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A blogging platform is one of the first things to consider when attempting blogging.
If you’ve finally decided to start your blog, I recommend you to start with Bluehost. The best web hosting option for new bloggers, it helps you launch your website in minutes. They seriously offer the BEST pricing for that kind of service, a free domain name, a free SSL certificate to secure your website, it’s used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins and changes your application protocol from HTTP to HTTPS, the S stands for secure. And also you will get the greatest support.
After signing up to the hosting platform, now you are ready to start a blog, but the question is:
What blogging platform to use?
Stay tuned until the end of this article to know the most popular blogging platform.
In this article, I will walk you through how to pick the best blogging platform for your blog. We will cover different blogging platform so you can get a better idea at which one is best for you, and the most suitable for the kind of blogging you intend to start.
Blogging can simply be a hobby, a part-time passion, a side hustle or even a business online. You can turn blogging into whatever you want it to be and that’s what I love the most about it. It’s literally so flexible. It can go from a creative outlet to unleash your creative potential, to a 6 figures business. When you are looking to pick the blogging platform to start. These are some of the things that you want to be thinking about when choosing the blogging platform:
Criteria for a blogging platform
- Easy to use and beginner friendly.
- Feature rich.
- Room to grow.
Easy to use and beginner friendly blogging platform
The first thing is that you should make sure this blog it’s easy to use and that it’s beginner friendly. You are just starting out; you shouldn’t be bothered with complex technical stuff from the start. Don’t get wrong. As soon as you dive a little bit deeper into blogging, you will understand how hard it really is. And how technical stuff can determine your success, here I am talking about people who think of turning their blog to an online business. But to get started, don’t let the technical side overwhelm you. That’s why it’s good to find an easy beginner friendly platform, that really does all the technical work for you.
Feature rich blogging platform
You also need to check and make sure if it’s feature rich. Or that they are features available for what you want your blog to do. You don’t have to do that if your blog is a mere hobby. But for those of you who think of blogging as a business, I can’t stress that enough. Making sure to have a bunch of features that are adapted to your next moves and where you want to be going with your blog next is very important.
Let’s take monetizing your blog as an example. If that’s one of your business steps (I mean sure it should be). Then you should know if you can display ads, affiliate links, incorporate e-commerce features. And that takes us to the final point which is:
Room to grow in the blogging platform
Make sure you have enough room to grow. Both in term of the features that you need, the functionality, the possibility to scale your business.
Having all of those standards in mind, it’s easier to know what does suit you and what doesn’t. So let’s start looking at the different platforms that you can use for your blog.
First one we will be talking about is:
For those of you who are seeking flexibility and total control over their blog, WordPress.org is the answer.
WordPress.org is the fastest growing CMS nowadays. It’s a free open source software. That means it’s free for you to use and it’s free for you to contribute. The code is freely available, can be altered and updated to your advantage in order to fit your dream design. Contributors constantly develop new products like themes and plugins and extensions so it’s definitely a feature reach platform.
Now WordPress.org is different than WordPress.com and we will talk about WordPress.com in a minute.
Many of the pros of WordPress.org are that you have maximum control over your site. No one will be able to shut down your site because you are not following whatever their rules are. The next thing are the robust features out there. Anything that you want to do with your blog to take it to the next level. Whether it be adding features like a forum, a membership site, e commerce if you want to. That’s all available for you by using WordPress.org. There are thousands of thousands of plugins. These are the things that help you make your site do what you want it to do. By adding the extra functionality. There are also thousands of themes both free and paid to make your blog look exactly how you want it to be.
Now coming with that maximum control over your site. Some of the cons are that you are tasked with maintaining your blog yourself. And that means you must update your site, and make all the themes and plugins updated. You are also be tasked to do backups of your site. Now if you do it right. A lot of times the hosting that you work with can help you with these items.
So the price for using WordPress, as I said before, the actual software itself is free. But you have to have a server to post this on. The server or the hosting company that you get the server from will actually charge a fee. Depending on which hosting company you go with. That can range in price. But the average range is about 12.99$/moth. You will also need an SSL certificate, that secures your site for visitors. You will also need a domain registration, which makes the fee a little bit higher.
Earlier on I talked about WordPress.org now we will talk about WordPress.com.
So WordPress.com is using the same software as WordPress.org. And they are housing it on their own servers. And you are simply paying them to do it all.
Some of the pros of this are that there is no setup required. You simply log in and, start paying and you are ready to go. It’s also easy to use and manage.
Now moving on to the cons for this. You have limited functionality for your blog. It also means that you can’t run ads on your blog and you don’t own your blogs. If you do something in your site or write about something that they don’t agree with. They can shut your blog down. And whatever traffic or whatever visitors you’ve built up you’ve lost that. The price structure: free for the bottom tier where you could be having your site www.yoursite.wordpress.com. Or you can get custom domain names and the range for the paid tier is between 4$/month and 8$/month.
One of the pros of Wix is that it’s a fully hosted platform. Meaning you just go in and sign up.
The best part about Wix is that it’s one of the easiest to use platforms for beginners and non-coders. They have many templates to choose from to get up and running quickly.
Some of the cons are: the Wix branding that shows in the free version of it. Unless you pay for a higher tier. Another thing is that they will show ads on the site. And you won’t get those ads revenue for that and also changing the platform can be difficult. It’s actually one of the most difficult sites to move from, if later on you’ve decided that you want to host your blog somewhere else. For the free tier, you get basically your site with the Wix branding in the URL. Unless if you want to pay for it.
The next blogging platform we are going to talk about is Blogger. So Blogger is owned by Google. Blogger was acquired by google back in 2013 and is offered up to people to use as a blogging platform.
Some of the pros are, it’s completely free to log in and use it as you want. It’s pretty easy to use and it’s a Google product so it’s secure and reliable. You know that the security of it is pretty high up there.
Some of the cons to it are you have limited features. It’s not their main source of income, nor is it their main focus, so you really have limited features. Also they can suspend your account any time if you write about something they don’t agree with. So again you don’t fully own your content and information or even your blog. Other thing is, if one day they decide they don’t want to deal with Blogger anymore. And that’s a real possibility. Then your blog is gone.
The next blogging platform is:
Tumblr is a micro blogging service. It’s really geared towards sharing images and videos. A lot of people really enjoy using Tumblr for this.
And obviously some of the pros are that it’s free, easy to use and get set up. It is integrated with social media so it’s a lot easier to share things through there. It’s an easy platform to blog videos and images as well.
Some of the cons of Tumblr are limited features. Difficulty to migrate the blog, if you ever think about changing the platform. There’s no cost for using Tumblr. It’s a 100% free platform. And it’s usually yoursite.tumblr.com. If you want to add a custom domain, then there will be a cost for that.
Squarespace is a great blogging platform. They had incorporated great easy to use drag and drop features. Most of the people that they are looking for are more like small businesses to create an online presence. So that’s their main focus of their people.
Some of the pros of Squarespace are that it’s very easy for beginners, beautifully and professionally designed templates for you to use. You can also add an eCommerce set up if you want.
Cons are that it’s a proprietary platform. The features are pretty limited, it’s just based on what they are pushing out. There are also limited integrations since it’s a proprietary platform. There’s not too many third party developers who can create something to integrate with your website. The personal plan is pretty limited, you only get 20 pages for your personal plan.
The Ghost platforms are elegant, minimalist and clutter-free. One of the main goals of Ghost is content creating. This make it a great choice for bloggers, journalists and magazines. And since the design is simplistic, the readers are hardly distracted. The platform is SEO friendly. It offers basic SEO features such as XML sitemaps, metadata, canonical tags, which rises your chances to rank higher in the search engines.
Unlike other platforms on the list, Ghost is a premium service with different plans. Each one of these plans offers you the possibility to use a custom domain name, a free SSL certificate, email support and automatic updates.
As you can notice there are a lot of blogging platforms to choose from. Making that choice relies on your goals, and where you want to get your blog to next. It’s really important to consider what are the things you want achieve through your blog before starting. Because if you don’t make the right choice, then you will surely have a hard time migrating your site from a platform to another So choose wisely. But don’t let that step block you from actually starting your blog. Make sure you choose right in a quick period of time. And start now, because a year from now you will be so glad you started today.