It’s common for beginners to get confused about which blogging platform to choose to start a blog.
No more need to get hassle with choosing a blogging platform.
I have written a complete guide to help you choose the right blogging platform.
Choosing a wrong blogging platform leads to the headache of transforming the blog into a new blogging platform in the future.
Probably, you are looking for the best blogging platform to start a blog with. Many blogging platforms are there which have their own features and services. Some are paid while some are free, some offer both free as well as paid packages.
The most important things you need to start a blog are a domain name, web hosting and a CMS like WordPress to manage your website.
There are many blogging platforms that provide all the three while some provide you one or two of them.
I have made a detailed guide that helps you choose the right blogging platform.
Paid Blogging Platform vs. Free Blogging Platform
Free Blogging Platform:
These are better to start with for learning. You can also start with free blogging platforms if blogging is just your passion or hobby and you have no intentions to earn from it in the future.
What if you changed your mind and want to monetize the blog? Don’t worry you can change the blog to a custom domain and transfer to any other blogging platforms later.
Many limitations are with free blogging platforms like you don’t have full control over your blog. The provider can ban your blog at any time if you violate any of their regulations.
Another problem with some free blogging platforms like WordPress and Wix is you cannot easily monetize your blog through ads.
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With free blogging platforms, you don’t get a custom domain like www.outliningtech.com but a subdomain with the provider’s name in it like outliningtech.blogspot.com.
Customization options are also limited in free blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress.com, Wix, etc. You would have to pay if you want to add more features to your blog.
- No need to pay to start a blog.
- Better for learning.
- You don’t have to worry about your blog’s maintenance, security, backups, and performance.
- It is easy to focus on writing content than on your website’s performance.
- You can change to other blogging platforms if you want to do so in the future.
- Many free blogging platforms are easy to set up and use, so you don’t have to face any difficulty performing any function.
- Very limited features
- No access to any third-party tool
- Don’t have full control over your blog.
- It can get banned anytime if you violate any policy of the service provider.
- No custom domain and branding
- Fewer opportunities to monetize the blog
Paid Blogging Platform:
You get more features, storage, and bandwidth with a paid blogging platform.
If you want to become a professional blogger then you must start with a paid blogging platform without wasting time in free services which are very limited in their features.
You can easily monetize your blog and have full control over it if you opted for paid blogging platforms.
You have to pay for extra storage and bandwidth, custom domain name, and extra features.
- Have full control over your website
- More opportunities to earn money from blogging
- More features and customization options
- Access to third-party tools to increase functions in the website
- Have own domain name and branding
- You have to pay.
- May have hassle for learning
- Have to focus on customization and designing the blog
- Have to take care of the site’s security or have to pay for it
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How to decide which one to choose? – Paid or Free Blogging Platform
Your answers to the following questions decide which one is better for you to choose from.
- What’s your purpose in blogging?
- You are starting a blog just because you love writing or want to share your knowledge and thoughts with others- better choose a free blogging platform. Why pay for this?
- You want to earn some extra money or want to monetize your blog in the future and become a professional or full-time blogger- better choose paid blogging platforms. Why wasting time with a free blogging platform?
- Where will you do with your blog?
- If you want to have own custom domain name and branding with added features then you must go for paid blogging platforms
- If you are happy with available free features and those features would fulfill your need, free blogging platforms are for you.
What will you need to do in the future if your free blog went popular?
If you consistently work on your blog then there might be chances that people would like your blog and it might be popular.
Then, your vision and plans might change and you want to develop your blog as a brand with your full control over it. You can transform your blog from free to paid blogging platforms or in WordPress.org.
So, you can start with free options at the beginning to learn and master blogging.
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Most Popular Blogging Platforms
WordPress.org is the most popular blogging platform. Over 60 million websites are made by WordPress till the date. It is based in PHP and My SQL.
It was initially released in 2003. WordPress makes websites highly customizable through many free and paid themes. Many free and paid third-party plugins are also available to add more features on a website.
You don’t need any advance knowledge of coding to start a blog with WordPress. Many tutorials and courses are available online to learn WordPress.
When it was first released it mainly focused on blogging sites but now you can make any kind of website through WordPress.
There are options for theme editor and custom CSS for advanced users to give own desired look to the website.
You need to have a registered domain name and web hosting to install WordPress on your website and use it as a back-end Content Management System.
You have to maintain the backups and security of your blog by yourself.
WordPress is Search Engine Friendly and many mobile responsible themes are available.
If you want to be a professional blogger then WordPress.org is best for you.
WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org.
It is a blogging platform owned by Automattic which provides free sub-domain like outliningtech.wordpress.com as well as a custom domain like outliningtech.com in its paid plans and also has a facility for web hosting.
All the basic features are free in this platform while to use extra features you need to pay.
It has an inbuilt feature for comments and polls in a blog. It does not provide custom themes, plugins and HTML editing.
Premium plans of WordPress.com start with $4 and go up to $25 per month which is billed annually. The higher you pay the more storage and features you get.
If you are starting a blog as a hobby and don’t need any features you can choose WordPress as your blogging platform.
It is perfect for beginners to start blogging as it is easy to use and setup. You can transfer your WordPress.com blog into WordPress.org later.
Blogger is one of the most popular free blogging platforms provided by Google and written in python. It was established on August 23, 1999, which was 20 years from now. Later, in 2003 it was bought by Google.
Blogger provides you free sub-domain of blogspot.com, for example, outliningtech.blogspot.com.
It is also used as a Content Management System. You can use blogger as a back-end platform to manage and manipulate your website.
It also provides its own web hosting service through redirecting the DNS of your website to Blogger.
You will get 1 GB of total storage for pictures. The size of a page is limited to 1 MB.
It is a better blogging platform for beginners who want to learn to blog. When you find that you need to have your own custom domain, you can buy one and transfer all data to that, and also shift to WordPress or continue with Blogger.
Tumblr is also one of the most popular free blogging platforms for micro-blogs owned by Automattic.
It also has provisions for networking with other bloggers on Tumblr. One blogger in Tumblr can follow other bloggers and can comment, reblog and like other bloggers’ posts.
There is also a function of connecting a blog to Facebook and Twitter. Your posts on Tumblr will automatically be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
You can edit the HTML code of your theme to customize the look of the blog. Custom domain names can also be used for a blog on Tumblr.
Tumblr has very limited features. It allows users to post photos, videos and other content in a blog.
If you want to socialize with other bloggers, choosing Tumblr as a blogging platform is a good decision for you.
Wix is mainly a web development platform that allows users to make websites. It provides easy drag and drops tool to create a website.
A free sub-domain can also be made through Wix. It also supports different plugins and third-party tools to build a website.
You can start a free blog with Wix.com and upgrade it to paid plans for more and advanced features.
To have a custom domain you must buy a paid plan otherwise you can get a free sub-domain. Ads may be shown to a free blog. Also, storage and bandwidth are limited in free offers.
Which one is the best blogging platform to start with?
If you ask anyone which blogging platform is better, you may hear that it’s WordPress.org. But, it totally depends upon your purpose of blogging. If your sole purpose of blogging is your hobby then start with free blogging platforms like Blogger and WordPress.com.
If you want to be a professional blogger and want a custom domain with full control over it, start with WordPress.org. Many people shift to WordPress.org after doing months of blogging on other blogging platforms.
You can customize your website whatever you like with tons of free and paid themes in WordPress.org. It helps to make your own brand and name. If you ask me which one is the best blogging platform, my answer would be WordPress.org.
I hope this article was helpful.
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I’m from Baitadi, Nepal. Usually, I write about WordPress, Blogging, SEO, and Digital Marketing. This blog provides me an opportunity to help new bloggers through my knowledge and experience. I’ve worked on more than 30 websites as an SEO and content writer for a period of 2 years.