For first-time bloggers, or those who have been running blogs for quite some time, there are different options to choose from when it comes to blogging platforms. You can find platforms that are completely free of charge (equipped with basic features), as well as paid ones with more capabilities and inclusions. So, if you are in need of ideas on which one to choose, then this list should help you make an informed decision.
Qualities to Look For
Before we give you the top-rated blogging platforms today, here are just some of the qualities to consider when deciding on the right one to choose for your needs.
1. Easy to Use
Bloggers who lack technical skills such as an expertise on HTML or CSS are better off with platforms that come with drag-and-drop features for customizing and setting up their blog. Fortunately, there are several blogging platforms that allow you to select a layout, theme or other facets of your blog even when all you have are basic computer skills. However, for a more sophisticated design, you will have to know something about coding basics to create the layout you have in mind. Another option would be hiring a website developer who could help you with a custom design.
Some platforms are available completely free of charge, and the basic features included are enough to get you started. Others, though, will require a fee if you are looking to upgrade the features and get an access to custom themes, plugins, additional bandwidth, add-ons or hosting services. Free platforms tend to limit the monetization aspect of your blog, so you might want to keep this in mind during the selection process.
This refers to the software installed into the site for greater capabilities on its functions. Some of the useful plugins you may need include creating newsletters, monetizing with Google AdSense, social sharing buttons and a forum or online discussion portion to your site. Several platforms with a good amount of plugins include WordPress and Wix.
Blogging Platforms and Their Features
So, here are the different platforms out there, features included, and setup costs.
You have two choices for this platform, which include the free and paid option. Self-hosted WordPress allows customization of your site while the free one is very limited even with its design themes and pre-installed plugins. If you are thinking about getting serious in using your blog as a money-making business, then it is best to go for self-hosted.
For a minimal fee of $8.95 monthly, you can choose from multiple themes for your site, as well as unlimited storage. In case you want to publish unlimited blogs, though, it is recommended to subscribe to a much higher fee since the basic option does not have this capability.
What’s great about this platform is you can expect to get unlimited storage even without paying anything to start with. Themes are also plenty for this free platform, which means you are not limited to the design for your site. For a commercial website, however, you are better off with other platforms with more plugins and features since Tumblr is suitable for personal use only.
If you are just beginning to explore on blogging, then this free platform is a fine choice. You can even consider monetization with it, although options for customization are not that diverse. If you want to have your own domain name for the site, you may encounter some difficulty with this, too.
The software is absolutely free of charge, and all you need to think about is the hosting package, which is paid, of course. Nevertheless, there are tens and thousands of free plugins, customization and community of users to help you get started.
So, consider these option as you go about in choosing your blogging platform, and find the right one that addresses your needs and budget.