best blogging platforms

Searching for the best blogging platforms to create your own blog?

Whether you want to earn some money or you just want to create a hobby blog to share your thoughts with the world, there are tons of free and paid tools you can use to create your own blog effortlessly.

So, how can you choose the best blogging tool for your needs? πŸ€” Well, that’s the purpose of this post.

We’ll start with some quick recommendations for how to choose a blogging platform.

Then, we’ll get into our curated list of the top blogging platforms, starting with the best open source blogging platforms, and followed by the best hosted blogging platforms.

πŸ“’ First things first:

How to choose from the best blogging platforms?

As always, when it comes to choosing tech-related stuff, your choice depends on your own unique and specific requirements. You’re sure to make a great start if you know the true purpose of your blog. It also helps if you prepare separate lists of “must-have” and “nice-to-have” features. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

1. Purpose of the blog:

Be clear why you’re setting up a blog. This is important, because the feature list can vary according to the nature of the blog.

For example, if you’re just creating a hobby blog, you’ll probably be mostly focused on the ease of use and simplicity.

On the other hand, if you want to earn money from your blog, it’s more important to choose a platform that gives you flexible monetization options.

2. Self-hosted open-source platforms vs hosted platforms:

When it comes to the best blogging platforms, there are two high-level approaches that you’ll see:

  • Open-source, self-hosted blogging platforms – with these platforms, you’ll purchase your own web hosting and then install the blogging software on your own web hosting. Don’t worry – it’s usually pretty easy!
  • Hosted blogging platforms – with these, the platform offers an integrated approach that handles hosting for you. To get started, all you need to do is register for an account.

In general, hosted blogging platforms offer the simplest, most hands-off way to create a blog. With a hosted tool, you don’t really need to think about maintenance and security, and it’s super easy to get started.

When you use an open-source blogging platform, it’s a little more complex to get started with because you need to install the software yourself (but you definitely don’t need to be a developer – the knowledge required isn’t that advanced!). However, the advantages are that you have a lot more flexibility and self-ownership.

3. User friendliness:

As a blog admin, you’re going to spend a fair amount of time on the backend. Hence, it’s imperative that the main interface and the content editor are user-friendly and intuitive.

4. Customization options and general flexibility:

You want your blog to stand out from the crowd. In that case, the themes and templates should be unique, easily customizable, and allow for much freedom.

5. Search engine optimization (SEO) features:

Being SEO-friendly is a must, especially if you intend to scale and monetize your blog. While some blogging platforms offer built-in SEO, others allow integration with third-party tools.

6. Third-party extensions and tools:

If the blogging platform is compatible with plugins, extensions, and third-party tools, it enhances functionality.

For example, if you choose WordPress as your blogging platform, you can access tens of thousands of plugins to extend your blog.

7. Security and maintenance difficulty:

The best blogging platforms are regularly updated to add/ improve features and to maintain security online.

You’ll also want to think about how much work you’ll be required to implement.

8. Marketing tools:

If you’re keen on growing your audience, blogging platforms with built-in viewership, analytics, email marketing services, lead collection tools, and/or whatever is suitable for your audience or can help in bringing in the numbers.

9. Price:

This last one is pretty obvious, but you’ll also want to factor in the price of your blogging platform. Some of them are free, while others will require some money.

The best blogging platforms in 2024

To help you choose the right platform for your needs, we’ve divided our list of the best blogging platforms into two broad categories – open-source self-hosted tools and hosted platforms.

πŸ‘ Best open source blogging platforms

Here are our top picks:

WordPress.org

WordPress is the most popular open-source blogging platform, leaving all competitors behind. In fact, it powers 43.1% of all the websites on the internet, including some of the most popular blogs out there.

Working with HTML or by editing visually, you can easily create any type of blog. Blog specific features like user-friendly editor, advanced user roles and permissions, and powerful media management make it attractive to creators.

Best blogging platforms - WordPress

WordPress comes with a ton of free / paid themes and templates that allow endless customization, all without having to know any code. It’s highly flexible and scalable, allowing you to monetize your blog. You own your data, and have access to a wide and helpful WordPress community.

πŸ’° Price: Free, though you’ll have to find appropriate hosting – we recommend BlueHost.

Joomla

Joomla is an open-source CMS that’s community-friendly. Blog-friendly features include multi-user permission levels, star ratings, frontend editing, media manager and more. You’ll be able to create categories with nesting and no limit on depth. Its user management features are ideal for building a community of users around your blog.

Joomla

As for content distribution, there’s posts scheduling, syndication, and external news feed display. Joomla offers 70+ languages and comes with built-in SEO. On the flip side, Joomla does have a moderate learning curve and customization is limited.

πŸ’° Price: The Joomla software is free forever. For hosting on Joomla servers, plans start at $5 per month.

Ghost

Ghost is a super-fast blogging platform that works on JavaScript. It offers a set of modern and powerful publishing tools, along with strong direct monetization tools to let you charge subscription fees for access to your content.

Working from the editor, you’ll be able to add dynamic content like NFT embeds, GIFs, images, and videos.

You can create custom homepages, structured URLs, and multi-language content.

To grow your audience and distribute content over social media, there are subscription capture forms, RSS feeds, and tag-based email. Ghost is also SEO optimized and supports AMP.

Ghost

On the downside, the number of themes is limited and DIY installation can be a bit complicated.

πŸ’° Price: Bloggers can choose between a self-hosted Ghost website that’s free, or one that’s hosted on Ghost servers. Premium package rates depend on the number of members and can be tried for free for 14 days. Starter – $9 per month (500 members), Creator – $25 per month (1000 members), Team – $50 per month (1000 members) and Business – $199 per month (10000 members).

Drupal

Drupal is a fast, secure, flexible, and scalable open-source software that’s great to build any kind of website.

Its multi-level taxonomy, support for different media files, and advanced user permissions makes it suitable to create and manage content heavy blogs.

Best blogging platforms - Drupal

Drupal has a modular structure and helps you create multi-channel experiences to connect with your audience. It includes content monetization tools to increase revenue and grow your brand.

However, you may need some technical help to get started off with Drupal.

Packaged Drupal content or ‘distributions’ can be used as starter kits.

πŸ’° Price: Drupal is free, though you may have to pay for technical assistance for setup help. You’ll also need your own web hosting to power the Drupal software.

SilverStripe

SilverStripe is an open source CMS that offers smooth digital experiences with frontend designing.

You can customize it using the SilverStripe Framework (a standalone PHP framework) and enhance it with add-ons.

The Framework promotes a coding structure that’s easy to read and maintain.

SilverStripe

SilverStripe is simple enough to hold a blog and flexible enough for use by intranets, websites, and complex applications.

It delights users with interactive design and social and transactional features.

Strong API integration points, caching and support for multi-server cloud formations allow your blogs to grow into content-rich transactional sites.

πŸ’° Price: Free. You can also take your blog to the SilverStripe cloud hosted fully managed platform. Rates start from $425 per month.

🏟 Best hosted blogging platforms

Here are our top picks:

HubSpot CMS Hub

HubSpot’s CMS Hub combines website building with its suite of marketing and CRM tools to come up with websites that are great for conversion.

Hundreds of themes, visual editor, and custom domain make it easy to build a blog that fits your brand.

You can schedule posts and create content in multiple languages. Users can toggle between languages and enjoy a personalized secure experience.

CMS Hub

The free marketing tools help to collect leads and blog analytics help with improving audience reach.

However, for custom SEO reports, repetitive testing, and fixing SEO recommendations from the editor, you’ll need to opt for the higher packages.

πŸ’° Price: Free for up to 25 website pages with HubSpot branding. Paid bundles include Starter ($23 per month), Professional ($360 per month), and Enterprise ($1200 per month), with many of the CRM features included in the higher plans.

Wix

Wix is one of the most popular hosted website builder tools. Since a blog is a type of website, this also makes it one of the best blogging platforms on the market. Wix makes it easy to create your own standalone blog (or add a blog to a different type of site).

Setup literally means choosing from 900+ customizable temples or leaving it to the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence to choose for you.

Nevertheless, you’ll be glad of the Preview feature, as you cannot easily change templates later.

Wix

You’ll be able to schedule posts, embed HTML codes, and edit images using the rich text editor. Categories and hashtags help with advanced search.

Every website comes with a suite of features like Wix Analytics, built-in SEO and marketing tools which help to improve traffic and monetize your content.

πŸ’° Price: Wix has a free forever plan that offers 500 GB storage, a wixsite.com address and displays Wix ads on your website. It has separate plans for websites and for Business/Ecommerce that include custom domain. Website plans start at $16.00 per month (personal use), and range up to $45 per month. Business and ecommerce plans start at $32.00 per month.

WordPress.com

WordPress offers all-in-one hosting for your blog or website, no setup required. There’s a free plan that works for simple hobby blogs and then paid plans for more serious blogs.

It combines the open-source WordPress software that we mentioned above with a simpler hosted approach. However, you lose some flexibility versus hosting the WordPress software yourself – learn more in our WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison.

The fast, intuitive editor and embedding of media files makes it a blogger’s delight.

It comes with built-in SEO, social media integration and sharing features. You can connect to their high traffic network and grow your own audience.

Best blogging platforms - WordPress-com

The paid plans allow you to do a lot more, like use a custom domain and dispense with WordPress ads. Higher-tier plans also let you install your own WordPress plugins and themes, which gets you closer to the flexibility of the open-source WordPress software.

πŸ’° Price: The free hosting includes a WordPress.com subdomain and displays WordPress ads. Paid plans include Personal ($4 per month), Premium ($8 per month), Business ($25 per month) and Ecommerce ($45 per month). The higher plans offer ecommerce-focused features.

Medium

Medium offers a ready-made target audience for serious writing on niche subjects.

You can quickly create an account and start publishing, all without needing to spend a single penny.

You can also brand your own online space to a limited extent and share your content on social platforms with a single click.

As a Medium Partner Program member, you earn money if folks read your stuff. If you simply want to focus on writing and make some money from it, then Medium is one of the best blogging platforms available.

Medium

Conversely, it offers only limited earning potential, and your audience depends on your staying with the platform.

For this reason, you’ll want to choose a different platform if your goal is to earn a serious income. Medium is more for people who are just looking for a little side income cash.

πŸ’° Price: Free.

Weebly

If you want to eventually turn your blog into an online store, but you’re intimidated by the thought of actually building a blog from scratch, then Weebly is one of the best blogging platforms you can choose.

Its chief draw is that it’s an easy-to-use website builder that helps set up business websites and ecommerce stores. It also offers free blog templates for adding blog pages to your website. Put them together, and you get the perfect blog X online store mashup option.

Weebly

Weebly is ecommerce focused and integrates seamlessly with Square payments.

πŸ’° Price: A free plan with Weebly branding, limited features and bandwidth is available. Paid website plans include Personal ($10 per month), Professional plan ($12.00 per month), and Performance plan ($26 per month), billed annually. Month-to-month billing is priced higher.

Blogger

If you want a sharp-looking blog that’s easy to use from day one, try Blogger.

It includes the basic ingredients to start off such as text editor, image storage, a limited template selection, and more. You’ll have your own subdomain, with an option to purchase a custom domain.

It’s entirely free forever, and all you need is a Google account. Besides, Google takes care of all the technicalities.

Blogger

What can be a dampener, is that there are no ecommerce options.

Nonetheless, you can monetize your blog pages using Google AdSense based on traffic, as well as third-party ad platforms such as Mediavine and AdThrive.

However, if customization is important to you, then this isn’t going to be one of the best blogging platforms on your short list. Blogger does allow you to tweak things to an extent, but it’s fairly limited when compared to some of the other options – particularly WordPress.

πŸ’° Price: Free with a Google account.

Write.as

Write.as is a writing and digital publishing tool anyone can use to create anything, including blog posts.

A distraction-free writing environment and a fast saving editor keeps your focus on writing.

An ad-free environment keeps the readers’ focus on the content.

Best blogging platforms - Write-as

Write.as is built to keep you private by default, no tracking or forced sign ups.

When it comes to blogging, you can use a pen name and different identities for different blogs and writing contexts.

πŸ’° Price: Free account registrations have been closed as of December 31st, 2021. The Pro package start at $6 per month for personal blogs, and include custom themes, newsletters, photo hosting, and up to three blogs. The Team plan costs $25 per month, and includes all Pro features, plus one-time add-ons, and support for multiple users.

Create your blog today! 🎬

That wraps up our collection of the best blogging platforms.

If you want to build a blog that earns money and maybe even turns into a full-time income someday, we recommend building your blog with the open-source WordPress software.

While the setup process is a little more complex than some of these other platforms, it’s still something that a non-technical user can handle.

The upside is that you get full control and ownership of your blog, along with tons of options for marketing and monetization. While all of the best blogging platforms we featured here have their own unique draw, WordPress truly is king if you eventually want to take your blogging to a pro level.

πŸ‘‰ To get started, check out our step-by-step guide on how to make a self-hosted WordPress blog.

On the other hand, if you just want to build a free hobby blog, WordPress.com and Blogger are great 😎 places to start. Or, you can choose Medium if you want access to Medium’s built-in audience.

All the other blogging platforms have something to offer, too, so – depending on your needs – they’re worth considering as well.

Do you still have any questions about about which of these best blogging platforms you should pick for your blog? Let us know in the comments!

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