Best Blogging Sites in 2020 (Free & Paid)

The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Blogging Platform


  • best blog sites and blogging platforms

Are you planning to start a blog but not sure which blogging site to use?

You are not alone. In fact, the most common question I get asked is – What is the best blogging platform for beginners? When I started blogging in 2010, I wondered the same thing.

In this guide, I’ll share with you all of the available options. I will also give you recommendations based on my hands-on experience working with blogs for the last eight years. Also, our team has done several surveys and collected blogosphere stats to find the most popular blogging platforms on the web (free and paid) and I’ll tell you all about those too.

Whether you want to blog as a hobby or to promote your business, finding the right tool is imperative for your blog’s success. Several blog sites offer a range of capabilities – and one is bound to suit your needs.

RECOMMENDED
wpcom logo WordPress.com – The best freemium platform for beginners to test WordPress CMS. Read about
WordPress.com
wporg logo WordPress.org – The best open-source platform built for serious bloggers. Read about
WordPress.org
wix logo Wix.com – The best blog website builder for beginners with a free trial. Read about
Wix.com

Table of contents

Do you know what to look for in a blogging platform? Have you figured out what kind of blog you want to create?

If you are a beginner, you will want a platform that is easy to set up and requires no coding skills. It’s essential to choose a flexible software that provides you room to grow and also gives you options to monetize your blog.

Let’s take a look at some of the best blog sites available on the web today and how they compare against each other.

1. WordPress.com – Best free blogging platform
2. WordPress.org – Best overall blogging platform
3. Blogger.com – Publishing platform by Google
4. Wix.com – Best blog builder for beginners
5. Squarespace.com – Premium all-in-one solution
6. Weebly.com – Best drag and drop platform
7. Medium.com – Platform with a simple interface
8. Typepad.com – Best for businesses and journalists
9. Tumblr.com – Best microblogging platform
10. Postach.io – Blogging powered by Evernote
11. Ghost.org – Best WordPress alternative
12. MovableType.org – For medium-sized businesses
13. Svbtle.com – Minimalist designs and functions




Disclosure: FirstSiteGuide is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. We test and try all the products that we recommend.

1. WordPress.com – Best free blogging platform

WordPress.com homepage

WordPress.com is a hosted version of the open-source software WordPress.org. It is a commercial project that offers a free trial option with upgrades for premium plans and custom domains. According to our blogging survey, it’s one of the most popular hosted blogging platforms out there. If you are an absolute beginner with no coding skills or technical knowledge, but you want to build your blogging site, WordPress.com is the perfect platform for you. I recommend this software to all new bloggers as a good starting point.

The online publishing software is free to use (but your blog name will be formed as a subdomain and look like this – yourblogname.wordpress.com), and you can test it out after you create an account on WordPress.com. This gives you a unique opportunity to try the software before you decide to upgrade for premium plans. With the upgrade, you will be able to set up a custom domain and use the advanced features.

The platform often rolls out new features and updates to continually enhance user experience.

Key features

  • Custom domains – free domain for one year, available for paid plans on WordPress.com.
  • Get stats on your blog traffic – determine what your visitors find engaging.
  • Create media galleries – integrate images and videos with the drag and drop option.
  • Social media integration – share your blog posts on social media platforms automatically.
  • Comprehensive SEO tools – help your readers find you easily.
  • Variety of personalized themes – with new themes being added every week.
  • Mobile-responsive blog sites – select from several mobile-responsive themes.

Plans and pricing

WordPress.com comes with the following plans – Free, Personal, Premium, Business, and eCommerce:

Free plan
Free of charge, use with limited features and subdomain only.

Personal plan
$4.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $48.00).
Comes with a custom domain, and access to email and live chat support.

Premium plan
$8.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $96.00).
Comes with advanced design tools, custom CSS, and Google Analytics support.

Business plan
$25.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $300.00).
Power your small business website with custom plugins and themes, 200GB space storage, and 24/7 live chat.

eCommerce plan
$45.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $540.00).
Best for online stores, powerful and flexible plan that lets you grow easily.

2. WordPress.org – Best overall blogging platform

WordPress.org homepage

WordPress.org is a free, open-source platform that combines simplicity with powerful features.

We used this CMS (content management system) to build FirstSiteGuide.com and also recommend it as a preferred software for all serious bloggers in our How to start a blog guide.

This tool enables you to launch your blog site from scratch in a matter of minutes.

Many popular bloggers (Tim Ferriss, John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, and more) use this platform to create highly functional and profitable blogs. It is easy to set up – all you need to do is select a reliable web hosting provider, install WordPress software, and explore the wealth of features that come with it. You get to create your blog just the way you want to, by using pre-designed free themes. There are templates that you can pick based on your preferred layout, look and feel, and color scheme.

WordPress also comes with a powerful administration area (Dashboard) for blog maintenance, easy content publishing, and an overview of what’s happening on your blog.

WordPress.org has a large community of experts who provide tutorials that help newbies. Here, at FirstSiteGuide, we also cover various WordPress topics. You can check out our Learn WordPress section to level up your skills and understand the best practices.

Key features

  • Reliable and secure – keeps blog site data safe from malware.
  • Mobile-responsive websites and blogs – pick from many mobile-friendly themes.
  • Free themes – select a customized theme from hundreds of options in the theme directory.
  • More than 55,000 plugins – access plugin directory to find ways to enhance your site.
  • Search engine optimization tools – install SEO plugins that help you rank high in search engines.
  • Simple publishing process – create content, integrate media, and make it live with a single click.

Plans and pricing

Free
Open-source free platform. Your expenses will be a domain name and web hosting services of your choice.

Read more: The Best Web Hosting Services 2020

Tip: To set up your own WordPress.org blog, you will need a web hosting space and a domain name. For new bloggers, we recommend Bluehost, a company that powers over 2 million websites worldwide. This option is our recommended way to set up your new blog. I was able to negotiate a special deal only for my visitors, that includes:

  • Free domain name
  • 30-day money-back guarantee period
  • Discount price of $2.75 per month

→ Click Here to Claim an Exclusive 65% Bluehost Discount Offer ←

3. Blogger.com – Publishing platform by Google

Blogger homepage

Blogger is a free blogging platform that offers a secure and reliable way to create your blog.
This hosted blog platform was launched in 1999 and later acquired by Google. You don’t need a hosting provider to get started. All you need to do is log in using a Google account – you’ll be asked to follow the simple guidelines provided by the platform to make it easy for you to create a blog. There’s no need for technical knowledge or coding experience as the platform is quite intuitive in design and setup. It remains a widely used solution; however, I see more people moving away from it. The good news is that it’s free, and you can test it without any commitment.

Key features

  • Free or custom domain – free subdomain via blogspot.com or buy a custom domain.
  • Easy to use templates – design your blog using flexible layout and background images.
  • Featured ads – monetize your blog by integrating it with Google AdSense.
  • Blog analytics – assess your blog’s traffic and see the content getting the most visits.
  • Secure storage – store your media files with Google.

Plans and pricing

Free
You can connect a custom domain to your blog, by buying and setting it up.

4. Wix.com – Best blog builder for beginners

Wix homepage

Recently, they’ve been tapping into a blogging vertical with a specific blog website builder offer. You don’t need any prior coding experience or web development expertise to build a blog with Wix.

It’s simple to control and maintain blog sites with Wix. You can select a pre-made blog theme from their resources or customize an existing one according to your taste. In addition to stunning templates, Wix packs the power of these amazing features.

Key features

  • Customizable templates – select a prototype and personalize it according to your blog’s theme.
  • Mobile-responsive blogs – mobile editor makes blogs mobile-friendly.
  • SEO Optimization – create a personalized SEO plan to rank your blog.
  • Freedom to design – drag and drop editor to customize any part of the blog.
  • Third-party integrations – integrate apps without coding skills.
  • Comprehensive site builder – all your blog building and maintenance needs in one place.

Plans and pricing

Wix blog website builder comes with eight different plans – Free, Connect Domain, Combo, Unlimited, VIP, and Business &eCommerce (Basic, Unlimited, and VIP) plans:

Free
With this plan, you can use wix.com subdomain, plus Wix ads displayed.

Connect domain
$4.50 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $54.00).
With this plan, you can connect your custom domain, but Wix brand ads will be displayed.

Combo
$8.50 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $102.00).
This plan comes with a free domain and Wix ads will be removed.

Unlimited
$12.50 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $150.00).
This plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and increases storage.

VIP
$24.50 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $294.00).
This plan comes with all the features as the Unlimited, plus get VIP support.

More plans for business and eCommerce

Business Basic
$17.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $204.00).
You can accept online payments and have 20GB storage.

Business Unlimited
$25.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $300.00).
You get increased storage and pro eCommerce features to grow your store.

Business VIP
$35.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $420.00).
You get the full suite, priority response with VIP support and 50GB storage.

5. Squarespace.com – Premium all-in-one solution

Squarespace homepage

Squarespace is a comprehensive website builder that provides everything you need to build, run, and grow a blog.

Similar to Wix, Squarespace started as a website builder software but now also gives you an option to start a blog. It offers practical marketing tools that will help you to gather a vast audience for your blog while reaping significant benefits for yourself.

This platform is known for the quality of its templates and the minimal layout that can give your blog a unique look.
To create a blog with Squarespace, you need to select a template from its stunning collection and customize it according to your design needs.

If you are new to the blogging world, Squarespace offers webinars and tutorials for you to go over and learn all that you can.

Key features

  • Expert-designed templates – modern sites created by design enthusiasts for you to customize.
  • Style configurations – a built-in editor that customizes all aspects of a blog to make it unique.
  • Mobile-responsive sites – blogs that look stunning even on mobile devices.
  • Customizable layouts – each template design comes with customizable content blocks.
  • Drag and drop media – directly add images from desktop to blog.
  • Marketing tools integrations – promote your blog on marketing channels.

Plans and pricing

Squarespace platform comes with a free trial and four different plans – Personal, Business, and Commerce (Basic and Advanced):

Free trial
Test and try their service for 14 days no credit card required.

Personal
$12.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $144.00).

Business
$18.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $216.00).

Basic Commerce
$26.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $312.00).

Advanced Commerce
$40.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $480.00).

6. Weebly.com – Best drag and drop platform

Weebly homepage

Weebly is a simple yet powerful website builder with a blog set up option available via an easy drag and drop editor.

In 2018 Weebly was acquired by Square, a mobile payment company. This change is a sign that their focus is mainly around websites, particularly eCommerce and small business sites. However, the platform offers blogging services, and anyone can try it for free.

Weebly gives you complete freedom to build your blog using beautiful themes with drag and drop functionality. There’s also a free built-in hosting provider that ensures fast loading time for your website.

All in all, this platform gives the right tools that work in combination with powerful features to start a blog in minutes.

Key features

  • Drag-and-drop builder – create your blog with powerful tools.
  • Media management – gather images and create your galleries.
  • Free personalized templates – alterable professionally designed blog templates.
  • Search engine optimization – SEO tools to rank your website.
  • App collection – multiple apps and third-party integrations that add functionality.
  • Social media sharing – RSS integration to share blog posts on social media.

Plans and pricing

Weebly service is available in the following plans – Free, Connect, Pro, and Business:

Free plan
Use it for free with Weebly subdomain and branding.

Connect plan
$5.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $60.00).

Pro plan
$12.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $144.00).

Business plan
$25.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $300.00).

7. Medium.com – Platform with a simple interface

Medium homepage

Medium offers a no-frills approach to blogging as it allows bloggers to write what they are passionate about without having to worry about coding, design, domain, or other issues.

I wouldn’t use Medium as a primary blogging platform. You can use it as an additional channel to share your content; for example, you can repurpose content from your blog and post it on Medium. That’s how most professional bloggers use it.

You can post stories for the vast community of readers that visit Medium and get appreciation and feedback from them. It is also possible to connect with avid readers who are willing to pay for quality content through the Medium Partner Program. This way, you can monetize your blog posts while sharing your ideas and opinions with the world.

To start blogging with Medium, sign up, and share your blog posts with the editorial team who analyze them according to their standards. If your post follows their guidelines, it is posted to your blog page, and you can start earning money by attracting subscribers.

Key features

  • Vast audience – convert millions of site readers into your subscribers.
  • A free app – access Medium on your mobile devices from anywhere.
  • Monetization – earn money when someone reads your blog.
  • Social media integration – share your blog posts on social media.
  • Media embeds – integrate various forms of media files.

Plans and pricing

Medium started as a free platform for publishers but recently started to offer membership subscriptions.

Free plan
You can post your own stories. Plus, you get access to unlimited public stories and 3 per month exclusive stories.

Member plan
$5.00 per month (or $50.00 per year)
With the membership, you can subscribe for unlimited access to the smartest writers and biggest ideas on Medium.

8. TypePad.com – Best for businesses and journalists

TypePad homepage

TypePad is a blogging service that was launched in 2003. It has a simple and easy-to-use interface and offers exceptional customer support.

I don’t know of many successful blogs that are running on this platform. However, one that comes to mind is a blog by Seth Godin. Seth used to run it with the subdomain sethgodin.typepad.com (archive link) but some time ago changed it to the custom domain seths.blog.

TypePad offers various design tools that breathe life into your blogs so that you can captivate your readers visually. It’s your choice to monetize your blog with ads and services or not. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about any technicalities with this blogging platform as it is fully hosted.

Key features

  • Flexible publishing – write and publish from any device.
  • Google Analytics integration – analyze your audience engagement.
  • Theme builder – build your site’s theme from scratch.
  • Stunning templates – select beautiful themes and make them even better with design tools.
  • Built-in tools – get your blog noticed through social media and search engine rankings.

Plans and pricing

TypePad service comes with a free trial period and four different plans – Plus, Unlimited, Premium, and Enterprise:

Note: When I last checked their site (on July 27th, 2020), I saw a popup message – “Typepad is currently not accepting new signups. New customers are encouraged to check out our partner, Bluehost.”

Free trial
Use the service with a 14-day trial period.

Plus plan
$8.95 per month (billed month to month).

Unlimited plan
$14.95 per month (billed month to month).

Premium plan
$29.95 per month (billed month to month).

Enterprise plan
$49.95 per month (billed month to month).

9. Tumblr.com – Best microblogging platform

Tumblr homepage

Founded in 2007, Tumblr is a microblogging and social media website joined together. Tumblr’s main focus is on multimedia and short-form content. If you are a writer and planning to write longer-form content, I wouldn’t recommend starting with Tumblr. It’s often used as a social media website because you can integrate a variety of media files such as photos, videos, and audio files You can also embellish your blog with GIFS, stickers, and some text. Users have the option of designing their Tumblr blog with customizable themes, fonts, layouts, and many other design options.

Tumblr is ideal for bloggers who have a heightened focus on visual content. It is a global platform that is visited by millions of people every day who repost their favorite blog posts and initiate conversations.

Key features

  • Custom domains – choose a domain name composed of 64 characters or less.
  • Blog export – gathers your blog content in a ZIP file to export.
  • Password-protected blogs – blogs can only be viewed through the correct password.
  • Customized themes – the ability to personalize anything you set your eyes on.
  • Social media integration – share your Tumblr blog posts on social media platforms.

Plans and pricing

Free
You get to use this platform as a subdomain blog, i.e., yourblogname.tumblr.com. If you wish to, you can connect your own custom domain.

10. Postach.io – Blogging powered by Evernote

Postach.io homepage

Postach.io is a blogging platform powered by Evernote, and it enables you to convert your notes into blogs.

To sign up with Postach.io, you need to register a new account, or use an existing Evernote account. You’ll need to install Evernote and then integrate it with Postach.io to connect your notes. It is a convenient way to enter the world of blogging. Users are able to use the dashboard to personalize their blog site according to their taste and write blogs on the go with Evernote.

You can create a free blog with this platform, but if you want a custom domain, subscribe to a paid package. Postach.io also offers a collection of free and premium themes to help you create a visually appealing blog.

Key features

  • Add images – insert pictures to engage your readers.
  • Evernote sync – integrate notebooks with Postach.io blog.
  • Site editor – customize your blog site through a robust dashboard.
  • Custom domains – optimize your site with a paid custom domain.
  • Visual content – insert a logo or avatar to personalize your blog.

Plans and pricing

Blogging platform Postach.io available in four plans:

Free trial
Create a free blog no credit card required.

1-5 sites plan
$5.00 per month, month-to-month (or $50.00 per year)

6-20 sites plan
$15.00 per month, month-to-month (or $150.00 per year).

21-50 sites plan
$25.00 per month, month-to-month (or $250.00 per year).

11. Ghost.org – Best WordPress alternative

Ghost homepage

Ghost is an open-source blogging platform meant for journalists, editors, and writers. The platform was launched in 2013 through a successful Kickstarter campaign.

You can be in control of the design of your blog and the kind of experience you want to create for your readers. There are absolutely no rules when it comes to this platform – no limits on customizations or social media restrictions. Sign up to get started and publish your content for a vast audience as you target readers through email newsletters and make money from your written pieces through Ghost’s premium plans.

You can benefit from a collection of publishing tools perfect for professionals who want complete control over their site. These tools allow you to code and add functionality to your blog using modern technology.

Also, Ghost is fully managed through state-of-the-art cloud management technology and offers comprehensive developer control.

Key features

  • Site editor – create and embed exciting media files and content.
  • Content management – complete control over the type of blog content.
  • Posts scheduling – create an editorial calendar to stay ahead of time.
  • Powerful SEO tools – comprehensive SEO features for high rankings.
  • Simple templates – use Handlebars stunning templates to build your blog.
  • Automatic backups – never lose data with off-site location backups.

Plans and pricing

You can start using the platform with a free trial and select one of the three plans after:

Free trial
Get a 14-day free trial period.

Basic plan
$29.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $348.00).

Standard plan
$79.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $948.00).

Business plan
$199.00 per month (1 year plan billed as one payment of $2388.00).

12. MovableType.org – For medium-sized businesses

MovableType homepage

MovableType is a powerful blogging software and content management system being used by the world’s largest media and publishing companies.

To get started with this blogging site, you need to purchase a license or log in if you already have it. Then, install MovableType and extend its effectiveness with several powerful plugins that add to the functionality to your blog.

With MovableType, you don’t have to worry about storage bandwidth or page loading times. No matter how big your blog grows, the services will remain impeccable. Not only can you personalize themes, but you can use the many available features to build your blog, grow your audience, and achieve what you aimed to.

Key features

  • Powerful dashboard – displays blogs, websites, stats and analytics in one place.
  • Customizable templates – functional and gorgeous templates with added benefits.
  • Media management – insert media files with customization options.
  • Technical support – leave the coding queries to MovableType support experts.
  • Ultimate security – ensures safety with password protection and IP management.
  • Plugins and tools – integrate your blog with top-notch plugins and widgets.

Plans and pricing

Free trial
Get a 7-day free trial.

Pro unlimited
$499.00 per year (buy a license agreement to use it).

13. Svbtle.com – Minimalist designs and functions

Svbtle homepage

Svbtle is an all-inclusive publishing platform designed to share your content and ideas with the world.

This platform has an eye for detail as it can help you focus on removing distractions that might hinder your productivity as a writer. It uses the Markdown format for articles that are later converted into HTML and supports all types of media files as well as Markdown features such as code blocks.

This platform follows strict principles and promises the best service with an enjoyable writing experience. It provides fast page loading times, secure posting, and minimal themes that breathe professionalism in your blog posts.

Key features

  • Blog dashboard – well-managed dashboard with a clean and minimal display.
  • Site editor – customize your blog with more advanced controls.
  • Supports media – integrate images, embed videos and much more.
  • Responsive site – enjoy writing and reading from any device or screen type.
  • Minimal distractions – clean and straightforward blogs with fast loading times.

Plans and pricing

Free trial
A 7-day free trial (you can cancel any time).

Paid plan
$6.00 per month, month-to-month (or $70.00 per year).

A quick guide to selecting the right blogging platform

Man Explaining

Now that you know about all of the options available to you, it’s time to finalize the perfect blog management tool for your needs.

Assess your options against the following checklist:

  • Value for your money – Ensure that your chosen service is going to deliver precisely what you need. This means easy-to-use blog software, with all of the bells and the whistles you need for your blog to succeed.
  • Types of solutions available – Explore the different solutions that are designed to support you, the blogger. Use these to build a truly unique blog site. Options typically include free blog sites, self-hosted builders, and premium blog website builders.
  • Ease of use – Some platforms offer quite the learning curve that can discourage new bloggers. You need an easy-to-use blog-building platform that doesn’t require any technical skills, design, or marketing expertise.
  • Features – You might not need all of the features at the start, but make sure that your best blog platform lets you customize or modify your website if needed.
  • Blog management – If needed, you’ll have to access the back-end or admin area to update your blog, make any changes, and fix the layout. It is crucial to make sure that this area is available, manageable, and easy-to-navigate.
  • Rules and restrictions – Before you pay for a platform, read through the ‘Terms of Usage’ so that you can be sure that you aren’t breaking any rules with the way that you’ll be using it.

This information should be sufficient for you to research and locate the best platform for your needs.

As one of the most widely used blogging platforms and self-hosted CMS, WordPress.org is recommended by a majority of blogging experts. This platform has emerged as the clear winner for professionals because:

  • It takes care of all tasks related to setting up and sustaining your blog.
  • The integrated dashboard can make and finalize updates with a click.
  • It offers comprehensive customizations and support for blog design and functionality.

While WordPress.org is our top recommendation, if you are wondering about how to set up your new blog, there are several other options as well.

For example, you can consider the following blog sites:

  • Free (hosted) blogs: If you opt for a hosting blog builder, your blog’s address will look like this: blogname.bloghost.com. The most significant advantage is that it’s free, but the shortcoming is that you’ll have to follow their rules. Besides, a blog name with a subdomain can make you look like an amateur.
  • Freemium/premium options: If you become interested in a freemium/premium solution, you can experience it in all its glory during a free trial period. If you like it and choose to continue using it, you’ll have to start paying (up to $30 per month).
  • Self-hosted blogs: Select this option if you want to host your blog on your domain and name it however you want. You’ll have to follow some rules set in place by your domain registrar and web hosting company, but other than that, you are your own boss. You’ll be fully responsible for the site and its contents. The Self-Hosted CMS is free as well.
  • Blog/website builders: These tools let you create simple blogs thanks to their drag-and-drop interface. Take advantage of the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) facilities when you use site builders.

How WordPress compares to other websites for blogging

As explained earlier, WordPress is the absolute best in its class. WordPress is actually home to 37% of websites on the internet, proof that its self-hosted version is very popular.

I’ve already written another guide wherein I compare WordPress with other leading CMS’ so we won’t go into those details here. If you’d like to read these in-depth comparisons, here are the links:

wp.org vs wp.com
wp Blogger
wp Tumblr
wp wix
wp squarespace

These other platforms have their own unique audience as well because they are great for beginners who want to make a blog. But if you want a solid foundation for your blog, nothing beats the self-hosted version of WordPress.

Migrating your blog across platforms

Man Rolling

If you’ve already started your blog with another platform, but then decided to move to WordPress, it is possible to do without harming your blog. The ‘Import Tool’ with WordPress takes care of it for you.

Go to the WordPress Dashboard and head to the Tools section. Here you’ll find these options to help you import from other platforms:

It is important to remember that WordPress plugins offer other import options as well – try searching the official plugins repository for an importer tool that works for you.

Best platforms for different uses

If you are looking for the best blogging platform to start your blog, but the sheer number of blog sites overwhelms you, we are here to help. We have reviewed the best blogging sites according to your specific needs and demands that align with your level of expertise and the specific niche that your blog is catering to.

Best platform for serious bloggers

Now whether you are blogging to connect with others, to express your ideas and hobbies, or to promote your business, blogging is a sure-fire way of connecting with the world.

Here is the best option that is perfect for serious blogging:

WordPress.org – Free

WordPress.org is the simplest content management system and blogging platform out there. To start with this platform, you need to install WordPress, and that happens in a matter of minutes.

Best platform with free plan

With the help of free blogging sites, it has now become easier to create a blog and establish an online presence without breaking the bank. These tools are aimed at creating online blogs that are hosted on the platform’s servers.

This is the best blogging platform that helps you create a blog for no charge at all:

WordPress.com – Free

WordPress.com is a free blog site builder that provides abundant features with no prior coding experience. It provides all of the tools that you need to design as well as grow your blog.

Best platform for writers

If you are looking for a platform that allows you to focus on writing and allows you to relay your ideas to the world, you need a blogging site that gives you that freedom. This is important because some platforms can easily distract writers with snazzy tools that they don’t need.

The following blog site will help you to pursue your talents as a writer:

Medium.com – Free/Membership starts at $5 per month

Medium is different from other writing platforms as it helps you to share your knowledge and ideas and find fellow writers who are doing the same thing. It is a global community with readers and writers from all over the world, speaking and sharing what they are most passionate about.

Best platform for photographers

You want the best platform to display your work and to represent your photography vibrantly and aesthetically.

Here is the perfect blog website builder to showcase your work as a photographer:

Squarespace.com – Price starts at $12.00 per month

Squarespace is the best platform for photographers who want to display their work and share it with professionals. The site provides top-notch visual quality that enhances your work and attracts people to your photography blog.

FAQs

What is a blogging platform?

A blogging platform is a service that’s used to create and manage a blog so that you can publish your ideas and words online. Choosing a blogging platform is the very first step towards blogging, and without it, you cannot start blogging at all.

Blogging platforms are also sometimes known as CMS (Content Management System) since they let you efficiently manage the content for your blog site.

How can I create a blog for free?

You can quickly start a blog for free using the platforms I mentioned previously in this article. Your free blog can have the potential to become a successful blog on the web. But if you decide to upgrade your blogging game and go a step further, I still recommend self-hosted WordPress.

What hosting should I get?

If WordPress.org was your choice among all the others, I suggest choosing Bluehost as your hosting provider. They’re one of the rare hosting services recommended by WordPress itself; Bluehost is reliable and not as expensive as some competitors.

How long does it take to set up a free blog?

It depends on the blogging software you choose. Also, it depends on how meticulous you are. You can set up an entire blog in under 10 minutes if you are ok with the default settings, and you find a theme you like. But if you have to have all of the colors and elements customized, it could take days until everything is set up the way that you prefer.

What does “self-hosted” mean?

Self-hosted is usually tightly connected to WordPress. This means that you, as a user, have to take care of your site. You have to find a place on the internet where you will store all the files and databases that are used for running a blog. Usually, this means paying for a hosting service that will take care of the server, store your files, and make sure that the website is always accessible.

Do I need to know to code when creating a blog?

No. Whether you want to start with simple sites like Tumblr or want to go with widely used WordPress, you don’t have to know anything about programming languages or databases. Most of the available blogging platforms in the modern world let you build websites through their drag & drop builders. That means that you can sit, relax, and focus on the design of your blog.
But if you decide to improve your blog and start a more serious online project that requires something unique, it would be good to know a thing or two about coding. However, even in this case, you can always hire an expert in the field to code something for you.

Can I earn money with free blogs?

Yes, even with a free blog, you can earn money with it. There are different ways of monetizing your blog (like showing ads, joining affiliate programs, or accepting sponsored content). However, to make money with your blog, you will first have to invest time (and usually money) into it. This is something all popular blogs and the best blog sites have had to do. I have previously written about how to make money blogging, where you can learn more.

What is the difference between a blog and a website?

A blog is a website that’s focused mostly on content that is regularly delivered. Blogs are a kind of a modern diary where people get to write about any topic they like. Usually, people like others to read their opinions and comment on the content they’re delivering (whether it’s written words, images, or videos).

On the other hand, a website is any site that provides information about something, but it doesn’t usually have to provide or create regular content for their audience.

I started a blog, but my friends can’t find it on the search engines. What’s wrong?

Usually, it is enough to start a blog and have at least one page for Google, Bing, and other search engines to recognize it. But since the popular search engines have to discover millions of new sites daily, it can be several weeks until your content shows up in search.

To speed things up, you should focus on the content, have new articles, and connect with people who will start interacting with your site. Also, you can manually tell Google and Bing that you have a new site by submitting your URL.

Is it possible to move a blog from one platform to another?

In most cases, yes, that is possible. Truthfully, choosing the best blog site at the very beginning is hard. People usually have to work with one blogging platform for at least a few until they realize what they actually need.

More often than not, bloggers want to move their blogs from Blogger to WordPress, Wix to WordPress or Tumblr to WordPress.

I started a blog, but no one is reading it. How do I get more traffic?

Even though you might have something interesting to write about, without an effort, it won’t be likely that you will get the audience. You have to realize that there are millions of bloggers who are already writing about the same thing you’re interested in. So to attract people to read your blog, you will have to connect with other bloggers. You will have to start promoting your content (free or paid) by joining communities, posting your articles on social media, and commenting on others’ work. You can even pay for advertising, which will show your blog post to thousands of users all over the world.

I wrote about this already, so feel free to learn 100 tactics to get more traffic to your new blog.

What should I write about?

Also, once you’ve decided on your niche, you still have to listen to your audience. Write about something you like, but also about something that people will be interested in. You can browse the web to see what others in the same niche are writing about, what people are commenting about, and what they like on social media. Here are a few ideas you should take into consideration.

How many times per month should I publish new posts?

Although many bloggers debate on this, the truth is that there isn’t a correct answer to this question. While some might achieve good results by posting a few short posts per day, another blogger might see more traffic by posting just one or two articles per month.
This depends on the type of blog you have. For example, if you want to share news from a specific category like technology, you will probably want to have several posts per day to cover all of the essential and breaking news. Or, if you decide to write more in-depth guides, tutorials and teach your audience something, you might get better results if you put the entire focus into just one or two articles a month that the audience will appreciate.

How many words per article should I have?

Depending on the niche and the type of blog you have, the answer will vary. You can have a successful blog post with just 200 words and achieve the same result with a post that’s exceeded 5,000 words. Everything depends on what you write about and how people react to it. In my opinion, your average article should have about 1000-1500 words if you want to make sure it will rank well on Google and other search engines.

Conclusion

The best way to find the right solution for your needs is to understand how each blogging platform focuses on your level of experience. Also, your choice should depend on the customization abilities of each blog site and whether it is easy to use and upgrade.

Through this guide, we have informed you of all the features and pricing range of the best blog sites. And now you know how to get started with each of them.

So which one will you choose?

69 comments on “Best Blogging Sites in 2020 (Free & Paid)

  1. I am thinking of starting a blog. Reading this gave me a lot of great information as I am new to this. I plan on reading some of the links you added for more information on various topics. Thank you for having this here!

  2. The cost of starting a blog is not as huge as I had thought and so I’ll try to create one on the self-hosted platform so I can get a hang of the process in a couple of weeks.

    • Hi Emma! It’s not that expensive at all. You can even get a better deal with Bluehost if you follow my instructions on installing WordPress with them.
      Let me know if you have any questions. All the best!

  3. Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing this information. These blogging sites do a great job; however, you must bring a quality one from a reputed site.

    • You’re absolutely right Pao – WordPress is the best! With self-hosted version (WP.org) you have total control of your site and it’s content, so you can optimize it for search engines or monetize it in any way you want, etc.
      Many free blogging platforms include a clause in their terms of service that state that they can immediately delete your entire site without warning if you violate their terms of service…

      Take a look at our Learn WordPress section – it can help you level up your WordPress skills!

  4. I’ve been thinking about switching to WordPress for a while now, I heard a lot of praise about it – especially about all the SEO things I can do with it.

  5. So that’s how the name blog arrived – web log! Niiice. Such an instructive article. Love the way you’ve listed things, along with pros and cons. Including the cost layout. Great read and I seriously mean it.

  6. I had to read every single thing because I want to start blogging too and want to be sure I make the right choices so I don’t get to regret anything along the line. I’ve made some valid notes and I’m very sure this will help a great deal.

  7. I used to think that WordPress.org and WordPress.com were the same. When I wanted to start a blog on WordPress.com I got disappointed with the price of getting my own domain with them.

  8. You just made this whole thing simple and clear for me. The cost of starting a blog is not as huge as I had thought and so I’ll try to create one on the self-hosted platform so I can get a hang of the process in a couple of weeks.

  9. Thanks for sharing Ogi! Many have written about the various blogging platforms but this is by far the best and the way you have explained it’s so straightforward easy to understand.

  10. Hi

    Thanks for the nice article. Actually, this post is really helpful for the newcomer in the world of blogging. Keep Rocking!!!

  11. I started with wordpress.com in 2016 but I switched to self-hosted couple of months after (I went with Bluehost) and I’m very happy with my choice!

  12. WordPress.org Pros: Everything Cons: None :)) That video you mentioned, setting up a WordPress blog with BlueHost, was really helpful!

    PS: I still have the dilemma on Tumblr or Tumbler!

  13. As someone who first started with Blogger, I have to say I agree with you guys about WordPress.org
    So easy to use and very SEO friendly!

  14. You outdid yourself with this one! Really neatly explained and it only takes eleven steps 🙂 Also, I agree with Mike, Wp.org above all!

  15. I remember the time when it took me months to write a web app that had just the basic functions of WordPress just to appear online.

    New generations don’t know how lucky they are to have such a powerful tool at their disposal. Their only restriction is their imagination! How cool is that? 🙂

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