Do you have a voice? Do you want to be heard?
The beautiful thing about the internet is, anyone can have a platform. If you’ve got something to say, the internet lets you put it out there. And chances are, there’s someone who wants to hear what you have to say.
This is why blogging is so popular. From hobbyists to professionals, just about everyone has a blog, or had one at some point.
You can find blogs everywhere, on any topic you can think of. There are reportedly more than 500 million blogs on the internet today.
If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is where you’ll start it. There are a whole lot of platforms that help you get started. Choosing the best blogging platform is tricky. If you choose the wrong one, it can set you back and waste a lot of time.
In this article, we’re going to break down a list of the most popular blogging platforms, and help you choose the best one for you.
What to Consider When Choosing a Blogging Platform
One thing to think about – the best blogging platform will be different for different people. It depends what you want to get out of your blog. There are many types of blogs, and depending what type yours is, it may call for a different platform.
Is your blog a personal blog?
Is it centered around a specific niche?
Do you plan to monetize your blog?
How much money do you want to spend on your blog?
Do you have any experience setting up blogs or websites?
Do you have experience driving traffic to your blog or website?
Your answers to these questions will decide which is the best blogging platform for you.
Some are free and easy to use (just type out your post and you’re done). These platforms are best if you just want a casual blog about a niche you’re interested in, or perhaps your personal life.
Other platforms offer you much more customization, and the potential to make money off your blog if it gets a lot of readers. These often require a bit more know-how to set up. You may also have to deal with extra factors, such as hosting, themes, and getting traffic to your blog.
So, take a look at the list below, with these questions in mind. After the list, we’ll give our recommendation for the best platform for a few different scenarios.
The Best Blogging Platforms for 2019
33% of all sites on the internet are run on WordPress. That’s nearly 20 million websites. That alone tells you it must be pretty useful.
WordPress as a CMS (content management system) leads the pack for a number of reasons. It’s fairly easy to set up, once up and running it’s quite easy to maintain, and there are endless plugins and themes to customize your website or blog just right – even if you don’t know anything about coding.
WordPress itself is free, although you will have to pay for hosting and a domain name to get your blog live.
Don’t confuse WordPress.org with its .com counterpart. We’ll get into that a little more in a moment…
- Easily customizable via plugins & themes
- Full control over your site
- SEO friendly
- Scalable (able to monetize)
- Have to pay for hosting and domains
- Need to consider security and backups if your site gets big
- No built-in traffic source: you need to find your own audience
While WordPress.org is the best multi-purpose website builder out there, some get it confused with WordPress.com.
The .com variant is a platform specifically for bloggers, and fits well if you have a more casual blog, that you don’t intend to monetize.
WordPress.com sites are already hosted for you, and all the backend things are taken care of. This is a plus for beginners or casual bloggers, though it does mean you can’t really scale your blog.
It’s free to start a blog with this platform, though your site will have WordPress branding and a .wordpress subdomain. You can purchase a higher plan to add your own domain, remove branding and choose from some basic themes and plugins, but there is not as much potential as with WordPress.org sites.
- Can be run completely free
- Simple to begin your blog
- No backend to worry about
- People can find and follow your blog via WordPress discover
- You don’t technically own your site
- Few options for customization
- Hard to monetize
If you’re concerned with content and content alone, Medium is a great choice.
Medium is more of a social networking platform than a website builder. But instead of profiles like on Facebook or Instagram, you share blog posts.
A lot of people – from personal bloggers to businesses – post their work on Medium, because of their large base of users. The site has more than 60 million monthly active users – users can follow topics or individual writers, as well as like/comment/share posts.
Readers are charged a small monthly fee to be able to access unlimited articles, which goes towards paying a small amount to authors with a lot of readers.
Though you can earn from Medium, you’re not going to be able to scale and monetize to any large degree. But if all you want is a medium to share your thoughts, it’s a perfect platform.
- Free to use
- Built-in community of readers
- Possible to earn money if you get a lot of readers
- Can’t monetize by yourself
- Limited branding options
- Don’t technically have full control over your blog
Owned by Google, Blogger is another free platform purely for publishing blogs. Perfect for beginners, it’s super easy to create a blog from scratch.
While it’s one of the best platforms to create a blog with zero experience, if you intend on scaling or making money out of your blog, you’ll want to go with another. Or, at least expand to another platform (such as WordPress) in time.
- Backed by Google
- Very limited design options
- Few ways to scale and monetize
“Microblogging” platform Tumblr is closer to a social network than a website builder. But for certain types of bloggers, it will work perfectly.
Tumblr is home to more than 466 million
There are some custom themes and apps you can add with Tumblr, and you can also connect your own custom domain if you wish, but scaling and making money off your Tumblr blog is hard.
- Large audience
- Free (with a .tumblr.com subdomain)
- Easy to use and post
- Not suitable for long-form posts
- Limited customization options
- Can’t scale and monetize
Unlike blogging platforms like Blogger and Medium, Wix is much better suited for building a proper website.
Wix’s drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to put together a good looking site for people who are new to web design. A range of templates and apps means you can set your site up super quick without sacrificing quality.
While it’s easy for beginners, full-time website site builders or bloggers may want a more flexible platform.
A free plan is available, with a Wix subdomain and Wix branding on your site. However you can purchase a premium plan and your own domain to remove this.
- Free to start with
- Easy for novices to build a professional-looking site
- A lot of non-technical customization options
- Hosting is included
- No built-in audience
- Free plans have Wix branding
- High-level customization options are limited
Much like Wix, Squarespace is a great intermediate blog/website builder. Professional templates with drag-and-drop page editors make it easy for complete beginners to make a high-quality site.
Squarespace is better if you have monetization options in mind already, as they don’t offer a free plan, only a free trial. However, they do have a lot of options to build out the commercial side of your site/blog.
Ultimately, while you can build out a blog on Squarespace, it’s better suited for e-commerce stores, and there are cheaper options if you’re only interested in blogging.
- Includes hosting
- Easy to use page editor
- Professional design templates
- Designed for easy monetization
- No free plan available
- High price compared to WordPress
- Limited high-end and base code customization options
Our last option is a little different.
Your blog doesn’t have to be a written blog. If you’re a photographer, professional or amateur, you might want to build a blog of your work.
PhotoBlog, strangely enough, is a site for photographers to publish their work. You can set up your photos in collections, write posts to accompany your photos, and tag your photos to help them be found by the community.
PhotoBlog is free to browse, follow and engage with profiles, but to post your own photos you’ll need a pro account, which costs $19.95 per year.
- Quick and easy setup
- Built-in audience
- Tools to watermark and authenticate your photos
- Only for photos
- Profiles have a set template
- No way to directly monetize your work on-site
Which Is Best for Me?
Now you know the options, you can start to form an opinion over which one suits you best.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a few suggestions for different types of blogs.
Best Free Blogging Platform: Medium
If content is the only thing on your mind, Medium is the best way to go. It’s free to use, already hosted, and has zero setup or maintenance required. It also has its own audience, so if your content is good enough, you’ll get readers. No need to worry about promoting your blog externally.
Best Blogging Platform to Monetize: WordPress.org
If you want to scale up your blog and make money, WordPress.org is the best option. Though there’s a small learning curve, it allows you to make a fully professional site, customized exactly the way you want it.
While you need to think about how you’ll get traffic to your blog, it’s the only platform your blog or website will never be able to outgrow.
Best Blogging Platform for Short-Form Content: Tumblr
If you don’t want to write long blog posts, but instead post what’s on your mind at any given time, go with Tumblr.
Tumblr’s free and take zero work to set up, making it superior for casual microbloggers.
Best All-Round Blogging Platform: WordPress.org
If you’re not sure exactly what type of blog you want to make, WordPress.org is a safe bet. The platform features enough page-building themes and plugins to match the ease of use from platforms like Wix and Squarespace, but it has a lot more room to play around and customize.