any blog (platform)
Webs.com is more website than blog. The builder function is similar to some page builders of WordPress. But the blog functionality is just one page of your site.
Max picture size much too small on home page
Conclusion: this platform is really to be considered for those who want to do a regular web site. But it is not totally in line with my requirements : doubt on the MP3 capacity and no integration between the menu and the post categories
Link to my beta webs.com blog
MP3 upload: not available in free version
Video: link to youtube ok, but upload of HD video in not possible in free version
Menu's: Just like in webs.com, the posts are published in the page "blog". I could create some categories but never found how to edit a published post to update its category :((. Also, like in webs.com, I did not see any integration between categories and menu items
General comments: This is again a general platform to build a website, even including e-commerce
There are some beautiful themes in this platform, but the site builder possibilities seem to me more limited and less user friendly than webs.com
Conclusion: I stopped testing because MP3 upload is only for non-free plans. Also, the site builder is much less user friendly than webs.com. Alhough it is is my mother tongue (French), I had some hard time finding my way in this tool
Link to my beta weebly.com blog
MP3 upload: not possible in standard although Wix has a special theme for musicians :((. After three weeks experience in WordPress, I came back to Wix to challenge myself on this gap. I finally managed to add a plugin to upload an MP3 on a page. But I am still not able to upload such a file on the posts.
Video's : link to you tube ok
Menu's: Building a menu with sub-menu is really easy, also because Wix guides you with a wizard to help you. However, there is no link between categories and menu's that I found. Categories are by the way are new feature on Wix
General comments: The user interface is a real pleasure. It is beautiful, peace full and so logical that you find your way easily
Conclusion: No Mp3 in the post is a blocking gap for me, too bad ...
Link to my beta wix.com blog
MP3 upload: ok
Video's : ok
Menu's : the standard way to work with Eklablog is to navigate via the categories on the side bar. The platform guides you to do so. You can optionally reproduce this list of category in an (additional) header menu, as I did for the purpose of the test. It ends up in a not so beautiful header menu. In any cases I was not able to have sub categories, unfortunately
General comments: Most of my musicians friends, students of Mr Colin are on this platform. They are all French speakers. And all of them are happy with this platform.
Themes seem a bit on the weaker side to my opinion . Limited offer of themes and old fashioned style.
I'm afraid the user interface exists only in French
Conclusion: The absence of levels categories is a minor gap, but it is a gap... I consider this platform good enough to be on the short list of someone who would be a musician, French speaker , and does not want to spend too much time on design. I am a bit more ambitious, so I decided not to adopt Eklablog
Link to my beta eklablog.com
(hosted by WordPress)
MP3 upload: not possible as it is not possible to add plugins in the free cloud version
Menu's: In the theme I chose (Ecto) I was able to have collapsing menu with 2-levels as I mentioned in my requirements . Posts are integrated automatically in the menu item they belong to.
General comments: Although WP can do much more than a blog (an extensive website), it provides extensive functions for bloggers.
I will also give more general arguments in favor of wordpress in my conclusions
Conclusion: Although WP.com offers a nice user interface and many features, the gap of MP3 is blocking for my piano blog
Link to my beta wordpress.com blog
(application locally installed and website hosted by your own provider)
MP3: not possible when just unpacked. There a plenty of plugins to add this feature on your post template. As a result I could easily upload my 170 musics for the ears of my fellow students of Mr Colin
Video's : ok
General comments: This is the Roll's Royce of the website and blog platforms. Even if you want to avoid learning php, like me, you can find thousands of solutions to your wishes in the themes and plugins. You understand quite fast the user interface.
Conclusion: I adopted WordPress because it fits all my requirements. And I adopted it for the present HRIS blog as well. Read more details in my conclusion
Link to my final blog about piano
I do not have any beta site to show you as I did not build anything on that platform. This solution seems to be designed for personal diaries . This much too restrictive for my requirements
The picture at the right side will redirect you to the home page of the free version of Penzu.com
Squarespace.com & Svbtle.com
I could not test those two platforms as I could not find any free version
I noticed that the design of squarespace is exceptionally beautiful. It seems to have an extensive e-commerce platform as well. It is probably worth the investment if you are looking for a site for business purposes. Picture on the left-hand side is from that platform home page.