The Best Blogging Platforms in 2023 - Free & Paid Options
Blogging platforms make it easy for people to share what they think and find others who think the same way. They also help people talk and share ideas. These platforms can also help promote things. Good blogs can reach lots of people and get many fans.
To have a good blog, you need to choose the best blogging platforms. There are only a few good choices.
Here’s a list of the top blogging platforms to start a blog. Pick the one that fits what you need and how much money you have.
Whether you want to increase sales through Affiliate Marketing, attract clients with a blog, or showcase your portfolio, find everything you need to build a Complete Website in one place with the platforms listed in this guide.
If you’re looking to earn money with your blog, try WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. You’ll be in complete control of your site and everything on it. If you are interested in WordPress Blogging, we recommend using Bluehost as your Web Hosting to ensure optimal speed and cost efficiency.
The Best 10 Blogging Platforms
How did we pick the top blogging platforms?
We wanted to learn more about these blogging platforms, so we checked out what real users said on popular review sites like G2 and Trustpilot. To determine the scores, we looked at reviews on each platform that received a minimum rating of 3 out of 5 stars. We assessed the companies based on the number of reviews falling within this range for each blogging platform.
1. WordPress - Best for customization
Notable features: more feature-rich than other free blogging platforms
Best suited for: customization
Price: free, with premium options
Starting and running a blog on WordPress might take a bit more work than on other sites, but it gives you all the tools and options needed to make a detailed and professional blog.
WordPress started out just for blogging and has a great 4.4 score on G2 from over 8,500 reviews. Even though it’s now used for more than just blogs, it has lots of tools and designs made for bloggers.
WordPress not only enables you to purchase a custom domain and download one of the 3,000+ free themes specifically designed for blogs — it also empowers you to effortlessly incorporate social media buttons, forms, affiliate links, and an array of other features using plugins.
There are virtually limitless customization options with a selection of over 60,000+ free and paid plugins.
For WordPress hosting, Bluehost offers the best value for an easy setup. You’ll have a WordPress site in a few minutes with Bluehost. If you’re interested, we have a comprehensive Bluehost review here. It provides valuable insights and analysis for you to explore.
You will have to ensure your theme and plugins are compatible and current. If they aren’t, they can make your site look bad or even break it. You will also be responsible for other maintenance tasks, such as identifying and repairing broken links, updating the core software, and optimizing your database. This can be challenging for site owners who don’t have the time or technical know-how to upkeep their websites consistently.
2. Squarespace - Best all-in-one business platform
Notable features: Award-winning designer templates
Best suited for: businesses and individuals creating image-rich content
Price: paid (from $16/month)
Squarespace is awesome for businesses or people who want their content to look superb. It also boasts a 4.3 rating on Trustpilot. With Squarespace’s designer templates and partnerships with Getty Images, Google AMP, and Unsplash, you can create engaging visual content that’s easy to share.
Squarespace offers around 140 mobile-optimized templates that are fully customizable, allowing you to create a blog with your desired look. After setting up your pages, use Squarespace’s tools to write and improve your blog.
After you share your blog posts, you can easily tell people about them by linking to your social media. You can also use the special tool to see where your readers are coming from, what they like, and how much they interact with your blog.
Even though Squarespace has extra stuff like letting you add audio or sign up for newsletters, it doesn’t do everything. That’s because it supports around 36 extensions, so you’re mostly limited to Squarespace’s default features.
Since they lack some important features that bloggers often require, such as an auto-save feature to prevent data loss, Squarespace may not be the ideal platform for everyone. But it does have many helpful tools for different people.
3. Wix - Best for Beginner Bloggers Looking to Create a Professional Blog
Notable features: 900+ free, customizable templates, a drag-and-drop editor
Best suited for: beginner bloggers
Price: paid (from $16/month)
Wix is loved by new bloggers who want everything in one place. It focuses on being fast and looking good. It’s perfect for people who like things simple and easy.
Wix has a 4.5 rating on Trustpilot and offers two options for creating your blog using the Wix Editor. You can start by selecting from over 900+ free, customizable templates suitable for any blogger, whether you are a retail business owner or running a food review website. You also have the option to utilize Wix ADI, which allows you to effortlessly create a nice blog by simply completing a brief questionnaire.
Then, you can start writing and editing posts on desktop or mobile, add Wix’s stock photos and videos or your own media, and categorize them by topics.
When you’re done writing, make sure people can find your blog easily on search engines. You can also use Wix’s email tool to tell your readers about new posts and share them on social media. Let your readers join and feel like they’re part of a special group.
Although Wix offers greater versatility compared to other hosted website builders, it falls short regarding customization options and content management features, especially when compared to WordPress or another CMS.
For instance, to add advanced elements such as music or maps onto your page, you must include HTML code, which can be intimidating for beginners.
Most bloggers can get started with the Light plan. However, if you plan to include numerous images, videos, and other media in your blog, consider upgrading due to the limited 2 GB storage capacity. The Core plan comes with 50 GB of storage space, which should hold you over for a while.
If you decide to monetize your blog through product sales, you can upgrade to a business plan at that point.
4. CMS Hub - Best for Marketers and Developers
CMS Hub Overview:
Notable features: free web hosting, drag-and-drop website builder
Best suited for: marketers and developers
Price: free, with premium options (from $23/month)
What makes CMS Hub different from other blog tools is how it helps both people who make websites and those who advertise. Developers get tools to make a blog connected to CRM. At the same time, advertisers get easy ways to make their blogs better and reach more people.
CMS Hub Pros
CMS Hub is great because it’s powerful but also easy to use. You can start by choosing a pre-made theme or get creative with a custom theme using the easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder.
Then, you can generate blog posts with compelling CTAs, forms, and other elements using HubSpot’s blog editor and built-in SEO tools.
You can also create blog post variations in different languages and run A/B tests to reach a global audience. Before you share your blogs, you can see how they look on phones and computers.
Once you’re ready to start promoting, you can connect your blog to your social media accounts. This lets you post your blogs on social media right from CMS Hub.
As you keep writing, you can see how your blog is doing. This helps you know what your readers like. It’s because CMS Hub is a part of HubSpot’s CRM platform.
CMS Hub Cons
Since CMS Hub is an all-in-one solution that caters to both developers and marketers, it offers a wide range of robust functionalities and an extensive collection of visually appealing themes. For many bloggers, this is a positive thing. G2 rates HubSpot with an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on over 1500+ reviews.
However, if you’re an individual or small business in the early stages of blogging, you might not have the time or expertise to utilize the CMS Hub’s potential fully. In that case, you might be better off with a simpler starting alternative.
5. Medium - Best Platform for Writers
Notable features: clean and simple interface
Best suited for: writers
Price: free, with premium options (from $5/month)
Many people think Medium is the top place for writers to blog. Companies can write and connect with different readers here. Storytelling is commonly utilized on Medium, and many businesses use it to build a blog audience.
Medium offers a user-friendly interface for creating and publishing content.
Another advantage of Medium is its wide readership. The platform helps new blogs get noticed by more people by using a reader recommendation engine. Since generating organic traffic for on-site blogs can often take up to nine months or even longer, platforms like Medium can be an appealing alternative.
Medium also has community publications. Each Medium user can have a maximum of seven publications. Users can submit blogs to Medium publications to expand their audience. For example, the Startup publication has over 770k followers.
If you’re new, sharing in Medium groups can get your blog noticed and get you more fans. This blogging platform can also enhance a website’s blog, allowing businesses to republish their onsite content here without concerns of penalties.
Like LinkedIn, a Medium blog does not provide the same SEO advantages as an on-site blog. Additionally, it has a large community that may prioritize trends or long-time members over newcomers. Although Medium can drive traffic to your on-site blog, it can also pose a risk of duplicate content if your website isn’t properly set up. Surprisingly, Medium has a very low rating of 1.7 stars on Trustpilot.
6. Blogger - Best for Entry Level Blogging
Notable features: offering a wider range of features compared to other free blogging platforms
Best suited for: entry-level blogging
Blogger is a free platform designed for beginner bloggers. Although Blogger may not offer as many content management features as some other platforms, it still surpasses most free blogging platforms in terms of its rich array of features. For this reason, Blogger is an ideal platform for individuals seeking to pursue blogging as a hobby.
Blogger is easy to use when you want to start and design a simple blog. Simply create a Google account, select a template, and start publishing. You can purchase a custom domain, optimize SEO settings, integrate your blog with Google Analytics, enhance posts with AdSense, and even edit the HTML and CSS of your site. However, you won’t be able to do much more beyond these capabilities.
Consider other tools like WordPress or another CMS to see what Blogger can’t do. With Blogger, you cannot install plugins to enhance the functionality of your blog. Creating various content types, such as portfolio pages, is impossible. Additionally, you cannot modify the default display of your content from reverse-chronological order to, for example, your most popular posts.
In a nutshell, if you need robust content management features and extensive customization options, it would be beneficial to explore alternatives to Blogger. Blogger has received a Trustpilot rating of 3.6 stars, which suggests a moderate level of user satisfaction.
7. Craft CMS - Best for Developers and Marketers
Craft CMS Overview:
Notable features: gives you flexibility and control throughout the entire process
Best suited for: developers, designers, and web professionals
Price: free, with premium options
Craft CMS is a powerful blogging platform specifically designed for developers, designers, and web professionals.
Craft CMS Pros
With Craft’s personalized content modeling, robust templating, and the ability to edit your source code, you have complete control over the look and functionality of your site, provided you have the required experience.
Craft CMS also has an awesome image editor, handy collaboration tools, and a super cool localization feature for translating content into specific languages. You can now also manage multiple blogs through a single Craft installation. To analyze the performance of your content, you can seamlessly integrate Craft CMS’ dashboard with Google Analytics. This blog platform boasts an impressive 4.1 G2 rating.
Craft CMS Cons
Starting can be challenging, but it provides a structure to build upon. Working with Craft CMS can be challenging without prior development experience. However, as a developer, getting started with Craft is much easier because it has numerous features and functionality.
To access additional functionality like Craft Commerce, additional license fees are needed. These fees can range up to $999. These prices are just the beginning of your blog. When you factor in plugin costs, design, and developer time, costs can quickly add up.
8. Tumblr - Best For Publishing Multimedia Posts
Notable features: You can blog about your ideas and interests using text, photos, quotes, links, videos, and music
Best suited for: individuals and brands to engage with followers
Tumblr is liked by regular people who blog and by companies. While bloggers may rely solely on this platform, brands typically utilize it as one of many to showcase their unique personalities.
Tumblr seamlessly integrates the capabilities of blogging and social networking into a visually captivating publishing platform.
Tumblr is a one-stop spot to set up a fancy blog. You can choose from hundreds of free and premium themes. You can easily add pages, social sharing buttons, comment sections, and more. You also have the option to purchase a custom domain name from a domain name registrar like GoDaddy instead of using the free subdomain that Tumblr provides. If you know a bit about coding, you can make your site look even cooler.
Once you like how your site looks, start making and sharing different kinds of posts featuring photos, GIFs, links, audio files, and videos in your content. It enhances its engagement, memorability, and shareability.
With the ability for users to effortlessly like, reply, and reblog your posts on Tumblr and across their various social accounts, this platform proves to be an exceptional avenue for engaging and nurturing an online community. Tumblr has a G2 rating of 3.9 stars.
Some rules on Tumblr can bother people. For instance, you can only schedule (or “queue”) 50 daily posts. This might make it hard to share a lot of stuff over time. You are only allowed to upload videos under 500 MB and track a maximum of 20 tags simultaneously. Moreover, your website runs the risk of suspension if it is found to violate Tumblr’s community guidelines.
9. Joomla - Best for Advanced Bloggers
Notable features: advanced content management
Best suited for: advanced bloggers
Price: paid (from $8/month)
Joomla is an open-source CMS that comes with built-in advanced content and user management features. This makes it a fantastic option for creating blogs that are centered around communities.
Joomla provides robust built-in features and thousands of extensions. For instance, with Joomla, you can effortlessly create custom post types, efficiently handle numerous users, and publish content in multiple languages right from the start.
It also provides excellent blogging extensions. For instance, EasyBlog by StackIdeas offers a significantly nicer drag-and-drop editor than Joomla’s built-in editor. You also have the option to enable star ratings on your blog and automatically share posts to your social media platforms using this extension. Joomla has received an impressive G2 rating of 4.0.
With its extensive and powerful built-in features, Joomla has a higher learning curve than other CMS, which means it will require more time for setup. Also, it doesn’t have as many designs or extras, which can limit how you make your site look.
10. Drupal - Best for Advanced Users With Complex Blogging Requirements
Notable features: powerful content management, advanced user permissions
Best suited for: advanced users with complex blogging requirements
Drupal has many features ready to use. If you know a lot or are willing to learn, Drupal can do more than other free tools. Drupal lets you handle different types of content, page designs, and more. It also lets you decide who can see and change what content. With its many languages, layout tools, and other extras, you can make and manage detailed blogs.
If you’re unfamiliar with Drupal’s built-in features and modules and lack the time to learn them, they can confuse and impede your blogging efforts. Opting for a simpler platform might be a better option in that scenario.
Get Started Blogging
Once you determine your blogging goals and requirements, you can select the appropriate blogging platform. With some effort, you can find a tool with the functionality and flexibility you need.
Your unique needs will determine the blogging platform you ultimately choose. Understandably, some people are drawn to Wix because it’s the simplest drag-and-drop blogging tool available. But WordPress has everything you need to get the most out of your blogging experience.
Whichever blogging platform you select should seamlessly blend user-friendliness and robustness to drive your business forward. So, take the initiative and start blogging to benefit from the SEO and traffic that awaits you.
FAQs About Best Blogging Platforms
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform lets you create and share your own blog. It’s like a tool that helps you write, edit, and design your blog without needing to understand complicated computer codes. Lots of these platforms have ready-to-use designs, and they’re not just for blogging anymore. You can use them for bigger things like online stores or job sites, especially with WordPress.
What is the best platform for blogging?
Many people think WordPress is the top choice for blogging. It’s easy to use and flexible, and you can add lots of extra features. A lot of bloggers use WordPress because there are tons of free plugins that make your blog even better.
What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
WordPress has two main versions. One is WordPress.com, where you can start a free blog with a “. wordpress.com” web address. If you want, you can get your own unique web address there too. They offer more features if you choose to pay.
The second version is WordPress.org, which is a free tool you can set up on any website hosting service. You’ll need to pay for hosting, but the setup is often just one simple click. This version gives you total control over your blog.
Can I use my own domain with a free blogging platform?
Some free blogging platforms let you use your own web address, but not all. It’s a good idea to check first. For instance, Medium once had this feature, but not anymore.
Is blogging a good side business?
Yes, blogging can be a great way to earn extra money. It doesn’t need full-time hours. You decide how much time you want to spend on it. While it might take a while to earn money, blogging can lead to earning even when you’re not working on it.
Do free blogs make any money?
Yes, free blogs can earn money. They can display ads, promote products for others, or sell their own products or services. Your posts are free to read, but you might offer something extra for sale.
How do beginner bloggers make money?
Beginner bloggers can earn through ads, promoting products for others, and selling their own stuff. Blogging offers many ways to earn based on what you’re good at and what you want.
Which blogging platform is best if you want to earn money?
Where can I publish my blog for free?
Which blogging platform is best for SEO?
What’s the difference between a blog and a website?
A blog is a kind of website. Blogs are often updated with new posts. Other websites might stay the same for a long time. All blogs are websites, but not all websites have blogs.
What is web hosting?
Here’s how web hosting works:
Think of web hosting as your blog’s home online. Every website needs a place to “live.” They stay on big computers, called web servers. Hosting companies rent out space on these servers. It’s like renting an apartment for your website. Once you pick a place, just sign up, get your web address, and set up your blog.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the web address you type to visit a site, like ‘alexsguide.com’. The “.com” part is just one type of extension, but it’s a common one.
How do I get my own domain name?
How do I link my domain name to my blog?
The place where you got your blog or hosting will give you ‘Domain Name Servers’ or DNS. They help connect your web address to your blog. Once you have that info, go to the site where you bought your web address, and enter the DNS info. This can take up to 2 days to work.
Is a blog the same as an article?
No, they’re a bit different. Blogs are often more casual and may have the writer’s personal thoughts. Articles are more formal, based on facts, and don’t often share personal opinions. Blogs can have flexible writing styles, but articles follow strict rules. Anybody can write a blog post, but articles are regularly in newspapers or magazines.