Which Blog Platform is Right for Your Business?

Creating strong, shareable content can be a challenging task, especially when the online competition is fierce.One of the best ways to get your content shared is with a good blog, but with an estimated 150 million blogs online, it’s pretty tough to capture traffic.

The two biggest platforms for blogging are Tumblr and WordPress. These are both reputable blog platforms, each with their own unique interface. Since each of these platforms caters to a different type of audience, it’s important to choose the one that best meets your overall goal.

Obviously you want your content to reach your specific audience, so how do you choose? We used SimilarWeb to explore both platforms and help you choose the right one for your business.


Who Wins the Traffic War?

Both platforms combined generate over 1.5 billion desktop visits each month, so it’s no surprise that Tumblr and WordPress are the go-to choice for most bloggers and content marketers.

Over the past 6 months site traffic between Tumblr and WordPress has been very close, but Tumblr has edged ahead due to a slight dominance MoM.  So Tumblr is the most popular right now, but is it right for everyone?

Visits to Tumblr and WordPress between Jun '14 - Nov '14 by SimilarWeb PRO

Visits to Tumblr and WordPress between Jun ’14 – Nov ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

How We Blog Across the Globe

First, let’s take a look at how each platform is performing globally. This is interesting as it relates to how people in different regions prefer their content “served.” WordPress is the more established platform and is more content driven; Tumblr is newer with a stronger image-based focus.

Looking at the top 20 countries sending traffic to the two platforms we can see that Tumblr is dominant in North America. However, WordPress prevails in the huge South American market and also in South East Asia. In Europe, competition between the two is pretty fierce, but  ultimately WordPress wins the popularity contest.

Could this mean that Tumblr just hasn’t yet made an impact on the European and Asian markets, or is it simply that the American attention span is much shorter, so readers rely on a more image-heavy blog for content? We’ll let you draw your own conclusions on this one.


Top 20 countries sending traffic to Tumblr and WordPress between Jun ’14 – Nov ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

Which Sources Are Generating The Traffic?

Another key factor in deciding which blog platform works best for you: traffic sources.

We can see from SimilarWeb’s engagement metrics that Tumblr and WordPress both use very different channels to drive traffic.

WordPress is superior in terms of search traffic, so this illustrates that WordPress bloggers favor strong SEO campaigns. Tumblr, on the other hand receives very little search traffic, largely because their users prefer multimedia posts over written content. In this case, the pen is not mightier than the sword….images are.

Tumblr’s brand is stronger as their direct traffic is more than double that of WordPress. This can be partly attributed to Tumblr’s image-laden blog content – content with images gets shared quite a bit more, which obviously boosts a blog’s popularity. When numerous blogs from the same platform receive enough shares and comments, brand recognition increases, as does direct site traffic.


Traffic sources for Tumblr and WordPress between Jun ’14 – Nov ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO


Tumblr is also considered a social networking site, and they clearly command  the social scene by grabbing referral traffic from the top 10 social networks. This sense of community amongst Tumblr users also bodes well for the blog on social networks, as widely shared content is also more likely to go viral.


Top 10 referring social pages to Tumblr and WordPress between Jun ’14 – Nov ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO


The effect of community is also reflected in Tumblr’s engagement levels, where users will share content and carve out a path for others to travel across the network. On WordPress there is less linking between WordPress blogs, so engagement levels are noticeably lower.

Engagement levels for Tumblr and WordPress between Jun '14 - Nov '14 by SimilarWeb PRO

Engagement levels for Tumblr and WordPress between Jun ’14 – Nov ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

Tumblr also dominates referral traffic by taking the majority of traffic from 7 out of the top 10 referring sites. These include massively popular sites such as Feedly, Buzzfeed and Twitch. Tumblr, then, is a great platform to get people talking about your content. This is particularly important if you’re trying to market a product or even your work.


Both platforms offer AdSense support, and monetizing your blog can be highly profitable regardless of whether you choose WordPress or Tumblr.


The Right Home for the Right Blog

According to our data, Tumblr is the dominant blog in terms of traffic and provides the best chance of referrals and social traffic. In North America especially, Tumblr seems to be the blog platform of choice.

Before you rush to close your WordPress account, remember that Tumblr is better for short bursts of quality content that  relies heavily on images. It’s great for audiences with short attention spans, such as consumers (or teenagers, for that matter:) It’s also a good platform for people who work in industries where the visual element is a key part of their business, such as restaurants, arts, product marketing and entertainment.

For highly-detailed written content, WordPress still offers the best platform. It’s the blog of choice for writers, news and media organizations, critics, marketers, and industry professionals looking to give insights or advice. On WordPress, images are important but written content really is king. Since WordPress is more textual than Tumblr, it is a very powerful tool for SEO. As we’ve also seen from the data, certain regions of the world WordPress continues to reign.

Before you choose either platform, make sure you really know your audience; then you’ll have a better idea of which blog “home” will be the best fit for you.

About the Author -

Lauren Meir is a writer and the Creative Content Manager at SimilarWeb. Her expertise lies in content marketing and creative branding. She has experience writing for a variety of industries including the art world and online gaming, and her work has appeared in publications such as the Huffington Post, Provokator and the Detroit Jewish News.

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