Top 7 Blogging Platforms of 2019

Internet, Software

There is a lot of ground to cover when starting a blog. You need to choose your niche, plan your content and most importantly – choose a blogging platform. Luckily, there are quite a few options for you to explore. In this article, we will be exploring the top picks to help you decide which is the best blogging platform for you.

Table of Contents

Why Does the Platform Matter?

Choosing the right blogging platform is a highly important step.  It will affect how you manage your content, how much it will cost to maintain your blog and how much effort it takes to run it.

One of the main factors you need to focus on is how much experience you have in content management. If you’re a complete newbie, you should aim to pick a blogging platform that is beginner friendly.

Another important factor is your budget. Some blogging platforms are free, while others will cost you. What is more, some blogging platforms will require hosting, themes, plugins, and various extensions.

So, if you have a small budget or want to run a simple blog without much investment – aim for a cheaper blogging platform.

Last but not least, how big do you expect your blog to grow? And are you intending to make money out of it? A business blog that attracts a lot of guests may need bigger storage and higher security.

Different blogging platforms offer different services and cater to different needs. Thus, choosing the best blogging platform for you is crucial.

Best Blogging Platforms

To help you pick the best blogging platform, let’s have a quick overview of the top picks.

1. WordPress

Before we go any further, you should keep in mind that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different. The main difference between the two platforms is that WordPress.org is self-hosted.

You’ll find a short comparison here, but if you want a more in-depth review you can check our WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com article.

blog platform WordPress

WordPress.org is a place where users can create blogging sites from scratch. You have the freedom to do anything with your site and have full control over it.

The best thing about WordPress.org is that it is completely free and open-source. This means, that you have ultimate control of your website and how it functions. There are plenty of both paid and free themes, so you can create the site design of your dreams.

What is more, WordPress.org offers thousands of handy plugins, that are easy to install and use. You can get a plugin for everything from SEO to increased security.

However, to get your site up and running online with WordPress.org, you will need to get hosting services and a domain name.

WordPress.com platform

WordPress.com, on the other hand, is the hosted version with limitations. It’s ideal for beginners and personal bloggers who are looking for a platform that is easy to manage.

Is it Easy to use and Customize?
There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to managing your site with WordPress.org. It might take some time getting to know the elements, features, and plugins. But it’s worth the effort as you can create a highly-functioning and powerful website.

WordPress.com is much easier to handle as the features are limited and basic. You can still adjust the layouts, add widgets and different pages to your site. But users who require more functionality might feel restrained.

Thousands of customizable themes are available on both platforms. But, WordPress.org gives you the most freedom to change, move and add elements around.

How much does it cost?
The WordPress.org is free, but since it isn’t self-hosted, you usually have to pay for hosting and custom domain. No need to panic, 000wwebhost offers free hosting! If you need more functionality, Hostinger has three web hosting plans at reasonable prices:

  1. Single $1.45/mo
  2. Premium $2.95/mo
  3. Business $3.95/mo

The cost for themes and plugins also varies depending on the needs of your website. There are pools of free or priced themes and plugins to choose from as well.

There’s a free plan for sites on WordPress.com. Three options of upgrades are also available (paid yearly):

  1. Personal $5
  2. Premium (entrepreneurs and freelancers) $8
  3. Business (small businesses) $25

The features offered range from themes, design customization, and plugins, to removing WordPress ads.

Is There a Custom Domain Option?
You can simply connect a domain you already have to WordPress.org, or purchase one at Hostinger for just $1.

On the other hand, in WordPress.com a free domain (one year) comes with the paid upgrades. A subdomain (yourblog.wordpress.com) will be attached if you pick the free plan.

Can You Monetize Your Blog?
Monetizing your blog is very much possible if you use WordPress.org. You can gain income by running AdSense widgets (Google AdSense, Amazon banners) and through affiliate links. What is more, with WordPress you can easily set up an online store with your blog and make money from selling your products or services.

Monetization in WordPress.com is possible with platforms such as WordAds, but only if you have upgraded to the Premium and Business plan.

The Business plan also lets you manage third-party ads like Google AdSense, Vibrant Media, and Lijit.

What’s the Storage Capacity, and is it Secure?
Storage space for WordPress.org depends on the hosting you have. For 000webhost free hosting, they give 1GB of disk space. Hostinger web hosting plans offer 10GB and unlimited space.

With WordPress.com plans you get:

  1. Free 3GB
  2. Personal 6GB
  3. Premium 13GB
  4. Business Unlimited storage

As for securities measures, in WordPress.org there are many backup and security plugins that you can add. For WordPress.com sites, that option is only available to the Business plan.

Keep in mind, that the WordPress core software is already very secure so depending on your site, the investment might not be necessary.

Perfect for:

  • WordPress.org: aspiring developers, website designers, medium and large business owners.
  • WordPress.com: beginners, personal interest bloggers, and small businesses.

2. Joomla!

blogging platform joomla

Joomla! Is another great open source platform, that is very popular amongst developers and bloggers alike. Joomla! stands in the middle between the easy to use WordPress.org and a more technical Drupal that we will discuss later.

Is it Easy to use and Customize?
Installing Joomla! to your host won’t take a minute, but creating a blog can take a while. The dashboard is not as intuitive and easy to use as WordPress.org. However, tech-savvy users will not have a problem getting around the components.

You can also customize the hundreds of templates to create the website design of your dreams. There’s a choice of adding extensions or apps from the Joomla! site as well, but the quantity is a drawback. It can be pretty tricky finding the perfect base and extension that you need.

How much does it cost?
Just like WordPress.org you need to have a host before you can install Joomla! The cost depends on the host you choose. 000webhost is free, while Hostinger offers plans ranging from $1.45 to $3.95

Is There a Custom Domain Option?
You can purchase a domain name at Hostinger for $1 and connect it to Joomla!

Can You Monetize Your Blog?
There are a few ways you can monetize your blog with Joomla!. First of all, you can join their affiliate program. If that doesn’t fit your needs, you can always monetize your blog with ads.

What’s the Storage Capacity, and is it Secure?
Joomla! disk space varies depending on your host. You can have a minimum of 500MB from 000webhost to a 10GB and unlimited space from Hostinger

To secure your blog on Joomla!, you have to take a couple of extra steps. Don’t install too many extensions as security breaches usually come from third-party extensions. Use a web application firewall and make sure to get an SSL certificate.

Perfect for:

  • Developers and programmers
  • Small to big businesses

3. Drupal

best blog platform drupal

Drupal is one of the best blogging platforms and is popular among professional communities. It powers some of the largest and busiest sites on the web. It’s scalable, flexible, and has all the essential tools for content creation.

Is it Easy to use and Customize?
Drupal by nature is a bit complex and harder to manage, so learning how to use it might take a little while. It requires a lot more technical experience to build a site, but the end product will be very powerful.

Plenty of professional themes are available with Drupal. But to make significant changes, you will need to have an understanding of PHP, HTML, and CSS.

Drupal’s admin area also offers a lot of customization options, giving full control over your site.

In the past, Drupal’s interface used to be very complicated and tricky to use. But in recent times, Drupal’s developers made an effort to simplify how the interface works.

How much does it cost?
Drupal is and will always be free; you only have to pay for hosting.

Is There a Custom Domain Option?
With Drupal, you will need to connect a domain from third-party providers.

Can You Monetize Your Blog?
Drupal contribution module offers several monetization possibilities such as Google AdSense and signing up to their affiliate program.

What’s the Storage Capacity, and is it Secure?
As mentioned before, the storage space that you have depends on your host.

Security is taken very seriously at Drupal. Breaches and weak points are patched quickly once discovered. To ensure maximum safety of your website, always make sure to update the Drupal security modules.

Perfect for:

  • Developers
  • Government and enterprises
  • Higher education institutes

4. Wix

wix blog platform

Wix is a website builder, that grew to be one of the best blogging platforms on the web. If you want to create a professional looking site, but don’t have any technical knowledge – Wix might be the perfect answer for you.

Is it Easy to use and Customize?
With Wix, your website will be ready to launch in just a couple of minutes. It has an easy to use website-builder with an intuitive drag and drop function.

Even if you have no technical knowledge, you will be able to create and launch a beautiful, highly functioning website in just a couple of steps.

Wix has over 500 customizable themes for you to choose from. You can edit all elements on your site and easily create the web design of your dreams.

How much does it cost?
It’s free and self-hosted. If you want to upgrade your site and have more functionality, Wix offers five monthly premium plans (paid annually):

  1. Connect Domain (most basic) $4.50
  2. Combo (personal use) $8.50
  3. Unlimited (entrepreneurs and freelancers) $6.25
  4. eCommerce (small business) $8.25
  5. VIP (everything and more) $24.50

The benefits range from the ability to connect your own domain, removing Wix ads, to site booster app and unlimited bandwidth

Is There a Custom Domain Option?
Yes, but only available on the Combo to VIP plans. If you’re sticking to the free plan, you will have a subdomain attached (newname.wix.com).

Can You Monetize Your Blog?
It’s possible! Wix branded elements are shown in the free plan. If you know basic HTML adding custom ads will not be a problem.

What’s the Storage Capacity, and is it Secure?
The storage capacity varies. Free Wix website has 500MB of storage, while the premium plans have a range from 1GB to 20GB.

You can secure your Wix website with SSL (secure socket layer)/TSL (transport layer security) by enabling the HTTPS. Simply go to the settings page in the dashboard.

Perfect for:

  • New bloggers who want to build a blog from scratch.
  • Business owners that want a professional and optimized website.
  • Creative users that needs a platform to showcase their work.
  • Bloggers on a budget, but wants to have a great-looking site.

5. Squarespace

squarespace website

Squarespace is another self-hosted website builder, but a little more technical than Wix. It’s the best blogging platform if you have extra time on your hands and need more creative space.

This blogging platform puts a lot of focus on the aesthetic elements of your site, so if this is a priority of yours – Squarespace will not disappoint.

Is it Easy to use and Customize?
Squarespace is another platform that uses the drag-and-drop method. Yet, it takes a bit longer to learn than Wix.

Not to worry, you don’t need to have advanced technical skills in mastering the interface. All you need is just a little bit more dedication and patience.

Squarespace has over 60 beautiful designed templates. Despite the small range, they are the best when it comes to quality. The templates are customizable, flexible, and stunning.

Other than that, Squarespace also has a great range of in-house tools despite the lack of an app market.

How much does it cost?
Squarespace gives users a 14-day free trial. If you want to continue using the platform, it offers four monthly plans (billed annually):

  1. Personal website $12
  2. Business website $18
  3. Basic online store $26
  4. Advance online store $40

The plans include hosting and various benefits depending on the plan.

Good news to students out there, a 50% discount is given if you register with your academic email address.

Is There a Custom Domain Option?
One year free custom domain registration is included in an annual purchase of all the plans.

Can You Monetize Your Blog?
Selling your products and services through Squarespace is one of the monetization options. You can also make money by placing online ads.

What’s the Storage Capacity, and is it Secure?
Unlimited storage and SSL security are all included in the four plans.

Perfect for:

  • Designers and artists
  • Photographers
  • Creative entrepreneurs

6. Weebly

weebly best blog

Weebly is a quick and easy, beginner friendly website builder. It’s one of the best blogging platforms for newbies because of its simple nature.

Is it Easy to use and Customize?
Weebly is very easy to navigate and manage. You don’t have to touch any source codes to add a blog post or build a site.

Weebly offers free themes that are easy to customize. What is more, Weebly provides a large number of additional features for your blog. To name a few, there’s the comment section, social bookmarking, and scheduled sharing.

Not forgetting the detailed analytic system that is already built into the site, which helps a lot with managing your blog.

How much does it cost?
For basic blog websites, you can stick to the Free plan. If you want to expand your website for business, there are four options offered in Weebly’s pricing plan (paid annually):

  1. Connect (your domain) $5
  2. Pro (groups and organizations) $12
  3. Business (small and stores) $25
  4. Performance (power sellers) $38

From Pro to Performance, you have the benefit of removing Weebly ads, adding membership space, site search, able to play videos in the background, and more.

Is There a Custom Domain Option?
The Free plan comes with a subdomain (chosenname.weebly.com). A $20 value custom domain is given free if you purchase the paid plans.

Can You Monetize Your Blog?
Absolutely! There are a few choices to choose from: Google AdSense, creating ads for your products, joining the affiliate market, to accepting donations.

What’s the Storage Capacity, and is it Secure?
500MB of storage is given to the Free and Connect plan. As for Pro, Business and, Performance, you will have unlimited space. SSL security is also available in all plans.

Perfect for:

  • Small businesses
  • Portfolios

7. Blogger

blogger

If you’re new to blogging and want to start a blog with no struggle, then you can try out Blogger. It is one of the oldest and best blogging platforms on the web.

Is it Easy to use and Customize?
Blogger has a simple to use, intuitive dashboard. Even complete beginners won’t face any problems while navigating it.

Blogger comes with some basic templates that you can customize on the Theme Designer window. The layout editing is pretty straightforward. You can add the default widgets and place them wherever you like.

If you know basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can try to upload new templates and widgets. You can also edit the source code if you want to take it up a notch.

How much does it cost?
Blogger is a free blogging platform. All its services are free of charge, including hosting.

Is There a Custom Domain Option?
blogspot.com comes as a default subdomain (insertname.blogspot.com). However, you can get a personal domain at Hostinger starting from $1 and link it to your Blogger account.

Can You Monetize Your Blog?
Yes! For one thing, activating Google AdSense is a piece of cake. Plus, you can include third-party ad services by adding a JavaScript widget.

What’s the Storage Capacity, and is it Secure?
Blogger has a limit of having 100 blogs per account. Users with Google+ accounts have 15GB of space of Google Photos, shared with Gmail and Drive.

For security measures, you can turn on the HTTPS and HTTPS redirect in the settings menu.

Perfect for:

  • Hobby and personal blogs.
  • Bloggers on a budget.

Our Pick

So, what is our pick out of all the seven best blogging platforms? Each type of user might have different choices depending on the factors we’ve discussed. But our pick is none other than the self-hosted WordPress.org.

WordPress.org ranks high on our list due to its powerful, yet easy to use nature. Plus how affordable and flexible it is.

Summary

In this article, we’ve learned how important it is to choose the right platform for your blog. The points that should be considered before choosing are:

  • Your level of experience website management
  • Your budget
  • Monetization needs

We’ve also discussed the seven best blogging platforms and their differences. For complete beginners, WordPress.com, Wix, Weebly, and Blogger are worth to try on. For intermediate and advanced users, you can dive into Squarespace, Joomla! and Drupal.

If you want to experience the best of both worlds then WordPress.org is a definite choice.

The first steps might be the hardest, but once you make that leap everything will flow. So what are you waiting for? Start creating!

https://www.000webhost.com/blog/best-blogging-platforms

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