The Best Blogging Platform for 2019? Here are the Contenders!

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first blog, Links.net.

Boy, what a journey it has been so far!



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None of that would’ve been possible without WordPress.

WP is undoubtedly the market leader for self-hosted blog websites. But what if you are looking for the best blogging platform that also includes hosting? You know, having everything under one roof?

There is a surprising number of hosted platforms out there, ready to turn you into the next Harsh Agarwal or Pat Flynn.

I have handpicked only the best of the best and reviewed their services thoroughly. The process included:

  1. Finding out what makes the best blogging sites tick.
  2. Checking how the platform feels and how easy it is to work with it.
  3. Reviewing the offers and their suitability for different groups of clients.
  4. Testing the basic packages with a free trial.
  5. Reading customer testimonials around the Web.

In short — every company on this list has been sifted through a thorough testing process and fully deserves its place.

So what are our options in 2019 if we are looking to combine a site builder and hosting in one?

The Best Blogging Platforms in 2019

1. WiX

WiX is one of the most popular fully-hosted platforms – and for a very good reason, too. The software is very intuitive and impresses with stunning design opportunities.


Today, WiX hosts over 3.3 million websites, which is about 2% of the CMS market share.
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We are talking about a multifaceted solution that has far outgrown the compounds of a simple blog or ecommerce software.

Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Spectacular design choices
Extra features and addons not cheap
Easy drag-n-drop builder  
Mobile-friendly
Content promotion options

Ease of Use

WiX understands simple is better, especially for the novice user. The account interface is very clean and lets you start building your blog immediately.

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Once you click on the “Create a website” button, you are redirected to a startup wizard. You get to answer a few questions so the platform can understand your goals and present the best possible solution.

Now that’s what I call intuitive!

Best blogging platform - Wix wizardWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Wix-wizard-300×123.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Wix-wizard-768×314.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Wix-wizard-457×187.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Wix-wizard-783×320.jpg 783w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Wix-wizard-168×69.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Wix-wizard-180×74.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 979px) 100vw, 979px”>

The whole process takes less than a minute, and you can then start editing your first website. Everything is self-explanatory, and there are tons of additional video and text guides to turn you into a master WiX-er.

But wait, there’s more!

If you want to launch a website really quickly, you can use the WiX ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), which will build the whole thing for you.

Customization

Few can compete with WiX in the Customization department.

The drag-n-drop site-builder not only looks great – it also works like a breeze. You can add and rearrange menus, utilize widgets, change the background, and pimp your content with multimedia files.

I particularly enjoyed the Add Apps option — one click and you are in the WiX store with hundreds of amazing apps at your disposal.

Plugins / Themes

When I say “hundreds of apps,” I am not exaggerating one bit. Last I checked there were 330+ add-ons in the WiX library, neatly sorted into categories such as Forms, Online Booking, Chat, or Marketing Tools.

The add-ons are both paid and freemium, and you can watch a demo and read reviews of each one.

What about templates?

This is where sweet gets sweeter.

You have a wide variety of absolutely stunning pre-built themes so you can impress visitors from the get go. You can choose between 600+ templates and customize them to perfection.

Monetization

WiX presents a ton of wonderful opportunities to earn money from your blog. Things such as:

  • creating premium content
  • utilizing online ads
  • adding an ecommerce store
  • writing sponsored posts
  • becoming an affiliate marketer
  • promoting in social media

The WiX platform has an answer for them all. Be it in the form of a plugin or an in-built feature — your blog can bring you more than just traffic and personal satisfaction.

Ka-ching!

Best blogging platform - Ka-ching meme

Price

Free — WiX ads and domain, no ecommerce

Combo — from $9.35/mo

Unlimited — from $13.75/mo

VIP — from $26.95/mo

Best For

  • Newbies
  • SMBs
  • Online stores
  • Personal blogs

Verdict

WiX fully deserves the top spot in our best blogging sites list because of its modern feel and endless customization options. Even the free version lets you tweak around your designs and functionality so you can master the platform without paying a dime. The premium accounts remove all the WiX ads and add a pool of ecommerce and marketing features for easy monetization.

2. Squarespace

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You’ve probably heard this story before:

A dorm room.

An out-of-the-box student.

An ambitious project which is just crazy-enough-to-work.

Mix them all together and voila — you have Squarespace!


The NY-based company now has over 1,000 employees in New York, Portland, and Dublin. In 2017, Squarespace signed a sponsorship deal with the Knicks.
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If only that could’ve helped them reach the NBA play-offs…

Best blogging software - Knicks free shot

Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Professionally-designed templates
Limited features
In-built SEO features Limited plugin library
Unlimited storage and bandwidth
24/7 support

Ease of Use

As with WiX, all Squarespace newbies get a very intuitive interface and helpful wizard to get their project going.

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Everything on the page can be dragged, dropped, flipped, switched, resized, it’s incredible, really.

I’ve heard a lot of compliments about Squarespace being the best blogging platform, but seeing it with my own eyes sold me on the spot.

You can add blocks, maps, calendars, newsletter signup — all about a couple of clicks away.

Customization

The Squarespace developers made sure the platform packs all kinds of modification options.

Adding different functionalities and changing how they look is an absolute breeze, even for beginners.

You have a neat Options menu with categorized features and a real-time view of how each one would look on your website.

In other good news, Squarespace is very keen on support, and the company reps are well-versed with its product. You can find them 24/7 via live chat, email, and Twitter to test for yourself.

Plugins / Themes

Squarespace focuses on perfecting the platform itself, so not a lot of effort has been put in extra plugins and themes.

The add-ons are a little over 100, with prices varying between $12 — $29. The most popular plugins include image sliders, header modifiers, tabs, and loading screens.

I checked out a couple of them, and I can safely say they’re worth the extra investment.

Premium themes are even more scarce — the Squarespace gallery currently offers 17 choices, coming at $129 each.

Monetization

The low-tier accounts have little to offer for online shop owners. The real trading starts with the two Commerce packages. It lets you start an online business, accept payments with no transaction fees, offer subscriptions and gift cards, and much more.

Post sponsored content? Sure, why not.

Become an affiliate? You got it.

Run online ads? I’d be worried if you don’t.

Just pick your service plan carefully, as the Squarespace offers are not exactly the cheapest.

Price

Free Trial — 14 days

Personal — $12/mo*

Business — $18/mo*

Basic Commerce — $26/mo*

Advanced Commerce $40/mo*

Squarespace student discount — 50% off for the 1st year

*Rate applies for 1-year prepayment and carries a 30% discount.

Best For

  • Newbies
  • SMBs
  • Ecommerce

Verdict

Squarespace websites look ravishing, and the platform proudly hosts celebrity clients like Idris Elba, Keanu Reeves, and John Malkovich. You can get the hang of the site builder quite easily, but if you don’t have the time or desire — there are professional Squarespace designers for hire.

An excellent all-around solution for blogging websites.

3. Weebly

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Weebly is a hosted platform with a strong focus on ecommerce services.

Weebly started in 2006 and quickly gained recognition. The platform was among Time’s “Best websites of 2007” and featured in the “Best apps for Google Chrome.”


In 2018, business conglomerate Square Inc. acquired Weebly for a reported fee of $365 million.
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Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Great for newbies
Not suitable for large websites
Wide plugin variety
Free SSL on all plans

Ease of Use

Starting out with Weebly was a breeze for me.

Name, email, and password.

Do you want a regular website or an online shop?

Pick a theme.

Start editing.

A total of about a minute.

Best blogging software - Weebly interfaceWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Weebly-interface-300×109.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Weebly-interface-768×280.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Weebly-interface-1024×373.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Weebly-interface-457×167.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Weebly-interface-878×320.jpg 878w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Weebly-interface-168×61.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Weebly-interface-180×66.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 1336px) 100vw, 1336px”>

Rearranging the text, buttons, and menus was a pretty straightforward task, and my website was up and running in just under two hours (including a revitalizing coffee break).

How cool is that?

Customization

Some Weebly themes may limit your design creativity, but apart from that, you can modify every aspect of your website’s look and feel.

Again, the platform takes great care of newbie users and makes their first website-building experience as effortless as possible.

The downside here is how the software behaves once your website starts growing a lot. I tried adding 10-20 extra pages, and, at some point, the editor got slower and clunkier.

Certainly not the best blogging platform in that aspect.

Plugins / Themes

Weebly mostly relies on its in-built functionalities, but you can also call for some outside help.

That comes in the form of third-party plugins which easily integrate with the publishing platform.

What about the visual elements?

The Weebly theme store gives you a choice of 60+ predesigned templates, categorized in six groups:

  • Online store
  • Business
  • Portfolio
  • Personal
  • Event
  • Blog

As with the plugins, you can also choose to add a third-party theme you find suitable.

Monetization

You might have started as a hobby blogger but at some point have had the creeping thought of making money off your pastime.

I get it. We’ve all been there.

Weebly gets it as well.

That’s why you have numerous ways to achieve that dream.

Take affiliate marketing, for example. You can easily start with the Amazon Associates program and include referral links in your blog posts. Each sale would then earn you 10% affiliate revenue.

Talk about effortless income.

There’s plenty more to do here – from running ads with AdSense to sponsoring blog posts and selling your own products.

Like I said – Weebly gets it.

Price

For blogs:

Free — Weebly ads and domain

Connect — $5.00/mo*

Pro — $12.00/mo*

Business — $25.00/mo*

For online shops:

Pro — $12.00/mo*

Business — $25.00/mo*

Business Plus — $38.00/mo*

*Promotional rates for annual account pre-pay.

Best For

  • Newbies
  • Professionals
  • SMBs
  • Ecommerce

Verdict

Weebly is a solid contender for the Best Blogging Platform award. While it’s not as feature-rich as WiX or as sophisticated as Squarespace, this software is as intuitive as they come. You have plenty of apps and themes to take care of your website design and feel, and newbie users might find Weebly a perfect match.

4. WordPress.com

Best blogging software - WordPress.comWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-home-300×120.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-home-768×308.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-home-1024×410.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-home-457×183.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-home-799×320.jpg 799w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-home-168×67.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-home-180×72.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 1236px) 100vw, 1236px”>

WP.com and WP.org might share the same founder, but they are entirely different entities.

WordPress.org gives you the open-source version of the software — free, fully modifiable, and all yours. The thing is, you still have to Website Hosting Review/blog/best-wordpress-hosting/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>find a reliable hosting provider for your new website.

WordPress.com, on the other hand, offers the commercial counterpart of the popular platform. You have much less freedom and control, but you benefit from WP’s own hosting services.

After all, who can better understand the ins-and-outs of the best blog platform than the people who actively helped develop it?

Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Leader in blogging
Limited plans
Custom domain You do not own your files
No setup
Auto backups and updates

Ease of Use

The best thing about WordPress.com is there are no setups or installations needed on your side.

Best blogging platform - WordPress.com interfaceWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-interface-300×186.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-interface-768×476.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-interface-457×284.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-interface-516×320.jpg 516w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-interface-168×104.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WPcom-interface-180×112.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 835px) 100vw, 835px”>

You sign up, log in, and in five clicks (literally) your new website is ready to see the light of day. You can polish it, tweak it, and publish it in a matter of minutes.

In the Readers section of your account, you can search and subscribe to all kinds of fascinating WP blogs, follow topics, even meet new peeps.

Blogging for beginners made easy.

Customization

One of the things that made WordPress a firm market leader is the endless customization possibilities. You have the freedom to modify every nook and cranny to look and feel just the way you want them…

…that is sadly only valid on the self-hosted version.

WordPress.com accounts are much more limited, and advanced modifications will have you jump to the more expensive packages.

Heck, even taking full advantage of the WordPress plugin and theme repository is only possible from the Business plan upwards.

Plugins / Themes

That was one of the turn-offs for me — why flaunt one of the richest (if not the richest) plugin libraries out there and not let users take full advantage?

I get the idea, partly.

There are countless sources for add-ons and third-party products which are very hard to support. After all, it’s not the WP developers who created them.

But what about the WordPress repository? They have complete control over that. Why not offer it to all clients?

Same thing with your website visuals — you have some choice of pre-built designs, but they’re limited to a few ready-made templates. You can utilize all of WP’s themes on the Premium plan or higher.

Still, every WordPress.com account comes with the JetPack plugin for optimized performance and security.

The platform also provides all paying customers with live chat and email support.

Monetization

You can start making money off your WordPress blog with the Premium plan, but for full monetization capabilities, I recommend going for the Business or Ecommerce deals.

This way, you can not only accept payments and get ad revenue but also utilize SEO and analytics tools to serve your audience better in the future.

Still, we are talking about €25 per month or more, which is not that cheap compared to other popular blog sites.

Price

Free — with ads from WP

Personal — $5.50/mo*

Premium — $8.79/mo*

Business — $27.49/mo*

Ecommerce — $49.47/mo*

*Accounts billed yearly

Best For

  • Newbies
  • Professionals
  • SMBs
  • Personal blogs

Verdict

As a budding blogger, you’ve most probably considered WordPress.com already. I mean, how can you not — you have a team of trained professionals hosting your project and a safe environment that lets you grow. Still, the plans are quite limited, and if you want to enjoy the software’s full capabilities, you have to jump straight to the high-tier ones.

5. Blogger

Best blogging platform - BloggerWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-home-300×154.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-home-768×396.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-home-1024×527.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-home-457×235.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-home-621×320.jpg 621w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-home-168×87.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-home-180×93.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 1068px) 100vw, 1068px”>

Blogger started out in 1999 as a multi-blog publishing service. In those early years of blogging, the service quickly gained a loyal following.

In 2003 Google stepped in and acquired Pyra Labs, the developers of Blogger.

Today, we have one of the most popular free blogging platforms, hosting millions of pages worldwide.


Blogger also comes at #9 for Most Popular CMS with a 1.3% market share.
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Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Completely free Limited designs
Lightning-fast indexation No extra functionalities
Google watches over you Google watches over you

Ease of Use

If you already have a Google account (which, let’s be honest, most of us do), there are no additional installations needed to start with Blogger.

You just log in, come up with a blog name, choose a design, and start writing your first blog post.

Yes, it’s that easy!

Best blogging platform - Blogger interfaceWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-interface-300×101.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-interface-768×259.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-interface-1024×345.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-interface-457×154.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-interface-949×320.jpg 949w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-interface-168×57.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blogger-interface-180×61.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 1353px) 100vw, 1353px”>

Google obviously focused on simplification and easy entry for first-time bloggers here.

But this comes at a price…

Customization

There aren’t many options or settings to confuse you — that’s the beauty of Blogger websites. The whole focus is on creating content and publishing it for everyone to see.

That’s easy with Blogger, no denying that.

After all, you have a Google-owned company helping you get noticed in…well…Google.

Can’t be that big of a deal.

But customization-wise, you can forget about any advanced changes — Google has got you on lockdown.

Plugins / Themes

I’d love to talk about Blogger’s plugins and themes…if only there were any.

Sure, there are a few in-built templates, but they look pretty basic and unimpressive.

Plugins or add-ons?

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Diddly-squat.

Monetization

At least Google doesn’t leave you stranded when it comes to making money off your blog. You can set up your Blogger account with AdSense and display ads between posts, in the columns, even utilize third-party services.

Should you choose to use AdSense, you also benefit from detailed earnings and stats reports.

Sponsored posts, premium content, and selling your products are other useful tools to make some dough.

How to create a blog for free and later monetize it? Blogger might just well have the answer for you.

Price

Free service. No paid plans.

Best For

  • Newbies
  • Personal blogs

Verdict

Blogger is a nice and easy platform for beginners but quite limited if you want something more than a hobby blog. Google has full control of your account, but at least you own your content and are free to move it elsewhere. Great for a first-time experience in blogging.

6. Tumblr

Best blogging platform - TumblrWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tumblr-home-300×105.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tumblr-home-768×268.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tumblr-home-1024×358.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tumblr-home-457×160.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tumblr-home-915×320.jpg 915w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tumblr-home-168×59.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Tumblr-home-180×63.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 1316px) 100vw, 1316px”>

What is Tumblr?

Sort-of-like a microblogging platform, kind-of-a social network, with a pinch of blogging on top. You can post text, photos, videos, links, and interact with other users.

Tumblr was founded in 2007 and later acquired by Automattic.

Yes, the same company that owns WordPress.com.


Even though recent years saw Tumblr’s population declining, the platform still hosts 475+ million blogs and accommodates 400+ million monthly visitors.
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Have we seen the best of Tumblr? Only time will tell…

Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
No costs involved
No monetization
Post content on-the-go Limited features and add-ons
Use free subdomain or connect your own Only short-form content

Ease of Use

Signing up for Tumblr includes an email registration which takes about a minute.

Once you’re in, the interface looks quite appealing. Everything is neat and tidy, and you can start blogging right away.

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Tumblr lets you upload photos, share links, or add chats in a matter of a few mouse clicks.

If you are already familiar with platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you’d have no problems getting the hang of this one.

Customization

Tumblr is a fully-developed microblogging platform, so there isn’t much left for the user to change.

You have bigger opportunities in terms of design.

Not only can you change the template of your Tumblr pageyou can edit its HTML and CSS and fine-tune it to perfection as well.

At the same time, the company is in line with the latest mobile trends.

Tumblr has its own Android and iOS apps, though the latter was temporarily removed in 2018 after inappropriate content scandals.

Plugins / Themes

Tumblr does not rely on a plugin architecture, so it’s certainly not the best blogging platform to enhance your blogging experience.

Things are looking better in terms of themes.

There is a wide selection of free and paid templates, categorized by design structure. You can choose between:

  • Single column
  • Two-column
  • Grid
  • Good for text
  • Minimal
  • Multiple layouts
  • High Res

The themes are not as flashy as what you can get from WiX or Squarespace, but they’re not too shabby either.

Monetization

Tumblr is not about making money…well, not in the traditional way, at least.

You cannot run ads or sell goods, nor can you create premium content.

The keyword here is “exposure.”

Aspiring photographers and visual artists have found good use for Tumblr because of its quick re-share function. That way, if your art is good — you can get it out there in no time. And if you also have a website — the platform can help you bring some much-needed traffic you can later monetize.

Price

Free of charge. No paid plans.

Best For

  • Newbies
  • Personal blogs

Verdict

Tumblr can work for you if you are just looking for a place to share your thoughts and photos, maybe meet new people – but it’s far from the best blog sites. You are limited in content length, functionalities, and design opportunities. Still, Tumblr is accessible and easy-to-use, which makes it the preferred tool of many hobby bloggers.

7. Ghost

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Ghost is a state-of-the-art company, and you can tell that even from their backstory.

The company wasn’t born in a basement or a dorm room — it came to be after a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013.


Ghost boasts 1,639,422 downloads to date, powering small blogs to large organizations alike.
Website Hosting Review/blog/best-blogging-platform/&text=Ghost%20boasts%201%2C639%2C422%20downloads%20to%20date%2C%20powering%20small%20blogs%20to%20large%20organizations%20alike.&related” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click To Tweet


The company is set up as a non-profit, public organization, so it strongly values transparency. You can find regularly updated financial and accounting stats on the Ghost website.

Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Intuitive interface
Not very cheap
Free SSL and CDN Adequate support only on high-tier plans
Mobile-accelerated pages

Ease of Use

Ghost is a writers-oriented platform, so it comes with a bit of a learning curve. Unlike Blogger or Tumblr, where everything is clear and ready-to-go, you might have to spend a little time with this one.

Best blogging platform - Ghost interfaceWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Ghost-interface-300×206.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Ghost-interface-457×315.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Ghost-interface-465×320.jpg 465w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Ghost-interface-168×116.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Ghost-interface-180×124.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 680px) 100vw, 680px”>

Now, don’t get me wrong — Ghost is by no means a complicated platform that will quickly overwhelm you. It’s just not your ordinary drag-n-drop experience either.

Ghost makes up for that with advanced automation.

You get weekly updates, account backups, threat management — all taken care of by the provider.

At the end of the day, you can safely say – I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

Best blogging platform - Ghostbusters memeWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ghostbusters-300×150.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ghostbusters-457×229.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ghostbusters-168×84.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ghostbusters-180×90.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px”>

(Credits: Cinemablend.com)

Customization

Ghost provides a fully managed solution and an open-source, downloadable app.

As you can imagine, the self-hosted software gives you much more in terms of customization.

Again, you have to know your way around such platforms to get full advantage of their opportunities.

As for the name of your blog, you can choose between a ghost.io subdomain or one of your own.

The best thing?

Whichever deal you pick — you remain the sole owner of your data, and you can transfer it anytime.

Plugins / Themes

You are free to integrate plugins and widgets with Ghost but are somehow limited in their choice. I found about 70 official apps you can add to your blog site to make it more appealing and user-friendly.

There are many fan favorites here — Google Analytics, Youtube, Netflix, MailChimp, Slack, Twitter, Shopify.

Each plugin comes with a neat tutorial on how to easily integrate with Ghost.

However, the theme choices are pretty narrow. You have seven free templates and about 70 premium ones, with prices varying from $20 to $59.

Still, I enjoyed the designs, which look very slick and modern.

Good job, Ghost!

Monetization

One of the ways to make money off of Ghost is to use the plugin integration mentioned above. Set up your website with Google AdSense and start running ads on your blog in no time.

You can use affiliate links as well.

Create a button within your post, style it, and link it to your Amazon store.

It’s that easy!

Price

Free 14-day trial

Basic — $29/mo*

Standard — $79/mo*

Business — $199/mo*

Enterprise — from $1,000/mo*

* Rate applied for yearly pre-payments.

Best For

  • Professionals
  • SMBs
  • Enterprise

Verdict

First-time bloggers might find it hard to start with Ghost, but it is one of the best blog platforms for companies with more needs and a bigger writer’s team. The solution packs a robust feature set and applies enterprise-grade security to all accounts. An overall great platform…if you can afford it.

8. TypePad

Best blogging platform - TypePadWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-home-300×168.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-home-768×431.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-home-457×256.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-home-570×320.jpg 570w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-home-168×94.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-home-180×101.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 1023px) 100vw, 1023px”>

TypePad is owned by the Endurance International Group (EIG).

Yes, the same EIG, notorious for buying out hosting companies and turning them into soulless clones.

Initially launched in 2003, the blog service utilizes the Movable Type platform for its publishing editor and template architecture.

TypePad hosts an impressive company of prominent news blogs — BBC, Sky News, ABC, and MSNBC all rely on its impeccable services.

Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Highly customizable
No free version
Google Analytics integration
Ad monetization

Ease of Use

First-time I tried TypePad I hit an immediate bump — my Facebook login didn’t work.

Seeing as that was one of two options to get in my account, it wasn’t the best first impression.

Best blogging platform - TypePad interfaceWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-interface-300×208.png 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-interface-457×318.png 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-interface-461×320.png 461w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-interface-168×117.png 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TypePad-interface-180×125.png 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 508px) 100vw, 508px”>

Once in, though, you have a plethora of options. The interface isn’t super stylish, but it doesn’t confuse you either. What’s more, you can drag and drop the page elements as you like.

You can also enjoy seamless access to thousands of blogs which you can add to your RSS feed in a matter of a few mouse clicks.

Customization

The TypePad website is rather simple and does not indicate how versatile the platform really is.

If you have some experience in coding, you can customize your CSS, create your own banners, change fonts, or modify themes.

Absolute power at your fingertips, literally.

All the popular blogging websites Website Hosting Review/blog/how-to-promote-your-blog/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>promoteWebsite Hosting Review/blog/how-to-promote-your-blog/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”> through social media, and so should you.

TypePad lets you integrate the platform with Facebook and Twitter or add ecommerce options to sell your goods.

Plugins / Themes

TypePad blog sites don’t have the luxury of a proprietary plugin directory. Still, you can find some add-ons for Movable Type, the platform’s underlying technology.

Now, MT itself is not that flashy and remarkable, so you shouldn’t expect a great variety.

It’s an entirely different ball game when it comes to design.

The highlight here is the Theme Builder, which lets you design your own TypePad template from scratch.

Apart from that, you can access any template’s code and modify it as you wish.

Monetization

I love TypePad’s laid-back attitude when it comes to monetizing with the platform:

“Make money, or not. Sell your products or services or run ads on your blog (or not).”

Like, do what you wanna do, bro, we don’t care.

Best blogging platform - Chill guy memeWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/chill-guy-300×169.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/chill-guy-768×432.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/chill-guy-457×257.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/chill-guy-569×320.jpg 569w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/chill-guy-168×95.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/chill-guy-180×101.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px”>

(Credits: KnowYourMeme.com)

You can run ads and include affiliate links on your TypePad blog as well as integrate it with Google Analytics for detailed visitor statistics.

Define your target audience and target them the right way — with your A-grade content.

Price

Free 14-day trial

Plus — $8.95/mo

Unlimited — $14.95/mo

Premium — $29.95/mo

Enterprise — $49.95/mo

Best For

  • Professionals
  • SMBs

Verdict

TypePad is touted by many to be the best blogging platform for publishers and media outlets. Maybe not the best, but it’s certainly out there. The platform is well-balanced, and the navigation is smooth. The advanced customization options and enhanced security appeals to the pros, but newbies will need some time to get used to the software.

9. Medium

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Evan Williams is the brain behind the Medium blogging solution.

Yes, the same Evan Williams who co-founded Twitter and Blogger.


Medium first came out in mid-2012 as an online publishing platform that combines the work of both amateur writers and professional journalists.
Website Hosting Review/blog/best-blogging-platform/&text=Medium%20first%20came%20out%20in%20mid-2012%20as%20an%20online%20publishing%20platform%20that%20combines%20the%20work%20of%20both%20amateur%20writers%20and%20professional%20journalists.&related” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click To Tweet


This solution employs a Clap system where you can signify how much you liked an article by granting it multiple claps.

The more you get — the more people will see your content.

Pros / Cons

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
No setup required
Not customizable
In-built audience No custom domain
Lack of control

Ease of Use

For what it’s worth, running a Medium blog is quite straightforward. There is no setup needed; you just sign up for the account, and once logged in, you can start creating your first article right away.

Best blogging platform - Medium interfaceWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Medium-interface-300×113.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Medium-interface-768×288.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Medium-interface-1024×385.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Medium-interface-457×172.jpg 457w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Medium-interface-852×320.jpg 852w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Medium-interface-168×63.jpg 168w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Medium-interface-180×68.jpg 180w” sizes=”(max-width: 1158px) 100vw, 1158px”>

Medium’s account backend looks and feels suspiciously similar to LinkedIn’s.

You are starting on a completely blank canvas with only a couple of small buttons with extra options.

Simple yet not very attractive.

So can you do something about it?

Customization

Short answer to the above question? No.

From the WYSIWYG editor, you can add images or video, embed links, put line breakers…aaaaaaand that’s pretty much it.

Once you click the Publish button, the next screen will let you add a featured image and tags to your article.

Click Publish Now or Schedule Later.

Boom!

You’re ready!

Forget about the fancy-schmancy designs — people are here for your actual writing.

Plugins / Themes

It’s fair to say Medium gives every user a head start.

The thing is — they push to maintain the status quo as much as possible.

Even with the few available plugins in their repository, you can only make minor tweaks that have little impact on the final result.

So you want to impress people more? Better do it with your content.

Monetization

Medium is not very keen on monetization, as its members mostly benefit from traffic and exposure.

There is a way to make some money, though.

With Medium’s Partnership Program, you can monetize your writing efforts and climb the six-step ladder to success:

  • write good content
  • publish your compelling story
  • get recommended to relevant readers
  • earn from subscriptions and claps
  • enjoy monthly income
  • expand your audience

It’s certainly a lucrative deal to consider.

Price

Free plan

Membership — $5/mo (or $50/year)

Best For

  • Newbies
  • Personal blogs

Verdict

Medium has much less to offer compared to other free blog sites and surprisingly few options for customization. We are on the verge of 2020, so going with a rudimentary service just won’t cut it. Still, its in-built audience, and social journalism opportunities make it a fancied choice for aspiring writers who are looking for more exposure.

What Is the Difference Between a Hosted and Self-hosted Platform?

Choosing between a hosted or self-hosted website builder strongly depends on how much control and customization you wish to have.

Going with a hosted platforms like WordPress.com resembles renting an apartment. You can rearrange it as you wish, but at the end of the day, you are a guest in someone else’s home.

Self-hosted platforms, like the one you can download on WordPress.org, feel like having your own place. You have complete control of your site files, designs, and monetization options.

While the self-hosted option might sound better in terms of your freedom, hosted solutions often let you build a website quickly and without any previous experience.

Which one is better?

You decide!

How to Choose a Blogging Platform?

Here is my advice to you.

Never rush into the first blogging software that catches your eye, no matter how great it looks. The future of your blog very much depends on your objective judgment, so be sure to do your research.

What to look for?

Here are some essentials that can really make a difference.

Interface — how a software feels and how easy it is to work with is a highly subjective matter. When it comes to user-friendliness, you have to trust your gut.

Our list of best blog sites contains both free and premium blogging solutions. But even the paid ones have an option for a free trial, so you can test the waters before making the jump.

Features — you are looking for a one-stop-shop solution for your blog, so it’s imperative it has everything needed to look great and grow safely. Some platforms focus on simplicity, while others may look for optimized performance or strong defenses.

The tricky part here is to determine what each feature does and how suitable it might be for your needs.

I mean, why would you care about monetization options if you want to build a hobby website for your family? Or about ecommerce optimizations if you are planning to host your portfolio?

Focus on what’s essential for you and your website.

Support — customer assistance with hosted solutions is a bit different than its self-hosted counterparts. Hosting providers offer a wider-scale service, so they often complement it with 24/7 prompt support via multiple channels.

When it comes to blog platforms, you have to be much more independent. Live chat or a phone line is a rarity with such companies, so better get acquainted with the software beforehand.

Check out the tutorial and knowledge base, the community forums.

Is there enough information online?

Is it comprehensive?

How about video lessons?

Look for anything that lets you get the feel of what you’re getting into.

Pricing model — the providers on this list cover the needs of clients of different sizes and, respectively, different budgets. Personal or hobby projects can take a pick from a variety of free blog platforms. Enterprises, on the other hand, look for reliable, scalable services, and their monthly bill can reach the thousands.

What about you?

Shortlisting the candidates that fit your budget is pretty much the same as Website Hosting Review/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>choosing a web host. Check out the pricing, re-confirm the renewal fees, and only consider the services you can afford.

No point in window-shopping, there are plenty of choices to go around.

Conclusion

Whew, that was a lot to take, wasn’t it?

Looking back at it, the market for hosted site-builders is not so big after all. While there isn’t a single best blog platform, you can always find some choices ready to accommodate your project.

But when you look around some more, you will realize the same few companies pop up frequently.

It seems the self-hosted option on WordPress.org is so dominant that similar companies have a small market share.

So, will they figure a way out of this or remain content with the table scraps?

With the Website Hosting Review/blog/how-many-blogs/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>number of blogs out there, I am sure we’ll find out soon enough.

FAQ

Q: Which free blog platform is best?

A: There is no such thing as a “best free blogging platform” (or best premium solution for that matter). It doesn’t matter if the service comes for free or it costs hundreds per month — what’s important is that it works for you.

You can always check reviews around the Web or even ask a friend with practical experience. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to your personal needs. Create a free account or activate a trial period and test your potential choices before making a final decision.

Q: Which is better — Blogger or WordPress?

A: Whether we are referring to the self-hosted version on WP.org or the hosted one on WP.com, we have some distinct differences with the free blogging solution by Google.

Blogger relies on simplicity and practicality for new users. You don’t even have to sign up or create anything as long as you have a Google account.

The focus on newbies takes its toll on functionality and control, so you don’t really have much to do in Blogger.

WordPress is a much more versatile platform with almost-endless possibilities. There is a bit of a learning curve for starters, but once you get the hang of it, you can modify your blog to the tiniest bits and pieces.

Q: Is blogging worth it in 2019?

A: Why did you want to have a blog in the first place?

You wanted to have a lot of readers?

To get a point across?

Maybe make some money in the process?

Blogs are becoming increasingly popular, so there really aren’t many arguments against them. If you have the time and inspiration — go for it! But if you intend to monetize your blogging, you’ll have to put in much more effort than the average blogger.

Q: Is Squarespace free?

A: You can test the Squarespace platform with a free 14-day trial, which gives you full access to all essential features. After that, you can choose to switch to a paid plan or search for site-building services elsewhere.

Should you decide to upgrade, you can select one of four options — Personal, Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce. The latter two are suitable for online shops.

Q: How do I choose a platform for my blog?

A: The best blogging platform is the one that rises to meet all your challenges. Whether you are looking for advanced security or quick monetization — your solution should be in tune with your needs.

Keep a watchful eye out for the essentials — a rich set of features, excellent performance stats, enough extra assistance. Look for a solution you feel comfortable with and, of course, fitting your website budget.

 

The post Website Hosting Review/blog/best-blogging-platform/”>The Best Blogging Platform for 2019? Here are the Contenders! appeared first on Website Hosting Review/”>Website Hosting Review.

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