9 Best Blogging Platforms of 2021 (Pros and Cons)
Are you looking for the best blogging platforms for your business?
Finding a blogging solution that meets your needs is tricky when there are so many options available. So, how do you know which one is right for you if you’re just getting started?
In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of the top blogging platforms so you can make an informed decision.
How to Choose The Best Blogging Platform?
Before we dive in, you’ll want to know what to look for in popular blogging platforms.
When you’re starting your first blog, it’s important your blog platform is easy to set up and use. Equally, you shouldn’t need any design or coding skills.
In addition, you’ll want to consider the type of blog you want to create. Some platforms are better for different blog types, while others cater to all niches.
Plus, as your blog grows, chances are it will change. You may want to change the way it looks or even adds more features and functionality. As a result, you’ll need a flexible platform that grows with you and your audience.
Picking the wrong platform can make it harder to switch in the future.
Then there’s the question of making money on your blog. If you want to do this later, you’ll need a blog platform that gives you the option to do so.
Best Blogging Platforms for 2021
Now that you know what to look for in a good blog platform, let’s look at our top picks.
1. WordPress.org – One of The Best Blogging Platforms
WordPress.org is one of the best free blogging platforms in the world. It powers over 30% of all websites on the internet.
WordPress.org is an open-source and free blogging platform that lets you build a blog or WordPress website in just a few minutes. Since WordPress.org is a self-hosted solution, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting provider.
WordPress is an excellent solution if you want to keep full control over your blog and its future as you grow. This makes it one of the best self-hosted blog platforms around.
- Full control over personal blog, business website, or eCommerce store with its content management system.
- As your blog grows, you can add extra features like forums, online stores, and membership areas. This makes WordPress.org the best platform for making money on your blog.
- Choose from thousands of customizable free WordPress themes to customize your site. This helps you stand out from your competitors.
- Access over 54,000 free WordPress plugins to extend your blog’s functionality. This allows you to easily add contact forms, galleries, landing pages, popups, and more to your blog.
- WordPress.org is search engine optimized. This means you can create SEO friendly categories, tags, and URLs for your content. There are also several top SEO plugins to help you add even more features.
- Managing a website with WordPress.org has a learning curve at first.
- Website backups and security are your responsibility. So, you’ll have to handle this yourself.
The WordPress.org software is free for anyone to use. Yet, you’ll need your own domain name and website hosting to start your own website or a new blog.
One of the best WordPress hosting providers is Bluehost. It’s an officially recognized WordPress.org hosting provider. Plus, it also offers a free domain name with many hosting plans.
Bluehost hosting plans start at $3.05 per month with a free domain for 1 year, free CDN, and free SSL certificate.
Check out this guide on how to start a WordPress blog for step-by-step setup instructions.
2. Gator by HostGator
Gator is a website builder by HostGator, a popular web hosting company. It includes a drag and drop tool for building any website, whether a blog, eCommerce store or even a small business website.
You shouldn’t confuse Gator with the HostGator hosting provider. HostGator’s website hosting is a great way to start a WordPress blog. Yet, if you’d like a non-WordPress blogging platform, Gator is an excellent solution.
- Customize your blog or website design with the drag and drop builder.
- With no technical knowledge needed, it’s quick and easy to set up.
- HostGator handles your site’s backups, security, and performance.
- A free domain name and SSL certificate are included with all paid plans.
- You can turn your blog into an online store easily as you grow.
- This solution doesn’t have a free version. However, you can try it with the 45-day money-back guarantee.
- The online store features are limited to higher paid plans.
- Their library of apps and extensions are limited.
The pricing for Gator’s website builder starts at $3.84 per month. This will include a free domain name, free SSL certificate, 3 email campaigns per month, and a 3 product online store.
WordPress.com is the best blogging platform for beginners. It comes from Automattic, a company created by WordPress.org cofounder Matt Mullenweg.
WordPress.com allows you to access a basic blog hosting service for free. You can also buy extra features such as a custom domain name, extra storage, and more premium services.
This makes it a good solution for people who want to use WordPress but don’t want the advanced features of other blogging sites.
The service was started in 2005 to bring WordPress to a large audience. This makes it a good platform for people that don’t want or need the features included with a self-hosted WordPress site.
- No setup is needed to get started.
- WordPress.com is super-easy to use for beginners.
- The service is free to use if you don’t mind having a WordPress.com subdomain. This means your free website domain name will look like this: https://example.wordpress.com.
- With WordPress.com, you have limited options. You can’t use custom WordPress plugins and themes to customize your site.
- Free themes are limited.
- Advertisements are not allowed on WordPress.com. Instead, they’ll show their own ads on your blog.
- You do not own your own blog, and it can be suspended if you violate WordPress.com’s terms of service.
A basic WordPress.com account is free, and it’ll have advertisements and branding. The personal plan starts at $4 per month, billed annually.
Blogger is a simple blog platform from Google and provides an easy way to create a blog site for beginner users.
It was founded by Pyra Labs in 1999 and is one of the earliest existing blogging solutions. In 2003 Blogger was acquired by Google, which turned it into the platform we see today.
To get started with Blogger, all you need is a free Google account or email address.
- The Blogger platform is entirely free.
- Blogger is easy to manage and requires no technical skills.
- It’s part of the secure and reliable Google platform, which includes Google Analytics.
- Monetization is easy with Google Adsense.
- This platform has limited blogging tools, and you can’t add extra features as your website grows.
- There are fewer design options with limited blog templates. Many third-party Blogger templates are unreliable and low quality.
- Blogger isn’t updated often with new features.
- Google can suspend your Blogger blog any time or cancel the service.
One good thing about Blogger is it’s a free blog platform. Like WordPress.com, it will add a subdomain such as https://example.blogspot.com. To customize your domain name, you’ll need to use a domain registrar.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform with social networking options. This makes it a little different from other solutions on this list. It allows you to follow other Tumblr blogs, reblog content, share content on social media, and more.
- This platform is free to use and includes a Tumblr subdomain like https://example.tumblr.com. It’s also possible to connect your own premium domain.
- Tumblr is easy to set up and use.
- Integrates with social networks.
- With Tumblr, you can quickly blog images, videos, GIFs, audio, and more.
- The features included in Tumblr are limited. You can’t extend your blog’s functionality as it grows.
- While Tumblr has many themes, it only changes the design and doesn’t add extra features.
- It’s hard to back up your blog and export it to another blogging service.
The pricing for Tumblr is free. Yet, you can purchase a custom domain name and third-party themes.
Medium is an online community for writers, journalists, bloggers, and experts in many niches. Its blogging interface is easy to use, yet it has limited features for social networking.
Medium is like many social media platforms where you can make an account and start publishing content. Your profile address will look something like this: https://medium.com/@yourname.
- This blogging solution doesn’t require any coding skills or complicated setup to get started.
- You can reach an active community of people online with related interests.
- Medium focuses on content over design so you can concentrate on writing.
- Monetization is possible with the Medium Partner Program.
- It’s hard to build a brand on medium with limited design options.
- Your audience is owned by medium, so if you lose your blog, you lose your followers.
- It isn’t possible to use a custom domain name.
- You can’t run your own ads to make money from your blog.
The Medium platform is free. But, it lacks options to monetize your blog, leading many users to switch from Medium to WordPress.
Squarespace is a website-building platform with an easy drag and drop interface. It lets you create beautiful websites and personal blogs with no coding required.
Squarespace focuses on small business owners that need a simple way to create a presence online. It was started in 2003 and powers millions of websites on the internet.
- Easy to use for beginners with limited technical know-how.
- You can add on premium email marketing services.
- Squarespace includes stunning, professionally designed website templates.
- It offers a domain name with HTTPS/SSL and eCommerce stores separately.
- Squarespace features are limited to those built into the platform.
- Integrations are also limited to just a few tools and services.
The pricing for Squarespace varies for websites and online stores.
Personal website plans start at $16 per month. If you pay annually, the price is only $12 per month. For the Business plan, pricing starts at $26/month, or $18/month billed annually.
The pricing for online stores starts at $26 per month.
Wix is a platform that allows you to host and build websites. Small businesses can use the drag and drop builder to create websites easily. It’s also possible to add a blog to your website with the Wix Blog app.
Wix currently has millions of users worldwide and was created in 2006 to build websites with no coding skills needed.
- Wix has third party templates and apps to help customize your website.
- You can build your site easily with the drag and drop tools and zero code.
- Setting up your website is quick and easy.
- The free version of Wix is limited and shows Wix’s branding.
- There are limited free third-party apps available.
- After picking a template, you can’t change it.
- Only paid plans can access limited eCommerce features.
- The blogging features are not as good as other platforms on this list.
The basic Wix website builder has a free plan and includes a Wix subdomain. Premium plans start at $8.50 per month.
Ghost is one of the best blog platforms for writers because it focuses entirely on writing blog posts. This minimalist platform started in 2013 and is available as a hosted service or software you can host and install yourself.
- Entirely focused on writing and blogging with minimal distractions.
- Ghost has a clutter-free and clean user interface.
- Hosted versions require no setup.
- Ghost isn’t easy to customize with apps.
- The options and features are limited.
- There aren’t enough themes to change your site’s appearance.
- If you install Ghost yourself, the setup is complicated.
For self-hosted versions of Ghost, you’ll need to buy a custom domain name and web hosting. Domains start at around $14.99 per year while hosting can be about $7.99 per month.
Hosted versions of Ghost start at $29.99 per month. If you don’t buy a custom domain, your blog will be a subdomain ending with ghost.io.
Best Blogging Platforms: FAQ
What is the most useful blogging platform?
Of all the solutions on this list, we believe the most useful platform for blogging is WordPress.org because it offers so much flexibility.
Which blogging platform is best for beginners?
The best platform for beginners is either WordPress.org or WordPress.com. They’re both easy to use and free to get started with.
What Are the Best Blogging Platforms?
After comparing all the solutions on this list, we conclude that WordPress.org is the best blog platform. WordPress.org offers ease of use, affordability, and the most flexibility of all available platforms.
If you need help getting started with WordPress, our friends at WPBeginner offer a free WordPress blog setup service.
We hope this article helped you find the best blogging solution for your small business.
While you’re here, you might also like this guide on the best WordPress landing page plugins to boost your business leads and conversions.