11 Best Blogging Platforms Compared (Pros and Cons)

Blogging platforms

Whether you’re just starting a blog or looking to switch, weeding through the best blogging platforms can be overwhelming. Never fear, Nameboy is here.

There are a lot of blogging platforms that offer awesome qualities, that’s for sure. We’ll ask you a few clarifying questions, review the factors to consider and list the best blogging platforms for you to choose for yourself.

Ready to do some comparing?

Comparing the Best Blogging Platforms

We brought 11 of the best blogging platforms together to compare what they offer. We are going to look at the pros, cons and pricing of each. You will also find who it’s best suited for, along with some Nameboy recommendations.

Here’s the lineup:

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Constant Contact Website Builder
  3. Wix
  4. WordPress.com
  5. Gator
  6. Squarespace
  7. Weebly
  8. Blogger
  9. Medium
  10. Tumblr
  11. Ghost

Considerations Before Choosing the Best Blogging Platform

As with any big choice, there are a few things you need to consider before deciding on the right blog for you.

Every blogging platform is created differently, so making sure you know what you want before you start your research will make it easier for you. Keep these factors in mind as you set out on your quest for the best blogging platform:

  • Usability: You need a simple blogging platform to quickly set up your blog, customize it and get ready to write.
  • Budget: Compare the cost of creating and managing a blog. Some blogging platforms let you start free or at low cost, but the price rises as your needs grow.
  • Scalability: The ability to scale is important, especially if you want to make money from your blog. You’ll want to look at features that will help you grow.

Let’s review the 10 best blogging platforms we picked out (and picked through), just for you.

1. WordPress.org

WordPress Org

WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform in the world. It powers more than 40% of the internet. With thousands of website designs and themes, you’ll have a lot of options if you choose WordPress.

It’s a self-hosted platform, which means that you can choose your own hosting provider for your blog. Also, you can use a custom domain name.

WordPress is recommended for anyone wanting to fully customize their blog for growth.

Pros

  • Design. If you want cool designs, WordPress is your go-to blogging platform. They offer thousands of WordPress themes that can be really fun to build up.
  • Customizability. If you like being in control of your blog, customizability is a big pro for WordPress. You can add tons of amazing features to your blog easily.
  • Add-ons. WordPress has the biggest plugin library, ever. They offer thousands of WordPress plugins and add-ons. You can add pop-ups, live chat, contact forms as well as SEO options.
  • SEO optimization. WordPress is a very search engine friendly blogging platform. Also, you can add SEO plugins to keep improving your website rankings.

Cons

  • Complexity. WordPress can be complex for non-tech people, but worth it for a blogging platform. If you’re a beginner, you’ll need WordPress resources and tutorials to learn the basics.
  • Maintenance. As WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform, you’re responsible for managing your backups, security, and overall performance of your blog.
  • Budget. Even though WordPress is free, you will need hosting and a domain to launch a website.

Pricing

WordPress software is free, but you’ll need to buy a hosting plan and a domain name to set up a blog. Hosting plans begin at $7.99 per month and domain names can cost up to $14.99 per year.

We recommend starting out with Bluehost, since you can get hosting starting at $2.75/month plus a free domain. They also auto-install WordPress for you, so it’s easy to get started.

2. Constant Contact Website Builder

Constant Contact builder

Constant Contact is another popular blogging platform, known for its email marketing services and website builder. They boast that they can help you create a blog in minutes.

The Constant Contact website builder is made specifically for people who have little-to-no experience in web design, but still want control over their blog. It’s great for email marketing gurus.

Pros

  • Simplicity. Creating a blog with Constant Contact Website Builder is super easy. You can answer a few questions and they will build a site for you.
  • Maintenance. It’s a fully hosted platform that manages hosting, security, backups, and everything for you. There’s no need for additional plugins or constant updating.
  • SEO optimization. You won’t need to set up a third-party SEO tool to access your website’s analytics. SEO stats are right there in your dashboard for analytics in real time.

Cons

  • Customizability. The customization capabilities are limited. Your blog will most likely look like the next Constant Contact builder blog if you don’t upgrade.
  • Add-ons. There aren’t a lot of third-party integration plugins as other blogging platforms. If you want highly-customized integrations, Constant Contact is not your best bet.
  • Migration. It’s not easy to migrate your content away from Constant Contact. There are no built-in options to export, so you may need technical assistance to get your website moved.

Pricing

You’ll start out with a free plan that includes a Constant Contact subdomain. They offer a 60-day free trial that will roll into a basic plan at $10 per month. If you’d like a custom domain name, then you’ll need to upgrade.

3. WixWix website builder

Wix was founded in 2006 and is a blogging platform used by millions worldwide. They offer the ability to build a website from scratch with no coding skills. Wix prides itself on providing hundreds of site designs and templates to choose from.

Wix is recommended for small businesses and those that are looking for low-tech design.

Pros

  • Usability. Wix is a bit easier to use than WordPress. Wix offers a simple drag-and-drop editor when creating a website that is extremely easy to use. You can create blogs very simply and without formal training on content formatting.
  • Support. Wix customer service is offered at all plan levels and there is a helpful chatbot option. You can also send in a ticket to the Wix support team on weekdays as well.
  • Budget. Wix is pretty affordable and offers a free website option. But, the free site will include Wix’s branding. If you want to remove it and have your own domain, you’ll have to upgrade to one of Wix’s premium plans.

Cons

  • Customizability. When it comes to customizing your blog, Wix has its limits. Once you choose a template, you can’t undo it, choose wisely.
  • Migration. Your content is hosted exclusively on Wix’s servers and owned privately. It can’t be exported, unfortunately. So that means you can’t export files, pages, or sites that are created with the Wix Editor.
  • Add-ons. There are some complex features that are missing for customizable options. There are only simple templates to choose from, which makes it tough to customize your blog.

Pricing

Wix pricing plans at $14 per month, and e-commerce Wix plans start at $23 per month. These professional plans come with an included Wix domain and additional features.

4. WordPress.com

WordPress Com

WordPress.com is one of the most popular website builders for non-techies. It’s a blog hosting service by Matt Mullenweg of Automattic, founded in 2005. The WordPress.com network includes more than 409 million people and is widely known for its blogging platform.

We recommend WordPress.com for new bloggers, hobby sites, and budget-conscious freelancers.

Pros

  • Usability. WordPress.com is simple to use and considered one of the fastest ways to set up a blog. The block editor is built in for landing page design and you can customize easily.
  • Maintenance. Instead of having to download plugins or employ a WordPress maintenance company – your updates, backups and security are covered. As well as hosting.
  • Updates. When it comes to plugin and theme updates, WordPress.com includes this in all plans. Their automatic updates are included even on the free plan.

Cons

  • Advertisements. With their free plan, you will have advertisements on your website, which kind of stinks. You can’t even make money off of them!
  • Customization. You are limited to their options for any customizability. You can’t use custom themes or plugins for your blog.
  • Ownership. You don’t own the content on your site or your blog. Additionally, WordPress.com can suspend your account if they feel you’re violating the terms of service.

Pricing

WordPress.com’s basic plan is free which will have advertisements and WordPress branding.

You can upgrade for $4 per month, which is billed yearly at $48. This removes the advertising and you get a custom domain. The next plan up starts at $8 per month, which is billed yearly at $96. This gets you extra design tools and storage.

5. Gator

Host Gator website builder

Gator Website Builder is a blogging platform created by HostGator. Based in Houston, they offer domain and web hosting. They’ve been around since 2002 and is ranked as one of the fastest-growing hosting companies in the world.

We recommend Gator for those looking for an all-in-one blogging platform and hosting solution. It’s perfect for those just getting started and don’t want a bunch of technical issues.

Pros

  • Usability. It’s created to be a beginner-friendly blogging platform. As a beginner, you can create a blog quite easily.
  • Maintenance. The Gator Website Builder handles backups, performance, security, and all updates of your blog for you.
  • Options. All plans come with a free site builder, free hosting and no advertisements. You can also get free advertising credits as you grow.

Cons

  • Budget. There’s no free plan available. If you’re looking for free options or free trials, Gator doesn’t offer any.
  • Add-ons. As far as integrations, third-party apps and extensions, it’s limited. If you’re looking for simple, this is your blogging platform.
  • Ecommerce. If you’re looking to build an online store, the Gator features are restricted to premium plans.

Pricing

With Gator, there is no free plan nor free trial. The Starter plan is $3.84 per month and comes with most everything you need in a blogging platform. They do offer a 45-day money-back guarantee.

6. Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is an all-in-one content management system, website builder and hosting company based in New York. Founded in 2004 by Anthony Caselena, it offers pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop elements to create and edit your site.

We recommend Squarespace for small business owners or bloggers focusing on eCommerce.

Pros

  • SEO optimization. It offers built-in mobile optimization and valuable SEO features right in the dashboard.
  • Usability. Squarespace is very easy to use (for beginners and beyond) who aren’t tech-savvy. It has loaded templates that offer a lot in the way of design.
  • Add-ons. It offers a domain name with SSL/HTTPs along with an eCommerce store set up. Squarespace is known for its many useful add-ons.

Cons

  • Integrations. If you’re looking for reach, it offers limited marketing tools and integrations. You’ll need additional help if you want to integrate new tools.
  • Budget. You’re looking at paying if you want to play with Squarespace. Unlike some of the other blogging platforms, it doesn’t offer a free plan. The least you are going to pay is $12 per month.
  • Customizability. Squarespace is limited to the features built into their proprietary platform. This means your blog is limited for growth.

Pricing

Pricing for Squarespace starts at $12 per month and is billed yearly. Business plan pricing starts at $18 per month (annually). To open an eCommerce store with Squarespace, pricing starts at $26 to $40 per month.

 

7. Weebly

Weebly

Weebly was founded in 2006 and is the offspring of the company, Square. Weebly claims it is the easiest platform to create a high-quality website, blog or eCommerce store. Over 25 million people use Weebly as a blogging platform.

We recommend Weebly for hobby bloggers or try-it-before-you-buy-it freelancers. It is relatively newer for a blogging platform and there are bound to be updates in the future.

Pros

  • Simplicity. Weebly is widely known as an easy-to-use platform. With basic drag and drop templates and themes, your blog can be built pretty easily.
  • Site speed. Weebly’s servers perform well and their web page speeds have been known to be quite fast.
  • Responsiveness. The theme options (for the free plans as well) are blog-ready. They are super responsive for all your formatting needs.

Cons

  • Language limitations. There are a lot of third-party apps available, but the multiple languages app is not an option. Weebly struggles to translate their websites and keep them SEO-friendly.
  • Design. There are limitations to the customization of Weebly’s design. Even though their template game is strong, once you attempt to customize any design, it’s limited to a paid plan.
  • Advertisements. On the free plan with Weebly, you’ll have ads on your website. You’ll also have the Weebly logo banner listed on the bottom of your website unless you upgrade to a paid plan.

Pricing

Weebly offers a free plan and the first basic paid plan is $12 per month. It’s the first ad-free plan that lets you choose your own domain name. For your first year, you’ll get a domain name for free, which will cost you $19.95 as you renew.

8. Blogger

Blogger

Blogger is said to have started the “share your voice online movement” with its open forum blogging platform. Powered by Google, Evan Williams of Pyra Labs founded the company in 1999, when blogging was really taking off. In 2016, 75,000,000 people were using Blogger, and today it’s expected to be over 1 million.

We recommend Blogger for work-from-home hobby blogs or lifestyle bloggers.

Pros

  • Usability. Blogger is seriously simple to use. With their form-like templates, you fill in the boxes of your blog step by step.
  • Budget. Blogger is free if you are okay with the blogger domain. You also get a free SSL certificate, which is what you need for safety.
  • Google integration. Google owns Blogger and if you are a Google-based business, you barely have to lift a finger. Anything you do in the “Google ecosystem” is automatically linked, synced and part of the Google search.

Cons

  • Customer support. Blogger does not offer any support at all. Any issues that you have are solved on your own by DIY troubleshooting.
  • Design. Beyond anything that isn’t a traditional blog, Blogger stops you from designing anything custom. If you want to grow a bigger website, you aren’t going to get that with Blogger.
  • Ownership. Google and Blogger own your content and can take it away at any time. You are at the mercy of Google with all of your blogs, which can be scary.

Pricing

Blogger is 100% free. There are no options for upgrading or additional services. Bonus – there are no ads on your blog unless you opt-in. If you have a Google account, you probably already have a Blogger account since it’s all connected.

9. Medium

Medium

Medium is an American blogging platform made by Evan Williams (again) in 2012. It’s owned by A Medium Corporation. Medium is a hybrid blogging platform with social journalism. It’s a forum for both amateur and professional blogs that are exclusive to Medium.

Medium is recommended for social media bloggers, community builders, and freelancers who want to be a part of a bigger conversation.

Pros

  • Usability. With Medium’s basic blog template, it’s pretty easy to publish any blog. The dashboard is basic with step-by-step instructions that make a lot of sense.
  • Series options. A cool feature of Medium is that you can write a story or a series of stories. With the help of the Medium team, you can string the blogs together for maximum reach.
  • Monetization. Medium loves to help you make money with your blog. They offer multiple options for monetizing your blog with links, banners and logo integrations.

Cons

  • Ownership. You don’t own your content with Medium. Your blog is owned by Medium and their community. So if you’re looking to build brand awareness, it’s tough on Medium.
  • Design. Medium says what goes when it comes to design. They offer the basics and you hit the send button. Formatting is pretty much non-existent when it comes to customizing your blog.
  • SEO optimization. With Medium, you’re driving your links and backlinks to another source – not your website! It’s hosted and lives with Medium so you’re not building your website traffic, just your blog.

Pricing

With Medium you start on a free trial, are offered a free plan and can upgrade to $5 per month. With the upgrade, you get public and exclusive stories, along with some membership perks. Domain name not required.

10. Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr is an American microblogging and social networking website founded by David Karp in 2007 and currently owned by Automattic. They offer multimedia posts and short-form content. As of 2019, Tumblr hosts over 475 million blogs, and 7.2 million new blogs are created each month.

We recommend Tumblr for the young crowd, bloggers looking to get a fresh start, and social butterflies.

Pros

  • Budget. Tumblr is free. You can upgrade to get a custom domain name and the plans are extremely affordable. If you don’t mind sharing a Tumblr subdomain, you can get started on your blog free of charge.
  • Social integration. If you’re looking to get social, Tumblr is a great blog to start on. The feed resembles that of Twitter, where content is fast, trending and relevant. It has social media integration built right in.
  • Video integration. It’s very easy to set up and use video in your content. As a micro-blogging tool, Tumblr makes it easy to blog videos, GIFs, or podcasts.

Cons

  • Add-ons. Tumblr comes with a limited set of features that you can’t extend as your blog grows. There are many themes available for Tumblr, but they don’t offer additional features.
  • Migration. Backing up your Tumblr blog or importing it to other platforms is difficult. You may have to search for a guide on how to migrate your site from Tumblr.
  • SEO optimization. Again, if you’re building brand awareness, you always want to point your blog posts to your website. In this case, you’re pointing all of your content to Tumblr and you lose those precious links.

Pricing

Tumblr is free to use and doesn’t offer much as far as upgrades. You can buy a custom domain for your Tumblr blog but that’s sold separately. There are limited third-party themes and apps available to buy as well.

11. Ghost

Ghost website builder

Ghost is a blogging platform with minimalist features founded in 2013. Ghost is born from a kick-starter campaign and prides itself on being a non-profit organization. It’s available as a hosted platform and as a software that you can install and host yourself. We’re going to review the blogging platform, which has over 2,000,000 installs to date.

Pros

  • Blog-centric. Ghost is hyper-focused on blogging. They are a blog-centric platform that knows the best way to blog and have been known to help.
  • Simplicity. Ghost is one of the most simple blogging platforms out there. It’s clean and has an intuitive dashboard that’s easy to navigate.
  • Site speed. Ghost has super fast site speed and loading times are quick.

Cons

  • Budget. It’s not on the cheap end if you’re looking to start an affordable blog. Pricing begins at $14.99 per month with Ghost, so get ready to spend some money.
  • Customizability. The simplified dashboard means options are limited. It’s not easy to customize with apps and there aren’t enough ways to customize your blog.
  • Set up. Ghost is a bit tough to get going if you’re on your own (and not tech-savvy). It can get complicated quickly if you install it yourself.

Pricing

Unless you buy a custom domain from a third-party domain registrar, your blog will be a ghost.io subdomain, like yourwebsite.ghost.io. Ghost requires a custom domain which is $14.99 per year and web hosting starts at $7.99 per month. Ghost offers a hosted version that starts at $29 per month for two users.

What Is the Best Blogging Platform for You?

We believe that WordPress.org outperforms all other blogging platforms. It’s powerful, easy to use, affordable, and the most flexible of all blogging platforms.

Ready to get started with WordPress.org? You can get a web hosting and a free domain with Bluehost.

We hope this article helped you choose the best blogging platform.

If you liked this article, and you need help finding a domain name (after you choose the right blogging platform), we’re here for you at Nameboy.

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