Are you choosing the best blogging platforms to connect with your audience?
Well, it is a pretty difficult task as there are quite a few options with unique benefits to select from. Pricing is a vital factor while considering the blogging platforms.
Of course, there are free sites with limited features and functionalities. However, to take your blog to an advanced level, you need to opt for premium options with uncountable customizable tools and plugins.
Again, if you are a professional web developer, you can use CMS platforms like Magento or Drupal. On the contrary, there are CMS platforms such as Wix, WordPress, Blogger, etc. where coding skills are not required to create a beautiful website.
In this article, you can explore a detailed comparison of the 8 best blogging platforms from which you can choose one according to your preference.
There is no doubt that WordPress.org is the best CMS platform to build any type of beautiful website without having any previous knowledge of coding.
It is a completely free platform that you can download to create a website with ease.
Despite a free content management system, building a website using WordPress.org is not entirely free. You need to purchase a domain name and a hosting package for your site to be visible on the internet.
For this reason, WordPress.org is called a self-hosted content management system, where you have 100% control over your site.
Moreover, you will have more than 8000 free themes and 58000+ free plugins to customize the site as per your preference, such as attaching contact forms, popup windows, etc.
WordPress is powering 39.6% of websites, dominating the CMS market with more than 60% share.
Hence, it is the most reliable platform for creating your business, e-commerce, or just a blogging site.
- Endless scope of monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, placing sponsored ads of third parties, creating an online store, etc.
- Built-in SEO functionalities to create custom URL, meta descriptions, headers tags, etc.
- Great flexibility in terms of customizing the site
- Social media plugins enable you to directly share the content on several social sites
- As WordPress.org doesn’t provide hosting services, you need some technical knowledge while setting up your site.
- Though this CMS is absolutely free, you need to purchase your own domain name and hosting to run the site. Hence, it is not completely free.
- Themes and plugins used on your site will require to be updated from time to time to avail new features and functionalities. Security and minor releases get updated automatically. But for major releases, you need to update them manually.
- You need to choose the right plugins to resolve security and backup issues of the content of your site.
As it is earlier mentioned, WordPress.org software comes for free. However, you need the hosting service.
WordPress.org recommends three web hosting companies, such as Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround.
Bluehost packages start from $2.95 per month. Whereas, DreamHost’s basic plan costs $2.59 per month and SiteGround starts with $4.99 per month.
There are thousands of domain registrars to choose from. Domain.com, Bluehost, GoDaddy, BigRock, etc. are the top choices for domain registrars.
You can avail a domain name for $1.99 per year. But the price immensely depends on what type of domain you want for your site.
For example, the price for .com TLD in Domain.com is $8.99 for the first year. On contrary, in Bluehost, it costs $12.99 to purchase a .com TLD.
Again, to take your site to an advanced level, you will need premium plugins.
We have already discussed WordPress.org in this article. WordPress.com is completely different from the previous one. It is a hosting service offered by Automattic.Inc.
Creating a blog or website using WordPress.com is just a matter of registering an account on this platform. The simple user interface allows you to run a blog without any technical knowledge.
The basic hosting service offered by WordPress.com is free. You can further upgrade it depending on your type of website.
If you opt for a free domain name, your site address will include the wordpress.com subdomain. You can purchase a custom domain instead, at any time.
- No hassle of setting up a website or blog
- 350+ free responsive themes
- Easy to optimize your site for search engines
- Limited options for plugins and customizing themes
- You won’t have full control over your site. WordPress can suspend your blog anytime for violating the terms of services.
- Very few options for monetizing your free blog.
- WordPress runs its ads on the free websites on this platform
- Only 3GB storage space in the free version
You can build and run a completely free website with WordPress.com without shelling out any extra charges for purchasing the domain name and hosting package.
You can upgrade your website to premium ones. Depending on the type of website, WordPress offers 4 plans to serve all types of users.
Opting for any of these plans will remove WordPress ads from your site and enable you to receive online payments through your site.
The plans start with Rs.160 per month for basic websites, whereas you can own a full-fledged e-commerce website for Rs.1152 per month.
While opting for Squarespace, you can expect an aesthetic website, building with ease without having core knowledge of coding.
This platform is ideal for businesses that require more graphics and visual effects on their sites. Interior decorators, fashion bloggers, photographers can choose this CMS to appeal to their website users.
As similar to Wix, you can build a beautiful website, just like a pro with drag and drop in Squarespace.
Another good side of this CMS is you can see how your page will look after publishing the content without checking the preview again and again.
- Great for customising templates
- Perfect for beginners with basic knowledge of coding
- Provide free SSL certificate
- Offer free hosting service and custom domain name
- Available 100+ templates designed by professional designers
- No free plans
- Third-party apps and plugins are hardly accessible
- Marketing tools offered by the platform are not up-to-the-mark
Squarespace has segregated its plan into 4 categories. The plan starts at $12 per month.
There are two premium plans for e-commerce sites starting at $26 per month. For big e-commerce sites, it will cost $40 per month.
Being a beginner, there is no better platform for you than Wix. It enables you to build a professional and organized website for your business.
Wix is utterly easy to use, thus most of the newbie and small businesses choose this CMS platform for building their website.
As I’m mentioning, it is for beginners, there is no surprise that you don’t need to be a pro coder to create a professional-looking website with Wix.
Its drag and drop technology makes it really simple to create a new website from scratch. However, it can be even more convenient to build a site with its Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI).
Using ADI, you only need to mention the purpose of making this website. It will create a well-designed, full-fledged website for you.
Wix was launched in 2006. Its easy-to-use interface has given a hike to its number of users to more than 200 million.
- Free hosting service with wixsite.com extension
- Fast loading website
- 800+ professionally designed templates out of which 300+ available for free
- Third-party SEO tools available to improve visibility of the website
- Easily build any kind of site
- A free version of the Wix site includes sponsored ads
- Templates can’t be changed after selecting them
- Unlimited bandwidth for only higher premium packages
You can run a completely free website, including domain name and hosting service.
Here are the premium Wix Plans for websites with advanced features
If you need a business or e-commerce website, requiring features to accept online payments, you need to choose from below mentioned plans.
Hence, your premium plan will cost between Rs. 960 to Rs. 6000 per annum.
Weebly is another easy-to-use platform that allows you to create a business website with a blog section.
If you don’t have any previous experience of blogging, Weebly is the best option for you to start without spending money.
Building a website using this platform is simple with seamless drag and drop feature. By merely signing up on Weebly, you can start your free blog.
- 40+ free responsive themes
- Weebly has its own app center from where you can pick apps to improve your site performance
- Get free hosting service
- RSS integration allows you, sharing content on various social sites
- Mobile app lets you edit and manage your website using a smartphone.
- Not a good option for those who want to customize HTML and CSS coding
- Apps offered by Weebly are not that advanced
- Limited templates options as compared to Wix.com
Weebly’s premium plans start with $5 per month.
There are separate plans for e-commerce websites.
The ultimate goal of all bloggers is to reach their niche audiences. When blogging with other platforms takes a while to get in front of your visitors, Medium directly connects you with tons of readers online.
Medium, launched in 2012, has around 100 million monthly active users with 400000 paying subscribers.
Thus, if you are on Medium, you get the scope to connect with such a large built-in audience.
This platform is quite like a social media site, allowing you to publish your blogs for free.
On signing up on Medium, you will get a profile link https://medium.com/yourusername. It doesn’t allow any custom domain name.
Writing and publishing content on this platform is free but readers need to shell out a monthly subscription fee to read the content of Medium.
As a writer, you can join their partner program for free. If the readers take a subscription to read your article, you will be paid for such content.
- No need to spend time on setting up a blog and customizing templates
- Offers simple interface like social networking sites
- Allows embedding content from other platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc
- There are no ways to earn passive income
- Fewer possibilities of building brand name
- You don’t have control over your blogs
- No tactics can be implemented to retain leads and followers
Creating and publishing content on Medium is free.
Blogger, launched in 1999, is the oldest blogging platform that is still in operation. However, it became a Google product in 2003.
This platform is solely dedicated to the writers. Business owners, who need a website with a blog segment, won’t get much benefit from Blogger.
It is a fantastic blog publishing site for showcasing your work for free.
Yes, Blogger is a 100% free blogging site. There are no premium plans to unlock advanced functionalities.
Further, you don’t have to think about hosting packages. Despite being a free blog publishing platform, it has solid backend infrastructure supported by Google, providing optimum speed and unlimited bandwidth.
Blogger comes with its free domain service called BlogSpot. Choosing this domain service, your web address will include blogspot.com after your selected domain name.
The biggest advantage of Blogger is that with this free platform you can earn a nice passive income from Google AdSense.
- You just need a Gmail account to set up a blog in Blogger
- Very easy to create and publish blogs
- Completely secure and reliable platform
- Can be integrated with other Google products such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics tools
- Options for templates are quite a few
- No scope to upgrade for advanced tools
- No customer care support option to get help
- Google may call off your blog any time if they found any violation of their terms and conditions.
- Limited numbers of third-party tools
You don’t have to incur the cost for anything for blogging with Blogger unless you purchase a custom domain name from a domain registrar.
Drupal is quite an advanced platform with powerful features. It is ideal for creating business websites with a blog segment.
It is an open-source content management system, supporting more than 100 languages. This automated translation feature enables you to target your potential customers with their local languages.
Though Drupal has less market share than WordPress and Joomla, it is acclaimed for top-notch security and built-in access control system. Its security features ensure database encryption, information sharing via security reports, prevention of malicious data entry and much more.
It also ensures best-in-class security to the user data, making it the perfect choice for the sectors, dealing with a huge amount of user data, such as banking, government, healthcare, media and publishing, e-commerce, universities, travel and so on.
With Drupal, you get full control of creating and managing your post type.
- Free to use platform
- Easy to make a multilingual site
- Highly flexible in customizing content type
- Empowers to set and control user permission
- Get help from the Drupal community
- Not a great option for beginners
- Need in-depth knowledge of PHP, CSS and HTML coding
- A limited number of modules
- Third-party modules need to be optimized from time to time
Being an open-source platform, you don’t need to pay for downloading or modifying Drupal.
All the blogging platforms mentioned here can serve the distinct needs of the bloggers.
For example, Squarespace is perfect for graphics-oriented sites, whereas Blogger is just a simple blogging platform for beginners who are trying to earn some passive income without spending money on it.
Again, Wix is an even easier CMS for novice bloggers. Drupal is best for protecting site content with higher security.
Keeping all aspects in mind, we can say, WordPress.org can serve all the purposes well. It is a free, self-hosted site with easy to access interface. You can build any type of website with tons of free and premium themes.
Before choosing one of these platforms, think of your purpose for blogging.
We hope this guide can help you to figure out the best platform for your blogging goals.