Want to start your own blog but don’t know where to start? You have a lot of alternatives when it comes to choosing a blogging platform. However, each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so what are the Best Platforms to Create a Blog?
That is the question I will attempt to answer in this article.
This article will help you choose a platform that supports your goals and sets your blog up for success by asking you five critical questions about your blogging goals and showing the advantages and downsides of six common platforms.
Five Questions to Help You to Pick the Best Platforms to Create a Blog
I think it’s vital to ask you some questions before I go into the best platforms for starting a blog.
As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for starting a ‘blog.’ Instead, I’d like to assist you in determining the best area to begin ‘your blog.’
If you want to make money from your blog, for example, this could drive you in one direction. However, if all you want is a simple spot to start writing and connect with an audience, that may steer you in a different direction.
So, before we go into the many places to start a blog, consider the following questions…
DO I VALUE SIMPLICITY OR FLEXIBILITY?
As a general guideline, consider simplicity and adaptability to be opposite ends of a spectrum:
- When you want more simplicity, you have to give up a lot of flexibility.
- When you want more flexibility, you frequently have to give up simplicity.
There are some platforms that are better than others at bridging the gap, but the general guideline applies to all blogging platforms.
Medium, for example, makes it quite simple to establish a blog. You simply create an account and begin writing. There’s no need to go through the setup process, choose a theme, or anything else.
Simply register and begin writing. In a matter of minutes, you’ll be composing your first blog entry.
However, simplicity comes at a cost: writing is basically all you can do! Do you want to add a custom contact form to your Medium blog? I’m not going to be able to accomplish it! Do you want to diversify the ways you increase your email newsletter list? Nope!
Self-hosted WordPress, on the other hand, opens up the world to you — you can practically take your blog in any direction, including adding eCommerce capabilities — but the setup procedure is a little more difficult, and you’re responsible for some website maintenance.
DO I WANT TO MAKE MONEY?
If you want to (eventually) make money from your blog, this will have a significant impact on where you start.
Some blogging systems, like Medium and WordPress.com, limit how you can monetize your site; others, like self-hosted WordPress, let you monetize your blog any way you wish.
If you want to make money, you should avoid platforms that impose their own restrictions.
HOW IMPORTANT IS OWNERSHIP OF CONTENT/DATA?
When it comes to hosting your blog and its material, there are two options:
- Software that is hosted on your own server
- Platforms that are hosted
A self-hosted blog requires you to install the blogging software on your own web hosting. While this may appear to be a daunting task, most web hosts make the procedure fairly straightforward – and you don’t need any technical knowledge to do so.
The following are some of the major advantages of self-hosted blogs:
Because your content and data are stored on your server, you have complete control over them.
Because you can alter everything about your blog, you have a lot of versatility.
You have complete control over how you monetize your site.
Your blog and its content are housed on someone else’s servers with a hosted blog. This has disadvantages in terms of data ownership because you do not have complete control over your content. It’s also less versatile than a blog that’s hosted on your own server.
The main advantage, though, is simplicity. You can generally just sign up and start writing because the blog platform is housed on the service’s servers. You won’t have to set anything up, and you won’t have to worry about maintenance.
💡 With a hosted tool, I don’t imply you don’t ‘own’ your stuff. Simply said, your stuff is hosted on someone else’s servers, and you don’t have complete control over it. A hosted service, for example, may lock your account and remove your access, and exporting your content from a hosted service can be difficult at times.
WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT DO I PLAN TO POST?
Different styles of blogging exist, and some are more suited to one platform than another.
Will you, for example, make brief postings containing a lot of media (pictures, GIFs, movies, and so on)? If that’s the case, Tumblr might be a good fit for you.
Medium or your own platform, on the other hand, maybe a better fit if you want to post longer, more meaningful pieces.
If you’re going to be blogging in any potentially sensitive areas, you should also think about the theme of your article.
While most blogging platforms are quite broad in terms of what you may write about, if you’re going to be blogging about any issues that push the boundaries, you’ll probably want to utilize a self-hosted site (e.g. marijuana, adult topics, and so on).
HOW DO I DETERMINE MY BUDGET?
Finally, there’s your financial plan. There are various excellent free blogging systems available, but they all have their drawbacks.
You’ll need to pay for web hosting to run your blog software at a bare minimum if you want the independence and flexibility of a self-hosted blog.
Now, this doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive; a blog may easily be maintained for less than $10 per month. However, you cannot, in general, run a self-hosted blog for free.
Best Platforms to Create a Blog in 2021 and Beyond
If you want to build a blog, self-hosted WordPress (also known as WordPress.org) is the Best Platform to Create a Blog
- Flexibility is highly regarded
- Would you like to generate money from your blog?
- Want complete control over all of your content and data?
- Are willing to pay $5 to $10 each month to have your blog up and running.
By far the most common way to create a website, according to the data. W3Techs estimates that it powers more than 35% of all websites.
WordPress began as a blogging platform, and while it is now used for anything from portfolios to eCommerce businesses, it is still a wonderful choice for a blog.
The WordPress software is open-source and free. You will, however, need to pay for hosting to power your blog because it is a self-hosted option. Don’t worry; if you’re ready to pay for a year or more in advance, you can find affordable WordPress hosting for under $3 per month.
I understand that installing software on your own hosting sounds daunting, but because WordPress is so popular, most WordPress servers have created extremely user-friendly interfaces to assist you in getting started without any technical experience.
Flexibility is one of the main advantages of utilizing self-hosted WordPress for your blog. To personalize your blog, you can use two sorts of extensions:
- Themes allow you to customize the appearance of your blog. Consider them the ‘clothes’ for your blog.
- Plugins allow you to add new features to your blogs, such as a contact form, an Instagram feed, or even eCommerce capabilities.
Thousands of free themes and 55,000+ free plugins can be found in the WordPress.org directory alone. Basically, you can probably make your blog do whatever you want it to do without any technical skills – all you have to do is install the needed extension by clicking a few clicks.
You also have complete ownership of all of your content and data, and there are no arbitrary restrictions on what you may publish or how you can monetize your site.
If you want to build a blog, WordPress.com is the finest place to go.
- Are you looking for a free blogging platform?
- Value simplicity while still being able to add some versatility if you’re prepared to spend a premium
- I’d like to be able to sign up and write straight immediately.
- Don’t give a damn about data privacy or ownership.
WordPress.com is a commercial version of the open-source WordPress software mentioned before. The distinction between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the subject of a separate essay, but the idea is that WordPress.com makes it easier to utilize the open-source WordPress software but at the expense of some of its flexibility.
You must purchase hosting and install the WordPress software before you can begin blogging with self-hosted WordPress, but with WordPress.com, you can simply join up and begin posting right away.
There are two significant advantages here:
- You can establish a blog for free, but if you want to use your own domain name, you’ll have to pay (e.g. wpcircuit.com instead of wpcircuit.wordpress.com).
- It eliminates the technical aspect of the process entirely.
However, unless you pay $300 per year for the Business plan, you will lose the opportunity to install your own WordPress themes and plugins. You’ll miss out on a lot of WordPress’ versatility unless you’re willing to invest that much money. Even if you pay, you won’t have as much control over your blog as you would if you use self-hosted WordPress.
Overall, I’d recommend WordPress.com for a hobby site where you don’t plan on doing anything other than blogging. Self-hosted WordPress, on the other hand, is usually always a superior alternative if you want to monetize your site because you have more flexibility and fewer constraints.
If you want to start a blog, Medium is the greatest place to go.
- If you’re looking for the simplest way to begin writing,
- Wish to reach out to a pre-existing audience
- If you like the notion of getting paid based on how many people read your blog entries, you don’t need any other features.
- Medium is a hybrid of a blogging platform and a news outlet.
Anyone may sign up and begin blogging. You can also allow your material to be ‘selected’ to the Medium publishing platform, which allows you the opportunity to earn money through the Medium Partner Program.
In our Medium vs. WordPress comparison, we go into this in greater detail.
One of the major advantages of Medium is that it provides you with the opportunity to contact a pre-existing audience.
If you utilize another blogging platform, you’ll have to start from scratch to establish an audience; but, if you become curated on Medium, your material will be seen by thousands of people who are interested in the topics you write about.
Medium, on the other hand, has a lack of flexibility. Instead of creating your own website, you’ll use the Medium platform to create your blog, which means you’ll be limited to the capabilities that Medium provides. You’ll find it difficult to grow your own email list or social following, for example.
Overall, I think Medium is a terrific choice if you just want a place to write and not worry about anything else. There are, however, better options if you value flexibility and running your own platform, or if you have any aspirations for monetization (beyond the Medium Partner Program).
If you want to build a blog, Wix is the finest option.
- Aant to be able to add more features than just a blog
- Want the convenience of a hosted tool while yet having a lot of options
- Are willing to pay at least $10 per month and are unconcerned about data ownership and privacy.
Wix is a famous hosted website builder that can be used for any purpose. It doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on blogging, but it does provide comprehensive blogging support and is a suitable choice if you want your blog to be a section of a site rather than the entire site.
Because Wix is a hosted service, you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects. However, you have far more flexibility than you would with a site like Medium.
With templates, you’ll be able to customize the look of your site and add functionality with apps. Wix even has a handful of blogging-specific templates.
Wix, on the other hand, isn’t as versatile as a self-hosted WordPress blog, and you still have the ownership/privacy worries about content and data that any hosted platform comes with.
Wix offers a free basic package that allows you to construct a website with a Wix subdomain (and with ads from Wix). This is a good way to test if you enjoy the platform, but if you’re serious about blogging, you’ll want to go with one of the paid plans, which start at $8.50 a month.
Check Out – 10 Best WordPress Themes Like Medium
If you want to build a blog, Ghost is the finest option.
- Want a self-hosted tool that is solely dedicated to blogging
- I appreciate the notion of monetizing your blog through paid content.
- Won’t require the complete flexibility of a self-hosted WordPress installation
- Ownership and privacy of data are important to us.
- Are willing to pay a minimum of $10 per month for your blog
Ghost is similar to self-hosted WordPress, however, it’s mostly used for blogging, whereas WordPress is far more flexible and has a larger extension library. The advantage is that Ghost is more streamlined because it’s just attempting to accomplish one thing (blogging).
Ghost is also more adaptable than the majority of the other platforms on our list, so it’s a decent compromise.
Ghost, like WordPress, is open-source software that you may install on your site hosting for free.
It has some of the most significant features for bloggers because it is solely focused on blogging and publishing.
A built-in ability to monetize your site with memberships rather than just adverts is one of the most unusual features here. You have the option of allowing free registration or charging for access to your blog’s content.
Aside from that, Ghost’s code is written in more recent technology (headless Node.js), making it a little faster than WordPress.