You are probably finding it difficult to decide on a particular blog platform to use for your website because you are swamped with several options that seem good; but, are they great? Which of these several platforms is the best blogging platform? And why?
This is what you are about to find out
Each of the platforms available come with its own perks and disadvantages. Weighing the benefit-risk ratio will enable you to determine which of these platforms is best for you.
What are blogging platforms?
Blogging platforms are majorly softwares that allow you to create, manage and publish contents on a website.
These platforms are like the land on which you build a home for your website to be able to house several posts/uploads.
It is important to be deliberate in your choice of blog platform because the platform you choose should be able to help your website grow optimally; this implies that you cannot be lax about your choice.
The differences between these blogging platforms can range from cost, type, customizable themes to choice of ads and hosting services.
Keep in mind that your blog cannot grow past the boundaries of whichever platform you decide to use.
I have carefully curated 10 popular blogging platforms that are trending right now and outlined the pros and cons of each of them. Out of these ten (10) platforms, you will have to narrow it down to the best according to your preferences.
10 BEST BLOGGING PLATFORMS
WordPress.org is among the popular blogging platforms in the digital space. It powers over 41% of all websites on the internet. WordPress.org is free and enables you to build the website of your choice in barely an hour. It is a self-hosted platform that gives you the liberty to choose your domain name and web hosting provider.
Building a WordPress.org website will cost you $100 to over $30,000, depending on your requirements. Although WordPress.org is free, it requires you to have a domain name that costs $14.99 per year and a self-hosting that starts with $7.99/month.
● WordPress.org enables you to have authority over every sect of your blog.
● It grants you unlimited access to over 56,000 free WordPress plugins.
● WordPress.org is very compatible with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
● It gives you the liberty to select from thousands of free themes and customize the website of your choice.
● WordPress.org is the best blogging platform for you to make money because it allows you to build an online store, create online courses, and have paid membership programs.
● There is a need to garner some experience and training to manage your website effectively.
● You are solely responsible for the control of your back-ups and security.
WordPress.com, compared to WordPress.org, offers a primary blogging platform which is also simple to use and specially tailored for beginners.
WordPress.com gives you the liberty to have your hosting name. In WordPress.com, if you want to advance your site, you can purchase your custom domain name that comes with extra features, such as more storage space, an eCommerce store, more themes, and other unique features depending on the package you are paying for.
A personal plan for WordPress.com costs $4 per month, which is billed yearly. Click here WordPress price list to see the price for their other plans.
● WordPress.com is easy to use.
● It requires no technical expertise.
● There is a guarantee for a free website that has WordPress.com as its domain.
● Limitation of customization tools for your website.
● You cannot run your ads; instead, WordPress.com runs its own.
● Your site will be deleted if you violate its terms and services.
● The free themes available are not much; you have to.pay to get access to the others.
● You do not own a unique URL.
● Google Analytics can only be used if you upgrade to their premium plan.
Blogger is among the oldest and free blogging platforms and is owned by Google.
Blogger is free with a blogger subdomain that ends with blogspot.com. If you want a custom domain, you need a third-party domain registrar.
● Blogger is free, and hosting is easy.
● It requires no technical expertise to run.
● Blogger doesn’t allow you to add extra features as your blog gains popularity.
● Google can suspend your blog anytime.
● The themes on Blogger are quite poor.
● Blogger is boring and doesn’t have advanced features to make your blogging journey enjoyable.
Squarespace is also among the best blogging platforms because it allows you to design your website in a few minutes. Squarespace is known for having outstanding designs that can be created in minutes. It comes with Artificial Intelligence (A.I).
Squarespace plans begin with $12 per month with unlimited storage. The pricing for its online store starts at $18 per month.
● Editing and customizing your blog is easy with its drag-and-drop feature.
● It has many templates to choose from.
● Their templates give your blog an exceptional design.
● It is effortless to edit your pages with Squarespace.
● Squarespace gives you marketing tools to add newsletters and eCommerce to your blog, which will result in profitability and a growing audience.
● There is no free plan in Squarespace.
● Lack of expansion for the marketing tools and integrations.
● Building a website is time-consuming.
Wix builds website platforms, but apart from using it to build a website, it is a platform to start your blog. Wix is mobile-friendly, and creating a website on Wix is easy. You do not need any technical expertise to do so.
Wix comes with a free plan, and the start paid packages begin with $4.50 per month.You can also check their other paid packages here.
● No technical expertise is required to create a website on Wix.
● It is easy to manage and control your website on Wix.
● You can customize your site to your taste because it provides templates and third-party apps to choose from.
● Wix comes with lots of free stock images.
● There are limited free apps on Wix.
● A free account comes with Wix.com subdomain plus Wix advertisements.
● There are limited eCommerce features on Wix.
● You can’t change any chosen template.
● Your site cannot be migrated to another host.
6. Constant Contact Website Builder
Constant Contact Website Builder is known for its email marketing service. It is also best known for its eCommerce platform and website building. This website builder takes you through a step-by-step process of building a website, unlike Wix. Creating a website with Constant Contact Website is easy and can be done in minutes.
Constant Contact has three price packages: a free plan, a starter plan at $10 per month, and a business plan at $20 per month.
● There are many free plans available.
● You aren’t overwhelmed by so many features.
● They add a free SSL certificate to any plan.
● Constant Contact is easy and quick to setup.
● Ithelps in hosting your website for you.
● Designs are flat and boring.
● The features on Constant Contact Website Builder are not advanced.
● Third-party plugins and platforms are limited.
● Exportation of your website from Constant Contact Website Builder is difficult.
● You can encounter backend problems from time to time.
7. Gator by HostGator
Gator is a website builder created by HostGator. It includes a drag-and-drop tool for creating blogs, online stores, or even a big business website.
It costs $3.5 per month for the starter plan, and it comes with a free domain and an SSL certificate.
● No technical knowledge or expertise to set up your website.
● They include a free domain and an SSL certificate in the starter plan.
● Easy drag-and-drop builder tools to design your website.
● HostGator handles all backups, performances, and security.
● You can add an online store to your blog.
● There is no free version; you are only limited to a 45-day refund policy.
● Limitation of the online store features.
● The apps and extensions are also limited.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform designed for short forms of blogging. It comes with social network features. This blogging platform is best for someone who takes blogging as a hobby or for personal purposes.
● Tumblr is easy to set up and manage.
● It hosts your blog for free with tumblr.com as its sub-domain.
● It is easy to publish your images and videos with Tumblr.
● It comes with social features such as re-blogging and sharing.
● You cannot do extensive blog writing with Tumblr.
● You do not have control of your Tumblr site.
● Tumblr comes with limited features.
● Backup is difficult.
Ghost is a free blogging platform, and it is very similar to WordPress. The only difference between Ghost and WordPress is that Ghost Focuses on blogging, writing, and publishing.
Ghost helps you create a membership community with your blog and makes it possible to monetize your blog.
The self-hosted version of Ghost needs a custom domain for about $14.99 per year,and its web hosting starts from about $7.99 per month.
● Ghost is self-hosted and gives you control more than any other blogging platform.
● It is easy to monetize your blog with Ghost.
● It is easy to be self-hosted with Ghost.
● It is difficult using Ghost because it is self-hosted.
● It requires technical expertise to use Ghost.
● There are a limited number of themes.
Medium is a site where you share your thoughts and ideas with a broader audience. It is mainly focused on blogging and has limited features to monetize your blog.
● Medium enables you to focus mainly on writing instead of designing a website.
● It requires no technical knowledge to setup.
● It has a beautiful user interface.
● Medium is best for the expression of thoughts and opinions.
● It connects you to other readers and writers.
● Medium has limited features to customize your brand.
● You cannot use your domain name unless you pay for a custom domain, which costs $5 per month or $50 per year.
● Limited marketing options for monetizing your sites.
Differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
Do you know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are not the same? Many people mix up the two, but they are entirely different. As a result of this confusion, many bloggers select the wrong blogging platform. It’s amazing the world of difference between ;org’ and ‘com’.
In the key points below, you will see the significant differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
1. With WordPress.org, you can make money from your site by running your ads without sharing your earnings with anyone. However, with WordPress.com, your users see those ads, and you can’t make money from it, except you upgrade to a paid WordPress.com plan starting from $48 per year.
2. In WordPress.org, you own your website and all its information. Your site will not be suspended or deleted, while in WordPress.com, your site can be deleted at any time if they think it violates their terms of service.
3. WordPress.org allows you to upload WordPress plugins and applications to your website. But it is not the case with WordPress.com.
4. In WordPress.org, you can customize your site the way you desire, while in WordPress.com, you cannot upload any free themes. Free plan users can only download from the free theme collection, while premium and business plan users can select premium themes.
5. With WordPress.org, you can use powerful tools like Google Analytics for analytics and tracking. However, with WordPress.com, there is a restriction of statistics because you cannot add Google Analytics. Only business plan users may install Google Analytics.
6. In WordPress.org, you can use self-hosted WordPress to create an online store to sell your digital or physical products or have a paid membership program, while WordPress.com does not offer any eCommerce plans unless you switch to the business or VIP plan.
What to look out for when choosing a platform?
First, what do you desire in a blogging platform? If you are just starting your blogging journey with little or no knowledge about blogging, you want to set up an easy-to-use and configure blog preferably with a free option.
You also want a platform that is fully optimizable for your niche as there are platforms that are more specific for a particular blog type while there are also some platforms that are configurable to suit all niches.
While you would want to start with a blogging platform that is not complicated, it is also best to think of your blog’s future in the long run. Therefore, in choosing a blogging platform,determine what is sustainable and profitable.
You don’t want to pay for something you cannot use, therefore it is best to opt for a free plan on the website of your choice where you can then transition to the paid option after getting the hang of it.
As you gain more experience, it is expected that you might want to restructure your website (like we did!); this means that you want to opt for a platform that allows you to make changes without overriding your site’s growth overtime.
Now, you’ve read through and seen a lot of amazing benefits that each of these platforms have and sincerely, I feel like you might be faced with a tough decision so I’ll help you out.
To decide on which of these blogging platforms is best for you, make a list of what you need your ‘future’ blogging platform to have; for instance, you might need a blogging platform that allows you to choose your own ads or one that allows you to personalize themes.
After you are done with your checklist, compare and select the platform that can check off between 90%-100% of your list (it is possible).
If you need personalized coaching or more clarity on the best blogging platform to choose, you can book a free 1:1 strategy session with us here.
Perhaps I can tell you which of these platforms I favor and why!