What is the best blogging platform to choose?

Any person who wishes to run their own blog, often ask themselves the same question – Where to start a blog? Setting up your own blog is not a complicated task. However, choosing the correct blogging platform can be a little more complex but of great importance in terms of appearance, popularity, and position in the search engine. 

When Bill Gates said years ago that; within the near future, content and material on the Internet would mostly come from users themselves, no one did take his words seriously.

Today, it is clear that Bill knew what he was saying and the Internet itself transformed to provide its users a form of expression; written, graphic, and audiovisual. A blog can combine all these forms of media into one. Places like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter have their advantages and ease of use, but also have their limitations. A blog can have its own individual and original look and its limitations are set by the user himself.

Becoming a blogger can be costly. However, there is a wide range of services and systems on the Internet that will allow you to do this for free or at the lowest cost possible.

Types of blogging platforms

The fundamental difference between different blogging platforms is primarily based on the way the service is managed.  

Online publishing platform

This form of blogging is the easiest method. It only requires you to register on the selected platform to start writing immediately. In such a case, there is no need for space on a server or own a domain name, as they implement subdomains within the main domain of the platform.

Example: Medium

CMS systems

This type of platform allows you a lot more control but requires the person to obtain a domain name and server space (Server and domain plans). Once you install the selected platform or system on the server, you will gain full control over its functionality and development direction. The possibilities are practically endless.

Example: WordPress

Website Builder

Super easy to use and offers lots of technical support.

Example: Wix

What to choose – CMS or Post Publishing service?

If you want to maintain all process as simple and fast as possible, the platforms for publishing entries will probably be the best solution.  On the other hand, if you think about your blog with perspective and scalability, you possess or will create a small, but compelling, development plan, and you want to freely monetize it in the future, then look at CMS systems.

How to choose the best blogging platform if you are a complete beginner?

Nowadays blogging platforms offer a variety of options for professional bloggers. It is worth considering which one to choose. So you may want to take quite a while to determine which option is the best for you and our business. A wisely chosen blogging platform will play a huge role in your business growth.

It may also be helpful to answer some basic questions and then decide which blogging platform will be perfect for you to start your blog.

  1. Are you planning to sell products or services on your blog?
  2. Do you want to be able to adjust the blog’s features to your needs?
  3. Do you want to install, configure and maintain your blog on your own hosting or you don`t mind using external hosting?
  4. Do you want to create a dedicated template for your blog or planning to use a regular free or paid one?
  5. Will you plan to implement different functions on your site by using external plugins or a basic site functionality is efficient for you?
  6. Would you like your readers to be able to comment on your posts and interact with the content or would you let them just read your posts?

8 best blogging platform comparison

  1. Blogger
  2. WordPress.org and WordPress.com
  3. Medium
  4. Ghost
  5. Tumblr
  6. Wix
  7. Weebly
  8. Joomla

Blogger

Blogger is a free service designed for anyone. The blog platform is based on a reliable Google infrastructure, which will also take care of security measures over the page. Blogger grants access to a slightly better positioning (Google always supports its own products) and the built-in feature to connect AdSense ads. As a downside, like with many free services, we transfer the little rights of our blog and content to Google. 

The platform was established in 1999. In 2003, it was acquired by Google and developed further, adding Google BlogSpot to its infrastructure core. Currently, the blogspot.com domain is redirected to blogger.com.

A blogging platform especially recommended for beginners. It offers a free account (in the .blogspot.com domain), but it is possible to transfer the website to your own – previously-purchased domain.

Blogger’s administration panel is extremely easy to use and allows you to quickly configure your website. When creating a blog on the Google platform, we can choose several ready-made templates, and each of them can be modified to some extent. As well the platform makes it very easy to measure basic statistics. It allows you to connect the Google Analytics service to track more detailed data.

One of the main factors, worth paying attention to, when analyzing free blogging platforms is the amount of space available to the user. For the Blogger platform, the storage limit for photos and other content is 15 GB – this is a shared space with other Google services, such as Gmail or Google Drive. Additionally, one Google account allows you to set up 100 different blogs.

The hosting offered by Blogger itself does not cause any major problems. Therefore, you do not have to worry about interruptions in accessing your blog, which sometimes occurs when using paid external hosting. An additional advantage may be the simplicity and intuitiveness of the entire solution – to create your own place on the web, just create a Google account!

Pros (+):

  • Easy to use (Easy page creation)
  • Free and bundled hosting with subdomain 
  • Ability to connect a custom domain
  • Responsive templates
  • Readable statistics of our blog
  • Easy integration with other services offered by Google (AdSense ads)
  • 15 GB of account space
  • Safety and security for the page
  • Access to slightly better positioning.

Cons (-):

  • No plugins to extend the possibilities
  • No possibility to add or create custom templates
  • A limited selection of templates and layouts
  • The platform is not updated regularly
  • In extreme cases, restrictions for violating the regulations may apply

WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms used all over the world. However, it is necessary to distinguish between the two services offered by this company.

The first is WordPress.org, a content management system (CMS). It is a free service and allows you to openly modify the ready-made templates or extend the possibilities by installing a variety of plugins. The content management system, however, requires hosting and a domain to work 

The second service is WordPress.com, which allows you to start a free blog in the wordpress.com domain. The limitation of the free version is the space for content (3GB) and no plug-in support or displayed ads. By creating a blog for free on WordPress.com, we also get a separate tool called Jetpack;  which allows you to analyze statistics or provides protection against spam.

This is a very popular blog publishing platform based, in this case, on the WordPress engine.

WordPress.com

The commercial version of WordPress is perfect for beginners who are not yet ready to invest in hosting and their own domain. In addition, WordPress.com stands out as its blogs are definitely a better-looking alternative to Blogger. So if you pay more attention to appearance, this option will be better.

What are the prices?

WordPress.com offers a free plan, but it has quite significant limitations. In turn, for people expecting more opportunities, WordPress.com offers three paid packages:

  1. Personal – $4 USD / month
  2. Premium -$8 USD  / month 
  3. Business – $25 USD / month

The Personal package, allows you to use your own domain, removes native WordPress.com ads, and provides access to customer support. Thanks to higher plans, you gain access to more disk space with greater possibilities of adapting the blog to your own needs.

Can I use my own domain?

Yes, but to do so you will need to get a paid plan.

What can you customize?

There is a wide variety  of free themes – templates to choose from; which will help you create a very attractive look for your blog. You can also customize your templates using the available widgets or personalizing its entire layout. The higher the pay you choose, the more personalization options it will have.

Can I make money on my blog?

While WordPress ads are displayed, you can add custom ads using JavaScript in your widgets. However, for more freedom in this field, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Summary

It is a good choice for beginners, especially since we have the option of migrating the content of the blog to your own version of WordPress.

Pros (+)

  • Easy and intuitive use of the administration panel
  • Built-in free hosting with subdomain (No need to buy your own server and domain)
  • 100 free templates to choose from (Free version)
  • No hosting and domain knowledge needed
  • 3 GB of disk space (Free version)
  • No need for blog updates and security
Cons(-)
  • Ads delivered by WordPress – no control over them (possibility of removing ads in the paid version)
  • No access to the database
  • No plugins
  • WordPress.com is the legal owner of your blog and restrictions can apply for violating specific rules (It is recommended to check the wordpress.com terms and conditions)
  • The user must prepare to pay to gain several important privileges as a custom domain, more server space, and no WordPress ads

WordPress.org (since 2003) – free CMS

WordPress’ main mission is to deliver software designed for everyone, based on accessibility, performance, security and ease of use. The developers believe that really great software should run with minimal configuration. This is to focus on freely sharing your content, products or services. WordPress software is designed to be simple and predictable so any user can get started easily. It also offers very advanced features to increase your success.

WordPress contributors work all over the world and spend countless hours fine-tuning the content publishing tool. WordPress is open-source software that is invaluable and free.

It has gained worldwide recognition from bloggers as it offers almost unlimited possibilities. You can use it to create your own blog but this is only a part of what you can squeeze out of it. Depending on your needs, you can create a website, discussion forums, educational platform,s or online stores. The platform allows you to extend and personalize its functionalities according to the specific needs offering many free add-ons, plugins, and templates. Moreover, WordPress is a huge user community and it is very easy to get support when needed by checking the message boards. An additional advantage is that blogs placed on WordPress are usually better positioned in search engines, thanks to which the reader will reach you easier. To set up a blog on this platform, remember you will need to get a domain and hosting services.

The self-hosted version of WordPress has become the most popular online platform for bloggers. WordPress was created as a blogging script, but its capabilities and dynamic development allowed the software not only to provide an outstanding option for bloggers but for running websites for various purposes. WordPress.org is already used by over 30% of all the websites worldwide.

On the other hand, when deciding on this form of blogging, you need to anticipate the associated costs. The total minimum to maintain a hosting account and domain (remember the domain has to be renewed yearly). If the blog is dynamically developed and gains significant traffic, these costs will definitely increase.

What are the prices?

WordPress is an open-source software that can be downloaded and run locally or on a server without incurring a license fee. You also have a huge database of free themes and extensions to choose from, but some of them, especially those offering really interesting features, may be payable.

The cost associated to WordPress will be those incurred on domain and hosting services or any extra additional feature you will like to add (Like payed templates)

Can I use my own domain?

Yes, any server that hosts WordPress can be associated with your own domain.

What can you customize?

In a word: everything. You can customize the look, layout and content of each element of your website. There are no restrictions in this field.

Can I make money on my blog?

Since you are in control of the entire blog, you can make earnings from it whenever you want. Just use the appropriate plugin or add custom HTML to your theme.

Summary

WordPress is the undisputed leader in the blogging world. With over 30% of all websites operating on the web, it is easy to guess that you will not choose wrongly. It is definitely one of the best blogging platforms, if not the best.

Pros (+)

  • About 6000 templates (themes) available for download from the WordPress repository (free) and many more templates you can pay for.
  • Ease of expanding the blog with forms, galleries, advertisements, calendars, configurable widgets, e-commerce modules, all thanks to the availability of 56,000 free and paid plugins 
  • Support forums (en.wordpress.org/support/)
  • Automatic updates
  • Integrated comment  module
  • Aesthetic and professional appearance
  • Gives the user the opportunity to set up an online store.

Cons (-)

  • No hosting (You need to provide your own)
  • No domain (You need to get one)
  • Beginner operations and learning curve to fully understand wordpress.org may seem complicated
  • It may take some time to set up your blog as expected
  • The user must take care of the more technical part of security and back-up matters
  • You will face the challenge of creating and moderating your own audience.
  • Recurrent plug-in problems that can delay or mess the page.

 Medium – news blog platform

It gathers bloggers, writers, thinkers, storytellers, and journalists who want to share their fresh insights from a unique perspective with other members of the community. It works like a news service. Each user only uses one website but has the option of creating separate profiles for himself. After creating an account as a “reader”, you can choose a set of interesting topics that the website provides later in an accessible form. Until recently, everything on the platform was free.

The Medium blogging platform is a child of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. It has become a new place on the Internet, intended to publish texts that are not too short or too long. The main advantage of this platform is transparency and appreciation by recommending valuable content created by ordinary people, not widely or unrecognized at all. 

Medium stimulates the development of social journalism and places great emphasis on establishing interactions amongst users. To use this platform, just register and simply write anything- it can get easier than that! 

Texts that gain the approval of the community are further recommended by it, and sometimes also modified (this allows you to add quotes and underlining in specific places of the text). A definite advantage of this solution is the deepening, broad and respectful level of discussion on the platform and stimulating the involvement of recipients. 

What are the prices?

  •  Free account – allows you to read all publications for 3 months.
  • Membership – Unlimited Access to Published Stories – $ 5 / month or $ 50 / year
  • Connecting domain – $75 – one-time fee. 

What can you customize?

As a Creator on Medium, you have the option of creating a unique image of your publication by choosing your preferred color, layout, and navigation bar. There is no need to worry about hosting and technical issues. If you already have your blog or website on a different platform, you can easily migrate your content to Medium using a dedicated tool

Can I make money on my blog?

Medium allows you to monetize your activities in two ways. The first is Promoted stories, i.e. publishing content co-created with partners. This is an option for people who have already managed to gather a loyal audience around their publications. The second option is the Membership program, according to which, in exchange for a monthly fee, some publications will be available only to members paying a subscription

Summary

It is undoubtedly a great place to start a blog with ease, simplicity, and looks. You can easily import any domain you want. This will give you a unique combination of management and security ease with the customization and looks of high-end pages directed to your custom domain.

Pros (+):

  • Intuitive interface
  • Possibility to reach many users within the Medium platform
  • Support from other users
  • An affiliate program that allows you to earn money by sharing your stories. Affiliate Program Stories are rewarded by readers who believe writers should be compensated for the quality of their ideas.
  • Facebook and Twitter integration for any type of post
  • Transparency and simplicity.
  • No hosting needed
  • Solid technical support
  • Able to create newsletters without external tools.

Cons(-)

  • The blog’s appearance cannot be modified
  • Does not support personal own ads
  • If you migrate your blog to another platform, you lose access to the community and you have to start promoting your blog from scratch
  • You cant use your own domain (Free)

Ghost.js – Javascript based

Ghost is a JavaScript-based blogging platform created by a former WordPress developer. The sole purpose of creating Ghost was to focus on blogging. While Ghost also offers a commercial version, here we will discuss the version that you can use on your own server. 

Ghost is recommended to anyone who wants to write but also has an impact on the appearance of their blog. Ghost.js has a super simple CMS, cool design, and lightness helping the user to focus on writing. Another interesting feature is their typing feature called “Hemingway” which disables the backspace key.

Ghost.js is an open source technology, with the possibility of installing the platform on your own server and purchasing a ready installation on ghost.org

Who Should Use Ghost?

Ghost is a good option for someone who wants convenience in publishing content and a non-distracting user interface. However, the script requires some technical skills to be properly configured and run.

What are the prices?

Ghost is open source and therefore available free of charge. In this field, it is no different from WordPress.org. Just like themes or plugins. In addition to the free ones, there are also paid versions.

Can I use my own domain?

Yes. You can link your Ghost blog to your own domain.

What can you customize?

You can customize almost every element of your blog, although it’s no secret that Ghost support for themes and plugins is still poor compared to WordPress.

Can I make money on my blog?

Yes, you can add your own code to the site for ad serving.

Pro(+)

  • Speed
  • Built-in and efficient AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology
  • Simple and clear CMS
  • Quick and easy installation on ghost.org
  • The ability to write articles via a mobile application

Cons(-)

  • Difficult installation on your own server
  • A small number of ready-made templates
  • Not many plugins.

Weebly

 It is in its core a website builder, but it can also be successfully used to create a blog. Weebly has a very easy-to-use drag-and-drop site editor, so you can quickly create a page by editing any of the available themes.

The free plan gives you 500 MB of storage space, creates a site on the weebly.com domain, and displays ads. In the case of the free option, it is also possible to add the Google Analytics tracking code.

If you want to expand Weebly possibilities, you will need to sign up for their paid plans which will include more storage, features, and plugins.

What are the prices?

  • $0 – Displays a Weebly ad in the footer and doesn’t come with a proper domain name.
  • $6 – PersonalConnect your site with a domain name, but the Weebly ad shows in the footer.
  • $12 – ProfessionalIncludes additional features such as video and audio players and phone support. Ad-free.
  • $26 – PerformanceComes with additional e-commerce features for larger web stores.

Tumblr

This portal provides a platform for sharing your creativity, but nothing prevents you from posting written content on it. Tumblr is a very good place to generate a community around your content and niche. The website works best with short entries or posts containing only graphics or videos.

Tumbler is a mixture of Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook in one. It gathers a blogging community, so we integrate with other people on the platform. Tumblr is an environment created by bloggers, so it integrates with other users’ blogs, allowing you to reblog their published material on your blog and easily add various types of content such as texts, mp3s, videos, conversations, and photos.

Tumblr allows you to modify the appearance of your blog to some extent, it also provides a basic tool for analyzing statistics and the ability to queue entries. Posts are limited in editing, but there is no space limit for the posted content. A free blog on Tumblr can also be run from a mobile phone – the application allows you to manage your blog and add posts.

Who Should Use Tumblr?

Tumblr is a good option for someone who wants convenience in publishing content and a non-distracting user interface. However, the script requires some technical skills to be properly configured and run.

What are the prices?

Tumblr is free to use for anyone. Just create an account and start posting. It can be also run for free from a mobile phone – the application allows you to manage your blog and add posts.

Can I use my own domain?

No. Tumblr does not allow the usage of your own domain

What can you customize?

Although you will be pretty much forced to use their own thems and displays, the platform allows you to add customization to a certain extent. It does not provide plugins or custom made themes

Can I make money on my blog?

It is possible to make money from this platform undirectly. It will help you to grow an audience and promote personal services or gather the general public. This tool can be an incredible solution when combined whit another blogging platform. In case you seek scalability, Tumblr will allow you to gather and direct the traffic to your personal page

Interesting facts about Tumblr

  • Founded on 2007/02/19
  • Microblogs posted: 433,000,000 million
  • Posts written from the beginning: 164,000,000,000 billion
  • Posts today: 32,000,000 million
  • Languages: 18
  • Website visits (in USA): 42%
  • Headquarters 770 Brodway, New York City, 10003
  • Best Social Site – Nomination – 2011

Pros (+)

  • the possibility of creating a private and anonymous free mini-blog
  • easy to share and use
  • the ability to observe
  • integration with social media
  • included hosting and subdomain in the form of url = YourName.tumblr.com

Cons (-)

  • problematic transfer of the blog to other platforms
  • no plug-in installation possible
  • limited functionality
  • limited amount of free themes – tumblr.com/themes/
  • limited options for editing entries

Joomla (since 2005) – extended CMS

It’s a website builder often compared to WordPress. It can be considered a plug & play CMS content management system – something between WordPress and Drupal advanced. 

Joomla gets more extensive than WordPress, but also does not require as much skill in use as some others. It is really suitable for running corporate blogs with a focus on earning. The Joomla TinyMCE Article editor is almost identical to WordPress’ implementation of the TinyMCE editor, so there’s no huge difference on that.Y

You’ll need to put a little more time and effort into your site, though. Joomla uses a combination of Articles and Categories. So before you start creating content, you need to create categories for the type of content you want to create. It’s nothing too overwhelming, but it is a bit more of an involved process than WordPress, especially for non-developers.

Hundreds of developers have been improving Joomla! since the first version was released in 2005. This immense effort has made Joomla! very popular,, secure and easy to use. The platform has thousands of free extensions and templates allowing you to customize your site to fit any specific needs

Who Should Use Joomla?

Joomla is the site builder that creates a fair competition for WordPress. Anyone who seeks to control its site but wants to try a different solution should definitely give Joomla a try. Like WordPress, most web hosts will support a Joomla auto-installer within their package. This makes it even easier to get set and ready with minimal hazle

What are the prices?

Joomla is an open-source project, free for anyone to use. Nonetheless, it requires the user to possess its own domain and hosting service. Same as for WordPress.org.

Most of the hosting services will integrate Joomla’s easy installation package to start using it in no time. however, try to make sure beforehand that the host does indeed support Joomla

Can I use my own domain?

Yes, you can transfer your domain name with Joomla

What can you customize?

As a WordPress competitor, Joomla options are almost limitless. The number of developers and supporters for its platform is increasing by the day, which means the number of templates, plugins, and features will get better as well. As of today, Joomla is a fair competitor and a great option to choose from. Allowing great customization, control, security, and scalability

Can I make money on my blog?

Yes. Same you would do using WordPress

Pros(+)

  • 8,000 extensions
  • Extensive technical support
  • Great opportunities for website owners
  • Several languages support

Cons(-)

  • Complicated platform operation
  • No automatic updates

Wix – Blogging platform with a simple builder

The basic version of the platform is available for free. It allows you to create websites and blogs as an online website builder. The blog extension that will enable the blogging capabilities is called Wix blog app

As well there are paid options. Useful for people who do not want to spend large budgets on website maintenance.

Who Should use Wix?

This solution is a great option for anyone out there who doesn’t want to struggle with technical matters but seeks a great looking and appealing page. The ease of use of the Wix interface allows you to drag and drop almost all elements, add several plugins, and so on. It is a great solution for catching the eyes of your audience for popping colors and layers. You will have the same ease of use interface for its blogging extension

What are the prices?

  • Premium plans: VIP (22 USD / month)
  • eCommerce (PLN 15 USD / month)
  • Unlimited (12 USD / month)
  • Combo (9 USD / month)
  • Connect Domain (6 USD/ month)

Can I use my own domain?

Yes, you can transfer your domain name with Wix

What can you customize?

Wix can be customized to a good extent. Alotugh it does not allow you levels of customization as in WordPress or Joomla, you will still gain a fair amount of changing. Alotugh its themes can be limited and can come short handed when thinking on scalability

Can I make money on my blog?

Yes. Same was as you would do with your own page, you can add custom ads.

Pros (+):

  • Support several languages
  • Hosting for free
  • Large selection of templates
  • Ability to create an extensive website without coding knowledge (drag and drop function)
  • Quick and easy site installation

Cons(-)

  • Does not resemble a typical blogging platform
  • Limited blog customization
  • The free version can only hold a subdomain: [page].wix.com
  • Free version contains an ad from Wix at the top of the page
  • Ecommerce module available only in paid version

Other Platforms

The above systems are, of course, one of many, although certainly at the forefront of popularity. For those who want more, I can also recommend it

  • Grav
  • Nbbleblog
  • Pstagon
  • Sbvtle
  • Hexo

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Anna Maria Świątecka

Anna Maria Świątecka

My mission is to teach the next generation of entrepreneurs how to make money online by building location Independent Businesses and live their lives to the fullest.
The world is your oyster. It's up to you to find the pearls." Chris Gardner 

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