The Technorati Top 100 consists of the internet’s 100 most popular blogs as measured, of course, by Technorati. The blogs on the Top 100 list cover topics from technology to politics to celebrities.

But while the topics covered by the internet’s most popular blogs may be diverse, the software that is used to run them isn’t.

According to an interesting analysis by Royal Pingdom, a handful of software platforms power most of the Technorati Top 100.

The overview:

Self-Hosted Blogs

  • WordPress: 27.
  • Movable Type: 12.
  • Custom platform: 8.
  • Drupal: 4.

Third-Party Hosted Blogs

  • Typepad: 16.
  • Blogsmith (AOL/Weblogs): 14.
  • WordPress.com: 5.
  • Blogger: 3.

All told, while the majority of the blogs in the Technorati Top 100 self-host, over a third do use a third party hosting service. As Royal Pingdom points out, WordPress and Movable Type dominate when you look at both categories:If you combine the hosted and self-hosted versions of WordPress and Movable Type (i.e. include WordPress.com and Typepad as well), they dominate, claiming 60 of the top 100 blogs.

Interesting, but probably not surprisingly, is the fact that several blog networks own quite a few of the Technorati 100. AOL’s Weblogs owns 14 Top 100 blogs, Wired owns 9 and Gawker Media owns 8.

Also interesting: of the blogs using WordPress, very few have upgraded to WordPress 2.7, which we have called “awesome.

For individuals and companies looking at blogging, Royal Pingdom’s breakdown is useful in evaluating options as the numbers give some indication of what the market believes are the best options. Here is some additional information that can be useful when considering a blogging strategy.

To Self-Host or Not?

Should you host your blog yourself or using a hosting service?

The most significant advantage of self-hosting is the control it provides. When it comes to maintaining a high level of flexibility over your blog in terms of customization and scalability, there’s no substitute to hosting your blog in-house.

The downside of self-hosting is that it requires resources to maintain and expand. If you don’t have a resident techie, for instance, upgrading and scaling can be problematic or costly affairs. By outsourcing hosting, many of these problems can be eliminated.

The Software

The publicly-available software used by Technorati 100 Blogs is commercially viable and mature. None is perfect but it’s unlikely you’re going to run into major inherent flaws with any of them. Each is different, however, and here are some of the selling points for each.

WordPress (Free)

  • Feature-rich.
  • Wide availability of free and paid design themes and plug-ins.
  • A huge developer community.
  • Great spam filtering with WordPress’ Akisimet spam filtering system.
  • Open-source.

Movable Type (Free and Paid)

  • Feature-rich.
  • Social networking features, such as profiles.
  • Great support.
  • Can be used to run multiple blogs with a single installation right out of the box.
  • Open-source license for developers and free to individuals and sole proprietors.

Drupal (Free)

  • A full content management platform that can be used for much more than blogging.
  • A robust framework for adding new functionality.

Typepad (Paid)

  • Fully-hosted.
  • Design themes library.
  • Control over advertising.
  • Mobile posting functionality.
  • Professional support.

WordPress.com (Free with Paid Options)

  • A hosted version of WordPress.
  • Pre-built themes and widgets.
  • Integrated stats/analytics.
  • Support for over 50 languages.
  • Availability of paid add-ons.

Blogger (Free)

  • Fully-hosted with free hosting of your own domain name.
  • Simple interface.
  • Basic design customization.
  • Mobile posting functionality.

Summary

There are a number of great software options for starting up a blog that are widely used by most of the internet’s most popular blogs. Most of the software is robust and mature; much of the decision comes down to personal preference. Self-hosting is an ideal option for those with technical resources but professional third-party hosting options are available to take away some of the headaches of self-hosting for those who aren’t techies.