Blogging platform are online publishing software that let authors post articles, thoughts, or reviews of products. You can also share this post through stand-alone websites, email, feed syndication systems, and social networks.
Here is a list of the top blogging platforms, with links to their most popular features and sites. On the list are both free (open software) and paid (commercial) programs.
How to Choose the Best Platform for Blogging: What to Look for?
Before you look at the list, it’s a good idea to know what you want from a blogging platform.
As a beginner, you’ll want a blogging platform that’s easy to set up, has a short learning curve, and doesn’t require you to know how to code.
You’ll also need to think about what kind of blog you want to create now and in the future.
As the number of people who read your blog grows, you may want to change the site it looks and add more features. So, it’s important to choose a platform for blogging that is flexible and has room to grow. Check over other articles like Write For Us Technology
- Starting out on the wrong platform can make it difficult to switch later.
- Lastly, even if you don’t want to blog for money right now, it’s a good idea to make sure you can in the future.
- With all this in mind, let’s compare the best blogging platforms for beginners.
WordPress is a popular platform that allows users to create a blog for free, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan for more advanced features. It has a user-friendly interface, and a variety of templates and widgets to choose from. The platform also offers a large community of users and developers, which means that there are many resources and tutorials available to help beginners get started.
Note: It’s easy to get WordPress.org and WordPress.com mixed up. WordPress.com is a blog hosting service that comes up later in this list. See our guide to find out how WordPress.org is different from WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is a free blogging platform that is open source and lets you build your own website or blog in minutes.
Since it is self-hosted, you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider. WordPress is a great control if you want to be in charge of everything that happens to your blog.
- With WordPress.org, you’re in charge of every control of your website.
- You can make your blog bigger by adding things like forums, an online store, paid memberships, and online courses that you can sell. This makes WordPress the best free platform to make money with a blogging.
- For WordPress, you can choose from thousands of free themes. This allows you to create a beautiful website that stands out from the rest. Most popular WordPress themes come with built-in customization options that give you full control over the design without having to change any CSS code.
- You can also use more than 59,000 free plugins for WordPress. These plugins for your WordPress blog are like apps that let you add features like contact forms, galleries, etc. Look at our list of must-have WordPress plugins for all websites.
- WordPress works well with search engines. You can quickly create URLs, categories, and tags for your posts that are good for SEO. Plus, there are a lot of great SEO plugins that can help you optimize your site even more.
- WordPress makes it easy to use Google Analytics for website analytics, so you can see the important numbers. This helps you get more people to visit your new blog and sign up for it.
- Last but not least, WordPress’s drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create any type of content on your blog site. It also has options to embed dynamic content like videos, social media feeds, Google Adsense, graphs, charts, and more without any technical knowledge.
- If you want to run your own website, you’ll have to learn how to use the WordPress admin backend, which can take some time.
- You will need to manage care of your own security and backups.
The WordPress software is free, but you’ll need a domain name (about $14.99/year) and hosting (usually starting at $7.99/month).
For any kind of website, you need a domain name and a place to host it.
Bluehost, a hosting service recommended by WordPress, lets users who use WPBeginner get started for only $2.75 per month. Our users can get 60% off web hosting and a FREE domain name from them.
See our step-by-step guide on how to start a WordPress blog for all the information you need.
Also see: Best API MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS In 2023
In general, WordPress is a great choice for both personal and business blogs.
Most popular bloggers on the internet use WordPress as their content management system because it’s easy to use and has all the features you need to create a successful blog.
Bonus: You can use WordPress to create more than just a blog site. You can also use it to make a website for a small business or an online store. See our in-depth guide on how to make a WordPress site for more information.
Web.com is a well-known website builder platform that lets you add a blog section to your business website or online store right out of the box.
Their drag & drop website builder platform is extremely easy to use for non-techy users, and they offer very affordable prices to get started ($1.95).
You can choose from their dozens of pre-made template and then customize your blog layout without writing any code. It has all the powerful features, like SEO tools, blog security features, autosave and backup, website analytics, and more.
- Beginner friendly drag and drop website builder (no coding needed).
- Dozens of templates for your blog that you can change in every way.
- Web.com takes care of all the technical details of hosting your website, so setting it up is easy and there are no headaches.
- It has a low starting pricing of $1.95 per month and includes all the important features.
- All paid plans come with a free domain name.
- 24/7 customer support available via phone, live chat, and email.
- Since the ecosystem of extensions and apps is small, there aren’t as many third-party plugins as there are for WordPress.
- WordPress is a lot more powerful than blogging features.
- Since Web.com is a proprietary website builder, it is hard to move your site to a different platform in the future.
Web.com’s website starter plan, which includes a drag-and-drop site builder, a blogging platform, hundreds of beautiful templates, thousands of free stock images, and a free domain, starts at $1.95 per month.
If you want their powerful SEO tools or eCommerce features, you’ll need to upgrade to their Marketing plan, which starts at $2.95 per month, or their eCommerce plan, which starts at $3.95 per month.
These prices are available for WPBeginner readers as part of our Web.com coupon deal. All you have to do to get these prices is click on our link.
If you have a small business and don’t want to use WordPress, Web.com is the next best choice, considering everything you get for the price.
A website builder that allows users to create a blog as part of a larger website. Wix offers a free plan with limited features, and paid plans for more advanced functionality. It’s a great option for beginners as it has a simple drag-and-drop interface and a wide variety of templates to choose from. Wix also has a large community of users and developers, which means that there are many resources and tutorials available to help beginners get started.
Wix.com was started in 2006 as a platform for anyone to create a beautiful website without having to know how to code. It has over 110 million users around the world right now.
- You can customize how your site looks by using dozens of templates and add-ons from other sites.
- You can build your site with easy drag-and-drop tools; you don’t need to know HTML or code.
- Setup is quick and easy.
- The free account is limited and shows ads and Wix branding on your site.
- Few free third-party apps are limited.
- You can’t change a template once you’ve chosen it.
- Only paid plans have ecommerce features, and even those features are limited.
- See our article on Wix vs. WordPress for a full comparison of the two platforms.
The basic website builder on Wix is free to use. If you sign up for a free Wix account, you’ll get a Wix subdomain like https://username.wixsite.com/example.
But for $4.50/month, you can add your own domain. Their most expensive plans start at $8.50 per month and go up to $24.50 per month.
4. HubSpot CMS
HubSpot CMS Hub is a blogging platform for small, medium, and large websites that has everything you need.
It is built on top of HubSpot’s marketing and CRM tools, so you can use a single platform to create a website, get more subscribers, send newsletters, manage your customer list, and more.
Their website builder makes it easy to change the layout and design of your website, and you can even customize the content people see to how they have behaved in the past.
- Drag-and-drop website builder that doesn’t need you to know how to code.
- Setup is quick and easy because HubSpot will host your website for you.
- Completely set up for SEO and sales.
- It comes with a free SSL certificate.
- The HubSpot CRM has free tools like managing contacts, email marketing, and forms, but there is no free version of the CMS.
- As you move up the tiers, prices may be high.
- If you are switching from another blogging platform, the process of switching may take a long time, depending on your old provider.
The HubSpot CMS plan starts at $25 per month and includes all the main features you need for a secure, well-designed blog as well as the marketing tools you’ll need to grow it.
You’ll need to move up to the higher tiers if you want custom SEO suggestions and more advanced features.
The 14-day trial is free for people who read WPBeginner.
Note: You can combine the power of the best blogging platform and marketing tools by using the free HubSpot plugin with WordPress.
Gator is a website builder and blogging platform created by HostGator, a popular web hosting company that we once used to host the WPBeginner website. You can use Gator’s drag-and-drop tool to build any kind of website, from a blog to a business site to an online store.
It’s important not to mix up the Gator builder with the HostGator website hosting service. You can start a WordPress blog like we did by using HostGator’s hosting service.
But if you want a blog platform and hosting service that doesn’t use WordPress, Gator is the perfect choice.
- Use an easy drag-and-drop builder to customize the design of your blog or website.
- It’s easy to set up and doesn’t take long.
- HostGator takes care of backups, speed, and security (no headaches).
- All plans come with a free domain name and an SSL certificate.
- Your blog can have an online store with just a few clicks.
- There is no free account, but you can get your money back within 45 days.
- Ecommerce features are only available on plans that cost more.
- Only a few apps and extensions are limited.
All Gator builder plans are 55% off for users who use WPBeginner. The Starter plan costs $3.46 per month and comes with everything you need to start a successful blog, like a free domain and SSL certificate.
You just have to make sure to use our Gator Website Builder coupon code: wpbeginner to get 55% off.
WordPress.com is the best place to start a blog or website.
Automattic, a company created by Matt Mullenweg, one of the people who helped start WordPress.org, offers blog hosting through WordPress.com.
WordPress.com offers a free basic blog hosting service. You can buy extra options like a custom domain name, more storage space, and other high-quality services.
WordPress.com is a good blogging site for users who don’t want the advanced features of self-hosted WordPress. It was started in 2005 with the goal of letting more people use WordPress.
- No setup needed.
- Easy to use and keep track of.
- If you are happy with a WordPress.com subdomain, it is free. Your free website name will look like this: https://example.wordpress.com.
- You don’t have many ways to grow your own site. You can’t change the look of your blog with custom themes and plugins.
- You cannot run advertisements on your blog. Instead, WordPress.com will put their ads on your free website.
- You don’t own your blog, and WordPress.com can suspend your account if you find their terms.
The most basic WordPress.com account is free, but it will have ads and branding from WordPress.com.
For $4/month (billed annually), you can upgrade to their Personal plan and get rid of the WordPress.com logo and ads on your website. You also get a custom domain (such as www.yoursite.com).
For $8 per month (billed once a year), you can get more design tools and storage space.
Because the names sound the same, new beginners often start with WordPress.com, thinking they are getting the powerful WordPress.org software. Users often switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org because it has more features, is easier to use, and gives them more control over their site.
Owned by Google, Blogger is a user-friendly platform that allows users to create a blog and customize it with various templates and widgets. It’s easy to use and has a simple interface that makes it easy for beginners to navigate. Blogger also integrates with other Google services, such as Google Analytics, making it a great option for beginners who want to track their blog’s performance.
Blogger was one of the first platforms for blogging. It was first launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs. Google bought Blogger later in 2003 and changed it into the product we know today.
To start a free blog on Blogger, all you need is a Google account.
- Blogger is free.
- It’s easy to use and manage, even if you’re not tech-savvy.
- Google’s strong, secure, and reliable platform is an added bonus.
- You can only use limited tools to blog, and you can’t add new features as your blog gets more popular.
- There aren’t as many design options, and there aren’t as many templates. A lot of third-party templates for Blogger aren’t very good.
- Blogger does not get updates or new features very often.
- Google can suspend your blog at any time, or even cancel the Blogger service altogether. (They have a history of leaving projects like Feedburner without notice.)
- For more pros and cons of Blogger, see our comparison of WordPress vs Blogger (Pros and cons) (Pros and cons).
- Some users start with Blogger because it’s free, but as their blog grows, they switch from Blogger to WordPress to get more features and control over their website.
With a Blogger subdomain like https://example.blogspot.com, Blogger is free. You have to buy a custom domain from a third-party domain registrar if you want to use it.
Tumblr is a bit different from other platforms for blogging. It is a microblogging platform with social networking features like following other blogs, reblogging, built-in sharing tools, and more.
- If you have a Tumblr subdomain like https://example.tumblr.com, you can use it for free. You can also connect a custom domain name that costs extra.
- It is easy to put together and use.
- It has a social media platform built in, which makes it easier to find because it already has an audience.
- Tumblr is a microblogging tool that makes it easy to blog videos, GIFs, images, and audio formats quickly.
- Tumblr comes with a limited set of features that you cannot extend to as your blog grows.
- There are a lot of themes for Tumblr, but they can’t add extra features.
- It’s difficult to back up your Tumblr blog or import it to other platforms (see our guide on how to move from Tumblr to WordPress).
You can use Tumblr for free. You can use a custom domain on your Tumblr blog, which you can buy separately, and you can also buy third-party themes and apps.
Medium has grown into a community of writers, bloggers, journalists, and experts since it started in 2012. It’s an easy-to-use platform for blogging, but it doesn’t have many social networking tools.
Medium works a lot like a social networking site, where you can create an account and start posting your articles. After you sign up, you’ll get a profile address like this: https://medium.com/@yourname. But you cannot use your own domain.
- Medium is easy to use and doesn’t require any setup or coding skills.
- It lets you connect with a group of people online who share your interests.
- You can focus only on writing instead of making a website.
- Features are very limited in terms of design and building a brand.
- Medium owns your followers, so if you lose your blog, you also lose all of your readers.
- Your own domain name can’t be used. You’ll just get a page like your Facebook profile, like https://medium.com/@yourname.
- You can’t make money by running your own ads because they only let people make money through their partner program.
- See our guide on WordPress vs. Medium: Which is Better? for a more in-depth comparison at the two.
You can use Medium for free.
Even though the platform looks nice at first, most people switch from Medium to WordPress because they can’t make money with it or have much control over it.
Squarespace is a service for making websites that lets you use easy drag-and-drop tools to create beautiful websites. It is geared toward small business owners who want an easy way to create up a web presence.
Squarespace started in 2003 and now powers millions of websites online (source: CMS market share).
- Squarespace is easy for beginners who aren’t very tech-savvy to use.
- It has beautiful templates that were made by professionals.
- It has domain names with SSL/HTTPS and eCommerce stores that can be bought separately.
- Squarespace only has the features that are built into their own platform.
- There are only a few services and tools that can be limited.
- For a more detailed comparison, see our guide on WordPress vs. Squarespace.
Squarespace’s pricing plans for websites and online stores are different.
The Personal plan starts at $16 per month, or $12 per month if you pay for the whole year at once. Pricing for the Business plan starts at $26 per month, or $18 per month if you pay for it all at once.
Online stores, on the other hand, start at $26 per month and go up to $40 per month.
People often switch from Squarespace to WordPress to save money and add more features to their websites.
is a simple platform for blogging with features that are all about writing blog posts. Ghost started in 2013 and is available both as a hosted platform and as software that you can install and host yourself. We’ll look at both options.
- Concentrated on writing and blogging.
- The user interface is clear and easy to use.
- No setup is needed for the hosted version.
- Not easy to customize with apps.
- Because the user interface has been simplified, there aren’t many options.
- You don’t have enough themes to change how your site looks.
- Setup is hard if you do it yourself.
- Check out our comparison of WordPress and Ghost to learn more about the subject.
For the self-hosted version, you need a custom domain (which costs about $14.99 per year) and web hosting (which starts at about $7.99 per month).
The hosted version starts at $29 per month for two staff users and a maximum of 100,000 page views. Unless you buy a custom domain from a third-party domain registrar, your blog will be a Ghost subdomain that ends with ghost.io.
Square’s payment platform owns the well-known website builder Weebly. They have tools that make it easy to build business websites and online stores.
They also have a blog feature and free blog templates that you can add to your website.
- Website and blogging platform that is fully hosted.
- Seamless integration with Square payment platform.
- No setup is needed for the hosted version.
- The features and bandwidth of the free plan are limited. It also includes the Weebly logo.
- Paid subscriptions are more expensive than the best websites for blogging.
- Blogging and SEO features are not as powerful as WordPress.
- Take a look at our comparison of Weebly vs WordPress for more details on the topic.
- If you want to switch from Weebly to WordPress, we’ve made a step-by-step guide on how to do it right.
They have a free version that is limited and has ads and the Weebly name on it.
Their paid plans start from $8 per month billed annually. The pro plan costs $12 per month, and their business plan costs $25 per month.
Our Pick for the Best Blogging Platform
We think that WordPress.org is the best blogging site out there. It is powerful, easy to use, cheap, and has the most platforms of any blogging platform out there. Here are all the reasons why you should use WordPress.
To help you start your own WordPress site, we have created a complete guide on how to start a blog in 7 Easy Steps.
If you need help, then WPBeginner’s team of experts can even help setup your blog for free. Find out more about our free WordPress blog setup service.
If you’re looking for a WordPress alternative, then our second choice for the best blogging platform would be either Web.com or HubSpot.
Their drag & drop website builder makes it easy to build any type of website from blog to business website to an online store at a very affordable price.
The most reliable way to find the best blogging platform for your needs is to understand how free blogging sites and self-hosted WordPress function. Also, your choice will depend on how much money you have, how much you can change the software, and how easy it is to use.
Through this guide, I have informed you of all the features (pros and cons), and the pricing range of the best blog sites. And now you know how to get started with each of them.
It’s worth noting that all these platforms offer a free plan to get started, but the features and the customizations you can do might be limited. Upgrading to a paid plan can unlock additional features and functionalities.