When choosing a blogging platform there are a few things to consider: Free or paid? Simple or robust? Small learning curve or big learning curve? It really depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want a blogging platform that’s simple to learn, free to use and easy to share what you’ve got to share? Or do you want a blogging platform that you’ve paid for, a drag and drop interface with customer support? Do you want the ultimate in content management software with a big learning curve, but ultimately an awesome looking website? It all depends on what you’re looking for.
There are so many blogging platforms to choose from. It can really be overwhelming at the beginning. I’m gonna break down the pros and cons for some of the most popular blogging platforms. This is not an extensive list of pros and cons, but more of a jumping off point. You can probably decide what you definitely don’t want in a blogging platform from this post. Okay, let’s get started with choosing a blogging platform!
Free blogging platforms
is run by Google and is a great platform for a hobby blogger that doesn’t want to invest too much into it. It’s a great platform to test the waters and maybe after a few months to see if investing more is what you want to do.
User-friendly and easy to get started
You can use a domain name if you have one
Limited capabilities – to change the look a lot, HTML and CSS is needed
If you don’t have a domain name, you’re stuck with the blogspot.com subdomain
Google owns it. If they shut it down, you’re out of luck
Not meant for very powerful sites
There are two kinds of WordPress sites, wordpress.com
and wordpress.org. They can get easily confused when starting out. WordPress.com used to be completely free, now they have updated to having optional add-ons for a fee. Even with the paid add-ons, it’s still not as robust as using a self-hosted WordPress.org.
Cost: Free + Paid Add-ons
Easy to setup
You can try out a limited version of the WordPress CMS for free
Maintenance is taken care of by WordPress.co
Simple customization is available
No ads allowed
Customization is limited – no plugins, limited themes
Not optimized for search engines
To use premium features, you will have to pay
Paid blogging platforms
With paid blogging platforms there is more versatility, flexibility and the options for design are endless. Some paid platforms come with varying degrees of support. You own the publication of your blog and are able to make money without any penalties.
is the new kid on the
block. It has a very easy to use drop and drag system.
: varies from $5/month to $70/month
User-friendly – drag and drop interface is easy to use
Fast, 24/7 Support
All Inclusive (domain name and hosting are including in fee)
Responsive, beautiful, professional themes to choose from
Offers Student Discount
Easily integrated e-commerce store
No apps, extensions or plugins
Limited theme options
It’s not fully customizable
is a self-hosted platform. This requires it to be hosted on a web server that’s paid for either monthly or yearly. WordPress.org is a free and open source, which means everyone can contribute to making it better through free or premium, i.e. paid plugins. Checking the ratings and getting plugin recommendations is a great way to find good plugins. Plugins make WordPress.org robust and versatile.
Customizable with plugins, widgets, themes, and HTML/CSS
Compatible with lots of programs
A very robust content management software (CMS)
Monetization is available
Updates and finding support are your responsibility
Big learning curve if you’re not very techy
Hosting costs can vary
I use wordpress.org to run this site. There will be times on this blog when I make wordpress.org specific suggestions and have posts dedicated to WordPress only features. The plugins that come with WordPress make it a very robust CMS to use and I love the ease of the dashboard and options available. I enjoy it very much and that’s why I use it. I try to learn new things about WordPress to help me grow as a developer as well. I’ve been using it for years, but there is a bit of a learning curve when you’re starting out.
Also, I wanted to share a few blog posts about choosing a blogging platform, so you can see what other people have chosen to use.
Jenn goes into great detail about what to think about when choosing a blogging platform
Chantal tells us why to use WordPress.
Ultimately, when choosing a blogging platform, the best platform is the platform that you will use. It’s that simple.
What blogging platform do you use? I’d love to know, please share with us in the comments.
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