Looking to start your own blog? Or do you already have one and want to improve/grow it further? Finding a good blogging platform for your specific needs can be challenging. There are a variety of different services available on the internet – free and paid- that you can potentially choose from. In this blog post, I’ll try to simplify the decision-making process for you by comparing a few different platforms and hopefully help you Choose a Blogging Platform.
How to Choose a Blogging Platform
If you’ve done a bit of research or know other bloggers, you’ll probably have heard of WordPress. Most bloggers will even go as far as saying that WordPress is the only platform you should be using if you’re really serious about blogging. However, bloggers – even professional bloggers – are only humans.
However, bloggers – even professional bloggers – are only humans. Therefore, each one will have their own opinions. Each one will also have different needs, requirements, design specifications, and audiences they want to reach. So there is no one-glove-fits-all solution.
You also have to take into account your technical capabilities. If you’re new to blog
ging and don’t have that much experience in coding or computers, a service that deals with all the background code for you will be more suitable. You also need to think about cost, features, support, integrations and ease of use.
A comparison of some of the Blogging Platforms:
Free – but you need your own hosting and domain.
As I mentioned before, WordPress is probably the most popular blogging platform out there. It has over 60 million users and is very popular in the blogging community. There are two versions though, with the first one being WordPress.org. All you need to get started is a domain name and hosting – most hosting providers will have built-in one-click WordPress installation.
- Self Hosting
- Full power to customise and design whatever way you like
- Allows custom plugins and themes
- Most hosting providers have free one-click installation
- Great Support
- Have to buy domain and hosting yourself
- Need to maintain your blog on your own
- Constant updates and backups required
- New bloggers, with little technical experience, may find it hard to work with
Free or you can get the paid version starting from $2.99/month for the basic version and going up to $24.92 for the business version.
WordPress.com is the second version of WordPress. It is a simpler, more easy to use version as compared to WordPress.org, so is ideal for beginners. You can use the interface available on your dashboard once you’ve created an account, to easily customise and design your website whatever way you like. You can make it as simple or as advanced as you want and can think of WordPress.com as a starting point before you’re ready to move on to coding a website yourself.
- Offers hosting and custom domains
- Multiple plans for your budget
- Plugins available for social media, polls, forms etc
- Mobile Friendly
- Paid upgrades available
- Great Support
- No custom themes, plugins, or HTML editing
- Have to pay for extras – custom domain name, third-party embeds
- Strict on affiliate links policy
- Domain names may include “.wordpress.com” unless you buy the paid version
- Ads are placed on free websites – you’ll have to pay to take them off
Price: $12-$18 per month
Squarespace is another platform where bloggers can create websites. You can create a full, professional looking website using their templates and style editor with no programming or technical knowledge required.
- No coding or technical knowledge required
- Easy to use navigate interface
- Drag and drop editor
- Offers e-commerce platforms
- Mobile friendly
- E-commerce integrations cost extras
- Less customisation
- No free plan
- Only available as a hosted offering
- No PayPal integration – only Stripe is used for e-commerce
Free or a paid version that can go up to $25 per month
Wix is another popular platform used by over 90 million users worldwide. They offer an easy to use drag and drop interface with a variety of different templates. You have plenty of options to design your website whatever what you want.
- Beautiful templates with layouts for different industries
- Flexible drag and drop editing
- Offers text and other elements animations
- Third party integrations
- Your template is locked in. That means you can’t change your mind and change the template mid-project
- Wix place ads on websites with the Basic plan
- Lack of customization
Free – all you need is a Gmail account
Blogger is Google’s free blogging tool that you can use you to create up to 100 blogs per account. All you need to do is connect your Gmail account, write a blog post and click publish. Simple as. You can have your very first blog up within hours.
With the speed and simplicity, you’ll likely grow out of the platform very quickly – making it perfect for beginners. You can easily start and then scale up once you’re ready.
- Other Google services are easily integrated – e.g. AdSense Analytics, Google+ etc.
- Simple type-and-publish process
- Easy drag and drop options
- Have to pay for a domain without a .blogspot.com
- Google owns Blogger – so they can take down your blog whenever they want
- Can’t categorise posts
- Can’t self-host
- Limited design options
- Not much support
So there you have it – I have listed some of the main blogging platforms with their Pro’s and Con’s. Picking the right blogging platform will go a long way in ensuring your blog/website is sucessful. This is by no means an exhaustive list and you can find other blogging platforms on the net. However, these are the most popular and for good reason. They all have an easy interface with good user experience. So my advice would be to pick one and get started, especially if you have little or no experience with online blogging.
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