Blogging can be used for a variety of purposes, including practicing writing, gaining a following, building a brand, or promoting your website’s traffic. Additionally, it’s a terrific opportunity to meet new, like-minded people.
How do you choose the site to build your blog on?
There’s a wide choice of blogging platforms. The more choices there are, the harder it is to make up your mind.
To help you choose the right blogging platform for yourself, we will first talk about what to look for in a blogging solution. After that, we’ll examine the pros and cons of the 7 best blog sites.
Ready? Let’s get started.
How to Choose The Best Blogging Platform
For making a decision, it helps to know what you are looking for. As they say – if you don’t know where you are going, every way is the right way. Below are some categories to judge the candidates by:
- Costs – An important factor to take into account. What you get for your money is just as essential as how much you pay for your blogging platform. If a freebie doesn’t meet your needs, it’s of no use to you.
- Beginner-friendliness – An easy-to-use blogging platform for beginners is one that does not necessitate any coding expertise on the part of the user. Also, they need to be able to get help when necessary.
- Features and extendability – Your site’s requirements will evolve as your needs do. Modifying or overhauling the design, adding new features, or making other significant alterations may be in order. Good blogging platforms should have the ability to handle this. They should.
- Maintenance – How much time and effort is required to maintain your blogging platform? How much of the work is automated, and how much of it is done by you manually? As a result, your productivity will be significantly impacted.
- Monetization options – Blogs and websites are often started as a means of generating income. This may be achieved in a variety of ways, so pick a platform that suits your needs if this is a goal of yours as well.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to considering the above factors. When comparing the top blogging platforms, keep these things in mind.
7 Best Blog Platforms
Below, you’ll find some of the most popular blogging solutions in the world and how they compare to each other.
WordPress.com – Best for Free Blogs
WordPress.com is a blog site hosting service by Automattic.
You can get a free blog with basic features. For advanced functionality, you need to opt for one of their paid plans. It can be a great starting point for blogging. If you ever decide to have more control over your site, it’s relatively easy to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
- Small hobby blogs
- For people who want to test the waters with blogging
It’s a good option for small blogs or hobby blogs that are not actively maintained.
- Super easy to set up – just create an account and follow the installation wizard
- Hosting is included, so you have fewer moving parts to deal with
- The interface is even more streamlined than self-hosted WordPress
- No need to worry about site maintenance, everything is done for you
- Built-in stats and community functions
- Professional and dedicated support on paid plans
- The free account is very limited, e.g., your blog is hosted on a subdomain
- Narrow customization options, third-party themes, and plugins are only available on Business plans
- Limited monetization opportunities, advertising is forbidden for lower plans
- You can lose your site if you violate the terms and services of the platform
- Ads and branding are present on your site unless you pay to remove them
Paid WordPress.com plans cost between $4 and $45 per month (billed annually). Each tier increases the amount of storage space, features (including monetization options), and support. With the Business plan, you can install external plugins and themes and connect your site to Google Analytics.
Visit WordPress.com to start a free blog.
WordPress.org – Best for Self-Hosted Blogs
Among the best blog sites, the self-hosted version of WordPress is, by far the most popular blogging platform in the world. WordPress powers over 90 percent of all the blogs on the Internet. It’s often confused with its close cousin WordPress.com.
WordPress.org self-hosted version is perfect for all kinds of blogs, but mostly for those who are serious about blogging:
- Personal blogs
- Business blogs
- Online businesses
- Bloggers who want full control over their site
- Very flexible – WordPress gives you full control over every aspect of your site
- Highly extendable – you can add almost any functionality through plugins (The WordPress directory has over 59,000).
- Thousands of mobile-friendly themes allow you to switch the design of your blog at the touch of a button
- The platform is search engine friendly and works well with social media
- You will have full ownership of your content
- Its large community means lots of support options
- You need to get web hosting and a domain name
WordPress is an open-source blogging platform which means it’s free to use. However, to set it up, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting. Also, you may want to spend money on premium plugins and themes that add more flexibility to your blog.
Web.com – Best for Small Business Owners
Web.com is known for offering online services such as hosting, domain names, marketing, and website building. It covers all areas necessary for starting a smaller business website, personal blog, or online store. However, if you’re interested in starting a bigger project than the aforementioned, you should look elsewhere.
- Small business owners
- Non-tech-savvy users who want to build a website/start a blog
- Inexpensive intro pricing $1.95 for the first month
- Beginner-friendly customization
- 24/7 support
- Hosting and a free domain name (for one year) is included
- Possible to upgrade to an eCommerce plan
- Steep renewal prices
- The drag-and-drop editor doesn’t work well (lacks in preciseness)
- Lack of quality templates
Web.com comes with three plans: Starter package $1.95 for the first month, Marketing package $2.95/month, and eCommerce $3.95/month. After the first billing cycle, the recurring fee for the packages would be $10/month, $15/month, and $20/month, respectively.
There’s also an option to choose an annual plan. In that case, the Starter package would cost you $50/year (renews to $100/year), Marketing package $75/year (renews to $150/year), and eCommerce $100/year (renews to $200/year).
Web.com doesn’t offer a free plan.
Wix.com – Best for Small Websites
Wix is similar to Squarespace. It allows you to put together your web presence via drag and drop and comes with a blogging ability that you can add to your site.
- Small business owners who need a blog with a website
- Creative artists who mostly share photos
- Ability to customize your site with templates and third-party apps
- No coding skills are required, you can achieve everything with the graphical interface
- Quick and easy setup, includes top-notch hosting
- Lots of design options and everything is built with HTML5
- Has a feature to automatically design your blog using an artificial intelligence
- Comes with free stock images
- The free account comes with limited capabilities, traffic, storage and has Wix branding and ads
- The number of free apps is limited
- You are unable to change your site template after choosing it
- The eCommerce capabilities of Wix are limited, even on paid plans
- The service charges for many things so costs rack up easily
- You are unable to move your site elsewhere and take your content with you
Wix is subscription-based and offers different packages. They start at $14/month for 3 GB storage plus a free domain name for a year. Higher plans add more bandwidth and storage, free domains, apps, the ability to create an online store and remove the ads. The most expensive plan ($39/month) also comes with VIP support.
Visit Wix.com to start your blog.
Next on our list of the best blog sites is another open-source content management system (Joomla) that you can use to build all kinds of websites.
- Business websites
- Online stores
- Technically advanced users
- Powerful and flexible, suitable for building more than blogs
- Hundreds of professional templates make it easy to change the design
- Lots of available extensions for adding more features and functionality
- More technical than other solutions on this list; basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is a necessity
- The responsibility for security, backups, and performance is on you (although you may avail of Joomla managed hosting)
Joomla is free to download, costs only incur for hosting and a domain.
To get started with Joomla, follow this guide here.
Medium is a publishing platform founded in 2012 by one of the people behind Twitter. By now, it has become a popular community for writers, bloggers, and journalists.
In addition to the ability to write blog posts, it also comes with limited social networking functions. You can comment on other people’s content and “like” it (likes are called “claps” on Medium). The audience is built into the platform.
- Just sign up, and you are ready to blog
- Great user interface and elegant writing experience
- The focus is completely on content creation, not running or designing the site around it
- You can embed content from other services (YouTube, Twitter, etc.)
- All blogs on Medium look the same, there are hardly any customization options
- Very limited marketing features
- No way to transfer your audience from Medium to any other platform
- Monetization options are absent
- Medium has control over your content
The platform is free to use. If you have your domain, you can hook it up to individual stories. Unfortunately, you can’t do the same with user accounts.
- Bloggers who are happy to experiment with the newest technical solutions
- Focus on writing and blogging
- Clean, intuitive, streamlined user interface
- Live preview of blog posts
- The hosted version requires no setup
- SEO and social media capabilities are built-in
- Integrated function for Accelerated Mobile Pages
- Not easy to customize
- Limited configuration and customization options
- The number of themes is narrow
- Ghost’s self-hosted version is complicated to set up
The price for the hosted version depends on the number of websites and the amount of traffic. For $29/month you get one blog and 100,000 monthly page views. This also includes SSL encryption. The most expensive plan is $249/month ($199/month paid annually). Ghost has prioritized support, uptime guarantee, and other premium features. All plans come with a custom domain.
For the self-hosted version, you need to pay the usual hosting plus the domain registration.
Choose the Platform that Suits You
It’s important to choose a platform that suits you best. Figure out the goal for your blog, then take a look at each individual blog platform. Which one best matches what you’re trying to do?