If you want to start a blog as quickly as possible, you will most likely need to choose a blogging platform. Nowadays, there are many platforms that allow you to host a blog for free. These platforms will help you start a blog in less than an hour, regardless of your technical capabilities, needs or budget.
In this guide to the 10 best blogging platforms, we’ll cover the most popular and useful options for starting a blog today. As well as giving you a good overview of the different options, we’ll also list their pros and cons to help you find the best platform for your needs.
If you’re still not sure which option to choose by the end of this article, don’t worry. It is possible to change blogging platform and migrate to a new system in the future. Blogging can be very rewarding if you have knowledge in a specific niche, and while we don’t recommend free hosting solutions at digital opportunity, these platforms can still be useful.
They can help you if you want to get started in the world of the web at a lower cost and get your hands on, they can also help you familiarize yourself with WordPress or simply allow you to share your content to gain visibility and traffic.
What is a blogging platform?
Simply put, a blogging platform is software or a service that gives you the ability to post content online. In the case of the 10 best blogging platforms covered here, that content is usually in the form of text and images. Although dependent on the platform, it could also be video and audio content.
To put it simply, these are platforms that give you a blog! Most often on a subdomain of their site.
After signing up, in the case of a hosted blogging platform, or downloading and installing the software as you would with a self-hosted platform, you can start writing articles and posting them online. After that, you can share them with your audience, or wait for them to be discovered organically as search engines index them sometimes.
Hosted VS Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms
As mentioned, some of 10 blogging platforms are hosted, while others require you to host the software yourself. The latter involves choosing a web hosting company to take care of it for you. If you go with a hosted service, like Blogger, all you need to do is enter a few details, and you should be able to publish your first blog post in a matter of minutes.
Setting up a hosted blog, when using a platform like WordPress.org, can be more complex. However, you tend to have more control over your blog, its content, and what you can do with your website, rather than being tied to the often more restrictive terms and services of a hosted blogging platform.
Thanks to this, you have more options to monetize your content, change the design of your blog, and work with other writers, to name a few advantages… On the other hand, running your own blog by yourself. hosted can involve more work, taking away time that could be spent blogging.
Just check the pros and cons listed below to find the best platform for your needs and preferences.
What’s the best site for blogging?
Some points to consider when choosing a blogging platform include the platform’s internet visibility, the price of premium services, the user experience, the quality of exchanges in the community, the freedom of expression offered and design customization options.
It’s also worth considering if you just want a blog, or if you would like to use other features in the future, like the ability to sell products, offer downloads, or create a portfolio. If applicable, look for a platform that can also be used to create other types of websites and not just blogs.
WordPress is the most popular software for building websites and blogs. In fact, WordPress software is the source of around 30% of all websites online today. So if you are looking for a proven platform for your blog, it’s hard to go wrong with WordPress.org. However, declaring that WordPress.org is the best platform to host a blog is not that simple.
WordPress blogging and blogging software can be downloaded for free from the WordPress.org site. But if you want to use this platform for your blog, you will need to register with a web host. Buying a domain name is also necessary – although some web hosts do offer a free domain to new customers when they sign up.
Fortunately, the best web hosts on the market , whether you pay a few dollars a month or hundreds a year, make it easy to launch your new WordPress.org blog. After that, you will be responsible for updating the WordPress software and basic maintenance of your website. Although depending on the hosting package you choose, these tasks can be outsourced with your web host.
Setting up and running a WordPress.org blog can seem like a lot of work. However, it’s relatively straightforward, and a good web host will provide you with help.
For a little more work and financial investment on your part, compared to the top 10 blogging platforms, you will have a higher level of creative freedom on your blog.
For example, there are countless free and paid themes to help you set up your blog design. About as many free and paid plugins are available to add almost any type of functionality to your blog. If you want to customize your blog in any way, and there is no theme or plugin, you have the option of working with a developer to create a custom solution. Since you have your own WordPress.org blog, you have full access to the underlying code if you need it.
Since you can do almost anything with WordPress.org, the possibilities can be exponential. However, if you stick to the simple “blogging” aspect of the WordPress.org platform, you shouldn’t have any problems. Plus, there is an almost unlimited amount of resources available to help you get the most out of your WordPress.org blog, including videos, blogs, courses, podcasts, and more.
Full ownership of your blog, including monetization options and SEO features.
Highly customizable thanks to the parameters and options available, to the plugins, as well as by directly accessing the code.
Huge library of WordPress themes and plugins to improve the functionality of your blog.
Pay a web host to keep your WordPress.org blog live.
Higher levels of responsibility to keep your blog running smoothly.
Mastering the full potential of WordPress.org can be difficult and takes time.
WP in 2021 is more than just a blogging platform!
WordPress.org is the most powerful blogging platform available today. However, it will require a greater investment of your time, your finances, or a combination of the two to keep your blog live and keep it running smoothly.
But if you choose WordPress.org, you’ll have complete creative control over your blog, as well as the ability to grow it in almost any direction you want, as your project grows.
Signing up for the free WordPress.com service gives you instant access to your own blog.
Unlike the WordPress.org blogging platform, there is no need to download any software or find a web host. Buying a domain name is not necessary either.
Instead, the WordPress.com service gives you access to a hosted version of the WordPress software. You also get your own choice of URLs, using a subdomain of the WordPress.com top-level domain (eg mysite.wordpress.com).
In return for this convenience, you are limited in what you can do with your blog, at least compared to hosting the WordPress software yourself. Ads from the Auto Ad Network are also displayed on your blog.
Plus, unlike hosting a WordPress blog yourself, with WordPress.com you don’t have access to the same number of themes or plugins and will face restrictions of all kinds. You can always use plugins to add new features to your blog, or change its design with a different theme.
However, you don’t have access to the same number of themes and plugins that host their WordPress blog.
Although the WordPress.com blogging platform is free, you can pay to update your blog and unlock additional “Premium” features. This gives you the flexibility to change your blog domain, access more plugins and themes, remove WordPress.com ads from your blog, and more.
If you want to make money from your blog, your monetization options are limited, at least compared to self-hosting your own WordPress blog. You can post affiliate links, post sponsored posts, and sell products on your free WordPress.com blog. However, there are some restrictions that you will need to be aware of before trying to make any money from your blog.
Easy to set up and start.
Stable and efficient.
Free to start your blog with no running costs.
Good selection of themes to choose from.
The best features are only for paid users.
Unable to post your own ads on free WordPress.com blogs.
Your blog remains the property of WordPress.com and could, in theory, go offline at any time.
Google decides whether or not they want to index your blog. No access to webmaster tools here!
WordPress.com makes starting a blog super easy. Paid plans also give you the option to update your blog in the future. Alternatively, you can migrate your blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org site when you’re ready.
Blogger / Blogspot
Blogger is a blogging service, now owned by Google. Launched in 1999, Blogger is one of the best-known and most established blogging platforms still in operation today.
Unlike many of the other top 10 blogging platforms in this comparison, Blogger is all about blogging. Because of this, there are fewer distractions compared to other features, making it much easier to start and publish blog posts. With Blogger, there aren’t as many customization options as with other blogging platforms. However, the good thing about this is that it helps simplify the Blogger user experience.
Plus, if you use other Google services like Google Drive or Photos, the process of including photos in your blog posts is simplified. Once you’ve registered a domain name, you can use it with your Blogger blog for free, instead of using a mysite.blogspot.com subdomain.
No charge to use your own domain name for your Blogger blog.
Some themes included as well as additional features available.
No paid plan to improve your blog.
Quite limited in terms of design.
Google decides whether or not they want to index your blog. No access to webmaster tools here!
Blogger is ideal for those new to blogging or for those who do not consider themselves to be advanced users. The relative lack of it narrows down your options, but it’s very easy to get started and start posting blog posts.
However, it’s hard to ignore the lack of quality themes, the lack of add-ons or plugins, and the inability to remove ads from the Google Network. This means that Blogger is not a good platform for anyone who wants the opportunity to develop and grow their blog in the future.
Weebly is another popular blogging platform that can be used to build all types of websites, including blogs.
The free plan makes it easy to get started, although there will be a small ad displayed in your site’s footer. Upgrading to paid plans removes ads, increases your storage capacity, and unlocks other features. If you want to use your own domain name, like myblog.com instead of myblog.weebly.com, you will also need to upgrade to one of the paid monthly plans.
To make your blog look sleek, Weebly users have access to an attractive set of themes, including a good selection of specially designed blog themes. You can upload your own photos and videos to your blog, although the entry-level free and paid plans only include 500MB of storage.
Weebly also has an easy-to-use editor that will help you give your blog a personalized look that’s unique to you. It’s a full drag and drop editor. This should help those who don’t have web design skills to avoid making a mess of their blog.
Useful selection of free and paid apps to add new features to your blog.
Overall more professional design than Blogger
Google won’t index the free version of a Weebly blog (unless you know what you’re doing). If you want to be indexed in Google, you will have to go on a paid plan!
A free Weebly blog should be enough for most people to start blogging and building their audience. The templates look great and the editor is easy to use. You then have the option to upgrade to paid plans, adding more features and capabilities to your blog, as your needs increase.
Tumblr is described as a micro-blogging platform. It’s a social network type site, which makes it a good choice for anyone who wants a service that will help them quickly grow an audience for their blog. The feature that allows Tumblr users to follow each other provides a good way to gain regular readers for your blog, before it starts showing up in search engine results.
It’s very easy to get started and there is no cost to sign up to Tumblr or run your blog. You have of course the possibility of purchasing “premium” models. Unlike other platforms featured in this collection of the 10 best blogging platforms, Tumblr does not offer a drag and drop editor. Although this lack of customization options is part of what makes Tumblr so easy to use.
Another key feature of Tumblr, which could determine if it’s the best platform for you, is the emphasis on posting short posts and sharing media content. If you check out a Tumblr blog, you’ll quickly see what that means. Typically, users share a video, sound, or image, including animated GIFs, with or without accompanying text.
Tumblr might also be the right platform for you if you are interested in discovering content. If you are looking for inspiration for almost any topic, you will be able to find other bloggers on Tumblr by posting relevant content. Following these users sees your dashboard filled with their latest posts, similar to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Very simple interface for posting text, images and videos.
Overall fairly limited platform.
If you post the right kind of content, there’s a good chance other Tumblr users will promote it and comment on your posts. So, if you’re looking for one of the more interactive blogging platforms out there, with an already sizable audience, and you’re not interested in posting long articles, Tumblr might be your thing.
Wix is a hosted service for building almost all types of websites, including blogs. The free plan is ideal for hobbyist bloggers and those who want to have a go at blogging without investing any money. Due to the platform’s branding and the advertisements that are displayed on the free plans, more serious bloggers will need to go through one of the paid subscriptions to make their blog look professional.
Upgrading to Wix premium plans allows you to use your own domain, rather than a Wix subdomain, such as myblog.wix.com. Also, if your blog size and popularity increases, beyond the storage and visitors limits of the free plan, you will need to upgrade to one of the premium options.
With all Wix plans, you can choose from a selection of modern and user-friendly templates for your blog. Plus, with the easy-to-use Wix website builder, you have the ability to customize the look of your blog. Wix users can also add additional functionality to their blog, through the free and paid options in the Wix App Market.
Drag and drop website builder to create custom blog designs.
Bound by Wix Terms of Service.
Ultra-limited SEO level. Their blog runs under WordPress.
Although Wix is primarily a website building service rather than a pure blogging platform, getting your blog started is easy. The Wix Template Library has been designed to high standards, while their “app marketplace” makes it easy to add a wide range of new features to your blog.
You’ll probably want to upgrade to one of the paid plans once your blog starts up, or if you want your blog to make a professional impression on your visitors.
Squarespace isn’t free, and it isn’t cheap either, at least compared to most of the other 10 best blogging platforms in this guide. However, building a professional website or blog with Squarespace is a very easy and efficient process.
Here you have the chance to see how easy it is to create a stylish blog or website with Squarespace, without entering any payment details. Then, if you are happy with what you have produced, you can sign up and start your new blog.
Some of the reasons people choose Squarespace include its library of professional themes and customization controls that let you customize almost every aspect of your blog. Whether you choose to use the control panel or edit the underlying CSS using the built-in CSS editor, you have a lot of creative freedom when customizing your blog.
Squarespace probably has one of the longest feature lists in this selection of blogging platforms covered here, beaten only by WordPress and its library of open source plugins and themes. Squarespace features include the ability to add multiple authors to your blog, domain mapping that eliminates the need to use a squarespace.com subdomain, and a good level of social media integration. You can also connect your blog to a small number of third-party services, such as Google Analytics, giving you a detailed overview of your visitors and their activity on your blog.
Squarespace also hosts online webinars and in-person group workshops to help you unlock the full potential of this website and blogging platform.
No resource limit, including unlimited storage and bandwidth.
The prices are high compared to other blogging platforms.
Along with a WordPress.org blog, Squarespace is the most powerful option in this collection of the 10 best blogging platforms. The long list of features and the high degree of creative freedom might be overkill for some bloggers. If you want to start a professional blog, with the ability to expand your website in almost any direction in the future, paying for a Squarespace membership might be justified.
Unlike the WordPress.com blogging platform – the hosted version of WordPress – you’ll have to pay if you choose to sign up for the Ghost hosted service. There’s no free plan, unfortunately, and with prices starting at $ 20 per month for the entry-level plan, this is one of the more expensive options in our guide to the 10 best platforms. blogging. As Project Ghost is a non-profit project, this money is used to fund the development of the platform.
Compared to WordPress, there are fewer themes available to help you change the design of your blog. You also won’t be able to add so many additional features to your Ghost blog, due to the smaller number of plugins available for the platform.
Intuitive interface for creating blog posts.
Self-hosting a Ghost blog can be more convenient than running your own WordPress blog.
If you like the idea of supporting a non-profit blogging platform and using free software for your blog, then Ghost should be of interest to you. The streamlined blog posting interface makes Ghost interesting to consider, too. However, compared to WordPress, you will have fewer options to customize your blog or add new features in the future.
Due to this, one of the advantages of choosing this blogging platform mainly comes from the fact that the Medium website is a really popular site on its own. With this, there is a chance that some people reading other blogs on the Medium platform will find your articles, giving you a free and easy way to increase your audience and visibility online.
One of the downsides is that links to other users’ content can be displayed at the end of your articles, which can distract your readers and send them elsewhere on the site.
The downsides of choosing Medium over the other options are that you have much less control over the design of your content. You also cannot add new features to the platform, or turn your blog into another type of website in the future.
You can’t display your own ads and monetize your content this way.
If you want to sign up and start posting content as quickly as possible, while still being able to reach an already trained audience, Medium is a great platform. However, it’s important to know that you never really own your blog. Instead, you’re just posting articles on the Medium website.
The lack of customization options and upgrade possibilities simplifies the blogging process, but it also limits what you can do beyond just posting articles.
Steemit Blogging platform
The last platform of this presentation is a platform that is close to our hearts as we are passionate about blockchain technology.
Steemit is a kind of social network / blogging platform with a database running on a blockchain. Steemit produces tokens called STEEM and STEEM dollars which are tokens that users receive for a variety of actions such as posting, commenting, and discovering exciting content.
Users can gigve their opinion on the quality of the content shared via comments or posts, and authors who have received positive voices and encouragement from the community get a monetary reward in the form of a cryptocurrency token called STEEM. The tokens attached to the rates of the US dollar are called STEEM Dollars.
Users are also rewarded for discovering popular content (Curation). Steemit uses a reputation system, new accounts start with a reputation of 25.
Interesting concept of censorship resistant blockchain platform.
You can’t display your own ads and monetize your content this way.
Steemit is above all a unique blogging platform for those curious or lovers of Blockchain technology (one of the technologies that runs the Bitcoin network). This platform is far from being fully functional (in Beta version) and still has a lot of limitations.
These users will appreciate above all the Steem.it community, being able to write about any topic, sharing directly with the community and being awarded STEEM tokens if the content is of quality and pleases the community.