For your ease, here is one of the best carefully curated list of blogging platforms which will help you to decide your platform right away. If you are a new blogger and want to start your blog then look no further. The following list will meet your thurst and answer most of the critical questions you have about blogging platforms. Remember, you can start using any platform you feel better but gradually when your blog will mature and you have many blog posts then it will become harder to switch from one to another. The migration process is not that smooth. So it’s better to choose the one that suits you most and stick to that. Different platforms have different features. Some are easy to use but needs a lot of manual work while some have relatively longer learning curve but does a lot of work on your behalf. So there is no best platform among them. Select the one that meets your need and you feel comfortable to use.
Blogging Platform: WordPress
One of the most widely used blogging platforms out there. It is so popular that nearly 27% of all websites in the world are made of WordPress. WordPress is the most feature-rich blogging platform that is free to use. It’s opensource and has the largest ecosystem of themes and plugins. Understandably WordPress is very popular among bloggers. So if you are thinking about choosing a blogging platform then one of your best bet can be WordPress. I know it’s too early to decide. So, allow me to jot down a few benefits and issues you will face while using WordPress.
- Easy to use: Yes, WordPress is really easy to use and even easier to set up. Even a new blogger can set it up with a purchased hosting package as most of the hosting providers out there offer a one-click WordPress setup. After the setup, the rest is also easy to follow as WordPress has its own Gutenberg editor. Gutenberg makes blog posting a breeze. It’s faster and easy to design.
- The largest ecosystem of themes & plugins: WordPress has the largest number of themes and plugins in the market that no other content management system has. So, no matter what your niche is, chances are, you will find some good theme for your niche and also fitted plugin for most of the blogging related activities. This is a major benefit over other blogging platforms.
- WordPress breaks the language barrier: WordPress supports more than 50 languages. So, you can blog in your native language with WordPress.
- Largest Community for Support: One of the major strengths of WordPress is its community. WordPress has the largest community among all the cms in this world. So, whatever issue you are facing, chances are there is a solution and if not then you can directly ask the community.
- SEO Friendly: WordPress is by default SEO friendly. So, WordPress sites tend to rank higher. Well, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do search engine optimization if you use WordPress. Actually, WordPress supports some common SEO techniques out of the box and you don’t have to do those things manually.
- Vulnerability & lack of security: WordPress is opensource software and people can use any third-party plugins and themes for extending or designing WordPress. Most of the third party, free to use plugins are often buggy and breaks the code. WordPress is also relatively vulnerable to hacking attacks. You can’t blame WordPress for that. Hackers usually tend to hack popular platforms. Though WordPress has some good security plugins, it still remains vulnerable to hacking attacks.
- WordPress site breaks easily: WordPress sites break very easily as most of the users are not familiar with coding and use third-party themes & plugins which often have compatibility issues with installed WordPress versions. Once the site is broken, you will see a blank white screen every time you try to access the website. This issue is very painful. Though you can fix this issue by uninstalling the recently installed themes or plugins.
- WordPress needs maintenance: Though WordPress is easy to use, it still needs maintenance. As WordPress users use third-party themes and plugins there is always a need for fixing the compatibility & security issues.
- WordPress can be expensive in the long run: Though WordPress is free, it still can be very expensive in the long run. If you consider the hosting cost, maintenance fees, themes & plugin costs then you will see that WordPress actually is a costly solution if you are not familiar with coding.
Should You Select WordPress?
Well, the decision is yours to make. WordPress is popular easy to use and number one blogging platform (If you consider the quantity of WordPress users). It still has some demerits but as a blogger, it’s your duty to overcome those issues gradually. Many bloggers are using it so why not you? Actually, if you have the fund for a good WordPress hosting then you can easily bypass those issues by using managed WordPress hosting. It will make your life a lot easier. If you don’t have enough fund then still you can use WordPress as most of the hosting providers give support for WordPress.
Blogging Platform: Drupal
Drupal is one of the oldest content management systems out there. Its flexibility and security made it an excellent platform for blogging. Drupal is also opensource and has a vast ecosystem of modules and themes with a very active community for support. If you consider userbase than Drupal is far away from WordPress but many excellent websites and blogs are made of Drupal. Drupal is also suitable for large websites. Now, don’t ask me which one is better, WordPress or Drupal? Because it depends on your needs. Both WordPress and Drupal have their own strengths and weaknesses. So, instead of comparing, let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Drupal. Then, you decide if Drupal suits you or not.
Benefits Of Drupal
- Flexibility: The best selling point of Drupal is its flexibility for different content types like blogs, videos, polls, Podcasts, etc. So with Drupal, you can easily create an excellent blog or even podcasts. Drupal has thousands of themes & modules(we call them plugins in WordPress) to make your life easier as a blogger. Some of them are free and some of them are paid but still, most of your blogging needs will be covered. In a nutshell, like WordPress, you can do almost everything related to blogging with Drupal.
- Built For Professionals: Drupal is built for professionals. So if you are trying to build a serious blog then drupal is for you. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you are not serious about blogging then no matter which platform you use, eventually you will fail. What about WordPress then? Is WordPress used by nonprofessionals? The answer is no. WordPress is built in such a way that any non-technical person can set it up and use it. For Drupal, you need to have some coding background, if you want to tweak the theme or other functionalities. So, Drupal has a relatively complex learning curve. if you are totally amateur then you will need some time to understand, how things work in Drupal. Once you get the grip then the sky is the limit because with Drupal you can show your full potential in blogging.
- Security: Drupal is one of the most secure platforms out there and its security is many times better than some other blogging platforms. Drupal has fewer vulnerabilities too. So if you want to use Drupal for your blog then you wouldn’t have to think much about security loopholes.
- Complex Learning Curve: Drupal has a relatively complex learning curve than WordPress and some other blogging platforms. Drupal is not a very easy CMS for new bloggers and it takes time to learn and get used to it.
- Drupal Can Be Expensive: Drupal itself is a free CMS(content management system) but it requires thems and modules to fulfill your design and functionality needs. Most of the free themes may not be very lucrative so you may have to purchase themes and third-party modules for your blogging site. This can be a bit expensive and also as a new blogger if you are not familiar with Drupal then you may start buying simple functionality modules that an experienced drupal user will not need. Because they can do the simple tweaking themselves. Drupal also has a relatively higher system requirement. So, you may need a good hosting to host your blog. In other words, your hosting cost may increase.
- May need professional support: As I said earlier, for Drupal, there is an 80% chance that you will need professional support for updating your themes and modules. You may also need professional maintenance in the long run.
Should You Select Drupal?
Well, You already know some good things and some bad things about Drupal. The actual issue is its learning curve. Drupal is relatively hard to learn and once you learn to use it then it has many better features that will blow your mind. Drupal is free to use, secure and flexible. A lot of people are using it and they are doing good. So if you are looking for flexibility, scalability and you are not afraid of learning then Drupal is an excellent option for you. If you are keen to start your blog fast; flexibility and security are not your concern at this moment then other than Drupal there are some other blogging platforms in the market.
Blogging Platform: Ghost
Benefits Of Ghost
- Speed: Ghost is comparatively faster than many other blogging platforms. It’s lightweight and follows a minimalistic approach. So, Ghost blogs are relatively fast. If you are just looking for blogging then Ghost can meet most of your needs.
- Slick Design: Though Ghost doesn’t have many themes like WordPress or Drupal, It comes with some excellent slick designed themes. New themes are published frequently and you can even buy paid themes if you don’t like the free themes.
- An excellent ecosystem of Themes & Apps: Ghost offers a wide variety of themes and third-party apps for your blogging need. Though compare to WordPress, it’s not big but it still offers most of what you will need. Features like social shares are core features of Ghost. So there is little need for third-party apps.
- Markdown Editor: Ghost comes with Markdown editor which is an excellent tool for writing destruction free content. Markdown is easy to read. Designing your writings with markdown is also very easy. From a productivity standpoint, it is an excellent tool for writers. If you still like the WYSIWYG editor for writing your content, then you can easily use that with an app.
- SEO: Ghost comes with some great built-in tools for SEO. It offers built-in XML sitemaps, Canonical Tags, Microformats, Facebook Opengraph, support for Twitter cards as well as Google AMP Pages. If you can optimize your images properly then you can also expect to cut a good score in Google Page Speed. Remember, Pagespeed also depends on a few things. You may also have to work with your server response time, minifying HTML, CSS & JS files, browser caching, etc.
- Limited Customization Option: Ghost themes and app ecosystem is still flourishing and relatively new. So there are relatively fewer themes and apps in the marketplace. So you wouldn’t find thousands of apps there. Moreover, Ghost follows a minimalistic approach and you will find relatively limited customization options.
- Markdown For New Bloggers: New bloggers may find Markdown a bit hard to start with. Once you get hold of it, it will do wonders for you. So, if you are totally new, then I would suggest to learn it as Markdown is an excellent editor.
- Maintenance: Well maintaining Ghost is relatively easy but if you want to make tweaks then the issue arises. If you are not a developer then it will be hard for you to making tweaks in ghost themes and the issue will be a bit more problematic when you are self-hosting.
Should You Select Ghost?
Well, Ghost has become more matured with version 3. Many of the features it was lacking are integrated into version 3. Like membership & subscription, bookmark card, stripe payments, etc. Though Ghost is maturing day by day but compared to other old blogging platforms like WordPress, Drupal or Pythons Django, it’s still miles away. Still, you can give it a try and I hope you wouldn’t get disappointed if you like minimalistic approach and if blogging is the only thing you are trying to do with this platform.
Blogging Platform: Medium
Medium is another interesting blogging platform that deserves a try. If you are a new blogger and don’t want to spend money on blogging like- domain & hosting cost or if you are reluctant to give time for maintaining your own blogging CMS then Medium is the best option for you. Why best? Well, the answer lies in the features of Medium offers. Medium was founded in 2012 and gradually it became a very popular blogging platform. As a new blogger, you would be lacking visitors and medium solves part of that problem. Medium has its own loyal userbase. Moreover, writing in Medium is fun. So let’s take a deeper look at Medium.
Benefits Of Medium
- Writing Experience: Writing in Medium is fun. It has a very simple interface and it takes only minutes to understand how to start. Once you start, you will fall in love with the plain and simple writing interface and it’s also destruction free. Which means the only thing you should care about is, your content.
- Vast Audience base: The major struggling part for a new blogger is reaching the audience. Medium takes care of that part too. It has its own audience base. So you have the chance to reach thousands of people just by writing your content.
- Pain-Free: With Medium, you don’t have to worry about your hosting or maintaining the CMS. Everything is taken care of by Medium and you just have to write your content. That’s all you need to do in Medium.
- Medium is Cheap: Blogging can be expensive as you will need hosting and maintenance fees to run your blog. Medium is relatively cheap if you are opting-in for membership. You can even keep blogging without any membership and that’s free.
- Earning Money by Blogging: Earning money by blogging is a hard thing to do. Especially for new bloggers, as they don’t have any audience base. Medium’s partnership program solves that part. You can make money by blogging(content published in Medium) with this partnership program and you don’t even need to post any affiliate links as the partnership program has its own process for earning. If you are interested then please visit the following link for more information. https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/115011928308
- Great Platform For New Bloggers: Medium is a great platform for new bloggers. Because it’s easy to start and after you start publishing your articles, then with the stats and comments you will find it much easier to understand what your audience is looking for. So even if you think of using a CMS and start your blog with a different platform, you can still give Medium a try as it will also bring you some good backlinks for your blog as well as some good audience.
- Compromising Freedom: Though Medium is a great platform that minimizes your time for creating your blog, maintaining it and other issues like hosting, you lose part of your freedom when using Medium. You can’t design your own. Medium has very limited features. So, if you need any extra features for your content, then you are out of luck. You can’t just do things that you can do on your own platform. The nutshell is, you get some, you lose some. Above all, as a blogger, you lose part of your freedom to Medium.
- Medium is Medium, Not Your Own Blogging Site: Well, Medium is not your own site. Though technically your content still belongs to you, you have less control even over your own contents. If you ever decide to move to another platform, like your self hosted WordPress then, there would be lots of hassle like- exporting & importing contents, redirecting URLs, etc. Moreover, whatever content you are putting on Medium is actually building Medium, not your own brand.
Should You Select Medium?
Well, the answer depends on your choice. If you want more control and looking for a platform that can be self-hosted then Medium is not the right platform for you. If you are looking for a hassle-free platform, where you will just consider writing without any destruction and you can’t give time for hosting, designing, maintaining your blog then Medium is an excellent and cheap option for you. Remember, Medium doesn’t have many tools for lead generation. So if you are thinking of generating leads with your content then you may get disappointed.
Blogging Platform: Tumblr
Though Tumblr was founded in 2007, it became prominent from 2013 and nowadays Tumblr became one of the most famous blogging platforms. Tumblr is very userfriendly and it would only take a few minutes for a new user to start blogging with Tumblr. It’s free, SEO friendly, beautiful, easy to use and moreover no hosting or maintenance is needed. Above all, you can use your custom domain. I think those features are good enough to pick your interest. Let us get into a little bit deeper about Tumblr.
Benefits of Tumblr
- Tumblr Is Free: Tumblr is a free blogging platform and you don’t have to pay anything to use it. So you can save your hosting cost and maintenance fee if you select Tumblr. Above all, Tumblr allows you to use your own domain if you want.
- Tumblr Is User-friendly & Hassle-Free: It takes only a couple of minutes to start your blog with Tumblr. It’s very easy to use and comes with a nicely designed dashboard. If you are new to blogging then Tumblr is very suitable for you. Above all, just like Medium, you can focus on your content and promotion with Tumblr. Everything else like- SEO, Hosting, Maintenance, etc are taken care of, by the platform itself.
- User Community: Tumblr connects its users to one another and creates a friendly space that actually helps its users to create a community around them. Which makes promoting content a breeze within the community.
- Customization: Tumblr offers some good customization options to its users. You can easily customize your theme if you want. You can even buy Tumblr themes, which will cost you some money but still, Tumblr is a cheap blogging option.
- Can’t Be Self-Hosted: Tumblr can’t be self-hosted so if the guys behind Tumblr ever decides to shut it down, then you will lose your blog. Though it’s not apparent that Tumblr will shut down anytime soon but who knows about the future?
- Complete Customization Is Not Possible: Though Tumblr is customizable up to a certain level especially the themes, you may need more. You can’t customize many things in Tumbler like- the features Tumblr offers. You can’t even add remove new or old features because the platform doesn’t belong to you.
- Lack of Control: If you are looking for a blogging platform that you have complete control over things then Tumblr is not at all suitable for you. Though Tumblr does many things out of the box that helps your blogging need, you have little to no control over them.
Should You Select Tumblr?
You can give Tumblr a try because it’s certainly a great Micro-blogging platform. If you want more control over your blog then you should look for somewhere else, Tumblr will not meet your need. But if you are looking for a hassle-free blogging platform that offers you a lot out of the box and also helps your promotion to some extent then you should give Tumblr a try.
Blogging Platform: Google’s Blogger.com (Blogspot)
Blogger.com is one of the oldest blogging platforms out there. Though I use WordPress almost every day, I still can remember the first blog that I started with Blogger. Blogger still has a place at my heart. So, what is Blogger? and why it is still one of the best blogging platforms?
Blogger is a free blogging platform owned by Google. It is an old platform with plenty of good features. I can still remember when the internet was flooded with a comparison between Blogger Vs WordPress. Well, those are old days and WordPress has gone way ahead within the last decade and became one of the best. But What about Blogger? Blogger is still a great platform to start your blog. It’s free, it’s easy to use, you can even use your own custom domain and above all, it’s hosted by Google. Let’s explore the goodies Blogger offers.
Benefits Of Google’s Blogger (Blogspot.com)
- A Great Platform To Start Blogging: Blogger is a great platform to start blogging. You get free hosting and a free subdomain to start your blog. If you want, you can also use a custom domain. So your brand remains safe. Moreover, Blogger is bundled with themes. So you can use the built-in themes or if needed you can customize the theme up to a certain point.
- Stats: Blogger is bundled with built-in statistics feature out of the box. You can easily see the basic analytical data like viewer count, countries, browsers, etc. Moreover, as Blogger is owned by Google, it’s relatively easy to integrate with other Google services like Google Analytics.
- Free & Cost-Effective: We already know that Blogger is free but it’s also cost-effective. You don’t have to go for development costs, maintenance fees, etc. Moreover, the main problem most of us new bloggers face is, we give up easily. If you use your own domain and hosting with any other platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Django, Ghost, etc then if you give up, you will lose all your handwork once the domain and hosting expire(if you don’t create backups for everything). But with Blogger you don’t have to worry about this issue. Even after 3-6 months, you decide to start blogging again, you can easily start from where you left.
Cons Of Google’s Blogger (Blogspot.com)
- Very Limited Feature: Though Blogger is very simple and easy to use, it comes with very limited features. Many people switch from Blogger to other CMS or platforms because of this issue. Allow me to give you a simple example. What if you want to create a simple e-mail subscription option? Yes, you can with gadgets but how simple is the process? What about other features like auto popup forms etc? Nope, the flexibility with Blogger is very limited and most of the experienced blogger wouldn’t recommend Blogger for High Traffic. It’s not because Blogger can’t handle high traffic, it’s because of the limited features of Blogger.
- No Customer Support: Well, Blogger doesn’t come with any customer support facility. If you need to address any issue, your best bet is to write to support forums. Now, you can say that’s usual. Even for WordPress users have to address the issues in forums. Well, what if the issue is urgent and you need to solve it immediately? For other hosted based platforms you can ask for help from your hosting provider if the issue is related to hosting. If it’s Managed-Hosting then you don’t even have to worry if you break something. But what if you are using Google Blogger? Yes, the forum is your only reliable solution.
- Blogger is not Your Own Platform: Well, this is another issue you need to carefully think before choosing Blogger. You don’t have any control over the platform. What if Google shuts it down like Google Plus? There is nothing you can do about that. A self-hosted platform is that’s why more trusted. Though Google never said it will shout down Blogger, but who knows about the future?
Should You Use Blogger?
Well, Blogger is a great platform for starters despite its lack of features. If you are trying to reach the tip of the iceberg then you can definitely give it a try. Though Blogger is a relatively old platform for blogging, it still offers a lot of things to new bloggers for an easy start.
Blogging Platform: Jekyll
Jekyll was first released in 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, the co-founder of GitHub. Jekyll is one of the top static site generator and a great platform for blogging. So what is a static site? Most of the blogging platforms we’ve talked about earlier are dynamic. They drive content using databases. On the other hand, static sites are static. No pain of the database. They are simple and extremely lightweight. That’s the reason static sites are getting more popular these days.
Well, you may ask, why Jekyll is on this list? Well, allow me to show you some features that will blow your mind. Jekyll is a very popular platform and if you can understand its template engine Markdown then you can easily convert it to one of the best blogging platforms.
Benefits of Jekyll
- Security: Jekyll is highly secure. As it doesn’t need any database or back-end structure, it is very secure. You don’t have to go for checking vulnerability issues and other security issues with Jekyll.
- Speed: Jekyll is extremely lightweight and very fast. So, if you can optimize your images properly then blogs made of Jekyll can become lighting fast.
- Takes Very Little resources: Another great feature of static sites. Jekyll makes your blog site with only HTML, CSS and Js files (Image and videos can be included if needed). SO your blog site takes very little space and resource. You can even host your Jekyll on GitHub.
- Less Pressure on Server: As I said earlier, Jekyll sites contain mainly HTML, CSS and JS files and no database is needed. So, it doesn’t require much from the server end and can take the load of huge traffic.
Cons of Jekyll
- Jekyll Is A Little Hard To Use: Well despite all the good things Jekyll brings to the table, Jekyll is not an easy platform for new users. You need basic HTML and CSS knowledge to edit designs and make small changes. Moreover, not everybody is familiar with Markdown.
- Limited Feature: Jekyll doesn’t give anything out of the box. You are responsible for your designs and site structure. As there is no plugin, you are on your own to create necessary features. Moreover, as Jekyll doesn’t use the database, you wouldn’t be able to produce anything dynamically.
Should You Use Jekyll?
Well, the answer depends. If you are a developer or know HTML, CSS, and JS then you should at least give it a try. Jekyll is rock-solid and doesn’t have security issues. So, the choice is yours to try if or leave it. If you consider the goodies of the static site then Jekyll definitely worth to give a try.
There are still many other platforms that can be listed here but I have skipped. A good example can be DJango. DJango is a python based CMS and one of the best content management systems with a rock-solid foundation. It comes with many features out of the box. Still, it is an overkill if you only want to use it for a blog. If you think I should include any other platform, please let me know.
If you want to know more about blogging please don’t forget to read