How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform
If you’re thinking about starting your own blog but are unsure which blogging platform to use, you’re not alone. There are dozens of different platforms out there, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In order to choose the best blogging platform, it’s helpful to first understand what it means to be a blogger and how the various blogging platforms differ in terms of functionality and ease of use. Let’s get started!
With over 22% of all websites using WordPress, there’s no question it’s a huge player in online publishing. It’s also one of the most highly customizable platforms out there. That means if you know HTML and CSS, you can modify pretty much anything on your site.
- WordPress.org gives you control over every aspect of your website.
- You can grow your blog and add extra features like forums, online store, paid memberships, and sell online courses. This makes WordPress the best blogging platform to make money.
- There are thousands of free themes available for WordPress. This allows you to create a beautiful website that stands apart from the crowd. Most popular WordPress themes come with built-in customization options that gives you full design control.
- You also get access to more than 59,000 free WordPress plugins. These plugins are like apps for your WordPress blog that allow you to add features like contact forms, galleries, etc. See our list of must have WordPress plugins for all websites.
- WordPress is search engine friendly. You can easily create SEO friendly URLs, categories, and tags for your posts. Plus, there’re a good number of great SEO plugins for additional optimization.
- You can easily enable Google Analytics powered website analytics in WordPress, so you can see the stats that matter. This helps you grow your new blog traffic and subscribers.
- Last but not least, WordPress’ drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create any type of content on your blog site. It also has options to embed dynamic content like videos, social media feeds, Google Adsense, graphs, charts, and more without any technical know how.
- Managing your own website comes with a bit of a learning curve.
- You will have to manage your own backups and security.
How to Start a Business Online in 5 Easy Steps : Consider your customers and how they use technology. An email list is one of your most powerful assets. Before choosing a blogging platform, make sure it’s compatible with popular email marketing tools like MailChimp or AWeber. Take note of their ease-of-use, cost and customer support ratings before you commit. Also keep in mind that free options may be limited; check user reviews for more information on what’s available. It may take several days or weeks before you decide which platform best suits your needs, but it’s worth it once you’re up and running — not only for your business but also for readers!
- Beginner friendly drag and drop website builder (no coding needed).
- Dozens of fully customizable templates for your blog.
- Easy setup with no hassles, since Web.com takes care of all the technical details of hosting your website.
- Affordable starting pricing – $1.95 per month and it includes all the essential features
- Free domain is included with all paid plans.
- 24/7 customer support available via phone, live chat, and email.
- The extensions / app ecosystem is small, so there aren’t as many third party plugins like WordPress.
- Blogging features are no where near as powerful as WordPress.
- Since Web.com is a proprietary website builder, switching your website to another platform later is difficult.
Web.com pricing starts at $1.95 per month for their website starter plan which comes with their drag & drop site builder, blogging platform, hundreds of beautiful templates, thousands of free stock images, and a free domain.
If you want their powerful SEO tools or eCommerce features, then you’ll need to upgrade to their Marketing plan starting at $2.95 per month or their eCommerce plan starting at $3.95 per month.
These prices are available for WPBeginner readers as part of our Web.com coupon deal. All you need to do is click on our link to get these special prices.
If you’re a small business who don’t want to use WordPress, then Web.com is the next best choice considering everything you get for the price.
The process of setting up a website can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it. Luckily, Wix has made getting started easier than ever by providing simple and intuitive tools that allow anyone to start their own website quickly. It’s easy enough for bloggers who are just starting out—which is why it’s one of our top picks for best blogging platform. The biggest drawback? Anyone looking for templates or design options may be disappointed since there aren’t any advanced features with Wix. Even still, we think it’s an excellent option for blogs just getting off the ground.
- You can customize your site using dozens of templates and third party apps.
- Build your site with easy drag and drop tools; no coding skills required.
- Setup is quick and easy.
- The free account is limited and shows Wix branding and ads on your site.
- Free third party apps are limited.
- Once you choose a template you cannot change it.
- Ecommerce features are limited to paid plans, and even those features are limited.
The basic Wix website builder is free. With a free Wix account, you’ll get a Wix subdomain that looks like this: https://username.wixsite.com/example.
However, you can add a custom domain for $4.50/month. Their premium plans start from $8.50/month and go up to $24.50/month.
The HubSpot CMS allows you to drag and drop simple sections, making it easy for a content creator like yourself to use. It’s also highly search engine friendly, allowing your pages and posts to rank well on search engines like Google. (Beware: not all blogging platforms are so friendly with search engines.) It’s worth noting that HubSpot is one of many blogging platforms out there, and it does cost money. If you’re looking for something free or open source, consider WordPress—but know that it isn’t as sleek or user-friendly as HubSpot.
- Easy-to-use drag and drop website builder with no coding skills required.
- Quick and easy setup, since HubSpot will host your website for you.
- Fully optimized for SEO and conversions.
- Free SSL certificate is included.
- While the HubSpot CRM itself comes with free tools (like contact management, email marketing and forms), the CMS does not have a free version available.
- Pricing may be steep as you move up the tiers.
- If you’re moving from another blogging platform, the migration process may be lengthy, depending on your previous provider.
HubSpot CMS plan starts at $25 per month and includes all the main features to have a secure, well-designed blog, as well as the marketing tools you’ll need to grow it.
For the custom SEO recommendations and advanced features, you’ll want to upgrade to the higher tiers.
atozbrother readers get a free 14-day trial.
Note: You can use WordPress combined with HubSpot free plugin to combine the power of the best blogging platform and marketing tools.
Gator by HostGator
WordPress and SquareSpace are both great options when it comes to blogging platforms. However, I personally recommend WordPress for new bloggers. Unlike other platforms that use coding languages like HTML or CSS, WordPress offers a pre-made platform where you can easily add photos, graphics, and videos. This makes it incredibly easy for a beginner to set up a successful website. In addition, its self-hosted service means that you control your own data instead of relying on third-party hosting companies like Squarespace uses. This allows more flexibility in designing and customizing your site without worrying about any extra charges or hidden fees.
- Easy drag and drop builder to customize your blog & website design.
- Quick setup – no technical hassle.
- Backups, performance, and security is all handled by HostGator (no headaches).
- Free Domain and SSL certificate is included in all plans.
- Can easily add an online store to your blog with just a few clicks.
- There is no free account, but they do have a 45-day money back guarantee.
- Ecommerce features are restricted to higher plans only.
- Limited number of apps and extensions.
WPBeginner users get 55% off on all Gator builder plans. The Starter plan costs $3.46/month and it comes with all the features you need to start a successful blog including a free domain and SSL certificate.
You just need to make sure to use our Gator Website Builder coupon code: wpbeginner to get 55% off.
WordPress is by far one of most popular blogging platforms and has more than 60 million users. It’s free, easy to use, and easy to set up on your own domain (if you decide you want). Plus, with a self-hosted version of WordPress, you have full control over your content. It might take some time for you to learn how WordPress works (you can read our guide here) but it is definitely worth it in order to get as much traffic as possible. If that’s not enough reasons for you: WordPress is always going through updates; so whatever problems exist right now will likely be fixed soon enough. Or if they aren’t a plugin can help!
- No setup required.
- Easy to use and manage.
- It’s completely free if you are happy with a WordPress.com subdomain. Your free website name looks like this: https://example.wordpress.com.
- Limited options to extend your own site. You cannot use custom themes and plugins for customizing your blog.
- You cannot run advertisements on your blog. Instead, WordPress.com will show their ads on your free website.
- You do not own your blog, and WordPress.com can suspend your account if they find you are violating their terms of service.
The basic WordPress.com account is free, but it will have WordPress.com ads and branding.
You can upgrade to their Personal plan for $4/month (billed yearly) to remove WordPress.com logo and advertising from your website. You also get a custom domain (such as www.yoursite.com).
For $8/month (billed yearly) you can get additional design tools and extra storage.
Because of the similarity in names, beginners often start with WordPress.com thinking they are getting the powerful WordPress.org software. After seeing the limitations, users often end up switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org to have more features, ease of use, and control over their website.
Starting a successful blog is all about choosing a blogging platform that fits your style. While there are many great platforms out there, like WordPress and Tumblr, some people find they are limited by what they can do with their site. This can lead to getting stuck in one place with no easy way to transfer your content over to another platform. But you don’t have to limit yourself; today, there are more options than ever before! To figure out which platform is best for you and your blogging needs, it’s important to understand what each of them has to offer: When comparing platforms, it’s crucial that you look at their ease of use and customization options (and their limits) when deciding which one is right for you.
- Blogger is free.
- It’s easy to use and manage without any technical skills.
- Has the added advantage of Google’s robust secure platform and reliability.
- You’re limited to basic blogging tools, and can’t add new features as your blog grows in popularity.
- Design options are limited, with fewer templates available. Third party templates for Blogger are often low quality.
- Blogger does not receive frequent updates or new features.
- Google can suspend your blog at any time, or even cancel the Blogger service altogether. (They have a history of abandoning projects without warning, such as Feedburner.)
Blogger is free with a Blogger subdomain like https://example.blogspot.com. If you want to use a custom domain, you need to buy from a third-party domain registrar.
There are several factors that make Tumblr a great blogging platform for writers. Users can easily post text, pictures, and video from a variety of devices without having to log in through a browser. This is incredibly useful if you’re on-the-go and don’t have your laptop handy (or even if you do). The Tumblr dashboard lets users update their profile page by adding links, photos, videos, audio files, and status updates in addition to showing followers their recently updated blogs. While other platforms may give users more freedom over design elements like font size or color scheme , Tumblr really shines as an easy way for authors looking for a quick and easy way to establish their online presence.
- Tumblr is free with a Tumblr subdomain like https://example.tumblr.com. You can also connect a premium custom domain name.
- It is very easy to set up and use.
- It has an integrated social media component.
- As a microblogging tool, Tumblr makes it easy to quickly blog videos, GIFs, images, and audio formats.
- Tumblr comes with a limited set of features that you cannot extend as your blog grows.
- There are many themes available for Tumblr, but they can’t offer additional features.
- Backing up your Tumblr blog or importing it to other platforms is difficult (see our guide on how to move from Tumblr to WordPress).
Tumblr is free to use. You can use a custom domain (purchased separately) for your Tumblr blog, and there are also third-party themes and apps available to purchase.
If you want a blogging platform that focuses on your writing and not much else, then Medium is a great option. Most of its features are focused on content creation and sharing. The interface also makes it really easy to write posts and share them with other users. If you’re worried about building up an audience or monetizing your site, then you might have trouble using Medium unless you have existing social media channels or a large email list. It’s best if you have both!
- Medium is easy to use, with no setup required and no coding skills needed.
- It allows you to reach an existing online community of people of similar interests.
- You can focus solely on writing, instead of designing a website.
- Features are very limited in terms of design or building a brand.
- Medium owns your audience, so losing your blog means losing all your followers.
- You cannot use your own domain name. You’ll simply get a profile page like in Facebook, e.g. https://medium.com/@yourname.
- You cannot run your own ads to make money.
Medium is free to use.
While the platform looks attractive at first, the lack of monetization and control leads to most people switching from Medium to WordPress.
I am a HUGE fan of Squarespace. If you’re looking for a blogging platform that is super easy and offers beautiful templates, then I highly recommend them. You don’t have to be tech savvy at all in order to use their templates, and they have great support. Not only can you choose from free or paid plans, but they also have an option where you can pay by post instead of monthly fees. The result? You get a truly tailored experience for what you need at whatever price point works best for your wallet. And did I mention how beautifully designed their website is? It was a big part of my decision when I was deciding on which blogging platform would work best for me!
- Squarespace is simple and easy to use for beginners who aren’t very tech-savvy.
- It has beautiful professionally designed templates.
- It separately offers domain name with SSL/HTTPs and eCommerce stores.
- Squarespace is limited to the features built into their proprietary platform.
- Integrations are limited to a select few services and tools.
Squarespace has different pricing plans for websites and online stores.
Pricing for their Personal website plan starts at $16/month, or $12/month if you pay for the year in advance. For the Business plan, pricing starts at $26/month, or $18/month billed annually.
Whereas pricing for online stores starts from $26/month and up to $40/month.
Often users end up switching from Squarespace to WordPress to minimize their expenses and add more features on their websites.
The Pros and Cons of Ghost versus WordPress : A few years ago, we might have recommended using WordPress for your blogging platform. It was one of (if not) the best option at that time. Now, however, there are several different blogging platforms that are better options than WP. One of those options is Ghost . Ghost has a number of advantages over WP, but is it right for you? You’ll need to weigh its pros and cons before making your decision.
- Focused on blogging and writing.
- Clean, clutter-free, and intuitive user interface.
- No setup required for the hosted version.
- Not easy to customize with apps.
- The simplified user interface means options are very limited.
- Not enough themes to change appearance of your site.
- Complicated setup if you install it yourself.
The self-hosted version needs a custom domain (about $14.99/year) and web hosting (starting from about $7.99/month).
Pricing for the hosted version starts at $29/month for 2 staff users with a 100k page view limit. Unless you buy a custom domain from a third-party domain registrar, your blog will be a Ghost subdomain ending with ghost.io.
What is Weebly? Weebly is a free web hosting platform that makes it simple and quick for businesses, bloggers, nonprofits, and educators to set up their own website. Weebly offers an easy drag-and-drop interface where users can drag and drop pre-built designs for a stunning website without having any technical knowledge. When it comes to setting up an ecommerce store on your new site, PayPal is integrated right into your checkout process and doesn’t require additional software or plugins. With one click of a button, you’re ready to accept payments online!
- Fully hosted website and blogging platform.
- Seamless integration with Square payment platform.
- No setup required for the hosted version.
- Free plan has limited features and bandwidth. It also includes Weebly branding.
- Paid subscription are expensive compared to top blogging websites.
- Blogging and SEO features are not as powerful as WordPress.
They have a limited free version that comes with Weebly branding and ads.
Their paid plans start from $8 per month billed annually. The pro plan costs $12 per month, and their business plan costs $25 per month.
Our Pick for the Best Blogging Platform
Google’s Suite of Tools : While there are a plethora of blogging platforms on offer, some that stand out from among their competitors include Medium and WordPress. Both are great options for bloggers at any level, with WordPress being more geared towards individuals and businesses that have experience blogging regularly. For newcomers who don’t quite know what they’re looking for, however, Medium is a great choice since it has very few distractions and fosters high-quality content. Its clean design makes it ideal for beginning bloggers looking to get started quickly and easily.