Choosing a blogging platform for the first time may not be as easy as you think. As the competition among platforms toughens, many of them claim that they have the best features on the market.
Though there are a lot of similarities from one platform to another, there are also some slight differences that may significantly affect the user experience. Therefore, it is essential to know each platform’s strengths and weaknesses.
To save your precious time, I have compelled 10 best blogging platforms for beginners. Throughout this article, you are going to learn the pros and cons of the tops choices. Thus, you will have better insight to find the one that suits your needs.
How to Choose the Right Blogging Platform
First of all, you need to understand that each blogging platform is unique in terms of functionality and offered features, so there’s no telling which one is the best. The only thing you can do is find the right one for your personal needs.
What are the factors you should consider when picking the best blogging platform for your needs? Here are my recommendations:
- Personal Goals. Start by asking yourself these questions: what is the purpose of your blog? What kind of blog you are going to build? How much money and time will you invest in growing your blog? Knowing your personal goals will help you set a clear parameter when choosing a blogging platform.
- Monetization. While most blogging platforms allow you to monetize your content, there are some that limit or restrain to this feature.
- Ease of Use. Some blogging platforms are beginner-friendly, while some others are harder to master. Therefore, make sure you choose the one that matches your basic skills and technical knowledge.
- Budget. Some blogging platforms have already included all the basic features to run a website while others require you to purchase a hosting plan, domain name, plugins, and themes.
Top 10 Blogging Platforms for Beginners
Some blogging platforms are more suitable for advanced users, while some are more beginner-friendly. Depending on your technical proficiency, you should choose a platform accordingly.
I will list the 10 best blogging platforms for beginners in 2019 based on their features and ease of use.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform on this planet. Currently, 32.5% of CMS-powered websites use WordPress.
This CMS (Content Management System) is quite easy to use, even for beginners. However, you will have to spend some time getting to know the platform, especially when it comes to installing plugins or customizing themes.
With that being said, once you know how to do it, you can extend WordPress functionality to create the ultimate blog. There are literally thousands of plugins and themes that you can use to enrich your content and make your blog even more interesting.
In other words, WordPress is unrivaled in terms of customization choices. If you plan to go “nuts” with your blog, the platform is the one you are looking for.
The core of WordPress is free. However, since WordPress is a self-hosted CMS, you need to purchase web hosting and a domain name.
What’s great about WordPress is that it allows monetizing your blog in various ways (AdSense, affiliate marketing, sponsored sales, direct sales, etc). It is one of the best platforms to turn your passion project into a solid money-maker machine.
- WordPress is extremely scalable. If you ever decide to add new features to your blog, such as ecommerce, or if you start building up your following and gain loads of traffic – you can always upscale.
- It has thousands of free plugins and themes, which are heavily customizable, beautiful, and well-functioning.
- Supports all kinds of monetization options. You can make money blogging if you generate enough traffic.
- It is a self-hosted CMS, which means that you need a hosting plan, domain name, SSL, and other paid features.
WordPress is the most popular CMS-based blogging platform in the world. It provides a lot of free themes and plugins which are useful to extend your blog’s functionality. What is more, WordPress is scalable and supports various monetization options.
It may not be the easiest platform for beginners to use, but it is also not the most difficult one. With a bit of practice, I can assure that you will get used to this platform pretty quickly.
Nevertheless, note that you may need to spend your money on web hosting, a domain name, an SSL certificate, and premium plugins or themes (optional).
If you don’t intend to spend even a single penny, try using free hosting for this purpose. As long as you don’t mind having some service limitations, it should fulfill all your basic blogging needs.
Wix is a professional website builder that allows you to create a beautiful, fully-functioning blog without having to code. It uses a drag-and-drop system with multiple ready-to-use templates.
In addition, Wix also offers an Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature which will automatically create a website template according to your needs. All you have to do is answer a couple of questions!
This site builder is powered with HTML 5, which is one of the most sophisticated technologies in web design. It also uses an intuitive interface to help beginners navigate the features quickly and easily.
Wix has a lot of subscription options with great features. For example, it offers the Unlimited plan for $12.50/month. This plan gives you unlimited bandwidth, a free domain name for a year and 10GB storage.
Wix also has a free plan, however, you will be stuck with a Wix subdomain and will have ads placed on your website.
- The beautiful drag and drop templates that are super easy to customize.
- ADI is really helpful for beginners who don’t even have the slightest experience in web design.
- You can’t change your template once the site is live. If you ever decide to change the design of your blog, you’ll have to start over with building your website.
Wix is an excellent platform to start your blogging career. It provides cutting-edge technology, including the amazing Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to help you build a professional-looking site.
That being said, you’ll have to use the paid plans to use all of Wix’s advantages. The plans start from $4.50 and go up to $24.50/month.
Joomla! is a free content management system that can be used to create blogs, ecommerce stores, online forums, business websites, etc. This platform is available in more than 70 languages and provides over 8000 of ready-to-use components and modules to enrich the content of your website.
Joomla’s administrator panel is easy to operate. You can manage your website design, articles, menus, content, and other features from the panel.
The dashboard is also designed to be easy to navigate. Everything is well-structured and categorized so even a beginner can use it without any hassle.
Nonetheless, note that Joomla! doesn’t support multi-sites. So, you cannot create a parent website that oversees several other websites.
In other words, Joomla! is not suitable for websites with specific objectives, such as news portals or community blogs with multiple branches. It is, however, an excellent platform to create a business or corporate blog in a small to medium scale.
- Joomla! provides tons of components and modules that can be used to extend the functions of your site. Most of them are free!
- It is easy to operate and is quite straight-forward. You will not find it difficult to handle, even if it is the first CMS you have ever used.
- It may not be for everyone. Joomla! does not support multisite and limits the access control list (ACL) feature, which is useful to give customized access to certain users or groups.
Joomla! is a good blogging platform for beginners. The large selection of modules and components is an advantage that is hard to be overlooked. In addition, it is also free to use and has great community support all around the globe.
However, this platform is far from perfect. Aside from the lack of multisite and ACL, it also requires you to spend some cash on a hosting plan, SSL, domain name, and other necessities to run a basic website.
Ghost is an online publication platform designed for a very specific purpose: content creation. This platform is the perfect choice for those of you who intend to focus on your blog’s content rather than its appearance.
One of the most prominent aspects of Ghost is that the blogging platform uses a Content Delivery Network which will store your data in multiple servers around the globe.
As a result, your blog will be noticeably faster than most platforms, including popular ones such as WordPress or Joomla.
Moreover, Ghost provides SSL certificates, built-in SEO features, and social sharing options. It also comes with tons of convenient services, such as automatic weekly updates, enterprise-grade security, and uptime management.
However, all those features are not available for free. In fact, Ghost is one of the most expensive blogging platforms out there.
The cheapest plan – Ghost pro basic –costs $29/month while the most expensive one costs a staggering $199/month.
- Ghost provides everything you need to run a blog: SSL certificates, built-in SEO features, automatic updates, and professional security systems.
- It uses the Content Delivery Network (CDN), thus it is way faster than most blogs you’ve ever visited.
- Ghost is expensive. Enough said.
As a blogging platform, Ghost has provided everything to start a blog, including templates, space, tools, and security protection.
Ghost does not need heavy optimization to speed up your blog. The Content Delivery Network (CDN) used on this platform is enough to run your site at the highest speed right out of the box.
That being said, I need to emphasize that this platform is not for those who half-heartedly put their feet into blogging. Since it costs $29/month (month, not year) and above, you need to make sure that you are serious enough about starting a blog.
Medium is a blogging platform that focuses on creating written content. For those of you who like to share stories and focus on developing ideas without flashing visual content, this blogging platform is definitely one of the best.
It allows you to share your article’s draft with someone else. It means that you can write collaborative content with other writers without sharing your account.
Your blog’s readers can also comment on specific parts of your content, such as certain words or paragraphs, which means that you will have a clearer and more “intimate” interaction with your audience.
Medium is uncomplicated, and it does a great job of providing a simple blogging platform for everyone.
- It is simple, yet engaging and beautiful at the same time. A perfect place to share your writing with the world.
- Medium is really easy to use. Beginners won’t have any issues navigating it and managing their content.
- You can not extend your blog’s functions. All you can do is write, edit, and publish.
Medium is clean, fast, and simple. This platform is an excellent choice for those of you who prefer to focus on writing and publishing rather than customizing or tweaking your blog’s additional functions.
While it does not provide the conventional monetization (AdSense, for example), you still can get paid by joining their partnership program.
If you are pretty confident that your writing alone can attract a lot of visitors, I believe Medium will not disappoint you in any way.
As one of the most popular blogging platforms, Blogger has a lot of perks: it is free, easy to use, highly customizable, fast, available in 41 languages, and provides a free hosting plan with unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
Since this platform is owned and managed by Google, you can create your blog right away with a Gmail account. The media files you upload will also be automatically integrated with Google Photos.
One of the biggest advantages of using Blogger is its security. Blogger uses Google servers, which are known as the most stable, hack-free servers up to today.
- Loads of perks for beginners, including multiple language support, unlimited space disk and bandwidth, and a lot of free themes with a customizable look.
- It uses the Google server, which is known as one of the safest servers in the world. In other words, security won’t be an issue you worry about.
- Although Blogger has tons of free templates, most of them look generic and uninteresting, which means that you need to do a lot of customization or spend money to buy premium themes.
Flying under Google name does not guarantee the success of a product. At least that what I think about this platform.
While it does a pretty good job of creating and running a simple blog, there are some minor details that might bother you. For example, if you want to have a reply button in the comment section, you’ll have to modify the theme’s code.
What is more, Blogger isn’t very SEO friendly which is a huge drawback.
In the end, Blogger is still a good platform to start a blog. Nevertheless, make sure that you have compared its features with other platforms before starting out.
Tumblr is one of the most versatile blogging platforms on the web. It allows you to create and share almost everything: articles, short stories, GIFs, links, photos, jokes, music tracks, videos, art, TV shows, fashion, etc.
Tumblr is like a “hybrid” of a conventional blog and a social media platform. It allows you to share, like, and even repost other blogger’s content.
While it seems fun, Tumblr can actually be used as a serious money-maker. You can use AdSense, create affiliate links, sponsored posts, etc. as it permits all kinds of monetization options. You just need to be active and creative.
- Fun to use. It feels like you are spending time on a social media platform.
- It is free and does not need hosting. Although you can also buy a custom domain to make your Tumblr blog look more professional.
- Limited customization is one of the biggest drawbacks of Tumblr.
- It’s not very scalable, so if your blog grows, you might need to move elsewhere.
Fun-loving bloggers will instantly love Tumblr. This blogging platform provides a new way of running a blog by allowing you to share, like, or reblog someone else’s content. Hence, it requires you to grow your audience based on your reputation among its community.
However, it is known for having poor SEO features. So, your original articles may not be visible in search engines even though you have done heavy optimization.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for an easy-to-use blogging platform with tons of features and ever-growing community, Tumblr will be hard to miss.
If you are currently searching for a professional web builder for serious blogging, Squarespace is one of the finest options on the market. This platform provides high-quality designs, both in terms of appearance and function.
Squarespace is a “section-based” website builder. It means that you can solely drag and drop the chosen templates into certain areas to create a unique design. However, note that there are only 60+ available templates that you can use.
While the number is a lot lower compared to other website builders, Squarespace takes the crown when it comes to beauty.
Furthermore, you should know that this blogging platform is not free. The cheapest plan in Squarespace costs $16/month (it is only $12/month, however, if you choose to pay annually) while the most expensive one costs no less than $46/month (or $40/month if you pay annually).
- Excellent visual details, great for showing high-quality pictures. If you are going to use a lot of images with vivid and vibrant colors, this platform will not disappoint you in any way.
- Easy to use. The drag and drop scheme is very practical and convenient. Even a beginner won’t have a difficult time when customizing their site.
- For a premium website builder, having only 60 templates is a big bummer. To put it into perspective, Wix has a lot of similarities with Squarespace, but it provides more than 300 ready-to-use templates.
If you are thinking about creating food, travel, or a lifestyle blog that contains heavy visual content, Squarespace is a great option.
While it only has around 60 templates, I can assure you that each of them can be used to make an awesome blog.
Moreover, as an all-in-one platform, Squarespace has already provided everything you need to run a blog. It even provides a website analytics software to monitor your site development.
In short, it is a great blogging platform for beginners, but you do have to spend quite a lot of money to get started. Be wise.
Typepad is a modern blogging platform that aims to create both personal and professional online space for people around the globe.
This platform has tons of benefits, such as an intuitive and active dashboard, live broadcast features for podcasts, social media integration, and easy monetization via a “tip jar”, which allows visitors to tip you via PayPal.
What is more, it offers various pricing plans. The cheapest one is the Plus Plan which costs $8.95/month while the most expensive one is the “Enterprise” plan that costs $49.95/month.
- The “tip jar” concept is interesting. It is a monetization method you will not find in other platforms.
- You will find a lot of useful features for creating and developing a blog, such as a comment management, automatic spell-check, social media integration, and 24/7 tech support.
- Typepad does not provide automatic or scheduled backup systems, which is quite disappointing.
I can safely say that Typepad is a great blogging platform for beginners. It has a lot of useful features, provides good pricing plans, and supports multiple payment systems to make your blog even more profitable in the future.
Yes, the lack of automatic backups is the big downside to this platform. However, considering all the perks you are going to get, you might want to give the platform a chance.
Known as one of the most popular job-seeking sites, Linkedin is actually also used as a blogging platform for beginners.
The statistic by Omnicore reveals that as of 2019 there are 630 million Linkedin users with 48.1% (303 million) of them listed as active. This huge number shows Linkedin has all the potential to be the blogging platform that brings you success.
Linkedin provides basic blogging tools and focuses mostly on publishing. So, if you love sharing ideas, opinions, or writing articles, this one will not disappoint.
- Great exposure to millions of users, increasing the chances for your success.
- It is good for those who want to focus on creating content rather than busy tweaking functions.
- It is missing some important aspects of blogging, including Google Analytics, lack of freedom to moderate your comment section, and lack of SEO optimization.
Linkedin, while not a blogging platform by nature, provides all the basic tools to share your writing with a huge audience.
Nevertheless, due to the lack of some important aspects of this platform, I cannot say that I would recommend you to use Linkedin for a long term purpose.
In the end, 303 million active users per month are something that you just cannot ignore. So, make sure that you reap all of the benefits from this free blogging platform!
So there you have it, those are the top ten blogging platforms on the web. As you can see all of them have different pros and cons.
As a reminder, here are the top 10 blogging platforms for beginners:
- WordPress — This platform is free, easy to use, and provides thousands of free themes and plugins. A safe option for a beginner.
- Wix — It is powered with an Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to ease the design process. It also comes with various plans.
- Joomla! — It is free and provides tons of components and modules that can be used to extend your site’s functions.
- Ghost — An online publishing platform that has everything you need. It is quite pricey but your site will run super-fast, thanks to the Content Delivery Network (CDN).
- Medium — If you are into writing, this platform may be the best one for you. It is simple, engaging, and free.
- Blogger — The blogging platform developed by Google. It uses one of the safest servers, thanks to the level A security of Google.
- Tumblr — A blogging platform with a mix of social media. It allows you to share all kinds of content.
- Squarespace — A premium blogging platform with stunning looks. Though the template designs are limited, you can still create a beautiful-looking blog.
- Typepad — Great blogging platform that supports a lot of payment systems. If you plan to sell some goods, Typepad should be a serious contender.
- LinkedIn — This platform may not ideal for long term blogging activities, but it can be used to drive huge traffic to your “real” blog.
Finally, I have to emphasize that all blogging platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. Since none of them are perfect, you should always prioritize your needs over anything else, including their tempting looks, promos, or marketing schemes.
Moreover, I personally suggest you try the free ones first before spending money.
Nonetheless, your budget is not a problem and if you are pretty confident with your blogging skills, getting those big guns right away would not hurt. Happy hunting!