Blogging has become one of the most efficient ways to connect with your desired audience. Over 77 million comments are generated on blogs by readers every month on just WordPress!
There could be more than one reason for building a blog. Maybe you are passionate about creating relevant, yet consumable, content about your personal interests. Or maybe you want to connect with the target audience of your business. Either way, this medium can prove to be quite rewarding.
So, if you are looking to start your own blog and are confused by the myriad blogging platforms to choose from, we’re right here to help. Let’s take a look at the best blogging platforms out there and the features they offer so that you can choose the one that’s best for your goals.
7 Best Blogging Platforms in 2021
When it comes to blogging platforms, WordPress is the undisputed king of them all. Started in 2003, WordPress took the blogging world by storm, and now powers almost 40% of the websites in the entire world!
WordPress has two versions—WordPress.org and WordPress.com. It is easy to confuse them, so here are the key distinctions between the two:
- WordPress.org is the original version launched in the year 2003. It is an open-source and self-hosted Content Management System (CMS). You can customize themes, have third-party plugins, and build your own powerfully functioning website on it. Many businesses and established bloggers use this version as it offers a multitude of services that WordPress.com doesn’t.
- WordPress.com works more like a website builder and is only hosted for you. It uses the same software that WordPress.org does, but has limited customizations with only built-in plugins and themes. This version is more suitable for hobby bloggers or beginners who want to enter the world of blogging.
WordPress.org is the blogging platform we will be discussing here, as it offers more services. Since it is a self-hosted platform, you will have to sign up for a WordPress hosting provider like Bluehost to create a website.
- Offers you complete control over every aspect of the website you create on the CMS
- Makes a plethora of customizations (both free and paid) available to use on your website to enhance its UI and UX
- Is search engine friendly, which means your SEO efforts will be reflected on search engine result pages (SERPs)
- Contains over 58,000 free plugins, which can be used to add features like contact forms, image galleries, resources, and much more to the website
- Requires some domain knowledge related to managing your own website and operating with a hosted provider
- Requires that you, as the website owner, take care of your own backups and choose your own security options
- Requires the assistance of external service provider/s to help run the full website, if built extensively
Wix complements the services provided by WordPress.com and is one of the best options for beginners who want to build a blogging platform. This hosted platform offers a feature that is its USP—the Drag and Drop website builder. This feature enables beginners and small businesses to seamlessly build their own websites without needing any prior coding knowledge!
Wix also offers the Wix Blog App, which can be used to directly add blogs to your website. The platform offers users hundreds of free templates for all types of blogs, which ultimately enrich your website. Their drag and drop editor assists website owners in conveniently customizing any Web page on their site, with an added assistance from an Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) builder. This builder utilizes an intrinsically built questionnaire, which assesses your answers and leverages AI to provide you with all the help necessary to build the exact website that you envision.
Founded in the year 2006, Wix was built as a holistic platform for anyone and everyone (especially those who had no knowledge of coding) to build their own website. With this amazing model, Wix has become one of the best blogging platforms in the world, with over 180 million users across the globe.
- Allows integration of third-party apps, and also offers many templates to customize your website.
- Contains drag-and-drop tools to help builders create the best version of their website. No coding skills required.
- Has one of the fastest setups to build a blogging platform.
- Displays ads and shows the Wix branding on your website if you are a free account holder
- Has limited availability of Wix-compatible third-party apps
- Contains e-commerce features that can only be availed through paid plans on the platform. Based on your requirements, you will have to choose a pricing plan to get access to the e-commerce features on the platform.
- Is difficult to change the website template once it is chosen
Blogger is one of the earliest blogging platforms in existence. This free blogging platform was acquired in 2003 by Google from Pyra Labs, who launched it in 1999. After acquiring Blogger, Google redesigned this solution into the platform it is today.
Blogger is a completely free blogging platform. All you need to create a website is a Google account. This is an especially convenient blogging platform for people who don’t have any knowledge of how to code or build a website.
Once logged in, the user only has to pick a domain name and they can start blogging. You just have to type your content after researching, add relevant photos in the content, and then simply publish. It’s that easy!
Blogger also offers users the option to add widgets to their blog and edit HTML, which is an added bonus for beginners and a feature that many blogging platforms for beginners don’t offer. Since this platform is a Google service, users also get access to many add-ons from Google to enhance their website. However, Blogger is also a platform that many users outgrow after a while, especially beginners. Once they have gathered enough knowledge about how the blogging world works, they move on to other platforms that can help them build a blogging website with many more features.
- Is a free blogging platform
- Requires no prior knowledge of coding or website development
- Integrates seamlessly with other Google services like Google Drive
- Cannot be integrated with any third-party apps
- Has a very limited number of blogging tools available on the platform
- Rarely adds new features or updates, which makes it monotonous to use after a while
If you are looking for a blogging platform that has a built-in audience and social networking features, Medium is perhaps the best option for you. This platform has built its own massive community of bloggers, subject matter experts, journalists, and much more. It has become very much like its own social networking platform, where users can interact and build connections with several publishers on the website. Readers and publishers can comment on posts, follow accounts, share blogs, and recommend the posts they like on the platform.
You can sign-up on Medium for free, and start publishing your blogs immediately. You can even add your voice to other posts, and refer to various publications, which are curated by Medium and its users.
The feature that attracts many bloggers to this platform is that it allows third-party embedding, which means that you can embed content from other sites like YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo, and so on in your blogs.
The platform also offers readers the convenience of checking out the estimated reading time for each post and bookmark it for referring to or reading later. Medium also allows readers and publishers to track the number of reads, and also gives creators the option to track where their traffic is coming from.
- Launches your page without a setup
- Gives you access to reach an existing online community of thousands of readers and creators
- Is perfect for bloggers who want to create and publish content rather than build their own website
- Doesn’t allow you to have your own unique domain name. You will get a profile page, much like other social media platforms like Facebook, and that will be your domain.
- Since the Medium’s community is based on the platform, you will lose your audience if you lose/delete your blog
- Has very limited design options for revamping or enhancing your profile pages
Squarespace is the dream blogging platform for a non-tech-savvy blogger. This platform, just like Wix, offers drag and drop features for building a website. This platform is mostly used by small businesses and new bloggers who are looking to establish their presence online. Currently, Squarespace powers over 2.5 million websites!
Squarespace comes packed with several customizable options for your website. Moreover, the platform offers an analytics dashboard that lets you track your website activity, right from the number of clicks to where your visitors are coming from and which pages they are engaging with the most. Squarespace also offers the rare feature of enabling website owners to expand their services for eCommerce or business purposes, which is why it is such a preferred option for professional or commercial bloggers and small businesses.
Squarespace works on a subscription model that comes with two options—Personal Plan ($16/month) and Business Plan ($26/month). Both plans offer website owners unlimited storage and bandwidth. The Business Plan also includes many marketing features, along with the feature of creating an online store.
- Has enterprise-grade professional templates to choose from. The platform offers many themes and designs which can go toe to toe against big websites.
- Provides hosting and offers users domain names with HTTPS or SSL, and even eCommerce stores in the Business Plan
- Is convenient to use and replete with features for beginners
- Can use only the features built into the platform
- Limits the scope for third-party integrations
- Allows limited number of contributors in the Personal Plan. Users might have to switch to the Business Plan if they want more contributors or want access to bigger features like marketing tools, eCommerce store, and so on.
If you are an aspiring visual blogger, i.e, if you enjoy creating images, infographics, GIFs, and so on, to complement your content, then Tumblr is the blogging platform for you. This platform is very popular amongst the young demographic. Created as a microblogging platform, Tumblr makes it quite easy for you to create your website for free. Tumblr has over 496 million blog accounts!
This platform has a very large community of content creators and bloggers and offers features like reblogging, sharing, upvoting, and other built-in sharing tools for every post on the platform. However, the platform doesn’t give text content too much importance. It mainly focuses on visual media like GIFs, infographics, photos, and so on. If you are a passionate writer and are looking to pursue blogging only in text, then Tumblr might not be the ideal platform for you. Another downside to Tumblr is that you won’t own the content you publish on the platform; not even the domain name.
This might be a red flag for bloggers who like to have complete control over their content, including protections like copyright. However, with its large community, it is a good place for visual bloggers to begin and capture an audience belonging to a certain demographic and then move on to platforms that let you create your own website with full control over any content you publish in it.
- Integrated social media sharing components, and built-in sharing tools on the platform
- It’s a microblogging platform, which lets you quickly create and share audios, GIFs, videos, images, etc.
- An accessible large community of content creators and bloggers
- You don’t own the domain name or the content you publish on the platform
- If you want to back up your Tumblr blog or import your blog to other platforms, then it is a very difficult process that requires knowledge of various tools and coding
- Text blogging isn’t given much importance on the platform, which is a disadvantage for writers
LinkedIn aims at creating a professional networking environment for its 260 million monthly active users. Whoever has a LinkedIn profile can publish posts or blogs to reach their connections and the larger active audience for free. It is much more of a social networking platform for industry professionals than a blogging platform.
Through LinkedIn, businesses, freelancers, and bloggers can not only reach their target audience through articles and blogs but also engage and connect with them. The platform already has an audience that any business or professional blogger would dream of having on their own website. Another one of the advantages of blogs and articles on this platform is that LinkedIn has the most potential of increasing your influence and building a community of active readers from blogging.
LinkedIn has a built-in editor, which is quite similar to that of WordPress, which anyone with an account on the platform can use. This gives the users an opportunity to create high-end B2B content and publish it.
So, if you are aiming to write blogs on business or anything related to the B2B sphere like management, technology services, and so on, then LinkedIn is the best platform to do it on. Moreover, your content will be more accessible on LinkedIn than any other platform because of the massive audience on the platform.
- Is home to a big community of potential readers and business connections
- Has higher engagement in published blogs than any other platform
- Has business professionals scouring through the platform 24/7 to look for well-built content, which can reward the publishers in the form of job opportunities, business prospects, and much more
- Is an active community of experts and users, who will engage with your content. This presents an opportunity to not only enhance your content but also create a conversation, which is one of the main goals of blogging.
- Has third-party embedding available to embed other sites for enhancing the quality of the content
- Your profile is your website. The platform doesn’t offer an option to create your own publishing website.
- You have very limited options for themes and designs.
- You won’t own your traffic and be bound by the platform’s algorithms.
- You will have to post or publish regularly to reach more people.
Choose the Best Blogging Platform For Yourself
Now that you are acquainted with the best blogging platforms out there, it is time to make the choice based on your expected goals and vision for your blogs. Consulting an established SEO company like Infidigit can give you a much deeper insight into how you can leverage the algorithms on search engines to increase the visibility of your website. All that is left to do now is to assess which blogging platform matches your vision the most, and begin your exciting blogging journey!
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