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Best Blogging Platform: Free and Paid [ 2018 ]

If you are looking for the best blogging platform for personal blog or professional,
you are in the right place…

…because this article contains information about the best blogging platforms available for free as well as paid.

final proof GIF

With Proof…yes, with proof.

Blogging sites have come a long way in recent years,
Day by day it’s becoming easier than ever to create a blog within no matter of time and with professional-looking.

And there are many Blogging platforms that make our life easier, such as…

WordPressBlogger, and more…

But, before knowing more about these, let’s first know…

What are Blogging Platform?

blogging platform is a software or service that you use to publish your content onto the internet in the form of a blog.
Nowadays, these platforms are not limited to Blogging, these are continuously evolving and are useful in creating a Personal Blogs to Professional Websites.

Now:

As we know there are many of them outside,

What should be the checklist for selection?

Before going in detailed information about the different free and paid blogging platforms available, let’s find out what kind of platform you’re looking for and what you should look before choosing one for self:

  • Ease to use

As a beginner, you might want a blogging platform that’s really easy to set up or doesn’t require professional coding skills.
And always make sure that whichever platform you choose for your blog or website, does it makes problems easier to solve or rises more and more problems for you.

  • Gives space to stretch wings

As your blog grows in the future, you might decide to bring certain changes to your blog. So, you need a platform which gives you room to grow.
There are many blogging platforms out there which do lets you initialize you for free but later on restrict you for certain things to use…

  • Let’s you to have some change

Getting started with the wrong platform can make it very difficult to switch on later.
Initially, if you start with any platform and if later on, you might think that this platform ain’t for you then,
that platform should allow you to make that change.

  • Gives an opportunity to earn

You might think of to monetize your blog.

There are platforms which do not allow their users to monetize their work…
That’s really crappy.

It’s smart to make sure that the chose a platform that allows you to do so.

  • Should not advertise on your work

There are many blogging platforms which give you free access to their feature but instead advertise their own product.
These blogs many time looks scammy blog as there are many unfit advertisements on platforms.
Be smart and check that is this company going to use my work for their profit…

So this is the basic checklist you should always consider it while choosing Blogging platforms for your blog or website.
And do write in the comment box if I have forgotten an important one on this checklist.

Now:

It’s the TIME, it’s the time to hunt down the Best one…

Let’s find out the best blogging platform that can fulfill our requirements… Let’s see,…

1). WordPress.org ( Free )

Wordpress.org Image
WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the world’s most popular blogging platform and even used for multi-purposes.

(Note: Many others easily get confused between WordPress.org and wordpress.com, which is a blog hosting service next on our list.)

WordPress.org is an open source software platform which allows you to build your blog/website on your own.

It is a self-hosted solution, which means you will require Hosting from others or sign up with WordPress.com.

If you want to know more about Web-Hosting and which one to choose, read our article on Best Web Hosting.

Specifications:

  • Price:- $0
  • Hosting included:- No, you need hosting from other hosting providers in the business.
  • Domain included:- No, you have to buy your own domain from other service providers.
  • Any prior skills required? Ease Of Use:- No, there is no skill requirements in Coding or anything. If you want something extended on your blog, go for plugins. But basic knowledge of designing is highly preferred.
  • Designs available:- A load. There are 10000+ themes in the official directory at WordPress.org for free. Plus, there are 100+ theme stores/themes houses that offer tons of custom designs.
  • Plugins and extensions:- WordPress offers extreme extensibility. Again, there are 1,250,000,000+ plugins and counting on in the official directory, and who knows how many more available throughout the web.

PROs

  • You can grow your blog and add extra features like forums, online store, membership options to it and many more
  • WordPress.org gives you full control of your blog/website.
  • WordPress blogs/websites are search engine friendly.
  • There are thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress, allows you to create a beautiful website that makes your blog look unique in the crowd.
  • You can access 45,000+ free plugins. These plugins are like apps for your WordPress blog, allowing you to add all kinds of new features.

CONs

  • There is still some basic technical knowledge required.
  • You have to manage your own backups and security.

Who’s WordPress.org perfect for?

  • Bloggers who want to make their blog a part of their profession.
  • Professional bloggers.
  • Bloggers who want to earn money from their blog.
  • Hobby bloggers who wish to have full control over their blog/website.

Due to WordPress’ extreme customization possibilities, it’s the perfect choice if you want to build a professional blog as well as for personal interests.

With self-hosted WordPress, you get more control over your work.and the way it looks and performs.

2). WordPress.com (Free and Paid)

Wordpress.com Image
WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a blog hosting service offered by Automatic, an international company created by WordPress.com.

It offers a basic free blog hosting serviceYou need to purchase additional options like domain name, extra storage and many other premium services.

Specifications:

  • Price:- 4 plans available:
    $0 – great for basic blogging,
    $4 /month – Best for Personal Use,
    $8 /month – Best for Entrepreneurs & Freelancers,
    $25 /month – Best for Small Business.
  • Hosting included? Yes, you get your site hosted for no additional payments.
  • Do you get your own domain? By default, you are offered a subdomain from WordPress.com, like example.wordpress.com. You can add your own domain as well(doing so on the free plan costs $18 / year; for paid plans a custom domain is included).
  • Any prior skills requiredEase of use:- Much easier to use than the self-hosted version of WordPress, but you need to go through the blog startup guide for better functioning.
  • Designs available? There are a couple of hundreds of themes to choose from, and if you opt for one of the premium plans, you also get the opportunity to customize the design you’re using. But it does not offer that much design options at WordPress.org.
  • Plugins and extensions: Popular features like sharing, stats, comments, and polls are included, but option to install third-party plugins is only available with a Business plan ($25/month).

PROs

  • No setup required.
  • Easy to use and manage.

CONs

  • handful of options to extend your site.
  • You cannot run advertisements on your blog.
  • You do not own your blog and you can get suspended if they find you violating their terms of services.

Who’s wordpress.com perfect for?

  • Hobby bloggers.
  • Bloggers want to start their blog with no investment.
  • Professional bloggers.

Overall:

WordPress.com is a simplified version of self-hosted WordPress.
It delivers all of the most essential features but also leaves a big chunk of them out.

If you just care only about blogging and don’t want to have custom features on your blog, then WordPress.com is a great choice.

3). Wix (Freemium)

wix.com Image
Wix.com

Wix is a hosted platform to build websites. It offers the easiest way to build a website by just simply drag and drop tools.

You can add a blog to your website by adding the Wix Blog app.

Specifications:

  • Price. Subscription-based, $0-$18 / month.
  • Hosting included? Yes.
  • Do you get your own domain? By default, you are offered a subdomain like example.wix.com and if you want your domain, you can add a custom domain that you already own.
  • Any prior skills required? Ease of use:- Wix have a really simple process of creating a blog/ website as it uses Drag and Drops feature. And it has really best ADI feature.
  • Designs available? 500+ designs available.
  • Plugins and extensions: There are only a few numbers of essential site management features which are built-in, and other than that, you can also stretch your blog or website using Wix App Market.

PROs

  • Build your blog/site with easy drag and drop tools where no coding skills required.
  • You can easily customize your blog using dozens of templates and third-party apps.
  • Setup is simple, quick and easy.

CONs

  • Once you choose a template you cannot change it later.
  • The free account is limited and Wix brands itself by showing its ads on your site.
  • Third party apps( free ones) are limited.
  • E-commerce features are even limited for paid plans.

It suits best for?

  • Business owners who want great-looking and well-optimized websites and a blog to go alongside.
  • Users who do not have any coding knowledge and want their blog to build their blog from scratch as per their facility.
  • It works great with artists, musicians, photographers, creatives in general who want to showcase their work in an effective manner using a blog or website.

Wix Website Builder is an interesting game, especially for users who don’t want to invest in their blog/website.

So if what you want most of all is a blog, then I would recommend you to go for the free plan and try out and then later on, if you wish to move for premium ones.

4). Blogger (Free)

Blogger.com Image
Blogger.com

Blogger is a free hosting service by Google mainly created for bloggers.

It offers a quick and easy way to create a blog for non-tech users.

Specifications:

  • Price. $0.
  • Hosting included? Yes, Blogger hosts your blog without any additional payment.
  • Do you get your own domain? By default, you are provided with a subdomain from Blogger, like example.blogspot.com. You can add your custom domain too, but you have to acquire it separately.
  • Any prior skills required? Ease of use:– Blogger is an easy to use platform along with easy to establish, but when compared with WordPress, Wix or Medium, it seems to look outdated. No skills required to start a blog on Blogger.
  • Designs available? There are no design choices available from Blogger except a standard layout editor(content/sidebar). Other than that, there’s not much you can do for designing of your blog.
  • Plugins and extensions. No additional plugins available.

PROs

  • Blogger is free.
  • It has the added advantage of Google’s robust secure platform and reliability.
  • It’s easy to use and manage without any technical skills.

CONs

  • You’re limited to basic blogging tools and can’t add new features as your blog grows.
  • Design options are limited, with fewer templates available. Third-party templates for Blogger are often of low quality.
  • Blogger does not receive frequent updates or new features.
  • Google can suspend your blog at any time, or even cancel the Blogger service altogether(It does have a history of abandoning projects without warning, such as Feedburner).

Who’s Blogger perfect for?

  • Hobby bloggers and personal blogs.

Blogger could have been considered a huge hit 10 years ago, but right now it’s a shadow of its former self.

As per my thinking, it is still running only because of Google’s fame. Otherwise, it’s of no use.

I would not recommend using it for anything other than personal blogs.

5).Tumblr (Free)

tumblr.com image
Tumblr.com

Tumblr is a bit different from other blogging platforms.

It is a microblogging platform with social networking featuresincluding following other blogs, reblogging, built-in sharing tools and many more.

Specifications:

  • Price. $0.
  • Hosting included? Yes, Tumblr hosts your blog with no additional payment.
  • Do you get your own domain? By default, you are provided with a subdomain from Tumblr, like example.tumblr.com. You can have your own custom domain too, but you need to get the domain from other service providers.
  • Any prior skills required? Ease of use:- No skills required at all to start and run a blog using Tumblr. The interface is the most user-friendly one of all the blogging platforms. Its blogs are easy to set up as well as run afterwards.
  • Designs available? It has a lot of designs you can choose from, though many of them are paid ones.
  • Plugins and extensions. None.

PROs

  • Tumblr is free and easy to use.
  • It has an integrated component for social media.
  • For microblogging, Tumblr makes it easy and quick to blog videos, GIFs, images, and audio formats.

CONs

  • It does not support the Users to extend their blog as they grow.
  • They offer many themes, but they don’t offer additional features.
  • Backing up your Tumblr blog or importing it to other platforms is difficult.

Who’s Tumblr perfect for?

  • Hobby bloggers.
  • Blogs publishing different types of content (quotes, posts, images, videos, etc.)
  • One-topic blogs.
  • Microblogs.

Tumblr will work fine if you’re not planning to turn your blog into a professional page/blog, or if you don’t want any advanced features and extensions.

You can have a custom domain(purchased from other Domain providers) for your Tumblr blog, and there are also third-party themes and apps available to purchase.

6). Squarespace (Paid)

SquareSpace.com

Squarespace is a website building platform which allows you to create a stunning website using its simple drag and drop tools.

It mainly focuses on small business owners who are looking for an easy way to create their online presence.

Specifications:

  • Price. Subscription-based, $12-$26 / month.
  • Hosting included? Yes.
  • Do you get your own domain? Yes, you get a custom domain with your Subscription.
  • Any prior skills required? Ease of use: Squarespace is very much easy to use, even for first time experience of building a website or blog. Their custom LayoutEngine lets you do whatever you want to do with your blog content however you like through drag-and-drop.
  • Designs available? A number of great-looking and modern designs available to choose from. Squarespace moves with time and trend and stays on top of what’s popular design-wise.
  • Plugins and extensions. A range of the important features built-in from the get-go, and there are external plugins available through another site.

PROs

  • Squarespace is very simple to use, even for beginners who don’t have any experience with coding.
  • Squarespace is very simple to use, even for beginners who don’t have any experience with coding.
  • It allows you to choose from beautiful professionally designed templates.
  • It separately does offers domain names with SSL/HTTPs and also supports eCommerce stores.

CONs

  • Squarespace is limited to the features.
  • The Personal plan has limits of 20 pages, a blog, and 2 contributors.
  • Integrations are much limited to a select few services and tools.

Who’s it perfect for?

  • Small and Large Business owners who need a great-looking and optimized website, along with a blog.
  • It works great with artists, musicians, photographers, creatives in general who want to showcase their work in an effective manner using a blog or website.
  • Users with no design skills and want to build a blog from scratch on their own.

Overall:

It’s the best all-in-one solution for anyone who wants to build a professional looking website/blog on their own.

If you only care about to run a Blog– without the additional stuff – then you should go for more suitable solutions out there.

It is observed that users end up switching from Squarespace to WordPress to minimize their expenses and add more features to their websites.

7). Medium (Free)

medium image
Medium.com

Medium was launched in 2012, it has grown into a community of bloggers, writers, experts and journalists.

It’s an easy to use blogging platform with limited social networking features.

Specifications:

  • Price. $0.
  • Hosting included? Yes, Medium does it for you.
  • Do you get your own domain? Not included. Every user gets to publish under their profile (e.g. medium.com/@name/). However, recently Medium enabled its users to go for their own custom domains to individual stories on Medium. Again, this means that not individual user profiles but only individual stories can now use custom domains.
  • Any prior skills required? Ease of use:- Medium is ultra easy to use. With just Sign up, you can start publishing your stories/posts right away. No learning curve at all.
  • Designs available? No, every user gets the same design.
  • Plugins and extensions. No, though Medium has some great built-in publishing and typography features.

PROs

  • Medium is easy to use, with no setup headache and no coding skills needed.
  • It allows you to connect to an existing online community of people of similar interests.
  • You can focus straightly on writing, instead of designing a website.

CONs

  • Its features are very limited in terms of design as well as for building a brand.
  • Medium owns your audience, so if you lose your blog that means you lost all your followers.
  • You cannot run your own ads for making some money.

Who’s Medium perfect for?

  • Hobby bloggers.
  • Writers looking to build their brand. Medium is great to get instant readership for your stories.
  • Company blogs hosted outside of the company’s website.

In the end:

Medium is great if you want to publish individual stories.
It helps to spread your content by using custom algorithms. If you just want to give a try to this blogging thing, then Medium is the way to do it.

Like other blogging platforms, it also looks amazing while starting but later on people end-up switching from Medium to WordPress.org.

Here’s the checklist for all of the above platforms:

checklist
Checklist for Web-Hosting

Suggestion:

I would suggest going for WordPress.org but if you are not at all willing to put the effort in creating designs and this and that for your blog then go for Wix.

Bottom line:

I believe that WordPress is the Best Blogging platform for all of the above.

It is easy to use, powerful, affordable and the most important of all, it is the most flexible of all available blogging platforms.
But to find out the more specific conditions, go ahead and try out every platform.

Also Read:

References:

Now it’s your turn…What do you think of this list?

Or maybe I missed one of your favourite Blogging Platform. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

And share this article in order to help others like us who might not be aware of these Blogging Platforms and their PROs & CONsS


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See you Soon…