Blogging is always a good idea, but do you know which platform you should use to place your content on? It’s hard to know which platform or web server to use when there are so many to choose from. Rather than wrestle over this question indefinitely, we thought we’d help you out by providing our “Top 10” list of the best blogging platforms available today. Then you can look at the characteristics of each one and decide for yourself.
If you’d like to get started with a self-hosted blog of your own, and also get a free domain name in the process, we recommend you walk through our simple 3-step blog setup process. This will allow you to go live with your blog in just a few minutes time, while also having 100% ownership and control over your site. (something many of the blogging platforms below currently don’t offer)
TOP 10 BLOGGING PLATFORMS
These top 10 blogging platforms offer quite a bit for the beginning blogger. Most do not require any fee while some offer eCommerce packages for a full-blown website. Take a look at each of these and think about what you want for your blog as you decide which is right for you.
WordPress is perhaps the most famous blogging platform in the United States. The statistics show that the WordPress platform hosts at least 33% of all blogs and websites in the U.S. This stat is probably because WordPress is so user-friendly. At the same time, it is a platform that offers a wide variety of add-ons, plugins, and perks that draw people to their site.
- Themes are one of the best things that come with the WordPress format. The themes in WordPress vary from formal business themes to party ideas, art studios, and much more. Whether you are starting a flower shop or a multimedia company, you will find just the right theme to accent your online website or blog.
- Plugins are another great feature of the WordPress site. Plugins allow you to increase the level of engagement by offering a wide variety of multimedia plugins, as well as many others. There are plugins specifically featured by the WordPress people; then you can also find some off-site plugins that were developed for specific uses. Some examples of WP plugins include the JetPack plugin, Yoast SEO, and Anti-spam plugins.
Another great feature of WordPress is that you can either install the software on the www.wordpress.com site or use the integrated onboard platform at www.wordpress.org. Also, you can choose any server that allows WordPress, and you will be able to integrate the features of WordPress right within your web server.
Prefer tutorials to get you started? Check out TrickyEnough for WordPress tutorials and so much more.
Blogger.com (also known as Blogspot) is considered the Google alternative to WordPress.org. There are approximately 46 million users on Blogger either posting site content or visiting a blog. Google.com also owns them, so this means that, as a blogger on their site, you will get much of Google’s traffic just for posting.
Blogger is a simple blogging platform that allows users to quickly post, using the onboard tools such as image insertion and video embedding to feature multimedia content. The most significant advantage of blogger.com is that it is 100% free.
That being said, Blogger.com is a very simplistic “barebones” platform that does not allow integration within other platforms (other than to link out to it) and there are very few outside perks or add-ons.
Unlike WordPress, you also cannot download a standalone version of the blogging software. However, the automatic statistical metric graphs and other onboard tools allow you to quickly view how your blog is doing with your audience without the use of extra tools.
There’s no code to paste in your page like there is with other servers to use Google Analytics. The Google Analytics metrics engine is already working on the site. You can also easily add Google Adsense ads and monetize your blog with every post.
Wix is the favorite platform with millennials, as well as anyone who doesn’t know where to start regarding setting up a platform. It is simple to do and only takes a couple of hours, according to most people who have used it. It’s a great way for any small business, musician, artist, or anyone else to create a website using the drag-and-drop tools.
If you are a blogger, you can also use Wix as a hosting platform for your blog. Add the Wix blog app to incorporate a blog into your websites.
One advantage of Wix is that it is free unless you choose to get rid of the Wix promotional ads. Then it will cost you from $8.50 to $24.50 per month.
One note: Wix’s eCommerce plans are limited to the paid plans.
WordPress.com is the downloadable version of the WordPress.org site. You may download the standalone version of the viral blogger platform by using this site. Their blog hosting service is free, but you may want to purchase the additional options such as a custom domain name or other storage, to start.
Some of the advantages of the WordPress.com version of WP are listed below:
- No setup required
- Easy to use
- Fast editing options
The disadvantages of WordPress.com are listed below:
- Limited options to extend your site content
- No ads may run on your blog
- You do not own your blog
But if you want something simple, it might be an option for you, and you will have access to hundreds of plugins and add-ons.
Tumblr.com is a microblogging platform that features automatic social media integration such as sharing tools, reblogging, and others. It is free and simple to use, even for beginners. You can include videos, images, and podcasts. Tumblr has a limited set of features that limit what you can do with your blog if you plan to grow it more abundantly in the future. It’s also hard to export it to another platform, but it is possible to migrate it to WordPress.
Medium.com is an entire community of writers, journalists, and bloggers who share their expertise in various areas on the site. There is no setup required, and there are no advanced coding skills needed. This site allows you to focus on your niche area and share with people who share your interests and passions in particular topics.
The negative side to Medium.com is that it is limited regarding the design. You also may not run your ads, which is one way that bloggers make money. If you leave the site, you cannot take your audience with you.
Squarespace.com is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to create either websites or blogs with drag-and-drop tools. Small business owners can benefit from using this web platform to create a website without having to use any coding quickly.
If you choose the $12 personal page version, you’ll be able to create up to 20 pages with one blog. If you upgrade to the $18 per month business version, you can have unlimited pages, an eCommerce page, and a free custom domain.
The Squarespace.com site is a minimalist site that allows business owners or independent artists to create original material including blogs and eCommerce sites to make their debut online.
Joomla is similar to the WordPress platform in that it is based on an open source software system. It is considered a self-hosting system so this means that you will need to get your domain name and individual web hosting to use it. There are hundreds of attractive templates to choose from to customize your site’s design, and there are plenty of extensions available that you can use to customize your site.
If you are comparing the Joomla platform to WordPress, you’ll find it lacking regarding the number of themes available. You also have to manage your backups and updates. Make sure you have your security installed since Joomla does not do this for you.
The site says that your “site will look good on any device.” So they are confident that their online platform will make your site mobile-friendly and allow you to reach hundreds of people no matter what platform they come from.
Ghost.com is a platform for people who don’t want any elaborate perks. In fact, it’s barely there which perhaps is why they call it Ghost.com. It is a minimalist platform that allows you to blog with limited features and add-ons.
The hosting version of Ghost.com is $19 per month with a 25,000 viewing limit.
Weebly.com allows you to build a drag-and-drop website with dozens of themes quickly. The easy drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create a website or blog. The free plan allows a free trial as you decide whether it is the best platform for you. You cannot add new features, and there is a limited amount of integration and migration that you can do to and with other platforms. So you’ll need to stick with the Weebly platform once you decide to use it for your blog.
Beginning price for Weebly is $8 per month, but you can pay up to $49 per month for additional features.
HOW TO CHOOSE WHICH PLATFORM IS BEST FOR YOUR BLOG
Well, there are the top 10 blogging platforms according to WPBeginner.com. Other sites show similar ratings with WordPress always coming in at #1 as far as popularity and Blogger.com as choice #2. There is usually a “tie” between Wix, Weebly, and some of the other sites but much of what you decide should depend on the following factors:
- Amount of technical skills you have – The number of technical skills you need varies depending on the platform you choose. If you choose WordPress or Blogger, you will not need a lot of technical skills. The same is true of most other platforms listed in this article. But for more advanced features or add-ons, you may need a bit more knowledge. WordPress has several different features and add-ons capabilities so research your options before deciding. There are many WP tutorials out there if you get stuck.
- Budget – The amount of money you need to spend to get a good blogging platform will be one of the deciding factors when choosing a platform. Don’t spend more than you can afford. If you do, your blog may be shut down for non-payment. There are always varying levels of pricing, depending on what you want to do or add.
- Amount of space you need for content – If you plan to create several pages or use the storage capabilities of the web server you choose, you will want to consider how much space you need for your blog. Also, check the limitations of the number of pages to make sure you won’t go over your quota.
- Multimedia integration – If you plan to embed videos or podcasts or include images within your blog, you will need to make sure your blogging platform allows you to do this. Blogger.com and WordPress make this easy. Most of the other platforms should allow this feature, but some do not.
- Social media integration – If you use social media to boost your blog, make sure you’ll be able to link out your blog to social media and increase your shares from others.
- Plans to change to other platforms or expand – If you plan to expand your site shortly or move it to a different platform, remember that some sites are easier to migrate to other platforms than others. Read the fine print about these features when deciding which platforms to use.
- Amount of creative freedom needed or desired – If you feel the need for creative freedom, prefer to raw code a page, and have limitless ability to expand your site, these choices may not be the best for you.
This list of Top 10 blogging platforms is a collection of some of the most user-friendly platforms available today to blog your way to success. They all have their high points and low points so study what each offers before deciding which one is best for you.
Think ahead and try to pick a platform you are going to stay with over the long haul. The cheaper no-frills types of platforms are made for just writing, while a full-featured eCommerce website “with a blog on the side” will require more efficient technology, a more significant amount of space and features, and more versatility.
While these Top 10 are the leading platforms, it is not an extensive list. Look around and see what other platforms are available. Remember many website servers also allow you to incorporate a blog page on your site. Check with your web server where your website is to see if this is the case.
If you want to do both, you can. Use the integrated blog that is offered by your web server for occasional posts and choose a more blog-centric site such as WordPress for the more regular blogging jobs. If you decide to do both, the advantage to this is that you are going to add onto the backlinks and rankings that you’ll get as a natural result of using both an offsite and onsite blogging machine.
GETTING STARTED WITH A BLOG OF YOUR OWN
Remember in the end blogging is about writing. So focus on your message to get the most engagement of your target audience. A blog should easily be incorporated into your website without the hassles involved in migrating your site to other platforms. At the same time, it should be easy to use without a lot of setups while allowing you to present yourself in the best way possible.
Think of the needs you have as a business owner, whether you need a dedicated blog server or a blog on the side with your hosting plan, then check the prices, and choose the one that is best for you.
For the heavy-duty blogger who wants to grow their site, WordPress may be the best for you. More occasional bloggers could use any of the other platforms as long as you occasionally clean up older posts and free up your space or data.
That being said, we recommend either WordPress.org or Blogger.com if you want to get these sites’ internal traffic while creating content that your audience will engage with. The platform is not that important if you are doing your marketing and don’t mind learning the ropes regarding the differences in the platforms.
They are all different, but that’s what makes it interesting! You might need this if you are planning to start your own travel blog.
For a more in-depth look at the two top contenders for blogging (Wordpress and Blogger) check out the comparison at TrickyEnough.
Also check out 9jaboizgist.com for info on creating a logo!