The best blogging platforms can help you create impactful and professional-looking blogs that people would want to read online. The digital age offers a myriad of ways to share information and personal thoughts and experiences online. But these online channels all pale in comparison to the depth and reach that come with having your own blog, and to do that you’ll need to have a reliable and feature-rich blogging platform. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of managing a blog, along with the best programs available to help you create your own.
Inside This Article
- What Is a Blogging Platform?
- How Do Blogging Platforms Work?
- What Advantages Do Blogging Platforms Offer?
- What Are the Most Reliable Programs for Starting a Blog Today?
- Final Thoughts on the Most Reliable Blogging Platforms
Bringing Readers to Your Blog
Sharing Your Passion With Like-Minded People
Getting Support for Advocacy & Advertising Campaigns
There is an increasing number of blogging platforms available in the market. This can be explained away by the rising popularity of blogging as a means of self-expression and marketing. The long list of options can make it difficult for you to search for the right one to meet your specific needs and skills. Thankfully we’ve come up with a list of some of the most trusted blogging platforms to help you get started on your blogging career. These platforms should simplify the process of creating and managing your blog, so you can focus on creating content that you love.
WordPress is a popular blogging platform used by more than 34 percent of websites. This platform is ideal for beginners with its easy-to-use blog editor and helpful page view statistics page. The platform offers the complete set of tools required for creating and editing a blog, from custom fonts to header styles and options to include pictures, videos, and links.
WordPress also has an impressive editing platform that automatically measures word count, paragraph length, and meta description optimization. It also allows you to make detailed changes to your current or past articles down to the latest detail. The changes are reflected immediately in the resulting article. The platform also features SEO tools to refine and streamline various aspects of your content. These tools will help your article to appear as high up on the search results as possible. You can check out the best WordPress plugins for your blog to learn better ways to rank up on Google.
Google’s Blogger is a completely free and intuitive platform you can use. The blogging platform has been up and running for more than two decades, and many people consider it as one of the pioneers of the blogosphere. Within the spectrum of website building solutions, Blogger is on the side of a comprehensive solution that handles back-end maintenance and security tasks.
The platform offers a complete set of tools for creating quality content. You can have your pick from a plethora of pre-made designs and layouts to make that process easier. Another key benefit is its integration with other Google apps and services. For example, you can use the platform to store your images and other files from your blog into Google Drive. The platform is also absolutely free, which means you can get essentially unlimited resources in addition to a free SSL certificate.
If micro-blogging is something you’re interested in, check Tumblr out. It hosts mostly short-form blogs, which are between traditional blogs and Twitter posts. Tumblr allows you to upload a myriad of various media, including photos, videos, text, and more. You can personalize your pages easily with its quick editor, and choose from their pre-installed templates, or code your own.
Tumblr also features its own community of users who post content and interact with each other. The community can repost your content if they find it relevant, and you can potentially reach a much larger audience. People who don’t want to manage their own blogs can simply pass along other people’s posts and get in touch with the community. Tumblr is completely free to use and also offers integration with third-party websites like Facebook and Google Analytics.
Squarespace is a website builder under the software as service (SaaS) category. The main idea behind Squarespace is to simplify the website building process using a code-free solution that will do away with standard CSS or HTML. The platform essentially hosts your blog for you, which means you don’t have to worry about managing updates or even finding a hosting provider. The platform is also easy to use and offers a lot of built-in functionality and pre-built website templates with drag-and-drop elements that you can use to create and modify webpages.
Squarespace has also recently added a built-in marketing tool called Email Campaigns. This marketing tool will help boost blog visibility and SEO value. However, the website building focus of the platform makes it somewhat less powerful than the CMS-based WordPress, but its intuitive UI combined with stunning templates nevertheless remains unbeatable in the market.
Medium is an online publishing and blogging platform created by one of the Twitter founders. The platform contains writing from a mix of amateur and professional writers. Medium has large distribution channels that reach up to 86 million unique viewers per month. Becoming a member will allow you to leverage these channels to increase your readership.
Medium also incentivizes blogging through its highly popular Partner Program. This program seeks to reward bloggers with financial incentives based on how much time other members spend reading your posts. The longer your posts are, the higher incentives you’re bound to receive. However, not everyone can join the program, and only those from eligible countries can join. Readership on Medium leans towards specific subjects like technology, design, and programming. If you are keen on writing on these topics, you’ll most likely find an equally keen audience within the Medium community.
With over 160 million websites running on the platform, Wix is a trusted and popular website builder. Wix combines the classic template-based platform with modern AI platforms. You can either choose from a series of industry-specific templates or have Wix create a website for you using Wix ADI. The first option offers a wide array of visually impressive layouts and designs for every possible use case, including business online stores, restaurants, and more.
Like a pre-built home, the platform prepares the foundations for you, and you simply have to choose how to design it. You can also access the platform through mobile devices. There’s also a Wix App Market where you can download support apps for Wix. Wix is a free platform, but it also offers premium plans that will get you professional features like e-commerce tools and your own domain name.
This top-rated service currently hosts 30 million websites. In many ways, this platform is much like a kitchen where you can find all the tools that you need to cook. Like the drag and drop functions, the tools available are very friendly for beginners and people who don’t have technical skills in coding. They offer cool, customizable templates that are simple, stylish, and responsive to mobile platforms.
You can even change your mind about your selected templates later on. Other than the standard pre-built templates, they also offer helpful SEO advice about coding, keyword optimization, and tips on how to boost your website’s ranking. These features make the platform suitable for blogging activities within small business and portfolio websites.
HubPages is a free content writing and revenue-sharing site. Freelance writers make up the majority of HubPage clients, but anyone can join the site to create a blog. Each member is expected to write their own articles or “hubs” as they called and then post them through sub-domains assigned to them within the site.
The platform also allows freelancers to earn from affiliate programs or advertising programs. That includes ads from Amazon, Google Adsense, and other networks that provide financial incentives for sharing ads and affiliate links. The revenue that you earn from ads will be yours entirely, and HubPages will not take any portion. However, they do have a revenue-sharing policy that demands that limit the appearance of revenue-generating ads on your blog to only 60 percent. Meanwhile, the remaining 40 percent will be consist of ads that promote HubPages.
Ghost is an open-source blogging platform. The platform’s unique selling point is minimalism, which reflects strongly in the way its purpose and design. Unlike WordPress that offers multiple types of websites, Ghost is purely focused on blogging and can only be used for this purpose. The minimalist philosophy is also apparent in the platform’s design, offering a clean and modern interface.
The platform also offers additional help, such as a custom domain for your blog or additional web hosting services, but of course, these come with monthly or annual fees. The hosted option offers up the most convenient solution as the platform will handle all back-end tasks, including setup. The platform also comes with its own SEO tools to help your blog rank higher in search engine results. If you like your blog to have a clean and professional appearance without much fuss, Ghost is the perfect option for you.
Jekyll is a website generator designed to create static versions of blog entries. The creator of the platform wanted to simplify the backdoor process of setting up a blog. The way to achieve this was by using a simple static HTML website while simultaneously hosting the content on an external program like GitHub.
The platform takes your written content and then converts it to HTML format to create a static version for public viewing. GitHub will also allow you to create your own themes or customize from a set of basic themes instead of throwing pre-made themes like other platforms. The platform’s lack of a CMS, database, or PHP also reduces the potential for security risks. And naturally, bloggers who already use GitHub get the benefit of GitHub building and hosting their Jekyll website for free.
The majority of the free blogging platforms focus on making your blog accessible to as large an audience as possible, and some even offer financial incentives. However, this next option is almost the complete opposite in that it treats your blog more like a private diary. This unique platform is Penzu, a journaling platform designed to store your private thoughts online.
The way this works is that you are provided with an online platform to create blog-like entries. The platform then locks down your entries with at least two levels of passwords. The first password gets you in on the software, while the other gives you permission to read and edit posts. The platform mainly offers minimal designs, which are fitting since the posts are designed for your eyes only. Nevertheless, a paid version will get your custom colors and backgrounds, plus 128-bit AES encryption for your account.
Most web hosting websites include some option for DIY website building. For the popular web hosting service HostGator, that DIY service takes the form of website-builder Gator. HostGator intended for Gator to become a distinct service which means you don’t need to have a HostGator account to use it. Gator offers a very quick and easy way to set up your dream blog. You just need to select a template and follow through with the step-by-step process to fill in your blog’s details.
There are also drag and drop functions to quickly add text, images, headings, tags, and links to your blogs. You can also edit the post URL or designate posts as either Feature or Pinned. Bonus features include a mobile editing option on-the-go post creation and editing and a set of e-commerce tools that you can purchase to start selling on your website.
Photo by Chris Lawton via Unsplash
When you’re starting a blog, you often want to burst onto the scenes with captivating content that expresses your knowledge and creativity. Understanding your objectives relates to deciding whether you’re building a brand or blogging for yourself. Starting a blog to make money is a little bit different from creating a personal diary, of course. Either route is perfectly acceptable, but the one you choose ends up playing a massive role on which blogging platform you should ultimately choose.
But of course, you always need to start with the basics. That includes deciding on the focus of your blog and then building its look and feel. Blogging platforms of any kind can help you with both tasks and so much more. If you want to learn more about the world of online platforms, you should also read about the best web hosting services for website management.