Choosing a Blogging Platform: Comparison + Quick Reference

Deciding to start a blog comes with a lot of decisions to make. One such decision: What blogging platform should you choose?

While there are numerous blogging platforms available, below we take a look at some of the most common platforms to help you make the best decision.

blogging_platforms

WordPress.com

Price: Free

WordPress.com stores your site’s content for free on their servers. However, this means users receive a limited version of the WordPress software. Still, it’s a nice choice for hobby bloggers who don’t want to invest money. It’s also a good option for people who plan to upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog in the future.

Pros:

  • No set-up costs.
  • Simple to use; no coding or design knowledge required.
  • Hundreds of themes to choose from.

Cons:

  • Functionality is limited unless you pay for upgrades.
  • It looks less professional.
  • You don’t technically own your blog, which means you have little control over advertising revenue. It also means WordPress can suspend your site at any time.
  • Your site comes with .wordpress in the domain.

WordPress.org

Price: Free software; Approximately $5 per month for hosting. For step by step guide, check my blogging guide.

A self-hosted WordPress blog is one that uses the WordPress software on a third-party server. With it, you can install plugins, edit your HTML code, and more, giving you full control over your website while making it look more professional. A self-hosted WordPress blog is usually the best way to go for anyone willing to invest a couple of dollars per month. It’s ideal for business owners, professional brand builders, and any blogger looking to expand their site’s functionality and professional appearance.

Pros:

  • User-friendly with full control and customization options.
  • Access to over 1,500 free themes and 20,000 free plugins.
  • Search engine friendly options.

Cons:

  • Hosting on a third-party server can require some technical knowledge, but most hosts (like Bluehost or HostGator) offer quality technical support.
  • Due to its popularity, WordPress is vulnerable to security threats.

Blogger

Price: Free

Since Blogger is owned by Google, you’ll have access to Google tools like AdSense, Analytics, etc. However, Blogger is not nearly as flexible as WordPress.org. This platform is great for hobby bloggers and brand builders who don’t want to invest any money but may want to make some money through ads. Since it’s easy to use, it’s also a great platform for beginner bloggers just learning the ropes.

Pros:

  • Completely free and easy to use.
  • Can place AdSense ads.
  • Access to HTML code, so there are more customization options.

Cons:

  • Fewer themes and storage space than WordPress.com.
  • You cannot self-host, so your blog is dependent completely on Blogger’s current offerings.
  • Your site will have .blogspot in the title.

Tumblr

Price: Free

Tumblr is easy to use and is a very social platform. This is the perfect place for bloggers who like the idea of “reblogging” posts. Its platform is best for microbloggers, so it’s perhaps not the best place to start if you’re looking to develop long-form content.

Pros:

  • Unlimited storage.
  • Approximately 1,000 themes to choose from.
  • HTML and CSS access for customization.

Cons:

  • Backing up your blog and importing your content from other platforms is difficult.
  • There are very limited plugin options.
  • It’s tough to monetize.

TypePad

Price: $8.95+/month

TypePad is a good platform for business professionals or brand builders who don’t mind investing some money every month into their blog. That price can pay in delivering more features and a more professional-looking site. However, most people will still tell business bloggers to choose a self-hosted WordPress platform due to its large community, but TypePad does have its advantages.

Pros:

  • They host on their servers, but you own your blog.
  • Unlimited storage space.
  • Easy to use.

Cons:

  • It costs a few dollars more per month than a self-hosted WordPress site.
  • Customization options can be limited.

WIX

Price: $4.08+/month

WIX is a good website option with blogging capabilities that is ideal for businesses. With its ecommerce functions, WIX makes building your entire ecommerce business website simple, although full control over your online shop is somewhat limited.

Pros:

  • Unlimited bandwidth.
  • Ad integration.
  • Easy to use.
  • Domain registration options.
  • Up to 20 GB storage.
  • Hundreds of professional-looking templates.

Cons:

  • More expensive than a self-hosted WordPress blog.
  • Ecommerce tools aren’t very advanced.
  • Limited customization options.

Any of the free options are ideal for novice or hobby bloggers who don’t want to invest any money while the paid options are better for business blogs. Choosing the right one comes down to how you want your site to function. Which platform do you think you’ll choose?

Quick reference

Mike Wallagher of Start Blogging Online put together a nice comparison of blogging platforms you can reference as you choose a blogging platform.

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Blog Comparison chart
Blog Comparison Chart – Start Blogging Online
 

25 Responses

  1. Lisa Jones June 27, 2013 / 4:08 pm

    I guess WordPress is still the #1 because of the plugins and easy customization. But i just hate to update to the latest version. It’s annoying! And sometimes, your old themes or plugins are not compatible to the latest version.

    • Laura July 12, 2013 / 4:15 pm

      Trust me, I’ve tried many blog/cms scripts out there. Nothing beats WP for blogging purposes.
      We’re lucky there are TOO many plugins that get updates, that means the community is vibrant, people keep updating their FREE scripts for all of us.

  2. SAJID June 28, 2013 / 11:50 am

    I agree with Lisa that WordPress is the most wonderful and the best platform to create websites and blogs easily….
    Easy to customize and easy to use….:)

  3. Terra June 29, 2013 / 3:28 am

    This is a great comparison!
    Thanks for taking time and sharing it.

  4. packers and movers Bangalore June 29, 2013 / 5:56 am

    great post and valuable , i like this post, i thought that word press is very good option for blog, very nice article, thanks for sharing.

  5. packers and movers Hyderabad June 29, 2013 / 5:59 am

    i like this post very nice article, most of people moving towards word press blog platform , thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  6. Thenie June 29, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    I don’t agree with you. Blogger has a lot of better and easy to use features than WordPress. The layout designing is much easier in Blogger and Adsense implementation is a piece of cake – contrary to WordPress which is harder to use.

  7. Arun Singh June 30, 2013 / 10:00 am

    Thanks for this great post. Blogging is a very intricate world for beginners. We can often read about all the mistakes we should not do but actually choosing the platform is often the first one!

  8. vectores gratis July 1, 2013 / 9:52 am

    i think wp is good for a beginner after you learned the basics, you are in the right path to learn the good stuff

  9. Harpeet Singh July 3, 2013 / 6:58 am

    WordPress is undoubtedly the best blogging platform..

    Thanks for sharing the list..

  10. Josh Brancek July 3, 2013 / 8:01 am

    I would say always go for WordPress, as it is simple to use and has lots of plugins!!!

  11. Robin July 4, 2013 / 4:42 am

    WordPress is absolutely the best for beginners. Blogspot is good too still for self hosted platform, i prefer WP.

    Robin.

  12. SAJID July 4, 2013 / 10:40 am

    WordPress is indeed the top rated blogging platform for all the bloggers and webmasters….

  13. Deepak July 5, 2013 / 3:56 pm

    For me its wordpress followed by joomla. WordPress has grown from a baby to a professional now. It certainly has the biggest plugin market and is most customizable and easy to develop. By the way thank you for this wonderful article.

  14. rishidevdas July 7, 2013 / 3:09 pm

    WordPress is very easy to maintain and configure whereas Blogger has very limited options for Non Geeky persons. WordPress can be easily managed by a person and if required can troubleshoot minor errors and glitches. But for a blogger the troubleshooting requires specific knowledge and techy gyaan. So I will stick and refer WordPress as of now.

  15. Kaushal srivastava July 8, 2013 / 7:57 am

    For Me Blogger is the best platform. Full of features and Fully Free!

  16. Savas July 9, 2013 / 6:36 am

    I chose WordPress because I saw a lot of videos with professional bloggers who say that WordPress can be the greatest thing when you want to have your own site or blog, because it allows you to do many everything that you can obtain with the help of a coder, but this time is for free and is easy to implement by beginners. There are hundreds of thousands of plugins that can give you unlimited possibilities for customization.

  17. online racing game July 18, 2013 / 3:19 am

    i think wordpress is the simplest and common used blogging platform these days. it has a lot of plugins and features to help you manage your blog.

  18. Nithin Upendran July 18, 2013 / 12:09 pm

    Selecting a blogging platform is one of the hardest task in blogging.According to me a newbie blogger should either choose a blogger platform or word press platform.If you are looking for earning something without loosing much money then you should go after blogger.But still i would say word press is the best blogging platform because it is very much seo friendly compared to other platforms. The main problem with word press platform is that it requires some initial payment. You had spotted some interesting quotes on blogging platform thanks howdy for sharing this valuable knowledge with us.

  19. Christi July 30, 2013 / 3:13 pm

    I chose WordPress since a couple of my programmer friends separately recommended it to me. WP is so easy to use, and it has a vibrant community of people writing about everything imaginable. I would like to eventually learn more about the differences between self-hosted wordpress.org and the more basic wordpress.com.

  20. Himadri Subrah Saha August 10, 2013 / 2:16 pm

    I have used WordPress and Blogger both. What i have found is WordPress is having more options than Blogger. You will not get Wonderful Plugins for blogger. But for WordPress you will get a lot and those are just fantastic. Not only this, for the beginners, WordPress is just awesome.

  21. Gautam Kumar September 14, 2013 / 2:59 pm

    I always choose WordPress because it gives me better control over my blog and i recommend It to everyone.

  22. Prathwish September 18, 2013 / 9:26 am

    Which is the best blogging platform? Please do reply

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