Best Platforms to Start a Blog

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It is a voila moment! You have finally decided to start your own blog, which you have been thinking for long.

But does this make your task any easier? We guess not! This is perhaps because now you need to find the answer of – where to start a blog?

We understand, as a newbie, it could be quite tough for you to make the right choice, all because there is an array of blogging platforms out there, both free and paid, and choosing one out of them is not an easy task.

Each blogging platform has its own features – some might be easy to set up, while others might provide better control, while some others might be expensive. Which blogging platform will you choose?

Do not worry. We are here to help you out. In this article, we will have a look at the best blog platforms that we have with us today. In addition, we will also have a look at their pros and cons. We will also discuss the important factors that must be kept in mind while choosing the right blog.

So without much ado – let’s get started!

What to Look for in the Best Blogging Platforms?

Assuming that you are a beginner and are just beginning your blogging journey, here are a few things that you must look for in the best blogging platform:

User-friendly

This is a no-brainer. This is the least that you would expect from your blogging platform. You would not like to spend hours just for simple customization. Nor would you like to hire an expert every time you run into the glitch.

Thus, to expect the minimum, your blogging platform should be user-friendly such that even a non-techie person like you can deal with it quite well.

However, make sure that although the platform is user-friendly, it doesn’t compromise with the features and functionalities in any way.

Versatility

While this factor might not play a big role when you are just starting up, but it will surely come into picture when you grow big and have a lot of blogs to maintain.

Ideally, a blogging platform should be such that it can be used for a range of niches. Thus, even if you switch to a fashion blog from your technology blog in the near future, it should be able to support it.

SEO-friendly

A lot of bloggers choose a wrong platform and soon end up finding that their chosen platform is not SEO-friendly, and this is perhaps why their blog is not fetching good traffic in Google.

Simply put, no matter how high-quality content you produce, but if it doesn’t get enough traction and traffic on Google, it is worth nothing.

Thus, make sure that your chosen blogging platform is SEO-friendly and requires little efforts from your side when it comes to setting up the on-page SEO of your blog.

Themes and plugins

Let’s face it: the way your blog looks does play an important role in keeping the users engaged and hooked. Will you like to visit a blog which is badly presented with odd fonts, poor color scheme, and confusing navigation? Definitely not!

Thus, make sure that you choose a popular blog site which is compatible with a range of themes and plugins. The right theme can add a new life to your website almost instantly. Perhaps, also make sure that your platform allows you to customize the theme as per your tastes and requirements.

Just like themes, plugins play an important role too. They can make your blog more functional and can even help you in engaging the visitors. For example, a plugin like Disqus allows your visitors to comment on your posts. Similarly, there are various other plugins which can help you in collecting email addresses of your visitors and so on.

Security

With the ever-rising crime and online security threats, no website is safe.

Thus, the least that you can do from your side is choose a blogging platform which is secure and helps you control spam. Too much spam on your blog or malicious links not only hurt your reputation on Google but can also create troubles for people accessing your website.

Hosting

We understand choosing between a free hosting and paid hosting could sound tough to you.

To begin with, consider hosting as renting a space on the Web, in this case, for a website. A website has its own files, and therefore, it needs hosting where it can reside.

There are two types of hosting available – free and paid. While free hosting would not hurt you economically, it comes with its own limitations. For instance, if you choose to go with WordPress, your domain name would look something like: blog.wordpress.com.

On the other hand, if you choose to go with paid hosting, you will get full control over your domain name. In this case, it will look like – blog.com, but then it comes as its own cost.

So if you are just starting up, and do not have enough financial backing, or if you are just having a trial-run, choosing a free hosting might cut the cake!

Support

Undoubtedly, you will not want to join an alienated company with not enough support such that when you run into a glitch, you have no resources to bring your blog back to normal.

This is why it is highly recommended to choose a blogging platform 24 * 7. In addition to getting the required support from the platform, you should also be able to get help from discussion forums, tutorial videos and the like so that you can troubleshoot at your own.

Now that you have a basic idea of what to look for in a blogging platform, it is the right time to explore further and have a look at the best blogging platforms. Let’s get started.

10 Best Blog Platforms

1. WordPress.com – Free Version

Looking for free blog platforms? WordPress is here to your rescue. WordPress requires no formal introduction. Originally started as a platform only for blogs, WordPress is now powering a range of popular websites, all because of its easy-to-use interface, ability to customize, SEO-friendliness and a lot of other factors.

This is the reason why it is the preferred choice of more than 76 million users today. If you still doubt its popularity, digest this: the keyword ‘WordPress’ is being searched 2,739,999 times per month!

The platform is a perfect fit for bloggers who are just starting up and for people who want to pen down their thoughts on the web.

Pros

  • Good platform for people who want to try blogging for free
  • Provides automatic updates
  • Provides a range of themes for you to choose from
  • Mobile-friendly
  • You can post your blog right from your mobile device

Cons

  • You don’t have the freedom to display your own ads to earn money
  • The platform doesn’t allow you to use plugins
  • Your blog can be terminated anytime if you do not stick to the terms and conditions laid out by WordPress.com

Price: Free

2. WordPress.org

If you are not convinced of the SaaS version of WordPress, WordPress.org might be the right pick for you. Although the platform is free of cost, but you would need to get your own hosting.

WordPress is a popular content management system and is the preferred choice of businesses and professionals. As already mentioned, it is SEO-friendly and allows you to customize your website on the go.

All you need to pay is a small fee to the hosting provider. The platform is a right choice for business professionals, and blogging enthusiasts.

Although the platform has quite a learning curve, it is worth it, and also allows you to choose your own custom domain.

Pros

  • SEO-friendly
  • Boasts of a large collection of themes and plugins, both free and paid
  • Secure and reliable
  • Seamless support in the form of online tutorials, videos, FAQs, forums and others
  • Easy to customize

Cons

  • Not new-user friendly
  • Although it is easy to customize, non-techies might still find it tough

Price: Free, but you need to buy hosting

3. Medium

Medium is one of the best sites to start a blog. Launched in the year 2012, the platform has gained immense popularity within a short span of time. As of 2017, the platform has 60 million monthly readers.

The platform is getting so popular day by day that in comparison to 2015 when only 1.9 million posts were published, 7.5 million posts were published in 2016.

This is enough to understand how popular the platform is. The best part of Medium is that it is a perfect mix of a publication, social media, and a blog. In here, you can follow other writers and comment on their posts, and they can do the same to you.

Thus, if you love writing, and want to start blogging just as a hobby with no plans of monetization in the near future, there could be no better option than Medium.

Further, the platform is easy to set up and use, and provides a great feel!

Pros

  • Free and easy to use
  • Your blog can be set up within a few minutes
  • Can also serve as a great marketing tool for your blog
  • Boasts of a huge community to connect to and interact with
  • Best blog sites for writers

Cons

  • Cannot be customized
  • Monetization is tough
  • Might not be suitable for building a brand

Price: Free

4. Wix

Wix is another great choice for bloggers who are new to the blogging industry, have little to no coding skills, and want to run their own blog.

 It is the one of the best free blog platforms which comes equipped with its own drag and drop blog website builder. This provides more control to the non-techie bloggers.

From helping you run a blog to starting a small ecommerce store, Wix can take care of it all. However, the free version comes with its own limitations and might not be the right fit if you are looking for better functionalities.

In that case, you can choose to go with the paid version which goes easy on pockets as well.

All these features and more make Wix a perfect platform irrespective of your end-goals. You can use it to run varied blogs, or use it to showcase your portfolio or to run an ecommerce store, the platform will not disappoint you at all.

Pros

  • Easy drag and drop website builder provides better control to the bloggers
  • The platform has more than 510 templates in every niche
  • Has a large knowledge base of tutorials to help you out if you get stuck
  • The platform has a praiseworthy support center as well
  • Also comes equipped with additional features like SEO Wiz to help you with SEO

Cons

  • Switching between two templates would need a rearrangement of content which is time-consuming
  • The free version provides lesser control and even shows random ads you can do nothing of

Pricing: Comes in both free and paid versions. The most basic premium version costs you $4 per month

5. BlogSpot

BlogSpot is another free blog site that would let you test the waters! Powered by Google, this is an amazing online blogging platform written in Python, however, the user-interface and the backend of the blog is entirely different than other free platforms.

Rest assured, the entire blogging experience provided by BlogSpot is easy and newbie friendly.

Additionally, if you like to write blog posts on mobile as most of us do, you can even use its mobile app to publish and take care of other management tasks. But since the mobile app is not upgraded as often as it should be, it often runs into glitches.

One of the main perks of BlogSpot is that unlike WordPress.com which doesn’t allow you to monetize, you can actually monetize your blog with various options like sponsored posts, AdSense, direct ads and others.

Pros

  • Great for newbies
  • Allows you to monetize with a range of options
  • No learning curve
  • SEO-friendly
  • Comes with a range of themes and templates
  • Built-in analytics that keeps you updated on how well your site is performing

Cons

  • Doesn’t allow you to customize the domain name
  • The interface is a bit outdated

Price: Free

6. Squarespace

Similar to Wix, Squarespace is another website building platform that allows you to build a website with its drag and drop features. The platform is a great solution for blogging enthusiasts and small business owners alike.

The platform also has inbuilt analytics which pulls important data to reveal important details like popular content, search queries, traffic volume, and others.

Pros

  • Comes with comprehensive support in the form of live chat, featured guides, online tutorials, videos and the like
  • Allows you to receive payments from your e-commerce store easily
  • Also allows you to activate discounts
  • Much better in terms of website performance and site speed when compared to others
  • Offers a vast collection of professional templates to help you take care of the look and feel of your blog

Cons

  • It is not too friendly with third-party tools
  • Only allows you to add two contributors to the personal plan

Price: $12 per month billed annually or $16 per month billed monthly

7. Joomla

Joomla is an open source content management system, just like WordPress.org, and allows you to customize your blog on the go. Just like WordPress, it is a perfect option if you like to blog at a large scale, and are planning to generate a lot of content and make money out of it.

Joomla, unlike its other counterparts, is more suitable for professional bloggers and is a perfect business solution. It is a self-hosted solution, which means that although you can use the platform for free, you will need to buy a domain name and hosting to make your website live.

Pros

  • Quite a powerful platform when it comes to powering your blog or website
  • Provides a lot of control and allows you to customize on the go
  • Compatible with a lot of themes, third-party tools, apps, plugins, and themes

Cons

  • The community of Joomla is limited when compared to the huge WordPress community. This is perhaps why there are limited add-ons and themes available
  • Customizing the blog is not easy and you will need to hire a developer to get the fixes done
  • Although the platform rolls out security updates from time to time, but you will need to manage them on your own

Pricing: Free, but you will need to buy a domain name and hosting

8. Weebly

Our list of best blog platforms will not be completed without Weebly. Just like Wix and Squarespace, it is a website builder tool which allows you to create your own website with the help of its drag and drop interface.

The platform comes equipped with a range of themes and plugins which will help you in customizing the look and feel of your website on the go.

Further, it is a hosted service which means that you would not need to buy the website hosting separately. This eases you off a big responsibility and also helps you in making your website live within a few minutes.

Pros

  • It is a great platform for starters and enthusiasts as the platform requires little to no technical knowledge
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Your hosting needs are taken care of by Weebly
  • You can try the free plan of Weebly before committing long-term to it

Cons

  • The platform comes equipped with a range of built-in features, however, it doesn’t allow you to add your own features
  • Its compatibility is limited in with third-party platforms and tools
  • It can be difficult to export your website from Weebly to other platforms if you plan to do so anytime in the near future

Price: It has both free and paid versions. Paid plans start at $8/month and can cost you as much as $49/month if you unlock all its features

9. Ghost

Ghost is another amazing blogging platform, although with limited features, but it is a great solution if you are just starting with the blogging. The best part of Ghost is that it can be used both as a hosted platform or you can choose to buy own hosting plans.

The platform would not suit business professionals much but is definitely a great choice for blogging enthusiasts who love to write.

Pros

  • Perfect for people with a flair towards writing
  • Clean and neat interface
  • Superfast, as it is written in JavaScript
  • Easy to set up, if you are using the hosted version

Cons

  • Provides limited compatibility with apps
  • Although the user-interface is simple, it comes with limited options
  • Limited themes
  • Set up is difficult if you choose to host it on your own server

Price: for the self-hosted version, you would need the hosting. If you plan to go with the hosted version, you will need to pay $19/month for 1 blog which comes with a 25000-page view limit

10. Tumblr

We are not sure if Tumblr could be characterized as a blogging platform, but we decide to include it as it is quite popular among bloggers. Basically, it is a microblogging platform with social networking features and allows you to reblog, and comes equipped with various built-in sharing tools and the like.

Pros

  • Free and super easy to use
  • Comes integrated with social media, and thus provides your blog with better visibility
  • Since it is a microblogging tool, you can easily discover and use amazing GIFs, videos, images, and other media

Cons

  • Comes with a limited set of features
  • Exporting your blog from Tumblr to other platforms is different

Pricing: free

Your Turn

As is evident, there are a lot of blogging platforms available with us today. We will highly recommend you to choose the one which suits your needs perfectly well. While the free versions would work fine for the new bloggers, but they do not allow you to choose your custom domain.

Paid versions could be a right pick in this case, but you would need to spend a certain amount per month for hosting and other needs.

We hope this article would have provided you with the answer of – where to blog?

So which one is your best pick? Do let us know in the comments below.

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