Free and paid blog platforms.
Do you want to start your blog but need help figuring out how to choose the best blogging platform? It can be a difficult decision because there are numerous blogging platforms available. How can you know which one is best for you?
Blogging platforms enable people to easily share their thoughts and ideas with the rest of the world, connect with others with similar interests, and promote open dialogue and idea exchange.
These platforms can also be used for marketing, branding, reaching a big audience, and building a loyal following.
Building a great blog begins with choosing the right platform—and only a few are genuinely worth considering.
Here are the top options, detailed reviews, and a guide to help determine your best choice.
How to Pick the Best Blogging Platform
If you don’t know where you’re going, every road seems to get you there. Knowing what you are looking for is helpful before making a decision. The following are some criteria for assessing the best platform:
- Costs are an essential factor. It’s critical that your blogging platform fits within your budget and that you get value for your money. A free offer is only helpful if it meets your needs.
- Beginner-friendly – Beginners require a simple blogging solution to start up and manage and do not require coding abilities. They must also be able to seek assistance when they encounter difficulties.
- Features and scalability – Your site’s needs and requirements will change over time. You might want to tweak or modify the design, add features, or make other significant adjustments. A competent blogging platform should be able to handle this.
- Maintenance – How much hands-on effort does your blogging system require? Does it handle most of the activities and features for you, or do you have to perform everything by hand? This will have a significant impact on your workflow.
- Options for monetization – Many people eventually start a blog or website to earn money. If that is your goal, you should also find a platform that allows you to do it in a method that works for you.
The ranking of the following elements will vary depending on your skills, goals, and needs. Remember them when we compare the top blogging platforms available.
WordPress.org is the most popular blogging software in the world. For starters, it’s free; you just have to pay for hosting. WordPress, founded in 2003, today powers more than 43% of all websites on the internet.
If you want complete control over your blog’s appearance and content, WordPress.org is the way to go. While you can operate your own server from your basement, it’s far quicker to use a hosting service (such as Bluehost or NameCheap) that can immediately install WordPress for you.
WordPress not only makes the fundamentals simple, but it is also infinitely customizable. There are tens of thousands of themes and plugins available that change the looks and functionality of WordPress.
The WordPress platform also comes with a powerful administration area (Dashboard) for maintenance, easy-to-use content publishing, and an overview of what’s happening on your blog.
There are themes for photographers and designers to display their work, plugins for selling things through blog entries, and anything else you can think of. It’s a wild world out there, but plenty of community support to help you manage it.
The disadvantage of running your own WordPress installation is that you are completely on your own unless you pay for managed hosting or hire a developer. While installing a theme is relatively easy, customizing it to look good and work with your content may require some Googling.
Similarly, while blogging with WordPress is simple, and the Gutenberg editor is excellent, adding extra functionality with a plugin and getting it to work with your setup can be complicated.
WordPress may be a breeze- or a nightmare- depending on what you’re trying to accomplish and your level of experience with web tools.
Nonetheless, the benefits of WordPress far outweigh the disadvantages.
- WordPress.org gives you complete control over your website.
- There are thousands of free WordPress themes available. Most popular WordPress themes include built-in customization options that give you complete design control without requiring you to edit any CSS code.
- You will also have access to over 59,000 free WordPress plugins. These plugins function similarly to apps for your WordPress blog, allowing you to add features such as contact forms, galleries, and so on. This enables you to create a stunning website that stands out.
- The drag-and-drop editor in WordPress makes it simple to create any content for your blog site. It also allows you to easily embed dynamic content such as videos, social media feeds, Google Adsense, graphs, charts, and more.
- You can expand your blog by adding features such as forums, an online store, paid memberships, and the ability to sell online courses. As a result, WordPress is the best free blogging platform for making money.
- WordPress is optimized for search engines. You can easily create SEO-friendly URLs, categories, and tags for your posts. Furthermore, there are a plethora of excellent SEO plugins for additional optimization.
- You can easily enable Google Analytics in WordPress to see your website’s stats. This aids in the growth of your new blog traffic and subscribers.
- Managing your website requires some learning because you will need to become acquainted with the WordPress admin backend.
- You will be responsible for your backups and security.
Wix is the shortest distance between you and a functional blog. It’s a great option for beginners who want to build a full-fledged website with a blog.
Wix offers various paid subscription plans and a free option, though it’s important to note that this comes with some limitations. The free product includes Wix branding and is limited to 500MB of data transfer per month, making it unsuitable for high-traffic sites. Keep in mind that you only get 500MB of storage.
Aside from those restrictions, you are free to create a blog with unlimited pages, and Wix truly distinguishes itself with its robust blog feature.
The editor is simple, but you have access to everything you need – from image galleries to videos and music – and there are several ways to modify a post.
There’s also a lot of flexibility in scheduling posts and excellent features like setting things up so that posts are immediately sent to Facebook when published.
For example, Wix Bookings is a feature that allows consumers to schedule appointments and classes directly on your website.
What makes Wix truly compelling is that you get the run of the rest of what this website builder has to offer in addition to blog support. This includes using Wix’s ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) editor, which will ask for basic information about the type of site you want to create and the features you want, and then quickly generate something along those lines for you. Of course, this is an excellent feature for beginners.
There is also commendably diverse support for many media and excellent customer service (yes, even on the free plan). Wix Turbo is also available, which significantly improves website speed and performance.
When you consider what you’re getting for free, the bandwidth and data constraints don’t seem like such a burden. And if you wish to break free from them in the long run, you may always upgrade later.
- You can personalize your site with a variety of layouts and third-party add-ons.
- Create your site with simple drag-and-drop tools; no coding or HTML knowledge is necessary.
- The setup is quick and straightforward.
- The free account has limitations and displays Wix branding and advertisements on your site.
- There are a limited number of free third-party apps available.
- Once you’ve selected a template, you can’t change it.
- Ecommerce services are only available on subscription accounts, and even then, they are limited.
Web.com is well-known for providing online services like hosting, domain names, marketing, and website creation. It includes all you need to know to build a small business website, personal blog, or online store. If you want to start a larger project than the one stated above, you should search elsewhere.
Their drag-and-drop website builder software is exceptionally simple for non-technical customers and offers very low starting costs ($1.95).
By selecting from their dozens of pre-made templates, you can change your blog look without writing any code. It includes all the necessary features, including SEO tools, blog security measures, autosave & backup, website analytics, and more.
- Drag and drop website builder for beginners (no coding needed).
- Dozens of totally customizable blog templates.
- Web.com handles all of the technical aspects of hosting your website, making setup simple and painless.
- Starting at $1.95 per month, it offers all essential features.
- All-priced plans include a free domain.
- Customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via phone, live chat, and email.
- Because the extensions/app ecosystem is small, there aren’t as many third-party plugins as there are for WordPress.
- Blogging features are less powerful than those found in WordPress.
- Because Web.com is a proprietary website builder, it is impossible to migrate your website to another platform later.
- Steep renewal prices
- The drag-and-drop editor doesn’t work well (lacks in preciseness)
- Lack of quality templates
Squarespace, like Wix, is an all-in-one website builder. However, it is well-known for its visually appealing templates, making it ideal for visual-based businesses such as photographers, designers, and artists.
You’d think everyone employed a designer to achieve the clean, stunning brand presentation on Squarespace blogs. In truth, it could be that person’s very first website.
Don’t misunderstand me. Graphic designers can take Squarespace to incredible heights, but the platform’s appeal is that non-technical users can create a visually appealing site on their own.
Squarespace makes it very simple to edit your blog, from the contacts page to the about page, the home page, your portfolio, and the actual blog itself. They, like Wix, feature a drag-and-drop tool. Furthermore, unlike WordPress, users are not subjected to an often confusing backend editor.
They have a fantastic “What You See Is What You Get builder.”
Squarespace also provides capabilities for adding an eCommerce component to your blog and newsletter integration. This can significantly assist you in scaling and transforming your blog for profitability and audience growth.
- Squarespace is simple and easy to use for non-technical novices.
- It includes professionally created templates that are attractive.
- It provides domain names with SSL/HTTPS and eCommerce stores individually.
- Squarespace’s functionalities are limited to those built within its proprietary platform.
- Integrations are restricted to a few services and tools.
Medium is a publishing platform launched in 2012 by one of the Twitter founders. It has since grown in popularity among authors, bloggers, and journalists.
It includes basic social networking functionality and the ability to publish blog posts. You can leave comments and “like” other people’s articles (likes are referred to as “claps” on Medium).
Medium makes getting paid to write blogs as simple as possible.
You will not be responsible for web hosting, design, maintenance, or creating your own website. It’s ideal for bloggers who want to write and get paid without having to do anything else.
Best of all, Medium already has a following. As a result, you won’t have to worry about drawing readers to your blogs.
There are numerous themes on which to write. Simply sign up for the Medium Partner Program for free, and you can earn money if people read your blogs.
- Medium is simple to use, requiring no setup and no coding knowledge.
- It enables you to connect with an established online community of people who share your interests.
- Instead of constructing a website, you can concentrate completely on writing.
- In terms of design or brand building, features are severely constrained.
- Medium owns your audience, so losing your blog means losing your followers.
- You are not permitted to use your own domain name. You’ll obtain a profile page similar to Facebook, such as https://medium.com/@yourname.
- Because monetization is limited to their partner program, you cannot run your own ads to make money.
Blogger is one of the greatest free blogging platforms for creating a blog securely and reliably.
Blogger is one of the first blogging platforms. Pyra Labs launched it in 1999. Later in 2003, Google purchased Blogger and revamped it into the product we know today.
You don’t need a hosting provider to get started. All you have to do is sign in with your Google account and follow the simple instructions on Blogger to create a free blog. There is no requirement for technical knowledge or coding skills because the site is designed and set up intuitively.
It is still a popular solution, but I see more people abandoning it. The good news is that the platform is free, and you may try it out without committing to anything.
- Blogger is completely free.
- It is simple to use and manage without any technical knowledge.
- Has the added benefit of Google’s robust and secure platform and dependability.
Weebly provides a modular approach to blog creation, with a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to choose which pieces to include on your site and where.
Choose a basic template, then add other types of material to the page, such as social media links, text, photographs, maps, and code sections. It’s a delightfully straightforward way to create a blog that feels unique to you without having to fiddle with menus.
It’s worth noting, however, that certain content blocks can only be placed in specific regions; it’s not a complete free-for-all. This makes sense – constraining you to stay inside the boundaries of your selected template keeps the page from seeming cluttered – but you may find it restricting.
The same method is used to create blog posts: drag text boxes, photo frames, buttons, and page breaks into position, then click to change them. One handy feature is the secret draft link,’ which allows you to preview your unpublished post and share it with others via email before publishing it.
Weebly also has some unique tricks, such as a section for copying in Google Analytics tracking code (although it does not provide analytics itself).
- Website hosting and blogging platform included.
- Integration with the Square payment platform is seamless.
- The hosted version requires no installation.
- The free package is limited in terms of features and bandwidth. It also has Weebly branding.
- Paid subscriptions are prohibitively expensive when compared to major blogging websites.
- The blogging and SEO features are not as powerful as those of WordPress.
Frequently Ask Questions
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform is a service that allows you to create and manage a blog to share your ideas and opinions online. Blog sites are also known as CMS (Content Management Systems) since they allow you to manage content publishing efficiently.
Do I need to know how to code?
No. Most blogging platforms available today allow you to design webpages using drag-and-drop builders. That means you can sit back, relax, and concentrate on the design. You don’t need to know anything about computer languages or databases to start with simple Wix sites or to blog on WordPress.
To get started check out this guide here
How can I create a blog for free?
You can set up a free blog on WordPress or any of the other free blogging platforms discussed in this post. However, if you want to take your blogging to the next level, I recommend using a self-hosted version of WordPress. If you’re okay with the default settings and find a theme you like, you can build a website in about 10 minutes with WordPress.org.
Can I earn money with free blogs?
There are various methods of monetization (like showing ads, joining affiliate programs, accepting sponsored content, or adding an online store). Yes, you can make money even with a free blog. However, to make money, you must first invest time (and, in most cases, money). All popular blogs and the greatest blog sites have had to do this.
Understanding how free blogging sites and self-hosted WordPress work is the most reliable way to select the ideal blogging platform for your needs. Your choice will also be influenced by your budget, customization capabilities, and the convenience of use of the software you intend to utilize.
I have informed you of the top blog sites’ characteristics (advantages and disadvantages) through this guide. And you now understand how to get started with each of them.
So, which one will you pick?