There are many blogging platforms on which someone looking to start blogging can use. However, this becomes a challenge when one focuses so much on the platform, wasting time instead of just starting and building and making the necessary changes along the way.
Note: Choosing the platform that best fit what you want to do from the onset however saves you a lot in terms of time and resource if you are like me and want to take the shortcut.
In this blog post, I will share the different blogging platforms available to you for blogging. However my bias is towards WordPress.org which require you to set up your own website using the WordPress content management system
Build your blog on a site that powers over 33% of the web. Easy to start, difficult to leave.
Let’s start with the most easy and free to use: WordPress.com. WordPress is a powerful, popular and well established blog platform.
It’s easy to jump in, which makes it very appealing for novices – especially considering you don’t have to worry about hosting as that is all handled by WordPress.com itself.
While this may sound like an advantage it can also be a bit of a disadvantage as once your blog reaches a certain size it can be difficult to move over to another platform if you want more flexibility or control over how your content is delivered.
WordPress has many free themes available and those that aren’t free usually cost around $40-$80 USD from reputable sources such as ThemeForest or MOJO Marketplace.
The vast majority of themes are responsive. They will look good on mobile devices and tablets giving you the ability to reach more users than before. Responsive themes also help make sure your blog doesn’t get left behind in today’s competitive web landscape.
Many themes also come with additional functionality allowing you to add complex elements such as social sharing buttons or widgets without needing any technical skills at all!
The same software that powers wordpress.com, but you download and set up your own hosting service.
WordPress.org is the same WordPress software that powers WordPress.com, but it’s free to download and host yourself. You can get either free hosting or paid hosting depending on your budget.
But I always advise to get paid hosting and recommend Hostinger. This version is best for those who want complete control over their hosting service, or have more complex needs such as ecommerce sites that require custom plugins and themes.
If you’re just starting out with your first blog or website experience, you should use WordPress.com instead, as it will be easier to set up and maintain without having to worry about managing your own server space or building a complex site from scratch.
One of the original blogging platforms from Google. Still popular with teachers and educational institutions setting up blogs for their students.
Blogger is a Google service so it’s very easy to get started with. In fact, if you already have a Google or Gmail account (and who doesn’t?) you can jump right in. If not, no worries. Setting up an account is simple and free.
Once you have your own Blogger account, this popular blogging platform lets you set up your site quickly and easily. There are 100+ templates to choose from and lots of ways to customize your blog so it looks the way you want it to look.
You can also monetize your blog using e-commerce tools from Google like AdSense, AdWords and more.
A complex, powerful content management platform that is more flexible than WordPress and requires more web development knowledge to customize.
Drupal is widely regarded as the most versatile content management system available. While it’s popular for building blogs, you can also use Drupal to create e-commerce sites, forums and even large intranets.
It was first released in 2001 and has developed a reputation for being slightly more complicated to learn than WordPress.
Its learning curve is steeper, but it has a lot of powerful features that are not included in many other blogging tools by default. Because of this flexibility, Drupal is considerably harder to customize if you don’t have any coding knowledge.
Another popular content management system with a large community of developers.
Joomla is a content management system that has been around since 2005. Like WordPress, it allows users to build websites with ease.
It also has a large community of developers for users looking for help. Joomla offers a variety of extensions (over 7000) that allow you to extend the functionality of your site beyond what other CMS systems offer out-of-the-box.
One downside of using Joomla is that it requires more technical knowledge than some other CMS systems. Additionally, while many of its extensions are free, some require payment and can add up if you need several extensions to meet your needs.
An easy to use website builder, has a good hosted blog service as well as other templates to build other types of websites and ecommerce sites.
Weebly is one of the most popular ways to create websites online. Most people who use Weebly use it because it is so easy. You can make a simple blog on Weebly, an online store, a portfolio or just about anything else that you can do with a website.
This site was built using Weebly, and I personally think they are great for small businesses that don’t need all of the extra things larger ecommerce sites offer.
A very simple, easy platform to share your writing and join a community with similar interests in blogging.
Medium is a blogging platform designed for writers. It’s really easy to use, with an intuitive editing interface. You can write your post, add an image and publish it all in one window. If you want to see how your post looks while you’re writing it, there is a “Preview” button that allows you to do just that.
Medium also has a community of users that are writers themselves and comment on each other’s work, which can be helpful if you want feedback on any writing you may be doing.
Medium is also great if you don’t know where to start blogging—you can just go to https://medium.com/new-story and start writing right away! Because all of the design elements are automatically generated by the website, there aren’t as many options for customization as other platforms like WordPress.
Not really considered a blogging platform by many people, but you could start one there and quickly build followers if you get lucky with a viral post or two.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform that is best known for its focus on images and other visual elements. People can follow your blog, or re-blog your posts to their followers.
There are many users on Tumblr who share inspirational quotes, art, and photos. It is not a good place for long blog posts, but if you have something short that you want to share with a lot of people quickly, it may be worth your time to set up an account and post there.
If you do decide to create a Tumblr account, keep in mind that it can take some time to build up followers unless one of your posts goes viral (in which case you could get thousands of followers overnight).
The more followers you have on Tumblr the better chance you have of sharing your message with people who will read it.
Most people think of Facebook as just a way to share personal updates or interact with family members and friends, but you can start a page there about any topic and try to get followers for it too.
Facebook Pages are an easy way to interact with your readers, as well as share content on Facebook.
However, Facebook Pages are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a manageable blog.
- They don’t have their own comment section (you can link out to a blog entry, but that doesn’t mean people will read the post)
- They aren’t free (you will have to pay for ads or boost posts if you want more than a handful of people to see them)
You may have heard of Google Sites by its original name, JotSpot. This free alternative to Blogger.com has been around since 2006, and was acquired by Google in late 2006.
With a user base that is mostly made up of students and teachers, Google Sites doesn’t have all the features you would expect from a more comprehensive content management system like WordPress or Drupal.
However, this CMS manages to stand out when it comes to simplicity and ease of use. If you want something that looks good and is easy to setup/use, then Google Sites might be right for you.
Google Sites has a built-in drag-and-drop feature that makes creating new pages easy while also giving you complete control over how everything will look once the page goes live.
It also gives users access to a wide range of themes and designs so they can choose something that suits their blog or website’s overall feel.
So there you have them the different blogging platforms that you can use for blogging. You can decide to have you blog on Blogger (Blogspot.com), wordpress.com, wordpress.org (self hosted), Tumblr, Medium, Facebook Pages, Google sites, Drupal, Joomla or Weebly. However self-hosting WordPress is the recommended way to go for starters.