Perhaps you’re thinking of starting your own blog or moving your blog to a new blogging platform. If this is the case, you may be struggling to find the best blogging platforms to choose from.
There are lots of blogging platforms on the market, all offering different features, different pricing plans, and each come with their own pros and cons.
We’ll be checking out the best blogging platforms. I’ve signed up for each one of them to test them out and give you an accurate account of how good (or bad) they are.
How to Choose the Best Blogging Platforms
Before checking out the best blogging platforms, it’s worth considering how to choose the best blogging platforms and what to look out for.
If you’re a blogging beginner, you’ll want to find a blogging platform that’s easy to use, simple to set up, and a platform that doesn’t require any coding skills to get started.
You’ll want to consider how you want your blog to grow and what you want to use it for now, and in the future. If you want to grow your blog, you’ll want a platform that offers plenty of features further down the line and flexible options to expand.
If you choose the wrong blogging platform early on, it can be difficult to switch your blog over to another platform, especially if you’ve not done that before.
Another option to consider is whether you want to make money from your blog – if you do, find a blogging platform that can support this ambition.
WordPress is without a doubt the most popular blogging platform around. Whilst popularity doesn’t automatically give it the crown for being the best, it certainly deserves the number one spot given its power and performance.
WordPress powers over 35% of all websites on the internet. However, we mustn’t confuse ourselves with WordPress.com, which is a different platform altogether. WordPress.com is a blog hosting service whereas WordPress.org encompasses much more, including websites and online stores.
WordPress.org is an open-source CMS, allowing you to create your website or blog within minutes by leveraging awesome themes and plugins to make your site unique.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted solution, so you’ll need to find the best hosting for your WordPress site, but it gives you control and flexibility over your website and your blog’s security.
- Offers complete control of your website and blog
- You can expand your blog almost infinitely with thousands of plugins and themes
- WordPress is SEO-friendly so you can get your blog seen on search engines like Google
- Beginners may not enjoy WordPress’s slight learning curve in comparison to other blogging platforms
2. Gator by HostGator
HostGator is a well-known web hosting platform, however, what some might not realise is that they have a website builder and blogging platform called Gator.
Gator uses drag and drop technology so you can easily create a blog or website quickly and easily, without the need for any technical or coding skills.
You can create a wealth of blog types with Gator including business blogs, food blogs, personal blogs, and even online stores if you want to expand in the future.
Gator is different from HostGator’s website builder which is included with their website hosting services. You can use their builder to create a WordPress blog, but it’s a different platform. Gator is much more geared towards blogging and is a breeze to pick up.
- Free SSL and domain included with all plans
- Integrate an online store with your blog easily
- No technical hassle to setup
- No free account available (45-day money-back guarantee)
- eCommerce features are limited to higher-tier plans
WordPress.com was created by the co-founder of WordPress.org, Matt Mullenweg. WordPress.com is a blog hosting service which offers a basic free plan for beginners to get started.
WordPress.com is far more limited in comparison to WordPress.org – you won’t have access to all of the same themes and plugins, however, you can purchase additional storage and features if you want to spend a little extra.
If you’re not familiar with WordPress.org or aren’t ready to dive into the slightly more complicated blogging platform it offers, WordPress.com is a great starting point and easy to use for beginners.
For those not planning to expand later down the line, WordPress.com may offer a cheaper alternative without the expansive features WordPress.org boasts.
- No setup required
- Great for beginners who want an easy blog to manage
- Free plan with a WordPress.com subdomain
- Limited features in comparison to WordPress.org
- You won’t be able to advertise on your blog
Blogger’s free blogging platform is powered by Google, offering a quick and simple way to create a blog in a few minutes, ideal for beginners.
Blogger has been around since 1999 and knows the market well. All you need to get started with Blogger is a Google account and you can start your own free blog.
Many people start out with Blogger because it’s free and easy to use. If you find you need to expand your blog more in the future, you can switch to the likes of WordPress or another blogging platform.
If you don’t mind having a Blogger subdomain, you can sign up for their free plan, but if you want to use a custom domain, you’ll need to purchase one from a domain registrar.
- Entirely free to use
- Perfect if you’re starting your first blog
- Powered by Google for a secure and reliable blogging platform
- Limited customisation and features
- Blogger doesn’t receive regular updates or features
Medium has been around since 2012, growing a solid community of bloggers, journalist, and professionals.
Medium’s blogging platform is easy to use but offers limited features like integration with social networks like Facebook.
However, Medium is somewhat of a social network in itself; you can publish your articles on their platform and sign up for a profile which will give you a medium.com/@yourblogname rather than a domain name.
There’s no setup required and you don’t need any coding skills to get started. The features are limited, which is kind of what you’d expect from a platform like this as there’s not really any design work included.
- No technical knowledge needed
- Access online communities with similar topics and interests
- You can focus all of your energy on writing rather than designing a blog
- Limited features and no access to a domain name
- No adverts allowed so you can’t make money
SquareSpace is a professional website builder where you can create stunning websites using drag and drop tools with a wealth of features.
The platform is suitable for most types of users but especially focuses on small business who want to create beautiful websites that offer a simple way to navigate for their users.
SquareSpace doesn’t offer any free plans, but with the features on offer, the investment is well worth it. However, if you’re only interested in blogging platforms without any website features, SquareSpace might offer too much for what you’re after.
- Create beautiful websites and blogs
- Plenty of features available including eCommerce features
- SSL certificate included
- Limited to SquareSpace’s built-in tools
- Cannot integrate with many other services
Wix is a popular website builder where you can create a blog and integrate it with your website using Wix’s blog app.
You can pick from stunning website templates with Wix and make use of their extensive tools suitable for beginners.
If you want your website or blog to be found on search engines like Google, Wix’s SEO tools are really in-depth and a great learning curve.
Wix offers a free plan with limited storage and features, and you’ll be stuck with a Wix subdomain. However, Wix’s paid plans start from just £3 per month and will allow you to connect your own professional domain.
- Plenty of third-party apps available for customization
- Drag and drop tools making creating a blog easy
- Setup is quick and easy
- Free account is very limited
- Once you choose a template, you can’t change it
Best Blogging Platforms FAQs
Should I start a blog?
Starting a blog is entirely up to you, but if you want to write and share ideas with others, keep an online diary, or increase your existing website’s SEO, a blog can do wonderful things. Not only are blogs fun to indulge in, but they can also actually earn you some money if you get enough traffic.
Do I need to build a website to have a blog?
No, you don’t need to have a website in order to have a blog. However, many people use website builders to create blogs because they are so easy to use. If you already have a website, adding a blog to it can be really useful to share information with your existing website visitors, or to integrate with social media and extend your reach.
Is WordPress.org expensive?
WordPress.org is a free open-source CMS, so you don’t need to pay to use it. Because it’s self-hosted, you’ll need to source your own web hosting and domain name, but you can get these for as little as 99p per month. There are plenty of free WordPress themes and plugins, so you don’t have to spend anything if you don’t want to, but the option is there if you want to customise your blog even further.