Top 7 Best Blogging Platforms to Launch Your Blog
Picking the right blogging platform from a large number of options can be hard for those who are just getting started with blogging. It’s easy to get confused with all not-so-different blogging platforms available in the market. So how do you choose a platform that feels like it suits all your blogging needs?
We are here to help you with that!
In this article, we’ll go over the seven best blogging platforms, compare them side-by-side, and have an in-depth look into their pros and cons to help you pick the right platform for you.
Following are the top blogging platforms we’ll be comparing in this article. To read directly about a specific platform, click on it to jump to that part of the article.
2. What to look for in a blogging platform?
Before we dive in and pick a blogging platform, there are some points to consider:
Firstly, it is important to examine your purpose of creating a blog. You should understand why you need to create a blog.
Once you figure out your blogging purpose, you’ll need to consider another important factor, i.e., ease of use. If the interface is not simple and convenient to use, then you’ll have to hire a developer or spend your own time to understand how things are getting done.
You should keep your blogging future in mind while choosing a platform for you. The blogging platform should be flexible enough that allows changes in design and functionality. It is important for you to choose such a platform that gives your room to grow.
Before getting started with a platform, it is critical to do your research and find the right platform. You should carefully choose a platform that suits your needs as switching would become very difficult later.
Finally, if you have any plan to make money blogging in the future, you should make a smart choice by double-checking a platform that provides you an option to do so.
Keeping all these things in focus, let’s begin the comparison between best blogging platforms for beginners.
3. Top 7 Best Blogging Platforms
Also called self-hosted WordPress, WordPress.org is the most popular blogging platform that has now transformed into a full-fledged content management system. At this time, more than 32% of all the websites online uses WordPress.
WordPress.org is an open source WordPress software with which you can create eCommerce stores, social networks, blogs, membership sites, forums, business websites, etc. in a matter of minutes.
To get started with WordPress.org, you need to have your own web hosting and domain name, and then install WordPress on your web host. If you want to take total control over your site and add advanced functionality to it, then WordPress.org is your best bet.
- With WordPress.org, you get full control over your site/ blog and the way it looks and performs.
- You can monetize your site by adding extra features like paid memberships, eCommerce stores, forums, etc.
- Currently, there are over 5000 free WordPress themes available that you can use to change the look and functionality of your website.
- More than 50,000 free WordPress plugins are available that can be used to extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress site like stores, galleries, contact forms, etc.
- org has made SEO pain-free. You can create SEO friendly URLs that are easily readable by both search engines and humans, using a good number of powerful SEO plugins for advanced functionality.
- Managing and hosting your site on a third-party server may require some technical expertise.
- You will need to have a budget for the domain name and web hosting.
- You will be responsible for your site maintenance, security, and backup.
Keeping the combined cost of the domain name and hosting in focus, different blogging platforms offer free domain name and discount on web hosting to their users who want to start a website.
Founded in 2006, Wix is a user-friendly drag and drop builder that lets you create every kind of website like online store, blog, business website, etc. It is an ideal platform for small businesses where business owners can use hundreds of beautiful templates to create their websites without any knowledge of web technologies.
Over 110 million people worldwide are using this platform to build their working blog within minutes. Wix.com also lets you integrate a blog into your site by using the Wix Blog app.
- Easy-to-use setup and no technical expertise needed.
- With Wix, you can create a website the way you want with drag and drop builder.
- Over 500 design templates are available for endless customization.
- You can create a mobile-optimized site with this platform.
- It supports third-party integration.
- The free account is limited in terms of functionality and displays Wix-branded ads.
- eCommerce tools are not very advanced.
- Limited third-party integrations are available.
- Limited bandwidth and blog customization capabilities.
- No option to change the already chosen template.
The basic Wix plan is free. By default, you’ll get a Wix subdomain like https://username.wixsite.com/example. You can also add a custom domain that you own for $4.5/month. The premium plans start at $8.5/month and move up to $24.5/month.
The hosted version of WordPress, WordPress.com is a blog publishing platform created by Matt Mullenweg and his firm Automatic in 2005.
WordPress.com is a free platform for creating blogs and websites with WordPress. However, you can upgrade your subscription with options like additional storage, custom domain name, and many more.
This simplified version of self-hosted WordPress is a nice blogging option for those who want to start a blog without investing money and don’t want to experiment with the site’s custom features.
- No setup costs required
- Simple to use; No technical skills required
- Free blog hosting platform; Sample free website name looks like https://example.wordpress.com.
- The basic free plan comes with limited features and functionality.
- No custom plugins and themes for blog customization.
- You can’t control the type of ads that appear on your website.
- You can’t monetize your blog or website with affiliate marketing.
- Technically, you don’t own your blog, and WordPress.com can suspend your account at any time if they find your actions violate their rules.
WordPress.com is free with options to update plans. If your site is not for commercial use, then you can choose the Personal Plan for $48 a year. With this plan, you can remove the WordPress.com logo and advertising from your website and get a custom domain like www.yoursite.com. But if you are looking to monetize your blog, you can try the Premium Plan for $96/year.
For unlimited storage and additional features, WordPress.com has the Business Plan for which you’ll need to pay $300/year.
Newbies often get confused between WordPress.com and WordPress.org because of their similar names. They expect powerful features from the hosted version, and after experiencing limitations, their frustration makes them switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org who want ultimate control over their site.
Blogger is a Google-owned blog publishing platform that lets you create a new blog without spending a dime. It is intended for beginners with no technical skills to get started without much hassle.
Founded in 1999, Blogger is one of the oldest blogging sites that were launched by Pyra Labs. By 2003, Google acquired Blogger and made it a lot more reliable.
To get started, you need to go to Blogger and log in with your Google account.
- Easy setup and requires no money to start a blog.
- Simple to use and manage.
- No installation issues as it is hosted by Google.
- Blogger has an added advantage of Google’s robust, secure platform.
- The custom domain can be used without paying any subscription fee to Blogger.
- You can monetize your blog with Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, etc.
- Limited customization; you can add advanced functionalities to your blog.
- You are not allowed to create your own layout.
- It’s quite challenging to migrate to a new blogging platform.
- Blogger is not updated frequently and doesn’t get new features.
- Google has full rights to shut down the platform or block you from accessing your blog. Like Feed Burner, Blogger maintains a history of abandoning projects without warning.
Many users enter the blogging world with Blogger as it is free, but they end up migrating from Blogger to WordPress to have more control and features over their blog.
Blogger is a completely free blogging platform with a Blogger subdomain such as https://example.blogspot.com. You need to buy the custom domain from a third-party domain registrar.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that lets you share things on the web including micro-blogs, pictures, videos, quotes, animated GIFs, etc. Other than blogging, Tumblr is a social networking platform where people can follow other blogs, use built-in sharing tools, and much more. It is a perfect platform to share your own content and re-blog other’s content.
- If you are using a free Tumblr account, then your subdomain will be like https://example.tumblr.com. However, you can pay for your own domain.
- Free and simple to use
- Social media Integration
- Unlike other social media platforms, Tumblr gives you customization options for your page.
- A huge amount of content is available to be shared like videos, GIFs, images, quotes, and audio files.
- As compared to other blogging platforms, Tumblr has a limited set of features.
- There is an extensive collection of Tumblr themes available, but you have no control over formatting.
- There is no option for monetization.
- No extensions or plugins
- Moving your site/ blog to a new platform can be really difficult.
Tumblr is a free micro-blogging platform. You have a choice of using a custom domain name for your Tumblr blog. Plus, third-party apps and themes are available to purchase.
Launched in 2004, Squarespace is one of the best website builder solutions which you can use to create stunning websites through drag and drop technique. It helps millions of business owners to build their own sites and showcase their work in an effective way without any technical skills.
- Easy to use for beginners with no coding knowledge.
- Clean and modern interface
- Extensive collection of beautiful templates is available.
- Squarespace comes with a free trial.
- Exclusive domain names are offered with online stores and SSL/ HTTPs.
- As compared to alternatives, Squarespace can get expensive over time.
- No third-party themes or apps are allowed.
- Limited features and functionality
If your site is not for commercial use, you can try their Personal plan starting at $12/month with which you can create unlimited pages with unlimited storage and bandwidth.
To add an eCommerce storefront to your site, you can go for the Business Plan starting at $18/month. You can upgrade to the Basic Online Store plan that costs you $26/month to avoid the transaction fee on your store.
Those users who find Squarespace pricey usually end up moving to WordPress and get advanced features on their sites.
Joomla is a free and open source CMS that allows you to build powerful online applications. As it is a self-hosted solution, you’ll need to purchase a domain name and web hosting to start running a Joomla-powered site.
While it is not as developer-oriented as Drupal, Joomla has more complex site development options than WordPress.
Currently powering more than 2 million websites in 68 different languages, Joomla is the best platform when it comes to online stores and social networks.
- Joomla is an open source platform which allows you to modify code without worrying about licensing fees.
- Several design templates are available for site customization.
- The learning curve is fairly low with Joomla.
- Joomla site is easier to edit and maintain.
- It limits the compatibility issues by using PHP scripting.
- Plenty of eCommerce extensions are available with which you can integrate a storefront into your site.
- Joomla’s marketplace is not as extensive as some other popular blogging platforms.
- Limited support options
- Combability issues occur when you simultaneously install multiple plugins and modules.
- You need to manage your backups and security on your own.
- Because of its complex structure, it is difficult to incorporate your own custom design for non-developers.
Joomla is available for free. For a domain, you’ll need to pay $14.99 annually, and hosting starts at $7.99/month. But if you are a user of Bluehost, then you’ll need to pay $3.95 monthly to get started, and a free domain will be provided.
4. Best Blogging Platform – Our Pick
If you are a serious blogger, then we strongly recommend you to use the self-hosted version of WordPress. WordPress.org is strong, simple-to-use, secures, SEO-friendly, and has become the world’s most used website builder.