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Best Blogging Platforms (2022): Choose Free/Paid Sites

Last Updated on February 26, 2022 by Matt Zavadil

How do you sift through all the “best blogging platforms”?

Great question, actually.

When it comes to starting a blog, there are a lot of decisions you have to make.

One of the most important is deciding which platform to use.

There are a few different options when it comes to platforms for blogging, but not all of them are created equal.

In this article, I’ll compare the best free and paid platforms that offer a variety of social media, WordPress plugins, drag-and-drop website builder benefits, and the advanced features you need to create your own website.

What Is a Blogging Platform?

A blogging platform is a service that allows you to create and manage your blog with basic blogging tools.

It provides the infrastructure for your blog, including the ability to host your content, manage comments, and more.

There are a few different types of blogging platforms:

Self-hosted: This type of platform gives you complete control over your blog. You’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain name, but you’ll have complete control over how your blog looks and functions. WordPress.org is an example of a self-hosted platform.

Hosted: A hosted platform takes care of the technical aspects of running a blog for you. All you need to do is sign up and start writing. Tumblr and Medium are examples of hosted platforms.

Free: A free platform is a great option if you’re just starting out or don’t want to invest any money into your blog. These platforms usually have limited features and options, but they’re a good way to get started. Wordpress.com and Blogger are examples of free platforms.

So, which blogging platform is right for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type:

Self-Hosted Platforms: Pros and Cons

A review of the pros and cons when using a self-hosted platform.

Pros:

  • Complete control over your blog – You can customize your blog however you want, add whatever plugins you need, and change the design to match your brand.
  • More freedom with monetization – With a self-hosted platform, you can monetize your blog however you want. You’re not limited to the options provided by the hosting company.
  • More control over SEO – Self-hosted platforms give you more control over your SEO settings, which can help you rank higher in search results.

Cons:

  • Higher initial investment – You’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain name when using a self-hosted platform. This can be a barrier for some people who are just starting.
  • More responsibility – You’ll need to manage updates and backups yourself on a self-hosted platform. If something goes wrong, it’s up to you to fix it.

Hosted Platforms: Pros and Cons

A review of the pros and cons when using a hosted platform.

Pros:

  • Easy to get started – Hosted platforms are easy to set up and use. You don’t need any technical knowledge to get started.
  • Less expensive – Hosted platforms are usually cheaper than self-hosted options since you don’t need to pay for hosting or a domain name.
  • No maintenance required – The hosting company takes care of all the updates and maintenance for you, so you don’t need to worry about it.

Cons:

  • Limited customization options – You can usually only customize your blog within the limits set by the hosting company. This can be limiting if you want to change the look or functionality of your blog.
  • Reduced control over SEO – Hosted platforms usually give you less control over SEO settings than self-hosted options.
  • Less freedom with monetization – You’re limited to the options provided by the hosting company when it comes to monetizing your blog.

Free Platforms: Pros and Cons

A review of the pros and cons when using a free platform.

Pros:

  • Free – All of these platforms are free to use, which makes them a great option for people who are just starting.
  • Easy to get started – Most of these platforms are very easy to set up and use. You don’t need any technical knowledge to start blogging.

Cons:

  • Limited features and customization options – These platforms have a lot fewer features and customization options than paid or self-hosted platforms.
  • More restrictions on monetization – These platforms usually have very limited options for monetizing your blog.
  • May include ads – Some of these platforms may display ads on your blog to generate revenue for the company.

The 9 Best Blogging Platforms & Sites

With the above information in mind, select the option from the nine best platform for blog options below.

1. WordPress.org

The premier option for self-hosted blogging, WordPress.org software is free (but you’ll need to pay for hosting).

With this platform, you have complete control over your blog and can add any features or plugins that you want.

You’re also not limited in how you can monetize your blog. You can link to any one of several affiliate programs you choose, join CJ Affiliate or ShareASale, use Google AdSense and other ad platforms like Ezoic, and gain full control over your own site.

However, it does require some technical knowledge to set up and use WordPress.org. You will host a custom domain through a 3rd-party web hosting company.

Pros:

  • Complete control over your blog
  • More freedom with monetization
  • More control over SEO

Cons:

  • Higher initial investment
  • More responsibility

2. WordPress.com

One of the most popular free blogging platforms, WordPress.com is a good option if you want a free blog.

This platform is easy to use and has a wide range of features, but you’re limited in how you can monetize your blog. WordPress.com also includes ads on your blog to generate revenue for the company.

Many people hype WordPress.com as the best blogging platform for beginners, but I would advise you to build blog sites on options that give you more control.

Pros:

  • Easy to get started
  • Wide range of features

Cons:

  • Limited options for monetization
  • Ads included on your blog

3. Squarespace

A popular paid option, Squarespace offers a good balance between ease of use and customization options.

You can create professional-looking blogging sites without any technical knowledge, but you do have more control over the look and feel than with some other blogging tools.

However, Squarespace does not allow you to monetize your blog in the same way as other platforms.

Pros:

  • Professional looking websites without any technical knowledge
  • Good balance between ease of use and customization options

Cons:

  • Cannot monetize your blog in the same way as other platforms

4. Wix

Another popular hosted platform, Wix offers a wide range of templates to choose from than other free blogging platforms and allows you to create blog posts without any coding knowledge.

However, there are fewer customization options than with Squarespace or WordPress. You’re also limited in how you can monetize your blog on this platform.

Pros:

  • Wide range of templates to choose from
  • No coding knowledge required

Cons:

  • Fewer customization options than some other platforms
  • Limited options for monetization
  • Ads included on your blog

5. Medium

A popular platform for long-form content, Medium is a good option if you want to share your thoughts and ideas with a wider audience.

With Medium, you don’t need to create a website or blog – you can simply start writing articles and sharing them with others.

However, you do not have control over the look and feel of your site.

Plus, the people running Medium keep messing around with their monetization options.

Bloggers have invested hundreds of hours getting their Medium blogs to produce revenue, only to have Medium shift the traffic eligibility rules on them.

This one’s a definite “no go” for beginners, in my opinion.

Pros:

  • Share your thoughts and ideas with a wider audience

Cons:

  • No control over the look and feel of your site
  • Cannot monetize your content in the same way as other platforms
  • You’re at the whim of the illogical thinking of whoever runs this place

6. Blogger

Created by Google, Blogger is a popular free blog platform that’s easy to use. You can create a blog in minutes and start sharing your thoughts and ideas with the world.

However, you’re limited in how you can monetize your blog on this platform.

Pros:

  • Easy to get started
  • Share your thoughts and ideas with the world

Cons:

  • Limited options for monetization
  • No control over your blogging future

7. Weebly

Another popular blogging platform, Weebly offers a wide range of templates to choose from and allows you to create a website without any coding knowledge.

However, there are fewer customization options than with Squarespace or WordPress. You’re also limited in how you can monetize your blog on this platform.

Pros:

  • Wide range of templates to choose from
  • No coding knowledge required

Cons:

  • Fewer customization options than some other platforms
  • Limited options for monetization

8. Tumblr

A popular microblogging and free blogging platform, Tumblr is a good option if you want to share short snippets of text, images, or videos with others.

With Tumblr, you don’t need to create a website or blog – you can simply start sharing content with others.

However, you are limited in the amount of content you can post and how you can monetize your blog on this platform.

Pros:

  • Share short snippets of text, images, or videos with others

Cons:

  • Limited amount of content you can post
  • Cannot monetize your blog in the same way as other platforms

9. Ghost

Ghost is a popular open-source platform that offers a wide range of customization options.

You can create a website or blog without any technical knowledge, but you do have more control over the look and feel than with some other hosted platforms.

Pros:

  • Wide range of customization options
  • No coding knowledge required

Cons:

  • Limited options for monetization

Should You Use a Free or Paid Blogging Platform Option?

When it comes to choosing a blogging platform, there are pros and cons to both free and paid options.

Other blogging platforms like Blogger or WordPress.com offer a free way to get started without any upfront costs, but you’re limited in how you can monetize your blog.

Paid platforms like Squarespace or Wix offer more robust features and control over your business but come with a monthly cost.

My Pick: #1 Top Blogging Platform

So, which option is right for you?

My top pick is WordPress.org.

It’s a free platform (but you pay for your hosting a custom domain with 3rd-party web hosting) that offers a wide range of features and control over your blog.

A self-hosted WordPress is a content management system with an easy drag-and-drop website builder. Using a blog-hosting service like this provides superior SEO features than a free blogging service.

Plus you can connect Google Analytics easily, monetize your content in many different ways, and gain functionality for tracking affiliate sales.

If you want to seriously choose the best blogging option, WordPress is the best out there. You get access to free and premium themes, a custom domain name, and you’ll never need to worry about switching to other so-called premium blogging platforms.

FAQs About Best Blogging Platforms

I know you may still have a few questions about the best blogging platform to consider using.

What is the best platform to write a blog?

The best platform to write a blog depends on your needs and goals. For example, if you’re looking for a platform with robust features and control over your business, WordPress.org is the best option. You use your own domain name and get access to the proper SEO tools.

What is the most popular platform for blogging?

The most popular platform for blogging is WordPress. It’s used by millions of people around the world and offers a wide range of features and customization options.

What is the cheapest platform for blogging?

The cheapest platform for blogging is Blogger, which is free to use. However, you’re limited in how you can monetize your blog on this platform. I advise you to stay away from thinking about the “best free blogging platform”. The “best free blogging platforms” don’t exist, in my opinion, because free = less functionality and an inability to monetize properly.

Which platform is best for advanced users?

If you’re an advanced user, WordPress.org is the best blogging platform. It offers a wide range of features and control over your blog, plus you can monetize your content. It’s also best for beginners. Why start with something inferior?

Which platform is best for an e-Commerce website?

If you’re looking to create an eCommerce website, Squarespace is the best platform. It offers a wide range of features and templates that are perfect for an online store, plus it’s easy to use. Try this if you want an online store instead of building your own blog.

Final Thoughts About the Best Blogging Platform

As I mentioned above, WordPress.org (in my opinion) is the way to go. I’m always floored by people who say, “well, start with this free option and you can always upgrade to the best option later.”

That’s like saying, “Well, marry the first frog that comes along. You can always upgrade later.”

Whaaaaaat?

Are you serious about your blogging business or not?

Yes?

Choose a quality host and use WordPress.org.

Hosting Your WordPress Blog

If you’re ready to get started with WordPress, you’ll need to find a hosting provider. I recommend using BlueHost. They offer a free domain name and WordPress installation with every account, plus 24/seven support in case you run into any problems.

Click here to get started with BlueHost WordPress hosting today!

As well, I’ve written an entire blog post about how to start a blog using BlueHost for your own WordPress site (it also gives you a free domain and free blog templates).