Introducing Over-Blog, the French WordPress

While speaking about X number existing content management systems, we often tend to forget the platform of this formidable blogging software called Over-Blog. Over-Blog is basically the French Word-Press, with an ambition to becoming the European leader.

The company looking after this blogging platform (as well as it’s sister concern, France’s n°1 XXX adult blogging platform) is JFG Networks, a private limited company created by three young entrepreneurs Julien, Frédéric and Gilles from Toulouse in 2004.

Two years later in 2006, France’s no.1 television channel TF1 became the investor of the network, thereby taking 20% share of the company. This worked as a huge boost to the newly formed company, and by 2007 it started to develop partnerships with other big names.

Also, with TF1 as their patron, publicity was no more an issue, and in march 2007, it crossed the barrier of one million visitors a day. At this moment, JFG Networks enjoys more than 10 million unique visitors a month.

Later, 2010 became an important year for JFG Networks, as they merged with Wikio and ebuzzing to develop Wikio group. In the photo above, taken from the blog of Over-Blog’s founder, we see Bertrand (Ebuzzing founder), Frédéric (OverBlog co-founder), Julien (OverBlog co-founder), Laurent (Wikio co-founder), Pierre (Wikio co-founder) and Gilles (OverBlog co-founder).

Difference between overblog and wordpress

A major difference between Over-Blog and WordPress is that unlike WordPress, we can not download Over-Blog to our own server. That means, you can’t host the blog in your server, and hence can not manipulate the code as you wish. Hopefully, for non-coders and general users, this does not cause a problem.

Over-blog has a small number (about 50) of templates, which can be found under the « design » tab of the Administration section. It also gives users a choice to change the CSS. An additional page helps to change background image, and other basic style attributes (font color, etc) through a form. Here is a big difference. WordPress has hundreds, if not thousands of templates to choose from.

Unlike WordPress, however, OverBlog also has an adult arm., just like, is the premier adult blogging software and server in France. Besides, In Over-blog itself, you can choose to publish adult content by unchecking the « Je certifie que mon blog ne présente aucun contenu susceptible de choquer les mineurs » under Configurer > Options globales.

Overblog also had a rule that if you are not updating for 45 days, they will put their advert in the blog (unless you opt for the premium version).

They don’t have wordpress’s plugin section either, so you can’t add functions as you like, and will have to content yourself with built in default blog functions.

Lastly, over-blog has a default advertisement platform, where you can integrate adverts to your blog, and can earn a revenue depending on your traffic. They have a marketing strategy of heavily promoting their advertisement platform, across the admin section, as well as in the front-end footer.