Hi Everyone, hope our previous blog on Cloud hosting vs Shared hosting was useful. Now, let’s take a look at the top blogging platforms for 2018. Let’s begin!
Once you have decided on starting a blog, you have to decide where you would like to showcase your blog. The blogging platform you choose has to match your needs, but should also be able to accommodate the kind of blog you would like to start.
To that effect, we are going to look at the best blogging platforms out there. Of the 9 we will talk about, some will come as no surprise such as WordPress which is extremely popular. We will discuss each of these platforms to know what they are, their pros and cons as well as what kind of blog they are best suited for. This way you will be able to pick a blogging platform that will not only showcase your content but also compliment your hard work and dedication.
We will first take a look at WordPress.org, followed by WordPress.com, next in line will be Blogger, then Tumblr, Medium, followed by Ghost, then Squarespace, Wix and finally Weebly.
So, let’s get started!
A. Things To Consider When Selecting a Blogging Platform
All of the best platforms for blogging to be discussed excel in one way or another and they are all very good for their designated market. However, when selecting a blogging platform, you have to consider a few issues. These being, price, design possibilities, mobile friendliness, ease of use, and hosting concerns.
1. Price : Price is a very important concern. When you start blogging, the potential to make money is always there, however you have to consider how much money you are putting in. Your needs for the blog will determine how much you are willing to invest in it, and the software to support it. Prices for the blog include software prices, hosting services as well as domain registration. Depending on which platform you choose you may be able to forgo some of these expenses.
2. Design Possibilities : When you start a blog you may have an idea of what you want the blog to look like, and what you want to be able to do with the blog. This means that you may require specific capabilities in the platform, so as to give your blog the look and feel you envision. Even with the most popular blogging platforms, there are functions that one may have but others not. WordPress.com does not use plugins for example, while WordPress.org does. Some blogging platforms have templates and themes for you to use, while others are simple in their blogging presentation or function as micro-blogs.
3. Mobile Friendliness : Mobile devices are quickly overtaking desktop computers. Mobile devices are getting more and more powerful. We are now able to do more with our mobile phones than we could with desktop computers. As such, many people read blogs on-the-go. In choosing a platform to support your blog you need to consider whether or not your blog will be viewable on all mobile devices, as a mobile-friendly website is a key requirement to boost your ranking on Google.
4. Ease of Use : Most of us start blogging as complete novices. Using a platform that is bulky and difficult to use can make the process of becoming a blogger unnecessarily difficult. This is why you should consider finding a good blogging platform that is easy to use so you can focus all your attention on creating excellent content.
5. Hosting : To get your blog online you have to have some sort of hosting. Many platforms have hosting included in their packages. Hosting also includes concerns around choosing a domain name for your blog. Will your blog be OK, using a sub-domain? Do you need specific features for your hosting? How much support do you need while setting up your blog? These are some of the questions to consider when you choose a platform.
Once you have selected a blogging platform, the next step is choosing a reliable web hosting provider. In this matter, Bigrock is the #1 choice. Why? Well, read this honest Bigrock review to find out. However, the few notable benefits that you can avail, on selecting Bigrock for your hosting needs are; a wide range of hosting packages at affordable rates, 24/7 customer support, 99% uptime, unlimited storage, space and bandwidth, an intuitive cPanel and best of all Bigrock hosting coupons and Bigrock domain coupons that provide you with additional discounts on your first purchase.
Now that we know some concerns and questions to ask ourselves when we choosing from the most popular blog platforms, let’s take a look at the best blogging websites comparison.
B. Best Blogging Sites Comparison
If you are going to discuss blogging platforms, then you must discuss the most popular, and one of the most used platforms out there. If you have been on the internet at any point in the past week then there is a huge chance you have been on a site supported by WordPress. It is so popular that some say over 29% of the websites out there are run and maintained using WordPress. This popularity is one they have earned.
There are two platforms available for WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Both run basically on the same software but there are differences. WordPress.com is fully online while WordPress.org is a downloadable software pack. Both have their pros and cons. We will first look at WordPress.com
WordPress.com is fully online and is a fully free blogging platform. However, to use premium features you will have to pay for a premium WordPress.com package that starts at ₹200/ per month. It also comes with templates and themes for you to use. You will have the possibility of customizing some features, but this is limited. Most themes and templates on WordPress are responsive to the device they are viewed on and as such, can be viewed perfectly well on mobile as well as desktop computers.
Setting up your WordPress.com blog will take about 5 minutes and you are guided through the process. Most of the themes are drag and drop and the learning curve is easy to adjust to. Plus there is a huge community support to help you should you need it. WordPress will host your blog. They will even give you a sub-domain, however, this comes with its own pros and cons. You can purchase a domain when you upgrade to premium.
WordPress.com is best for professional and hobby bloggers and for those testing out the blogging waters and want to invest the minimum.
This is a downloadable software package that you can use to make a WordPress website or a blog. It is free and one of the best blog platforms out there. You can easily download the software and start using it. However, to get your blog out there you will have to pay for hosting.
You will have free templates and themes to start from. However, unlike WordPress.com you have a lot more of them. You will also be able to customize and tweak these. If you have any coding knowledge you will be able to customize even further. As with WordPress.com, you will be able to enjoy the mobile-readiness that most themes have on WordPress.
Unlike its online cousin, this version of WordPress takes about 15 to 30 minutes to set up. However, most hosting companies offer a five minute WordPress installation process. After that, it is a breeze to operate and maintaining a WordPress website is easy too. If you run into trouble you will have the community to help you. However, you will have to purchase a domain and a hosting package from a hosting company to get online.
This WordPress platform is ideally suited for bloggers who want to make money from their blog and for professional & hobby bloggers, too, who want 100% control over their blog.
Blogger is a simple old-fashioned blogging platform. Many bloggers probably started off with blogger and then as they developed, moved on. It is one of the oldest and easiest blogging platforms out there. You will have Google to thank for all the heavy lifting and all you need is a Gmail account.
Best part, it’s a free blogging site and technically comes with your Gmail account should you choose to use it. This platform does not come with the design capabilities of WordPress and instead offers a standard layout wherein you can write content and use the sidebar.
Blogger is a super easy blogging platform and requires very little skills to set up. As Blogger is run by Google, it is also hosted by them. You will get a sub-domain. But, if you want a domain of your own you can add that on, after purchasing it. This popular blog site is best suited for personal and hobby bloggers.
Tumblr is a simple micro-blog platform. It is great for those who publish short form content. This includes photos, GIFs, quotes. It is great because it is part of a community and you can have help promoting your blog as people re-blog your content.
Tumblr, too, is a free blog platform. It will host your blog for no charge. If you know how to use social media, those are all the skills you need. However, while you get many different design options, you may have to pay for them. Tumblr is perfect for micro-blogs, one topic niche bloggers and hobby bloggers.
This is a platform for stories, blog posts and articles. It has steadily grown in popularity with over a million users. It has aspects of the community, as it includes writers, and bloggers sharing their stories.
Medium is another free blogging site and uses a uniform design for all of its users. Medium will host you and they will let you publish under your name. They do allow for personal domains, however, this is tacked to a story and not your profile. Other than how to sign up, you need no other skills only the content you want to use. Medium is great for writers looking to build their brand and for company blogs & hobby blogs.
If you are looking for a simpler blogging platform than WordPress, then Ghost is a great option for you. The software is free to download and if you want the Pro version then it can cost between $19 to $1999. The Ghost pro version comes with extra features included.
Depending on which you are using Free or the Pro version, the skills level required varies. The Pro version is very easy to use and gets even easier as you familiarize yourself with it. However, it does have some geekier features included in its interface. If you are not using the Pro version you may have to have some experience with web servers, but you will receive support.
There is a range of professional Ghost themes to choose from. Many of them are paid though. And Hosting depends on which version you use. If you are using Ghost Pro you will have hosting included. However, if you are using the downloadable package you will have to find your own host. You will also have to have the necessary skills to install this on the host. Ghost is a great choice for bloggers out for the latest, coolest tech solution and who like to experiment with different blogging platforms.
Looking for an all-in-one website builder? Then this is the option for you. Squarespace is a great website building solution. You can use it for multiple purposes, everything from blogging to selling your wares. However, it is not free and as a subscription fee of $8 to $24.
Squarespace prides themselves on being on par with the cutting edge trends in design. As such, they have many designs available for you to use. Squarespace is super easy to use. It is user-friendly and highly intuitive. It is designed to give you the best possible experience whether you are a novice or long in the tooth. Hosting is included with your package and you can get a custom domain when you subscribe.
Squarespace is best for those looking for a professional blog and website. For creatives looking to show off their work. For restaurants and café’s who want to publish blogs. And for novice users who want to build and create their blogs from scratch
Wix is a simple website builder that everyone can get into. It is a quite popular platform, with more and more people starting to use it. Wix is basically free, but it is on a subscription basis if you want premium features. The Wix premium plans start at ₹122/ per month to₹485/ per month.
Wix is design-template rich, has a drag and drop feature and a whole slew of designs for you to choose from. You will have a step-by-step wizard to help you through the process of setting up the blog module. As such, you require very little skills in order to get it up and running. Hosting is included and you will get a sub-domain to use by default. Plus, when you want your own domain you can purchase it and add it quite easily. Wix is an ideal blogging choice for beginners with very little skills who want to build their site from scratch and for creatives looking to show off their work.
This is another popular blog website almost like WordPress that has a lot of focus on website building but has blogging functionalities integrated. Like WordPress, this is also one of the free blogging sites.
This platform uses a drag and drop feature so it is very easy to get your blog up and running. You also have access to responsive and beautiful themes, which you can customize to a point. Plus, hosting is included when you sign up for an account. Weebly is a good choice for personal and hobby bloggers.