12 Best Blogging Platforms for Beginners Compared (2018)

12 Best Blogging Platforms for Beginners Compared (2018)

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Looking for the best blogging platform to start your new blog? It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different blogging platforms available in the market.

In this article, we’ll show you 12 different blogging platforms for beginners and also help you decide the best one that fit your blogging needs.

Here are the blogging platforms we’ll be comparing in this article.

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Wix
  3. WordPress.com
  4. Blogger
  5. Tumblr
  6. Medium
  7. Squarespace
  8. Joomla
  9. Ghost
  10. Weebly
  11. LiveJournal
  12. Typepad

Choosing the Best Blogging Platform – What to Look For?

Not every blogging platform is created equal. Just because a platform is popular, doesn’t always mean that it’s the best choice for your unique needs.

Before you dive in to choose a blogging platform, below are a few factors you need to consider.

Examine Your Purpose:

Understand why you want to create a blog. Below are a few reasons why people start a blog.

  • Demonstrate authority
  • Make money blogging
  • Write a journal

Once you understand the purpose, double check whether your blogging platform of choice helps you fulfill it.

Ease of use:

Ease of use is another important factor you need to consider while choosing a blogging platform. If the interface is not convenient, you’ll be spending a lot of hours figuring out how to get things done.

Monetization:

WordPress.com, for example, doesn’t allow you to monetize your blog with Google AdSense or affiliate marketing. That means if your goal is to make money blogging, then you might want to double check if your blogging platform allows you to make money the way you want.

1. WordPress.org

wordpress.org
WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress, is the most popular blogging platform in existence.

While WordPress.org was originally built as a blogging platform, it’s now transformed into a fully fledged content management system. With self-hosted WordPress, you can create any type of websites including eCommerce store, forums, niche social network, and so on.

To be able to start a blog with WordPress.org, you’ll have to own a domain name and web hosting, and then install WordPress on your web host.

Note: It’s easy to get confused WordPress.org with WordPress.com, so we recommend you to check out the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Pros:

  • It gives you full control over your blog.
  • You can easily customize the look of your blog with free or premium WordPress themes.
  • You can also enhance the capabilities of your blog with WordPress plugins.

Cons:

  • Managing your own blog comes with a bit of a learning curve.
  • To start a blog, you need a budget for a domain name and web hosting.
  • Need to manage security and backup yourself.

Bottom line:

WordPress is a free software, but you’ll have to purchase a domain name ($14.99 per year) and web hosting ($7.99 per month) to start a WordPress blog. Because the combined cost of both the domain and hosting can seem like quite a lot, we’ve worked out a deal with Bluehost for IsItWP users. You’ll get a free domain name, free SSL and over 60% off on WordPress hosting.

Start a self-hosted WordPress blog today with Bluehost!

2. Wix

wix logo

Wix is a drag and drop builder that lets you create any type of websites including blog, business website, eCommerce store, etc. You get hundreds of beautiful templates to build a Wix website. You can integrate a blog into your website via the Blog app. With the free plan, you’ll be given 500 MB storage and 1 GB bandwidth. If you want to remove the Wix branding, add Google Analytics tracking and use your own domain, then you’ll have to purchase a premium plan.

Pros:

  • Create a website the way you want with the drag and drop builder and hundreds of free templates.
  • You get a mobile-optimized site that looks great on all devices.
  • With a premium plan, you can enhance the functionalities of your website such as eCommerce storefront integration.

Cons:

  • Your website will display Wix branded ads unless you upgrade to a paid version.
  • Wix is best suited for beginner level users to build basic websites.
  • Only a few third-party integrations are available.

Bottom line:

If you’re looking for a drag and drop builder to build a basic website or a blog, then Wix might be the right choice.

Get started with Wix today!

3. WordPress.com

wordpress.com blogging platform

If you want to start a free blog with WordPress, then you might want to choose WordPress.com.

WordPress.com is a free blog hosting platform managed by the same folks behind WordPress.org. With WordPress.com, you can start a free blog and upgrade your subscription with options like a custom domain name, additional storage and more.

Pros:

  • No setup required
  • No budget required
  • No need to manage security and backup yourself.

Cons:

  • You can’t monetize your free blog with Google AdSense.
  • To add a custom domain name that your visitors can easily remember, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium plan.
  • Switching to another blogging platform can be expensive because you’ll have to pay for site redirection even after switching.

Bottom line:

The free WordPress.com comes with a lot of limitations such as limited storage, not allowing a custom domain and plugins, etc.

If you’re serious about blogging, we highly recommend you to choose WordPress.org instead of WordPress.com.

Get started with WordPress.com today!

4. Blogger.com

Blogger.com blogging platform

Blogger.com is a free blogging platform by Google. Similar to WordPress.com, you can easily create a new blog on Blogger without having to spend a dime. Plus, you can monetize your free blog with AdSense, affiliate marketing, etc.

Pros:

  • Easy setup and no budget required to start a blog
  • Unlike WordPress.com, you can use a custom domain without having to pay a subscription fee to Blogger
  • Monetize your blog the way you want.

Cons:

  • Customization is limited
  • You can’t add enhanced functionalities like eCommerce store to your blog
  • According to Blogger’s Terms of Service, they can suspend your blog anytime without prior notice.

Bottom line:

If you want to get started with a free blog, Blogger.com might be a good option. However, it’s not a reliable platform since they can suspend your blog without any prior notice.

Get started with Blogger today!

5. Tumblr

Tumblr logo

Tumblr is a combination of blogging, microblogging and social networking tool that lets you effortlessly share anything on the web, including photos, quotes, etc. It’s probably the most easy-to-use blogging platform in existence. Tumblr appears to have a younger user demographic in comparison with other social networks. Currently, it hosts over 417 million blogs.

Pros:

  • The easiest free blogging platform in existence.
  • It has an integrated social media component.
  • Unlike other social media sites, Tumblr gives you the ability to heavily customize your own page.

Cons:

  • Compared to other blogging platforms, Tumblr comes with a limited set of features.
  • While you can choose from an extensive collection of Tumblr themes, you don’t have control over formatting similar to other platforms like WordPress.org.
  • Exporting your site to another platform can be quite difficult.

Bottom line:

Tumblr is perfect for you if you don’t want to publish lengthy blog posts. It’s a great tool to publish quick multimedia posts and connect with a larger likeminded community.

Get started with Tumblr today!

6. Medium

medium logo

Medium is an online publishing platform launched in August 2012. It also lets you follow, read and interact with the stories that matter most to you. Medium has a great built-in tool to import content from anywhere on the web and share it with your followers.

Pros:

  • Medium is an easy-to-use publishing platform that doesn’t require any setup.
  • With Medium, you can focus on what you’re really good at—writing. You can count on the platform for everything else, including the design.
  • It comes with a powerful reporting tool that helps you understand how your readers engage with your content.

Cons:

  • No monetization is allowed
  • Limited control over your content
  • Limited features are provided compared to other platforms

Bottom line:

Medium is a great tool to syndicate content that you publish anywhere on the web. The best thing is that with minimal effort, you get a good amount of traction from your ideal audience.

Get started with Medium today!

7. Squarespace

squarespace logo

Squarespace is another website builder that lets you create a stunning website without any coding skills. Squarespace enables you to choose from dozens of site templates for your website. Each template comes with hundreds of customizable features. With an annual Squarespace subscription, you can even waive off the domain name registration fee.

Pros:

  • It’s a nice platform to easily build a basic website.
  • It also allows you to easily integrate an eCommerce storefront into your site.
  • You can choose from an extensive collection of highly customizable site templates.
  • No transaction fee is charged for eCommerce transactions.

Cons:

  • Unlike other site builders such as Wix.com, Squarespace doesn’t allow you to build a free website.
  • Limited marketing tools are available.
  • No third-party apps and extensions are allowed.

Bottom line:

If you need an all-in-one platform that lets you build a basic website without touching any code, Squarespace might be a good option. Since all necessary tools come out of the box, you don’t have to pay extra for templates, addons or any other services.

Get started with Squarespace today!

8. Joomla

joomla logo

Joomla is yet another open source content management system that enables you to easily publish a blog or a website. To be able to run a Joomla powered site, you’ll have to purchase a domain name, web hosting and then install Joomla on your web hosting server.

Pros:

  • It has complex site development options than WordPress.
  • Several eCommerce extensions are available that let you integrate a storefront into your website.
  • The learning curve for developers is fairly low with Joomla.

Cons:

  • The interface looks bloated with too many tools.
  • It’s a resource-heavy application, so you may run out of server resources quickly with Joomla.
  • Joomla’s marketplace is not as extensive as WordPress.

Bottom line:

Joomla is often considered to be superior to WordPress because of its advanced features. However, the main drawback is that you’ll end up spending more money for building and maintaining a Joomla website. The Joomla community is not as large as WordPress. Plus, the interface is much bloated compared to WordPress.

If you use SiteGround, then you can get started for $3.95 per month, and you will get a free domain.

Start a Joomla blog with SiteGround today!

9. Ghost

Ghost Logo

Ghost is a minimalist blogging platform that makes it extremely easy to start a blog and publish content. It is designed to simplify blogging for both individual bloggers and online publications. Just like WordPress, Ghost is also available in both hosted and self-hosted platforms.

Pros:

  • Clean, clutter free and easy-to-use interface
  • Built-in SEO and distribution tools
  • No setup required for the hosted version

Cons:

  • Self-hosted version works best on VPS servers and above
  • Compared to WordPress, running cost will be high.
  • Only limited themes and plugins are available in the marketplace

Bottom line

Ghost is best suited for bloggers and publications that need seamless authoring experience, so they can focus entirely on the content being created.

If you’re looking to build an entry-level website with a limited budget, Ghost might not be the right solution. Unlike WordPress, you won’t be able to install Ghost on a shared hosting environment. For the best experience, it’s advised to install Ghost on VPS hosting and above.

Get started with Ghost today!

10. Weebly

weebly logo

Weebly lets you quickly build a website the way you want with its easy-to-use drag and drop builder. You can add a blog and even integrate an eCommerce storefront into your Weebly website.

Pros:

  • A free plan is available that lets you start a basic website on Weebly.com subdomain.
  • All plans come with free SSL.
  • You can easily start and grow your email list with Weebly Promote.

Cons:

  • Exporting Weebly to another platform is difficult.
  • Limited integration with third-party platforms.
  • Limited built-in features to create a website.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a platform that lets you quickly build a blog or a website with drag and drop, then you might want to give Weebly a try.

Get started with Weebly today!

11. LiveJournal

livejournal logo

LiveJournal is a social network where you users can keep a blog, journal and connect with likeminded people. If you need more robust features like polls and image uploads on your free LiveJournal blog, then you might consider upgrading to a paid plan.

Pros:

  • It’s a combination of blogging and social media tools
  • Aside from blogging, users can send and receive private messages, join communities, befriend other users, etc.
  • Available in many languages

Cons:

  • LiveJournal ads will be shown in free blogs
  • Unlike other platforms, you can’t find professional templates
  • Not suited for business and professional blogging

Bottom line:

LiveJournal has fallen out of favor today. It lets you create only a basic blog with limited functionalities.

Get started with LiveJournal today!

12. Typepad

typepad logo

Typepad is a blogging service owned by Endurance International Group. Unlike other blogging platforms, you’ll have to subscribe to a premium plan in order to run a Typepad blog. With Typepad, you get full control over content monetization, unlimited storage and personal support.

Pros:

  • Thousands of templates are available to customize your blog’s design
  • Easy integration with Google Analytics
  • Built-in tools for search and social discovery

Cons:

  • Since Typepad is a hosted platform, it offers limited customization.
  • The entire platform was down for 6 days in April 2014 due to a DDoS attack, which has raised questions about its reliability.
  • It’s a 100% blogging platform, meaning you won’t be able to add enhanced features like eCommerce storefront with your Typepad blog.

Bottom line:

If you want to build a blog on a hosted blogging platform, then you might want to give Typepad a try. Compared to WordPress.org, it offers limited themes, customization and other features.
Get started with Typepad today!

The Best Blogging Platform- Our Pick

If you’re serious about blogging, then we strongly recommend you to use self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org). It comes with a complete set of tools to get your blog up and running. You can easily enhance its features by installing the right set of WordPress plugins on your blog.

We hope this article helped you find the best blogging platform for beginners.

If you liked this article, you may also check out how to start a blog, step by step.

The post 12 Best Blogging Platforms for Beginners Compared (2018) appeared first on IsItWP – WordPress Technology Lookup Tool.

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