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There are many good reasons to start blogging.
You may want to practice your writing, create a following, establish your brand or use blogging as a marketing tool to increase site traffic. It’s also a great way to connect with like-minded people.
How do you choose the site to build your blog on?
There’s a wide choice of blogging platforms. The more there are choices, the harder it is to make up your mind.
To help you choose the right blogging platform for yourself, we will first talk about what to look for in a blogging solution. After that, we’ll examine the pros and cons of the 10 best blog sites.
Ready? Let’s get started…
For making a decision, it helps to know what you are looking for. As they say – if you don’t know where you are going, every way is the right way. Below are some categories to judge the candidates by:
The weighing of the factors above will be different depending on your skills, goals and requirements. Keep them in mind while we compare the best blogging platforms out there.
Below, you’ll find some of the most popular blogging solutions in the world and how they compare to each other.
Among the best blog sites, the self-hosted version of WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform in the world. The CMS powers over 30 percent of the Internet. It’s often confused with its close cousin WordPress.com. We will cover the latter as well. You can learn more about the differences of the two platforms in this article.
WordPress is an open source solution which means it’s free to use. Bear in mind that self-hosted variety requires you to find a hosting provider (e.g. Bluehost). You also need to get your own domain. Costs to do that start from around $46 per month.
In addition to that, you might want to spend money on premium extensions and themes.
Wix is similar to Squarespace. It allows you to put together your web presence via drag and drop and comes with blogging ability that you can add to your site. You can read about adding Wix in this article.
Wix is a subscription-based and offers different packages. Starting at $5/month for 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB storage plus the ability to connect a custom domain (which you need to pay yourself). Higher plans add more bandwidth and storage, free domains, apps, the ability to create an online store and remove the ads. The most expensive plan ($25/month) also comes with VIP support.
Next on our list of the best blog sites is another open source content management system that you can use to build all kinds of websites. We have detailed information about it in WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal and in the post on how to create a website with Joomla.
Joomla is free to download, costs only incur for hosting and a domain. For specialized Joomla hosting, check hosting reviews here.
WordPress.com is a blog site hosting service by Automattic. You can get a free blog with basic features. For advanced functionality, you need to opt for one of their paid plans.
Paid plans cost between $4 and $25 per month (billed annually). Each increases the amount of storage space, features (including monetization options) and support. With the Business plan, you have the ability to install external plugins and themes and connect your site to Google Analytics.
WordPress.com can also be a great starting point for blogging. If you ever decide to have more control over your site, it’s relatively easy to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Medium is a publishing platform founded in 2012 by one of the people behind Twitter. By now it has become a popular community for writers, bloggers and journalists.
In addition to the ability to write blog posts, it also comes with limited social networking functions. You can comment on other people’s content and like it (likes are called “claps” on Medium). The audience is built into the platform.
The platform is free to use. If you have your own domain, you can hook it up to individual stories. Unfortunately, not to entire user accounts.
Medium is also a popular place to give your content a second life. Many people who have a primary blogging outlet re-post articles on Medium for additional exposure.
The price for the hosted version depends on the number of websites and amount of traffic. For $29/month ($19 if billed annually) you get one blog and 50,000 monthly page views. This also includes SSL encryption.
The most expensive plan is $269/month ($199/month paid annually). Ghost has a prioritized support, uptime guarantee and other premium features. All plans come with a custom domain.
For the self-hosted version, you need to pay the usual hosting plus the domain registration.
Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder which is aimed at small business owners. It’s a great all-in-one solution for non-technical people and offers hosting, domain registration and the possibility for e-commerce. It also has blogging capabilities which is the reason why it’s among the best blog sites out there.
Squarespace is subscription based. It comes with only two plans, Personal and Business. One is $16/month and the other $26/month. You get a price reduction if you pay annually and also a free custom domain.
Weebly is another site builder with a modular approach and a web-based interface. Pick a template and position your content as blocks in different areas.
You can start off with a free account. After that, $4/month gets you a custom domain. For advanced features like site stats, video backgrounds or membership options you need to go for one of the higher plans. Those come in at $8-$25/month. Weebly also has separate plans for online stores that are slightly more pricey. All plans are paid annually.
This free blog hosting service has been around for a long time. It was founded in 1999 and acquired by Google in 2003. As a consequence, you can sign up easily with your existing Google account.
Blogger is completely free. The only costs you might incur is if you want to use a custom domain. In that case, you have to acquire and pay for it yourself.
Finally, among the best blog sites is Tumblr. The service is a micro-blogging platform optimized for short-form content. It also has a community behind it and social network features. Think of it as a middle ground between WordPress and Twitter.
The platform is free to use. Optional costs are for a custom domain (which you can map to your Tumblr account) and third-party themes and apps.
When looking for the best blogging platform, you have many candidates to consider. Each comes with its own pros and cons. Basically, there are three varieties: self-hosted blogging platforms, hosted blog sites and site builders that also have blogging capabilities.
Which is the most suitable for you depends on your needs, goals, and preferences. Here on websitesetup.org, we like the self-hosted variety of WordPress. It’s what this site is built on and we have had solid experience with it. It’s super flexible and powerful and belongs among the best blog sites for a reason.
What do you consider the best blog sites out there? Anything to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.