Looking to start your new blog, but confused about the best blogging platforms out there? It’s a tough choice, since there are several options to choose from. How do you find out which one is right for you?
So what to look for?
As a beginner, you’ll want a blogging platform that’s easy to set up, and doesn’t require any coding skills. You’ll also need to think about what kind of blog you want to create, for now and for future.
As your blog grows, you may want to change the look of your site and add more features for your growing audience. That means it’s important to choose a blogging platform that’s flexible and provides room for improvement as you become a pro.
Lastly, even if you don’t have plans to make money yet, it’s smart to make sure you have the option to do so in the future.
So let’s help you choose the best blogging platform by taking you through the pros and cons of some of the best ones available out there.
WordPress.org is the world’s most popular blogging software, which is usually confused with WordPress.com which is a blog hosting service. WordPress.org is an open source software platform which allows you to build your website or blog on your own. It is a self-hosted solution, which means you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider.
- org gives you complete control over every aspect of your blog.
- You can grow your blog and add extra features like forums, online store, and membership options to it.
- You can use thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress to create a visually appealing blog.
- You also get access to more than 45,000 free plugins. These plugins are like apps for your WordPress blog, allowing you to add all kinds of new features.
- WordPress is search engine friendly.
- Managing your own website comes with a bit of a learning curve.
- You will have to manage your own backups and security.
Wix is a hosted platform to build websites. It offers an easy way for small businesses to build a website using drag and drop tools. You can also add a blog to your website by adding the Wix Blog app.
- You can easily customize your site using dozens of templates and third party apps.
- Build your site with easy drag and drop tools; no coding skills required.
- Easy and quick to set up.
- The free account is limited and shows Wix branding and ads on your site.
- Limited free third party apps.
- Once you choose a template you cannot change it.
- E-commerce features are limited to paid plans, and are limited.
WordPress.com is a blog hosting service created by WordPress.org co-founder Matt Mullenweg. WordPress.com offers a basic blog hosting service for free. You can purchase additional options like a custom domain name, additional storage, and other premium services.
- No setup required.
- Easy to use and manage.
- Limited options to extend your site.
- You cannot run advertisements on your blog.
- You do not own your blog and WordPress.com can suspend your account if they find you violating their terms of service.
Blogger is a free blog hosting service. Acquired by Google in 2003, it offers a quick and easy way to create a blog for non-tech-savvy users.
- 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 popular.
- Design options are limited, with fewer templates available. Low quality third party templates.
- Blogger does not receive frequent updates or new features.
- Google can suspend your blog at any time, or even cancel the Blogger service altogether.
Tumblr is a little different than other blogging platforms. It is a micro-blogging platform with social networking features including following other blogs, re-blogging, built-in sharing tools, and more.
- Tumblr is free and very easy to use.
- It has an integrated social media component which is awesome.
- As a micro-blogging 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 popular.
- There are many themes available for Tumblr, but no additional features are offered.
- Backing up your Tumblr blog or importing it to other platforms is difficult.
Launched in 2012, Medium has grown into a community of writers, bloggers, journalists, and experts. It is an easy-to-use blogging platform with limited social networking features.
- 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 run your own ads to make money.
Squarespace is a website building service that allows you to create beautiful websites using easy drag and drop tools.
It focuses on small business owners who are looking for an easy way to create an online presence.
- 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 e-commerce stores.
- Squarespace is limited to the features built into their proprietary platform.
- The Personal plan limits you to 20 pages, a blog, and 2 contributors.
- Integrations are limited to a select few services and tools.
Joomla is an open source software content management system, just like WordPress.org. It’s also a self-hosted solution, which means you will need a domain name and web hosting to use it.
- Joomla is extremely powerful and flexible, and can be used to build any kind of website or blog.
- You can choose from hundreds of templates to customize your site’s design.
- Extensions (apps for your Joomla site) are available to add more features.
- The Joomla community is much smaller than WordPress community, so there are fewer themes and add-ons than WordPress.
- Support options are limited to community support. Paid support is hard to find and can be costly.
- You will be responsible for managing your backups, updates, and security.
Ghost is a minimalist blogging platform with limited features focused on writing blog posts. It’s available as a hosted platform, and also as a software that you can install and host yourself. We’ll take a look at both options.
- 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.
Weebly is a hosted platform that allows you to build your website using drag and drop tools. It comes with dozens of ready-to-use themes that you can customize using their web-based interface.
- Easy-to-use drag and drop website builder with no technical skills required.
- Quick and easy setup, since Weebly will host your site for you.
- Weebly’s free plan allows you to try out the service before buying.
- Built-in features are limited, and you can’t add new features.
- Limited integration with third party platforms.
- Exporting your site from Weebly to another platform is difficult.
We believe that WordPress is the better one compared to all other platforms. It is powerful, easy to use, affordable, and the most flexible of all available blogging platforms.