Every blog needs a foundation. Blogging platforms (sites, content management systems) provide the foundation and a framework that you can use to start a blog. There are many solutions, but only a few are worth considering. This subdivision provides a detailed overview (plus reviews from real customers) of self-hosted, freemium and free blogging platforms available on the web today. With the help of this information, you will be able to find the best option for your needs and understand how to use it.
What is the best blogging platform?
Read on to dive deeper into this matter and explore the rise in their popularity from their early days in the world of blogging platforms.
A blogging platform is a type of software or service that you use to create a blog so that you can publish your content online. Creating a blog involves several steps, but the first is choosing a system that will meet your needs. Without it, you cannot proceed to other stages, and you cannot begin your blogging adventure.
You can safely say that a blogging platform is a CMS (content management system) as it enables you to easily manage your content after getting your blog up and running.
Blogging is a relatively new concept. The blogging platform has been around 28 years but, as you can certainly imagine, they just did not look the way they looked. Furthermore, blogs that were first created were not referred to as “blogs”, but rather “online diaries” or “personal web pages”.
The first blogging platform, Links.net, was created in 1994 by Justin Hall. Justin was a Swarthmore College student at the time, and used his blog, or a personal web page, to share his thoughts and daily life comments. With the world.
It was not until 1997 that the term “weblog” was used to describe those online diaries. The name was brought to life by John Berger, one of the first bloggers and the creator and editor of Robot Wisdom, one of the first powerful blogs at that time. In 1999, the term was abbreviated to “blog” by programmer Peter Merholz.
The most popular which is one of the first blogging platforms were Open Diary. It was launched by Bruce Abelson in 1998 and served as an online journal community where people could read each other’s diaries and leave comments.
In 1999, several powerful blogging platforms were launched, which are still in operation today. These include the well-known blogger founded by the company Pyra Labs, LiveJournal, founded by Brad Fitzpatrick and Xanga, founded by Mark Ginsberg, Dan Hudley, and John Hiller.
“The early 2000s”
In the early 2000s, more blogging platforms kept popping up and that was the time when “TypePad” and the all-time giant, WordPress, came to life, both launching in 2003.
The mid-2000s marked the time when blogging platforms eventually became mainstream. Political blogs were growing in various other types of blogs, including video blogs. In 2007, Tumblr was launched, followed by the Posterior in 2008. In 2012, Evan Williams founded Medium, one of the newest blogging platforms, which is steadily gaining momentum.
With all those great blogging platforms, blogs were becoming the primary channel for online communication for millions. None of us know what the future holds for blogs, but one thing is certain – they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform?
At this stage, you have to determine the blog management platform/tool you want to use. Here are some important criteria for assessing the available options:
- Pricing: One of the most popular questions i.e; “How much does it price/cost?”. It is most important to know how much you have to pay for a blogging platform and it is also important to know what you will get for your money.
- Types: There are many different types of solutions. They are designed to be able to create a blog for all end-users, but it is important for you to understand what is available. They are: free (hosted), self-hosted, freemium, premium, blog website builder. We will describe the difference between them later.
- Ease of use: New bloggers need an easy to use solution that they can learn without any technical skills, web development or web design. Once the software is set up it becomes easy to manage.
- Features: You need to make sure that the platform you choose is feature-rich. You may not need or use them initially, but you need to make sure that the platform provides you with the ability to fully customize or change your blog when necessary.
- Administration: The back end or admin area is where you will make changes to your blog, writing content, making changes to the design and layout. Make sure the admin area is available, accessible and easy to navigate.
Below, you will find some of the most popular blogging platforms and alternative options (with little details, pros, and cons) that are available to other bloggers. With the help of this information, you will be able to find the best option for you.
One of the best and most popular blogging platforms is the self-hosted Content Management System (CMS) WordPress.org. It has been recommended by 90 percent of the blogging experts we surveyed. For beginners, WordPress.org is a clear winner because of:
- You do not have coding experience to handle most tasks related to creating and maintaining your blog.
- Updates can be done within the WordPress dashboard with the click of a button.
- Anything to help you including customization, design, functionality, and maintenance is of great help.
To set up your own WordPress.org blog you will need a web hosting space and a domain name. For new bloggers, we recommend Bluehost that the company empowers over 2 million websites worldwide. You’ll get a free domain name when you sign up with them and if you don’t like the service, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The above option is our recommended way to create our new blog. In order to convince you that you are making the right decision, let’s describe all the options below in more detail.
When it comes to starting your blog, you have the following types of platforms:
- Free (Hosted): Pay attention to the name (domain name) of your blog just to put it on and to show you why this platform is called “Hosted”. Hosted means that you will have a blog name in this form- blogname.wordpress.com or blogname.blogspot.com. The big advantage is that it is completely free, but the downside is that you will be subject to their rules and this form of blog name (subdomain) is an indication of an inexperienced start, which will probably not be taken seriously.
- Self-Hosted: This allows you to run a blog on your domain. In addition to following the rules of your domain registrar and web hosting company, you are fully in charge of your blog and its content. Self-hosted content management systems are usually open-sourced and free.
- Freemium / Premium: Freemium means that you will have a trial period before you start paying (costs can vary from $ 5 to $ 30 per month). Many forums are available. One of the most popular is TypePad. The platform focuses on ease of use for writing, but customization options are limited and lack some special features for bloggers.
Here default case as your TypePad blog name will look like this: yourname.typepad.com. If you are trying to create a name and brand for your blog then this is not always the best option.
- Blog / Website Creators: Website creators allow you to create a simple blog or website using a template and drag and drop interface. As a result, you enjoy the benefits was “What you get and what you see”; when you build a website with builders. Many of them also include hosting as a part of their service. But you have to keep in mind that their options are limited and it can be difficult to add additional features.
Keeping all the information that is close to the most popular blogging solutions:
What does The New Yorker, Boeing Boeing, Chicago Bulls, BBC America, Beyoncé, Vogue, The Rolling Stones and thousands of others have in common? They all made their official blogs from WordPress.org. Launched in 2003, it does not require any introduction except for the long list of sites that use it today and the fact that it empowers about 25% of the blogs on the web. Just don’t confuse this open-source CMS and host the blogging software WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is something you should be familiar with and at least try once. When it comes to managing your blog or site, it is one of the most popular options. It has a learning curve and will take some time to learn, but it is the cost of having a professional site or blog. Having said this, there is one thing that you have not obtained with some blogging platforms, and that is 100% ownership of your blog and content. In the long run, this will probably be the biggest benefit compared to free hosted solutions.
The WordPress.org software is open-source and completely free, so there will be no additional cost on that side. Yes, all upgrades are also free. But you will need to choose a domain name (about $ 15 per year) and web hosting provider (about $ 5 to $ 15 per month depending on the company).
How to install wordpress.org software:
With WordPress being the easiest platform in the world of content management systems, we are going to focus on showing you how to create a blog using a self-hosted version of WordPress. As an example, we will show you how to launch a blog with Bluehost and follow all the steps with enough screenshots that will give you further understanding of what you need to do.
And as we mentioned earlier, you will get a free domain name upon signing up with them and if you don’t like their service, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Click on this link and you will go to the “Special Offers” page reserved for our fans. Once you get there, click “Start Now”.
When it comes to blogging platforms, one of the first providers that will pop into the minds of most people. Established in 1999, it is one of the oldest providers still active. In 2003, it was acquired by Google and this change is still shifting the way users work with Blogger.
Blogger is relatively easy to use. It is completely free and you can monetize it to some extent through advertisements. Customization options are limited, so in the long run, expansion is not welcomed.
It has been online for 15 years, so many bloggers are familiar with it or have already tried it. If you just want a hobby blog, then Blogger may be enough for you. If you want your blog to be taken seriously, we will not recommend it. With some costs, with a custom domain, perhaps you should look into WordPress.org or other platforms.
Blogger is a free platform and you will automatically get the name “yourname.blogspot.com” for your blog. If you decide to get away with it, you will need to purchase your own domain (about $ 15 per year) with one of the domain registrar companies and point it to your blog with Blogger settings.
Founded in 2006, Wix has become a wildly popular web builder for those with a ton of design options – without breaking the bank. In 2012, Wix switched from Adobe Flash to HTML5, a successful move that they received, at the time, with 25 million users. Their business model is freemium and we can immediately hear some people rolling their eyes. However, is the “Oh, no, not again” sign or decision too early? you be the judge.
With the free plan, you will cover all the basics. However, upgrading to a connected domain allows you to use your own domain. We recommend upgrading to combo as you will also be free from their original ads. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Wix calls all payment plans – premium plans. Therefore, when the company states that a facility is included in the premium plan, you will not be sure which plan they are talking about.
Even though Wix is a website builder, they also provide an easy start for bloggers. Here Wix.com, you can involve your post by write, edit and manage your blog posts from your desktop or on the go!
- The free plan gives you 500MB storage and 500MB bandwidth,
- Connect Domain, for $ 4.08 per month, allows you to access your domain, 1 GB of bandwidth, the ability to integrate Google Analytics, and premium support,
- The combo, for $ 8.25 a month, takes out 2GB of bandwidth, 3GB of storage, native and mobile ads, gives you a free domain for a year, customized favicons, and a Google ad voucher for $ 75,
- Hereby wix.com provides Unlimited bandwidth, for only $ 12.42 per month, gives you unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, Form Builder app, and Site Booster app,
- For $ 16.17 in a month, eCommerce gives you 20 GB of storage and most importantly an online store,
- VIP (U.S. and Canada exclusive), for $ 24.90 per month, you will get a VIP support line, which includes instant feedback on forums, skip lines, one-time professional review sites.
Tumblr, or better yet, “Tumbler” is a media-rich blogging platform. Founded in 2007 as a social network and a (micro) blogging platform, it was acquired by Yahoo in 2013. It has well-known active users like Taylor Swift, Grace Haleb, and Tyler Oakley. However, when it comes to text-based content, you will have a severe shortage of equipment. If you are a beginner and / or have an artistic side then this is a great start.
Tumblr.com platform is free. The free setup comes with your name.tumblr.com extension. If you wish, you can purchase and use your own domains. Here is a guide on how to set up your own domain on Tumblr.
As an alternative, you can buy premium themes from $ 9 to $ 49, but they are not a requirement. Plugins are free, but unfortunately, apart from the basics, there are not many plugins.
Typepad is one of the oldest members of that club when it comes to premium blogging platforms (not free). Launched in 2003, it was one of the most popular blogging platforms that hosted various celebrity blogs such as Paris Hilton or Will Wheaton. Meanwhile, other blogging platforms emerged and took their share in the blogging arena. However, the mere fact that is still here, after about 15-ish years alive, kicking and doing well, is something to think about. It may be outdated in the Internet years, but it is far from dead.
TypePad is not a free service. You can pay for this with your credit card or through PayPal. If you don’t want to jump into a new contractual obligation, you can try their 14-day free trial, but you’ll still have to fill out the billing information. You can choose to make monthly or annual payments, where you can get a fixed discount for the annual option. After your 14-day free trial, you will be automatically subscribed at your subscribed rate. If you do not want to host your blog there, you can cancel your subscription at any time to avoid fees. If you have decided to stay, there are four different packages: Plus $ 8.95, Unlimited $ 14.95, Premium $ 29.95, and Enterprise $ 49.95 per month.
The medium is what its title says. It is a new medium that has its backbone in the blogging world but has evolved over time into a publishing platform. It was created by the company that brought us Blogger and it was created by co-founders of Twitter, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone. Launched in 2012, it is trying to make the best of many platforms that are heavy on membership or activities, such as Twitter or Pinterest, and explore the balance between personal publishing and publishing by organizations. Visually, it is attractive, attractive and modern.
If you are an older user, pricing and hosting should not concern you at all. The medium used to be free and there were no hosting packages as everything was taken care of by the medium server. This is still true, but now you have a price attached to it. For $ 5 / mo, you can become a member and with it, you will be able to read exclusive stories from top authors and experts, listen to audio versions of popular stories, and reward authors you love.
Congratulation! At this stage, we hope you have a good idea of how you want to create your new blog. New bloggers will be tempted by the availability of free blogging platforms as they are free and quick to start. But remember, based on our knowledge and the research we have done, the best blogging platform out there today is WordPress.org. Keep in mind that this platform is powering 25.4% of all the world’s websites and accounts for more than 76.5 million blogs.
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