One fine day you decide to start a blog, and you immediately get stuck on the most basic, yet most important questions:
- Where should I go to start a blog?
- Which blogging platform should I use?
These questions play a significant role for anyone who wishes to get started blogging.
That’s why, in this guide, I’m going to help you choose the right blogging platform.
All the blogging platforms listed below let you do the most important things – writing and publishing. But when searching for the right blogging platform to use, you may also need to find one that:
- Lets you customize the look to match your personality.
- Lets you add your own logo.
- Lets you use a custom domain name.
- Lets your readers subscribe to blog updates.
- Lets you add Google AdSense codes so that you can make money.
- Offers social media sharing and subscription options.
These are just some of the many factors that you can’t ignore. This may not be of any significance when you are starting out, but as you fall in love with writing (which usually happens in 2-3 weeks time), you will end up asking this question to yourself:
What else can I do with my blog?
Many people make the mistake of picking a wrong platform and later regretting it.
That’s why this guide is going to help you not make such mistakes.
What’s A Wrong Blogging Platform?
The platform that limits the possibilities of blog growth is a not a good blogging platform.
Apart from the points listed above, one other important factor to consider is how often the platform is updated. Is it up-to-date with all the latest trends and technological advancements?
For example, three years back it was not necessary to have a blog which was mobile-friendly. Fast forward 3 years and all blogs must be mobile-friendly or else we will lose a lot of traffic. But mobile-friendliness isn’t just for readers, it’s also for us… Let’s say you’re traveling and a good thought comes into your mind. Now you can whip out your smartphone and blog about it!
These are the kinds of scenarios you need to be thinking about when choosing your platform.
So in this article, we’re going to talk about the following:
- BlogSpot by Google
There are a few other platforms out there like Weebly and Squarespace which you might find listed on the web as the “best blogging platforms”, but they’re not. They are more website builders which, while good, are not ideal for blogging.
The best blogging platforms are the four listed above.
Are you in a hurry?
If you don’t want to read this whole article and just want to know which platform to use, then pick WordPress.org. Believe me and my 9 years of professional blogging. WordPress.org is without question the best.
But I would recommend everyone keep reading this article as we will go into detail about why we should be using these platforms. Think of this as buying a new phone and knowing all the features. It’s how we stay informed and make good decisions…
Alrighty, let’s go ahead and look at what these popular blogging platforms have to offer and what they are lacking.
Personal Guide To Selecting The Best Blogging Platform:
#1. WordPress.org (Self-hosted WordPress platform)
WordPress is a very popular platform for launching a blog.
They offer two versions of their software:
We’ll talk about WordPress.com in a minute, but you need to know that WordPress.org is what a lot of website owners in the world are using.
More than 28% of the websites in the world are powered by #WordPress. Awesome!
The reason why WordPress.org is so popular is because it easily gives you complete control of your website.
It’s open-source software and is updated every few months to keep giving its users all the latest new features.
They also have a mobile app that lets you blog from your mobile phone – you can upload images, write posts, and reply to comments.
What I really like about this platform is the ease of use. Anyone can start a blog in literally minutes. F
It’s also just really convenient to start writing and customize your blog’s structure.
And unlike many of the other platforms out there, since you create this blog on your own hosting server, you also become much more than a blogger. You are not just the pilot of the plane but also the owner of the plane.
- In other words, you own your blog.
You don’t have to worry about some competitor falsely complaining to your blogging service and getting your blog deleted (these things happen).
But if you are not really looking to make your blog popular or make money from blogging (like through Google AdSense), then you don’t really need this platform. You can get started on a free platform and move to this one if/when you’re ready.
But, if you are serious about being a blogger, then WordPress.org is the platform you need.
#2. WordPress.com (Easier to use than WP.org but comes with limitations)
As I mentioned above, WordPress offers two versions, and WordPress.com is the other one.
If you are still hesitating on using WordPress.org, I recommend you go ahead and create your blog on WordPress.com. This gives you the opportunity to use WordPress without spending a dime (WordPress.org is free to use, but you will still need to buy hosting and a domain).
WordPress.com will help you get used to the WordPress platform. You will learn things like how to write a blog post, how to moderate comments, and how to manage the dashboard.
WordPress.com is also useful when you are not sure about your domain name.
Well, we all make such silly mistakes in the first few days of blogging, and such free platforms ensure that these mistakes don’t affect our pockets.
WordPress.com offers a free domain name such as yourname.WordPress.com, and if you want, you can also upgrade to a “real” domain name (custom domain name) likedomain.com for a little bit of money.
There are more paid features available on WordPress.com which increase its capabilities, but as I mentioned earlier, if you want to use “premium” features, it’s better and cheaper to go with WordPress.org.
#3. BlogSpot by Google (Free and decent alternative to WordPress)
For those who want to test the sweetness of blogging, BlogSpot is another great platform that you can use for free. This is a Google platform, and as such, the architecture here is completely different than WordPress.
But, in general, blogging on BlogSpot is easy and newbie-friendly.
I started my first blog on BlogSpot 5 years ago. After using it for almost 2 months, I shifted to WordPress (.org)… And I’ve never looked back!
If you look at the Google Trends chart, you can clearly see how the popularity of BlogSpot has declined in the past 5 years.
BlogSpot offers a mobile app which lets you do all the publishing and management tasks from your mobile phone. However, the app is not upgraded as often as it should be.
If you have an Android mobile, you can download the app from here and check it out yourself.
One thing that you will like about BlogSpot is you can monetize your blog however you want (AdSense, Amazon Associates, sponsored posts, direct ads, etc.).
I used to recommend BlogSpot to people, but despite it being a decent platform, in recent years it has fallen into disarray. If you are looking for a free platform to launch your blog, you should look at WordPress.com or Medium.com.