Do you want to start a blog?
Blogs are rated as the 5th most trusted source of information on the internet. They are considered a good place to gather honest reviews about different brands and products.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, then knowing the best platform to use is definitely a step in the right direction.
In this article, you will learn about the top ten blogging platforms on the internet along with their pros and cons. Check out which one suits your requirements perfectly.
Let’s get started.
What to look for when choosing a blogging platform?
There are several blogging platforms available, and each serves the same purpose — making your content available on the internet.
However, each platform also offers unique features that would make your blog more user-friendly and visually appealing.
When choosing a blogging platform, there are a few factors you need to consider. Here are things to look out for:
- Niche: The first thing you need to do before starting your blog is to identify your niche. Some blogging platforms are better suited for a specific niche. Therefore, you need to know about all the specific requirements your blog will have. For example, some blogging platforms do not support large banners and cover pages, which is important for a fashion or lifestyle blog.
- User interface: Next, you need to check if the platform is easy-to-use. Designing and running a website is not an easy task. Make sure to select a blogging platform that provides a user-friendly interface, an easy-to-use dashboard, and a step-by-step guide.
- Customization options: Each blogging platform has its own set of themes, widgets, and plug-ins to make your blog better. Some support external plug-ins and themes to further curate the website design according to your preference. Bloggers who plan to post many videos, graphics, ebooks, etc. need to look for a stronger platform with bigger storage.
- Skill level: Another thing you need to evaluate is your skill level. For example, some blogging platforms require a certain amount of coding, which is not everyone’s piece of cake. Instead, you can choose easier options that provide a template for every step.
- Budget: Lastly, you need to choose the platform that complements your budget. Some require more money because of the number of features they provide. Some come with a fairly cheap price plan, while others are free.
What are the best blogging platforms out there?
Ready to know which platform has what features to offer? Here’s a breakdown of our favorites:
|WordPress.org||Free||55,000 pluginsRun ads on the blogGoogle Analytics monitoringComplete blog ownershipFull control over the blog’s design||Website management can be a little hassleNeeds strong grip on hosting, storage, and security|
|WordPress.com||Free||Completely free and easy to useNo setup or installation requiredEnough storage for new and personal bloggersFree backups and system updates||No ownership of your blogAds on free websitesNo custom plugins or themesNo ads monetization on the free version|
|Wix||$4.50 per month||Drag and drop featureThird-party apps for customizationLightweight and fast blogQuick and easy setup||Wix branding and ads on the blogEcommerce features only in paid plansLimited free third-party appsUnchangeable templateNot transferable|
|Web.com||$1.95 on the first month||Free hostingSeveral pre-made templatesBeginner-friendly price plan||Blog transfer can be challengingNo support for third-party plugins|
|Squarespace||$14 per month||Separate domain names with ecommerce storesHD image-friendly template24/7 customer supportAutomatic backup of your data||Somewhat expensive plansLimited features|
|Weebly||Free||No extensive setup processMobile responsiveSupports Square payment platformFully hosted blogging platform||Weebly branding in the free planFew themesPricier payment plans|
|Tumblr||Free||Free subdomainQuick media uploadSocial media componentEasy to use||Difficult to transfer blog to another platformThemes have limited features|
|Medium||Free||Massive communityNo need to pay attention to blog’s hosting or designEarn money through member reading timeReady-to-post blogging platform||Medium owns content and audienceNo personal domain nameNo support for personal ads|
|HubSpot CMS Hub||$23 per month||Free SSL certificateDrag and drop builderSmart SEO tools||ExpensiveWebsite transfer requires expertiseNo free version|
|Blogger||Free||Good securityExcellent uptimeCompletely free to use||Google owns your blogDifficult support for heavy multimediaVery limited design tools|
First, I need to clarify that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are two different platforms:
- WordPress.org is a self-hosted blogging platform that provides complete control to the user. Basically, you must purchase your own web hosting and install WordPress there. This platform is ideal for both beginners and seasoned bloggers.
- WordPress.com takes all the hard parts away. Simply speaking, all you need to do is register for an account and start blogging away. Unfortunately, since you don’t have total control, you’re limited on customizations as well as in monetizing your blog.
Maintaining a self-hosted website can be challenging, especially if you’re new to blogging. Once you find a reliable hosting provider, things will go smoothly from there.
Advantages of WordPress.org:
- Features more than 55,000 different plug-ins in the plug-in directory to make your website smarter and more automated
- Allows you to add several features like forms, custom plug-ins, themes, paid memberships, etc
- Run your ads on your blog without having to share the revenue with a third party
- Real-time stats by enabling Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on your blog
- Complete ownership of the content on your blog
- Full control over your blog’s design
Disadvantages of WordPress.org:
- Website management can be a little hassle (though you can remedy this by using a managed hosting)
- Needs strong grip on your hosting, storage, and security
How much does WordPress.org cost?
Downloading WordPress.org software is free. However, you have to pay for the domain, hosting, and a few other services.
Below is a sample computation of how much you might have to spend:
|Domain Name||$14.99 per year|
|Hosting Service||$2.75 to $7.99 per month|
|Plug-ins||$0 to $1,000|
|Themes||$0 to $200|
|Security||$50+ per month|
Note that using paid plugins and paid themes are optional. There are a lot of free plugins and themes that are great that you can use when starting out.
Overall, WordPress.org is the best option you have if you want to start a personal or a professional blog where you can control almost everything.
WordPress.com is the hosted version of the WordPress platform. It comes with a hosting service by “Automattic,” which is also a part of the WordPress company.
Most beginner and hobby bloggers who don’t plan on earning from their website opt for WordPress.com because of its free plan and auto-hosted feature.
If you want to use more advanced features (like plugins and premium themes), you can upgrade to the premium or VIP plan of WordPress.com.
Advantages of WordPress.com:
- Completely free and easy to use (if you want additional features, then you can upgrade to a paid plan)
- No setup or installation required for your blog (sign-up and get started)
- Enough storage for new and personal bloggers
- Free backups and system updates
Disadvantages of WordPress.com:
- No ownership on your blog (their team can suspend your blog if your content violates their terms and conditions)
- Got ads on free websites (and the blog owner doesn’t have any share of the revenue)
- Can’t install custom plug-ins or themes in your blog
- Can’t run ads on the free version
How much does WordPress.com cost?
Below is a summary of the WordPress.com’s plans and features:
|Price||$0||$50 per month|
|Premium themes||Not included||Included|
|Custom web domain||Not included||Free for 1 year|
|Plug-ins||Not included||Unlimited access|
|Premium support||Not included||Included|
|Remove ads||Not included||Included|
|Storage||1 GB||50 GB|
|SEO tools||Not included||Included|
|Video content||Not supported||Supported|
|Social media tools||Not included||Included|
|Web administrator||1 only||Unlimited|
|Payment collection||Not supported||Supported|
|Professional email||Not included||Free for 3 months|
|Ad revenue||Not included||Included|
|SFTP and database access||Not included||Included|
If you’re a big enterprise and want a plan specifically curated for your requirements, then you can opt for their WordPress VIP plan, which starts at $2,000 per month.
Specifically designed for beginners and small businesses with no coding skills, Wix is one of the easiest blogging platforms to use.
They have a drag and drop feature for uploading images, videos, graphics, and even written content, which makes it the top choice among novice bloggers.
It’s also common among online business owners who want to create a fuss-free shop for selling their products. Wix has 500+ ready-to-use templates that make building a blog even easier.
Advantages of Wix:
- Generate quick content on your websites with the drag and drop feature
- Several third-party apps to customize your website
- Provides a lightweight and fast blog
- Quick and easy setup
Disadvantages of Wix:
- Wix branding and ads on different parts of your website
- Ecommerce features only in paid plans
- Limited free third-party apps
- Unchangeable template
- Not transferable
How much does Wix cost?
Below is a summary of the Wix’s plans and features:
|Price||$4.50 per month||$8.50 per month||$12.50 per month||$24.50 per month|
|Free domain||Not included||Included||Included||Included|
|Remove ads||Not included||Included||Included||Included|
|Storage||500 MB||3 GB||10 GB||35 GB|
|Site booster||Not supported||Not supported||Supported||Supported|
|Bandwidth||1 GB||2 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Video in hours||None||30 Minutes||1 Hour||5 Hours|
|Pro logo||Not included||Not included||Not included||Included|
|Visitor analytics||Not included||Not included||Not included||Included|
|Social media||Not included||Not included||Not included||Included|
They do have a variety of plans available. Choose Wix if you’re into using drag and drop functionality to create a blog.
Web.com is another well-known blog builder that provides useful tools to create a high-quality website for your business.
It has a built-in feature that allows you to add a blog section to your online store. You don’t need to know any coding skills too to enhance your blog.
Its SEO tools, security, and backup service will make it the simplest to use. Note that switching your website to another platform later is quite difficult.
Advantages of Web.com:
- Provides free hosting and takes care of all the updates
- Several pre-made templates to design your blog
- Beginner-friendly price plan
Disadvantages of Web.com:
- Transferring your blog to another platform can be a challenge
- No support for third-party plug-ins
How much does Web.com cost?
Below is a summary of the Web.com’s plans:
|Per first month||$1.95||$2.95||$3.95|
|Full price per month||$10||$15||$20|
|2nd annual renewal||$100||$150||$200|
Web.com is a nice alternative to WordPress because of its easy-to-use features. It also comes with a lot of pre-made templates which are customizable.
Squarespace is another easy-to-use website that’s common among online business owners.
If you want to focus on an aesthetically appealing website than on publishing written content, this is the perfect platform for you.
This is the least complicated platform for small companies to help flourish their business. The list of features is quite limited, but it has several professionally designed templates that make it a top choice for ecommerce brands.
Advantages of Squarespace:
- Features separate domain names with ecommerce stores and SSL/HTTPS
- Contains HD image-friendly templates to design your website
- Provides 24/7 customer support to the users
- Automatic backup of your data
Disadvantages of Squarespace:
- Somewhat expensive price plans
- Has limited features
How much does Squarespace cost?
Below is a summary of the Squarespace’s plans and features:
|Personal||Business||Basic Commerce||Advanced Commerce|
|Price||$14 per month||$23 per month||$27 per month||$49 per month|
|Video storage||30 Minutes||30 Minutes||30 Minutes||30 Minutes|
|Basic web metrics||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Integrations and blocks||Not included||Included||Included||Included|
|Professional email||Not included||Included||Included||Included|
|Marketing features||Not included||Included||Included||Included|
|Ecommerce features||Not included||Limited access||Limited access||Full access|
Squarespace is behind some of the most good-looking blogs out there. Some users often switch to WordPress after setting up a blog to minimize costs.
Among the popular blogging platforms, Weebly is one of the best for beginners. It’s a well-known platform for fully hosted websites and blogs.
Their website-building tools are easy-to-use, and they also offer free templates so you can enhance the visuals of your website.
Comparing it to other platforms, though Weebly doesn’t have many advanced features, it’s considered ideal for ecommerce shops and content-rich blogs.
Along with the affordability, you can be creative with your content by adding complex layouts, images, and sub-levels to advance your navigation menus.
Advantages of Weebly:
- No extensive setup process for its hosted version
- Provides a mobile responsive website or blog
- Supports Square payment platform
- Fully hosted blogging platform
Disadvantages of Weebly:
- Weebly branding in the free plan
- Few themes to choose from
- Pricier payment plans
How much does Weebly cost?
Below is a summary of the Weebly’s plans and features:
|Price||$0||$5 per month||$12 per month||$25 per month|
|Storage||500 MB||500 MB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Remove Ads||Not included||Not included||Included||Included|
|Site Search||Not included||Not included||Included||Included|
|eCommerce Features||Not included||Included||Limited access||Full access|
|Marketing Features||Limited access||Limited access||Limited access||Full access|
|Customer Support||Forum, chat, email||Forum, chat, email||Forum, chat, email, phone||Forum, chat, email, phone|
Overall, if you plan on using Square’s payment platform in the future in your blog, then Weebly is a good choice. It also has the right building tools if you plan on going the ecommerce route.
Tumblr is a unique blogging site that’s most common in the pop culture community, teenagers, and young adults.
It’s also called a microblogging platform as it attracts personal bloggers and small brands. In addition, it has distinctive features for social networking and following the blogs you like.
Although you can’t extend your blog as it grows, you can always back it up and import it to other platforms. It also allows reblogging and effectively supports images, videos, and other graphics.
Advantages of Tumblr:
- Provides a free subdomain that can be upgraded to a custom domain
- Quick upload of images, videos, and audio
- Features a social media component
- Very easy to use
Disadvantages of Tumblr:
- Quite difficult to transfer your blog to another platform
- Themes have limited features
How much does Tumblr cost?
Tumblr is free to use. However, if you want to make use of premium themes, you may have to shell out anywhere between $9 to $49 for a single theme.
On the bright side, Tumblr released a new monetization feature that charges readers a subscription fee. It’s useful for those who want to start a blog and earn money from it.
Medium is another great blogging platform that mostly appeals to writers, journalists, and experts. You can simply sign up and publish your content without requiring extensive coding skills or going through a complicated installation process.
You can easily access your followers through your own profile on Medium. If you simply want to focus on your writing (instead of designing your blog), then this platform is the most convenient for you.
Advantages of Medium:
- Massive community of bloggers that you can interact with
- No need to pay attention to your blog’s hosting or design
- Earn money through member reading time
- Ready-to-post blogging platform
Disadvantages of Medium:
- Medium owns your content and audience
- No personal domain name on this platform
- No support for running personal ads for revenue
How much does Medium cost?
Similar to the previous platform, Medium is free to use. All you need to do is to register and you can then start publishing posts right away.
Medium has a membership feature that costs $5 per month or $50 per year. However, it’s only good if you want to consume unlimited content from other members.
If your only concern is to publish posts in your blog without much thought on design and other back-end matters, then Medium might be a good fit for you.
9. HubSpot CMS Hub
CMS Hub is one of the most advanced and powerful blogging platforms, especially for marketers and web developers.
It provides you with advanced features and built-in SEO tools. With the help of these tools, you can effortlessly create SEO-optimized blog posts.
This platform is also ideal for beginners due to its countless layouts to design the website according to its brand. Moreover, it also features multi-language advancements.
Advantages of CMS Hub:
- Free SSL certificate to ensure the security of your blog
- Features a drag and drop website builder
- Has smart SEO tools
Disadvantages of CMS Hub:
- Expensive and requires expertise to transfer the website
- No free version
How much does CMS Hub cost?
Below is a summary of the CMS Hub’s plans and features:
|Price||$23 per month||$360 per month||$1,200 per month|
|Web Building Tools||Included||Included||Included|
|Personalized Experience||Not included||Included||Included|
|Web Customization||Not included||Included||Included|
|SEO Optimization||Not included||Included||Included|
|Manage Teams||Not included||Not included||Included|
|Powerful Digital Tools||Not included||Not included||Included|
If you have a business for your blog that exists in the HubSpot ecosystem, then it will make sense if you use CMS Hub.
On the other hand, many of the advanced functionalities may actually set you off. If you still want to use HubSpot, there’s a free plugin you can use with WordPress.
Lastly, Blogger is one of the oldest and most convenient blogging platforms. It is a free and easy-to-use platform by Google, perfect for low-budget bloggers and non-tech savvy users. You can simply start a new blog by signing up using your Google account.
Although it has very limited tools, you don’t need any coding or technical skills to create a blog on this platform since it was solely designed for beginners and personal bloggers.
Advantages of Blogger:
- Good security (it’s a Google product)
- Good amount of uptime
- Completely free to use
Disadvantages of Blogger:
- Google owns your blog and can suspend it in case of violations against the community guidelines
- Support for heavy multimedia can be difficult
- Very limited design tools available
How much does Blogger cost?
There is no fee to create a blog on Blogger. However, if you want a custom domain, you might need to spend money on third-party services.
If you want to start without worrying too much about other things, then you can use Blogger. As your blog grows, you may want to switch to other platforms like WordPress.
Our Pick on the Best Blogging Platform
With the many options available on the internet, it can be challenging to pick the best one. In addition, each blog is unique and requires a different setup to have it running smoothly.
However, WordPress is the only platform that offers almost all the features present in other blogging platforms:
- You will have an array of options to choose from. WordPress is not only cheaper compared to other platforms — but it also provides 24/7 support to its users.
- Currently, WordPress powers more than 43% of all the websites on the internet due to its easy-to-use interface. As a result, this platform has become a cult favorite among bloggers and business owners of all kinds.
Starting your blog on WordPress is effortless as it has a detailed guide for each step, especially for new users. It’s powerful, secure, and easily transferable, which is why it’s our best pick.
As runner-ups, Wix and Squarespace are also trustable websites for new and experienced bloggers — though you may want to transfer to WordPress eventually.