The space-age technology called Internet has luckily given us some really exciting and useful tools to and blogging platforms are one of them. These platforms have helped writers create, edit, and publish content for the web without hustling between website design and domain issues, thus creating a new kind of content creators called Bloggers.
But as the Internet has grown, so have these platforms, making it highly confusing to choose the best one to establish a blog. Every other platform has an advantage of its own, intended to lure bloggers towards them, but it’s important to choose the one which is easy-to-use and fulfils blogger requirements.
In this article, we compare the best blogging platforms available for bloggers, that provide a variety of tools and customization options to design a perfect blog in accordance with the genre of your content.
Why a Blog?
A lot of people hustle a lot between getting a properly designed and coded website. But the biggest issue with getting a firing site is that it often discourages bloggers to discontinue. “It’s unaffordable”; “I can’t manage that”; “I can’t customize that”; “the design isn’t what I had in mind”. These are the excuses people give themselves. But why give up?
A Blog is a perfect solution to these excuses. A blog is no different from a site, the only difference being that the content on a blog can be manipulated directly using a password or username, but to edit the content on the site, it’s necessary that the site’s codes are also edited. So, a blog basically allows you to easily manage and curate content on your blog site without going through the codes and commands, which probably many of you are never aware of. Yes, you can make hundreds of customization if you have any idea of coding on blogging platforms, but you need not worry if you don’t. Do you think a blog is a more preferable option? Let’s give you more reasons to believe it.
Choosing The Best Platform
Type “Blogging Platforms” on Google Search and you’d meet with uncountable options down in the links. The ones deemed as the “Best Blogging Platform” would be the one Google thought is good for your blog. Google is Google after all, right? But honestly, deciding which one is best is an impossible task. All you can do as a writer is going through the detailed features of all the platforms, align them with the requirement of your content and your blog, and make a calculated decision. But where do you get all those details? Right here.
Let’s see what these platforms have to offer you and your aspirations to become a blogger:
|Categories for Comparison|
|Custom Domain*||No (Purchased Separately)||No (Purchased Separately)||No (Purchased Separately)||No||No||Yes (Pro Version Only)|
|Type of Platform||WordPress.com is a modified version of the original platform called WordPress (or WordPress.org). It’s a free blogging platform, that allows users to design blogging webpages for free, along with several designs and site curation options.||Blogger is a purely blogging-dedicated platform with minimal design options. It offers users a free domain under domain provider
Blogspot. Owned by Google, it is the most basic version of a blogging platform available on the internet.
|Tumblr is a combination of a microblogging and social media platform, which has now also used as a full-fledged blogsite by writers. The platform is known for allowing to post content in the multimedia format as well, which enable non-writers to create and publish their content||Founded by Evan Williams, also co-founder of Twitter & Blogger, Medium is a combination of Blogging, Social networking, and Journalism. It is a blogging cum content-sharing platform, where writers can submit their articles for publishing to an editorial team at Medium. The genre of content has no filters in it but is only released after the review of Medium editorial team.||Hubpages is a similar platform like Medium and has a variety of content published by members called Hubbers. Hubbers can sign up on Hubpages and post articles on their account. The articles are published with proper author credits.||Ghost is a new-age minimalistic blogging platform, which allows users to create and edit the content on their blog sites. Working just like Medium and WordPress.com, Ghost differs massively in terms of usage. By offering a simple but elegant user experience, Ghost seems to be a perfect replacement to other platforms.|
|Plugins and Extensions||Available on Additional Purchases||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Friendliness for Beginner Writers||-Ease of use is one of the most significant features that have led WordPress.com to become the most-used blogging platform across the globe.
-The platform has the easiest site installation process, which hardly takes more than 5 minutes. It involves registration via email and selecting a user name.
-Blog creation is super easy with a Word-like architecture filed with content customizing tools available for free use.
|-Blogger, is probably the most accessible site to create, edit, and publish a blog post on your blog site.
-However, creating the site itself is a tough task, as Blogger’s customizing tools are not easy to understand.
-To keep the platform simple, Blogger has seemingly complicated the site creation process.
|-Tumblr’s multi-usage platform works in its advantage, as it has got both social media and blogging in one place.
-It has got a Create Post button like other social networking sites, which directly acts as your blog post.
-Adding media is most comfortable, as media buttons and their placement resembles that of Facebook
|-The easiest method for beginner writers as at Medium, you aren’t required to build anything. Just an account and start writing the post.
-Medium accounts can be created using your email or Facebook IDs, and you can then be on your way to create new content as a user, an organization, or a publication.
|-Hubpages is a similar platform as Medium and offers beginner writers a pre-designed platform to share their work.
-Hubpages offers a magazine-style to your articles, which also saves you from worrying about your designs.
-Since its highly compatible with search engine optimization techniques, you need not worry about keywords and tags.
|-Ghost is a perfect blogging platform for people who wish to keep their blogsite simple and effective; however, it does require a paid subscription to do so.
-While Ghost’s simple design and easy-to-use platform, it is perfect for beginners; however, those with budget constraints need to get another option.
|Opinion on Interface||-Wordpress.com has probably the most comprehensive dashboard.
-The user can view all recent activities on the blog along with details concerning scheduled or published posts, as well as readers’ comments on them.
-The side-menu has options for viewing the above data separately in more detail.
|-Though the white background is not that attractive; however, Blogger has the most straightforward interface to toggle around.
-The Layout and Theme edit menus are highly easy and accessible without hassle, while user names and profile description can be easily edited from Settings.
|-It has a Facebook-like interface, so no one would ever find it challenging to use in the first place.
-You have your news feed and when you click on your profile icon, or anyone else’s in that matter, you’ll be redirected to that particular user’s blog and all the posts in there.
|-Medium is merely a virtual white paper on-screen, where you can write your story along with adding media content in them. There is nothing else to manage apart from your posts, while Medium editors do other publishing and optimizing work.
-So, considering there’s not much to explore, it can be said that Medium does not have an account interface; however, it’s easily understandable.
|-Though Hubpages is also meant for only writing, however, the interface is much more diversified and has more options in comparison to medium.
-Your profile window will have a NewsFeed, displaying blog posts from your preferred genres. While just like any other networking site, you can click on the Write button, to begin with, your work.
-The writing area is not that attractive, and the theme is a bit old school. Moreover, there are limitations on editing and customization options for the content.
|-Ghost’s interface is probably best of all. The open source platform has an Admin Area, from where you can easily manage your posts, readers’ comments, tags, blog statistics, and profile settings.
-The writing area works similar to that of WordPress.com, where you can categorize your content as per the options on your blog site, add tags, and even check it for optimization using Ghost tools.
|Monetary Outputs||-There is an advertising solution called WordAds, which allow WordPress.com users to display ads on their blogs.
-You can also get Google AdSense approval for the same.
|-Google owns blogger, so getting AdSense approval here is comparatively easier.
-However, to do that, the writer needs to set a niche on his blog and get enough traffic to convince Google for pushing ads on it.
|-Tumblr is recognized by several affiliate marketing agencies and service providers, which you can get the approval to push ads on your blog.
-These services include Google AdSense, Infolinks, and Yahoo Bing.
|-Medium pays for writing via its Partner Program, which you can access by turning on distribution and earnings settings.
-Medium pushes your work ahead if the site curators and editorial team at Medium find it intriguing and exciting.
-The subscribing members at Medium would then be recommended of your blog post, and you’ll be rewarded per the readers’ response and applaud.
|-Affiliate marketing is the real deal to make money on Hubpages. Hubpages has partnered with Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliate Program, along with having a personal ad network.
-When you write on Hubpages regularly, it would automatically push ads on your posts.
-If a reader clicks on any of those ads, Hubpages shares a portion of that revenue with you.
|-Ghost has minimal connections with ad agencies; thus, there are not many opportunities to make money from ads here.
-However, one can always add links to external affiliate partners in his/her blogs and can even promote sponsors (if any).
|SEO||-Wordpress.com is integrated with Yoast SEO for beginners.
-You can also add SEO plugins in a premium version for that matter to keep a thorough check on optimization practices while writing blogs.
|-Blogger doesn’t offer any specific plugin or tool for SEO integration.
-It is more of a publishing platform.
|-No specific SEO settings at Tumblr, apart from adding a meta-description. And that’s not enough.
-This is the reason Tumblr is not preferred over WP or Blogger, as the lack of SEO tools affect traffic generation.
|-Medium requires you to be capable of writing premium content so that that site curators can push it further; thus, your article should be relevant.
-The rest is taken care of by the editorial team. The page and domain authority Medium has is enough to get increased traffic.
|-There are no specific tools for SEO, but Hubpages use tags and keywords to rank your posts.
-Again, irrelevant and low-quality content is erased to avoid loss of traffic on Hubpages site, so make sure to write premium content for better reach.
|-Ghost has various techniques for optimizing content. It uses built-in XML sitemaps, Google AMP pages, and canonical tags to push your blog ahead.
-Use of optimized URLs and support for Twitter cards help further in increasing blog reach.
|Pros||-Most widely used and reliable for SEO and content optimization.
-Easy-to-curate and has an elegant interface to manage the site.
-Offer support from AdSense and other monetizing techniques.
-Plugins for further support.
– Used by blogs like The Washington Post and CNN, which increase WordPress’s credibility.
|-Completely free and one has to only pay for a custom domain.
-Since owned by Google, Google AdSense approval is much easier.
– Blogger supports the transfer of entire content from itself to any other platform like WordPress.com.
|-The social-media-like interface increase communication with potential readers.
-Blog creation is easy, and Tumblr also supports multimedia content in blogs.
-Can add multiple blogs one account and can merge them into a publication format like a magazine.
|-Being an established domain, it offers a comparatively more extensive reach of your posts.
-Allow writers to associate with publications for getting more credits and credibility.
-Is an excellent platform for getting instant reach and design a personal work portfolio for employers.
|-Regularity in publishing articles would get you Ads; thus, you can start your blog monetization in the early stages.
-Content in Hubpages is categorized in multiple sub-sites or publications like Axle Addict. Thus, you get an already targeted reader-base.
|-Ghost is a start-up and is still growing. However, the touch of minimalism and simplicity has attracted users.
-It is perfect for making corporate sites, which are often used for sharing information with consumers.
-It is used by companies like Apple, Cloudflare, and Vevo, which is enough to suggest that Ghost is a credible platform for blogging.
|Cons||-Most of the services are for premium users only, and free bloggers are to spend some bucks to get the best out of it.
-Getting AdSense approval on sub-domains is highly complicated. Meaning, no money for non-premium users.
-Requires HTML editing for complex customizations.
|-Themes are not attractive and intriguing, and many free external themes cannot be customized.
-Requires heavy HTML editing for customizations (if needed).
-Blogger does not support any plugins, tools, or extensions.
|-Being a social networking platform, the information on Tumblr is often unreliable, thus, people stay of Tumblr. This affects your blog reach.
-The scroll-down feed like interface decrease blog readability, as well as hide content older content on your blog.
– No proper copyrights are there to protect the content, and therefore, content can be stolen and misused.
|-The monetization program is complicated. You’ll only earn for those views, which are of premium subscribers of Medium services. This limits the number of readers.
-The content is required to be relevant to a specific niche and has quality information. So, beginner writers can’t benefit much from it.
|-The content goes through a lot of scrutiny for relevance and can be deleted from the site if found to violate Hubpages terms and conditions.
-The site has been under criticism for misleading information, and this has degraded its credibility as an information- platform.
|-Ghost is a paid only platform; therefore, no free-of-cost experiments here.
-Ghost still lags proper monetizing programs, making it a bit inconvenient for independent bloggers.
|Best For||For bloggers having their websites and proper resources to purchase premium features||For beginner bloggers who wish to blog without paying for services, either as a hobby or for building a viable website for the future.||For bloggers who wish to blog for fun and share their opinions and views regarding topics of their favorite niche.||For newbies who wish to test the quality of their writing and eventually earn maximum writing credits for portfolio purposes.||For niche-oriented bloggers, who wish to earn some side income by blogging while continuing with their primary profession.||For people looking for a platform to run and manage a proper pre-build and self-sustained website of any kind.|
|Cost and Expenses#||Basic: Free
Blogger (.blog ): $3/mo
Personal (Individual Site): $5/mo
eCommerce (Store): $45
Business (Corporate): $25
Premium (Professional Site): $8
|FREE||FREE||FREE (Premium subscription is for readers only)||FREE||Basic: $29
(Free 14-day Trial on all plans)
*Additional amount has to be paid for Hosting of the Custom Domain
#All expenses for blogging services are billed annually
WordPress and Blogger: Perfect for Beginners
WordPress and Bloggers are the most widely used platforms. Since both of them offer free blog creation and curation, freelance bloggers and aspiring writers prefer these two platforms. However, due to plugins, extensions, and extended themes, WordPress outmatches Blogger in the competition. Blogger remains a publishing only platform, allowing the writers to own a simple web template for information sharing while pushing ads for monetization, courtesy of Google AdSense.
While WordPress is the best choice if you’re looking for establishing a website in the future. But, if you’re looking for a free domain for sharing your information in regard to a niche, Blogger is your best friend.
Ghost: A Building Startup
Ghost has been around for almost five years now and has already gained the trust of major corporations like Vevo and Apple. This means that the platform is highly reliable and is functioning at the best possible level. Probably Ghost has targeted only those bloggers which already run a properly built website over the web with proper hosting. And Ghost has set up itself as a competitor replacement against them. This is the reason Ghost does not offer a long-term Free service to bloggers and writers. The simple and minimalistic design and easy-to-use interface have also been appreciated by Ghost users. Ghost has already made $3M by Quarter 2 2018, which is a clear indication that Ghost is being accepted by users and is gaining popularity day-by-day.
Though WordPress still dominates other blogging platforms, Ghost is growing slowly and gradually. Being open source has been a disadvantage for Ghost, as its basic development code remains open to use by potential competitors of the future. Will Ghost be able to replace WordPress in the near future?
Hubpages and Medium: The Best Destinations for Aspiring Bloggers and Journalists
Both Medium and Hubpages are open-for-all publications, which allow writers to publish their stories and work in a journal style on an established platform. Though these two platforms do not give the bloggers property rights over their work; however, they give them proper writing credits and an author profile. This allows the writers to have their own published credits and therefore create an online portfolio of their work, which is targeted towards a specific niche or subject of discussion.
So, for anyone who wants to skip the blog curation and get straight to writing, these two places have the best things to offer you.
Despite the competition, WordPress will always remain the dominator, at least for the next few years, until some other blog grows that big with such a huge clientele. On the other hand, Blogger is a nice place for the newbies and is best if you wish an early Google AdSense approval. Since the work on Blogger can be transferred to WordPress, there is no stress of losing data on switching platforms. Medium and Hubpages remain independent of the competition between WordPress and Blogger because of their nature as online publications rather than being blog creation or hosting platforms. Tumblr despite its use, is not recommended if blogging for you is even a little above fun.
Tumblr can be a perfect social networking platform to promote your blog but depending on it for traffic would be useless. Besides, if you can afford payments for platform support and hosting, it’s better if you try the new Ghost. You’ll discover a new experience, and may decide to switch to it permanently