When starting a new blog, you will need to make plenty of stylistic and technical decisions. The most important of those is probably the choice of the platform which you will be using. In this article, we will give you the full rundown on how to choose the best blogging platform for you and go through some of the best and most popular options.
Things that can influence your choice of platform
Some people choose their blogging platform seemingly at random, while others go with whatever looks nice to them. If you don’t like making life decisions by throwing darts at the wall, here are some factors you should consider when choosing your blogging platform:
- What is your budget?
We are going to start the list with a hot topic. How much money are you willing to spend on your blog? Keep in mind that some free options are available, which are perfectly fine. However, spending a bit of money can give you access to additional features and quality of life improvements. Many people choose to start a new blog on a budget, so you won’t be the only one looking for wallet-friendly alternatives. Even if you decide to pay a subscription, you will be able to find many affordable entry options available. It is entirely possible to start with a cheap subscription and just dip your toes in the water.
- How tech–savvy are you?
Be realistic about your technical skills and how much you want to improve them, and you will find that trying to choose the best blogging platform for you is a lot simpler. Ask yourself if you are ready to do a lot of tweaking and managing how the blog looks, or do you just want a place to post a few lines of text and be done with it. If you are a beginner, you might not need to have plenty of advanced options, so you can go ahead and pick a platform that is easier to use. On the other hand, if you are a perfectionist or someone who is eager to learn, you might appreciate the customization options that more complex platforms can offer.
- What types of blog posts will you usually create?
To be fair, if you are a beginner, you might not have an answer to this question. In that case, we recommend that you start slow and experiment with blogging and different types of posts. You can even create a test blog and use that to figure out what format works best for you. Obviously, certain platforms are better suited for some types of posts. Deciding on the type of content you’ll be posting is an excellent way to choose the best blogging platform for you. Figure out if you want to have guest posts or complex reviews that can enable user ratings. If your posts will have video material, see which platform gives you the most options for embedding videos.
- Do you need hosting?
Some blogging platforms will also provide hosting options. You’ll definitely need a place to hold the content you plan to create. Paid subscription models can also give you the choice of domain name, if that’s important to you. We have already reviewed a few affordable options like SparrowHost, and we’ve made a direct comparison of cheap hosting options in India like ProHosty and HeroHosty. Simple, text-oriented blogs shouldn’t give you headaches when choosing a hosting service. More complex blogs with plenty of pages and high-resolution images might require additional storage. You can decide on the hosting service depending on the available storage and loading speeds they provide.
- How will you reach your audience?
People decide to run a blog for various reasons, from connecting to others and sharing their experiences to making money. However, even if you plan to set up a blog as a hobby and post just for fun, you will still need to find a way to reach your audience. If no one can find what you are writing about, what’s the point of uploading it to the internet anyway? After you decide on what topic you will be writing about, you can use keyword research tools to improve your SEO and reach more users. Posting on social networks is also a great way to spread the word about your blog, but even there, you need to pay attention to trending keywords.
Here are some of the best blogging platforms
If you have gone through our list and know what your specific needs are, it will be easy to choose the best blogging platform for you.
- WordPress.org is probably the most popular blogging platform out there. It’s free, but you will need a domain and hosting. There are numerous plugins that you can use to customize the look of your blog. Due to its popularity, there are plenty of guides and support available. However, you’ll need to maintain the blog on your own, which may not be the easiest option for beginners.
- WordPress.com is an alternative to the .org version, created by one of that platform’s co-founders. WordPress.com is free to use, and while it has fewer options, it is also easier to use, making it an excellent choice for beginners and those seeking basic blogging services.
- Squarespace.com can be used to create entire websites through the use of built-in templates and editor options. This is a blessing and a boon at the same time since everything you need is there, and you don’t even need to leave the website. On the downside, the customization features are somewhat limited.
- Web.com is another website builder that offers a built-in blog section. The drag-and-drop interface is simple to use and requires very little technical skill to create great-looking blogs. While not free to use, the starting prices are affordable.
- Blogger is a free service that is provided by Google, meaning that you’ll need a Gmail account which will be good for 100 blogs. Besides being free, it’s also easy to use and has some basic options, meaning it’s another good option for beginners.
As you have seen, choosing the best blogging platform for you can depend on many things. Besides deciding what your blog will be about, you’ll need to consider your technical proficiency and desire to customize the features of your blog. The budget you have to work with can also dictate your available options; thankfully, there are many free platforms, so go ahead and start blogging.