If you want to start a blog for personal gain or monetization, you'll want to learn everything you can about blogging and determine which of the best blogging platforms you'll want to invest in.
They're not all created equal, so having a clear choice will suit your blogging career well.
Many bloggers have started their blogs using the wrong blogging platform for their goals, and it has set them back in time, money, or both.
To help you avoid making a similar mistake, we will provide you with everything you need to know, including our rating of the 10 best blogging platforms to get started.
Let's dive in.
So, what is a blog?
A blog is a website updated regularly and usually provides information on a specific topic. Blogs are a channel for online expression, sharing knowledge, providing ideas, and growing personally and professionally.
Blogs can cover any and all topics, including fashion, lifestyle, health, food, business, marketing, sports, etc. A blog is typically comprised of posts that deliver more information on a specific topic within the chosen category.
Many blogs have active commenting, and these posts frequently serve as a forum for debate. It's analogous to a newspaper that continuously adds articles and maintains an archive of old news.
At their most basic, blogs can assist you in developing an online presence, attracting higher-quality leads, and establishing yourself as an industry expert.
Before we highlight the “best” blogging platform, we must discuss what blogging is and how it works in the first place!
How does blogging work, exactly?
Bloggers write and publish blog posts on a blogging platform for an audience to read. Articles are typically displayed in chronological order, beginning with the most recent.
These posts, also called articles, can be categorized differently to help readers discover interesting topics or related content.
Blog posts are unique compared to other content on a website. They are typically longer than website pages and designed to be updated regularly or when new content would improve upon them.
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform is an online service or software that lets you create, manage, and publish content in blog format.
Blogging platforms enable users to publish a post, display the post meta like date, author, category, etc., and assign specific images or other media to the post.
Web-based blogging services also allow users to categorize content, making it easier to search for posts on a specific topic within the blog.
Blogs also introduce tagging into the equation. Post tags are added to posts to help classify them and control how content is maneuvered within the blogging platform.
Any platform considered the best blogging platform should be easy to learn, and use, provide key features, and be budget-friendly. When you've found a solution that fulfills all of these, you have found a blog platform worthy of adding to your shortlist.
Here is our shortlist of the best blogging platforms for new bloggers.
The 10 Best Blogging Platforms for Newbies
#1 Self-hosted WordPress
The Best Blogging Platform Overall – Best for monetizing your blog and growing your blog
WordPress is the world's most used blogging platform. The platform powers over 800 million websites, accounting for approximately 43% of all websites.
WordPress is a free platform, but it can be challenging for beginners. When starting a WordPress blog, you must procure your own domain name and web hosting and build the site yourself.
The benefit of starting a WordPress blog is that you have complete control over how your site looks and functions and how you monetize. You have the capacity to make it your own site, complete with all the necessities for success.
Not to mention, WordPress is the most popular blogging platform available and integrates with nearly every other system out there, including Google Analytics, top social media platforms, Google Adsense, and about thousands of other blogging tools.
Why do we like WordPress?
There are various reasons why we like self-hosted WordPress.
- Using the WordPress content management system allows unlimited control over customization and creates a strong brand for your blog.
- WordPress is the best free blogging platform for scaling your personal blog into something more on your terms.
- You own your website and all of its content. Your site will not shut down because someone decides it violates the terms of service or for another reason.
- WordPress plugins, both free and paid, can be added to your website to create new functionality and features.
- You can change the look of your website as needed. You can use any free or paid WordPress theme you want. You can also create unique designs or modify anything.
- You can earn money from your WordPress site by running advertisements without revenue sharing.
- There is more functionality and support for search engine optimization than on any other platform using the proper plugins and SEO tools.
- Self-hosted WordPress allows you to create an online store to sell physical or digital products, receive credit card payments, and ship the products directly from your website.
- You can build an online community around your blog by creating a membership and selling courses and premium content.
Who shouldn't use WordPress?
- WordPress is not suitable for those who do not want the challenge of keeping up with hosting needs, domain registration, or platform updates.
- WordPress is unsuitable for those with zero technical knowledge and lack time to dedicate to setting up and maintaining their blog.
The Best Monthly Paid Blogging Platform – scales well as you grow and provides great performance
The main feature of the Wix platform is that it includes a drag-and-drop editor, so you don't have to deal with HTML or other development code. The design is simple and modern, and both beginners and advanced users can use it.
To start a Wix basic blog, sign up and choose between having the Wix ADI create your site using a questionnaire or building your own blog.
Why do we like Wix?
There are various reasons why we like Wix.
- It has a good selection of free and paid themes and templates for various purposes, including building a new blog.
- The great thing about Wix is that it includes free hosting, so all you have to do is arrange the layouts, choose a template, and you're done.
- You have lots of flexibility to make the blog your own and customize the blogging platform to a degree.
- You can access a free domain name and SSL certificate with Wix.
Who shouldn't use Wix?
- With any proprietary platform, you can only do so much before you hit a restriction within the blogging platform.
- Wix can be as costly or more than starting with WordPress as you pay monthly, whether you use it or not.
- Basic blogging tools are available, but you'll hit a wall if you want something out of the box.
The Best Blogging Platform for Simplicity – easy to get started and up and running quickly
You can use the drag-and-drop functionality to drag modules (text, videos, photos, comment sections, etc.) onto the web page. Visitors visiting your website will see these modules wherever you place them.
The modules represent features or functionality you want to be incorporated into your blog like social media feeds or image galleries.
Why do we like Weebly?
There are various reasons why we like Weebly.
- The interface is easy to use and allows you to customize elements on the page. The same is true for photo galleries, slideshows, and any other form of media.
- Weebly includes newsletter subscriptions, social media icons, ad spaces, forms, media boxes, sidebars, and more.
- The platform includes built-in analytics and allows you to use your own custom domain (for which you must pay).
- The free plan gives you five custom pages, ad spaces, 500MB of storage, and a Weebly subdomain.
Who shouldn't use Weebly?
- It is unsuitable for those wishing to export their websites to another platform.
- Weebly is not best for those looking to grow because it has limited customization and few tools required for long-term growth.
- Weebly is simple to use, but anyone who wants to grow their blog aggressively will hit roadblocks.
The Best Free Blogging Platform – No fee blog platform, and you can add a custom domain
GrooveBlog is a simple blogging platform for anyone who wants to start a blog. GrooveBlog is built using much of the WordPress infrastructure, so it is sound and stable. It has built-in marketing tools and
The biggest benefit to choosing GrooveBlog is that it is free to start a blog and add a custom domain, which you will not find with any other blogging platform on this list. You also get a free SSL certificate and access to free and premium themes.
Creating a blog post is straightforward and includes web hosting, so there is no added cost for a web host company. This adds some additional value.
Signing up for Groove grants you access to an all-in-one platform that offers several other tools with the free version.
Why do we like GrooveBlog?
There are various reasons why we like GrooveBlog.
- Integrated ad tracking to improve monetization
- GrooveBlog uses essential WordPress elements
- Free plan for life
- Lifetime hosting for free
- Personalized domain name for branding
- Rapid web page loading times
- Sidebar widgets can be turned off
- Simple user interface
- An aggressive affiliate partner program to join to make passive income
Who shouldn't use GrooveBlog?
- GrooveBlog will not be the best option for bloggers who want to grow and monetize. The infrastructure is sound but limited unless you upgrade to a paid plan.
The Best Blogging Platform for Testing – Great platform for building and testing different blog elements
It can be time-consuming if you've never built a website before. Strikingly's simple editor changes that and makes an assumed complex process easy.
It may be your blog builder if your ultimate goal is a basic web presence, letting people know who you are and how to contact you.
You can test many of its features for free, but you'll have to upgrade to a paid plan if you want a custom domain name.
Why do we like Strikingly?
There are various reasons why we like Strikingly.
- Strikingly works best for simple one-page websites, making it simple for beginners to learn how to use the builder.
- You don't need coding skills to build a Strikingly website. They have many free themes to get you started.
- They offer a robust selection of professionally designed website templates for blog sites.
- It offers a free plan with limited features, which is ideal if you're new and want to test it before committing to a paid plan.
- Since you can build a website quickly and easily, it is an ideal place to test ideas.
- An affiliate partner program that you can join.
Who shouldn't use Strikingly?
- Strikingly won't work if you have aggressive growth plans.
- If you want to expand far beyond a blog, you won't find Strikingly's ability to scale to your liking.
- Those who crave more customization for your site will prefer something other than Strikingly.
The Best Blogging Platform as a WordPress Alternative – a good option for those who don't want to use WordPress
The level of customization and overall potential for building powerful websites is more significant than other options. Webflow is relatively easy to use, convenient, and user-friendly and contains common WP plugins as standard features within the blogging platform.
Why do we like Webflow?
There are various reasons why we like Webflow.
- It allows you to create dynamic prototypes in Photoshop rather than static mockups, which is helpful for testing animations and interactions on your website.
- It has excellent responsive design options that allow you to adapt your site to different devices.
- It includes automatic backups and URL staging.
- It is a quick and straightforward process to create landing pages.
- The CMS in Webflow makes it simple to design multiple pages at once.
- Webflow employs an easy-to-use interface that allows you to interact with code visually, eliminating many steps.
- Webflow provides a selection of highly customizable templates that are ideal for beginners.
Who shouldn't use Webflow?
- Bloggers who want extensive integration options will not want to use Webflow.
- Bloggers who need to have unlimited creativity and diverse templates will not want to use Webflow.
The Best Blogging Platform for Support – the largest network of support for a hosted solution
WordPress.com is a superior open-source blogging platform that provides hosting for your blog. You can buy extras like more storage and a custom domain name.
WordPress.com is an excellent blogging platform for those who do not require a self-hosted solution. Like other blogging platforms, it starts out free, but if you want certain features or a custom domain name, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Why do we like WordPress.com?
There are various reasons why we like WordPress.com.
- WordPress.com is simple to use. WordPress.com's team handles everything, so you won't have to download software, pay for a hosting plan, or manage a server.
- Easy maintenance. You don't have to worry about backups, updates, or other technical details with WordPress.com.
- You can get personalized support via avenues like email or live chat.
- WordPress.com includes built-in features such as SEO, contact forms, comments, polls, social sharing buttons, etc., eliminating the need to install third-party plugins.
- WordPress.com has built-in security, and thus you will not be required to monitor your website for potential malware attacks daily or install security features. Thus, you can concentrate your efforts on what is most important-creating content.
- You can transfer your WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress website using WordPress.com's export tool.
Who shouldn't use WordPress.com?
- WordPress.com is unsuitable for eCommerce business owners or those looking to profit from their blogs due to its limited monetization capabilities.
- The monetization on the WordPress.com advertising network, WordPress Ads, has requirements and a revenue share model.
The Best Blogging Platform for Creators – strong option for all creators to monetize their audience
Ghost is an easy-to-use platform that is now what WordPress was when it started, albeit a bit more sophisticated as technology has evolved.
Unlike the WordPress blogging platform, Ghost is designed for creators to use and monetize.
Ghost is open-source, accessible, and has many themes and integrations with other popular platforms. You can start with Ghost for as little as $11/month based on having 500 members. There is a 14-day trial to test it out.
Why do we like Ghost?
There are various reasons why we like Ghost.
- You can get more done with dynamic cards, which allow you to work without distractions with HTML, Markdown, embeds, and image galleries.
- Ghost includes social sharing features and SEO settings, eliminating the need for external plugins.
- Its rich editor is focused solely on providing the best writing experience possible. It dramatically increases the flexibility of post formatting.
- Registration forms, member management, payments, subscriptions, and email newsletters are all built-in.
Who shouldn't use Ghost?
- It is not suitable for those who require a high level of customization.
- Ghost.org is also unsuitable for people looking for branded domains. Unless they purchase a custom domain from a third-party domain registrar, their blog will be a Ghost subdomain ending in ghost.io.
The Best Blogging Platform w/ Social Media Tie-ins – it's half blog and half social media network
Tumblr is one of the first free blogging platforms on the internet. Unlike other platforms, primarily designed for publishing, Tumblr focuses on amalgamating social media and personal blogging. Tumblr's user interface is more straightforward and combines the arts of social media and blogging.
With Tumblr, you can sit on the sidelines, observe, sign up, and get involved by writing your articles and sharing them with the community. A Tumblr blog is a totally free blog, but like other free blogging platforms, you do not get a custom domain.
Why do we like Tumblr?
There are various reasons why we like Tumblr.
- There are some decently
- Ease of use — A simple blogging platform for getting started and managing content.
- Social media integration lets you easily connect your blog to a social network.
Who shouldn't use Tumblr?
- Tumblr is strictly for personal use and is not a good option if you have business plans. It only provides basic customization options.
- If you don't plan on investing significant time in building your blog, Tumblr is probably not the answer.
The Best Blogging Platform for Personal Blogs – a great option for personal blogging and growth
Blogger was one of the first free blog platforms. Small business owners used Blogger before WordPress was even a thing.
It's a good option for personal blogs but could be better for professional use. It functions similarly to other hosted platforms in that you must create an account before using it.
After you've created it (which is simple), choose one of the default themes and begin writing down your thoughts. This platform's interface resembles an old Google+ profile, and the editor resembles a Word document.
Why do we like Blogger?
There are various reasons why we like Blogger.
- It includes ad spaces that you can insert into your content.
- Blogger provides a variety of themes to choose from, each with its minimalist widgets, set of skins, and advanced color filtering.
- Blogger provides simple appearance options, allowing the focus to remain on the writing.
Who shouldn't use Blogger?
- Blogger is inappropriate for those looking to grow their business because it needs advanced features, e.g., eCommerce features in WordPress and other newer blogging platforms.
- Also, Blogger does not allow you to create an online store and sell services and products.
Considerations for choosing the best blogging platforms
There are many factors that newbies must consider when looking for the best blogging platforms. These include the following:
Ease of Use
First-time bloggers or those new to online software need a user-friendly blogging platform. Some features of the platform you select should include the following:
- Easy to install and configure without requiring technical skills.
- Easy and seamless administration within the admin dashboard. You want everything to be manageable and coordinated so you can quickly learn the essentials.
- Easy wayfinding. You want to avoid hunting for days where common elements you want to add to each post.
- Well-supported by a learning community or with learning opportunities like tutorials, faqs, and video walkthroughs.
Some platforms offer more customization options than others. If you want to be able to customize your blog's design and layout, make sure the platform you choose allows for this.
You want your blog to be able to be found in search engine results. SEO optimization is essential to gain visibility. Posting frequency matters, but the posts must be highly optimized and well-written for your audience.
On-page SEO includes the following:
- Title tag optimization
- Meta description optimization
- Opengraph meta
- Internal linking
- Keyword assignment
- Image alt text
- Schema markup
And you'll want the essentials of off-site SEO, like.
- Social media integration
- Integrations for analytics tracking
- Proper indexation
- Content control
And you'll want it to be strong from a technical SEO perspective.
- Responsive design
- Loading speed
- Broken link minimalization
- 404 handling
- URL redirection
Many of these are satisfied by the best blogging platforms on this list. Still, even some platforms lag regarding advanced SEO elements, so it is essential to check your shortlist if search engine rankings and organic traffic are important.
One of the critical factors you should look out for is that the platform has a content editor. This is the core of blogging. Every blogging platform is supposed to have a robust content editor.
The content editor is frequently used to edit, upload, save, and publish content to your target audience. So, you need to choose a blogging platform with a user-friendly editor that includes the following:
- An auto-save feature will be handy if you experience power issues or use a faulty computer. If you log into your blogging account, you won't be worried about rewriting your content.
- A drag-and-drop feature that allows you to upload multimedia content seamlessly.
The Need for Hosting
Having fully-managed hosting for your blog cannot be overemphasized. Downtimes and server interruptions and downtimes happen, but you can rest assured that your provider manages your servers.
A WordPress blog will need web hosting. Some of the best blogging platforms are self-hosted solutions that come with hosting. This can be good or bad depending on the quality and performance. A site on a poorly optimized server can hurt your rankings in the search engines.
You need a blogging platform that is reliable for your blog. Some options out there can fully manage the hosting, saving you a lot of headaches and stress. But you want to ensure they check the performance boxes.
If you are just starting out, you won't want to spend much money when getting a blogging platform. Therefore, weighing all the features it offers versus its price is vital to help you make a good decision.
Most free blogging platforms will satisfy someone who just wants a personal blog, but anyone who wants to monetize will need more features and premium functionality.
If you run into problems with your blog, you'll want to ensure someone is there to help you troubleshoot them. The blogging platform you choose should have quick response times and be available 24/7 to help you in case of any issue.
Self-hosted WordPress is the exception here. There is likely no direct support unless you sign up for a managed WordPress solution or use a combo solution like Bluehost for hosting, which also offers a WordPress builder.
Your blogging platform should offer high overall value to help you meet your objectives. Free platforms have value to a degree, but your objectives and goals may extend far beyond what a free platform can deliver.
Other options outside our top 10
10 Best Blogging Platforms Wrap-up
Understanding the types of blogging platforms available before choosing one is essential so you can match the functionality and features of the platform to your overall objectives. You don't want to discover that the platform ceases to meet your blog's needs as your blog grows.
Perhaps your growth plan extends to adding an ecommerce store or running your own ads network from your blog. These advanced features will need a platform that allows you to grow and scale in this manner.
Whichever direction you choose, the blogging platforms on this list will satisfy the needs of a beginner, intermediate, or advanced blogger both now and well into the future.