Do you want to start a blog and not sure, which is the Best Blogging Platform to start with? Well, if your answer is yes, then you have landed at the right place. In this article, I will discuss the Best Blogging Platforms available on the internet and how you can choose best blogging platform to start a blog or website. Most of these platforms are free for basic services and few of them offer paid plans for advanced setup & services like custom domain, theme customization etc.
Well, there are hundreds of blogging platforms available and each of these platforms has its own pros and limitations. Therefore, the selection of Best Blogging Platform out of so many available platforms might be a tedious task if you are a novice.
Before looking into features and limitations of blogging platforms, let’s first break-down the criteria for choosing the best blogging platform.
What you should look for while choosing the right blogging platform for you.
Criteria for Choosing the Best Blogging Platform
Broadly, you should look at following points while choosing the correct blogging platform.
Easy to Setup:
A blogging platform should be easy to set up. It should involve less coding so that any beginner can learn the interface easily and work on it efficiently. If you have got coding skills then you certainly have an edge for blog customization and tweaking.
Flexibility to Grow:
The blogging platform should not restrict the scope of expansion. Consider a scenario, the blog you started become really popular and start getting thousands of visitors, and you want to take it to pro level. That’ll possible only if your blog is on such a platform which allows scaling.
For instance, most of the free blogging platforms have their own Content Policy. And any point of time if they feel that your blog is not fulfilling any of their policy clauses, they can wipe out your content or in some cases, and they can even delete your whole blog. I know that’s sound tragic but it has happened to people in past. That’s why people who are serious about starting a blog or website prefer a self-hosted blog over a free one.
A blogging platform should have a good community of users (a community in the form of forums, tutorial blogs etc.) so that you can easily get answers to your queries.
If you are new to blogging, the cost of running a blog may be important for you. But the cost is related to the purpose of your blog. If you want your blog to pay you off, then you have to nurture it first, right. On the other side, if you want to start a personal blog with no expectation of revenue, you will most likely to start it for free.
Alright, I hope now you have an understanding of criteria to choose the right blogging platform for you. In following paragraphs, I am going to compare 10+ Best Blogging Platforms and recommend a few for your ease, read on till the last to know which one is my favorite and why.
10+ Best Blogging Platforms to Start a Blog or website
Following platforms are considered the best blogging platforms to start a blog or CMS based website.
This list of most popular blogging platforms is not in any specific order. Check out the pros-cons & suitability of platforms to ensure whether the blogging platform meets your requirements.
#1 WordPress.org ~ WordPress
It is one of the most renowned and used blogging platform among bloggers (both beginners & experienced) around the world. WordPress.org is a free open source software that allows the user to create a website and blog. WordPress utilizes PHP as programming language & MySQL for database management. WordPress content management system supports plugins & themes for easy customization and functionality.
To make WordPress work, WordPress.org software package is to be deployed on a web server with a specific domain name. Generally, such a blog or website which has its own domain name and hosted on admin’s web hosting is called self-hosted blog or website.
Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has gained a huge popularity on the internet. According to a VentureBeat article published in March 2018, 30% of the websites on the web are powered by WordPress. Clearly, WordPress.org is no more a mere blogging platform but it has grown as a full-fledged website management system.
Success and popularity of WordPress is a good sign for people who want to start with WordPress because it’s already tried, tested and trusted by a significantly large number of people. And the enriched ecosystem of WordPress allows you to create a simple blog as well as a complex real estate portal. It’s up to you, what you want to create with WordPress.org.
Do you know? how to install WordPress on your computer for learning and testing.
- WordPress.org is free and open source.
- Supports Multi-User Roles for easy and efficient website management.
- Easy localhost installation for testing & learning.
- It supports themes and plugins architecture for easy customization.
- Responsive layout themes support for better user experience throughout devices of all screen sizes.
- WordPress ecosystem is really large with the availability of plenty of themes & plugins (free & paid) and documentation, forums, and tutorial blogs etc.
- Easy and intuitive Backend User Interface.
- Theme and plugin code edits are possible for further customization.
- org offers more control as you can regulate every aspect of your website.
- WordPress is search engine friendly. Or let’s put it this way – it’s comparatively easy to tune SEO in WordPress.
- WordPress may be an expensive platform for people who are not ready to spend any money to start a blog or website. Though WordPress is free, you need to buy a domain name and a web hosting to live a WordPress website.
- Running a WordPress site on your own means – you have to manage all the aspects (like backups, website security, SEO, optimization etc.) on your own. But that’s how you have the full control of your website, right.
Although WordPress.org is a free platform, still one has to pay approx. $10 to 15/year for the domain name and $3 to 30/month for web hosting to get a functional WordPress blog or website.
- The features and flexibility of WordPress.org make it perfectly suitable for professional blogs and websites.
- Serious bloggers and businesses.
- Companies and enterprises.
- Personal blog (only if you want professional looking blog & ready to pay for that).
Know more about WordPress.org click here.
#2 Blogger (BlogSpot)
Blogger is a free blogging platform by Google. In fact, Google has got several BlogSpot blogs for their different services.
Blogger offers free subdomain based blogging platform. Which means you can get a domain name like myfreewebsite.blogspot.com, mythoughts.blogspot.com. Clearly, you can have an available subdomain of main domain blogspot.com.
If you want to use a custom domain (like myfirstblog.com or toptechstories.org etc.) instead of blogspot.com, then you have to pay Google or another domain registrar to buy a domain.
You can use your existing Google/Gmail account to sign up with Blogger to create a blog.
- Blogger is free (with subdomain URL).
- Easy and straightforward setup.
- You need not bother about web hosting as it is managed by Blogger.
- Service is reliable and secure.
- Content Policy: Blogger is a product of Google. And Google can suspend your blog at any time, or even cancel the Blogger service altogether.
- Design & feature customization is limited and not comparable to a self-hosted
- A traditional platform: In the time when every platform is updating itself, Blogger is only concerned with blogging and uses a traditional system.
- Even with the custom domain, you cannot ensure full control of your blog. They have got whole web hosting in their hand. Which means they have access to all of your blog’s
Blogger is a free blogging platform. Also, you can buy a custom domain and point it to your blog. But there no web hosting cost involved because a BlogSpot blog is hosted on Blogger’s server.
- Personal blogs (with no or negligible income expectations).
- For learning the basics of blogging.
- People who don’t want spend any money.
Learn more about Blogger checkout official website (Link).
Unlike the traditional blogging platforms, Tumblr offers features of social networking website as well. This micro-blogging platform allows you to follow other Tumblr blogs and even allows to reblog others’ blog entries.
Tumblr is also a free blogging platform. Like Blogger offers subdomains of blogspot.com, Tumblr offers subdomains of tumblr.com for free. Even you can use a paid custom domain on Tumblr.
- It is simple and free to use.
- Social networking features of Tumblr might like by some of you.
- It is easy to quickly blog videos, GIFs, images and audio formats.
- Themes are available to play with the appearance of Tumblr blog. But themes are not going help you add functionalities to the blog.
- Being a microblogging platform, it has its own limitations.
- Its limited features restrict you to scale up. You cannot extend the business as your blog grows. And migrating a Tumblr blog to other platforms is not a very pleasant job.
Tumblr is also free. You can use a custom domain (purchased separately) for your Tumblr blog. In addition to this, there are third-party themes and apps available which a user can purchase.
- Who does not want a scale up
- Required fewer features & functionalities
Visit official Tumblr webiste here.
Joomla is another free platform. This is an open source management system for publishing & managing web content. There are different Joomla extensions to extend the functionality. Joomla extensions include – templates, modules, components, plugins, libraries etc.
Joomla is more like WordPress.org. To get functional Joomla blog or website, you need to buy a domain and a web hosting as well. Basically, Joomla comes under the category of self-hosted content management platform. That means you are on your own for managing your whole website.
- Free and open source platform. One can contribute to core Joomla development.
- It can be used for both simple & complex websites.
- Design & functionalities customization is possible using extensions.
- Official Directory to download extensions.
- Lesser templates & extensions are available as compared to WordPress.org
- Beginners may find Joomla complex due to its functioning.
- The user community is small hence there are lesser resources around the platform.
The platform is free, but one has to pay to buy a hosting plan and to register a domain name.
- People who are already familiar with Joomla platform.
- Who wants to use it for their own specific reason(s).
Interested to know more about Joomla? visit website here.
WordPress.com is owned by the company called Automattic (a company started by Matt Mullenweg, who is also among initial creator of WordPress.org). Don’t confuse WordPress.com with WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform including free hosting service. It is more like Blogger by Google. You get a free subdomain of wordpress.com as URL of your free blog.
The basic services of this blogging platform are free. But there are paid options for additional features like domain registration, removal of ads, link redirection, CSS editor and extra storage and other services.
- Easy and minimal setup.
- Availability of support & documentation.
- It comes with the limited features.
- You do not have full control of your blog as your blog is hosted on WordPress.com hosting. Moreover, customization is not comparable to self-hosted WordPress.org blog.
WordPress.com is free for basic features & services. You have to pay according to their plans in your country (as of now, they offer three plans – Personal plan – $4/ month (billed yearly), Premium plan – $8/ month (billed yearly), Business plan $25/month (billed yearly) for paid features and services as per plan details.
- Zero investment blog (with no or least income expectation).
Learn more about WordPress.com visit website (click here).
This cloud-based web development platform that allows users to build HTML websites using their HTML 5 drag and drop site builder. They claim that users with least or no coding skills can build websites with modern features, utilizing their website builder tool.
- There is a variety of professional website designs available on Wix to choose from.
- Support accessibility.
- Not scalable: Wix’s toolkit maybe okay for simple websites but don’t expect much for complex websites. One has to manage with their existing features options that one can use with his Wix website.
- Website migration – migrating a Wix website to other blogging platform is quite a task, you don’t want to get into (of course, if you have a choice).
- Control – Wix is a standalone service. You have to play by their rules.
There is no cost involved to use services of basic service of Wix (including website builder). However, you can link a custom domain using one of their premium plans – Connect Domain, Combo Plan, Unlimited Plan and eCommerce Plan. Pricing of these plans is country specific.
- For those who don’t care to have full control of blog or website.
To know more about Wix visit website (click here).
Drupal is a content management platform and its core code is written in PHP. It is free and open source framework like WordPress.org which supports modules and themes architecture. You can extend the functionality of your Drupal site using available modules for Drupal. Also, there are paid and free Drupal themes which can be used to change appearance and design of the site.
- It’s a self-hosted solution. That means you have more control of your website or blog.
- Availability of thousands of modules & themes for functionality & design customization.
- The user community is smaller as compared to WordPress.org.
Drupal is also free like WordPress.org & Joomla, but you have to pay for domain name and the hosting to host your Drupal powered website.
- People who are already in Drupal ecosystem and familiar with it.
Visit official website (link) to know more about Drupal.
This platform was launched in 2012. You can create an account for free just like you do on a social networking website. The platform is easy to use with some social networking features as well. Your medium profile’s URL will be like (https://medium.com/@YourUserName).
- There is no setup and coding required because it is more like social media profile page.
- You can follow existing online community of people with similar interests.
- One cannot run his ads to earn money on the medium.
- A custom domain cannot be used.
It is completely free to use.
- For microblogging with least or no revenue expectation.
Visit website to learn more about Medium (click here).
Weebly allows you to build your website using drag and drop website builder tools. It is one of growing brands in the website drag and drop building space. The basic function of Weebly’s website building tool is like that of Wix. Weebly is free for basic service including (subdomain of weebly.com, for example – https://bestbloggingplatforms.weebly.com )
- Drag and drop website builder.
- One can pick the website design from predesigned website templates.
- Less control because hosting & all other services are managed by Weebly.
- Built-in features are limited.
- Migration to another blogging platform is not easy.
- You have to choose your website functionalities among the available Weebly functions. Hence you cannot use exclusive custom features on your
Basic Weebly service is free. You have to pay to access advanced customization features and custom domain etc. They offer three plans: Starter – $8/month, Pro – $12/month, and Business – $25/month (when paid annually).
- People who are ready to compromise full control of the website.
Learn more about Weebly, visit official website (click here).
Ghost.org is more like the traditional blogging platform as it is concerned with the writing of the blog posts (blog layout only). That means, there is not much for you if want to build a website with Ghost. It is available both as a hosted platform and software as well.
- It focuses on blogging and writing.
- Ghost’s hosted service is a paid solution. But they offer 14 days free trial.
- As software, it is not easy to customize with the apps.
- The options available for users are limited.
They offer paid hosted blog service. And they offer four plans – Personal – $19/month, Advanced – $39/month, Team – $79/month, and Business – $199/month (when paid annually).
- People who ready to stick with the service.
Visit official Ghost website to know more (click here).
Squarespace claims itself all-in-one solution for website building. They offer hosting, domain and design solutions for building websites. You can create your own website design using their drag and drop tools. Or you can customize the existing website template.
- No coding required for basic setup.
- Availability of designed website templates.
- Less customization as compare to self-hosted WordPress
- Less control & Scalability issue.
Personal plans – Personal – $16/month & Business – $12/month if you pay for the year in advance. Business plans – Basic – $26/month, Advanced – $18/month when billed annually.
- Those who are ready to pay for Squarespace hosted service and prefer it over self-hosted solutions.
Visit offcial website of Squarespace (click here).
Comparison of most popular blogging platforms
|Platform||Self-Hosted||Custom Domain||Free Subdomain & Hosting Service||Drag and Drop Website Builder|
(* Drag and Drop website builder is not included in the platform itself. But third party (free or paid) theme/plugin/module/extension can be used as a drag and drop website builder.)
You should choose a blogging platform based on the purpose of the blog or website. First, decide why you want you to start a blog and what are your expectations from the blog.
If you are looking for a complete solution (with full control) to create your blog or website, then self-hosted WordPress is the answer. WordPress.org (WordPress) is considered the best solution to create professional blog or website.
WordPress is widely accepted as website management system for its versatility and scalability. It is not only popular among pros but the beginners also embrace it with ease. The reasons for huge acceptance and popularity of WordPress is that it meets the criteria (easy setup, scalable, large user community & affordability) of a good & robust website management platform. With WordPress you can create a website as simple as a blog or you can even setup an eCommerce website to start an online store.
On the other side, let’s say you wanna start a personal blog to write your personal experiences of life. And you have least (or no) income expectations from your personal blog. Then you can go with a free blogging platform like Blogger or WordPress.com (using their free subdomain service). In fact, it will wrong to say that you cannot earn any money through free subdomain based blogs, but it is comparative more difficult as you will be competing against self-hosted pro looking blogs or websites. Also, level of customization and freedom of control of your blog will be limited with free blogging platforms.
If you are to build a basic business or personal website and you don’t want the freedom & control of a soft-hosted solution, then you can explore Wix.
Share this article if you find it helpful and let me know your queries in the comment section below, I will be happy to respond.
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