It is an exciting adventure to start blogging. You have a voice, a passion, and the skills to write beautiful content, but how do you deliver to the world? It all starts with choosing the best blogging platform. Many providers can deliver a blogging solution catered to your specific needs.
In this article, we explain the key components to look for when choosing a blog platform. We also give you a rundown on each of the top blogging platforms on the market. Our goal is for you to start your blog with the confidence that you made the right choice in the provider.
Today, we will give you the benefits, drawbacks, and key insights on the following blog platforms:
- Constant Contact
- Gator by HostGator
What are the most important things to consider before investing in a blog platform?
First, it is essential to decide on the type of blog that you want to publish. Who is your intended audience? What are your goals, and what are you trying to accomplish? You must also define your writing style and what type of journey you want your readers to go on. Before you decide on a platform, you must have a good idea of what the format will be for your blog posts, including length and text-image ratio.
Another thing to be aware of is your level of experience and expertise. Before you invest in a blogging platform, you must understand its ease of use. If you want to customize your blog for your specific brand or style, then you should take a look at a more advanced platform. For someone who wants just to sit down and write, you will not need a blog platform that requires a high learning curve to operate.
You should also define what your budget is for this project and be prepared for what you want to spend. If you are looking to scale and create a business out of the blog, then you should plan on investing more into a popular blogging platform with many features. Monetization could be a goal for your blog by selling services or products, so be ready to spend on a platform that helps you deliver this.
WordPress.org is the most used free blogging platform because of its variety of tools. A WordPress blog gets utilized on more than 30% of all sites on the internet. It is highly popular thanks to the large number of customizable designs that you can choose from. When you invest in WordPress.org, you will experience a platform that optimizes for SEO and ranks your site high in the Google search results.
If you like to have complete control and organization in your blogging platform, then WordPress.org is the right choice for you. You can manage it on the go, and there are accessible functions for you to bring your content to life. In addition to the mobile device responsiveness capabilities, you have the authority to manage your media in a way that portrays your identity meaningfully.
- WordPress.org allows you to have freedom of creativity over your website
- You have access to over 54,000 free plugins when you blog on WordPress
- You can choose from thousands of design themes that cater to your style
- It is optimized for making money because you can input extra functions like an online store, paid memberships, and forums
- The provider is the best option for SEO purposes, because of the additional plugins, URL linking, and tags that will get you found easier on a search engine
- For beginner bloggers, there is a high learning curve with this provider at first
- It is up to you to perform updates and backups on your site
- You will need to implement web hosting, which is an additional cost
You will not need to pay anything for the WordPress software itself, but you will need to pay around $14.99 per year for a domain name. For the new web hosting, this usually begins at approximately $7.99 per month.
Constant Contact is a viable blogging platform option with its enhanced AI capabilities and quality image library. You can get started with your blog for free, and you can also build your website and online store very quickly. In addition to the 550,000 photos and access to the online store, you also can use a custom logo maker for your business or brand.
Whether you are selling just a few products or hundreds, Constant Contact is an effective ecommerce option because of its advanced sales tools and business analytics function. The platform is designed to generate sales without you doing any of the dirty work.
- User-friendly platform for beginners because of the straightforward drag and drop website editor
- There is not a significant monetary commitment at the beginning because you get a free trial of 60 days
- A complimentary SSL certificate is included with all the paid packages
- A wide selection of quality stock images to bring your website to life
- The setup process is straightforward, and you can have a store and blog launched in a matter of minutes
- There are not many opportunities for you to integrate with other 3rd party platforms
- If you want to export or transfer your website to a different platform, it is a complicated process
- The reporting and analytics cannot be customized, and it gives you standard data that does not go beyond the surface level
Once you get through the 60-day free trial, you can upgrade to the $10 per month Website Builder plan. This package delivers to you a custom domain name, 24/7 customer support via phone, and a free SSL certificate.
Related: The Best Website Builder in 2021
WordPress.com is an excellent blog site option for people who do not need the advanced capabilities of a WordPress blog that is self-hosted. This provider owns thousands of add-ons and plug-ins that are simple to install. With the help of these functions, you can prepare effective contact forms, gather leads, develop subscriptions, and back up your site automatically.
WordPress.com separates itself from the competition through its transparency. As the site owner, you can be in tune with real-time analytics and notifications. You can oversee your blog, publish posts, monitor your sales, and update your homepage from anywhere and everywhere.
- The basic blog hosting plan is free
- There is little setup needed to get your site created
- The entire site is free if you are satisfied with the subdomain from WordPress
- Real-time analytics and notifications always keep you connected to your blog website
- There are many SEO features and SEO tools that help you rank higher in search results
- WordPress design themes are very responsive and optimized for mobile
- There are limited capabilities for running advertisements on your blog
- Since there are no fees that you pay, you do not technically own your blog, and WordPress can regulate your site if you are not compliant
- There are not many custom things that enable you to extend your site
The standard WordPress.com account is free of charge, but you will need to endure WordPress.com advertisements. If you want to upgrade, you can choose from the following plans:
- Personal Plan – $4 per month to get rid of the WordPress.com logo and other advertisements from the site
- $8 per month plan – with these packages, you receive extra tools for design and storage
Blogger is another excellent option for people who do not own a lot of technical skills. This blogging platform was one of the first developed in 1999 and was then acquired in 2003 by Google. Today, you can sign up for an account for free, and all you need is a Google account.
After you create your blog free of charge, you also receive a complimentary Blogspot subdomain for your new site. If you elect to link your blog with a customized domain name, you can register it through a 3rd party registrar. Although there is a slight learning curve when customizing your theme and templates, it is the setup process. It is straightforward and straightforward.
- If you already have a Google account, it is effortless to sign up and get started
- The platform is free of charge, and you receive a complimentary subdomain
- The interface is simple to use and does not require advanced coding skills or design skills
- You receive the strength and protection backed by Google’s trustworthy platform
- There is not much room for advanced blogging tools and enhanced customization
- There are not many new updates or features
- Google technically owns your blog and can suspend it at any point in time
- Design template options are scarce
There are no costs to get your Blogger account activated and your site launched. You do receive a subdomain free of charge, but you will need to pay a fee to a domain registrar if you utilize a custom domain.
Tumblr is unique from other blogging platforms because it contains more social networking connections and features. You can follow other insightful blogs, share other people’s content through reblogging, and experience other useful sharing tools that are already built-in.
Apart from publishing your written content on our Tumblr account, you can also blog about videos, post images, GIFs, and other audio formats. You do not necessarily need to launch a full-fledged blog if you like Tumblr. You can share creative ideas and gain inspiration from others in the social media realm that is Tumblr.
- You can create an account using Tumblr for free with a subdomain
- The setup process is simple and straightforward
- The integrated social media features allow you to interact more closely with others and share your content with an audience
- There are multiple forms of media like GIFs, photos, videos, and audio that you can publish along with your microblog
- If you want your blog to grow, Tumblr does not have the tools to support that growth
- The backup and importing processes are confusing
- There are no advanced features with the Tumblr design themes.
Tumblr is entirely free to utilize the platform, but you will need to pay for a custom domain if you desire one. If you want to enhance your microblog in any way, you also have access to other 3rd party applications and themes.
Medium is like Tumblr in that it has the social media aspect to it. You do feel a higher sense of community, as you can publish and consume content from a variety of bloggers, journalists, passionate experts, and other professional and freelance writers. Medium is free for you to use, and you receive a profile address after you sign up.
You will not have a custom domain, but your profile address is a great replacement, and you can start publishing your articles right away. If you are a writer who is looking to get your feet in the door and get extra exposure, Medium is an excellent launch pad to get your work out to the rest of the world.
- Instead of worrying about managing or designing a website, you can focus your energy on writing
- You can connect with other writers in the Medium community who share common interests
- The platform is user-friendly, and it is free to sign up and start writing
- If you are trying to build a brand or business, the features limit you to do it straight from Medium
- Medium itself owns your audience
- You cannot generate income for yourself through advertising on the platform.
Medium is free of charge, but there is no way to make money through the platform.
If a beautiful design for your blog is a top priority, then Squarespace is the perfect option for you. With the drag-and-drop tool, you can create a website that suits your brand identity accurately. For small business owners who are looking to establish a trustworthy audience, you can pick your custom design template and get to work.
Squarespace also gives you an all-inclusive platform to build in other features to your site. If you want to sell products through an online store, you can integrate this with your blog to grow your business the way you want. With the help of insightful analytics, you can scale and monitor your website with full transparency.
- There is an extensive collection of beautiful, aesthetic templates
- You can get a domain name with HTTPS/SSL that is separate from the ecommerce store
- It is an intuitive platform that can get utilized effectively by people with low technical skills
- There is a small selection of add-ons, tools, and integrations
- Your business growth is limited to the capabilities that are included with the initial platform
Related content – The Best Squarespace Alternatives For Every Kind of Website
Squarespace has a collection of different pricing plans that you can choose from. You can select the Personal website package for $16 per month, or the Business plan for $26 per month. If you are going the online store route, pricing ranges between $26 per month and $40 per month.
Wix’s biggest strength is its ability to build websites. Apart from the intuitive drag-and-drop tool, you can also add a blog to the site with Wix’s blog app. The platform was initially launched in 2006 designed to help people with no coding skills develop beautiful, professional websites.
After you set up the Wix blog app, readers can quickly join and subscribe to your blog, create profiles, follow specific posts, and then comment with a variety of different media. This setup process takes minutes, and you can choose from a vast collection of design layouts.
- There are many customization options with 3rd party application and design templates
- The Wix blog app provides you with many blogging tools to establish a community and manage your site on the go
- The setup process is simple
- You do not have a lot of capabilities with the free plan
- You cannot switch or change templates after you have started working
- While the blog app is serviceable, it does not compare well with other options on this list
You can use the free Wix plan, but you will only have the standard subdomain. You can use a custom domain for $4.50 per month, and then the other plans range from $8.50 per month to $24.50 per month.
If you are a blogger who likes to keep it simple, then Ghost is a suitable option for you. You can host this platform as software by yourself, and it is designed for just writing blog posts. The interface is clear of any extra noise or clutter. For the hosted version of Ghost, there is no additional setup required.
- The interface is sleek, intuitive, and easy to use
- If you are strictly centered on writing blog posts, then the minimalist features will suit you well
- There is not much flexibility for customization because of the absence of apps
- There are limited themes so you cannot change up the design or appearance often
If you elect to use the hosted version, then pricing starts at $29 per month. For the self-hosted plans, the custom domain name runs at about $14.99 per year, and the web hosting begins at $7.99 per month.
Gator by HostGator
Gator is a blog hosting service that was developed by the famous web hosting company HostGator. No matter what type of website you are creating, Gator has a drag and drop editor that can help you quickly customize a business site, blog, or online store. If you are someone that holds little technical skills, then Gator would be an excellent match for you.
The platform is catered to the customer because of the 24/7/365 technical support and the 45-day money-back guarantee. You also will not experience any limits on transferring data because of the unlimited bandwidth and disk space. In addition to excellent social media integration, customers can enjoy a very intuitive control panel that allows them to stay organized.
- User-friendly and geared to the beginner because of the drag-and-drop editor
- Excellent social media integration features
- Technical support that is there for you 24/7/365
- Low cost of entry for the sign-up plans
- Security and backups are all taken care of by HostGator, which saves you time and stress
- It is easy to integrate an online store whenever you want
- You cannot enjoy the benefits of the ecommerce tools unless you pay for one of the higher plans
- There are not as many plugins, apps, or extensions as the average hosting provider
- Although there is a 45-day money-back guarantee, there are no free plans or trials
The pricing plans for Gator by HostGator are as follows:
- Hatchling Plan – $2.64 per month
- Baby Plan – $3.78 per month
- Business Plan – $5.68 per month
Our Top Pick for Best Blogging Platform
Our winning choice for the best blogging platform is clear, and it is easily WordPress.org. We found that out of all the blogging platforms on the list, WordPress.org gives you the most freedom to customize and design the website the way you want. It also supports the serious bloggers who want to grow a meaningful business, thanks to the 54,000 plugins that you can use to enhance the site.
In addition to the customizability and extra resources, WordPress.org also had one of the most extensive selections for web design templates. Accompanies by robust SEO tools and solutions, WordPress.org is designed for the entrepreneur who wants to deliver meaningful content to the world.