How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform?
Blogging provides us with the possibility to connect with the world on a deeper level with our writing. Whether you’re writing to share your personal passion, connect with people or promote your business, blogging can be the perfect medium to do so. It allows you to expand your reach and show the world who you are and what you do. It’s much more than posting mere articles and pictures. In fact, you can make even more out of it by choosing the platform that fits your requirements the best.
The days when you had to learn HTML and CSS to build a blog are long gone. You don’t have to be a techie to start your blog and to make use of the maximum range of features that a blogger needs. The better platform you choose, the better it will serve you in your endeavor to leave your mark on the world.
Whatever experience level you have, whether you were a blogger before or just looking to start for the very first time, there is something for you in this article. I’ll be explaining what you should consider when you’re choosing a platform and I will show you all the platforms you can choose from as well.
There is something for every blogger out there and it’s important that you choose a platform that you truly enjoy using. Don’t worry; you have plenty more choices than WordPress. You just need to find the one that provides the tools and customization options that will turn your blog into something you love.
You’ll also need to decide whether you’re willing to pay a little to have more simplified tools and more advanced features, or you just want to go on the free route. If you’re ready to learn a little too, there is nothing stopping your from creating an amazing blog for free either.
Things to Consider Before Choosing Blogging Platform
Bloggers are unique people with unique needs, which is why there are so many platforms. Each of these platforms is optimized for specific groups of bloggers in different niches. Some are robust with simple drag and drop features that don’t offer too much freedom, while others are made for the geeky ones, allowing users to customize every inch of the platform.
Also, someone who is only working on their blog to build an email list will need something else. Someone who is looking to sell their products will need something completely different as well. So, before you start, have a plan laid out. Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. The best way to find out which platform suits your needs the best is to look at these things:
- Is it aimed at beginners or experts?
- How much does it cost to customize your blog?
- How much customization and features will your readers demand?
- How much can you scale it? Are there any upgrades?
- Can you host it yourself? Or do you have to keep your blog in someone else’s hands?
The Challenges of Blogging
Creating a blog that appeals to your target audience is a challenging task. You’ll have to have some amazing writing skills, be witty, personable and create an over-all amazing experience for the reader. Learning the art of writing takes a lifetime and there is always something to improve. But a blogger is faced with a lot of other challenges.
People expect to have plenty of organic traffic once they upload a few articles onto their personal websites, but things don’t work like that anymore. Rarely do people take the time to learn all the technical factors of blogging, which is what helps them drive traffic to their website. The art of SEO, Social Media management and Facebook Dark posts all contribute to your blog’s success. So you’ll have to take the time to learn them and use extensions that help you learn and optimize the content of your website, like Yoast SEO.
Using Social Media for Blogging
Along with your blogging platform, you’ll also have to choose the social media platforms you’re going to post on. It’s something you’ll have to make clear right off the bat, because it will be hard to make your blog popular without establishing its presence on social media. Use social media platforms that make most sense for reaching your audience. Once you find it, start engaging with them there and you’ll know how well it works. People aren’t always willing to leave the platform they’re using in order to consume content. To make that happen, you’ll have to be pretty smart about it.
Also, to make it easy to frequently post to social media, choose a platform that has plenty of social media management plugins. They make your job a lot easier to schedule posts and manage multiple social media channels at once. Now let’s see what you need to know and what kind of choices you have!
Best Blogging Platforms to Choose From
There are numerous platforms you can choose from that make building and managing your blog incredibly easy. As you would expect, we can’t really put together a blogging platform list without mentioning WordPress. But there are plenty of other blogging platforms that might suit you. Here we’ll show the most important ones and list their pros and cons too.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and website building platform in the world. About every 4th website is built with it for a reason. It’s incredibly user friendly and has plenty of robust features that make it reliable in the long-term. Both hobby bloggers and professional bloggers use it for these reasons.
I’ve spent over 6 hours to put together this detailed, step-by-step guide on how to build a self-hosted WordPress website. Please consider reading it if you want to build your blog with WordPress.
You can create a blog without spending any money, though you’re much better off if you use a premium WordPress hosting plan and buy a premium theme.
- It’s completely free.
- It’s user friendly and doesn’t require any code to learn.
- It has thousands of themes and plugins.
- It has a supportive community.
- It provides full control over your blog and how you use it.
- You’ll need to buy hosting to make your website fast.
- You’ll always have to make backups of your site.
- Functionality is limited without upgrades.
- You can’t fully customize everything if you don’t know how to code.
Wix is a subscription based, hosted website building platform that allows you to build just about any kind of website you want. It’s a great option for small businesses and individuals as it ensures that you don’t have to hire a developer to build your site. Everything is made simple with drag and drop tools and you don’t have to have any technical knowledge to build some astonishingly well-designed websites. All you have to do is add a blog through the WIX Blog app and you’ll be ready to start typing your posts.
All the webpages you create are supported for al mobile devices without you even have to think about it. It also incorporates the best SEO practices to help your page rank a lot easier. There aren’t many platforms that are as simple as WIX, as you don’t have to update, download or code anything. You just have to register and start using their platform.
Using WIX starts at $8.50 / month and can move up to $24.50 / month, depending on what your individual requirements are.
- You have plenty of apps and themes for customizing your website.
- The simplest drag and drop tools you’ll ever see.
- Set up is seamless and done in minutes.
- The Free account is very limited and will show WIX’s logo and ads on your website.
- Free third-party apps are very limited.
- You can’t change the template you’ve choose. You can only choose once.
- You can only use eCommerce features on premium plans and even those will be very limited.
Blogger is Google’s own blogging platform and it’s made incredibly convenient thanks to all the tools that are available. It has tools like AdSense, Analytics and others embedded into the platform. It doesn’t come close to being as flexible as WordPress, but it’s very good if you’re a hobby blogger or if you’re looking to build your brand without investing money into it. It is a great platform for beginners who don’t have much experience and need a platform to help them learn the ropes of blogging.
Although in my opinion it isn’t the best because it comes with some serious limitations. After using it for a while, it’s easy to feel like your creative freedom is completely restrained by this platform.
- It’s entirely free to use.
- AdSense is integrated into it.
- You have access to the HTML code to customize your website.
- Has a lot less themes compared to WordPress
- You can’t self-host Blogger. You’re completely dependent on Google.
- Your blog’s domain name will have .blogspot.
- Limited to the most basic blogging tools and you can’t add new features.
Tumblr is a free blogging platform that is best suited for micro-bloggers, which is why it stands out among other platforms. It also functions as a social networking site with numerous features that allow you to follow other blogs, re-blog and share content more efficiently.
- It’s free and easy to use.
- Has integrated social media features.
- It’s a great micro-blogging platform, which makes it easy to add videos, GIFs and audio formats to your posts.
- Tumblr isn’t really the place for publishing long-form content.
- Tumblr has numerous themes but they don’t provide additional features.
- It’s difficult to back up your blog or import it to other platforms.
SquareSpace is one of the most commonly used website building platforms for bloggers and artists. It makes it incredibly easy to build simple and sleek websites. You don’t need to code anything or leave SquareSpace’s website for that matter. You can do everything by modifying their professional-looking templates through their style editor. You can use simple drag and drop tools to create a seamless looking blog.
SquareSpace is best for bloggers who like to publish image-based content and business owners who would like to quickly set up a website. It is especially great for those who don’t want to tinker much with code.
- Easy to use without any coding knowledge.
- Offers drag-and-drop tools.
- Offers eCommerce features
- Easy team member management.
- Mobile friendly themes.
- Doesn’t have many custom features.
- No free or trial plans.
- Only SquareSpace can host your website.
- No PayPal integration, only Stripe.
- Less customization than WordPress
Medium is a simple blogging platform that anyone can use. It was made for people to express themselves online. Its creators believe that you have a voice and the right to have it heard by the whole world. Because Medium encourages its users and readers to engage in conversations, a lot of companies have started to use this platform as a marketing tool. Which is why while you read your neighbor’s posts, you’ll likely read a couple from Buffer, Mazda and BMW among others. Otherwise, it’s perfect for sharing personal stories, drama or anything that you would like to talk about with your audience. Medium is supported by a community of bloggers, writers, journalists and other experts, but it has very limited social networking features.
- It’s easy to use without any coding skills.
- It makes it easy to reach an already existing online community with interests similar to yours.
- You can put all your efforts towards writing instead of customizing your website.
- The range of features available is very limited. You might bump into obstacles as you work to design your site or build your brand.
- Your audience is completely in Medium’s hands. If you take your blog from Medium, you won’t have your audience anymore.
- You can’t have your own ads on your blog and make money from it.
Joomla is one of the top three open-source content management systems in the world. It’s a self-hosted solution that offers plenty of flexibility and customization options. You have hundreds of themes and plugins that you can download. All you need is web hosting and a domain name to use it. Once you have installed the system on your server, you’ll be impressed by how user-friendly it is.
You can easily set up your own blog without having any coding knowledge. Of course, understanding a bit of code will provide you with a lot more customization options.
- Joomla is completely free.
- Joomla is powerful and flexible, allowing you to build any kind of blog or website you imagine.
- There are hundreds of plugins and themes you can use to customize your website to your liking.
- You can add numerous extensions or create your own as well.
- Joomla allows you to have complete control over your website and how you use it.
- Joomla’s community is a lot smaller than WordPress’, which is why it has a lot less add-ons, themes and support.
- You only have community support for the platform and it’s hard to find premium support for it, or it’s very costly.
- You have to take full responsibility for your website’s backups, updates and security.
Ghost is a truly minimalist platform that doesn’t have many features for much other than writing blog posts. It’s simply made for writing only and it does that part really well. It offers you full control over your website. All you have to do is install it on your hosting server and host it yourself.
- Completely focused on writing and blogging.
- Has a sleek, clutter-free interface that’s easy to use.
- Ghost is super-fast.
- Isn’t easy to customize.
- More simplicity means more limit as well.
- Doesn’t have many themes to change the design of your website.
- It’s complicated to install it by yourself.
Weebly is a popular website building platform that offers eCommerce and blogging capabilities as well. It’s was created with business owners in mind. Weebly makes it easy for anyone to build a high-quality website without touching even a bit of code or having any previous web development experience. Weebly is the perfect platform for anyone who needs to have both a website and a blog at the same time. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to do anything with coding, since Weebly doesn’t allow access to any of its code.
Check out my quick tutorial on how to setup a Weebly blog in just 3 steps. My readers simply loved this simple guide.
Weebly is best for first-time bloggers and business owners who want to set up a website as quickly as possible.
- Makes it extremely easy to create a website and keep it updated.
- Plenty of drag and drop features and other easy to use tools.
- It has a lot of free themes.
- Offers free web hosting.
- Supports numerous third-party integrations.
- Doesn’t allow too much coding.
- No-self hosting options.
- No free domains.
Once you know what you’re looking for, finding the right blogging platform is a walk in the park. If you have found yours, all you have to do is get your blog set up and start writing. It doesn’t take more than an hour to make that happen with any of these platforms, so go ahead and give one of them a try!
I hope you have enjoyed reading through this article and that we’ll see you again soon in the next one!