Blogging is a fabulous way to stay connected to the world. Whether you decide to start a blog in order to demonstrate your hobbies or help promote a business, it can be a great way to share your ideas. While getting started can be easy if you have something to say, choosing a platform can be difficult. Below you will find a quick review of some of the best blogging sites out there today. Before we review the different options, I want you to keep some things in mind when choosing the perfect site for you.
- For Blogging Beginners: Think about choosing a platform that caters to you. This may mean giving up the option to change HTML or CSS code, but the benefit of an easy to use and intuitive footprint may be worth it.
- Free or Premium: You will need to decide whether you want to pay for options or stick to the free, out-of-the-box options available on the internet right now. When thinking of what type of customization is necessary, think about what your blog’s focus is going to be and whether you plan to make money from the blog itself. You need to spend money to make money!
All blogging platforms have pros and cons, especially when taking into account your skill level as a blogger and a coder. The longer you blog, the more skills you will pick up, so always look for a platform that can be altered to fit your growing skill set. Below are reviews of the best blogging platforms available today!
WordPress.Org and WordPress.com
The Org. version of WordPress provides the same features as it’s .com counterpart, with additional customization features for all bloggers. This option works well for people who want complete customization options. WordPress.Org lets you install your own custom plugins and helps you create the perfect look for you. The downside of this version of WordPress is that it is not a platform that is easy for beginners to use effectively and in order to use this platform, you will need to find your own web host, perform your own backups and maintain the site on your own. Bluehost is an excellent option for high-quality hosting at a great price!
The .com version of WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms on the internet. It provides options for easy blog creation and maintenance and is very intuitive. The platform itself is free and offers hosting, custom domain names, and integrated social media, polls, and comments without installing plugins. A number of paid upgrades are also available. With WordPress, you are easily able to create a site, but truly customized themes, plugins, and editing HTML are not available.
Both .com and .org versions of WordPress are known for their detailed support systems. They have standard tutorials to get you started and a large community of users that will help out a user with common questions and concerns. It is a great platform to start with and easy to learn so you can begin the customization process without too much trouble!
Ghost is an open source blogging platform. It provides a clean interface that is simple to use and provides a live preview of your post while you are writing it, so you can easily edit as you go. Ghost is considered great for beginners, but also may be preferred by experts because of the clean interface when compared to other options. Ghost can be difficult to install, which is definitely a downside. Once it is installed, however, it’s a great tool for any blogger! A blog on Ghost also requires web hosting.
Full content management makes Joomla a great option for bloggers who are looking for more flexibility and content options. Many businesses and large corporations prefer this type of platform. This platform can be expensive. For many, the costs won’t be worth it unless there is already a successful business attached to the blog in question. Combined with the learning curve required to get comfortable with the platform, Joomla may be best left to the experts.
Customization is Squarespace’s best feature and is possible without knowing how to code. It also allows your blog to grow at the same time as your business, allowing you to expand your services as you become more comfortable with blogging. The problem, however, is that this platform’s theme and plugin support are not great and knowledge of code for these features might be necessary.
Weebly makes blogging for business easy. The platform provides many easy-to-use features for those who don’t want to learn coding to make simple changes. The platform can also help website building, so business owners tend to find this platform to others that require blogs and websites to be created separately. If you are looking to customize or change HTML or CSS, Weebly is probably not the platform for you, as it makes it difficult to do so. The platform instead focuses its services on quick creation without the hassle.
As a blogging platform, Typepad has an easy-to-use interface for both beginners and experienced bloggers. Themes and Plugins are plentiful and can help make your blog your own. The problem with TypePad is that all of the blogs are hosted by them on their server, so you can’t choose your own host. Editing code is also difficult on this site, as it is meant for bloggers who find editing code to be more difficult than it is worth.
Blogger is created for beginners. Users are able to type their content, add photos and publish, but also allows HTML code to be edited and widgets to be added. Blogger is a google service and so a google account is required for setting up and users may find the google-related add-ons useless on their blog. Blogger tends to be a platform bloggers grow out of as they become more well-versed in blogging.
Tumbler is more popular with younger audiences and as a platform is simple to use. It has a focused community that allows easy options for sharing and re-blogging content but is not a platform focused on written content. It is a platform meant for more visual bloggers, but writers will want to find another option when picking their blogging platform.
Wix is mainly a platform meant to create websites but has the ability to start a blog as well. Wix is great for content meant to be viewed on portable devices and the platform itself provides excellent support and information for its users. While WIX is a great solution for mobile content, it is not great from an SEO perspective.
So many choices, so many customization options! Think about what you need and pick the platform that fits you and your business the best. Whether you choose a platform that can grow with you or plan to switch to a more customizable option later down the line, these platforms all have something to offer.