Starting a blog and wondering what are the best blog sites?
It can be a tricky choice since it’s a big decision and there are a lot of unique options out there.
In this post, we’ve made it easy for you to pick what works best for you with a list of the best blogging platforms for beginners in 2020.
So here are the top blogging platforms we’ll be comparing in this article. If you’re interested in a particular one, click the link in this list of blog websites to skip ahead in the post:
- HubSpot CMS
- Gator Website Builder
How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform
Before diving into our list of the best blog sites, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re looking for in a blogging platform.
Ask yourself these 3 questions about blogging platforms:
- Is it easy to set up? If you’re new to blogging or even just thinking about starting a blog, you may not be very technical yet (or may not ever be). So, you want to look for a blogging platform that’s super user-friendly.
- Does it have the option for me to earn money with my website? Even if it’s not something you want to do right now, you’ll want a platform that lets you make money off your site in case you want to do that in the future.
- Is it flexible so it can grow with my site? As your blog grows, you’ll want to change the look of your site and add new advanced features to support your growing audience.
So now that you have a better idea about exactly how to choose the best blogging platform to build your blog, let’s take a look at our picks for the best blogging platforms for beginners.
Which Is the Best Blogging Platform for Beginners?
Here are the best blogging platforms for beginners:
This is truly and universally the best free blogging platform.
Above all, the very best choice (and the most popular) for all bloggers is WordPress.org. It’s incredibly customizable and flexible, which explains why it powers nearly 40% of all the websites on the internet. It’s the best of the free blog sites, as well as paid ones.
Many blogging newbies confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. Check out our post on WordPress.org vs WordPress.com for a great comparison on WordPress blogging.
This is the best choice if you want full control over the future of your blog and nearly limitless customization options. WordPress.org is a self-hosted WordPress option, meaning you’ll need a WordPress hosting provider. Bluehost is by far the best WordPress hosting to get started with WordPress.org.
- Full and complete control over your blog — Using this robust Content Management System lets you create any kind of site from a WordPress blog to an eCommerce store
- Easily customize the look of your website — You can use drag and drop website builder themes like Divi, Astra, or OceanWP to easily make your WordPress site look exactly the way you want it, and create a custom login form to improve your branding
- Easy optimization for search — Just install the All in One SEO plugin to add tons of extra SEO features to WordPress
- Amazing options for functionality — Your WordPress website can be enhanced in a ton of different ways by using plugins
- Easily Integrate Analytics — You can use a plugin to set up Google Analytics on WordPress
- Community — Although there’s no direct customer support for WordPress itself, you can find tons of details on forums online
- Not always beginner-friendly — Can have a slight learning curve for non-technical people who don’t use helpful tutorial sites like WPBeginner.com
- Doesn’t handle security — You’ll need to manage your own backups and security (like with a security plugin like Sucuri)
Free. You’ll need to pay to have a custom domain name for around $14.99 per year + hosting around $7.99 per month.
If you want to quickly create a blog on a budget, Web.com is the easiest website builder at the lowest price. It’s also one of the original and most popular blogging platforms with over 3 million happy customers since 1999.
- Easy to use — A user-friendly drag and drop website builder to create your blog
- Beautiful design options — Tons of professionally designed website templates and access to thousands of stock images
- No page limits — You can add unlimited pages to your site
- Freebies — Comes with a free domain name, business email address, website analytics, SEO tools, and more
- Lacks some functionality — Blogging functionality is limited compared to WordPress.org
- Limited eCommerce — If you want to add an online store to your blog, you’re limited to 50 products
The starter website plan starts at only $1.95 per month.
Click here to get started with Web.com today.
3. HubSpot CMS
If you want to run your blog like a business, HubSpot CMS is one of the best blogging platforms for you. HubSpot CMS natively integrates with the HubSpot CRM to manage leads and customers. Plus, it comes with a ton of built-in features that are designed for content optimization.
- Easy to use — Intuitive drag and drop builder to create a blog in no time
- Built-in SEO — Generates SEO recommendations as you write
- Multi-language — Language switcher module so your visitors can read your content in their preferred language
- Freebies — Comes with HubSpot’s free CRM and all of HubSpot’s free marketing, sales, service, and operations tools
- Security — Handles 24/7 security monitoring and threat detection
- No free version — HubSpot CMS does not have a free version and pricing can be steep depending on your needs
- No built-in eCommerce — You’ll need third-party plugins and integrations to add an online store to your blog
HubSpot CMS pricing starts at $25 per month.
Click here to get started with HubSpot CMS today.
Gator Website Builder by HostGator is another one of the best choices for blog platforms, and it’s at the top of our list because it’s insanely simple and easy to use. It’s also a hosting service, so everything happens in one place.
- Simple setup — Even non-technical people can set up a site in minutes
- Awesome user interface — Use a drag and drop editor and builder to customize the way your blog and site looks
- eCommerce compatibility — Add an online store and sell things from your blog easily
- Freebies — Paid plans include a free domain and SSL certificate
- Security — Backups, security, and performance are all handled for you
- Limited extensions — Not as many apps and extensions can be used
- eCommerce cost — You’ll need to pay for a more costly plan to add a store to your blog
Gator Website Builder pricing starts at $3.46 per month.
Click here to get started with Gator Website Builder today.
WordPress.com is easy to set up and offers basic blog services for free, but gives you very limited control over what you can do with your website. This could be a huge issue small business owners. It’s one of the free platforms on our list that’s often confused with the much more flexible WordPress.org.
- Easy — No setup required so you can start in minutes
- Free — You can use it at no cost if you don’t mind have a website name that looks like: example.wordpress.com
- Security — Backups and security are handled for you
- Can’t make money on ads — Your free site will have their ads on it and you can’t make money with them with networks like Google Adsense
- Lack of ownership — You don’t own your blog and your account can be suspended if they choose to do so if you violate their terms
- Limited options — You won’t be able to use custom WordPress themes and WordPress plugins on your website
Free. But if you’d like to remove their ads and branding, plus get your own domain, it’s $4 per month (billed annually).
Squarespace is a blogging platform that helps you build beautiful websites but excludes the use of any 3rd-party apps or extensions.
- Ease of use — Simple and easy to use for people who aren’t very technical
- Gorgeous templates — Offers some stunning and professionally designed templates so your website looks fantastic without much work
- eCommerce ready — Ability to add a store to your site
- Ads — Now lets you use Google AdSense
- Plan Variety — Whatever your business plan size, Squarespace helps websites big and small.
- Limited apps — No 3rd-party apps or extensions are allowed
- Limited marketing — Not many marketing tools are offered
Squarespace plans billed annually start at:
$12 per month for personal sites.
$18 per month for business sites.
$26 per month for eCommerce sites.
Blogger is one of the oldest blog platforms around and requires a Google account to get started, but may have some major deal-breakers for some looking to grow their site.
- Simple to start — Easily set up and create a blog without paying for anything
- Backed by Google — The technology giant owns the platform so it’s secure and reliable
- Dated — The platform doesn’t receive updates often
- Design — The options for customization and design are extremely limited
- Limited features — You can’t really grow your blog with the limited basic blogging tools that are provided
Weebly is a well-known blogging platform that easily lets you build a site with a drag and drop builder and an alternative to Wix or Google’s Blogspot.com, but like them, may lack the extensive features some bloggers are looking for.
- Freebies — Plans come with a free SSL certificate
- Weebly Promote — Helps you grow your email list
- Export issues — It’s incredibly hard to export your website to another platform if you choose to do so
- Limited integrations — Not many choices for 3rd-party services
- Lacks features — Limited built-in features to customize your website’s functions
Free. But to use Weebly with a custom domain you’ll need to pay $4 per month + $8 per month to remove their branded ads.
Tumblr is one of the most popular of all the microblogging platforms, and it’s also one of the easiest-to-use (but extremely limited) blogging sites in the world.
- Ease of use — Super simple to start and manage your blog with
- Customization — Extensive ability to adjust your blog
- Social media integration — Easily connect a social network to your blog
- Limited features — Very few options to add functions to your blog
- Theme control — You can’t adjust the formatting of your site, similar to WordPress.com
- Export issues — It’s incredibly hard to export your website to another platform if you choose to do so
Medium is an online publishing platform that lets you import your content from anywhere on the web, but if you’re looking for the best blogging platform to make money, you’ll want to go with another one since you can’t monetize your blog.
- Ease of use — There’s barely any setup required
- Reporting — Offers a powerful reporting tool so you can learn more about your readers and how they’re engaging with your posts
- Focus on writing — It’s a content-first type of platform, so you can write and they handle the design
- No monetization — You can’t make money off of the Medium platform
- Content control — You have limited control over your content
- Limited features — Very few options to customize your site
Ghost is a minimalist and open-source blogging platform for website building that’s easy to use but lacks the ability to use many 3rd-party plugins.
- Simple to use — A clean and modern interface keeps things easy for users
- No setup — If you opt for the hosted version, setup is instant
- Built-in SEO — The platform comes with SEO tools to help you rank high in search engine results
- Limited customization — You can’t use most paid and free themes or plugins
- Branded domain — Unless you buy a custom domain from a 3rd-party domain registrar, your personal blog will be a Ghost subdomain ending with ghost.io
Self-hosting requires a custom domain around $14.99 per year + web hosting for around $7.99 per month.
The hosted version starts at $29 per month for 2 users and up to 100,000 page views.
Final Thoughts on The Best Blogging Platform
So which site is best for blogging?
Out of all the most popular blogging platforms, we strongly recommend using WordPress.org so you get complete control and flexibility over your blog and its future. Web.com is also a great choice for beginners looking for something easy to use.
And that’s it! Hopefully, this list helped you decide which of the best blogging platforms is the right one for you and your blog.
Since you’re at the beginning of your blogging journey, make sure to take a look at our article called how much does a website really cost so there are no surprises for what you’re in for!