In 2020, blogs are a major part of the internet. Whether it’s a business website or an eCommerce website, most people write blogs to drive traffic.
You can increase the sales through blogs as people trust more on blogs than on direct advertisements.
Moreover, it is not the only reason to start a blog. You may be passionate to write, it’s your hobby, you want exposure, or want to make money; starting a blog is a good decision anyway.
In this article, I’ve discussed the best websites to start a blog with. Some are free while others need a small investment.
On the other hand, you also have to compromise for certain things with a free blog but they are worth starting.
The 6 best websites to start a blog
Many website builders are out there with the help of which you can create a blog in no time. But, the 6 listed below are the most popular blogging platforms in the world that are used by millions of bloggers.
I’ve described everything you may need to know to choose the best website to start a blog.
In the presence of a lot of platforms, it is common to get confused about which one is best. Therefore, I’ve included a comparison table at the last that helps in deciding which one is better for you.
So, let’s get into the list of the top websites to start a blog with.
This is the best and most powerful blogging platform that powers more than 40% of websites (over 60 million) on the internet. It is an open-source software used as a Content Management System.
It was developed by WordPress Foundation in 2003 and is licensed under GNU General Public License.
WordPress is a self-hosted platform, which means it itself is installed/hosted on the server before using it. It has been written in PHP.
Many free and paid themes, as well as plugins, are available on WordPress to make any kind of website you want. Plugins are third-party apps used to add more features to a website. It has a library of more than 5 thousand themes.
Websites like blogs, media libraries, forums, membership sites, and eCommerce stores can be created with WordPress.
To use WordPress you need a domain and hosting. WordPress is then installed in the server from cPanel or FTP. Many web hosting provider gives the facility to install WordPress in just a few clicks.
A domain name costs around $10 a year and web hosting can be found as low as $3 a month. This is what you have to spend to use the most powerful website builder in the world.
For a non-technical person, starting with WordPress is a little difficult, but don’t worry we have a complete WordPress tutorial that guides you every step for building a website.
Using WordPress you can control everything on the front end of a website.
Pros of WordPress
- Search Engine friendly: You can also add different plugins that help you create Search Engine Optimized content.
- Themes can be edited: You can edit a complete theme on WordPress using the theme editor.
- Tons of Customization features: Using WordPress customizer you can change the design of your blog
- You have full control over your blog
- Multiple users like administrators, moderators, authors can be added
- A mobile app is also available for adding blogs and managing comments
- Many third-party apps can be integrated to add more functionality
- Support forums are available for any kinds of issues
Cons of WordPress
- A little bit of technical knowledge is necessary
- Need some time to learn WordPress for full productivity
- Have to pay extra money for plugins and themes to add more features, otherwise, knowledge of coding is needed
- You are responsible for the security, backup, and the maintenance of your blog
Methods of monetization for a WordPress blog
- Ads from different ad networks like Google AdSense, Media.net and other Google AdSense Alternatives.
- Creating a membership site
- Building an eCommerce site
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling courses and eBooks
How to start a blog with WordPress?
As I told, to start a blog with WordPress you need a domain and web hosting.
You can purchase a domain name from Godaddy, Public Domain Registration, Domain.com, Google Domains, etc. You can get web hosting from Bluehost, SiteGround, WP Engine, Namecheap, etc.
Then from the cPanel, you can install WordPress. Some provide the option to install WordPress while in other cases you’ve to do it manually.
To install WordPress manually go to WordPress.org and download it. Then, extract the files and upload them on the server using the web host’s file manager or FTP.
To log in to WordPress dashboard use this URL: http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/ from here you can manage the front end of your blog.
Visit the complete WordPress tutorial to learn more.
Who is WordPress for?
- who want complete control over their blog
- have plans to grow the blog and take it to the next level
- want to earn money from it
It is the oldest yet best blog publishing tool, owned by Google. Blogger is free to use and one of the most popular websites to start a blog.
The founder of Blogger is Pyra Labs but later in 2003, it was bought by Google.
To start a blog with Blogger you only need a Google account. Using an account, you can create up to 100 blogs. Your blog URL will look like http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/
It’s a subdomain actually, but you can also integrate your own custom domain after buying/registering from Google Domains or somewhere else.
What you have to do is just point the domain to Google using the name servers. The domain will be hosted for free on Google servers.
Blogger is available in more than 60 languages. It provides a feature to post blogs via email and also has an inbuilt feature for commenting on blog posts.
Many templates are available in the blogger to design your blog. Also, HTML of a theme can be edited for a custom design.
Adult content should not be published in any blogs on Blogger without marking as an adult, otherwise, they may be banned.
You will get 1GB of storage for images that can be expanded to 15GB via Google Drive. There is no limit on the number of posts and pages published from a blog.
Moreover, 100 members can be added to a blog to manage it.
It has inbuilt options to add Google ads on your blog and run Adword campaigns. Your blog needs to become eligible before running Google Ads on it.
Blogger is provided by Google for free to bind users in its ecosystem and increase the engagement with Google products.
If you are looking for a free option to start a blog, Blogger may be right for you.
Pros of Blogger
- Absolutely free to use
- 100 blogs can be created from a single Google account
- Free inbuilt SSL
- Custom name can be added
- No ads on your blog
- Google will take care of speed, security, and maintenance
- You can give 100% of your focus on content creation
Cons of Blogger
- Don’t have the latest features
- Fewer features in comparison to WordPress
- No customer support, only public forums
- HTML of the whole template is in single file, it’s a kind of headache to edit
- Your blog may be banned upon violation of any terms and conditions
- Less control over the blog
Methods of monetization
- Google Ads: built-in feature to add Google ads when eligible
- Affiliate marketing: affiliate links can be added on a blog and promoted through banners
How to start a blog with Blogger
To start a blog with Blogger you just have to create a Google account, the same you use for Gmail and YouTube, which you may already have.
It is very easy to start a blog with blogger.
Who is Blogger for?
Blogger is the best website to start a blog for:
- Short term projects
- Beginners who want to learn to blog before seriously get into it
- Those who want to start a hobby blog
- Those who don’t have any plans to grow their blog into a large website
It is not for:
- Making money from a blog
It is also one of the popular website builders that you can use to start your blog. Wix was founded in 2003 which uses simple drag and drop facility to build html5 and mobile sites.
If you don’t want to spend your time learning WordPress, Wix may be the best option for you. It is very easy to use, even a person with zero technical skills can build his/her website.
It also provides a free subdomain for those who want to create a blog without investing any money. The free domain will look like https://yoursite.wixsite.com/
To use a custom domain you’ve to upgrade to its paid plan.
Wix.com’s free sub-domain is best to try if you are planning to go with one of its premium plans.
You also don’t have to worry about security and backup, Wix will take care of it.
Its free plan has very few customization features and monetization options, with limited bandwidth and storage of 500MB. Also, there is Wix branding and advertising in the free blog. But, the higher plan you choose the more features you’ll get.
It has very simple and easy to use editor from where you can edit your webpages with live preview using drag and drop tool.
Wix ADI helps you to build webpages fast and easily.
Pros of Wix.com
- Free subdomain
- Easy to use
- It has a drag and drop feature to build webpages easily
- Wix will take care of security and backup
Cons of Wix
Cons for paid plans
- Fewer features than WordPress.org
- Comparatively expensive than WordPress.org
- A template cannot be changed once selected. If you want to change you’ll have to again go from scratch
Cons for the free plan
- Wix branding
- Wix may show ads on your blog without paying you
- Few or no options for monetization
- Not useful for business or eCommerce
- Hard to transfer blog
- A template cannot be changed once selected
For a free blog, there are almost no monetization options but with paid plans, you can use different methods. However, you don’t have much flexibility like WordPress.
Who Wix is for?
This is for
- Non-techy guys
- Those who don’t want to spend time learning WordPress
Related: Wix vs Squarespace
Medium is a blog publishing platform founded by Evan Williams (co-founder of Blogger and Twitter) in 2012. It is in between Blogger and Twitter, i.e. neither completely blogging platform like Blogger nor completely social network like Twitter.
It is a community of bloggers where anyone can sign up and start blogging. Medium has more than 60 million monthly readers.
And, more than 30 thousand stories/blogs are posted daily.
It is absolutely free to use in which you don’t need to focus on customization but on writing.
Many bloggers republish blog posts on Medium to drive traffic to their main blog. With Medium, you also have an opportunity to get familiar with other bloggers.
Pros of Medium
- Free to use
- Simple to use
- No need to focus on customization and security
- Opportunity to build a relationship with other bloggers
- Built-in audience
- Can be used to drive traffic to the main blog
Cons of Medium
- few or no monetizing options
- You don’t have control over your blog as all the content is on medium
- It’s not Search Engine Friendly
- Not for business or eCommerce
Methods of monetizing
It is more like a social network of bloggers, and it’s not Search Engine Friendly, so it possesses to have no or very fewer monetization options.
Starting a blog with Medium is not recommended if you want to make money from your blog.
Who is Medium for?
- For those who want to get social with other bloggers
- Those who only want to start a blog as a hobby, not for monetizing
Tumblr was founded in 2007 and currently owned by Automattic. It is a microblogging and social networking site.
Like Twitter, you can also follow other bloggers, like, comment and reblog others’ blogs on Tumblr.
Currently, more than 480 million blogs are hosted on Tumblr.
You can upload multimedia like videos and photos in your blog as well as add links. What’s more, the blog can be connected with Facebook and Twitter accounts. When you publish a blog on Tumblr it can be automatically tweeted or updated on Twitter and Facebook.
Moreover, the blog posts can be scheduled for publishing later. And, you can also use your own custom domain.
It also has a feature for messaging other bloggers you’re following. This is the hybrid of Blogger and Twitter.
Pros of Tumblr
- Free to use
- Works both as social networking and blogging site
- You can connect with other bloggers
- A custom domain can be used
- HTML of the blog template can be edited to get the desired design
- Inbuilt audience
Cons of Tumblr
- Cannot be used for business or eCommerce
- Comparatively fewer options for monetization
Methods of monetization
- Affiliate marketing
Who is Tumblr for?
- For those who want to get social with other bloggers
- As a hobby blog
- Those who don’t want advanced features of WordPress
WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org. WordPress.org is self-hosted while WordPress.com provides web hosting and website building.
It is founded in 2005 and owned by Automattic.
You can get a free subdomain if you want to try WordPress.com before upgrading, learn to blog or want a hobby blog. A free blog will have lots of limitations however, it can be used to learn blogging before seriously starting.
It has most of the features of WordPress.org in its premium plans. But, the same rule applies, the more you pay the more features you’ll get.
Most of the basic free themes of WordPress can be used to design your blog.
Unlike WordPress.org, WordPress.com will take care of the security, updates, and maintenance of your blog.
Pros of WordPress.com
- Free subdomain
- The blog will be maintained by WordPress.com
- Templates can be changed anytime you want
- Many third-party plugins can be integrated
Cons of WordPress.com
- Not as easy as Wix to use
- With free domain: WordPress.com branding and ads as well as no monetization options
- Almost no options for free blog
- Any method of monetizing can be used in premium plans but higher plans will have more features
Who is WordPress.com for?
- Those who want to start a free blog
- For those who want similar features as WordPress.org but don’t have time to learn it
Which is the best website to start a blog?
In my opinion, WordPress.org is the best blogging platform to start a blog because it has all the features to create any kind of website whether it’s a blog, an eCommerce website or a membership site.
However, it’s not that easy to build a website with WordPress, you may have to give some time learning it. Most of the time, you may need the coding skills, or else, you have to pay.
This is why many people prefer other blogging platforms to start a blog. So, I’ve compared all of the above sites to start a blog, which helps you choose the best one.
Table of comparison for blogging sites
|Price||$10 for domain per year|
Hosting starts at $3 a month
|Free||Starts at $12 per month||Free|
|Free||Starts at $48 per year|
|Monetization options||Any possible||Ads|
|Very few||Ads Affiliate Marketing||Free: None|
|Level of difficulty to learn||Hard||Easier||Eaasy||Easy||Easy||Medium|
|Customization features||10/10||6/10||Free: 5/10|
|Business website||Yes||No||Fre: No|
|Hosting transfer difficulty||Easier||Medium||Free: Harder|
|Control over blog||Full||No||Free: No|
|Customer Support||Forums||Public Forums||Phone||Email|
How to choose the best website to start a blog?
The answer depends on why you are starting a blog. If you are just starting to learn or it’s your hobby or anything that doesn’t need monetization and SEO, you can go for any of the free blogging platforms.
But, if you want to monetize your blog later to earn some money or you want a business website, then I suggest going with WordPress.org or any of the premium plans.
You won’t have full control over free blogs, and it is hard to grow.
Furthermore, study the table of the comparison above to choose the best one for you.
Learn more about other blogging platforms as well.
I described the best websites to start a blog. These are the dominating blogging platforms in the world.
Study the features of each of the above platforms then think why you are starting a blog. After all, WordPress.org is the best, it’s worth investing some time to learn. It doesn’t mean you’ve to learn everything at a time. First, learn how to start with WordPress than learn the basics and lastly learn how to customize/design a WordPress website. All the rest can be learned on the go when needed.
I hope this article was helpful.
What do you think which one is the best to start a blog? Let me know in the comments.
Lastly, don’t forget to share.