Which Is The Best Blogging Platform in 2020 (Reviews)

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Nick Galov

Here on this page, we evaluated all top blogging platforms to find out the best based on our comprehensive evaluation methodology. 

Pick one and launch your blogging empire!

Our review process:

  1. We evaluate reputation and support of the blogging platform.
  2. We look for all essential blog-building features.
  3. We compare pricing packages, terms, and their restrictions.

Keen to choose the best blogging platform? We have it covered here.

When you buy services via links here we might get some affiliate commission. Read more.

Top 13 Blogging Platforms

Stunning designs. Smooth operation. Mobile-optimized websites. This is what Wix is all about. Over three million websites utilize the platform, making it one of the most popular CMS out there. Create and publish a website in minutes, even with no prior experience.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

JavaScript-heavy pages

Integrations:

250+ robust integrations

Support:

Fast and helpful

Ease of use:

Very beginner-friendly

Things we liked / disliked
  • Spectacular visuals
  • Mobile-friendly app
  • Content promotion options
  • Easy drag-and-drop editing
  • SEO-friendly
  • Advanced customizability
  • Single-website accounts
  • Extras and account rates not very affordable
  • Cannot switch or combine templates

Squarespace gives you a comprehensive site building tool that will appeal to any blogger. You can enjoy a ton of spectacular themes and plenty of other options to kickstart your website. Great scalability as your online project grows.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Very fast if you enable lazy image loading

Integrations:

Few integrations, but they are decent

Support:

Lots of learning resources and decent support

Ease of use:

A bit hit-and-miss

Things we liked / disliked
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Professionally-designed templates
  • In-built SEO and marketing tools
  • 24/7 helpful support
  • Easy post scheduling
  • Detailed website analytics
  • Costly for small-scale projects
  • Usability can improve
  • Limited integrations

When it comes to ease of use and effortless entry in blogging, Weebly is one of the first names that spring to mind. The platform excels in terms of third-party integrations and possible add-ons. Comprehensive monetization possibilities.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Lightning-fast for smaller sites

Integrations:

Somewhat slim

Support:

Solid support and great self-help guides

Ease of use:

Very easy

Things we liked / disliked
  • Beginner-friendly environment
  • Launch a website in minutes
  • Wide variety of plugins and add-ons
  • Mobile-responsive themes and visuals
  • Free SSL on all plans
  • Custom forms
  • Cannot make own backups
  • Limited design customization
  • Interface gets clunky once you add 10+ pages

Any blogger out there knows the WordPress name. The team behind the most popular open-source CMS also powers WP.com – a premium service with more streamlined support. Over 175 million WordPress websites attest to its immense quality.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Fast website builder

Integrations:

350+

Support:

Paid

Ease of use:

Very easy

Things we liked / disliked
  • Comprehensive editor
  • Use or own domain name
  • No setups or installations
  • Reasonable prices
  • Leader in blogging
  • Automatic backups and updates
  • You do not own your website files
  • Limited customization
  • Few templates and plugins available

Blogger already has 20 years of experience hosting blogs and personal websites. Google acquired the popular platform in 2003 and powers it since then. Today Blogger is a completely free solution that allows you to build and publish a website without any coding knowledge

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Quite fast

Integrations:

On point, an adequate amount

Support:

Self-help center

Ease of use:

Very easy

Things we liked / disliked
  • Free to use
  • Lightning-fast content indexation
  • Simplified website creation
  • No coding experience needed
  • Powered by Google
  • Few design options
  • Limited functionality
  • Controversial Google policies

Tumblr is a microblogging platform that looks more than a social network than your run-of-the-mill website. Quick and free account activation. Create short, meaningful content on-the-go and decorate it to perfection.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Fast backend

Intergrations:

A reasonable number

Support:

Quite robust

Ease of use:

Flexible and easy to learn

Things we liked / disliked
  • Free to use
  • Connect your own domain
  • Easy navigation
  • Post content on-the-go
  • Access from anywhere
  • No monetization options
  • Not suitable for longer content
  • Lack of plugins and third-party integrations
  • Limited features and add-ons

Ghost is a fully managed blogging solution with loads of options for both beginners and advanced users. The platform integrates easily with 70+ third-party apps, enriching your visitors’ experience site functionality.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Fast

Integrations:

More than 70

Support:

Stellar

Ease of use:

Fairly straightforward

Things we liked / disliked
  • Comprehensive editor
  • Mobile-accelerated pages
  • Suite of publishing tools
  • Options for content scheduling
  • Free SSL
  • Free CDN
  • Not very affordable
  • Limited support on entry plans
  • Hard to move away

Talking about flexible blogging platforms, TypePad is as good as they get. The EIG-owned service offers a compelling combination of design and marketing features, which makes it a preferred blog partner from giant outlets like BBC, MSNBC, and Sky News.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Very fast

Integrations:

Over 40

Support:

Self-help center

Ease of use:

Simple and easy

Things we liked / disliked
  • Unlimited storage on all plans
  • Rich template gallery
  • Theme builder
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Ad monetization
  • No free version
  • Lack of proprietary plugins
  • Entry plan quite limited

Clean, simple, straightforward – nothing clutters your experience with Medium. No setup needed for this online publishing platform – you can sign up with your Google/Facebook account and start creating content in minutes.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Very fast

Integrations:

API

Support:

Self-help and email

Ease of use:

Clean & simple

Things we liked / disliked
  • Large in-built audience
  • No setup required
  • No Medium ads
  • Clean interface
  • Republishing options
  • Only Medium subdomains available
  • Lacks freedom and control
  • Cannot do your own SEO

Strikingly is a versatile website builder that lets you easily create websites with no previous experience and publish them online. The tool comes with 100+ pre-made designs and the option to further customize your design – fonts, backgrounds, color schemes.

More than just a simple blogging platform.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Average

Integrations:

Some apps available

Support:

Excellent with guaranteed response times

Ease of use:

Extremely straightforward

Things we liked / disliked
  • Reliable and trustworthy solution
  • Build unlimited websites
  • Free domain name for the first year
  • Ecommerce options on all plans
  • SEO optimizations available
  • Detailed website analytics
  • Limited feature set
  • Strikingly ads on lower-tier packages

Jimdo offers a simple yet efficient blog and site-building tool. Well-suited for beginners, the platform comes with an intuitive interface and straightforward editing options.

Jimdo’s support team is impressive as well, rounding off this solution as a one-stop-shop.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed:

Good

Integrations:

Gallery, live chat, social media

Support:

Helpful but difficult to contact

Ease of use:

Very simple and intuitive

Things we liked / disliked
  • Beautiful and stylish designs
  • In-built SEO features
  • Easy template switching
  • Frequent updates and improvements
  • Free domain for the first year
  • Editing not very straightforward
  • Limited feature set
  • Sell products in EUR only

Gator Builder is the site-building solution of HostGator, one of the biggest hosting companies out there. The tool aims to aid beginners in their first online journey and let them build a blog, shop, or a business website with minimum effort.

Domain name included with every plan.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Data centers

Provo, UT

Scalability

Limited

Support

Below-par

Customizability

Design options

Things we liked / disliked
  • Easy editor interface
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Free SSL
  • Detailed website analytics
  • $200 in ad vouchers
  • Too simplistic and limited
  • Poor support

13. GoDaddy Website Builder

Quick, Streamlined Site Building

The industry-leading hosting provider and domain registrar has its own site-building platform. The editing interface is clean and straightforward, letting you focus on fine-tuning your website design and functionalities.

GoDaddy shines with long experience in the business and frequent technological improvements for all clients.

Key Features Things we liked / disliked
Key Features
Speed

Good

Integrations

Limited

Support

Rarely helpful

Ease of use

Great ease of use

Things we liked / disliked
  • Mobile-friendly pages
  • Free SSL certificate
  • AI-powered audience statistics
  • Low learning curve
  • Business email and phone free for one year
  • Free trial available
  • Limited web design layouts
  • Not very affordable
  • Lacks advanced customizability

The Best Blogging Platforms of 2020 - Ranking & H2H Comparison

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first blog, Links.net.

Today, over 77% of the internet “population” reads blogging websites regularly. The number of active bloggers is expected to reach 32 million by the end of the year.

None of that would’ve been possible without WordPress!

WP is undoubtedly the market leader for self-hosted websites and blogs. But what if you are looking for the best blogging platform that also includes hosting? You know, having everything under one roof?

How We Ranked the Best Blogging Platforms – Our Review Process

I have handpicked only the best of the best and reviewed their services thoroughly. The process included:

  1. Finding out what makes the best blogging sites tick.
  2. Checking how the platform feels and how easy it is to work with it.
  3. Reviewing the offers and their suitability for different groups of clients.
  4. Testing the basic packages with a free trial.
  5. Reading customer testimonials around the Web.

In short — every company on this list has been sifted through a thorough testing process and fully deserves its place.

So what are our options in 2020 if we are looking to combine a site builder and web hosting in one?

The Best Blogging Platforms in 2020

1. WIX

Things we liked / disliked
  • Spectacular visuals
  • Mobile-friendly app
  • Content promotion options
  • Easy drag-and-drop editing
  • SEO-friendly
  • Advanced customizability
  • Single-website accounts
  • Extras and account rates not very affordable
  • Cannot switch or combine templates
Speed:

JavaScript-heavy pages

Integrations:

250+ robust integrations

Support:

Fast and helpful

Ease of use:

Very beginner-friendly

$13/month
Visit WIX

Wix is one of the most popular fully-hosted platforms – and for a very good reason, too. The software is very intuitive and impresses with stunning web design opportunities.

Today, Wix hosts over 3.3 million websites, which is about 2% of the CMS market share.

We are talking about a multifaceted solution that has far outgrown the compounds of a simple blog platform or ecommerce site builder.

Wix Ease of Use

Wix understands that simple is better, especially for a novice user. The account interface is very clean and lets you start building your blog immediately.

Once you click on the “Create a website” button, a setup wizard appears. You get to answer a few questions so Wix can understand your goals and present the best possible solution.

The whole process takes less than a minute, and you can start editing your first website. Everything is self-explanatory, and there are tons of additional video and text guides to turn you into a master Wix-er.

But wait, there’s more!

If you want to launch a website really quickly, you can use the Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), which will build some of the best blogging websites without you having to do anything.

Wix Customization

Few can compete with Wix in the Customization department.

The drag-and-drop site builder not only looks great – it also works like a breeze. You can add and rearrange menus, utilize widgets, change the background, and pimp your content with multimedia files.

We particularly enjoyed the Add Apps option — one click and you are in the Wix store with hundreds of amazing apps at your disposal.

Wix Plugins / Themes

 

When we say “hundreds of apps,” we are not exaggerating. Last we checked, there were 330+ add-ons in the Wix library, neatly sorted into categories such as Forms, Online Booking, Chat, or Marketing Tools.

The add-ons are both paid and freemium, and you can watch a demo and read user reviews for each one.

What about blog templates?

This is where the sweet gets sweeter.

You have a wide variety of absolutely stunning pre-built themes so you can impress visitors from the get-go. Choose between 600+ templates and fully customize them to perfection.

Wix Monetization

Wix presents a ton of wonderful opportunities to earn money from your blog. Things such as:

  • creating premium content
  • utilizing online ads
  • adding an ecommerce store
  • writing sponsored posts
  • becoming an affiliate marketer
  • promoting in social media

The Wix platform has an answer for them all. Be it in the form of a plugin or an in-built feature — your blog can bring you more than just traffic and personal satisfaction.

Wix User Reviews

  • Wix Trustpilot score: 1.6 / 5 (1,570 reviews)
  • Wix SiteJabber score: 2.2 / 5 (340 reviews)

Wix is looking much less impressive if you ask the existing customers. In fact, this is one of the lowest-rated among the best blogging sites

Even though clients generally agree that Wix looks great and operates easily, there are many alarming stories concerning billing. Unexpected charges, problems with refunds, and price increases – far too many stories to be all untrue. 

It might be a good idea to be extra careful when spending money on Wix.

Wix Price

  • Free — Wix ads and domain, no ecommerce
  • Combo — from $13/mo
  • Unlimited — from $17/mo
  • Pro — from $22/mo
  • VIP — from $39/mo

Wix offers plenty of options for billing, depending on your needs and budget. Still, they are not the most affordable out there.

Apart from the free plan, the first ad-free package comes at $13/mo, but only gives you 3 GB web space and 2 GB bandwidth. You can get a free domain name from Wix, but that offer is only good for the first year.

The Business & Ecommerce website plans are even less budget-friendly. The entry-level deal is $23/mo, and rates can grow to the whopping $500/mo for enterprise-grade solutions.

Best For

  • Newbies
  • SMBs
  • Online stores
  • Personal blogs

Our Verdict

WiX fully deserves the top spot on the Hosting Tribunal list of the best blogging sites because of its modern feel and endless customization options. Even the free version lets you tweak around your designs and functionality so you can master the platform without paying a dime. The premium accounts remove all the WiX ads and add a pool of ecommerce and marketing features for easy monetization.

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2. Squarespace

Things we liked / disliked
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Professionally-designed templates
  • In-built SEO and marketing tools
  • 24/7 helpful support
  • Easy post scheduling
  • Detailed website analytics
  • Costly for small-scale projects
  • Usability can improve
  • Limited integrations
Speed:

Very fast if you enable lazy image loading

Integrations:

Few integrations, but they are decent

Support:

Lots of learning resources and decent support

Ease of use:

A bit hit-and-miss

$12/month
Visit Squarespace

You’ve probably heard this story before:

A dorm room. An out-of-the-box student. An ambitious project, which was just crazy enough to work.

Mix them all together and voila — you have Squarespace!

The NY-based company now has over 1,000 employees in New York, Portland, and Dublin and offers the best blogging platform for designers and visual artists.

Squarespace Ease of Use


As with Wix, all Squarespace newbies get a
very intuitive interface and helpful setup wizard to get their project going.

Everything on the page can be dragged, dropped, flipped, switched, resized, it’s incredible, really.

We’ve heard a lot of compliments about the Squarespace blogging platform, but seeing it with our own eyes is what convinced us.

You can add blocks, maps, calendars, newsletter signup — all about a couple of clicks away.

Squarespace Customization


The Squarespace developers made sure their
simple blogging platform packs all kinds of modification options.

Adding different functionalities and changing how they look is an absolute breeze, even for beginners.

You have a neat Options menu with categorized features and a real-time view of how each one would look on your website.

In other good news, Squarespace is very keen on support. The company reps are well-versed with the product. You can find them 24/7 via live chat, email, and Twitter.

Squarespace Plugins / Themes


Squarespace focuses on perfecting the
blogging websites platform and not so much on developing plugins and themes.

The add-ons are a little over 100, with prices varying between $12 — $29. The most popular plugins include image sliders, header modifiers, tabs, and loading screens.

Premium themes are scarce as well — the Squarespace template gallery currently offers 17 choices, coming at $129 each.

Squarespace Monetization


The low-tier accounts have little to offer for online shop owners. The real trading starts with the two
ecommerce site packages. They let you start an online business, accept payments with no transaction fees, offer subscriptions and gift cards, and much more.

Post sponsored content? Sure, why not.

Become an affiliate? You got it.

Run online ads? I’d be worried if you don’t.

It all comes down to how much you’re prepared to invest.

Squarespace User Reviews

 

  • Squarespace Trustpilot score: 2.0 / 5 (416 reviews)
  • Squarespace SiteJabber score: 3.5 / 5 (13 reviews)

Clients are on the fence with Squarespace. Many enjoy the professional designs and enhanced control. But there are those who have troubles as well.

For a platform that seems to cater to beginners, people often describe the interface and navigation as “laggy” and “confusing.” Such difficulties are the main reason why Squarespace has a staggering 52% Bad ratings in Trustpilot, the biggest review aggregator.

Squarespace Price

 

  • Free Trial — 14 days
  • Personal — $12/mo*
  • Business — $18/mo*
  • Basic Commerce — $26/mo*
  • Advanced Commerce $40/mo*
  • Squarespace student discount — 50% off for the 1st year

*Rate applies for 1-year prepayment and carries a 30% discount.

Squarespace is not the cheapest platform, but certainly one of the most cost-effective. Premium plans start from $12/mo and include unlimited space and bandwidth, a free domain name (for one year), and an SSL certificate

All packages come with a 30% discount for new customers, so you can expect the prices to rise come renewal. 

There is no free plan, but you can test the service for 14 days before you make a final decision.

Best For

 

  • Newbies
  • SMBs
  • Ecommerce

Our Verdict


Squarespace websites look ravishing, and the platform proudly hosts celebrity clients like
Idris Elba, Keanu Reeves, and John Malkovich. You can get the hang of the site builder quite easily, but if you don’t have the time or desire — there are professional Squarespace designers for hire.

An excellent all-around solution for blogging websites.

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3. Weebly

Things we liked / disliked
  • Beginner-friendly environment
  • Launch a website in minutes
  • Wide variety of plugins and add-ons
  • Mobile-responsive themes and visuals
  • Free SSL on all plans
  • Custom forms
  • Cannot make own backups
  • Limited design customization
  • Interface gets clunky once you add 10+ pages
Speed:

Lightning-fast for smaller sites

Integrations:

Somewhat slim

Support:

Solid support and great self-help guides

Ease of use:

Very easy

$5/month
Visit Weebly

Weebly is a hosted platform with a strong focus on ecommerce website services.

Weebly started in 2006 and quickly gained recognition. The platform was among Time’s “Best websites of 2007”. It also featured in the “Best apps for Google Chrome.”

In 2018, business conglomerate Square Inc. acquired Weebly for a reported fee of $365 million.

Weebly Ease of Use

 

Starting out with Weebly was a breeze.

Rearranging the text, buttons, and menus was a pretty straightforward task, and our blogging website was up and running in just under two hours.

How cool is that?

Weebly Customization

 

Some Weebly themes may limit your design creativity. Apart from that, you can modify every aspect of your website’s look and feel.

The downside here is how the software behaves once your website starts growing a lot. I tried adding 10-20 extra pages, and, at some point, the editor got slower and clunkier.

Certainly not the best blogging platform in that aspect.

Weebly Plugins / Themes

 

Weebly mostly relies on its in-built functionalities, but you can also call for some outside help.

That comes in the form of third-party plugins, which easily integrate with the publishing platform.

What about the visual elements?

The Weebly theme store gives you a choice of 60+ predesigned templates, categorized in six groups:

  • Online store
  • Business
  • Portfolio
  • Personal
  • Event
  • Blog

As with the plugins, you can also use a third-party theme if you find one suitable.

Weebly Monetization

 

You might have started as a hobby blogger. But then, at some point, had the creeping thought of making money off your pastime.

We get it. We’ve all been there.

Weebly gets it as well.

That’s why you have numerous ways to achieve that dream while building the best blog sites the internet has ever seen.

Take affiliate marketing, for example. You can easily start with the Amazon Associates program and include referral links in your blog posts. Each sale would then earn you 10% affiliate ad revenue.

There’s plenty more to do here – from running ads with AdSense to sponsoring blog posts and selling your own products.

Like we said – Weebly gets it.

Weebly User Reviews

 

  • Weebly Trustpilot score: 3.2 / 5 (432 reviews)
  • Weebly SiteJabber score: 2.0 / 5 (81 reviews)

Weebly has been a strong contender for the best blogging platform for years. Recent user reviews paint a different picture, though.

The growing number of billing and technical issues is so bothersome even loyal Weebly clients are considering a move away. The lack of adequate support in such cases is only adding fuel to the fire.

Hopefully, Weebly takes note of the client’s discontent and improves its operations.

Weebly Price

 

  • Free — Weebly ads and domain
  • Connect — $5.00/mo*
  • Pro — $12.00/mo*
  • Business — $25.00/mo*
  • Business Plus — $38.00/mo*

*Promotional rates for annual account pre-pay.

Weebly is keeping its prices low, but that’s understandable, considering its packages are not that feature-rich. 

The Connect plan, for example, comes at just $5/mo but gives you nothing more than the option to connect your domain name and utilize 500 MB for your new blog site. If you want to remove the annoying Weebly ads, you have to sign up for the Pro plan, at least. 

Of course, if this is just a test or hobby project, even a few bucks a month for web hosting is too much. In such a case, you can always opt-in for Weebly’s Free plan and use a limited version of the software for as long as you wish.

Best For

 

  • Newbies
  • Professionals
  • SMBs
  • E-commerce

Our Verdict

 

Weebly is a solid contender for the Best Blogging Platform award. While it’s not as feature-rich as Wix or as sophisticated as Squarespace, this software is as intuitive as they come. You have plenty of apps and themes to take care of your web design and UI feel, so newbie users might find Weebly a perfect match.

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4. WordPress.com

Things we liked / disliked
  • Comprehensive editor
  • Use or own domain name
  • No setups or installations
  • Reasonable prices
  • Leader in blogging
  • Automatic backups and updates
  • You do not own your website files
  • Limited customization
  • Few templates and plugins available
Speed:

Fast website builder

Integrations:

350+

Support:

Paid

Ease of use:

Very easy

WP.com and WP.org might share the same founder, but they are entirely different entities.

WordPress.org gives you the open-source version of the software — free, fully modifiable, and all yours. The thing is, you still have to find a reliable hosting provider for your new website.

WordPress.com, on the other hand, offers the commercial counterpart of the popular platform. You have much less freedom and control, but you benefit from WP’s own hosting services.

After all, who can better understand the ins-and-outs of the best blog platform than the people who actively contributed to its early web development?

WordPress.com Ease of Use

 

The best thing about WordPress.com is there are no setups or installations needed on your side.

You sign up, log in, and in five clicks (literally) your new website is ready to see the light of day. You can polish it, tweak it, and publish it even without any previous site-building knowledge.

In the Readers section of your account, you can search and subscribe to all kinds of fascinating WP blogs, follow topics, even meet new people.

Blogging for beginners made easy.

WordPress.com Customization

 

One of the things that made WordPress a firm market leader is the next-level customization. You have the freedom to modify every nook and cranny of your sites to look and feel just the way you want them…

…that is sadly only valid on the self-hosted version.

WordPress.com accounts are a bit more limited, and advanced modifications will have you jump to the more expensive packages.

Even the WordPress plugin and theme repository are only accessible from the Business plan upwards.

WordPress.com Plugins / Themes

 

That was one of the turn-offs for us— why brag with one of the richest (if not the richest) plugin libraries out there and not let users take full advantage?

We get the idea, partly.

WordPress is open-source, and practically anyone can create a new plugin. Providing support for such add-ons is virtually impossible as they are not developed in-house.

But why WP.com doesn’t give you full access to the WordPress repository is beyond us.

Same thing with your website visuals — you have some choice of pre-built designs, but you’re limited to a few ready-made blog templates. Only with the Premium and higher plans you can have them all.

On the good side, every WordPress.com account comes with the JetPack plugin for optimized performance and security.

The platform also provides all paying customers with live chat and email support.

WordPress.com Monetization

 

You can start making money off your WordPress blog with the Premium plan, but for full monetization capabilities, we recommend going for the Business or Ecommerce deals.

This way, you can not only accept payments and get ad revenue but also utilize SEO and analytics tools to serve your audience better in the future.

Still, we are talking about $25 per month or more here, which is less affordable compared to other popular blog sites.

WordPress.com User Reviews

 

  • WordPress.com Trustpilot score: 3.8 / 5 (3,122 reviews)
  • WordPress.com SiteJabber score: 4.6 / 5 (65 reviews)

WordPress.com users are generally very happy with the platform. 

Clients love the classic WP look, and its familiar feel to building popular blog sites. The platform seems to offer good value for money, especially for businesses on a budget.

Even with negative reviews, the company is very attentive and tries to provide additional support whenever possible.

WordPress.com Price

 

  • Free — with ads from WP
  • Personal — $4/mo*
  • Premium — $8/mo*
  • Business — $25/mo*
  • Ecommerce — $45/mo*

*Accounts billed yearly

WordPress.com offers bloggers one free and four paid plans. Starting at just $4/mo, the Personal package comes with 3 GB web space and a free SSL certificate

The Business and Ecommerce packages are much more feature-rich and suited for online shops. That deal will cost you at least $25 monthly.

Best For

 

  • Newbies
  • Professionals
  • SMBs
  • Personal blogs

Our Verdict

 

As an emerging blogger, you’ve most probably considered WordPress.com already. I mean, how can you not — you have a team of trained professionals hosting your project and a safe environment that lets you grow. Still, the plans are quite limited, and if you want to enjoy the software’s full capabilities, you have to jump straight to the high-tier ones.

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5. Blogger

Things we liked / disliked
  • Free to use
  • Lightning-fast content indexation
  • Simplified website creation
  • No coding experience needed
  • Powered by Google
  • Few design options
  • Limited functionality
  • Controversial Google policies
Speed:

Quite fast

Integrations:

On point, an adequate amount

Support:

Self-help center

Ease of use:

Very easy

$0/month
Visit Blogger

Blogger started out in 1999 as a multi-blog publishing service. In those early years of blogging, the service quickly gained a loyal following.

In 2003 Google stepped in and acquired Pyra Labs, the developers of Blogger.

Today, The Big G has one of the most popular free blogging platforms, hosting millions of pages worldwide.

Blogger also comes at #9 for Most Popular CMS with a 1.3% market share.

Blogger Ease of Use

 

If you already have a Google account, there are no additional installations needed to start working with Blogger.

You just log in, come up with a blog name, choose a design, and start writing your first blog post.

Yes, it’s that easy!

Google focused on simplification and easy onboarding for first-time bloggers here.

But this comes at a price…

Blogger Customization

 

There aren’t many options or unnecessary settings to confuse you. That’s the beauty of blogger websites – the whole focus is on creating content and publishing it for everyone to see.

After all, you have a Google-owned company helping you get noticed in…well…Google.

It sounds like a good deal.

Still, customization-wise, you can forget about any advanced changes — Google has got you on lockdown.

Blogger Plugins / Themes

 

I’d love to talk about Blogger’s plugins and themes…if only there were any.

Sure, there are a few in-built templates, but they look pretty rudimentary and unimpressive.

Plugins or add-ons?

Zero. Zip. Nada.

Blogger Monetization

 

At least Google doesn’t leave you stranded when it comes to making money off your blog. You can set up your Blogger account with AdSense and display ads between posts, in the columns, or by using a third-party service.

Should you choose to use AdSense, you also benefit from detailed earnings and stats reports.

Sponsored posts, premium content, and selling your products are other useful ideas to make some revenue.

How to create a blog for free and later monetize it? Blogger might just well have the answer.

Blogger User Reviews

 

  • Blogger Trustpilot score: 4.2 / 5 (23 reviews)
  • Blogger SiteJabber score: 3.8 / 5 (17 reviews)

You can barely find any client reviews about Blogger. That could either mean this blogging tool is reliable enough not to cause any rifts, or the project is quietly heading to the end of its life cycle.

Something else caught our eye, though.

User reviews in Trustpilot from the past year all had the same reply, and it was a joke.

No, literally – a joke.

Blogger review excerpt from Trustpilot

Seems like someone is trolling Blogger, or their whole team just went bananas.

Blogger Price

Blogger is a completely free service, and you can just go ahead and sign up with your Google account. 

No paid add-ons or extra services available.

Best For

 

  • Newbies
  • Personal blogs

Our Verdict

 

Blogger is a nice and easy platform for beginners but quite limited if you want something more than a hobby blog. Google has full control of your account, but at least you own your content and are free to move it elsewhere. Great for a first-time experience in blogging.

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6. Tumblr

Things we liked / disliked
  • Free to use
  • Connect your own domain
  • Easy navigation
  • Post content on-the-go
  • Access from anywhere
  • No monetization options
  • Not suitable for longer content
  • Lack of plugins and third-party integrations
  • Limited features and add-ons
Speed:

Fast backend

Intergrations:

A reasonable number

Support:

Quite robust

Ease of use:

Flexible and easy to learn

$0/month
Visit Tumblr

What is Tumblr?

Sort-of-like a microblogging platform, kind-of-a social network, with a pinch of blogging on top. You can post text, photos, videos, links, and interact with other users.

Tumblr was founded in 2007 and later acquired by Automattic, the same company that owns WordPress.com.

Even though recent years saw Tumblr’s population declining, the platform still hosts 475+ million blogs and accommodates 400+ million monthly visitors.

Have we seen the best of Tumblr? Only time will tell…

Tumbler Ease of Use

 

Signing up for Tumblr includes an email registration which takes about a minute.

Once you’re in, the interface looks quite appealing. The social media feel makes the entire blogging experience more familiar and beginner-friendly. Everything is neat and tidy, and you can start blogging right away.

Tumblr lets you upload photos, share links, or add chats in a matter of a few mouse clicks.

If you are already familiar with platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you’d have no problems getting the hang of this one.

Tumblr Customization

 

Tumblr is a fully-developed microblogging platform, so there isn’t much left for the user to change.

You have bigger customization opportunities in terms of design.

Not only can you change the template of your Tumblr page, but you can also edit its HTML and CSS as per your liking.

At the same time, the company is in line with the latest mobile trends.

Tumblr has its own Android and iOS apps. Unfortunately, the former is rather glitchy and the latter was temporarily removed in 2018 after inappropriate content scandals.

Tumblr Plugins / Themes

 

Sites like Tumblr do not rely on a plugin architecture, so you will not be able to find any add-ons to enhance your blogging experience.

Things are looking better in terms of themes.

There is a wide selection of free and paid templates, categorized by design structure. You can choose between:

  • Single column
  • Two columns
  • Grid
  • Good for text
  • Minimal
  • Multiple layouts
  • High Resolution

The themes are not as flashy as what you can get from Wix or Squarespace, but they’re not too shabby either. Every user can design their own templates and offer them for free, adding to the variety of layouts.

Tumblr Monetization

 

Tumblr is not about making money…well, not in the traditional way, at least.

You cannot run ads or sell goods, nor can you create premium content.

The keyword here is “exposure.”

Aspiring photographers and visual artists have found sites like Tumblr very useful because of the quick re-share function. That way, if your art is good — you can get it out there in no time. And if you also have a website — the platform can help you bring some much-needed traffic you can later monetize.

Tumblr User Reviews

 

  • Tumblr Trustpilot score: 1.6 / 5 (97 reviews)
  • Tumblr SiteJabber score: 2.9 / 5 (90 reviews)

You might think that a free service such as Tumblr won’t have so many bad reviews as a paid platform. After all, it’s free, right?

Well, you would be wrong.

Most of the recent reviews about Tumblr are negative. Users are often unhappy about the change in policies, wrongfully marking their content as adult or NSFW.

To be fair, a lot of the unfavorable comments concern the community, which is not really Tumblr’s fault. Well, not entirely, at least.

Tumblr Price

 

Just like Facebook and Instagram, this social media and microblogging tool comes absolutely free of charge. You just need to create an account and you start sharing your thoughts with the world.

Best For

 

  • Newbies
  • Personal blogs

Our Verdict

 

Tumblr can work for you if you are just looking for a place to share your thoughts and photos, maybe meet new people – but it’s far from the best blog sites. You are limited in content length, functionalities, and design opportunities. Still, Tumblr is accessible and easy-to-use, which makes it the preferred tool of many hobby bloggers.

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7. Ghost

Things we liked / disliked
  • Comprehensive editor
  • Mobile-accelerated pages
  • Suite of publishing tools
  • Options for content scheduling
  • Free SSL
  • Free CDN
  • Not very affordable
  • Limited support on entry plans
  • Hard to move away
Speed:

Fast

Integrations:

More than 70

Support:

Stellar

Ease of use:

Fairly straightforward

$29/month
Visit Ghost

Ghost is a state-of-the-art company, and you can tell that even from their backstory.

The company wasn’t born in a basement or a dorm room — it came to be after a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013.

Ghost boasts 1,639,422 downloads to date, powering small blogs to large organizations alike.

The company is set up as a non-profit, public organization, so it strongly values transparency. You can find regularly updated financial and accounting stats on the Ghost website.

Ghost Ease of Use

 

Ghost is a writers-oriented platform, so it comes with a bit of a learning curve. Unlike Blogger or Tumblr, where everything is clear and ready-to-go, you might have to spend a little time with this one.

Now, don’t get us wrong — Ghost is by no means a complicated platform that will quickly overwhelm you. It’s just not your ordinary drag-and-drop experience either.

Ghost makes up for that with advanced automation.

You get weekly updates, account backups, threat management — all taken care of by the provider.

Ghost Customization

 

Ghost provides a fully-managed solution and an open-source, downloadable app.

As you can imagine, the self-hosted software gives you much more in terms of customization.

Again, you have to know your way around such blog platforms to get full advantage of the editing options.

As for the name of your blog, you can choose between a ghost.io subdomain or one of your own.

The best part?

Whichever deal you pick — you remain the sole owner of your data, and you can transfer it anytime.

Ghost Plugins / Themes

 

You are free to integrate plugins and widgets with Ghost but there aren’t many to choose from out there. We found about 70 official apps you can add to your blog site to make it more appealing and user-friendly.

You can see many fan favorites here — Google Analytics, Youtube, Netflix, MailChimp, Slack, Twitter, Shopify.

Each plugin comes with a neat tutorial on how to integrate with Ghost.

However, the theme choices are pretty narrow. You have seven free templates and about 70 premium ones, with prices varying from $20 to $59.

Still, we enjoyed the designs, which look very slick and modern.

Ghost Monetization

 

One of the ways to make money off of Ghost is to use the plugin integration mentioned above. Set up your website with Google AdSense and start running ads on your blog in no time.

You can use affiliate links as well.

Create a button within your post, style it, and link it to your Amazon store.

It’s that easy!

Ghost User Reviews

 

  • Ghost ProductHunt score: 4.9 / 5 (69 reviews)
  • Ghost Capterra score: 4.8 / 5 (33 reviews)

If you ask existing customers, Ghost definitely deserves to compete for the best blogging platform in 2020.

Clients often mention the user-friendly UI, high configurability, and monetization opportunities in their praises. The support team is also held in high regard, always ready to jump in and clear any issues.

The limited API and higher prices for the managed version are often the main reasons for client discontent.

Ghost Pricing

 

  • Free 14-day trial
  • Basic — $29/mo*
  • Standard — $79/mo*
  • Business — $199/mo*
  • Enterprise — from $1,000/mo*

* Rate applied for yearly pre-payments.

You can try out Ghost for free for 14 days to see if it has what you need for your next blog.

Once it’s time to move to premium, you have a choice between four packages. The entry-level deal starts from $29/mo if prepaid yearly or $36/mo if you choose the month-to-month billing. This gets you access for two staff members, 100,000 monthly visits, a CDN, and an SSL certificate.

It’s a good deal, but the price might put off some of the smaller businesses with limited budgets.

Best For

 

  • Professionals
  • SMBs
  • Enterprise

Our Verdict

 

First-time bloggers might find it hard to start with Ghost. However, it is one of the best blog platforms for companies with more needs and a bigger writer’s team. The solution packs a robust feature set and applies enterprise-grade security to all accounts. An overall great platform…if you can afford it.

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8. TypePad

Things we liked / disliked
  • Unlimited storage on all plans
  • Rich template gallery
  • Theme builder
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Ad monetization
  • No free version
  • Lack of proprietary plugins
  • Entry plan quite limited
Speed:

Very fast

Integrations:

Over 40

Support:

Self-help center

Ease of use:

Simple and easy

$8.95/month
Visit TypePad

TypePad is owned by the Endurance International Group (EIG).

Yes, the same EIG, notorious for buying out hosting companies and turning them into soulless clones.

Initially launched in 2003, the blog service utilizes the Movable Type platform for its publishing editor and template architecture.

TypePad hosts an impressive company of prominent news blogs — BBC, Sky News, ABC, and MSNBC all rely on its impeccable services.

TypePad Ease of Use

First-time I tried TypePad, I hit an immediate bump — my Facebook login didn’t work.

Seeing as that was one of two options to get in my account, it wasn’t the best first impression.

Once inside, though, you have a plethora of options. The interface isn’t super stylish, but it doesn’t confuse you either. What’s more, you can drag and drop the page elements as you like.

You can also enjoy seamless access to thousands of blogs that you can add to your RSS feed in a matter of a few mouse clicks.

TypePad Customization

The TypePad website is rather simple and does not indicate how versatile the platform really is.

If you have some experience in coding, you can fully customize your CSS, create your own banners, change fonts, or modify themes.

Absolute power at your fingertips, literally.

All the popular blogging websites promote through social media, and so should you.

TypePad lets you integrate the platform with Facebook and Twitter or add ecommerce options to sell your goods.

TypePad Plugins / Themes

TypePad blog sites don’t enjoy the luxury of a proprietary plugin directory. Still, you can find some add-ons for Movable Type, the platform’s underlying technology.

Now, MT itself is not that flashy and remarkable, so you shouldn’t expect anything special.

It’s an entirely different ball game when it comes to design.

The highlight here is the Theme Builder, which lets you design your own TypePad template from scratch.

TypePad Monetization

I love TypePad’s laid-back attitude when it comes to monetizing with the platform:

“Make money, or not. Sell your products or services or run ads on your blog (or not).”

It’s like – do what you wanna do, bro, we don’t care.

You can run ads and include affiliate links on your TypePad blog as well as integrate it with Google Analytics for detailed visitor statistics.

Define your target audience and target them the right way — with your A-grade content.

TypePad User Reviews

  • TypePad Trustpilot score: 3.9 / 5 (3 reviews)
  • TypePad SiteJabber score: 3.7 / 5 (14 reviews)

Another sure sign that TypePad is keeping operations pretty small is the lack of recent client reviews. It was hard enough finding ANY client testimonials, but even them – none were dated after 2018. 

In such cases, regardless if they’re positive or negative, reviews can’t tell us much about the current state of any blog platform.

TypePad Pricing

  • Free 14-day trial
  • Plus — $8.95/mo
  • Unlimited — $14.95/mo
  • Premium — $29.95/mo
  • Enterprise — $49.95/mo

You don’t have to break the piggy bank to become a TypePad member. 

After checking out the free trial, you can continue on an $8.95/mo account with unlimited storage. Prices grow depending on your needs for business and ecommerce functionalities, but even the Enterprise deal is less than $50.

Update: It seems that TypePad has stopped accepting new customers at the moment and instead redirects users to its sister company – Bluehost.

Best For

  • Professionals
  • SMBs

Our Verdict

TypePad is touted by many to be the best blogging platform for publishers and media outlets. Maybe not the best, but it’s certainly out there. The platform is well-balanced, and the navigation is smooth. The advanced customization options and enhanced security appeals to the pros, but newbies will need some time to get used to the software.

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9. Medium

Things we liked / disliked
  • Large in-built audience
  • No setup required
  • No Medium ads
  • Clean interface
  • Republishing options
  • Only Medium subdomains available
  • Lacks freedom and control
  • Cannot do your own SEO
Speed:

Very fast

Integrations:

API

Support:

Self-help and email

Ease of use:

Clean & simple

$5/month
Visit Medium

Evan Williams is the brain behind the Medium blogging solution.

Yes, the same Evan Williams who co-founded Twitter and Blogger.

Medium first came out in mid-2012 as an online publishing platform that combines the work of both amateur writers and professional journalists.

This solution employs a Clap system where you can signify how much you liked an article by granting it multiple claps.

The more you get — the more people will see your content.

Medium Ease of Use

For what it’s worth, running a Medium blog is quite straightforward. There is no setup needed; you just sign up for the account, and once logged in, you can start creating your first article right away.

Medium’s account backend looks and feels suspiciously similar to LinkedIn’s.

You are starting on a completely blank canvas with only a couple of small buttons with extra options.

Simple yet not very attractive.

So can we do something about it?

Medium Customization

Short answer to the above question? No.

From the WYSIWYG editor, you can add images or videos, embed links, put line breakers

And that’s pretty much it.

Once you click the Publish button, the next screen will let you add a featured image and tags to your article.

Click Publish Now or Schedule Later.

Boom!

You’re ready!

No designing skills needed — Medium is a platform for writing websites, and people are here for what you say, not what you show.

Medium Plugins / Themes

The thing with Medium is — they push to maintain the status quo as much as possible.

Even with the few available plugins in their repository, you can only make minor tweaks that have little impact on the final result.

So you want to impress people more? Better do it with your content.

Medium Monetization

Medium is not very keen on monetization, as its members mostly benefit from traffic and exposure.

There is a way to make some money, though.

With Medium’s Partnership Program, you can monetize your writing efforts and climb the six-step ladder to success:

  • write good content
  • publish your compelling story
  • get recommended to relevant readers
  • earn from subscriptions and claps
  • enjoy monthly income
  • expand your audience

It’s certainly a lucrative deal to consider.

Medium User Reviews

  • Medium Trustpilot score: 1.8 / 5 (44 reviews)
  • Medium SiteJabber score: 4.0 / 5 (16 reviews)

Medium certainly won’t be one of the first names you’ll hear if you ask clients which is the best blog platform out there.

In fact, reviews from the past few months are predominantly negative, revealing problems with shady websites, annoying monetization efforts, and troubles logging in. Those are across-the-board issues, which means Medium has its work cut out for them.

Medium Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Membership — $5/mo (or $50/year)

Medium lets you use the platform completely free of charge, as long as you’re always logged in your account. Even readers have to have a free subscription in order to check out the entire articles.

The unlimited access to all Medium publications comes for a nominal fee – only $5/mo or $50 if you prepay the whole year in advance.

The price is peanuts, compared to many competitors, but still fair if we take the feature scarcity in mind.

Best For

  • Newbies
  • Personal blogs

Our Verdict

Medium has much less to offer compared to other free blog sites and surprisingly few options for customization. We are on the verge of 2020, and the platform struggles to keep pace. 

Still, the in-built audience and social journalism opportunities make it a fancied choice for aspiring writers who are looking for more exposure.

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10. Strikingly

Things we liked / disliked
  • Reliable and trustworthy solution
  • Build unlimited websites
  • Free domain name for the first year
  • Ecommerce options on all plans
  • SEO optimizations available
  • Detailed website analytics
  • Limited feature set
  • Strikingly ads on lower-tier packages
Speed:

Average

Integrations:

Some apps available

Support:

Excellent with guaranteed response times

Ease of use:

Extremely straightforward

$8/month
Visit Strikingly

Strikingly is a Chinese-based company with a mobile-first approach to building websites. 

The enterprise was founded in 2012 when it became the first Chinese business to graduate from the Y Combinator accelerator program.

Strikingly has come a long way since this great start and today offers a fully hosted platform with in-built SEO features, social media plugins, and branding options.

Strikingly Ease of Use

Strikingly can’t get easier for first-time users. 

Signing up takes no more than a minute, even less if you connect your Facebook account. Once logged in, it’s time to choose your template.

The possibilities are endless.

Hundreds of modern-looking templates, ready-made to suit popular blogs and various types of businesses.

The navigation is smooth, and the actual editing is a piece of cake. You can add new sections with a click of a button, and Strikingly even has some pre-made templates for popular choices – a blog, app store, social feed, and more.

Strikingly Customization

Strikingly makes it easy for the inexperienced user to feel like a designer and developer at once. 

You have a vast amount of options to tweak the color scheme, fonts, animations, buttons, and site sections

We managed to add an online store with the push of a button, and creating product listings was as clear as glass.

But Strikingly is not just a blogging platform for beginners. If you know what you’re doing, you can easily insert your own code in the header, footer, and HTML section of your pages. 

Backend code access seems to be the only thing missing.

Strikingly Plugins/Themes

There isn’t a single Strikingly repository with a list of all available plugins and integrations. Sure, you can find specific add-ons if you know what you’re looking for. The best we discovered was a source with about 60 widgets, neatly arranged in categories by purpose.

Some of the most notable ones are:

  • Social – Instagram Feed, Facebook Feed, Social Share Buttons
  • Ecommerce – Pricing Table, PayPal Button, Click to Call
  • Video – YouTube Gallery, Vimeo Gallery
  • Tools – Google Maps, Event Calendar, Photo Gallery

Things are looking impressive in the Blog Templates department as well. 

Strikingly offers over 100 free themes, and it only takes a single look to know you’re in good hands. The layouts look very fresh and modern, up-to-speed with the latest design standards.

Some templates have Advanced Style options, where you can refine your content width, padding, button shapes, and more.

Strikingly Monetization

There are numerous helpful tips concerning monetization on the Strikingly blog.

From what we’ve gathered, there are two ways to make money directly off of Strikingly – running ads and becoming an affiliate.

Google AdSense is ready to help with the former, while the latter lets you boost your earnings with 30% first-time revenue and monthly payout for each referred client.

Strikingly User Reviews

  • Strikingly Trustpilot score: 2.4 / 5 (14 reviews)
  • Strikingly G2.com score: 4.1 / 5 (31 reviews)

There aren’t lots of user reviews about Strikingly, but you can find some rather revealing comments. 

The software might’ve been the best blogging platform at some point, but most of the recent testimonials are not that flattering. Even customers on the higher-tiered plans seem to be running into frequent issues, and the support team is rarely able to help out.

Strikingly Pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Limited – from $8/mo
  • Pro – from $16/mo
  • VIP – from $49/mo

Strikingly will never push you for a sale – you can create some of the best free blog sites without paying a dime. 

Still, if you want more opportunities, the premium plans start from $8/mo and include 1 GB storage space, up to 50 GB bandwidth, and the option to connect your domain name

Default prices are shown with a yearly contract, but you can prepay for up to 5 years and secure an even bigger discount.

Best For

  • Startups
  • Inexperienced Users
  • Web Designers

Our Verdict

Strikingly is not just focused on simple blogging – the platform goes way beyond that.

You have a robust solution with advanced customization capabilities and a user-friendly interface. The web design options are particularly impressive, but even the pre-made templates are stylish enough to make your website appealing. 

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11. Jimdo

Things we liked / disliked
  • Beautiful and stylish designs
  • In-built SEO features
  • Easy template switching
  • Frequent updates and improvements
  • Free domain for the first year
  • Editing not very straightforward
  • Limited feature set
  • Sell products in EUR only
Speed:

Good

Integrations:

Gallery, live chat, social media

Support:

Helpful but difficult to contact

Ease of use:

Very simple and intuitive

$9/month
Visit Jimdo

Jimdo is a German blog builder that first opened shop in 2007.

The three high school friends, Fridtjof Detzne, Matthias Henze, and Christian Springub, have been building websites for years before giving control in the hands of the user.

Jimdo made a very successful move when GeoCities closed doors, luring its former clients with a tailored offer just for them. 

Today, a whopping 25+ million websites utilize Jimdo, a great sign the German provider is doing something right. 

Jimdo Ease of Use

Jimdo aims to ensure effortless blogging for beginners, and they are doing a pretty good job at it. 

Creating an account takes no more than a minute. You can even connect with a Facebook/Google account for quick login.

Jimdo is a simple drag-and-drop builder, but we still found the interface a bit too rudimentary and lagging at times. We’ve had unexpected errors while editing a couple of times. Although nothing serious, it was annoying not knowing what went wrong.

Jimdo Customization

As far as customizations go, Jimdo gives you all the basics. 

You can modify your style and background, add an online store, or activate a blog through the left-side menus.

But again – don’t expect any advanced options. 

The real power of Jimdo hides in the SEO options. You can easily manage URLs, metadata, and enable HTTPS connection. Plus, with the detailed audience statistics, you’ll always be informed of how users react to your content. 

Jimdo Plugins/Themes

Just like Strikingly, Jimdo does not have a proprietary app store or a unified source for plugins. Instead, you can search around and find different third-party add-ons, which you can then add to your blogging website via a code snippet. 

Forms, multimedia galleries, social media integrations, live chats – just some of the wonders you can do with a Jimdo plugin.

What about the themes you ask?

Jimdo starts you off with a selection of 15 templates and an additional 24 designs to pick while editing. They look clean and well-structured, but it’s still an unnecessary limitation, compared to similar tools like Wix or WordPress.com.

Jimdo Monetization

Making money off your Jimdo blog is possible through banners and integrations with tools like AdSense. But even in your own shop – you cannot just connect whatever payment gateway you want to use, PayPal is the only option.

Looking for an affiliate program? Well, not with Jimdo.

Jimdo User Reviews

  • Jimdo Trustpilot score: 3.7 / 5 (682 reviews)
  • Jimdo G2.com score: 4.3 / 5 (12 reviews)

Recent blog reviews about Jimdo online are fairly positive. Users seem to enjoy the ease of use and the additional support they get from the provider.

Digging a couple of months back, you can find an influx of bad reviews, but those seem to concern the change in pricing policies mainly.

Still, the Jimdo reps are very active and answer both positive and negative comments with the needed attention and care. 

Jimdo Pricing

  • Play – $0/mo
  • Start – $9/mo
  • Grow – $15/mo
  • Unlimited – $39/mo

You have four tiers of Jimdo website packages. 

On the free level, you get a Jimdo-tied subdomain with only 500 MB web space, 2 GB bandwidth, and the ability to create up to 5 pages

The Premium plans offer up to 10 times more resources, and the prices are quite reasonable. 

All prices are available with a yearly contract, but you can also opt-in for a biennial deal and shave a couple more dollars off your monthly bill.

Best For

  • Personal websites
  • Business websites
  • Portfolios

Our Verdict

Jimdo is a good competitor for the best blog platform, but still has some way to go to get there. The solution is good for beginners who are looking to learn site-building for themselves and smaller businesses that just need a page online. 

Lacks versatility and advanced controls.

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12. Gator Builder

Things we liked / disliked
  • Easy editor interface
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Free SSL
  • Detailed website analytics
  • $200 in ad vouchers
  • Too simplistic and limited
  • Poor support
Data centers

Provo, UT

Scalability

Limited

Support

Below-par

Customizability

Design options

$3.84/month
Visit Gator Builder

Unless this is your very first online experience, you’ve probably already heard of HostGator.

One of the biggest hosting providers to date, HG is powering millions of websites worldwide. The company offers the full specter of services – from shared hosting and cloud servers to reselling and domain names.

There is a service for all users looking for a quick and simple website – the Gator Builder.

Here is what you can get out of the tool.

Gator Builder Ease of Use

It’s a simple and straightforward blogging adventure with the Gator blog builder

The tool is more of a side service for HostGator, designed to serve people with no experience who just need to put up a quick page online.

The Gator Builder offers a drag-and-drop editor with simple, left-side menus.

Once logged in, you get a quick video tour, and then you’re off picking your initial design and filling your website with content. 

We’ve tried the basics – added some images, a video, created a blog – everything was working as intended. 

Again, we’ve seen better, but if you are looking for simplicity – this one is worth considering.

Gator Builder Customization

The best blogging platform is the one that gives you full control over customizations.

In that aspect, HostGator’s platform is very flexible and lets you go wild with page modifications. You can add all kinds of elements – buttons, multimedia, images, live feeds – vast possibilities await. 

The editing could use a bit of improvement, though.

Similar tools let you add new elements seamlessly, rearranging the whole page structure for a better view. The Gator Builder simply slaps the new component on top, overlapping your previous design. Sure, you can manually resize and reshape your sections, but why overcomplicate things when you can automate the process?  

Gator Builder Plugins/Themes

The Gator Builder is a proprietary tool for building blog sites, but HostGator’s ultimate goal is to switch you to their hosting. So you won’t find any add-ons or widgets for the platform – what you see is what you get. 

Want more? You have to switch to a CMS on a fully-hosted package.

The choice of templates is a bit limited as well. HostGator offers themes in five categories:

  • Ecommerce
  • Blog
  • Business
  • Portfolio
  • Technology

There are six templates in each section, so 30 in total. The designs are nothing spectacular, but still look stylish enough not to need any heavy customizations.

Gator Builder Monetization

HostGator is one of the largest web hosting providers, so you can be sure there is an affiliate program waiting if you want to bring more people in. 

You can also dip your toes in advertizing, add Google AdSense, and promote your content to reach a wider audience. 

Keep in mind the platform’s goal is simple blogging, so it’s not very suitable for making money.

Gator Builder User Reviews

The Gator Builder is not a standalone product, so you won’t be able to find more than a few client reviews online.

There are plenty of comments about HostGator, though.

The company is part of EIG, a large tech consortium with a rather questionable reputation in the industry. Clients are often disappointed with the performance on the overcrowded servers, and the support isn’t doing much to improve the situation.

Handle with care.

Gator Builder Pricing

  • Starter – from $3.93/mo
  • Premium – from $5.48/mo
  • Ecommerce – from $9.22/mo

There are no free plans or trials with HostGator – you have to make investments right from the get-go.

All premium packages come with a 50% discount for new customers, which means you can bring your price down to $3.93/mo for the Starter pack. Keep in mind that all advertized rates are tied to a 2-year prepayment. You can also pay monthly or yearly, but that lowers the initial discount. 

Not the most cost-effective solution in the long run, that’s for sure.

Best For

  • Beginner bloggers
  • Hobby projects
  • Small websites

Our Verdict

Apart from the platform, each HostGator plan includes web hosting, one-year domain name registration, and free SSL. All the essentials are there, and you can put up a page online in minutes.

The solution can offer you simplicity and freedom for customizations, but that comes at a price. If you are looking for a free or cheap blogging software, the Gator Builder might not be your best bet. 

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13. GoDaddy Website Builder Quick, Streamlined Site Building

Things we liked / disliked
  • Mobile-friendly pages
  • Free SSL certificate
  • AI-powered audience statistics
  • Low learning curve
  • Business email and phone free for one year
  • Free trial available
  • Limited web design layouts
  • Not very affordable
  • Lacks advanced customizability
Speed

Good

Integrations

Limited

Support

Rarely helpful

Ease of use

Great ease of use

What’s your first association when you hear the GoDaddy name?

Excellent domain registrar? True.

Biggest hosting provider out there? Correct.

SuperBowl commercials? You’re not wrong.

But very few people know that GoDaddy also has its own site-building tool. 

Is it any good? Let’s take a look.

GoDaddy Builder Ease of Use

The best blogging websites are often the simplest. 

Following that logic, GoDaddy’s website builder focuses on smooth navigation and comprehensive modification options. 

We’ve found the user interface quite easy-on-the-eye and did not have any notable glitches while editing our first pages.

GoDaddy Builder Customization

As with many similar tools, simplicity and advanced customizations don’t really mesh well on the GoDaddy platform.

Sure, you can mess around with the basics – adding images, adjusting font size, or even creating your own banners

But the GD builder is not a blog-only tool, so you can’t expect many specific features. There are no RSS feeds, and even the SEO perks are quite limited.

We can see the logic behind that – if you need something more advanced, there are always the fully-featured hosting accounts. Upgrading to one will grant you access to 150+ site and blog building tools.

GoDaddy Builder Plugins/Themes

You don’t need any third-party integrations when it comes to dealing with the GoDaddy Website Builder.

The provider ensured its solution is robust and reliable enough for first-time users to have a perfect experience without having to dig around for add-ons.

It’s a similar story in the Templates department.

GoDaddy comes with a good variety of in-built themes, which don’t need much customization to look like a finished product. 

If you want something more, though, you won’t be able to utilize any third-party resources.

GoDaddy Builder Monetization

GoDaddy does not limit your money-making efforts. On the contrary, the company blog even contains articles on how best to do that.

Some of the possible options here are:

  • Direct advertising
  • Selling products
  • Donation buttons
  • Membership areas
  • Affiliate marketing

So, if you aim to create popular blogs and monetize them afterward – the GoDaddy Website Builder might be worth checking out.

GoDaddy Builder User Reviews

Just like with the Gator Builder, GD doesn’t offer a standalone platform, so client reviews about the different services often overlap.

From what you can gather online, GoDaddy is far from a perfect hosting provider. 

The company is often pointed out as unreliable and poorly-supported and for a good reason too. Getting proper assistance out of GD operators is often a painful experience, and beginners often get the run-around. 

GoDaddy Builder Pricing

  • Basic – from $10/mo
  • Standard – from $15/mo
  • Premium – from $20/mo
  • Ecommerce – from $25/mo

GoDaddy’s plans are not affordable when you take the feature-cost ratio into account. Your cheapest option comes at $10/mo and available if prepaid annually

Still, GD doesn’t mind giving you a taste of what’s to come, with a 30-day free trial available on all plans. No credit card required – just log in, choose a site name and design, and start creating.

Best For

  • Small projects
  • Personal websites

Our Verdict

Whether we are talking about the best blog platforms or another type of web hosting service, GoDaddy will always be in the top ranks. The sheer scale of operations allows this provider to always expand and look for technological improvements.

Unfortunately, the support services are often below-par, and that takes a toll on client satisfaction.

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How to Choose a Blogging Platform?

Here is my advice.

Never rush into the first blogging software that catches your eye, no matter how great it looks. The future of your blog very much depends on your objective judgment, so be sure to do your research.

What to look for?

Here are some essentials that can really make a difference.

  • Interface — how a software feels and how easy it is to work with is a highly subjective matter. When it comes to user-friendliness, you have to trust your gut.
    Our list of best blog sites contains both free and premium blogging solutions. But even the paid ones have an option for a free trial, so you can test the waters before making the jump.
  • Features — you are looking for a one-stop-shop solution for your blog, so it’s imperative it has everything needed to look great and grow safely. Some platforms focus on simplicity, while others may look for optimized performance or strong defenses.
    The tricky part here is to determine what each feature does and how suitable it might be for your needs.
    I mean, why would you care about monetization options if you want to build a hobby website? Or about ecommerce optimizations if you are planning to host your portfolio?
    Focus on what’s essential for you and your website.
  • Support — customer assistance with hosted solutions is a bit different than its self-hosted counterparts. Hosting providers offer a wider-scale service, so they often complement it with 24/7 support via multiple channels.
    When it comes to blog platforms, you have to be much more independent. Live chat or a phone line is a rarity with such companies, so better get acquainted with the software beforehand.
    Check out the tutorial and knowledge base, the community forums.
    Is there enough information online?
    Is it comprehensive?
    How about video lessons?
    Look for anything that lets you get the feel of what you’re getting into.
  • Pricing model — the providers on this list cover the needs of clients of different sizes and, respectively, different budgets. Personal or hobby projects can take a pick from a variety of free blog platforms. Enterprises, on the other hand, look for reliability, scalability, and expert support, fully prepared to pay for that.

What about you?

Shortlisting the candidates that fit your budget is pretty much the same as choosing a web host. Check out the pricing, re-confirm the renewal fees, and only consider the services you can afford.

No point in window-shopping, there are plenty of choices to go around.

Conclusion

Whew, that was a lot to take, wasn’t it?

Looking back at it, the market for hosted site-builders is not so big after all. While there isn’t a single best blog platform, you can always find some choices ready to accommodate your project.

But when you look around some more, you will realize the same few companies pop up frequently.

It seems the self-hosted option on WordPress.org is so dominant that similar companies have a small market share.

So, will they figure a way out of this or remain content with the table scraps?

I am sure we’ll find out soon enough.

With the number of blogs out there, I am sure we’ll find out soon enough.

Common Questions about Blog Hosting

Which free blog platform is best?

There is no such thing as a “best free blogging platform” (or best premium solution for that matter). It doesn’t matter if the service comes for free or it costs hundreds per month — what’s important is that it works for you.

You can always check reviews around the Web or even ask a friend with practical experience. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to your personal needs. Create a free account or activate a trial period and test your potential choices before making a final decision.

Which is better — Blogger or WordPress?

Whether we are referring to the self-hosted version on WP.org or the hosted one on WP.com, we have some distinct differences with the free blogging solution by Google.

Blogger relies on simplicity and practicality for new users. You don’t even have to sign up or create anything as long as you have a Google account.

The focus on newbies takes its toll on functionality and control, so you don’t really have much to do in Blogger.

WordPress is a much more versatile platform with almost-endless possibilities. There is a bit of a learning curve for starters, but once you get the hang of it, you can modify your blog to the tiniest bits and pieces.

Is blogging worth it in 2020?

Why did you want to have a blog in the first place?

You wanted to have a lot of readers?

To get a point across?

Maybe make some money in the process?

Blogs are becoming increasingly popular, so there really aren’t many arguments against them. If you have the time and inspiration — go for it! But if you intend to monetize your blogging, you’ll have to put in much more effort than the average blogger.

Is Squarespace free?

You can test the Squarespace platform with a free 14-day trial, which gives you full access to all essential features. After that, you can choose to switch to a paid plan or search for site-building services elsewhere.

Should you decide to upgrade, you can select one of four options — Personal, Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce. The latter two are suitable for online shops.

How do I choose a platform for my blog?

The best blogging platform is the one that rises to meet all your challenges. Whether you are looking for advanced security or quick monetization — your solution should be in tune with your needs.

Keep a watchful eye out for the essentials — a rich set of features, excellent performance stats, enough extra assistance. Look for a solution you feel comfortable with and, of course, fitting your website budget.