If you’re considering starting a blog, good for you!
Blogging is a fantastic way to share your knowledge with the world and reach the people most likely to benefit from your expertise.
Better yet, if you’re able to build an audience, it could become a lucrative pursuit with the potential to earn you an income online!
Moreover, starting your blog is easier than ever, thanks to the many free blogging platforms available.
With so many options to choose from, we’ve gone ahead and made a list of the best ones, including WordPress, the best blogging platform ever.
|Hubspot CMS Hub
- The 8 Best Blogging Platforms
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Blogging Platform
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
The 8 Best Blogging Platforms
Are you ready to start your blogging journey?
The following blogging platforms are the best ones you can publish content with.
So let’s learn what makes them such great choices for people looking to start commercial or personal blogs.
1. WordPress.org – Best Overall
WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com, another entrant on our list) tops our list as the best blogging platform overall.
Powering an astounding 43% of websites on the internet (probably including the one you’re on right now), it’s the world’s most popular blogging platform
Surf the web, and you’ll likely land on at least one WordPress site.
There are many reasons why WordPress.org is so popular: first, it’s one of the most beginner-friendly free blogging platforms available.
Thanks to an easy-to-navigate user interface, you can kickstart a blog within minutes of downloading and installing this open-source software.
Second, WordPress.org is highly customizable. Not only are there thousands of free and paid themes available, but there are thousands of plugins too.
You can extend your WordPress blog with tools that help optimize your site for search engines, including tools that monitor site loading speed, produce opt-in pop-ups, and more.
Third, WordPress.org is the best free blogging platform because it integrates with other SEO software like Google Analytics (to monitor blog performance and traffic) and Google Adsense.
In addition to using the platform to publish articles, you can use other software with it to rank your articles on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Fourth, many hosting providers offer automatic WordPress installation with their subscription offers, going as far as to throw in a free domain name to sweeten the deal.
WordPress.org is just that ubiquitous.
Unfortunately, WordPress.org gets more complicated once you get past the initial functionality, so be forewarned: there’s a learning curve.
Also, it doesn’t offer a built-in feature for backing up your files, which is unfortunate, given how much content you can create with this platform.
- Incredibly user-friendly for beginners and advanced users
- Tons of free software plugins
- Huge selection of free themes
- Amazing for SEO
- Lets you easily monitor blog traffic through integration with Google’s Analytics tool
- The best self-hosted solution
- High learning curve once you move past its basic functionality
- No option for automatic backup or security
WordPress.org is the undisputed champion of blogging platforms for a reason: it’s packed with features and functionality that make creating blogs a breeze.
Moreover, your WordPress blog will be in good company since a huge portion of websites is powered by WordPress.org.
2. Joomla – Runner-Up
Joomla earns the runner-up position on our list for being the best alternative to WordPress.org.
This open-source Content Management System (CMS) is excellent for building blogs that foster community and is packed with features that make the process smooth.
The Joomla blogging platform has many useful functions that’ll make writing content much easier.
For example, you can create custom blog post types and publish your content in multiple languages.
Additionally, Joomla lets you manage potentially hundreds of users.
Moreover, this CMS has a huge collection of extensions to make blogging easier.
One of the most popular ones is the EasyBlog by StackIdeas, which introduces a drag-and-drop editor that’s cleaner than the one Joomla provides out-of-the-box.
Additionally, the EasyBlog extension lets you make automatic posts to your social media platforms.
And if you know how to code, you’ll feel right at home using Joomla.
Because this blogging platform is great for building complex websites, you can customize it using your coding know-how.
So if you believe your blog has the potential to become much bigger in the future, then Joomla is an excellent way to customize it as you scale.
Unfortunately, Joomla’s functionality means its learning curve is much steeper than WordPress.org.
As such, it may take more time to get up and running.
Moreover, even though Joomla has many extensions, the number still pales in comparison to what you can download when using its competitor WordPress.
- Supports helpful blogging extensions like EasyBlog
- Excellent for building community-centric blogs
- Manage hundreds of users
- Lets you publish content in different languages
- Can create custom blog posts
- Higher learning curve than competitor CMSs
- Not as many extensions as WordPress
If you’ve been blogging for a while using WordPress and want to try a different blogging platform that’s just as good, then Joomla is worth a look.
Try this blogging CMS if you’re an advanced user of CMS software.
3. Drupal – Best for Large Companies
If you run a large company that needs advanced features from your self-hosted blogging CMS, then Drupal might interest you.
This blogging platform goes above and beyond the basic blogging tools commonly included in other blogging platforms, making it a must-have for enterprise organizations in the blogging space.
Drupal provides hundreds of features out-the-box, and once you get past the initial stage of familiarizing yourself with the platform’s quirks, you’ll unlock its true blogging power.
Specifically, you’re not limited to creating blog posts on Drupal, as the CMS can create a variety of content types.
For example, you can create page templates, views, blocks, and so on.
Another of Drupal’s amazing features is its user permissions, which are more advanced than other CMS options.
You can give specific access to your blog admins, editors, and other personnel, so they can focus on their tasks without getting in the way of their teammates.
And with many other modules and features, Drupal can help you manage a blog that grows in complexity.
Additionally, it’s quite versatile in the ways you can use it.
It offers security tools for protecting your blog, accessibility tools for reaching disabled audiences, automation tools for marketing, and more.
Of course, Drupal’s complexity is its main drawback.
This blogging platform isn’t for beginner bloggers and will require that you put in the time and effort to become comfortable with its capabilities.
Moreover, small businesses and hobbyist bloggers won’t see the need for all its features.
- Has features that accommodate the needs of enterprise-level organizations
- One of the most comprehensive blogging platforms
- Capable of creating many different content types
- Provides advanced user permissions for blog team members
- Manages complex blogs with ease
- Too complicated for beginner bloggers
- Small businesses might not need all the features it provides
Drupal is one of the best premium blogging platforms for enterprise organizations.
Consider using it if your online content marketing requires a feature-packed CMS to help assign tasks to a large team.
4. HubSpot CMS Hub – Most Versatile
Whether you run a small, medium, or enterprise website, the HubSpot CMS Hub can accommodate your needs.
It makes it to our list for being the most versatile blogging platform, thanks to being an all-in-one blogging tool.
HubSpot provides Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing tools, with their CMS being the final component in that suite.
Online businesses that want to engage in content marketing through a blog can use the HubSpot CMS with the CRM and marketing tools.
In other words, you get all the tools you need in one place, including a free SSL certificate.
Usually, blogging platforms rely on integrations, plugins, and third-party software when managing the marketing aspect of the blog.
For example, you’d need to subscribe to third-party tools like SendInBlue to cultivate an email list.
However, with HubSpot, you have everything you need to build and maintain your list, distribute your blog’s newsletter, etc.
In fact, you can curate content based on your visitor’s past browsing behavior.
And the CMS Hub’s website builder lets you customize your site, making it easy to create a branding experience that resonates with your audience.
It’s too bad HubSpot doesn’t offer a free version of its CMS.
And unfortunately, HubSpot users who want to migrate their site to another CMS will find the process difficult at best.
- CMS and marketing tools in one place
- Useful to small, medium, and enterprise websites
- The content curation feature makes it easy to personalize visitor experiences
- Includes a website builder for customizable blog
- Includes SSL certificate for blog protection
- No free version of Hubspot’s content management system
- Complicated migration system from Hubspot to another CMS.
HubSpot is an amazing and versatile blogging platform worth considering if you want built-in marketing tools to go with your content management system.
In addition, its content curation feature is worth the admission price alone.
5. Medium.com – Best Hybrid Platform
Want to get your writing in front of a huge audience without setting up a website or buying a domain name?
If so, you might want to look into Medium.com.
Subscribing for a Medium account gives you the best of both worlds, i.e., a combined blogging and social media platform.
With Medium, you can get your content out into the world without worrying about web hosts, site building, pre-designed templates, or other incidentals associated with a traditional blog.
Instead, you get a completely free Medium.com subdomain associated with your account, letting you focus on what matters: writing great content.
Additionally, you might appreciate the social network aspect of this platform if you’re job hunting.
Medium.com has a huge readership, some of whom recruit for companies, making it an excellent place to create blogs demonstrating your skills and expertise.
For example, aspiring web developers use Medium.com to showcase their coding knowledge.
Unlike other free blogging platforms, Medium provides two ways to earn from your blog: through Member reading time and referred memberships.
With Member reading time, you earn money the more time Medium members spend reading the content you produce.
Meanwhile, referred memberships earn you money when you refer new members to Medium.
While Medium.com does away with the need to find ways to drive traffic to a self-hosted blog, there are downsides to the arrangement.
Mainly, it isn’t very customizable.
Also, it’s one to avoid if you plan to make money through blogging, as you can’t put your own ads on it, etc.
And you can get suspended for unwitting violations of Medium’s terms of service.
- You can blog without worrying about setting up a website
- Excellent platform for job seekers looking to showcase their knowledge
- Built-in traffic source, thanks to a high readership
- Keeps your focus on the content creation aspect of blogging
- Completely free to join
- Few options to make money (if at all)
- Website layout isn’t very customizable
- Your blog can be suspended because of Medium.com’s whims
Medium.com is a fantastic hybrid blogging platform for showcasing your know-how to prospective employers.
Consider using it to get your thoughts out there if you’re looking for a job.
6. WordPress.com – Best for Beginners
Often confused with the self-hosted version (which ends with .org), WordPress.com makes our list for being the best blogging platform for beginner bloggers.
If you’re considering testing the blogging waters, this platform is the place to get your feet wet (possibly before moving on to the self-hosted WordPress).
But before we continue, let’s settle the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org once and for all: in summary, the former platform is a blog-hosting service, whereas the latter is a self-hosting one.
In other words, you won’t need to get a hosting provider when you sign up for a free WordPress.com account.
Additionally, WordPress.com is easier to use than WordPress.org.
You don’t have to worry about a complicated backend, plugins, themes, and other website building tools and add-ons.
Once you’ve set up your account, you can start creating the content that’ll go on your WordPress.com subdomain.
With WordPress hosting your blog, you’d think perks like having your own domain name would be out of reach (as it is with other platforms like Medium.com).
However, you can upgrade your subscription for a small fee to get premium features like a custom domain name and extra file storage space.
But it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns with WordPress.com.
This platform suffers from the same issue all free platforms face, which is a tradeoff between a free account and web address autonomy.
In other words, you’ll find WordPress.com limiting in the ways you can grow your blog and find yourself looking to its older sister, the more robust WordPress.org.
- The best blogging platform for beginners
- Easier to use than WordPress.org
- Blog-hosting service eliminates the need for a web host
- Custom domain name available with the paid subscription plan
- No setup or plugins required
- Limited features compared to WordPress.org
- You don’t own your blog
If you’re interested in blogging but aren’t ready to commit to self-hosting, then WordPress.com is a fantastic alternative to setting up a self-hosted blog.
7. Wix – Best for e-Commerce
Wix.com earns the distinction of this year’s best blogging platform for e-commerce, thanks to its website builder and drag-and-drop functionality.
With a free Wix account, you can launch your blog in no time, making it ideal for beginners and small business owners who prioritize ease of use over functionality.
The Wix.com platform gives blog owners many options for building an e-commerce site.
For example, the Wix Editor comes with more than 700 pre-designed free blog templates, so you can select and modify a theme.
Alternatively, you can try Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence feature, which builds a site for you with the information filled in a questionnaire.
Additionally, you can build your blog from scratch if you’ve got technical skills (i.e., HTML and CSS knowledge).
And when you’re happy with your design, you can set up subdomains that distinguish your online store from the store’s blog.
Wix.com excels at multimedia posts.
You can embed photos and videos into each blog post, showcasing your store’s products to potential customers.
Moreover, posts can be grouped into topics, making your content marketing efforts more organized.
And it’s easy to use the email tool to push content to blog subscribers.
The only drawback to using Wixcom is it isn’t as comprehensive as other blogging platforms.
For example, it lacks features you’d find in a CMS like WordPress.
- Easily build a complex site/professional blog using the Wix website builder
- Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence lets you build a blog using the power of AI
- Wix Editor offers a fantastic selection of themes and templates
- Nice theme customization options
- Wix Email tool lets you push notifications to existing customers
- The free plan is extremely limited compared to the paid plans
- You’re stuck with the template you chose when you first created your blog
- Lacks functionality commonly found with most content management systems
Wix.com is the go-to blogging platform for online entrepreneurs who want to have a blog with their e-commerce store.
Its ecommerce functionality (for example, the Wix email tool) will be integral for anyone who wants to stay in touch with their customers.
8. Blogger – Best for Hobbyist Bloggers
Rounding out our list of best blogging platforms is Blogger, Google’s free blogging service.
No best blogging platforms list would be complete without a nod to Blogger, as it’s one of the oldest blogging platforms, pre-dating WordPress.org by a couple of years.
However, it makes our list for being the best for hobbyist bloggers.
Before Blogger became Google-owned, it was launched by a company called Pyra Labs at the tail end of the ’90s.
Since Google’s acquisition, a Google account is all you need to start a blog with Blogger.
That’s right—if you have a Google account already, you’re all set to start blogging using Blogger!
Blogger is one of the most low-stakes blogging platforms available.
Not only is it free to use, but you can also start a blog around your hobby within minutes of signing up.
Moreover, it handles multimedia files well, meaning you can embed images and videos into your Blogger web pages.
Unfortunately, Blogger isn’t a platform you’d turn to if you were creating a serious business site as a free-to-use tool.
So you won’t get a lot of customizability or extensions, and neither can you make money with it the way other platforms make it so easy.
- Excellent for hobbyist bloggers
- Free to use
- You can sign up to Blogger using your Google account
- Setup a blog within minutes
- Old blogging platform owned by Google
- Not suitable for creating a business-oriented website
Blogger is a fantastic choice if you plan to start a hobbyist blog.
Being a Google-owned platform, you can create an account in seconds using your existing Google account.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Blogging Platform
When choosing a blogging platform, it’s important to consider the following factors to get your blog off to a good start:
1. Abundance of Themes
Your blog’s theme is what your visitors will see when they land on your site, i.e., how all the information on your blog will be laid out.
If you’re particular about making a good first impression or creating a specific feeling among your readership, you’ll need to consider a blogging platform that provides abundant themes.
Look at it this way: themes aren’t one size fits all, meaning a theme designed for blogs about boxing may not be the best fit for blogs centered around gardening.
Therefore, prioritize blogging platforms that offer a generous selection of free and premium themes.
2. Plugins and Integrations
Even though most blogging platforms are packed to the teeth with features to help you start blogging quickly, there may still be a specific blog feature you need that isn’t included.
Luckily, a lot of web developers offer software plugins as digital products whose purpose is to extend the platform.
Additionally, if you plan on making money with your blog, you’ll need to choose a platform that integrates with software like Google Analytics to help you understand who your blog’s visitors are and where they’re coming from.
You’ll be interacting with your chosen blogging platform’s content editor a lot, so it’s important that it agree with you from the onset.
A good blogging platform should have an easily navigable content editor that allows you to structure your content in a hierarchy that search engines can follow.
Also, you should be able to preview your content before publishing and remove page components like widgets that your pages have no use for.
4. Search Engine Optimization Tools
SEO features are essential for any business-minded blogger.
If you want to use your blog for online entrepreneurship, you should consider blogging platforms that either has them built-in or can integrate with them.
SEO tools like lead capture pop-ups, site loading speed calculators, and more will make your blog SEO-friendly, resulting in more traffic and visibility.
Note that you won’t have to consider this factor if you’re not self-hosting your own site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Blogging Platform Should I Use if I Want to Make Money Online?
If your end goal for your blog is making money online, you can’t go wrong with WordPress.org.
It’s packed with SEO tools that’ll help you rank on Google’s SERPS and get your content in front of your audience.
What’s the Biggest Advantage of Using a Free Blogging Platform?
The biggest advantage of blogging with a blogging service instead of a self-hosted one is you don’t have to pay annual web hosting fees.
As such, you can get your content out there without incurring a recurring cost.
What Can I Use a Blogging Platform to Blog About?
There are blogs on the web centered around all kinds of topics, including health and fitness, horticulture, animal husbandry, fishing, knitting, bath bombs, firefighters, law enforcement, firearms, and so on.
Can Anyone Create a Blog?
Absolutely! Blogging is accessible to anyone with knowledge and the desire to share it with the world.
There are few barriers to entry, thanks to the abundance of free blogging platforms available.
Moreover, your age, sexual orientation, race, religious beliefs, or political affiliations don’t hinder you from setting up a blog around a topic you know.
With free and self-hosted options to choose from, you can begin your blogging journey with any of the blogging platforms mentioned in our list.
WordPress.org is our number one recommendation because it ticks all the boxes a good blogging platform should, including SEO functionality, ease of use, and more.
It’s the world’s most popular blogging platform for a reason and provides a more streamlined path to blog profitability if you plan on making money with your blog.