Today, blogging provides a great way of engaging with the world and doing business as you express your passion.
Regardless of whether you want to start a blog to promote your business, write about the things you love, or meet like-minded people, blogging has many rewards.
Depending on your needs and the effort you want to put in, there are faster ways you can start a blog. Blogging platforms let you create a website without ever writing a single line of code. However, with so many blogging platforms, it can be a challenge to choose the best platform.
In this post, we will be sharing the 14 best blogging platforms and blog sites for 2021.
How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform?
Choosing the right blogging platform is important for the success of your blog. It boils down to what you want to achieve with your new blog and the extent you want to control what you do on the blog. For this, you need to consider a few things beforehand.
An essential consideration involves ensuring the blogging platform you choose fits your budget and blogging needs. A free platform is worthless if you are unable to accomplish your blogging goals.
2. Ease of use
If you are a beginner, you need a blog builder that is easy to configure and manage without technical skills. Also, the blogging platform of your choice should offer you support if you run into trouble.
3. Features and customization capabilities
With time, your blogging needs may change. For instance, you may overhaul or modify your design or add features. The best blogging platform accommodates changes to your blog as it grows.
4. Monetization options
It is a key consideration if you want to earn from your blog. So, be careful as you choose your platform since most free platforms do not allow you to monetize your blog. For this, consider a premium blogging platform that affords you more freedom and control.
5. Types of blogging platforms (free platforms, website builders, open-source platforms)
Today, you can choose from various blogging platforms. The right platform depends on what you need to do on your blog. Let’s dive into the three common blogging platforms.
With free blogging platforms, they are perfect if you want a personal or a hobby blog. However, they are limited since they don’t allow you to earn money through ads, selling your products, or using affiliate marketing.
Free blogging platforms offer limited design customization and flexibility. Also, migrating your content from a free platform to another is difficult.
On the other hand, website builders offer awesome customization capabilities with drag-and-drop design tools. These are easy to use and provide comprehensive blogging tools. Compared to free platforms, website builders provide a level of customization and flexibility.
However, website builders limit you in some areas. So, you may find yourself sacrificing some flexibility for ease of use.
With open-source blogging platforms, you can customize your blog to your heart’s desire. These platforms are perfect if you want to be a serious blogger or want a custom, full-fledged website. The major drawback is that they involve a steep learning curve.
These platforms require you to purchase web hosting before downloading and installing the blogging platforms.
However, once you get through that, you can create pretty much anything from web stores to portfolios to interactive blogs and service-based websites.
Best Blogging Platforms and Blog Sites for 2021
1. WordPress.org (Self-Hosted)
Best open-source blogging platform for all kinds of blogs
With WordPress.org’s self-hosted blogging platform, you get the most flexible and customizable blog platform. WordPress powers the majority of the available blogs today. The self-hosted version allows you to create any type of blog if you are serious about blogging.
WordPress.org is a powerful blogging platform and very flexible. Regardless of the blog you want to create, you can do it on WordPress.
It provides you with more than 55,000 plugins that let you extend the functionality of your blog. Also, you get over a thousand free and premium themes, unlimited design control, and powerful media management.
WordPress lets you create online businesses, business blogs, and personal blogs if you want total control over your blogging business website. To do this, you need to find a reliable web hosting provider. It usually costs between $3 and $10 per month to host your blog.
The best web hosting providers to start a blog
There are multiple hosting providers you can use to create a blog on WordPress.org. However, WordPress.org recommends Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround. Other remarkable WordPress hosting providers are WPEngine, Hostgator, and Hostinger.
With Bluehost, you get a reliable web hosting and WordPress hosting company. It provides you with cheap, yet quality hosting plans that cater to small businesses, bloggers, and individuals.
Although the plans and commitments last between 12 and 36 months, you get hefty discounts. Bluehost lets you install WordPress with just one click. Unlike most WordPress hosting services, Bluehost offers unmetered traffic and bandwidth for your blog.
The platform is a great choice for any blogger who wants a host for their blog. It is a cheap option that offers a free domain for the first year. With its revamped user panel, it is now easier to launch your blogging website using WordPress.
Another popular site hosting service is DreamHost. It is a simple service with an optimized service for hosting WordPress. The WordPress plans give you a website builder, unlimited bandwidth, SSD storage, and free SSL.
The platform gives you various cost-effective hosting packages for your WordPress.org blog. A shared WordPress package will provide you with the basics and save you some money as you start. With DreamHost, it is easy to scale without any worries of site migration in the future.
SiteGround is among the few hosting platforms WordPress.org recommends for hosting your WordPress blog. SiteGround is optimized for WordPress websites of all shapes and sizes and gives you simple tools to design and manage your blog.
Although SiteGround has metered traffic per month starting from 10,000 visits, you get a cheap and reliable hosting provider. You get automated updates, SSL Security, and free backups. The hosting service provides fast speed, security, and great customer service.
Installing WordPress on this host is fast, occurring in just one click. Also, Siteground offers built-in website caching, which improves your blog website’s loading speeds and performance. Also, you can choose the location of your data center.
With WPEngine, you get a WordPress hosting suite that will meet different needs depending on your blogging needs. Besides the various WordPress packages, you get a high-performing host with high levels of security and stellar customer support.
The hosting provider lets you choose from various data centers across the world. Regardless of the plan you choose, WPEngine provides you a one-click backup and restore process. The only drawback is that WPEngine may stop you from using some popular WordPress plugins.
Compared to the other WordPress hosting providers, WPEngine is the most expensive. Nevertheless, it delivers a solid blogging experience with the usual automated updates, free backups, and SSL security.
Another popular WordPress hosting provider is HostGator. It is ideal for a beginner, although it offers amazing WordPress hosting packages with a guaranteed 99% uptime. The different packages cater to various needs, from single users to businesses with multiple sites.
To host your blog, you need to choose a plan depending on how many blogs you want and the traffic level. HostGator provides you a way to host your WordPress blog without breaking the bank.
HostGator gives you a comprehensive way of quickly installing and transferring your blog, scaling up your blog to a higher level of traffic, and enjoying advanced security. However, you won’t get a free SSL certificate for your blog with this hosting service.
Hostinger is a simple website hosting provider that allows you to set up your blog in a few minutes. With each WordPress hosting plan, Hostinger offers you a one-click WordPress installation with several plugins.
Hostinger even gives you more performance capabilities like speed optimization features. With its most affordable plan, you can host a small blog while the high-end WordPress business plan Hostinger lets you design corporate and e-commerce websites.
If your priority is on simplicity and speed, then Hostinger is an awesome choice. Its optimized servers perform well and deliver amazing load times regardless of the blog visitor’s location.
WordPress.org is completely free to download and install.
- Highly customizable with over 55,000 plugins that extend the functionality of a blog
- Very flexible
- Full control and ownership of your blog and content
- Provides thousands of mobile-friendly themes
- Compatible with social media and search engine friendly
- Requires purchasing a domain name and paying for web hosting
Best blogging website builder for beginners
For a beginner, Wix provides the fastest and easiest way to start blogging. Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that offers several free templates you can use to build your website. Apart from its paid plans, you also start your blog with its free plan.
However, the free plan is limited to 500 MB of data transfer each month and 500 MB storage, so the free plan is not a blog that supports heavy traffic. Also, the free plan includes Wix branding on your blog. If you feel it is too limited, you can try other powerful Wix alternatives.
Apart from those limitations, the free plan allows you to build a blog with unlimited pages. Wix distinguishes itself with powerful blog functionality. Although Wix offers a simple editor, you can access everything you need from tons of customizations to image galleries.
Also, Wix offers flexibility in the manner you schedule posts and cool touches, such as setting up things to push publications to Facebook automatically. The impressive Wix ADI (artificial design intelligence) editor is a great feature for a beginner since it helps you create a blog fast.
Wix gives you customer support even for the free plan and accommodates different types of media. For instance, the Wix Turbo feature increases the performance and speed of your blog considerably. With Wix, you can always upgrade later to break free of the free plan limits.
Wix offers a free plan if you need it. However, for professional features such as adding your domain name and e-commerce, choose one of its premium plans. The plans are divided into two website plans and business & eCommerce plans.
The Wix Website Plans are divided into:
- The Connect Domain plan is $4.50 per month and gives you a custom domain, SSL certificate, 500MB storage, and 1 GB bandwidth.
- The Combo plan costs $8.50 per month. It includes a custom domain, free domain for a year, removes Wix Ads, free SSL certificate, 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage, and 30 minutes of video.
- The Unlimited plan starts from $12.50 per month and offers all the Combo features plus unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, and 1 hour of video.
- The VIP plan costs $24.50 per month. It gives you everything in the Unlimited plan plus 35GB of storage, 5 video hours, site booster app, visitor analytics app, professional logo, social media logo, and customer care.
The Business & eCommerce plans are:
- The Business Basics plan, which costs $17/month and lets you accept online payments.
- The Business Unlimited plan starts from $25/month.
- The Business VIP plan costs $35/month.
- No coding skills necessary
- Provides customizable templates for your blog
- Quick setup and hosting
- Multiple design options
- Artificial intelligence that automatically helps you design your blog
- The free plan offers limited features
- Limited e-commerce capabilities
Best drag-and-drop website builder for creative blogs
Squarespace lets you create an awesome blog using its drag and drop tools. It is a great blogging platform for someone who wants an easy way of creating their online presence. Since it began in 2003, Squarespace is the engine behind millions of websites today.
With Squarespace, you can easily drag, re-size, and change design faster and easier than any other platform. It perfectly aligns the elements in your blog, allowing you to drag text, blocks, or images to the exact location you want them.
Squarespace is a hosted service, which eliminates the need to choose a host. In terms of customization, Squarespace provides you various options. The best part is that you can customize your blog without coding skills.
Also, when the time comes to upgrade your business blog, Squarespace makes it easier. The platform also gives you analytics to see where all the traffic on your website originates. Squarespace makes it easier to see what pages visitors look at, their engagement, and so on.
Besides, Squarespace provides many professional templates for beginners and small businesses. Another cool feature is that it combines multiple site components in one platform. So, you can smoothly integrate your pages, galleries, blogs, and e-commerce stores.
What’s more, you can add a unique custom template to create a dynamic website supporting blog and e-commerce functionality.
Squarespace offers pricing plans in 4 categories, i.e., Personal, Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce.
The Personal plan costs $12/month (billed annually) or $16/month (billed monthly) and provides:
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Free custom domain
- Up to 2 contributors
- Basic website metrics
- Squarespace extensions
The Business plan starts from $18/month (billed annually) or $26/month (billed monthly) and gives you:
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and contributors
- Fully integrated e-commerce
- Advanced website analytics
- Accept donations
- Sell unlimited products
The Basic Commerce plan costs you $26/month (billed annually) or $30/month (billed monthly) with:
- All the features in the business plan
- Point of sale
- Checkout on your domain
- Limited availability labels
- Powerful merchandising tools
The Advanced Commerce plan will cost you $40/month (billed annually) or $46/month (billed annually). The plan gets you:
- All the features on the Commerce plan
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Sell subscriptions
- Commerce APIs
- Advanced shipping and discounts
- Includes e-commerce functionality
- Customer support 24/7
- Offers SSL encryption
- Multiple professional templates
- Includes hosting
- Limited functionality for the personal plan
- Limits you to the features on the platform
Squarespace’s annual plan lets you save up to 30%.
Best AI-Powered website builder for a blog
With its huge collection of templates, Constant Contact Website Builder makes it easy to create a custom blog using its drag-and-drop feature. The platform also gives you access to features such as stock photos and logo maker.
Unlike Wix, the AI auto-generated website in this platform takes you through the process one step at a time. Constant Contact lets you tell it what your blog is about, choose a title, add a logo or main image, choose a color scheme and font.
It will take you a few minutes to create your blog if you already have the content. The platform uses Unsplash royalty-free images, which is handy unless you need to include your images. You can create fast-loading blog pages and use built-in analytics, visual effects, and design layouts.
It is easy to create a blog on the platform since it hosts. To top it off, the platform offers a free plan to try things before you commit. Besides, you get a free SSL certificate and domain across all the plans.
For a beginner in website building, you will have a lot to explore if the AI-generated blog design doesn’t capture what you want. It also integrates some third-party plugins.
Constant contact offers two pricing plans i.e., website building plan and email marketing plan. Also, you get to try the platform for free and comes with an SSL certificate, a nice touch for a website builder.
The Website Builder plan will cost you $10/month. It is equipped with free hosting, website analytics, unlimited storage, e-commerce features, marketing features, and customer support. However, you won’t be getting the email marketing capabilities.
Constant Contact will let you run ads on Instagram and Facebook, but not monthly newsletter through email.
- Comprehensive with simple website analytics
- Doesn’t offer overwhelming features or options for a beginner
- Excellent functionality
- Generous free plan
- The AI-generator gives a great starting point for building your blog
- Design templates can be overwhelming
- Offers basic features for an advanced user
Best for bloggers who need an easy website builder for smart-looking blogs
Weebly provides a modular approach to creating a blog using its drag-and-drop editor. The editor allows you to select the elements and where you want to include them in your blog. It lets you choose a basic template then design it to your heart’s content.
You have the option of including different content from social media, maps, images, sections of code, and text. Weebly offers a refreshing new way of building a unique blog without grappling with menus. However, some content blocks only work in specific sections.
Although that may sound restricting, it stops from making your blog look messy. If you are a new blogger, you will find Weebly very user-friendly. The website builder also caters to the needs of bloggers who are considering eCommerce.
The design process also applies to blog posts, allowing you to drag image frames, text boxes, buttons, page breaks, and text boxes into place then clicking on them to edit. Weebly provides a novel feature that lets you preview the unpublished post or sharing it through email.
You even get a section for adding Google Analytics tracking code.
Weebly provides two separate plans for websites and Online Stores. Besides, you get a generous free plan for websites.
The websites’ pricing plans are subdivided into four, i.e., Free, Connect, Pro, and Business. The Free plan is for basic use. In this plan, you get:
- SSL security
- Domain with Weebly branding
- 500MB storage
- Lead capture and contact forms
- Chat and email support
- Community forum
The Connect plan starts from $5/month (billed annually) and provides the following:
- All features in the free plan
- Custom domain
Next is the Pro plan that costs $12/month (billed annually). It comes equipped with all the features in the Connect plan plus:
- Unlimited storage
- Custom domain
- Site search
- Remove Weebly Ads
- Advanced site stats
- Shopping cart
- Accept payments
The Business plan starts from $25/month (billed annually). It gives you access to all the features in the Pro plan plus the following:
- Item badges
- Inventory management
- Item Options
- Automatic tax calculator
- Square gift cards
- Coupon codes
- Item review
- Shipping calculator
- Item review
- Good shipping discounts
- Integrated shipping labels
- Advanced eCommerce stats
- Pop-up notifications
- Offers eCommerce options
- Easy to use
- Decent free trial version
- Integrates Google Analytics and enjoy good SEO reputation
- Difficult to export your site
- Integrates limited third-party apps
Best website builder for blogs that include sales funnels and landing pages
The Simvoly design is optimized for building conversion funnels and landing pages. It is a great blogging platform for people who wish to sell online. The blogging platform is a drag-and-drop website builder making it easy to use and capable of adapting to your growing blog.
It is geared towards non-techy users that want to build custom blogs, websites, landing pages, and stores. Simvoly is very easy to use regardless of whether you are a contractor, business person, photographer, or graphic designer.
The platform allows you to build online stores and accept payments through Stripe and PayPal. Besides, Simvoly makes uploading product images, managing customer details, keeping track of the inventory, and managing promotions easy and straightforward.
With over fifty responsive templates, you can create a blog that looks great on smartphones. As you build your blog, you can preview all themes and customizations live on the website wizard.
With Simvoly, you get a solid blogging platform that lets you add posts, integrate share buttons, enable comments, add videos & images.
Although Simvoly doesn’t give you a free-life account, you get 14 days of a free trial. Once these days elapse, you choose one of the four plans available on Simvoly. The pricing plans are Personal, Business, Growth, and Pro.
The Personal plan starts from $12/month (billed annually) or $18/month (billed monthly). With this package, you get:
- 20 pages
- 10GB of bandwidth
- One domain, website, and funnel
- Full e-commerce solution
- 25 member accounts
- Live chat
- 2 admins
Next, the Business plan costs $24/month (billed annually) or $32/month (billed monthly). In this package, Simvoly offers you:
- 1 website
- 5 funnels
- 6 domains
- Unlimited pages
- 60GB of bandwidth
- Full e-commerce suite with 100 products, 200 member accounts
- Recurring payments
- 5 admins
The Growth Plan will cost you $79/month (billed annually) or $99/month (billed monthly). The package grants you access to these features:
- 3 websites
- 30 funnels
- 33 domains
- Unlimited pages
- 120GB of bandwidth
- Full e-commerce suite with unlimited products and member accounts
- 33 admins
The Pro plan is the most expensive. It starts from $199/month (billed annually) or $249/month (billed monthly). The features in this package include:
- 10 websites
- Unlimited funnels, domains, and pages
- 400GB of bandwidth
- Full e-commerce suite with unlimited products and member accounts
- 100 admins
- White label
- Good blogging platform
- Excellent for eCommerce
- Free limited trial version
- Attractive design templates
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Lacks photo editing tools
- No integrations with shipping service
Best visual web design tool for creative professionals
Webflow is a visual blog editor that uses a drag-and-drop approach to design your website. The platform lets you create blogs, portfolios, business cards, and forms. It benefits both experienced bloggers and beginners since it doesn’t require special coding skills.
Also, if you are a blogger, designer, freelancer, or individual entrepreneur, Webflow will make it easy to design your blog. The platform offers customizable templates. It allows you to add videos, buttons, forms, lists, maps, social networks, sliders, and images to your blog.
Apart from being an easy-to-use DIY website builder, Webflow provides complex functions for designers and developers. However, before you can be comfortable using these features, it comes with a learning curve.
With Webflow, you get a full-featured blogging platform with a content management system. The platform allows you to filter templates by industry, e-commerce, or free/premium. It makes it easy to find the right template for your blog.
Webflow provides pricing plans in two categories, i.e., site plans and eCommerce plans. In the site plans, you get suitable plans for personal sites, blogs, and business websites.
The site plans are further divided into Basic, CMS, Business, and enterprise.
The Basic plan will cost you $12/month (billed annually) or $15/month (billed monthly). In this package, you enjoy:
- Custom domains
- 100 pages
- 25,000 monthly visits
- 500 form submissions
- 50GB of bandwidth
The CMS plan is the best for blogs and starts from $16/month (billed annually) or $20/month (billed monthly). It gives you access to the following features:
- All the features in the basic plan
- 100,000 monthly visits
- 2,000 collection items
- 1,000 form submissions
- 200GB of bandwidth
- 60 API requests per minute
- 3 content editors
- Site search
Next, is the Business plan that starts from $36/month (billed annually) or $45/month (billed monthly). The package gives you:
- Custom domain
- 100 pages
- 1,000,0000 monthly visits
- 10,000 collection items
- Unlimited form submissions
- File upload
- 400GB of bandwidth
- 120 API requests per minute
- 10 content editors
- Site search
With the Enterprise plan, you get a custom price by contacting support for more details.
- Easy to use
- Allows design customization
- Offers excellent templates
- Ideal for dynamic content
- Lacks live chat support
- No free plan
Best blogging platform for traditional long blog posts
Medium works like a social network for bloggers, experts, writers, and journalists. The blogging platform is easy to use, but it provides limited social media features. Starting a blog on Medium is super simple if you wish to share your thoughts and writing.
Unlike other blogging platforms, Medium already has an audience.
Medium provides a clean, white editor that lets you see how the published post will look like. Although the interface appears simple, it has some cool tricks for formatting your posts. Also, the Medium publication feature lets you add editors and writers to the blog.
Most important is that the platform gives you options for customizing your blog’s homepage. With the Medium publication, you get a magazine-style layout with menu options. When you create a publication, Medium allows you to send newsletters to your followers.
It is an all-round blogging platform with classic blog posts. Medium is the perfect blogging platform if you have a lot to pass across, and you need a dedicated weekly or daily audience. The drawback is that you don’t own the traffic, and you have no option of selling or monetizing.
Besides, if you already have a blog, you can publish posts on your website and re-publish some posts on Medium. This way, you will take advantage of the benefits you get from Medium.
To avoid penalties from Google, you will need to import your posts properly then setting the canonical tag. Also, you will avoid problems if the Medium version of the post out-ranks the original blog. Brands use Medium to recycle their content to attract new readers.
Alternatively, you can use Medium as a separate channel with unique content. Medium lets you embed content from third-party websites such as videos from YouTube. Also, you get the option of adding content from Instagram, SoundCloud, Vine, and Twitter.
For both businesses and individuals, Medium offers free service to create your blog and publish posts. Medium membership is $50/year, which gives you access to Medium restricted articles.
- Easy to use
- Excellent user interface
- Focused on content creation and blogging
- Allows you to embed content
- Limited customization
- Limited monetization
Best free blogging platform for business or finance blogs
LinkedIn is not your usual blogging platform. However, if you have a business blog, you are better off creating your blog on LinkedIn because that’s where the audience hangs out. It started as a resume hosting platform, but over the years, LinkedIn has changed drastically.
LinkedIn is now a social network for all professionals. If you want to build a business blog, then the LinkedIn audience is premium. A big percentage of the article readers on LinkedIn have senior titles in businesses such as directors, VPs, and managers.
Hardened LinkedIn users keep coming for more because of the warm professionalism which underlies most conversations on the platform. The platform provides civility, stability, and real value, and if your blog can meet these standards, you will attract an audience.
LinkedIn offers you a ready-made culture and expectations most business bloggers dream of. On LinkedIn, like most social media networks, your influence increases as your network increases. So, the more you post articles, the more you will attract connections and followers.
If you write consistently, it will expand your network and reinforce your authority and knowledge in the subject. Use LinkedIn for a blog about leadership, community, or brand value instead of trying to earn money. Your audience will love you for that.
Using LinkedIn to write blog articles is easy and straightforward. The platform offers a user-friendly editor. To start blogging on this platform, you only need to navigate to your LinkedIn feed, then search for the “Start a post” widget and click the “Write an article” link.
Although the platform allows you to build your business opportunities and your network, LinkedIn has its pros and cons, like other platforms. For instance, you don’t own the traffic or site.
On LinkedIn, you get two pricing plans. The plans are Premium Career and Premium Business. However, you don’t need to subscribe to a plan to start your blog on LinkedIn.
- Hosted, easy to use platform
- Generous free plan
- Built-in audience
- Best of business blogs
- You don’t own the site
- Limited customization
Best free blogging platform for non-tech individuals to start a blog
Blogger is a free blogging platform from Google. It gives you a quick way of starting a blog without technical skills. Blogger provides you with basic blogging tools, some third-party templates, and limited design options.
With these tools, you can create a simple blog website on Google’s secure and reliable platform. On this platform, it is easy to monetize with Google’s AdSense to display targeted ads. The flexible templates on Blogger are easy to set and let you create custom layouts.
Also, you get detailed Google insights into your audience. It lets you know your audience and where the traffic to your blog originates. Best of all, Blogger doesn’t require you to connect Google Analytics to access these details.
Blogger gives you access to handy visualizations, including a world map that shows how your readers are distributed across the world. The blogging platform provides an automatic spam filter and lets you monitor comments through your blogger dashboard.
Blogger is a great choice if you want to start a free blog and earn some income through AdSense. You can sign in using your Google ID, making it possible to set up your blog in seconds. The platform boasts of Google app integration and mobile-friendly features.
Although it is an amazing blogging platform, it is not as powerful as some of the other platforms. Blogger provides excellent templates optimized for small screens – a good addition since most people today access content on their smartphones.
The post editor on Blogger resembles the editor on WordPress but with fewer options. So, the toolbar is less confusing, even for a beginner. Thanks to the integration with Google, Blogger lets you store your files on Google Drive. It will even serve your photo-sharing needs.
Blogger is a free blogging platform with the main focus on ease-of-use, especially if you like the Google ecosystem.
- Very easy to use for newbies
- Best free plan
- Impressive templates
- Integrates Google apps
- Monetization through AdSense
- Not as powerful
- Limited customization
Best premium and minimalist blogging platform
Ghost is another open-source blogging platform. It provides users with a clean, easy to use interface. Ghost comes as a hosted blogging platform and software you can download to host yourself. It is a decent platform for both beginners and expert bloggers.
It began as strictly a blogging platform but now is a sleek content management system (CMS). You even get advanced built-in SEO options and a sleek dashboard.
Self-hosting your Ghost blog can be challenging. For instance, installing Ghost on your server is a bit complicated since the platform doesn’t provide a one-click installation option. However, if you manage to install it on your server, you will get a simple, easy to use Ghost dashboard.
With Ghost editor, what you see is what you get. Blogging on this platform feels like editing and writing a live page. The platform only allows you to include images, quotes, links, and format text. However, the experience of using Ghost’s dashboard is exceptionally smooth.
For hosted blogging on the platform, Ghost offers several packages. These are Basic, Standard, and Business. However, the self-hosted version is free.
The Basic plan starts from $29/month (billed annually) or $36/month (billed monthly). In this package, you get:
- 100k views/month
- 2 staff members
- 1,000 subscribers
- SSL+CDN included
The Standard plan will cost you $79/month (billed annually) or $99/month (billed monthly). The features in this plan include:
- 500k views/month
- 5 staff members
- 8,000 subscribers
- Priority support
The Business plan costs $199/month (billed annually) or $249/month (billed monthly). With this plan, you get features such as:
- 1 million views/month
- 15 staff members
- 35,000 subscribers
- 99.9% uptime SLA
- Focuses on blogging
- Built-in SEO capabilities
- Intuitive interface
- Limited themes
- Customization is hard
Best blogging site for micro or personal blogs
Tumblr is a popular, free blogging platform among the youth. The blogging platform is perfect for hobbyists, personal, and microblogs. Its focus is on the blogger community, providing various options for reblogging or sharing content.
The downside is that the platform focus is on GIFs and photos instead of text content. If you are a visual blogger, you will love the platform. Tumblr is a good option for a photographer who wants to share his/her art. However, if you are a writer, you may find the platform limited.
The sleek interface makes it possible to make your first post in seconds. With its mobile interface, it is a lot easier to create short posts on your smartphone. Also, you can get inspiration as you read content on the platform.
Tumblr combines social media capabilities with blogging features. If you don’t want to manage a website, but you want to share your thoughts fast and easily, then Tumblr is a great option. It lets you fill your blog posts with stories, art, GIFs, jokes, links, fashion, or anything you want.
Essentially, Tumblr is a social media platform equipped with microblogging features. When you share content on Tumblr, your audience can easily see your content on their feed. Tumblr is perfect if you like its social media simplicity.
The social structure also makes it easier for a new audience to see your content compared to attracting traffic to your website. Tumblr allows you to build a following.
Tumblr is a 100% free blogging platform with unlimited bandwidth and storage. The platform offers no pricing tier or plans. So, you won’t be missing anything as a free user.
The only costs you may incur are for a custom domain, third-party apps, and themes, although they are optional.
- Easy to use
- Free hosting with subdomain
- Offers various design options
- Integrates social features
- Limited features
- Difficult to backup files and content
Best platform for large and dynamic blogs
Joomla is among the best alternatives to WordPress.org. It is a flexible and powerful CMS that you can use to build any blog or website you want, provided you are ready to put in the effort and time. Joomla is a free, open-source, self-hosted blogging platform.
So, before you can start working on your blog, you need to pay for hosting and a custom domain name. Although Joomla offers fewer add-ons and themes compared to WordPress, you still get access to hundreds of extensions and templates to customize your blog.
Both WordPress and Joomla are strong blogging platforms, but it could be argued that Joomla is better for large, complex websites. If you intend to grow your blog with time to something you can monetize, Joomla is a scalable solution.
However, you will need more technical knowledge to use Joomla compared to WordPress. So, it is not ideal if you want an easy, non-technical blogging platform. The platform provides a more advanced user system if you have the necessary technical skills.
If you need a blog with multilingual support without using add-ons, then Joomla is a great choice. The feature is great for translating your blog into various languages. Besides, Joomla lets you monetize your blog however you want.
The platform lets you sell products, add ads, and use affiliate links. Also, it gives you access to eCommerce extensions such as a J2Store and Eshop for setting up the shopping cart and adding products.
Joomla is a free blogging platform to download. To start creating your blog, you only need to pay for hosting and a domain.
- Suitable for creatives
- Offers multiple professional templates
- Easy to customize
- Supports extensions for more functionality and blog features
- User is responsible for backups, security, and performance
- Not user-friendly for beginners
Best blogging platform for small businesses that want professional-looking blogs
With Yola, what you see is what you get. It allows you to design a website fast and easily with its drag-and-drop editor. The platform provides a free version. Although the free version offers responsive templates, it is very limited and can measure up to other free blogging platforms.
The eCommerce capability of this platform is one of its endearing features. With roughly 80 templates, Yola doesn’t provide a way to categorize, so you will have to try the templates with the website you want to create.
Yola modernized its website building interface, but it still falls short of its main competitors’ sleek designs. It is particularly true with blog publishing and mobile sites. Most of its competitors offer better, customizable, and free website builders for those who need them.
Yola provides 4 website plans to its users. These are Free, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
The Free plan is 100% free and offers the following capabilities:
- 2 websites
- 2 pages
- 2 languages
- 1GB storage
- Yola subdomain
- Mobile-ready website
The Bronze plan starts from $4.95/month (billed annually) or $7.95/month billed monthly. With this package, you get the following:
- 5 websites
- 1000 pages
- 2 languages
- 2GB storage
- Everything in the free plan
- Custom domain
- Website analytics
- Premium support
- Free private registration
The Silver plan will cost you $11.95/month (billed annually) or $15.95/month (billed monthly). This price tier affords you:
- 25 websites
- 1000 pages
- Unlimited languages
- 5GB storage
- Everything in Bronze
- No Yola branding
- Site backups
- Custom code editing
The Gold plan costs $23.95/month (billed annually) or $29.95/month (billed monthly). In this price tier, you get access to these features:
- 25 websites
- 1000 pages
- Unlimited languages
- Unlimited storage
- Everything in the Silver plan
- Automatic SEO monitoring
- Offers drag-and-drop design tool
- eCommerce feature
- Available in six languages
- Integrates Tumblr blog
- Limited free version
- Limited features
When you subscribe to the annual plan, you get to enjoy 2 months of free service.
Blogging Platforms FAQ
With over 500 million blogs online, the only way you can shine is to ensure your blog is up-to-date and using the right platform. Fortunately, WordPress is the gold standard when it comes to blogging thanks to its features and flexibility. It lets you get started immediately.
WordPress, on its official website, endorses and recommends some hosting platforms. Among them is Bluehost. If you are a new blogger, Bluehost is the best option thanks to its affordability. Bluehost pricing plans let you start a blog for as little as $2.95/month.
You won’t go wrong with WordPress and the web host it recommends. It should give you peace of mind knowing that WordPress, the number one blogging platform, recommends Bluehost to its users. It is a testament to Bluehost’s reliability, robustness, and efficacy.
As a beginner, the best blogging platform is the one that directs your design without involving technical skills. Weebly is a great blogging platform for beginners. It is one of the few website builders that help you design your blog according to your needs.
The platform allows beginners to create a stunning blog without coding skills through its drag-and-drop editor. It provides multiple templates that you can customize to your heart’s content. You can even create and publish posts on your smartphone.
With Weebly professionally-designed templates, a beginner can create a fantastic blog without much effort. It provides you with everything you need to start a blog. The website builder has a reputation for being an all-in-one system once a beginner gets the hang of it.
Although there are many free blogging platforms, one stands out, Blogger. The Google-owned blogging platform is among the oldest.
It is an awesome solution that delivers multiple themes and widgets. With Blogger, you can easily monetize your blog since it comes with ad spaces.
Blogger is a free hosted blogging platform that lets you start blogging immediately by logging in through your Google account. The platform will take you through simple steps to create your free blog. Best of all, you won’t need technical or coding skills to use the platform.
The platform even gives you access to analytics that help you assess the traffic to your blog and content attracting attention. Also, you can securely store the blog files on Google Drive.
Blogger gives you a free (blogspot.com) subdomain for your blog, which you can replace with your domain.
Earnings for bloggers vary considerably. The amount depends on various factors such as frequency of posts, the quality of the blog, topic competitiveness, and effectiveness in building an audience and driving traffic to the blog. Also, a dose of luck goes a long way.
A survey of pro-bloggers who try to earn money from blogging found 9% earn from $1,000 to $10,000/month and 4% earn more than $10,000/month. However, most bloggers who are less than two years old make less than $3.50/day.
To put it into perspective, in 2012, Blogging.com surveyed 1,000 bloggers running their own blogs. They found 17% could sustain their family or lifestyle, while 81% never earn $100. However, the remaining 2% earn over $150k and spend no more than 2 hours a day blogging.
A blog, per se, is not a business. It is just a platform for income streams. So, content alone may not earn you money.
Instead, you need to get advertisers or sell services such as consulting, use affiliate marketing, or sell products like premium content or ebooks to generate income.
For a beginner to start earning a living through blogging, it can take months or years. To generate reasonable income, you will need to churn out tons of content. The best strategy is to write at least a post each day. The post can take hours to research, write and edit.
So, it is hard work.
If blogging is side-hassle, you can probably rake in considerable income to make it a full-time job. In case this is not the case, there are other reasons for blogging, such as improving the chances of getting employed and sharing your passion.
The truth of the matter is that carving out your space online and establishing yourself as a blogger is not easy.
Although many types of blogs exist, some niches do well when monetization is done right. These include fashion, food, sports, travel, lifestyle, parenting, gaming, marketing, and health & fitness.
In the case of fashion blogs, they earn through sponsorship. Also, for heavy hitters in the industry, a brand partnership is possible with base pay and a share of the profit. These monetization approaches are popular in the beauty industry.
For food, sports, and travel blogs, bloggers earn through affiliate links, banner advertising, native ads, and sponsored posts. Established lifestyle and parenting bloggers also earn through affiliate links, sponsored posts, banner ads, and native ads in their blogs.
Also, blogs in the gaming, marketing, and health niches follow relatively similar approaches to monetize their content.
Ultimately, the best blogging platform will depend on the needs of the blogger. However, nothing comes close to a self-hosted WordPress blog on Bluehost if you want the most comprehensive blogging platform.
Wix and Squarespace website builders are the next best options. If you only need a free personal or professional blog (that limits your earning potential), platforms such as Blogger, Medium, LinkedIn, and Tumblr will suffice.