Best Blogging Platforms

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best blogging platforms 1

Thinking about starting your own blog? This guide will help you choose from the best blogging platforms available online.

Choosing the right platform is an important step as you don’t really want to be changing to another platform anytime soon. Changing will mean added work in transferring everything over, domain and content.

This guide is going to go through all the best blogging platforms and will help you make your decision. 

Summary

What are blogging platforms?

Technically, a blogging platform is a software that allows you to publish pieces of content on the internet, usually in a blog article format. These differ to normal websites by being more dynamic, as a blog is constantly being updated with new content. Websites traditionally are static pages that don’t change much.

But these days, the difference to the consumer in minimal as both websites and blogging platforms can offer very similar things. A website can have a blog section that acts like a dynamic blog as well as static pages, and a blogging platform can have a static pages as well as it’s blogging function.

We’ll be including both types in the options below.

How to choose between the best blogging platforms?

Choosing the right platform depends on your personal needs, as more experienced blogger might be looking for more advanced features than beginners looking for and user-friendly platform.

If you’re a complete beginner, it’s certainly worth keeping an eye out for platforms that offer a free service or are completely free for life. This will not only cost you nothing, but it will also give you time to practice and gain experience in the field. Once you feel you’re confident you can make a choice to either move on to a more complicated platform or to stay with what you have.

If you’re more experienced, you may be more interested in the growth capacity and the features available. You should certainly be looking at the monetisation power of the platform as well as any performance benefits.

Whatever your needs, our guide should help you decide between the best blogging platforms.

The best blogging platforms in 2020

Below, we’ve listed our best blogging platforms.

1. WordPress.org

(Suitable for everyone).

wordpress.org 1

This probably won’t come as a surprise to many, WordPress.org tops our list and is a platform that supplies 30% of the websites online today.

WordPress.org is a favourite with bloggers worldwide as it gives them complete control over their site’s customisation and monetisation. It offers a huge number of plugins, themes and additional features you can access through the platform.

But, one thing to keep in mind is that there are two versions of WordPress – WordPress.com is the first and WordPress.org is the second. Don’t mix up between the two as they’re different! 

The WordPress.com version hosts your website for you and paid plans give you access to the plugins and extra features that you need. WordPress.org doesn’t come with hosting, but has more features than WordPress.com and ultimately usually comes out cheaper in the long run.  

You can sign up to WordPress.org with a hosting provider (such as BlueHost) and they will give you access through the web browser without downloading anything to your computer. This is also beginner friendly and doesn’t take a lot of time or effort.

Here are a few providers that can offer you WordPress.org as part of their service and are really easy to use:

Plans

WordPress.org is free, but for the average user they’ll need a host in order to use it. Hosting porvider prices vary, but it usually works out at a very affordable rate considering you’re getting access to the best blogging platform on the market.

Pros

  • Full control over customisation
  • Numerous themes to choose from
  • Huge number of plugins
  • Plenty of support from WordPress and from individual developers
  • Free to download as open source
  • SEO friendly

Cons

  • Some themes and plugins have additional paid plans
  • Unless you can code, you’ll need a hosting site

Take away

With the number of plugins, control and themes available to you the WordPress.org platform is leading the way.  It’s easy enough to get access through a host site and well worth the effort in the long term as you look to grow. 

Here are our two hosting recommendations again, they will make it easy for you to get going on the site:

(Suitable for beginners).

Wix is already well known as a fantastic website builder as it’s very easy to get going, user friendly and can build a website in no time at all. But it also includes a blogging functionality that can create a blogging website in no time at all. These blogs are all responsive and supported on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

All these put together make it to be one of the best blogging platforms on the market today, especially for beginners.

Plans

Wix offers a very affordable platform, with free accounts available to start off. The paid plans offer value, with additional spend optional for high end features. Higher plans also include services such as logo design and other handy things that could be very useful to someone starting out.

Pros

  • Free version available
  • Straightforward, user-friendly interface
  • It is easy to set up 
  • No coding needed
  • Hosting is available
  • Plenty of templates and apps to customize your site

Cons

  • Most of the apps are paid ones and add -on charges can stack up pretty easily
  • E-commerce functionality is limited
  • You can’t migrate your site

Take Away

We really rate Wix as a perfect platform for someone who doesn’t have much experience with blogging or websites. It makes it easy to get going, easy to use and the features offered is everything that you will need starting out. If you’re new, this is definitely a great choice.

(Suitable for everyone, but free version mainy for beginners).

The site gives bloggers a balance between flexibility and more powerful options.  WordPress.com is more responsive on mobile, is more SEO friendly than WordPress.org and is easier to get going. It also has a free version for you to start off with, but payments are required in order to enjoy extra storage, plugins and your personal domain name. 

If you’re starting out, WordPress.com can pretty much do anything you’d want to do.

Plans

WordPress.com comes with a free plan that gives you a website, a few templates, internal tools , analytics and unlimited writing. If you upgrade to the Business plan you will get access to all the plugins and can even install external plugins.

Pros

  • Basic plan is completely free
  • There’s a plugin for everything
  • Easy to get help if you face any issues
  • No setup, easy to get going
  • Comes with hosting included

Cons

  • Paid plans needed to access the better features and to have pluggins

Take Away

If you’re on the Business plan, WordPress.com offers everything a blogger needs through the on-mass themes and plugins available. Remember, more and more are being developed and WordPress won’t stop improving anytime soon.

(Suitable for beginners).

Gator is an easy to use drag, drop and publish site. Tools are available for building any website of your choice, be it a blog, business site or an online store. As well as this, Gator’s prices are really budget friendly and is a very well placed platform for beginners.

The service is owned and provided by HostGator, who also provide hosting services. HostGator offers the website hosting, while Gator handles the website building. 

Side note: You could also use the WordPress (.org) option and have HostGator host for you.

Plans

Although there is no free version, the prices are very affordable. For beginners, the starter plan should give you everything that you need, including an SSL certificate (which usually comes with the higher plans with other providers).

Pros

  • Fast and easy to set up
  • Easy to use
  • Free domain and SSL certificate
  • Budget friendly

Cons

  • Limited functionality, but does everything that you need

Take Away

Gator is a very budget friendly, easy to use option for anyone and highly recommended. Although be aware that it will have its limitations with regards to functionality, compared with the WordPress option next door with HostGator as host.

5. Constant Contact

(Suitable for beginners).

Constant Contact is an AI-powered website builder that helps bloggers create a wide range of website types in just a few minutes, be it blogs, online stores, or business websites. 

It’s got a large template collection that helps you personalize your site, with a drag and drop interface as well, and you don’t need any high-pay plan to access most of these. 

Custom logo makers, 550,000 free image library, and much more are available.

Plans

Constant Contact offers a free plan that is great for building any website of your choice. The free plan includes the SSL security, analytics and blog, but does come with ads until you upgrade.

The higher plans see an increase in customisation when it comes to domain and an increase in e-commerce capacity.

Pros

  • Easy to use, no coding skill required
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free hosting and SSL certificate included
  • Generous plan and a free trial before purchase
  • Free logo creator included

Cons

  • Not enough third party plugins when compared with WordPress
  • Integration with third party platforms is limited
  • Exporting your site from Constant Contact to another blogging platform is a tiresome process

Take away

The one other attractive thing with Constant Contact is that it’s already established as a top email marketing giant, so you’d be in good company. The free plan and basic options certainly give you enough to play with at a very reasonable price.

6. SquareSpace

(Suitable for everyone).

This blogging platform and has grown to become a classic go to site. Square Space is known for being visually appealing, with a collection of beautifully designed templates with plenty to choose from. These templates are all fully responsive, and you can easily switch between them without having any issues. 

SquareSpace is great for artistes and designers because of its polished template designs and the blogging features have been improved over the years. It has paid plans which offer bloggers great value, as there are many more themes and other great stuff that would suit any niche of blogging. 

If you’re looking for stylish templates, then this is one of the best blogging platforms for you.

Plans

SquareSpace doesn’t offer a free version, but the personal package comes with everything that you’d need to run a blog. The higher tiers are more geared towards e-commerce than blogging, but still offer features such as no ads and an email address. 

Pros

  • Hosting and Custom Domains are available
  • It gives the blogger high creative freedom in customization
  • Designs are on point, with awesome templates too.

Cons

  • Third party integrations are limited
  • The majority of its features are not available on its most basic plan, the Personal plan.

Take away

All in all, SquareSpace is stylish and suits those looking for visually appeal over functionality.

(Suitable for beginners).

Weebly is another social media like platform where it’s all set up and ready to go, allowing you to focus on creating content. If you wish to add a post to your blog, all you need do is point and click and it’s as simple as that. 

Weebly was designed to make things easy for beginners, offering nice templates with drag and drop site builder functionality. Monetization is very possible, as you can integrate Google Adsense into your site. 

Numerous themes are available, but they probably aren’t as nice as those on WordPress or Squarespace. Bloggers also enjoy an impressive number of blogging features such as comments sections, detailed analytics on blog performance, social bookmarking to make your blog viral, and an easy-access archive.

Plans

Weebly has a free plan available if you accept Weebly branding, but that comes with SSL and 500mb storage. You’ll need take the Pro plan to get rid of Weebly ads, but you also get unlimited storage, a free domain and other handy features with that. The highest plan is for stores and e-commerce.

Pros

  • Coding knowledge is not needed
  • It is affordable, gives great value
  • Beginner-friendly

Cons

  • Third party apps are limited
  • Weebly made intrude your content with self-advertisement in the free version
  • Additional blogging tools are limited

Take away

Weebly is a ready built blogging platform suitable for beginners who are very new to blogging. The plans available are very reasonable for what you’re getting and certainly worth not having any hassle. Just don’t expect much more than a simple blogging platform.

8. Medium

(Suitable for beginners).

Medium was launched in 2012, and works similar to a social networking site where you create an account and upload your content. Over the years, Medium has become a popular platform for entrepreneurs, journalists, bloggers, best- authors and writers too.  It has got a minimalistic, organized design that is user-friendly and veru suitable for beginners. 

The main feature is that it’s a stright out of the box blogging website that already has the audience waiting for you. But, that means that you cannot use your own domain name as Medium will set it for you.

It constitutes a terrific starting point for beginners in the blogging field as it’s very simple to use, with no web development or coding skills required. Brands also use it to recycle their content on another platform in order to gain more exposures and further reads. 

Plans

Medium is free to use.

Pros

  • Easy to get started
  • No coding skills needed
  • The community is already available
  • You could choose to focus on writing only, without bothering to create a full site

Cons

  • No special or exceptional design structure
  • There are limited features available, design has been preset
  • Bloggers are unable to place ads of any sort

Take away

Medium is a great platform for beginners with it’s ready made audience ready to go. It’s even handy for experienced podcasters who could use that ready made audience to further the reach of some of their content. Certainly one to consider.

9. Blogger

(Suitable for beginners).

Google offers a free and easy to use blogging service through the Blogger platform. 

Launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs, it is one of the earliest but best blogging platforms in history, and is arguably the easiest to use, and is recommended for beginners. All that the user needs to do is compose a post, insert photos, and publish. 

You can add some widgets and code some HTML, a service which other blog sites may not offer. It requires a Google account to get started, as it is a Google service, integrated with other Google services. Photos and videos can be added to your posts through Google Photos and YouTube.

If you’re looking for simplicity and a free platform, this is one of the best blogging platforms for you.

Plans

Blogger costs you absolutely nothing and is free.

Pros

  • No tech or coding skills required
  • It is free of charge
  • Maintenance and hosting covered
  • Mobile responsive

Cons

  • Relatively fewer templates
  • Google ads on your blog
  • Not many blogging tools

Take away

Blogger has been around for a while and is a fantastic platform if you haven’t ran a blog before.

10. Ghost

(Suitable for developers).

Ghost is an online blogging platform, providing an easy-to-use, open source blogging service for its users.The interface is well arranged and more organized when compared with the other blogging services. One of the features we really like is the subscription feature that can go up to 15,000 members.

One of it’s main features is a live preview of your blog post as you are composing it, that helps you fix errors as you go along. 

Ghost has a good interface for beginners in the blogging field, but does not offer web hosting services, meaning you’ll have to host on another site (such as Bluehost).

Plans

There is a free plan available if you know how to set up self-hosting, which can be difficult even for experienced bloggers. The higher plans are pricey but do cater well for large traffic websites.

Pros

  • Very fast and responsive due to JavaScript
  • Preview posts while composing, with social media capabilities.
  • Great interface

Cons

  • Even the basic plan is pricey
  • Not many themes with very few design and configuration options
  • No web hosting service included
  • Does not offer hosting

Take away

Ghost is a slightly more heavy-duty platform that has quite a high ceiling for page views. Not the best for beginners, but certainly worth considering if you’ve got a larger scale operation already on the go.

11. Drupal

(Suitable for developers).

Drupal is certainly one of the best blogging platforms for business owners and businesses, but not really suitable for your average blogger. It’s open source and has one of the largest open source communities in the World with everyone all working together.

THe benifits of Drupal is that it offers a complete content management system, which means that your web pages, blog, and online content are created and organized within the platform. 

It doesn’t offer web hosting services, but you can easily access Drupal through a hosting provider such as BlueHost and a One Click Install.

If you’ve got the coding skills, this could be one of the best blogging platforms for you.

Plans

Drupal is free to use, as it is an open-source platform.

Pros

  • System is well structured to handle lots of data
  • Site support is multilingual
  • Access control helps in management of user permissions

Cons

  • Expertise is required for installation.
  • Modules are required to fix the Drupal out-of-the-box feel

Take away

Drupal is powerful, but it may not be a beginner-friendly type, so if you’re new it’s better to upgrade to Drupal than to start off with it. But if you’re able and want Drupal, you can easily get going by using a hosting account such as BlueHost and doing a One Click Install. 

12. Joomla

(Suitable for developers).

Joomla is a competitor to WordPress.org, offering nearly the same features and services as they provide Search Engine Optimization, site extensiveness, and are both open-source. It’s very much a half-way house between WordPress and Drupal.

It provides lots of services that help make your site easier to maintain and gives bloggers several built-in options that require no plugins or extensions to function; a feature that makes it popular.

Joomla does not come with hosting, so you’ll need o source a hosting provider somewhere else.

Plans

It’s free Open Source software, but you’ll need to find your own hosting provider.

Pros

  • Powerful open source 
  • More built-in settings and preferences are offered, in comparison to WordPress
  • Update process is hassle-free, making it easy to maintain
  • Free Open Source saftware

Cons

  • Not too many themes and extensions
  • HTML and CSS programming is required
  • Doesn’t offer hosting, so no backups, security and performance included

Take away

If you’re looking for a halfway house between WordPress and Drupal with regards to picking up an open source project, Joomla is the platform for you.

13. Tumblr

(Suitable for beginners).

Founded in 2007 and based in New York, Tumblr is a social media like blogging tool that’s renowned for delivering shareable and shorter form content. 

It has got social networking features that are incorporated into its microblogging services such as reblogging, following other blogs and sharing tools. It’s very simple to use and suitable for inexperienced bloggers to get going.

With several templates available to personalize your content, Tumblr simplifies the process of adding videos, audio formats, gif images, and uploading articles.

Plans

Tumblr is free to use, but there are paid themes and apps.

Pros

  • Very straightforward and easy to use
  • HTML and CSS are not required
  • Social media components are integrated

Cons

  • Several themes available, but they don’t offer additional features
  • Features offered are limited
  • Importing your blog from Tumblr to another platform is difficult

Take away

This is another great platform for beginners who want to get a footing in blogging, or someone that doesn’t want to spend any money. It’s a ready-made platform without any powerful customisation options. Just plug in and get going.

Take Away

Make sure you check out our other articles on blogging:

Recommended Article: How to Start a Blog?

How to Start a Blog?

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