The Best Blogging Platforms for Beginners (Compared)
Do you want to start a blog? No matter what the purpose of starting your new blog, you may want to know about the best blogging platforms available.
So, you are looking for the best blogging platform, right?
Maybe you’ve done some research already. But you are confused about which platform to go with. Each blogging platform claims to be the best, and you don’t know which one to choose.
How to Choose a Blogging Platform?
Before you start comparing the list of best available blogging platforms. You should know what to look for when choosing the blogging platform.
Firstly, you should know that there are different types of blogging platforms available such as free blog sites, Freemium, self-hosted and website builder platforms.
In short, you can create a blog for free, or you can start with a self-hosted blog.
Few things I don't like about free blogging platforms:
All above-mentioned limitations are related to free blog platforms, freemium and free website builder platforms including WordPress.com.
But if you choose a self-hosted blogging platform. There will be no limitations at all.
That's why I always recommend a self-hosted WordPress blog to all newbie bloggers even if they have no plan to start a business blog. It is easy to setup and requires no coding skills.
You should always start with a flexible blogging platform, so that if ever you may want to transform your hobby blog into a business blog. All you may require is more knowledge and investment to makeover your blog.
I am not saying that there is no way you can migrate from free blog to self-hosted blog, but that site migration could be a hectic one. Moreover, 80% bloggers using free blog sites quit their free blog before switching to a self-hosted blog.
All I have to say, never to go with a free blogging platform. Always start with a self-hosted service who knows you may see better results.
So are you serious about starting a blog?
If that is the case, you have come to the right place. In today’s post, I am going to introduce you to the best blogging platforms for beginners.
By the time you finish reading this post, you will have a clear idea about the best blogging platforms available right now, and which one you should go with.
Without further ado, let’s get started with the first one, which is –
WordPress.org is the most powerful blogging platform available right now. If you want complete control over your blog, you should go with WordPress.org. It allows you to create any design and add any feature to your website by using the themes and plugins.
However, the power comes with some responsibilities too. You need to choose a domain, get a hosting package, and install WordPress on your website. Then, you will need to install a suitable theme and the necessary plugins to set up your WordPress blog.
Since WordPress is the most widely used CMS in the world, you will find all the support you need for various problems. In most cases, you will find out that people have experienced the same problems earlier. You just need to find out the working solutions. It is also possible to hire freelance WordPress professionals to develop, customize, and maintain your blog.
In most other blogging platforms, you have to follow the terms and conditions set by those platforms. But when using WordPress (self-hosted), you can set the terms as you see fit, which is why so many bloggers are turning to WordPress.org.
Who should use WordPress.org?
Being an open-source project, there is no cost related to using WordPress. However, you will need a budget for purchasing the domain and hosting package, both of which are yearly expenses. And if you want to use premium themes and plugins on your blog, you will have to purchase these as well.
If you are not interested in taking control of your blog and just want to get started with writing, Medium could be an excellent choice for you. Since it was launched in 2012, the platform has quickly gained popularity among the writers, authors, journalists, and academics. That means blogging at Medium will increase your exposure and help you gain authority in your field.
As Medium is a dedicated blogging platform, it offers a professionally optimized user interface that is helpful for reading. Readers can recommend, comment, share, or save the posts for later. They can also follow writers to get updates about their future posts.
Bloggers can embed videos, tweets, and other types of third-party content from various sources. You will also have access to the formatting and publishing tools to format your post correctly. And the best part is you can concentrate on writing, instead of developing the blog on your own.
Who should use Medium?
Medium is free to use blogging platform. It allows you to use your own domain or sub-domain to publish the blog posts on your site. You have to pay a one-time fee of $75 to enjoy that feature.
However, as it is a self-hosted platform, you won’t find any customization options or the possibility to add new features.
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform from Automattic. It let you create a free blog to follow your blogging passion.
When using WordPress.com, you won’t have to worry about the domain and hosting aspects. You can go with a free sub-domain, or purchase a brand new domain to get started with your blog.
The intuitive post editor will let you write, format, and simply publish posts. Thanks to the auto-saving feature, you won’t have to worry about losing your work for any unexpected incident. You can enhance the posts by adding photos, videos, gallery, audio, and so on. It is also possible to export the content if you want to move your blog to another place.
You can choose from hundreds of fully customizable themes to decorate your website. All of these themes are fully responsive and follow the coding best practices. Built-in social sharing buttons will enable your visitors to share the posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks.
The in-depth stats will keep you updated about the source, duration, and activity of your visitors. Your WordPress.com blog will also be SEO-optimized to help you get better search engine ranking.
As there are dedicated mobile apps for both Android and iOS, you can manage your site from anywhere in the world. You will also find desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Who should use WordPress.com?
You can use WordPress.com for free, which will host your blog on a sub-domain and show ads from third-party sources. Premium plans start at $4 per month and allow you to add your own domain, get more storage space, and remove the ads.
Blogger is a dedicated blogging platform from Google. It allows you to create beautiful-looking blogs within a short period. You can get started by using the free sub-domain or choose to purchase a custom domain for your blog.
There are lots of ready-to-use templates and background images available to style your blog. You will find separate options to customize the favicon, navigation menu, header, sidebar, footer, and so on. It is also possible to create a multi-column layout for the main body section.
The setting section enables you to customize the blog title, description, authors, etc. You can decide who can comment on your posts and activate Captcha to prevent spam. Since you are blogging on a Google platform, you can take advantage of the Google Translator to serve your international audience as well.
Who should use Blogger?
It is free to use. As the platform is powered by Google, you can easily integrate Google AdSense and display ads on your blog to earn some extra money. There is an integrated analytics feature to help you keep track of the sources and activities of your visitors. It is also possible to connect your blog to Google Analytics to get more in-depth data.
If you are interested in blogging but don’t have the time to publish regular blog posts, Tumblr could be an excellent choice for you. It is actually a micro-blogging platform that enables you to share short blog posts containing text, quotes, links, photos, gif, audio, video, etc.
As Tumblr also comes with features like following others, re-blog, like, and share posts from others, it is often considered as a social blogging platform. Similar to other social media platforms, you can add tags to increase your posts’ visibility.
There are lots of Tumblr themes available with single-column, two-column, grid-based, text-based, minimal, or high-resolution layouts. What’s more, it is also possible to use custom HTML code to apply your own style to the blog. You can use the dedicated Android and iOS apps to manage your Tumblr blog on your smartphone.
Who should use Tumblr?
Tumblr is free to use, which means you can publish blog posts without worrying about the storage or bandwidth limits. It is also possible to get a custom domain for your Tumblr blog, but there is no setup charge associated with it like Medium.
Ghost is a relatively new blogging platform that wants to offer a better solution to create your blog. Backed by a non-profit organization, this platform comes with the whole suite of publishing tools to help you create and manage the blog.
First of all, the markdown-based editor makes it a lot simpler to apply the correct formatting to your posts. The live side-by-side view will show a live preview of the post as you keep writing. You can quickly search the whole content archive and use the robust tagging options for a better organization of your content.
In case you are creating a multi-author blog, you can create various roles for the writer, editor, admin, and so on. The built-in content scheduler will let you create a fully functional editorial calendar for the blog. The platform makes it very easy to manage other settings like the logo, menu, analytics, etc.
There are lots of beautiful themes readily available for your Ghost blog. It is also possible to customize the design by adding custom HTML and CSS code. Thanks to the SEO-ready coding and integrated AMP support, your blog will be optimized for all the major search engines. Native apps for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux will help you to manage your blog in any way you prefer.
Who should use Ghost?
Ghost has two versions. The downloadable version is free to use. And the hosted PRO version starts at $8-$200 depending on the number of blogs and traffic volume.
Do you want your blog to have a professional design? Want to get your hand dirty with a fully featured drag-and-drop interface? If yes, Wix can be a great blog creator option for you. It allows you to choose any of the 500+ designer-made templates for your blog. You can enhance the look by using video backgrounds and the 3D parallax effects.
Your Wix blog comes fully equipped with basic website features like the contact form, Google Maps integration, SEO tools, search bar, and mailing list support. What’s more, you will have access to a library of curated stock images to improve your blog posts.
When it comes to social media, Wix has got you covered with built-in Facebook like box, share buttons, Twitter feed, YouTube subscribe, and beautiful social media icons. You can integrate Google AdSense to show ads on your site, while the dedicated app market will let you add new features to your blog.
Who should use Wix?
Similar to the other blogging platforms, Wix enables you to get started for free with the subdomain and ad-supported hosting. Premium plans start from $4.5 per month that enables you to use your own domain, get more bandwidth and storage space, remove the ads, and so on.
Those who put more emphasis on the design can consider Squarespace as another potential blogging platform. It offers a large collection of modern blog themes and starter templates for the blog pages. You can choose any of the Google Fonts and TypeKit fonts, while the integrated style editor will let you customize the look as you see fit.
The custom WYSIWYG editor with markdown mode will let you write and publish blog posts with the necessary formatting. Other features like post scheduling, podcast support, and categories and tags will help you with the content management.
Squarespace supports multiple contributors with various access levels, which will come in handy for multi-author blogs. Thanks to the superior social media sharing and integration features, your blog will be fully ready to dominate all the leading social media networks.
There are dedicated content blocks to help you create custom page layouts. You can easily add images by using the drag-and-drop interface. The progressive image loader along with the built-in CDN will take care of the performance issues. You can use the Android and iOS apps to manage your blog from the smartphone.
Who should use Squarespace?
It is a subscription-based blogging platform starts at $16-$25/month. Includes unlimited storage and bandwidth with a free custom domain, fully optimized and responsive. Also offers free SSL certificates.
Weebly can be another interesting choice to create your blog for free. This intuitive website creation platform comes with a drag-and-drop interface to help you create any kind of layout you want.
There are lots of blogging themes and page templates available for you. Being fully responsive, these themes and templates will ensure that your blog looks great on smaller screens too.
The powerful publishing elements of Weebly will let you add the relevant tag, category, and manage the sidebar content for your blog. Third-party media and content integrations will enable you to embed content from various other sources.
Thanks to the built-in social sharing features, your visitors can easily share the posts on various social media networks. You can enhance your content by adding a gallery, slideshow, and custom background.
While your Weebly blog comes fully equipped with the basic features, you can extend the features by adding apps from the app store. There are dedicated mobile apps to help you manage your blog from mobile devices.
Who should use Weebly?
Weebly is a free to use service. Their paid plan starts at $8/mo with a custom domain and few features unlocked. To unlock all its feature you can go for its business plan at $25/month.
Choosing the right blogging platform is the first step towards creating a successful blog. Now that you know which the best blogging platforms are, you should be able to decide which one fits your blogging requirements the most.
If you want total control and reliable support, you should choose WordPress.org. On the other hand, Medium can be a great choice if you want to get started quickly.
So, which one are you going with? Let me know in the comments below.