10 Best Blogging Sites – Detailed Comparison

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Best Blogging SitesThere are many good reasons to create a blog.

You may want to practice your writing, create a following, establish your brand or use blogging as a marketing tool to increase site traffic. It’s also a great way to connect with like-minded people.

How do you choose the site to build your blog on?

There’s a wide choice of blogging platforms. The more there are choices, the harder it is to make up your mind.

To help you choose the right blogging platform for yourself, we will first talk about what to look for in a blogging solution. After that, we’ll examine the pros and cons of the 10 best blog sites.

Ready? Let’s get started…

How to Choose The Best Blogging Platform

For making a decision, it helps to know what you are looking for. As they say – if you don’t know where you are going, every way is the right way. Below are some categories to judge the candidates by:

  • Costs – an indispensable consideration. It’s not only important that your blogging platform of choice fits within your budget but what you also get for your money. A free offer is worth nothing if it doesn’t do what you need.
  • Beginner-friendliness – Beginners need a blogging solution that is easy to set up, manage, and doesn’t need coding skills to run. They also have to be able to find support when they run into trouble.
  • Features and extendability – Over time, your needs and requirements for your site will change. You might want to modify or overhaul the design, add features, or make other drastic changes. A good blogging platform needs to be able to accommodate that.
  • Maintenance – How much hands-on work does your blogging solution need? Does it take care of most of the activities and features for you, or do you have to do everything by hand? This will have a serious impact on your workflow.
  • Monetization options – Many start a blog or website with the goal of eventually earning money with it. If that is your objective as well, you better choose a platform that enables you to do that in a way that works for you.

The weighing of the factors above will be different depending on your skills, goals, and requirements. Keep them in mind while we compare the best blogging platforms out there.

10 Best Blog Sites for 2019

Below, you’ll find some of the most popular blogging solutions in the world and how they compare to each other.

1. WordPress.org

wordpress.org review

Among the best blog sites, the self-hosted version of WordPress is, by far the most popular blogging platform in the world. WordPress powers over 30 percent of the Internet. It’s often confused with its close cousin WordPress.com. We will cover the latter as well. You can learn more about the differences between the two platforms in this article.

Pros

  • Very flexible – WordPress gives you full control over every aspect of your site
  • Highly extendable – you can add almost any functionality through plugins (The WordPress directory has over 54,000).
  • Thousands of mobile-friendly themes allow you to switch the design of your blog at the touch of a button
  • The platform is search engine friendly and works well with social media
  • You will have full ownership of your content
  • Its large community means lots of support options

Cons

  • Beginner friendly, although running your WordPress website does involve some technical things. For that reason, there is definitely a learning curve
  • You are responsible for site maintenance including backups, security, and performance. Fortunately, you can outsource most of that to WordPress hosting providers.

Pricing

WordPress is an open-source solution which means it’s free to use. Bear in mind that self-hosted variety requires you to find a hosting provider (e.g., Bluehost). You also need to get your domain. Costs to do that start from around $50 per year.

In addition to that, you might want to spend money on premium plugins and themes that add more flexibility to your blog.

Perfect for

  • Business blogs
  • Online businesses
  • Professional bloggers
  • Bloggers who want full control over their site

See this step-by-step guide for creating a blog with WordPress

2. Wix.com

wix review

Wix is similar to Squarespace. It allows you to put together your web presence via drag and drop and comes with blogging ability that you can add to your site. You can read about adding Wix in this article.

Pros

  • Ability to customize your site with templates and third-party apps
  • No coding skills required, you can achieve everything with the graphical interface
  • Quick and easy setup, includes top-notch hosting
  • Lots of design options and everything is built with HTML5
  • Has a feature to automatically design your blog using an artificial intelligence
  • Comes with free stock of images

Cons

  • The free account comes with limited capabilities, traffic, storage and has Wix branding and ads
  • The number of free apps is limited
  • You are unable to change your site template after choosing it
  • The e-commerce capabilities of Wix are limited, even on paid plans
  • The service charges for many things, so costs rack up easily
  • You are unable to move your site elsewhere and take your content with you

Pricing

Wix is a subscription-based and offers different packages. Starting at $5/month for 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB storage plus the ability to connect a custom domain (which you need to pay yourself). Higher plans add more bandwidth and storage, free domains, apps, the ability to create an online store and remove the ads. The most expensive plan ($25/month) also comes with VIP support.

Perfect for

  • Business owners who need a blog with a website
  • People with no website development experience
  • Creative artists

Visit Wix.com to start a free blog

3. Joomla.com

Joomla review

Next on our list of the best blog sites is another open-source content management system that you can use to build all kinds of websites. We have detailed information about it in WordPress vs. Joomla vs. Drupal and in the post on how to create a website with Joomla.

Pros

  • Powerful and flexible, suitable for building more than blogs
  • Hundreds of professional templates make it easy to change the design
  • Lots of available extension for adding more features and functionality

Cons

  • More technical than other solutions on this list, basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is a necessity
  • The responsibility for security, backups, and performance is on you (although there is some Joomla managed hosting)

Pricing

Joomla is free to download, costs only incur for hosting and a domain. For specialized Joomla hosting, check hosting reviews here.

Perfect for

  • Business websites
  • Online stores
  • Technically advanced users

4. WordPress.com

wordpress.com review

WordPress.com is a blog site hosting service by Automattic. You can get a free blog with basic features. For advanced functionality, you need to opt for one of their paid plans.

Pros

  • Super easy to set up – just create an account and follow the installation wizard
  • Hosting is included, so you have less moving parts of dealing with
  • The interface is even more streamlined than on self-hosted WordPress
  • No need to worry about site maintenance, everything is done for you
  • Built-in stats and community functions
  • Professional and dedicated support on paid plans

Cons

  • The free account is very limited, e.g., your blog is hosted on a subdomain
  • Narrow customization options, third-party themes, and plugins are only available on Business plans
  • Limited monetization opportunities, advertising is forbidden for lower plans
  • You can lose your site if you violate the terms and services of the platform
  • Ads and branding are present on your site unless you pay to remove them

Pricing

Paid plans cost between $4 and $25 per month (billed annually). Each increases the amount of storage space, features (including monetization options) and support. With the Business plan, you can install external plugins and themes and connect your site to Google Analytics.

Perfect for

  • Hobby bloggers
  • Static websites

WordPress.com can also be a great starting point for blogging. If you ever decide to have more control over your site, it’s relatively easy to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

5. Medium.com

medium review

Medium is a publishing platform founded in 2012 by one of the people behind Twitter. By now, it has become a popular community for writers, bloggers, and journalists.

In addition to the ability to write blog posts, it also comes with limited social networking functions. You can comment on other people’s content and like it (likes are called “claps” on Medium). The audience is built into the platform.

Pros

  • Just sign up, and you are ready to blog
  • Great user interface and elegant writing experience
  • The focus is completely on content creation, not running or designing the site around it
  • You can embed content from other services (YouTube, Twitter, etc.)

Cons

  • All blogs on Medium look the same, there are hardly any customization options
  • Very limited marketing features
  • No way to transfer your audience from Medium to any other platform
  • Monetization options are absent
  • Medium has control over your content

Pricing

The platform is free to use. If you have your domain, you can hook it up to individual stories. Unfortunately, not to entire user accounts.

Perfect for

  • Writers who want to build their skills and brand
  • Hobby bloggers

Medium is also a popular place to give your content a second life. Many people who have a primary blogging outlet re-post articles on Medium for additional exposure.

6. Ghost.com

ghost review

This is a publishing platform focused only on blogging. The idea was to make a more streamlined and modern version of WordPress. As a consequence, the platform is built on JavaScript. It’s also available for a hosted or self-hosted version.

Pros

  • Focus on writing and blogging
  • Clean, intuitive, streamlined user interface
  • Live preview of blog posts
  • Super fast because it is built on JavaScript
  • The hosted version requires no setup
  • SEO and social media capabilities are built-in
  • Integrated function for Accelerated Mobile Pages

Cons

  • Not easy to customize
  • Limited configuration and customization options
  • The number of themes is narrow
  • Ghost’s self-hosted version is complicated to set up

Pricing

The price for the hosted version depends on the number of websites and the amount of traffic. For $29/month ($19 if billed annually) you get one blog and 50,000 monthly page views. This also includes SSL encryption.

The most expensive plan is $269/month ($199/month paid annually). Ghost has prioritized support, uptime guarantee, and other premium features. All plans come with a custom domain.

For the self-hosted version, you need to pay the usual hosting plus the domain registration.

Perfect for

  • Bloggers who are happy to experiment with the newest technical solutions

7. Squarespace.com

squarespace review

Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder which is aimed at small business owners. It’s a great all-in-one solution for non-technical people and offers hosting, domain registration, and the possibility for e-commerce. It also has blogging capabilities which are the reason why it’s among the best blog sites out there.

Pros

  • Simple to use and beginner-friendly
  • Professional design templates are available
  • SSL encryption is built into the platform
  • Ability to build an online store
  • Free trial to test drive the platform
  • Includes hosting and a custom domain
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Users are limited to the features offered by Squarespace
  • Integrates only with a few third-party services and tools
  • Personal plan is limited to 20 pages and two contributors
  • Slightly overpowered if all you want is a blog

Pricing

Squarespace is subscription-based. It comes with only two plans, Personal and Business. One is $16/month and the other $26/month. You get a price reduction if you pay annually and also a free custom domain.

Both plans come with unlimited pages, bandwidth, and storage. The Business plan also has e-commerce and marketing features and allows you to customize your design through CSS and JavaScript. You can use your domain name, which comes with extra costs. There is a 14-day free trial to test the waters.

Perfect for

  • Business owners
  • Portfolio websites
  • E-commerce

8. Weebly.com

weebly review

Weebly is another site builder with a modular approach and a web-based interface. Pick a template and position your content as blocks in different areas.

Pros

  • Easy to use – everything is operated via drag-and-drop
  • Comes with decent mobile apps to run your site on the go
  • You can try out the service before committing financially
  • Has a good reputation in terms of SEO, even integrates with Google Analytics

Cons

  • Limited integrated features and no possibility to add more
  • The free plan only comes with 500MB space, Weebly branding, and a subdomain
  • Integrates with only a few third-party platforms
  • Exporting your site is difficult

Pricing

You can start with a free account. After that, $4/month gets you a custom domain. For advanced features like site stats, video backgrounds, or membership options, you need to go for one of the higher plans. Those come in at $8-$25/month. Weebly also has separate plans for online stores that are slightly more pricey. All plans are paid annually.

Perfect for

  • Business owners who need blogging capability
  • Online portfolios
  • Bloggers with no technical knowledge

9. Blogger.com

blogger review

This free blog hosting service has been around for a long time. It was founded in 1999 and acquired by Google in 2003. As a consequence, you can sign up easily with your existing Google account.

Pros

  • Free to use and the set up only takes minutes
  • Hosting, maintenance, and other technicalities are taken care of
  • Integrates well with other Google offerings (e.g., you can store your images on Google Drive)
  • Mobile-optimized templates
  • Comes with tracking and anti-comment spam measures

Cons

  • Limited to basic blogging tools and there is no way to add additional features
  • Design options are few
  • Updates or new features are scarce
  • Blogger will display advertising on your blog

Pricing

Blogger is completely free. The only costs you might incur is if you want to use a custom domain. In that case, you have to acquire and pay for it yourself.

Perfect for

  • Hobby bloggers and personal blogging

10. Tumblr.com

tumblr review

Finally, among the best blog sites is Tumblr. The service is a micro-blogging platform optimized for short-form content. It also has a community behind it and social network features. Think of it as a middle ground between WordPress and Twitter.

Pros

  • Free and very easy to set up and use
  • Hosting is included (your blog is located on a tumblr.com subdomain)
  • Has integrated social features such as following, re-blogging and sharing
  • Easy to publish multimedia e.g. videos, GIFs, images and audio
  • Many design opportunities and they are easy to change

Cons

  • Limited features and no way to extend them
  • It’s difficult to back up your Tumblr content and use it on other platforms

Pricing

The platform is free to use. Optional costs are for a custom domain (which you can map to your Tumblr account) and third-party themes and apps.

Perfect for

  • Hobby bloggers
  • Personal blogging
  • Micro-blogs

Best Blog Sites – What’s Your Pick?

When looking for the best blogging platform, you have many candidates to consider. Each comes with its pros and cons. Basically, there are three varieties: self-hosted blogging platforms hosted blog sites, and site builders that also have blogging capabilities.ho

Which is the most suitable for you depends on your needs, goals, and preferences. Here on websitesetup.org, we like the self-hosted variety of WordPress. It’s what this site is built on, and we have had solid experience with it. It’s super flexible and powerful and belongs among the best blog sites for a reason.

What do you consider the best blog sites out there? Anything to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.


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57 comments

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  1. Avatar

    Nick, thank you for the useful comparison.

    Which blogging sites have better supports for data displays (interactive charts, tables, etc) without programming requirement?

    • Avatar

      Hey Victor, I know that WordPress offers a bunch of plugins to include graphs and charts on your site. I’m sure Joomla does, too. Aside from that, I am not so sure. I would check each provider separately.

    • Avatar

      Hey Anna, actually Tumblr, Medium and WordPress.com are also completely free. In addition to that, you can have a WordPress.org and Joomla site for the price of a domain and hosting (ca. $60/year). Generally, if you want to use your blog for professional purposes, you are not going to get around paying for it. On the other hand, if you just want to blog as a hobby, there are plenty of options for you.

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for a good, basic set of facts. I am a beginner, and although I am capable of learning most anything I need to be able to get a job done, I have not yet learned much of what I would need for my own site. My initial interest is just in blogging, but would like to be able to expand later into business. I don’t like the idea of someone else having control over my material or running ads for products I would never endorse. So eventually, I will want my own site. It looks like WordPress.com would be a good starting point. Where is the best place to go to learn the other skills (coding, etc) to be able to graduate upward?

    One thing that might have improved this article would be the inclusion of a box graph allowing a snapshot summary of which platforms provide which services. I found myself scrolling up and down a lot trying to compare options. Just a thought 🙂

    • Avatar
      Nick Schäferhoff Verified

      Hey Earl, thanks a lot for your comment and your tip on how to improve the post! If you want to have your own site, I recommend you start with self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org). This allows you to learn how to set up a website from the get-go. While it’s possible to start on WordPress.com and then move to self-hosted later, I would advise to skip this step.
      As for where to learn how to run your own WordPress website, this is what this blog is all about. You can get started here: https://websitesetup.org/. On the homepage you learn how to set up your site. Then, move on to how to customize it: https://websitesetup.org/customize-wordpress-101/. You can also find a collection of all our guides here: https://websitesetup.org/new-peek-inside/
      If you need help with something specific, don’t hesitate to reach out!

      • Avatar

        I used to use WordPress.org, but today I signed up, and they are using block formatting. This is different than the past. I found this format very frustrating because it is almost impossible to cut and past content and move the content around. The result is that WorsPress.org is clunky and very difficult to navigate. Have you noticed these changes. For writers, it’s much easier to have a Word-style platform. I decided to get a refund.

        • Avatar

          Hey Frank, are you sure you used WordPress.org? Because the software at WordPress.org is free to download and use so you can not request a refund. It sounds to me like you might have signed up to WordPress.com. Check this article to understand the difference: https://websitesetup.org/wordpress-com-vs-org/.
          As for the block editor, this is a relatively new addition to WordPress. If you don’t like it, you can disable it with this plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/classic-editor/. However, I have been using Gutenberg (that’s the name of the block editor) for a while now and it’s actually quite good for content creation once you get used to it. I recommend you give it a try.

  3. Avatar

    I’ve always had a niche for writing yet stalled on starting my personal blog for far too long. Now that I am starting my online agency, I want to be able to showcase my abilities both personally & professionally. This was a great read! All of the facts, none of the fluff. I thought figuring out how to finally start my blog was going to take longer. You saved me so much time. Thank you Nick!

  4. Avatar

    Thanks for this article! Incredibly helpful.
    New to blogging. Completely new. Seems like wordpress.com is the way to go. But I am also drawn to ghost.com because of the SEO optimization. Thoughts?
    Question: Do I own my content with wordpress.com?

    • Avatar

      Hey Sarah, you definitely own the rights to your content on WordPress.com. The only problem is that you don’t have the final say over your site. If you, unknowingly, violate WordPress.com’s T&C, they can shut down your site without warning. That way, your content would be gone. I’m not saying that this happens very often but it is a theoretical danger with hosted website solutions.

  5. Avatar

    Hi Nick
    I’ve just read you review and in tune with the comments that follow…THANKS!
    I’m interested that Wix and GoDaddy didn’t feature in your ten but feature highly in lots of other reviews.
    I understand the dynamics and ploys of advertising might well be at play in other reviews but would you care to comment on why neither of them feature in your top ten?
    Thanks

    • Avatar
      Nick Schäferhoff Verified

      Hey Julia, thanks for the comment. Wix made it into the list, you might have overlooked it. As for GoDaddy, this post focused on platforms that are mainly usable as blogging platforms. So, where the publishing of blog posts is one of the main features or can be easily achieved. You can find Godaddy on our list of website builders where the focus is a different one. Hope this answers your question!

  6. Avatar

    This was the most concise and informative comparison of blogging platforms that I read today. The first day I actually did more than think about a blog. Thanks !

    • Avatar
      Nick Schäferhoff Verified

      Glad you liked it Vanessa! Thanks for your comment. If you do end up creating a blog, come back and let us know how it went!

  7. Avatar

    Hi! I’d like blog site which is no cost for basic features. I don’t need advance features because I blog for myself as to write a diary, no need for money-earning, so simple is okay. And because I’m a starter so I’d like an easy-to-use one. I’ve used wordpress.com before but it was to few themes to choose. WordPress.org costs to get start. So can you recommend any of those 8 remaining blog sites, which is suitable for me? Thank you!

    • Avatar
      Nick Schäferhoff Verified

      Hey Sevenne, I personally love the Medium editor so I would go with that. You can even unlist posts so that they are not publicly available. Only people who know the URL will be able to access them.

  8. Avatar

    Hallo, I’m an aspiring blogger that would like to set up a blog soon . However, I’m yet to decide what software to use and also a name for my blog. I’m stuck between wordPress.com and wix. I’m a beginner and I have no idea how to program!! What would you recommend for me? I’m looking for something easy to use but yet would give me a beautiful website. Thank you for this amazing and very informing article!

    • Avatar

      Hey Maxwell, as a beginner, I would recommend you to go with WordPress.com. It allows you to start blogging for free and you can always move over to a self-hosted website once you want to get serious.

  9. Avatar
    Brittany Brockway

    I was wanting to start a blog, and I’ve looked at a few articles hoping to be pointed in the right direction. Still, I’m not sure which would be best. I just want to do a daily blog, on a platform that’s simple to use and free for the time being. But I would like ownership on what I write, as it will be personal. Which platform would you recommend, to a beginner with very little knowledge on blogging?

    • Avatar

      Hey Brittany, if you want complete ownership of your content, I would recommend a self-hosted WordPress website. For that, you will have to pay for hosting and a domain though but you can get that for cheap. Aside from that, it sounds like Medium might be a good fit for you.

    • Avatar

      Hey Irene, on a site like Medium, your content resides on someone else’s server that you don’t have any control over. Theoretically, they can always delete it (for example, if it violates their terms and conditions) or add advertisement wherever they want. I’m not saying that they will but this is not something you have to think about when running your own site.

  10. Avatar

    Can Squarespace accommodate a blogger? I know it was not mentioned but I am torn between Squarespace and weebly. I would love a platform that can accommodate a small business/marketing and blogging.

  11. Avatar

    Thanks. I really appreciate this fair and objective intro to the top 10. I’ve ready many of these over the years, and gone fishing or hunting for latest updates on platforms, differences, ease of use, etc.
    You did a great job. No hidden or built-in promotion stacking here.
    AND you included just the kind of information I’m most interested in along with just the right amount of info. i.e. it wasn’t overladen with details.
    GOOD JOB. THANKS!

    • Avatar
      WebsiteSetup Editorial Verified

      Hey Naomi, I’m happy to hear you got a lot out of the article! Thanks for taking the time to write such a nice comment. I did try to be as objective as possible in the post. While I do have my favorites, different platforms work for different purposes. Cheers!

  12. Avatar

    Hey!
    I’m an aspiring blogger that would like to set up a blog soon (a personal blog that journals my life). However, I’m yet to decide what software to use and also a name for my blog. I’m stuck between wordPress.com and wix. I’m a beginner and I have no idea how to program!! What would you recommend for me? I’m looking for something easy to use but yet would give me a beautiful website. Thank you for this amazing and very informing article 🙂

    • Avatar
      WebsiteSetup Editorial Verified

      Hey Laura, first of all congrats on deciding to try your hand at blogging! You will have a lot of fun.

      Personally, I would always recommend you go with a self-hosted WordPress website. It gives you the most flexibility in the long run and also total ownership over your content. It’s easy to get into and there are so many resources. For example, you can use the guide on this site to set up your own website step by step.

      If you are unsure about it, the next best option might be to start a free blog at WordPress.com first. That way, you can get used to the system without dealing with the technical stuff. It also makes it easy to move your content from one platform to another once you make the leap to self hosted.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have additional questions.

  13. Avatar

    Hey WebsiteSetup Editorial, this is an extraordinary write up with some extremely valid points man. I think, for the beginners the costs and the user friendliness are the major deal makers.

    If you can manage and configure your blog without paying hundreds of bucks to the developers, you are surely in a win win situation.

    Thanks for sharing this helpful guide, I really appreciate it.

    James David

    • Avatar
      WebsiteSetup Editorial Verified

      Hey James, thanks a lot for the detailed comment! I am with you on every point. Without a free blogging platform like WordPress, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. Cheers!

        • Avatar
          WebsiteSetup Editorial Verified

          Hey Natalie, my expertise is WordPress, so that’s always my go-to solution. You can also see in WordPress.com that the software is able to accommodate something like Hubpages. You might also want to look into Joomla. Definitely stick with a self-hosted solution as I don’t think any of the hosted systems out there will be able to provide the freedom you need to build a platform like you are planning. However, I would also recommend you talk to an experienced developer since this will take a bunch of custom coding. Hope this helps!

    • Avatar
      WebsiteSetup Editorial Verified

      There are some excellent guides out there on how to transfer your site from one platform to another. I advise you look into them beforehand. Good luck!

  14. Avatar

    The Blogger is completely free. The only costs you might incur is if you want to use a custom domain. In that case, you have to acquire and pay for it yourself
    Blogger will display advertisement on your blog

    • Avatar
      WebsiteSetup Editorial Verified

      Yes, if you want to use your blog to generate money, you are better off using a different platform. A Blogger site is fine if you want to build a portfolio for yourself, however, monetization possibilities are slim and they often don’t rank well. Thanks for the comment!