Best Blogging Platforms
Comparison Reviews by Industry Experts
Back in 2013, only one of four bloggers was trying to monetize his blog, while for others it was just a hobby. Today, in 2020, when we know many inspiring stories about how bloggers are becoming millionaires; the number of people who want to make a blog has increased.
People are often afraid of creating their blog. It seems to them that for this you need to know how to develop a site and be able to write tons of code per day.
Fortunately today you don’t need to know anything about the technical part of the work of Internet resources to create incredibly beautiful, functional sites. But the question is how to start blogging? How to create a blog yourself?
The simplest and most convenient way is to use a blog website builders platform. There are quite a lot of them, and we need to choose the one from a list of blog sites that suits your needs.
How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform
Many users ask us: “What is the difference between all blog builders?”, “What is the best blogging platform to create a successful blog”, “What blogging platforms should I use to become a famous blogger? “.
First of all, there is no universal truth – we cannot say “This platform is the best for blogging “or “The platform X is better than Y”. We must always pay attention to the needs that everyone has, what features do you need for a particular blog, what kind of blog do you want, what profit do you expect, how much time and money are you ready to spend on blogging?
Only based on these answers we will be able to choose the best blogging platform for you, the one that perfectly meets your needs. Don’t rush the design phase, as it is crucial to the success of your online project.
Before choosing a platform, to decide for yourself what is the purpose of your blog is and how you see yourself as a blogger.
There are two scenarios:
First: you have never done blogging before and you just want to try how it works and how it feels to be a blogger. You need a personal blog for yourself to post your favorite notes, pictures, videos or you just will write about your life.
If at least one option suits you, it means that you should think about starting a blog on a free platform. It can be WordPress.com, Tumblr or Blogger.
If none of the options fit you, then check the second scenario:
It is your first blog, but you already clearly know what you want to do. You already have a blog, but on a free platform and you are looking for a paid one. You want to make money on your blog,
Is it about you? Then consider investing a bit and choose website builders for blogs such as Blogger, Weebly, Wix, Squarespace or WordPress.org, but with your domain and hosting.
Now let us analyze in detail the specific characteristics and the differences between the most used and most successful blogging platforms, listing the pros and cons of each. In this way, it will be easier for you to orient yourself on the choice to be made.
Find the Best Blogging Platform for yourself
These best blog website builders will allow you to quickly launch a personal or corporate blog with the right address so that you can promote your ideas or make money on the Internet.
We have seen that WordPress has two versions: WordPress.org and WordPress.com, respectively the hosted one and the self-hosted one.
WordPress.com is the free platform that offers hosting on the WordPress server.
Let’s see the pros and cons of this blogging platform.
- It is free and very easy to set up;
- There are more than 200 free themes for your site
- All maintenance like setup, updates, spam, backup, security and more are handled by WordPress.com.
- You can’t use your custom template;
- You can’t use plugins, so you can’t add features like e-commerce, SEO optimization, member area or anything else;
- You don’t own the blog if WordPress will not like something about your content your blog can be closed any moment;
- You are not allowed to use advertising platforms such as AdSense, Chitika, Amazon or others, to insert banners on your site;
- To display advertisements, you must pay an annual fee.
- Blogger – $3/ month, billed yearly;
- Personal – $5 per month, billed yearly;
- Premium – $8 per month, billed yearly;
- Business – $25 per month, billed yearly;
- eCommerce – $45 per month, billed yearly.
WordPress.org software offers more features for successful blogging than the platform we’ve mentioned above.
You can use thousands of themes, plugins, widgets and much more to personalize your site in terms of functionality and design.
You can create your blog or website in just a few simple steps which will be looking professional. Let’s see what the pros and cons of the blogging platform are.
- You are the owner of your blog and you have full control over it;
- You can install any theme or plugin, even those that are not offered by WordPress.org;
- It is SEO friendly;
- It takes a few minutes to set up your blog;
- Complete code management;
- Ability to use advertising platforms;
- The name of your site will not be followed by “WordPress.com” in the URL;
- You must register your domain and host the site on a server.
- If you have already purchased it, you may need to transfer your domain to a new provider.
- you have to work hard to manage the functionality of your website
Weebly is an American website building service, launched in 2007. Using different widgets a person with zero site building experience can create a good-looking blog with a few clicks only. Weebly offers a great number of quality layouts that look attractive and up-to-date. The whole screen images, carefully selected fonts, nice colors are the key features of templates kindly designed for you by the Weebly team. It’s easy to edit them in the visual editor if you need an individual design.
- Template preview;
- The template can be changed at any time;
- HTML/CSS editor;
- Enough customization settings;
- Built-in promotion tools;
- Statistics on automatic mailing results.
- A limited selection of themes;
- Minimal SEO settings.
- Free plan – $0
- Connect – $7 /mo billed monthly or $5 /mo billed yearly
- Pro – $18 /mo billed monthly or $12 /mo billed yearly
- Business – $35 /mo billed monthly or $25 /mo billed yearly
- Business Plus – $46 /mo billed monthly or $38 /mo billed yearly
Wix the easiest blog platform which allows you to create a website with user-friendly drag-and-drop tools. You can also add a blog to your website by using the Wix Blog application. It offers wide opportunities for blogging. If you have no time for customization – no worries its Wix who has the best template you can find. All templates offered by the Wix team are of high quality and well designed. You will find the one for yourself. Right after registration, you get a free Wix plan. It offers hundreds of templates for free. Any element on the site can be customized. In this regard, the service creates a feeling of freedom, similar to what the artist experiences when he paints a picture. There Wix includes hosting, provides with a mobile version and has a basic set of features for building a site with free Wix domain. It is worth trying.
- International trustworthy blogging platform – if all the world trust Wix be sure it will not disappoint you;
- Ready-made templates are beautiful, but if you want you can change anything – template customization is unlimited, your creativity has no frames, change any element according to your taste;
- Clear and user-friendly drag-and-drop interface – even for those who have zero experience in working with site builder it will be easy and understandable; All options and widgets are explained;
- The detailed FAQ and good knowledge base will help you to find answers to all your questions on Wix functionality
- Wix Blog is an essential tool to connect your blog to the site;
- SEO-master for website promotion;
- The overloaded interface may be the problem for beginners, you can spoil the template overusing unlimited customization opportunities;
- Once the site was published you can’t switch template;
- The Support answers are not helpful.
- Connect Domain – $3.75-5.95 / month;
- Combo – $7.58-10.95 / month;
- Unlimited – $11.41-15.95 / month;
- Ecommerce – $14.79-19.90 / month;
- VIP – $23-30 / month.
Squarespace is a powerful and beautiful system which definitely worth your attention. SquareSpace is an American best blogging platform focused on creating blogs and portfolios. It is also a commercial platform for the sale of goods and services, including digital. The platform does not require special knowledge in website building and is intuitive. To get acquainted with the functionality of the system SquareSpace offers a trial period of two weeks.
- Free Google and Typekit fonts;
- Sale of digital goods (can be your photos or digital artworks);
- Beautiful layouts will look equally good on any devices;
- Free domain in the zone. Com;
- Good technical support.
- Customization restrictions;
- The visual editor and previews of galleries are very slow.
- Personal – from $12
- Business – from $18
- BASIC Commerce – from $26
- ADVANCED Commerce – $40
Blogger is one of the most well-known blog websites that also includes many different options. The blogger platform was launched in 1999. The platform was created by Pyra Labs now owned by Google. To create a free blog you can take advantage of Blogger, a historic blogging platform at no cost offered by Google. Previously known as Blogspot, Blogger is a platform for opening an online blog that stands out for its extreme ease of use: just a few clicks are enough to put your blog online and even writing and publishing your articles will be intuitive. All you need to start is to log in with your Google account. You can create a blog in minutes. Once you have created your blog you can dedicate yourself to its complete customization and blogging.
- Since Blogger is owned by Google, you will get access to tools like AdSense, Google Analytics, etc.
- Service provides for free hosting and subdomain (blog_name.blogger.com)
- Completely free and easy to use service.
- Publish instantly using mobile Blogger mobile snapshots made by a mobile phone camera.
- Earn money by posting on Google AdSense ads and Amazon Associates product catalog.
- Keep as many blogs as you need.
- There is access to the HTML code and additional settings for the appearance and functionality of the site.
- A limited number of topics and storage space.
- Free themes are not all beautiful.
- There is no possibility to connect your domain.
- The site will have a .blogspot in the title.
- Google may close your blog without warning if it doesn’t like something.
- Free – $0.
If you already decided to start a blog, then Tumblr is a great blogging platform. Tumblr is a relatively young social network that has gained popularity among the youth of many countries. The tumbler was founded in 2007 by David Karp when he was 21 years old. Tumbler is a very active blogging platform – many bloggers post dozens of posts per day. Blog content is more like animation and photos. Posts with long articles are rare here.
- Customization This blogging platform provides ample opportunities for creativity. You can choose a ready-made free or paid theme, find the code on the Internet, or write your own. Tumblr will be what you make it.
- Subscribers. For each post, you can attach tags that make it easier for readers to find you. It is psychologically easier for people to subscribe to you because no one sees the list of subscriptions/subscribers (if you are not setting it up), which is a decisive factor for people who care about this ratio.
- The quality of the pictures. Tumblr practically does not compress the pictures.
- You cannot transfer the contents of the blog from this platform to a new one.
- No comments – likes only.
- Almost impossible to monetize
- The complexity of perception. Tumblr is a bit tricky at first.
- It has an integrated component for social networks;
- As a microblogging tool, Tumblr makes it easy to quickly publish videos, gifs, images, and audio formats.
- Free – $0.
Strikingly is an excellent platform for creating blog websites without any programming knowledge. Created in 2012 it became a well-known website builder by 2020. This blogging platform helps you to create a beautiful thematic site with the all necessary functions fast.
The process of creating and designing a site can be described as What-You-Click-Is-What-You-Edit. To edit any element, just click on it, after which the corresponding editing tool will open.
Sites created on this blogging platform have an adaptive design and do not require a separate development of mobile options — the website will be compatible with all mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.). Several dozens of ready-made templates cover all popular thematic categories: from business card site to online store.
- Perfect blogging platform;
- User-friendly navigation;
- Endless free plan;
- Layouts look good on any digital screen;
- No previous coding background needed;
- Generous rewards program;
- Automatically saving site changes;
- Free support at all rates;
- Visual text editor;
- The ability to embed custom HTML, JS, and CSS codes for paid plans.
- Limited free plan functionality
- No form builder;
- Not convenient for placing a large amount of information;
- Customer support provided by phone only in English.
- Free plan – $0
- Limited – $7-8 / month
- PRO – $11.20-20/ month
- VIP – $49-34.40 / month
- Also, Strikingly offers a custom domain for $24.95 / year and custom email for $25 / year.
SITE123 is a top-rated and at the same time cheap blogging platform for beginners who have no experience in making websites, but want to get an acceptable result. The website builder has an unusual approach to editing content, offers a minimal set of tools for changing the appearance and internal configuration of the site.
- Site123 is probably one of the cheapest best blog sites
- It’s easy to create websites, there is a template, you can customize it and all changes are immediately visible.
- In an hour you can make a decent website that will immediately have a mobile version.
- The interface is user-friendly and intuitive.
- Enough possibilities for creating and customizing a site: quickly add plug-ins – analytics, tools for marketing and web development, chat with customer support.
- The designer can be used free of charge for a month – during this time you can try all the functionality and reworked your site several times.
- The site is SEO-friendly – well “friendly” with search engines. To improve the functionality, you can customize plug-ins – there is also a popular Facebook Pixel. This constructor provides the ability to edit robots.txt and sitemap.xml, which not all constructors have.
There is no doubt that as for a cheap blogging platform Site123 offers many great features, but they may fall behind in some respects, namely:
- The service is not suitable for large, long-term projects.
- There is a free plan, but it has limited bandwidth and storage capacity of only 0.5 gigabytes.
- Free – $0
- Premium – $10.80 / month
Tips for Choosing a Blogging Platform
Is it possible to monetize a blog?
You can monetize a blog. If you are interested in earnings, look at your blog as a business project. You must plan what kind of income or profit the blog should bring. After that, you need to calculate what indicators of attendance and conversion are required to achieve the target income.
There are only two real ways to monetize a web blog, so the list is complete but very short:
- The sale of advertising.
- Participating in a real business.
You can publish Google AdSense ad units immediately after creating a blog. The contextual advertising system Google accepts advertising sites without restrictions on attendance. The blog should follow the standard rules.
There is another popular way to make money bloggers: the manufacturer or seller sends the product to a popular author. The blog owner uses the thing for a while and then writes a review. Usually, the product stays with the blogger. Real wages are used by owners of magazines of various subjects, but the scheme is especially popular among beauty bloggers.
The second method is participation in the market. If you have a business, start a blog to attract customers. Or if you have a blog, do business to monetize the blog. You can participate in the market in different ways. Fashion blogger Ferrany has created a collection of fashionable clothes. The author of a blog about computers Rodela opened a workshop on computer repair. And you should find a business opportunity in the niche you are writing about.
How long does it take to set up a blog?
7 steps to set up your blog:
- First of all, choose a blog topic – it is necessary to write about what excites you most and what interests you most. Otherwise, you will get tired fast.
- Select a hosting;
- Pick the best site to start a blog according to your needs and personal preferences
- Create a blog website – choose the template, layout, widgets, plugins that you need;
- Look for keywords and add them into your articles – you need to decide for yourself whether you use keywords in your articles or not. And if so, then you need to read a little on this topic.
- Blog your first post;
- Study SEO and SMM to attract more visitors to your blog – if you decide to use SEO methods (search engine optimization), then you will also have to read forums on this topic. It is important to understand that no one will tell you a super efficient way, but you can learn some general techniques. They work just not as effective as we would like.
How to promote your blog?
As we can see: creating a blog is not so difficult. Blogging itself can be more difficult. Probably the hardest part of blogging is promotion. The popularity and attendance of a blog can come in different ways. However, one of the best sources of traffic (visitors) is the search engine. You need to promote your blog in search results. For example, if you have a culinary blog, you need to make sure that your website is in the top three on request “how to make a cake” Because visitors usually do not go beyond the first three sites. There are many techniques and methods of website promotion. One of the most popular is SEO.
SEO (search engine optimization) is website optimization for search engine requirements. In most cases, SEO for a young blog will not give great results. But still there are some requirements that you need to know about:
- Create interesting headlines. Make your headline attractive to your readers. So they want to read the full version of your article.
- Use the keywords at the beginning. Search engines give more weight to the words at the beginning of the headline.
- Communicate with other bloggers When communicating with colleagues, you will not only learn a lot of new things, but you will also have the opportunity to ask for advice.
What should I post to my blog?
What to write on a blog? You choose the topic, but always face it with a personal cut, share your idea, your expression.
Describe your experience. This works great, readers are fond of case studies able to show the successes of your work. Because they want to know what to do, what steps are needed to get good results.
Focus on the experience, on knowledge. This article is my experience. I gave the public something of my own. Why write in a blog if you don’t follow this line? Why don’t you share your knowledge? The most effective weapon for creating a successful blog is this.
You must share knowledge. You have to publish something that others don’t know, but you know. It’s not easy, I know. Writing a good personal or business blog means investing a lot.
If you want to make a profit from your blogging, your main task should be to create such content that will benefit the readers.
Returning to the topic of choosing a niche for a blog, know that your focus should be on one thing. Perhaps the world does not need another blog about cars, but you can concentrate only on Japanese cars. Or on how to take care of them, where to buy some consumables and so on.
The main advice that we want to give you is to choose a topic that you like, which inspires you. And no matter what others say.
But again, the content on your blog should be useful for people and its subject should not be illegal (immoral).
You should not be afraid of the fact that you have chosen a big competition in the niche. In any case, there will not be a person with the same vision as yours, with the same voice and experience. Be yourself and do not be afraid of competition.
Just start creating useful and interesting content, and you will see the result.
What is the secret of a successful blog?
Successful bloggers are those for whom the blogosphere and blogging are not just a hobby. It is not enough just to write and publish posts. You need to optimize your blog, promote, upgrade, etc. And most importantly, all these activities should be held regularly and on an ongoing basis. We have some tips for you:
- Become a professional in your chosen niche
Is it possible to become a good blogger if you do not know what you are writing about and do not understand your topic? Of course not!
- Learn to write correctly
It implies not only literacy, although it is important, but also the ability to properly express their thoughts. Check your texts before posting.
- Goals and motivation play an important role in the blogosphere
Set clear blogging goals and feel free to express them. If the main goal of your blogging is earnings, then let it be earnings, there is nothing shameful about it. If you want to become a successful blogger, then the motivation must be strong enough to keep yourself and your readers. For some people, motivation is money, and for others, the desire to prove that he can do it.
- Willingness to do monotonous work
Blogging is not only interesting and unique content, but also communication with readers. If you decide to become a successful blogger, you should constantly work on your project. Also, sometimes this work can be boring and monotonous.
- Resistance to stressful situations
Prepare yourself in advance for unforeseen blogging situations. What can happen? Almost anything: problems with hosting, hackers, content theft, negative reviews, and other troubles. Each of these problems can spoil the mood, but in such a situation you can not give up, you have to keep and continue blogging.