Pretty much as soon as most people figure out what a private blog network is, the next step is to a) decide it’s not worth their time or b) understand the power of PBNs and start looking for a CMS to power their network.
The best CMS for a private blog network is WordPress. There is a case to be made that a custom CMS can be just as good as WordPress but even if you have the skills to implement such a solution, using WordPress is often more cost-effective.
There are two main reasons why we stand by WordPress as the best CMS to build a PBN on – simplicity and widespread use. And, it goes without saying, WordPress makes a great choice because it is open source and free.
WordPress is Simple
When you’re trying to manage hundreds of domains, and each of them needs to look as dissimilar to the next as possible, you’re going to need a simple CMS solution. And that’s exactly what WordPress is.
WordPress got its start as a CMS for blogging and was built to give the average internet user a way to set up a working blog quickly. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve even set up a WordPress site in the past.
But, as simple as it is, WordPress still provides the degree of flexibility and customization that you’ll need when managing a PBN.
WordPress is Widespread
The other reason why WP is such a good choice for PBNs is how common it is. Depending on whose stats you want to believe, between 20% and 40% of all sites use WordPress as their CMS.
That’s extremely important because the last thing you want from a CMS is for it to make your PBN sites stand out. In other words, WordPress won’t be a footprint for your PBN.
Because it is so widespread, it’s the CMS that attracts the most developers and site builders as well. That means there are thousands (upon thousands) of themes to choose from to make every one of your PBN sites look unique and avoid a generic appearance across your network.
Other CMS Options for a PBN
While WordPress is likely your best choice, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one.
There are many content management systems out there to choose from and most can be used to power some part of your PBN. If you want to be exceedingly cautious, you could consider the use of multiple CMSs as a form of hedging against detection for your PBN.
If that’s the case, use the same principles from the previous section to select another CMS for your PBN – simplicity and widespread use.
Joomla is a decent option for a PBN management system. It has been around for a long time, it’s fairly widespread and has a very active community. Throwing in a few Joomla sites into a WordPress PBN could be a good idea.
Another option that is gaining popularity for PBNs is Ghost. It’s much newer and much less widespread than the other options mentioned here but offers a relatively minimalist content management approach.
If you want to create a small PBN with only a handful of sites, you may want to consider Ghost.
What Are PBNs?
Private blog networks (PBNs) are a method of building backlinks to your site. A PBN is a group of websites controlled by the same person or organization. These are usually made up of expired domains that have good “link juice.” Link juice is the power a website passes on to another website when it links to it.
PBNs can be an effective way to build links because they can give you control over the anchor text and target site. However, PBNs can also be risky because Google has recently cracked down on them.
At this point, it’s generally accepted that a PBN is needed to rank highly for some very competitive terms. The top players in most niches have such a huge head start that it’s almost impossible to catch up.
WordPress is a good choice if you need a CMS that’s easy to use and provides a variety of features. It’s the CMS that we use at Easy Blog Networks for PBN hosting and it has proven to be an excellent solution for many years. If you want something a little different, try to stick to commonly used CMSs since you’ll find it easier to get support for those when you need it. And, if you’re very confident, a custom solution for a static-site PBN is a good (if labor-intensive) choice.