Choosing The Best Blogging Platform (Free VS Paid – Quick Start Guide)


Are you planning to start your own blog, but you aren’t really sure about which blogging platform is right for you? If yes, then this article is for you. In this article, we will help you with Choosing the Best Blogging Platform. For a complete beginner, it is a bit difficult to come into conclusion about which platform would be ideal for them.

Hence, for a newbie, it is advisable to get started with the user-friendly platform. simple and easy to understand. Blogging is not just about writing content and keep publishing. Apart from writing, it is more about how smoothly you can manage your blog. As there are numerous blogging platforms out there in the market, as a beginner, you need proper guidance on selecting the right platform.

blogging platforms

9 Blogging Platforms That Work (Free vs Paid)

To get into the final decision, you have to know what consequences you may have to face in selecting a particular platform. As each platform has a different style, layout, blog post ranking efficiency, and many other things, it is essential to know about the pros and cons of all the top blogging platforms. So to help you in selecting the best blogging platform we have described the pros and cons of top platforms. After going through this guide, you will be able to know which blogging platform is perfect for you and which one isn’t. So here are the top blogging platforms from which you can select the best one:

1. WordPress.org

The number one in all list of best blogging platform is wordpress.org. wordpress.org is a simple reliable open source and inexpensive way of getting started with blogging. This platform allows you to customize your blog or website in your own way.

As compared to other platforms, the best thing about WordPress is that it has plugins. With the use of different plugins, it becomes really easy to customize, design, and manage the blog or website in your own way. Whether you want to add a new look to your website, want to improve the site speed, want to improve SEO, with the help of different free & paid plugins, you can do that.

It is a very powerful blogging tool that has more than 54,000 plugins available in it. Plugins are the main reason why most website owners and bloggers love WordPress.org instead of any other blogging platform. This platform allows you to fully customize your website through coding.

But, the only downside of this platform is that it is not for a complete beginner. To get started with this platform for creating fully customized websites, you need to have prior knowledge of coding and technical aspects. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of this platform to know about it in a better way:

PROS

  • Plugins are the best thing about wordpress.org. If we talk about other platforms, they have complex and not easily understandable plugins.
  • WordPress is also a great content management system. With this blogging platform, you would have easy management of your blog’s content and pages.
  • SEO becomes a bit easy with this platform. Some top SEO plugins like Yoast SEO makes it the search engine optimization process easy.
  • For blogging, this platform is one of the best ones. If your main motive is to do blogging then this platform is perfect for you.
  • WordPress is an open-source platform, it does not charge any money from you. To get started with it, all you need is your domain name registration and hosting.

CONS

  • WordPress is easy to learn and access, but it requires some prior knowledge. If you do not have any knowledge or experience with WordPress previously, then it might be a bit difficult to get started.
  • We can install the malware in WordPress but hackers mostly target WordPress sites as this platform is used by a large number of people.
  • Getting started with WordPress is not completely free. You have to invest your money in buying a domain name and hosting.

2. Wix.com

Wix.com is another platform using which you can get started with blogging. As we have seen in WordPress.org you have to invest some money in buying the domain name and hosting to get started. But, in the wix.com, you get a self-hosted website. It means you do not have to pay any amount for your Wix domain name and Wix hosting.

If we compare Wix with WordPress, wordpress.org has numerous plugins to manage things, while in Wix, you have a facility of drag and drop feature which makes the blog customization smooth. To get started with WordPress, you need to have some prior knowledge about coding and some technical aspects.

But, in Wix, with the use of drag and drop customization feature, you would be able to make an eye-catchy and attractive blog of your choice even without any prior experience in technical aspects. You do not have to mess with coding and programming with this blogging platform.

Apart from all these, Wix also offers a feature of creating a logo. With the use of the Wix logo maker, you can create an attractive logo of your desired designing and colors for your blog. Here are some pros and cons of wix.com platform so that you can understand it in a better manner:

PROS

  • Wix.com is the blog and website creation platform in which you can customize your blog or website the way you want to, with the use of drag and drop feature.
  • You will have access to dozens of templates and third party apps here.
  • The setup of a Wix website is easy and quick.
  • It is a beginner-friendly platform.

CONS

  • The downside is that this platform has very limited blogging features as compared to other platforms.
  • With the free Wix domain name and hosting, you get very limited features, get Wix branding and ads on your site.
  • Once you select the template and add it on your website, you cannot change it later on.
  • It has very limited free third party apps.

3. Squarespace

Squarespace is the platform by using which you can make a professional website or blog quick. One of the best things about Squarespace website building platform is that it offers the best quality designs and images.  Hence by adding quality images and designs to your blog, you can attract more and more visitors.

Apart from its quality images and designs, it also has beautiful and eye-catchy templates. An attractive blog or website template can help you in building your brand and making your visitors stick to your website or blog.

If you are an artist or a designer, then Squarespace can be a great blogging platform for you as it has so many creative and quality designs & images. The platform is very much design-oriented. When it comes to SEO, it is not as much beginner-friendly as other blogging platforms.

Using the Squarespace platform for blogging could a bit difficult, but if you are in the field of designing, photography, or art, then you must consider using the Squarespace platform for blogging. Here are some pros and cons of Squarespace to help you know about it in a better way:

PROS

  • You can choose from high-quality templates and designs in this platform.
  • If you are an artist, designer or a photographer, then this platform is perfect for showing your creativity and designing skills by creating your blog.
  • It also provides the best quality features.
  • Even if you don’t have prior coding, programming, and technical knowledge, still you would be able to create a blog with full customization.

CONS

  • The price plans of Squarespace are a bit expensive. To get started you have to get a  Squarespace plan as there is no free plan here.
  • The usability of this platform is somewhat complicated than platforms like Weebly and Wix.com.
  • There is no app store in this platform hence you have to completely rely on the platform’s built-in features.

4. WordPress.com

People often get confused between wordpress.org and wordpress.com. The only connection between these two platforms is that wordpress.com is a blog hosting service which is offered by “Automattic” company. Automattic is the company which is created by the co-founder of WordPress.org, Mett Mullenweg.

WordPress.org is the platform in which you have to buy your own domain name and hosting to get started while wordpress.com is the platform in which there is no need to invest in the domain name and hosting because the company provides it to you.

It means to get started with wordpress.com, you won’t be charged for anything. You can start your blog through this platform for free, but just like wix.com, your domain name would have the branding of WordPress. For example, examplesite.wordpress.com And, if you want to remove the branding of wordpress.com, then you have to choose from one of the plans available. The starting plan is of $4 per month.

The setup of wordpress.com is really quick and easy. Also, it has a great strength of SEO, through which you want to rank your website or blog in the top of search engine page results (SERP). Here are some pros and cons of wordpress.com:

PROS

  • WordPress.com is easy to use and manage.
  • It is one of the powerful blogging tools which comes with social bookmarking and RSS feeds.
  • AS compared to wordpress.org, wodpress.com platform is more easy to use.
  • The platform is completely free, you do not have to pay any money to get started with this platform.

CONS

  • The platform is not very much beginner-friendly. To create a blog and get started with this platform, it would be crucial for you to have prior coding knowledge.
  • This platform offers a very limited number of customization options and tools.
  • In this platform, you cannot run ads. WordPress.com shows the ads on your free website or blog.
  • With this platform, basically, you are not the real owner of your website or blog. WordPress.com can suspend your website or blog if they find you have violated their terms and conditions.

5. Blogger

Blogger.com is another way to get started with your blogging journey. Blogger is the blog and website creation platform by Google. If you are an absolute beginner and want to learn about blogging from scratch, then this platform is the right choice.

The reason why we recommend this tool to absolute beginner bloggers is that it is really simple, quick and easy to setup. If you are from a non-technical background, this platform might help you. With this platform, you do not have to mess up with coding and different technical aspects. The only thing we don’t like about this platform is that it has very limited tools, in terms of designing, customization, and many other aspects.

Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms out there. This platform was first launched by Pyra Labs in the year 1999. In 2003, Google had acquired Blogger platform, redesigned it and launched it.

Basically, this platform does not cost any money. If you want to remove the branding of Blogger (.blogspot), then you just have to invest in buying the domain name of your choice and connect that with your website. Another great thing about this platform is that the hosting you get with it is managed by Google. So, you do not have to worry about your website security and buying web hosting for it.

PROS

  • The best thing about this blogging platform is that it is completely free, in terms of domain name (with .blogspot) and web hosting.
  • The platform is great for absolute beginners as it is very easy to use and manage.
  • To blog using this platform, there is no need to have knowledge about coding and technical aspects.
  • If you are very design-conscious and want to try out different designs in your blog, then this platform is not for you. It has very limited options related to designing.
  • With this blogging platform, you get an advantage of  Google’s robust security and reliability.

CONS

  • As your website’s data is with Google, it can suspend your account anytime when they find a violation of terms and conditions on the Blogger platform.
  • It does not provide frequent updates and new features.
  • In this platform, there are very limited templates and design options. You can add third party templates but they are not of very good quality.
  • The blogging tools and plugins you get with this platform are very limited and basic. These tools are not sufficient for an advanced or pro blogger.

6. Weebly

Another blogging platform in our list is Weebly. This platform is great for businesses that want to maintain a blog on their website. With this blogging platform, you get a great number of features and functionalities. With the help of its drag & drop feature,  you would be able to create your website as per your desire.

Using the drag and drop builder of Weebly makes you feel just like you are using the Elementor or Divi builder tools. It is super easy and quick. The setup and usage of Weebly are very beginner-friendly. Hence, if you are an absolute beginner in the field of blogging, Weebly could be a good choice.

With this platform,  you can customize and manage your website without having any prior experience in coding and technical stuff. There are so many drag and drop website builder platforms available in the market, choosing the right one is important.

With Weebly, you can get started for free. Weebly also has its paid plans as well. You can try out Weebly for free, if you find this platform is for you, then you can switch to the paid plan of your choice. The starter plan costs $8 per month and the price goes to $38 per month of premium plan. Here are different pros and cons of Weebly blogging platform:

PROS

  • This blogging platform is easy, simple, reliable and beginner-friendly.
  • To get started with Weebly’s basic plan, you do not have to pay any money. So, if you want to see the performance of Weebly, then you can test out its free plan.
  • It provides you good blogging features such as comment management and scheduled sharing.

CONS

  • If we compare Weebly with other platforms, it has less customization.
  • With this platform, there will be a limited long term growth of your blog.

7. Tumblr

Tumblr.com is the platform which is designed especially for bloggers.  If blogging is in your veins, go for this platform. The platform is best for sharing short-form and clickable content. It is the blogging platform which is very popular among younger audiences.

The great thing about this platform is that here you get smooth options for content sharing and reblogging it because it is focused especially on the community of bloggers.

If you are planning to create the textual blog then this platform is not for you because it does not focus on textual content instead, it focuses on photos and GIFs. And, if you are planning to create a blog with a lot of visual content then this platform is perfect for you.

In short, if you want to focus on clickable, and shareable content rather than textual content then Tumblr is right for you. However, just like Blogger platform, this platform also has very limited growth opportunities.

PROS

  • With this platform, it is very quick and easy to publish blog posts.
  • At the start, Tumblr offers a free domain with the Tumblr branding on it. You can also connect a custom domain name.
  • It is a microblogging tool which makes it easy to blog videos, images, GIFs, and audios.

CONS

  • Tumblr is the platform which has very limited growth opportunities.
  • It is a blogging platform which comes with a very limited set of features.
  • Backing up and importing the Tumblr blog to another platform is a bit difficult.

8. Medium

Medium is a simple, and easy to use blogging platform. As we have seen Tumblr is the platform which based on visual contents like images, pictures, GIFs, videos, etc. while Medium is the platform which is based on textual content.

The downside of this platform is that it is less a blogging platform and more community-centric writing tool. If you are a writer who is looking for a good writing tool, then Medium is for you. The platform is very much similar to any social networking website. This is the place where you create content by getting started with writing articles. Here, you cannot use any custom domain name of your choice, the profile address would be like https://medium.com/@yourname.

With Medium,  you do not have to invest in buying the hosting service, because it is a hosted platform. With the creation of the blog, you get the sub-domain, SSL certificate, and access to the Medium platform for free. You want to take this platform seriously and planning to build your blog on Medium, it also has an opportunity for a paid membership program.

Medium also pays its writers. The amount of money you can earn through this platform is basically depended upon how often people ‘clap’ for your content.

PROS

  • It is very easy to use blogging platform without any need for setting up and messing with coding.
  • As it has a huge number of readers, it would be easy for you to build your audience a bit faster.

CONS

  • You cannot design your blog as per your desire.
  • You cannot add a custom domain of your choice.
  • There will always be the branding of Medium platform on your blog’s URL (as you cannot change it).
  • You are not allowed to run your own ads for making money.

9. Ghost

Ghost is another blogging platform through using which you can create your own blog and write blog posts. In this platform, you get a clean and simple interface, which makes your blogging process smooth. This is the minimalist blogging platform.

With this blogging platform, you do not have to mess up with coding and technical stuff because here you get a plain, simple and easy interface. If you will take a close look at the features of Ghost, you will find that its features are designed for blogging hence if you are a professional blogger, this platform could be a good choice.

Ghose blogging platform is available as a hosted platform and as a software that you can install or host yourself. As other blogging platforms require coding or technical skills, they are not perfect for absolute beginners. But, this is the platform which is just perfect for absolute beginner bloggers. In Ghost.org, you can select from two different versions – self-hosted version and web hosting version.

It is best for newbies because there is no requirement of setup here. You do not have to go through complex procedures to get started with this platform. Apart from this, it also provides you a live preview of your blog post while writing it, so that you can easily correct any mistake.

PROS

  • Ghost is the platform which is more focused on writing and blogging stuff. Hence, if you are a complete beginner who wants to learn about blogging, this is the platform from where you can get started with.
  • Another great thing about this blogging platform is that it does not require any setup, you can get started with it without any hassle.
  • The interface of this platform is clear, simple and easy to understand.
  • There will be a super-fast performance with this platform because it is written JavaScript.

CONS

  • It is a bit difficult to customize with apps.
  • If you love designing your blog by adding and testing out different colors and themes in it, then this won’t be possible in this platform. The themes options are very limited here.
  • To create the blog on this platform, you need to buy the web hosting on your own, Ghost does not provide it to you.

Final Thoughts

For absolute beginner users, it becomes a bit difficult to make an ideal decision about which platform to select for blogging. As a beginner, you should not start your blog with any random blogging platform because blogging is a long-term process. Once you make your final decision about the platform, you should be consistently uploading content in it.

If you ask for our advice on this, WordPress is our recommended platform for blogging. WordPress does require some technical knowledge and a bit of investment in domain name registration and web hosting, but it is worth it.

If you want to customize your blog the way you want and you want to take blogging for long-term then don’t look for any other blogging platform except WordPress. Once you get through the WordPress blogging platform and dive deep into it, you start getting more and more familiar about its different aspects.

Tab Winner

Hello my name is Tab Winner. I have a degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Web Development. Which honestly doesn’t mean much in today's world with the entourage of site builders at anyone's disposal. I have been a full time Entrepreneur since May 2016.  I haven't looked back since.

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