Blogging, no doubt, has been one of the most ‘easy-to-access’ and ‘get along-with the content strategies’ that any business, with the right set of resources and perfect understanding of their goals, and consumer intent, can cash in the various advantages that this channel of content marketing has to offer.
However, unlike the early days of the Internet, you don’t need to be that much of web-development friendly or undergo coding training; instead, you can do it all just within a couple of hours using the variety of platforms or blogging CMSs (Content Management Systems) available today. Many of them also offer free blogging sites setup feature to use for creating websites, which is again, great for testing and interacting with the respective platform.
There are several blogging platform options available for any website or business that’s looking to use blogging in marketing their products or services; however, with these many options available, choosing the right one for your needs can get a little bit tricky.
The intent for this post is more focused on giving the readers the best idea of the various blogging platforms available on the Internet today, but before deep-diving into the details, let’s first understand how to choose a suitable blogging platform. Here are the 3 main must-consider factors you need to look for while selecting a proper blogging platform for your business needs.
1. Understand What Your Business Niche Is About
For instance, if your business niche is more related to the visuals (like art, travel, food, or even blogging), then in such cases, you would want to prefer a platform that offers superior design functionality to make your website design appealing and outstanding from the others.
On the other hand, selling or making transactions online can be a bit typical, as the availability of eCommerce feature may not be present in many platforms, or maybe premium, so before making the right decision, you would want to assess the possibilities and your needs and then reach a conclusion.
2. Going For Free-Hosted vs. Paid Hosting Plans
Various blogging platforms offer free hosting plans to bloggers but with restrictive limitations, which can be a bit typical if scalability is a need. While you can always move to full hosted blogging options with dedicated domains, these free options are a great way to start your blogging journey and get friendly with the tools and features of that particular CMS.
Growth of business is an aspect some business owners and bloggers don’t compromise with, so for such cases, its recommended to proceed with a budget and manage your investment as per the demand of your scalability needs. However, in any case, if your site is going to be more than just blogging, it would be better to proceed with a paid hosting plan instead!
3. Understanding the Platform Ergonomics
The Ergonomics of the blog or website so designed and the ergonomics of the underlying Content Management System are two aspects that need your special consideration while selecting the right blogging platform for your needs.
Some CMSs are easy to go with, having a user-friendly dashboard and back-end that’s suitable for beginners, while others can be scaled using some coding skills!
Another aspect you need to look for is the website ergonomics in terms of ease of designing and customizing, besides the integration facility with different third-party applications and softwares. You would want to go for the options that offer plenty of design elements with easy-to-use editors.
With these three main things addressed, it gets easier to make your final selection for choosing the suitable blogging platform, and to help you out, here are some of the best blogging platforms that you can choose for your business needs:
WordPress.org has been among the most popular and the most widely used content management systems for building websites, powering almost 39% of the existing websites today. It is one of the best open-source platforms with seamless integration features and possibilities thats best suited for any website, whether it be a blog or a typical enterprise web portal.
Besides being free, open-source, and popular, WordPress.org has one of the most significant contributors and developers’ communities, which ultimately help it stand out better from the rest and make it an ideal choice when choosing a blogging platform or CMS for your business blogging needs!
PROS – WORDPRESS.ORG
- org is open source and free to use; all you need is your domain and a host, and you are good to go!
- org has one of the most significant contributor communities with nearly 50,000+ free and paid plugins and website add-ons and over 3000 design templates to choose from when it comes to making your website appealing, dynamic, and interactive!
- org offers high-end scalability and can be integrated with a variety of third-party applications and softwares in just a few clicks! (no hard coding required in most cases)
- org CMS offers Search Engine friendly webpages backend data and layout, which is another advantage of using this platform!
CONS – WORDPRESS.ORG
- Being open-source, WordPress is also highly vulnerable to many security threats and issues, something that you need to take care of as your website grows!
- While setting up a simple blog site may be easy, considering the high-end features and scalability options, it would require you to go through a considerable learning process before getting more friendly with this CMS; the other choice is to outsource your work and rely on experts for that!
Powering nearly 2.1% of the total websites, WIX is another excellent option for bloggers and businesses looking for a suitable, easy-to-use blogging platform. It also offers the flexibility of hosting and managing all your content and data in one place, along with the benefit of scaling the website as your business grows.
WIX user interface focuses on beginners looking to go online, offering an easy-to-use and highly customizable drag-and-drop builder to create unique and eye-catching websites with ease.
PROS – WIX.COM
- WIX User Interface is relatively easy to use with some of the easiest to use drag-and-drop builders to use to style & design some of the most outstanding web pages, which requires zero coding skills!
- There are several design templates with some of the most appealing and beautiful designs to choose from.
- WIX websites are also search engine friendly; WIX itself offers quite a handful of options for ON-PAGE SEO purposes; however, several third-party add-ons are also available for the same purpose.
- WIX again offers great scalability features with options to even perform commercial transactions on the site, with complete setup in just a few clicks and settings.
CONS – WIX.COM
- Features that WIX offers can seem limited if compared to its open-source counterpart WordPress; and
- Scalability in WIX is restricted to high-end paid plans; most third-party apps and similar features are paid and demand investment.
- Editing the website can be a bit typical; WIX offers a simple drag-and-drop builder, which provides a great set of customizable options; however, beyond the scope, editing and customization would require you to be equipped with some HTML/CSS coding skills.
- WIX may offer a free self-hosted plan; however, it has several limitations in terms of scalability as well.
Considering the “create free blogging sites” feature offered in many blogging platforms, WordPress.com is a great platform to start your blogging journey with. A subsidiary of WordPress.org with complete hosting (free+paid) services, and flexibility to build seamless websites, WordPress is another top choice for users planning to start a profitable blog or a business blog. However, it still differs from its open-source counterpart because the features are pretty different; besides, one is a hosting service platform plus CMS, while the other is software.
PROS – WORDPRESS.COM
- Like WIX, there are free blogging options available, with data being hosted on WordPress servers.
- The platform is highly scalable as per your needs and is search engine friendly.
- The User Interface is similar to WordPress.org, is easy to use, and is one of the best-suited platforms for beginners.
CONS – WORDPRESS.COM
- Scalability here comes with a cost; features in the free plan are highly restricted;
- Free hosting options carry WordPress branding and limit your options of monetizing your blog.
When website design aesthetics are considered in terms of blogging CMSs, SquareSpace stands out from the many options available to deliver some of the most eye-catching and picturesque web design templates. In addition, Squarespace offers a great platform to easily create, deploy, and manage your website content focusing on small businesses and individuals.
While it is not accessible, SquareSpace does carry handy scalability features to suit most small-sized business requirements.
PROS – SQUARESPACE
- Squarespace offers limited yet relatively superior, appealing, and highly attractive and interactive website design templates to choose from. Your website is bound to look premium here!
- Cloud hosting for all Squarespace service subscribers ensures your site is available to everyone, everywhere, and at all times;
- The easy-to-use website builder is user-friendly and excellent from a beginner’s perspective.
CONS – SQUARESPACE
- Squarespace is not free and does not offer any free plans either;
- as long as your business needs are relevant to a small-sized business, Squarespace is a good-to-go option, but if you are planning to scale beyond that, you might have to strategize your approach.
Weebly, similar to WIX, is a popular and commonly used blogging platform that’s more known for its simplicity and ease of designing high-end pages. However, Weebly also offers a simple Drag-and-Drop page builder that’s highly flexible in terms of design elements it has to offer. This means you can create the most simple designs in just a few clicks. Weebly also provides free-hosting plans, along with sufficient scalability options that include features such as ecommerce integration.
PROS – WEEBLY.COM
- Weebly offers free hosting plans for setting up blogs;
- The builder is quite user-friendly and very easy to use;
- Scalability is not an issue as long as its more restricted to eCommerce and not proceeding for enterprise-level solutions!
- Weebly websites are Search Engine friendly and mobile-friendly as well, meaning you don’t have to create a separate mobile page; this compatibility feature is built-in.
CONS – WEEBLY.COM
- Scalability, here too comes with a price; functionalities like eCommerce require you to go with paid plan options;
- Weebly has two distinct builders – one for blogging and one for ecommerce; it can be a bit confusing for beginners to tackle two different User Interfaces to design their website and its pages.
With almost 450+ million registered accounts, Tumblr is one of the best places to share content on the Internet. It attracts a footfall of millions of hardcore content bingers and can be an excellent platform for individuals, businesses, and brands.
While not being as scalable as WordPress or WIX, Tumblr still offers decent blogging features in its free plans. You can also go with custom domains and host your site on Tumblr, use their templates to design and upgrade your website.
Tumblr is an excellent platform for publishing multimedia content and offering outstanding and quick social sharing features, making it a favorite place to be for web surfers and bloggers alike.
PROS – TUMBLR.COM
- With 300+ million visits a month, Tumblr is a great place to build and place your content strategies with appropriate exposure to visitors with common interests;
- Tumblr is free and user-friendly;
CONS – TUMBLR.COM
- Tumblr is a microblog, meaning it has minimal features and scalability;
- While designing is relatively easy, you will still need to understand HTML/CSS if you want to customize the design beyond what the platform has to offer.
Like Tumblr, Medium.com is another great publishing platform to blog and engage with users online. While it may not offer high-end features and design scalability options, Medium.com still garners a healthy readership from its loyal users and provides a great place to build your community and engage with users online.
PROS – MEDIUM.COM
- Medium is free to use; you can go with custom domain options as well;
- posting on Medium.com is easy, and design is also relatively simple;
CONS – MEDIUM.COM
- Scalability is quite limited compared to other CMS platforms; its features may or may not match your business needs;
- design and templates so available are pretty limited, and you have the limited option of only working with the essential elements that Medium is built on, with little scope of an out-of-the-box customization facility.
Time to Blog!
Once you are ready with the decision of your business needs and wants and have run down the checklist of the best available blogging platforms, it’s time to try them out as most of them offer free, as well as paid hosting plans, with free-trial choices for many. Of course, you can always try them out before finalizing your Content Management System for blogging.