If you have been blogging for a while, you must know that a lot has changed in the blogosphere over the past few years.
Blogging platforms have become more powerful than before with the introduction of several features, making it literally a cakewalk to start your own blog.
On some platforms, you can even blog and sell products online simultaneously. This has opened different avenues of earning for every blogger.
Below, I’ll list out five best blogging platforms that are great for anyone looking to start their own blog.
Wix is one of the simplest blogging platforms if you want to get started right away!
It is a great choice for beginners who want to launch their full-fledged website with a blog included.
There is no coding knowledge required to set up your site on Wix. You can simply drag and drop elements to build it.
Wix has numerous templates to offer, which will fit the requirements of most brands with a bit of tweaking here and there.
You can also use Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to set up your site. For this, you need to answer a few questions about the purpose of your blog, and Wix will create a site based on your inputs.
However, if you want to create the site by yourself, Wix ADI can assist you in figuring out which layout will work best for you by letting you preview the design before finalizing it.
With minimal configuration from your end, you can build a professional-looking website in minutes. With the Wix mobile app, you can also design your blog on your mobile device.
Wix comes with handy tools that can increase your engagement with your target audience and help you exchange meaningful conversations in terms of reachability.
Wix offers you:
- Leading SEO tools from the industry
- Social media tools
- Post scheduling
- 500 professionally designed templates
- Embed HTML codes
- Simple image editor
- Advanced Search
- Adding categories and hashtags
Wix offers a lot more than just a blogging platform. If your primary goal is to blog, then a free Wix account is for you.
A free Wix account comes with zero maintenance, as everything is hosted and managed by Wix itself. It works well on small sites and offers 500GB of bandwidth. Your site will have a wixsite.com in the web address if you choose a free Wix account.
A few drawbacks of the platform are the Wix ads, which can be removed if you upgrade to premium. You also get a custom domain name free for the first year when you upgrade to premium. In that case you can consider Wix alternatives.
In general, Wix offers 3 types of premium plans:
- Business & eCommerce, and
The $14 Combo plan works well for personal use, which can go up to the $339 VIP plan. The BIP plan comes with a lot more storage and features to grow your brand.
Additionally, the price includes web hosting that generally costs $10 per month. The business and ecommerce plan starts at $23 per month and allows you to accept payment online. Even for complex sites, the Wix setup process is very simple and user-friendly.
Wix is a great choice for individuals and small businesses. Wix websites come with a 100-page limit, excluding blog posts. Wix also offers enterprise solutions that start at $500 per month.
Wix offers a 14-day free trial of Wix Premium, or you can choose to blog free on the platform for as long as you like.
Squarespace is another useful all-in-one website like Wix. Its aesthetically superior templates make it a great choice for photography and designing websites or any website related to art.
The neat and brilliant brand presentation on Squarespace blogs will make you believe that every website is designed by professionals. In reality, it might be someone’s first website ever.
The best part of using a platform like Squarespace is that any non-technical person can build up a fully functioning website for themselves without the need to hire professional designers or developers.
With a highly responsive customer support system offered by the platform 24×7, you can always ask for any help that you need during your website design and development stage or later on.
Squarespace somehow fits in between what Wix and WordPress have to offer. Squarespace offers a little more customization options than Wix but not as much as WordPress.
You can experiment with different elements of your website without having to preview it after every change. Wix offers you a drag and drop editor, so what you see is what you get. To roundup, Squarespace offers you:
- Free blogging templates
- Built-in post scheduler
- Tags, categories, and featured posts
- SEO and social media tools
- Email marketing tools
- In-depth analytics
- Contributor permissions
- Expert customer support
- Mobile app
Add-ons and third-party extensions available on Squarespace are built into the platform, requiring zero maintenance from your end. It is very easy to add ecommerce features to your Squarespace blog.
Some features like booking appointments and creating and selling members-only content can be set up in minutes using different tools by Squarespace. The Squarespace plan starts at $12 per month for a website and $18 per month for ecommerce.
The personal plan works well for people intending to start their own blog. You can enjoy rich templates, loads of features, and access to different tools and tracking metrics.
The business plan lets you accept online payments securely, take reservations, sell products and services besides using several premium features. Enjoy great features with the business plan sans the maintenance.
As you upgrade to higher plans, you can access more tools to understand your web traffic better and enjoy additional ecommerce functions. No matter what plan you go for, the 24X7 accessibility of Squarespace customer support is something everyone can enjoy.
Squarespace is always working on upgrading its interface and adding new features to the platform. It is an amazing choice for individuals or small businesses looking to set up their own site without professional support. You can try Squarespace for free for 14 days and decide whether to give it a go.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world. It’s free to use and empowers several businesses around the world.
WordPress hosts your site and gives you a subdomain. Due to this, the platform runs its own ads on your site unless you upgrade the plan.
Alternatively, you can download the platform at WordPress.org for free and use it on a site you host yourself. If you choose a WordPress recommended host like Bluehost, the overall price of hosting a WordPress site gets less expensive compared to other hosting platforms.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org concept can be a little confusing for beginners; therefore, we’ll stick to WordPress.com for now.
Start by choosing a theme. There are plenty of free themes available on WordPress to choose from. The theme will work as a template for your entire site. You can add more functionalities to your site; you can opt for several WordPress plugins that will help you with SEO, site security, newsletter subscriptions, and much more.
With WordPress being open-source, an active community is constantly working on bringing new features to the platform. Here are some more reasons why people choose to blog on WordPress:
- More than 50,000 plugins to add more functionality to your site
- Thousands of free and premium themes to choose from
- Advanced user roles and permissions
- A huge community of experts
- Infinite design control
- The Gutenberg block editor
- Strong media management
Wix and Squarespace offer you an all-in-one platform. However, WordPress is a little different; here, the platform is free and you can purchase whatever you need to improve your site functionality. You can choose from several premium plugins and themes of your choice if you don’t want to limit your site to free features.
This is especially beneficial for complex sites that require a lot of add-on features. While the maintenance for such complex sites can be a little difficult, in the end, you’ll have a blog that will be unique from what you get to build on platforms like Wix.
For your day-to-day editing, WordPress works like a charm. The Gutenberg editor has a simple interface that makes it easy to develop, arrange and refine your blog. For anyone with limited technical skills, building a custom blog with rich images and videos is very simple on WordPress.
The cost of using WordPress primarily depends on what you want to do with your site. If you want to stick to blogging only, then you just need to pay for the domain name and hosting. There are already free plugins and themes for you to use, or you can invest in paid options.
If you’re just starting with your blog, I’d recommend opting for a Bluehost shared hosting for WordPress, which starts at $2.95/month. You will get a domain name free for the first year, custom themes, and automatic WordPress updates.
The entire process is quite simple, it takes only a few minutes to set up, and moreover, you get BlueHost to take care of some of the maintenance too.
Most blogging platforms don’t have a built-in audience, which is not the case with Medium. You need to pay a monthly subscription in order to read articles on Medium. Some of this amount goes to the writers who contribute to the site.
If you join the Medium partner program, which is free and contributes to the platform, it can help you earn money if people spend time reading your blog. You can write on any topic and discover what other writers/bloggers in your niche are writing about. When you join the partner program, people who read similar types of articles will see yours too.
It’s not entirely clear how Medium curates your content for the audience, which can be a downside for bloggers not getting enough traction on the platform. However, Medium does provide useful data about visitors to help you understand how traffic is coming to your content.
With Medium, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and hosting. This is a huge benefit for bloggers who want to focus on their writing solely. If you aren’t too keen on the profit-making scene, then Medium is your best platform to blog.
Medium offers you enough design options but not as much as platforms like Squarespace. You can play with the font and layout of your blog and not worry about unnecessary ads blocking your flow.
With Medium, you can enjoy perfectly formatted and responsive blog posts without much hard work, making it a stress-free blogging platform. Medium gives you a curated audience for free and lets you share your posts on social media too.
Since you can enjoy all these features on medium without spending a penny, you can start blogging on Medium anytime and try earning from it as well.
Blogger is a great platform for casual blogging. It is owned by Google and has the same simplified interface as Gmail or Chrome. It is a free platform and offers you your own subdomain. Your web address will look something like example.blogspot.com.
Setting up your blogger account takes only a few minutes and you don’t have to worry about the hosting, file storage, and other technical issues related to the blogging platform. If you are planning to create a branded blog and get rid of the Blogspot subdomain, purchase your own custom domain from a trusted registrar.
I believe that this platform is one of the best when it comes to personal blogging. If you want to use this platform for business blogging, it might not be an ideal choice due to its limited features. Of course, you can tweak here and there, but you cannot expect to customize end to end.
You don’t have an ecommerce option on this platform when compared to other blogging platforms. Also, the diversity offered by WordPress is much more when compared to this platform.
However, you can monetize your blogger page quite easily using Google Adsense. You need to fill up a form with your details and payment information, after which Blogger will run relevant ads on your blog and pay you depending on the number of people visiting it.
This revenue is not great, especially if you are hoping to make it your primary source of income. However, still, a little revenue does not harm anyone. Overall. Blogger is packed with essential features like:
- Google integrations
- Google Adsense
- Image storage with Google Photos
- Simple text editor
- Free SSL certification and domain mapping
Blogger is a stress-free blogging platform and is ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy storytelling on a digital platform without spending too much time or resources. If you aren’t too particular about your blog aesthetics, then Blogger is definitely worth a try.
Unlike Wix and WordPress, you won’t be able to curate unique experiences for your audience through features like dynamic pages and interactive content. Blogger templates are monotonous and nearly all blogs on this platform look identical. If that doesn’t bother you, you are good to go.
Blogger is one the cheapest ways to start blogging and that too in a traditional blog format. If you are only looking at sharing your experiences through blogging, this platform is what you should be looking for.
What Features Should A Good Blogging Platform Have?
You can choose a blogging platform to meet any of these two basic requirements:
- Traditional blogging sites
- Website builders with blogging capability
Depending on your need, either of these two types of platforms will make more sense to you.
If you are looking for a low-maintenance option to share your story or advocate for a cause, a traditional blogging platform is preferable.
Website builders offer a lot more than traditional blogging platforms. They have endless features to offer, some of which come with a price. Now, there are several website builders available in the market, but the one you should ideally go for depends on certain factors.
Let me walk you through the major criteria I keep in mind when I want to weigh different options.
Cost & Revenue
For some bloggers, earning through blogging might not be their primary source of income. If you don’t depend on your blog income for a living then platforms like Medium and Blogger are a good choice.
Both of these platforms are free to use and they don’t need you to worry about paying for your site hosting, web designing, or keeping your blog available online. Everything is handled by the providers.
Wix and WordPress also offer their free versions, but with Medium and Blogger, you don’t have to run third-party ads on your site. In fact, Blogger lets you run ads and keep the money to yourself.
Medium offers a partner program that helps you earn money if people read your blog posts. Joining the partner program is absolutely free and requires no effort to get your posts to the new readers who might be interested in your blogging niche.
If you are blogging for business and earning money through it is one of your primary goals, I’ll recommend platforms like Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace. The premium features of these platforms aren’t free but the scope offered is endless.
These platforms allow you to sell your products and services and provide content after putting it behind a membership paywall. The free versions of these platforms don’t provide ecommerce facilities, nevertheless, they still give you a certain scope of income.
To put it simply, the more features you want to add to your site, the more it will cost you. To decide between the paid platforms I mentioned above, look at how they offer their services. Choose the one that has a better pricing option for your needs.
For example, Wix offers you an all-in-one plan that has everything to get your site up and running. You can choose plans that cater to simple blogs to ecommerce sites based on your requirements.
WordPress is, however, free to download. You need to pay for the hosting. Wix and Squarespace provide hosting as a part of their plans by including its price in the total package.
You’ll notice that getting hosting separately will be much more value for money than getting it as a part of a bundled package. With WordPress, you have the freedom to choose plugins and themes of your choice and pay for what you get, instead of opting for a package where you might not require all that is being offered.
Another thing to consider is the number of photos, videos, and graphics your site will have. If your site needs resource-intensive features that automatically disqualify you for any entry-level plans that these platforms may offer.
If you still go for such plans, eventually it will affect your site loading time when the traffic increases.
Branding & Customization
If your blog is a part of your brand, there are some serious considerations that you need to take into account. Going for any free options that the blogging platforms offer might limit your complete control on the branding part.
Wix and WordPress offer their freemium plans by running their own ads on your site. You cannot control what ads they run on your site and neither can you earn any revenue from such ads. Now, this shouldn’t be an issue for someone blogging for a hobby, but when it comes to a business blog, no way!
Blogger and Medium don’t run ads, so if you want a platform to promote your business through blogging, start with any of these two. To build your brand, you also need your own domain name. Free blogs will only give you a subdomain with the company name in your web address. For example, any site on Blogger will have the address atyourusername.blogspot.com.
You can buy your own domain name if you want to create a professional site. This also helps search engines to redirect the right people to your site. Wix and Squarespace offer a free domain name for a year so that’s 365 days of not looking for any other hosting providers.
Signing up for WordPress with Bluehost hosting will also give you a free domain name for a year. It starts at less than $3 a month which according to me is a steal deal.
Blogger and Medium offer useful tools to create, organize and share posts. The premium blogging platforms give you a lot of control and flexibility allowing you to completely customize your blog according to your brand.
For new users, Wix is great, since you have to drag and drop everything you’d like to include in your site layout. Squarespace is also great in terms of design. It might be a little more complex than Wix for first-time users, but it offers great control over how your blog looks.
However, if you want the freedom to create, choose WordPress over other platforms any day.
How much time can you spend on your blog’s upkeeping? This is one question many bloggers, as well as businesses, fail to ask themselves before starting a blog.
Those who want a hands-off blog experience are going to like Medium and Blogger. Besides publishing your posts on these platforms, you don’t have to think about any maintenance.
Wix and Squarespace are also close by when it comes to hands-off in terms of blog maintenance. These platforms will host your blog, manage SSL certificates, take care of anything related to site security and backend work.
With WordPress, you have to update the plugins and themes you use from time to time. When you get WordPress with Bluehost hosting, it reduces the headache about hosting your site and also gives you the benefit of enjoying a year of a free domain name. Bluehost will take care of basic maintenance for your WordPress site.
Tools for Growing Your Audience
One of the key reasons I recommended these five blogging platforms is because they all make it easier for you to connect with your audience.
Free platforms like Blogger too analyze your site traffic and let you know how visitors arrived on your site. Connect Google Analytics to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening.
Medium has a built-in audience of paid readers. When you join the Medium partner program, the platform will curate content for readers who are interested in topics similar to your niche. Additionally, sharing your posts from Medium on social media is also fairly easy.
If you go with the premium features of any platform, the quality, and variety of your growth feature increase accordingly. Squarespace offers free email campaign tools to help you build your list. You can even add on premium email marketing tools to automate the process of sending emails to thousands of customers.
With Wix, you can monitor your blog performance on the dashboard. There are integrations with Google Analytics and UberSuggest, which could help you understand how to improve SEO on your blog and get more traffic.
With WordPress, you can use different plugins to get a better knowledge of your target audience and boost traffic to your website. The bottom line is that you cannot write blogs and automatically expect people to figure them out. To increase your traffic, you need to combine different techniques like social media and other channels.
WordPress VS. Blogspot VS. Medium Vs. Wix Vs. Squarespace: Which is Better for SEO?
From an SEO point of view, some blogging platforms offer better opportunities for optimization than others. If you run a business, your blogging activities should be able to bring in traffic and revenue to your site, which is not possible unless you optimize your blog content with SEO.
To begin with, Medium is not that great for SEO. It has a high domain authority, which allows some users to see a rise in their traffic by publishing their blogs on Medium. But with Medium, you cannot implement structured metadata or have an advanced analytics tool. However, if you choose to blog on WordPress, you can use multiple plugins that can improve the SEO of your site. Tools like Yoast SEO and Monster Insights are very useful in helping people with limited SEO knowledge to optimize their website to rank high on Google.
Blogspot also offers SEO opportunities to users, but it is limited compared to WordPress. If you want to earn money, then Blogger might not be an ideal choice for you. With Blogger, you can utilize limited features only, and as a result, you can have limited control over online visibility as well.
Squarespace is an excellent website builder for templates and design, however, when it comes to SEO, it isn’t quite well-heard of. The SEO tools offered by Squarespace are very helpful for someone with prior SEO knowledge. When used wisely, the range of SEO tools offered by this platform can really spike your website traffic and help you rank on Google’s top page.
Wix was long known to be not the best platform for SEO. However, if you look closely, the platform isn’t entirely bad when it comes to SEO, although there are several important features that this platform might not offer when compared to platforms like WordPress. Wix offers fast indexing and easy connection set up with Google Search Console. However, the Wix page builder leads to excessive code bloating at times leading to slow loading time.
Blogging Platform FAQs
What are some of the best blogging platforms?
Squarespace, Blogger, WordPress, Wix, and Medium.
What blogging platform features should I consider?
Consider the ease of use, platform security, customer support, plugins, and any other specific feature that you are looking for.
How do I design my blog?
Most blogging platforms offer ready-to-use and customizable templates, themes, and designs that you can choose from the backend in the CMS and use according to your brand requirements.
Do all blogging platforms have SEO?
Most blogging platforms have plugins that help you with your site SEO. However, basic SEO knowledge is also helpful when you’re blogging.
If you are still confused regarding the best blogging platform for your business, I recommend visiting the platforms mentioned below and reading their blogs to understand the features they offer in detail.
Here’s my final take on each of these blog platforms:
- Wix – Best for launching a functional blog without much technical expertise
- Squarespace – Best for professional-looking blogs with stunning designs.
- WordPress – Best for creating a highly customizable and unique blog
- Medium – Best for reaching readers with minimal effort
- Blogger – Best for personal blogging/ writing for a hobby
What’s your go-to blogging platform and why? Let us know in the comments.