The reason why blogging is so popular is its versatility. It's an opportunity for you to share your ideas with the world, promote your business, contribute through guest post on your favorite blogs, and even blog for a living. Whatever the case, you are going to need a blogging platform, and seeing as there are so many out there, you are going to have a hard time choosing the right one for you. That is why you should check out our beginner's guide on blogging platforms, in order to make your decision a lot easier.
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One of the most popular online blogging platforms is WordPress.com. The reason why millions of bloggers have chosen it is the large number of both free and paid themes available, along with excellent basic functionality. It's totally free to set up, and you can look forward to having comments and polls on your blog, without having to install additional plugins. You also get a free hosting. If you are willing to spend not too much money, you can also get your own custom domain and plenty of upgrades. However, custom themes, plugins, and HTML editing are not available in this version of WordPress. For that, you are better off trying out WordPress.org.
The self-hosted version of WordPress offers nearly all of the features you would get with WordPress.com, but in addition to those, it also allows for a great deal of customization. You can expland your blog's functionality by installling plugins, customizing themes, and editing the HTML code yourself. It does have a learning curve, but there isn't anything you can't do with it. And because both versions of WordPress are so popular, you will have no trouble finding advice, guides, and support for either one. One of the cons of this platforms is that it doesn't come with any hosting, and it takes a while before you can set up everything the way want it to be. If you are an advanced user or a professional, this is probably the best choice for you.
If you are a beginner, Blogger is one of the easiest platforms to use. You can set it up in literally minutes, or even less, if you already have a Google account. Despite being simple to use, Blogger allows you to edit HTML and add a variety of widgets to your blog.
On the other hand, as far customization is concerned, you can add text, images, and links, and publish your post once you are happy with the results, and not much else. It is a good platform if you are a hobby blogger or someone looking to run their own personal blog. Advanced users are better off trying some other platform.
Tumblr is the easiest to use of all the blogging platforms reviewed in this article. What it makes it unique compared to others is that it also functions as a social network. This means that as soon you start a blog, you become a part of the community where bloggers are very eager to “follow” each other, and reblog each others work.
You can also choose between tons of different free and paid themes. You also get hosting, but you will have to pay for a custom domain. However, Tumblr is mostly focused on younger users publishing short form content, such as short blogs, quotes, images, GIFs, and short videos. It's great if you are a hobby blogger, or if you want to blog for fun. Since there are no plugins, extensions, and advanced features, it is not suitable for business users and professional bloggers.
This platform has experienced a surge in popularity in the past couple of years. It is very easy to use if you are a beginner, since it doesn't require you to be an IT wizard, plus it's totally free. Medium will also handle all of the hosting for free. On the other hand, you can't exactly get a custom domain. You can, however, connect your individual story to a custom domain. Also, there are no custom themes, extension, or plugins.
Everyone publishes there work using the same template, although there are some awesome typography settings you can make use of. Medium is great is you are a blogger trying to make a name for yourself, since you get instant exposure to the community of other bloggers. It can be used as a platform for business blogs, but its target audience are aspiring or hobby bloggers.
Weebly is a good option if you want to create a blog for your business separately from your website. Thanks to its intuitive and easy-to-use interface, which allows you to drag and drop the features you need, you can build a blog in no time, without any knowledge of coding. It's a also good for professional bloggers and hobbyists. However, there are no advanced options like HTML or CSS editing, since the platform caters to those looking to set up a blog with little or no hassle involved.
Squarespace allows you to build a blog or a website yourself, thanks to it's user-friendly interface. You can build an optimized personal or business blog without previous experience in web design. It is also packed with tons of different features, and you can expand its functionality through plugins. It also provides you with hosting and a custom domain name. Plus, it's themes are always fresh and trendy. What's the catch? Well, it's a premium platform, which means it can get expensive if you need unlimited functionality. It's powerful, but if you don't need all of the features it has to offer, you are better off with cheaper alternative.
Now that you know what each blogging platform has to offer, you can go ahead and choose one that will suit your professional and personal needs, as well as the needs of your business. Blogging is a powerful way to reach your audience, and armed with this knowlede, you will be able to do so in no time.
Robert Morris is blogger and a writer at NinjaEssays writing service. He shares his experience in blogging to help writers grow their audience.