Blogging encompasses several benefits at a time. It lets you stay in touch with the target audience, create user communities based on their interests and topics, initiate discussions that attract user attention and take active part in them, thus, building customer trust.
Suppose, you’ve decided to launch a blog. One of the first questions you will be concerned with is the choice of the right web building tool. With such an extensive selection of these systems available in the modern web design market, it often proves to be not that easy to find the platform that covers the entire spectrum of your blogging needs.
This is especially true when it comes to first-timers, who are not proficient in all the blog-building nuances and, thus, frequently face multiple problems, while making the choice. What you should know is that you may choose between two popular options:
- The connection of a blog to the ready-made website;
- The launch and customization of a blog from scratch.
Thus, the choice of the web building tool will mostly depend upon the option you will go for.
In most cases, the second solution is more preferable for users, who have long-lasting web design aspirations and wish to avail multiple benefits at once. These include an opportunity to start a full-featured blogging website to provide all the required business-related information extra profit generation opportunities, a chance to find co-thinkers and initiate interesting discussions with them, promote your business and, finally, create a large professional blogging network.
If these are the goals you currently pursue, we are right about to recommend the best blogging systems that will definitely come up to your needs, requirements and expectations. Have a look at them now.
Which of these services works better for your individual blog building needs? Which of them prevails over its competitors in terms of ease of use and functionality? This depends upon your personal blog design aspirations, skills and other crucial nuances. To help you make the right choice, it’s high time to review each system in detail now.
WordPress – is the best free website builder for blogs. To be precise, this is the world-popular Content Management System, which is recognized as the leader of the blog building niche due to its strong blogging focus. The platform stands out from the crowd due to its extensive selection of integrable blogging plugins, niche templates and stunning design customization tools. What you should know, though, when using the system is that is also requires the knowledge of coding basics to give your newly-created blog high-end personalized design.
WordPress is better used in conjunction with Bluehost – the renowned leader of the web hosting industry. That’s no wonder as the CMS does not provide any hosting options by default. Bluehost is the official hosting recommended by WordPress, which can be installed in one click, offering amazing and powerful web design features. Thus, when you think of starting a WordPress blog, Bluehost should be the top hosting to go. The conjunction of these two systems ensures stunning result and high end performance of your project.
WordPress Blogging Features
- One-Click Installation. Installing WordPress is extremely easy and quick as well as subscribing to Bluehost.
- Gutenberg Editor. The latest WordPress version has introduced the advanced block-based Gutenberg Editor that allows placing and arranging content blocks to create unique blog interface with no special coding skills required (this has made website development much simplified).
- Safety and Affordability. Being the number one hosting, Bluehost offers inexpensive plans (the cheapest one will cost you $2.95/mo only), fast page load speed, security and flexibility, strong uptime rates, intuitive control panel, rich marketplace with lots of add-ons, applications and scripts, localized SEO strategies, integrated eCommerce features, strong anti-spam protection as well as apps for business projects or blogs.
If you have the experience of creating websites with WordPress, then building a blog with the system will definitely be a smart solution. The CMS is initially geared towards blog development. As a result, your chances to get a full-featured, well-designed, SEO-optimized and quality blog will notably increase.
Wix – is the best website builder with blog integration. What’s more, this is currently the renowned leader of the web design niche, which encompasses ease-of-use, convenience, intuitive web design approach and reasonable pricing policy. The system is the all-in-one solution that works well for the development of all types of websites. Blogs are not an exception.
The website builder comes with a powerful integrated blogging engine that allows creating, managing, updating and promoting full-featured and visually-appealing blogs. Apart from the rich feature set, such websites come with social account options, easy management tools, commenting options and other indisputable merits.
Wix Blogging Features
- Post Scheduling. It’s up to you to write, update and schedule blog posts based on your web design needs and plans – just point out the time, when you wish the upcoming post to be published and watch the result.
- Featured Posts Section. Apart from uploading new posts, you can refer them to the Featured Posts section and even add a tag cloud to assign a special priority degree to the highlighted content.
- Commenting Option. Wix makes it possible to embed the commenting option and even toggle Facebook comments to contribute to more effective user interaction and engagement rate.
- Integrated Hosting. There is no need to look for the third-party hosting to publish your blog – Wix comes with integrated hosting right from the start.
- Custom Feed Creation. You can make the required posts visible to the target audience by creating the custom feed.
- Blog Templates. Wix has a separate category of blog templates, where you can find a theme to comply with your blog focus and personal requirements. There are templates for personal, food & travel, news & business, arts, fashion & beauty, sports & wellness as well as podcast blogs here. All the available designs are free, mobile-ready and customizable by default.
If you have an intention to start a logically-structured and visually-appealing blog with worthy performance, then Wix is the best website builder to go for. You won’t have to invest much effort or money into this project, enjoying its feature set, design customization tools, blog-focused options and affordable pricing policy to come up to any budget. Wix is definitely worth using!
Blogger – is the best online blogging platform, which works great for starting high end blogs for personal and business use. This is the Google-based all-inclusive blog-focused system, which encompasses free nature, intuitive web design approach, quick accessibility and simplicity. The platform itself was created in the 1990s and has already become the service for the development of thousands of free websites. To some extent, it has unveiled the new, simplified approach to the process of blog creation, having made it intuitive, easy, quick and convenient for first-time users and for web design pros.
Blogger Blogging Features
- RSS and Comments Supported. The website comes with RSS support and commenting option enabled, which is a must for all quality blogs.
- Google Integration. Being the Google product, Blogger is integrated with the rest of its products, staying within Google ecosystem. That’s a notable bonus for all users, who have a Google account. If you don’t have the one – you won’t be able to use Blogger at all.
- Blog Design Customization. As a hosted blogging platform, Blogger lets you create and customize a blog with regard to your needs. CSS and HTML editing is supported here and you can also customize individual blog elements, embed images and media files, add links to external resources, set up blog background, color palette and what not – your options are almost unlimited here.
- Post Adding and Editing. You can create, add and share the unlimited number of posts with Blogger. It’s also possible to edit and update them any time of the day.
Judging by the name of the website, Blogger is created exclusively for blogging. That’s all you need to know about that. The platform is quite easy to use for everyone and you don’t have to be an expert to launch websites with it. The website comes with a nice feature set exclusively geared towards blog development and promotion.
Squarespace – is a smart blogging SaaS platform, which has an extensive array of applications for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The use of the website builder does not require deep coding proficiency yet it still may take some effort and time to explore and master it. The software offers a range of design customization tools to set up and manage feature-rich blogging projects.
Squarespace Blogging Features
- Blog Templates. The website builder does not have a rich collection of themes yet you can find dozens of templates designed with a blogging focus in mind. You can sort out the designs by categories, but the system can also recommend you the best project matches. All the templates are customizable, free and responsive by default.
- Unfold App. The software lets you download and use the advanced Unfold App to create and post impressive stories in social networks. This contributes to the efficacy of the blogging process, establishing better communication with the target audience.
- Style Editor. Regardless of the project type you work on, Squarespace lets you pick and add the required pages types and customize the settings that refer to your website. This is where you can add blog pages, event pages, cover pages and more.
- Logo Maker. Whatever type of blog project you run, you will be able to design and integrate a unique logo into it. This will give your website a touch of personalization, driving user attention to it.
- Image Management Options. With Squarespace, it is now possible to integrate and adjust various types of images. The system comes with drag-and-drop image adjustment options, responsive image loading, Lightbox presentation, image SEO and metadata importing, automatic image scaling, Content Delivery Network availability, Getty Images integration, image uploading from external resources, image focal point control, Adobe Image editor and other image-related settings that can give your blog outstanding design.
If you have an intention to run a quality blog, using Squarespace is a good idea. The website builder comes with extensive website customization, social media sharing and blogging features. They make it possible for beginners and web design pros to launch blogs for personal and business use.
uCoz – is a 100% free website builder for bloggers, which has gained worldwide popularity due to the abundance of features and tools needed for quality project design customization. The system is module-based, which allows picking and arranging content blocks to form website structure and provide the required content. It takes time to master the system as it implies a certain degree of coding awareness, especially if you intend to start a full-featured blog.
uCoz Blogging Features
- Blog Connection. The website builder makes it possible to pick, integrate and customize a special blog module. It is available in the settings section, where you can select it and set as the homepage for your blogging website.
- Blog Customization. To give your new blog appealing design and high end functionality, you are allowed to choose a suitable template, adjust display features, set up news feed functionality and design, add and update separate materials and blog categories, select general characteristics for images you plan to add to your blog posts etc.
- Functionality Set Up. Apart from design customization, uCoz makes it possible to enable email comment notifications, post rating feature, customer reviews addition as well as choose the most suitable content presentation format and the number of posts that will be visible on your website pages.
- Blog Security. uCoz takes care of your website security and blogs launched with the system are not an exception. The website builder comes with the automated backup system, which creates your blog copy by default to prevent the potential loss of the submitted content. If something unexpected happens to the published info, you will be able to restore the blog version that was automatically saved. Additionally, the platform comes with an integrated antivirus system that lets you scan your blog files to make sure they don’t threaten your website safety.
uCoz is a well-known website builder, which works great for blog development yet still requires coding awareness. This is what makes the system ill-suited for beginners. However, a bit of your time and effort investment will help you start a full-featured blog with uCoz that will cover the entire spectrum of your web design and community needs without compromising the budget factor.
SITE123 – is the all-in-one website builder, which stands out from the crowd due to its impressive simplicity, availability of free themes and initial focus on the needs of beginners. Due to the built-in WYSIWYG editor, everyone can master the system and build projects with it, regardless of the available coding skills and web design background. The software ensures intuitive and simple navigation, which does not compromise with advanced integrated functionality.
SITE123 Blogging Features
- Quality Blog Templates. The website builder has a separate category of templates for blog creation. All the designs have a quality look and all of them are free, responsive and customizable by default. If you can’t find a theme in the available collection, you can pick a blank template to create a unique blogging project from scratch.
- Commenting System. The platform comes with a good commenting system, which makes it possible to share comments under the blog posts and initiate discussions with other members. Likewise, it is possible to connect Facebook commenting or Disqus systems to manage user replies.
- RSS Feeds. To let users follow blog updates, the software allows generating RSS feeds so that the readers could track new posts.
- Multilingual Support. With SITE123, you can create blogs in several language versions with regard to your current objectives. The feature lets you target users from abroad, thus, increasing your blog traffic.
- Logo Maker. SITE123 offers a set of logo tools that let users design logos and add them to their blogs to increase their visibility. These include website logo size slider, font size, header size adjustment options, cropping tool, pick logo style and more.
SITE123 is a simple yet feature-rich website builder that can be used for blog creation. Targeting all user categories it has a collection of blog-related tools in stock. There is also a list of blog templates to choose from as well as a multilingual support feature here. The pricing policy is also more than affordable to fit any budget.
7. IM Creator
IM Creator – is a SaaS website builder, which is completely free for non-profit projects. This means that you can start a personal blog at no cost here. This is one of the undeniable highlights of the software. The platform is quite easy to use even for beginners due to its understandable drag-and-drop editor, availability of responsive themes and integrations.
IM Creator Blogging Features
- Versatile News Feed Structure. The website builder allows choosing from 5 variants of the news feed structure that look quite appealing and understandable. Each variant has a title, description and a full publication button. You can insert videos and other related content in the corresponding field.
- Mobile-Ready Themes. The system offers a collection of mobile-ready themes. There is no separate category with blog templates here, but you can actually pick any other design or a blank theme to create a new blog project from scratch.
- Integrations. With IM Creator, you can select and integrate social media files/buttons and other extensions into your blog. There is also a nice collection of the stripes “widgets” category, which lets you pick and integrate versatile plugins like OpenTable reservation form, PDF viewer, Google event schedule list, SoundCloud audio player, Facebook comments and many more.
- Multilingual Blogs. Due to the multilingual support feature, IM Creator lets you create blogs in different language versions to target international readers.
When it comes to blog development/customization, using IM Creator definitely makes sense. Along with an extensive list of blog-related tools and features, the system offers a completely free plan for the creation of non-profit projects, including personal blogs. That’s exactly what most users are looking for.
Weebly – is one of the easiest online blog builders, which comes with a distinctive feature set and a bundle of tools needed to start and successfully manage quality projects. The system was initially created with blogging purposes in mind, but it later availed strong eCommerce focus. Thus, it is now used both for blog development and web store creation. The website builder stands out from the crowd due to its integrated drag-and-drop editor, abundance of design customization tools and high end flexibility that contribute to smooth and seamless blog creation and management.
Weebly Blogging Features
- Easy Blog Creation. As far as Weebly was initially used with blog development purposes, it’s quite easy to set it up and configure the major parameters. It takes around several minutes to pick a suitable template and create the required layout, making use of the integrated and intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
- Free Blog Templates. Weebly comes with an extensive collection of responsive and customizable blog templates, all of which are free. The website builder additionally guarantees free hosting and fast page load speed to provide users with freedom of choice and creative expression.
- Weebly Promote Tool. The website builder grants access to the powerful Promote tool that allows to quickly and efficiently promote your business/blog on the web. This is the all-in-one pack comprised of multiple tools that ensure quality email marketing approach and rich choice of email templates, promo newsletters, event/product introduction features, bulletins etc.
- Video Hosting. Weebly now boasts two types of video integration options that allow uploading and publishing videos in addition to the blog posts. The first one is YouTube integration that lets you pick and insert videos from YouTube. The second option is manual video uploading and free hosting.
Weebly is a professional web-based blog building platform, which comes with a distinctive, powerful and flexible set of tools and features geared for blog development and promotion. The website builder grants access to the broad range of elements, integrations and customization options, which ensure quality results in the long run.
Medium – is an online publishing website to create a free blog. The system sees its mission in helping users express their compelling ideas, knowledge, thoughts and perspectives via creating informative blog posts. Medium is absolutely free for everyone and its takes a couple of minutes to post an article in the corresponding topic. The platform taps into the brains of thinkers, writers and devoted storytellers, who intend to bring their smart ideas to the target audience, revealing the topics that really matter to them.
Medium Blogging Features
- WYSIWYG Experience. The platform provides the utmost WYSIWYG user interface to write articles based on one template that allows for the freedom of choice and grants access to lots of design customization tools for appealing text formatting, link adding, style choice and other parameters you can configure in the visual mode.
- Integration and Text Editing Options. Apart from the extensive post editing options and settings, the platform makes it possible to integrate photo and video files to ensure the best reading experience.
- Social Media Sharing Options. As soon as the material is written and published, you can recommend or share it the social networks the system offers. It’s laos possible to rate and “like” the materials to effectively promote them.
- Multiple Contributors. When working with Medium, you can cooperate with several authors, who are given the right to make edits in the texts, upload and integrate media files, add keywords, shorten the URLs and adjust post settings. It’s also possible to save the texts in the draft mode until they are completely ready for the publication.
- Post Scheduling Feature. The system allows scheduling the time of post publication after it is written. This is convenient, if you have the blog update plan and wish to add new articles on a regular basis, irrespective of your current plans and availability.
- Change/Edits Tracker. The platform allows revising the edits that have been made in the article before its publication. It is easy to track all the changes made in the article, especially if you share text editing rights with other authors.
Medium is a quality and professional platform, which can be used for blogging purposes. The system grants access to multiple storytelling features, text editing tools and options, SEO parameters and post publishing options that ensure the unsurpassed blog building experience.
Tumblr – is a feature-laden platform, which makes it possible to start all kinds of interactive, informative and multimedia-rich blogs at no cost at all. Apart from multimedia file integration, the system lets you post and share info from your social channels. All these actions can be made in a single dashboard, which notably saves your effort and time, ensuring perfect result. Such blog building approach allows creating and managing multiple accounts, controlling the posts you upload and update.
Tumblr Blogging Features
- Different Blog Types. Tumblr supports the upload of different blog/text types, including storytelling, sharing ideas, thoughts, opinions etc. It’s also possible to share links, media files and even quotations here. This helps make your blogs informative and visually-appealing.
- Commenting Option. The system allows enabling/disabling user comments while posting chat discussions and ordinary posts. It’s also possible to mark and follow the posts shared by other users and have them displayed in their account dashboards. If you wish, you can make your blog private or restrict user access capabilities to specified readers only.
- Upload of Various Multimedia Files. To make your posts and blogs attraction-grabbing and interactive, you can share your images and videos, add GIFs, TV series, links, jokes, Spotify feeds, stories, audio files, art and fashion news, charts, infographics, quotations, chats etc.
- Social Media Sharing Options. Blog owners can share their blogs via integrated social media channels to provide greater exposure of published posts to the target audience.
- Tumblr Queue Feature. The option makes it possible to schedule your posts by weeks, days and even hours. This means that you can write the post in advance, save it as a draft for future and then publish it when needed. This makes it possible to regularly update your blog, even if you are away for a certain time interval.
- HTML Editing Allowed. The platform lets your edit HTML codes to enable users customize their blog design and display parameters in a unique and one-of-a-kind way.
- Messaging and Inbox Features. These options allow blog owners and their readers exchange information, send questions and inquiries to each other and just chat in the real time mode. What’s more, it is possible to send anonymous messages to other bloggers, if needed.
Tumblr is quite a feature-laden and free web-hosted service, which is absolutely free for everyone. The system allows creating different blog types, uploading and integrating various elements, media files, tools and features. The service offers blog post scheduling option, HTML editing feature and regular article updates to keep users informed and interested in the topic.
How to Choose a Platform for My Blog?
If you are currently in the search of the best blogging platform and cannot figure out which service works better for your blog building needs, there are a few things to consider. Prior to diving into the list of popular blogging platforms and exploring their features, you should distinctly realize what exactly you expect from a service you will choose. This, correspondingly, is closely related with the objectives you pursue, when deciding to start a blog.
Other aspects to be taken into account include the complexity of the platform you are planning to work with, your coding/web design background (if needed) and the result you wish to avail in the long run. Finally, it’s crucial to understand right from the start what kind of blog exactly you intend to launch and how frequently you plan to update it. The more often you plan to add and manage new posts, the more flexible and simple the platform should be.
And one more thing: don’t forget about the pricing aspect – it doesn’t make sense to pay much for a standard blog, if you are a first-timer, who is just about to explore new web design opportunities. These are only a few nuances you have to consider, when choosing the right platform for your blogging website.
What Is the Best Site to Start a Blog for Free?
It’s close to impossible to pick the best website that will come up to the needs of all users at a time. Much depends upon the issues listed above as well as upon the proficiency level of a user.
A web designer, who is just exploring the industry basics, should limit the choice to those systems, which are easy-to-use, intuitive and convenient. Some of the best examples here are Blogger, Medium, Tumblr and, of course, Wix. Such platforms do not require any coding skills to create personalized blog design and they also offer slight learning curve to help you get started with ease. They also offer free and paid blog building options to provide creative freedom and extensive web design options.
In case you are a skilled web designer willing to start a full-featured and informative blog, then you may think about using a more complicated system like WordPress CMS, for example. This is where you will find plenty of web design opportunities, advanced customization tools, variety of integration options and high end blog management and promotion perspectives. Wix will also be a great pick for a professional web designer. This is the website builder, the feature set and design customization options of which work great for blog development. The system comes with its own integrated blogging engine, which lets you design a full-featured blog with ease.
So, weigh your web design skills and objectives as well as all the pros and cons of the systems you are interested in to make the choice you’ll be absolutely satisfied with.
How to Make a Blog Look Professional?
A good blog has a number of must-have features that matter for each blogger, reflect the author’s personality and serve as a handy visual tool to drive traffic to the website. Prior to proceeding to the development of your blogging website, take your time to explore the most crucial features a blog should provide to come up to your needs, expectations and requirements. Here they go:
- Functionality and Design Customization Freedom – A full-featured blog should come with multiple tools and parameters that can cover the extensive variety of blog building needs. This concerns both website performance, irts visual appeal as well as text editing options. It is a user, who should be able to edit text fonts, sizes, styles, article backgrounds, adjust formatting settings to give a project personalized look and high end functionality;
- Catchy Content Presentation – It’s no secret that “Content is the King” and blog building is exactly about catchy content presentation. The more appealing and trendy your website content is and the more quality and niche-related information it provides, the more professional it will be;
- Slight Learning Curve – Blog building should not be difficult at all. Instead, it should be available and affordable to beginners, who are just exploring the niche and wish to make their blog a success. Blogs should be easy to create and manage and they should also be intuitive enough to be understood by everyone, irrespective of the web design background a user has;
- Fast Loading Speed – It’s quite understandable that the faster the blog loads, the higher user retention rate will be. No one wants to wait until the content is displayed well enough to be viewable and distinct. This is what makes the choice of reliable hosting important;
- Regular Updates – To make your blog popular and professional, you should obligatory update it on a regular basis, providing recent information related to your area of specialization. If you underestimate the importance of this aspect, your traffic flow will soon decrease just because your users won’t be able to find fresh information they are interested in and will have to switch to your competitors;
- Visual Effect Matter – To give your blog trendy, stylish and professional look, make sure to add visual effects to each and every post. These include images and videos, audio files, GIFs, animations, infographics, polls and all those elements that encourage users for active blog browsing;
- Share Options – If you aim at building user base, make your blog easy to share. This will make it possible for users, who are genuinely interested in your blog posts and content in general, share it with other co-thinkers (friends, colleagues, acquaintances, relatives, enthusiasts etc.) via social accounts or other shareable links you will provide.
The popularity of blogging keeps growing with every passing year as well as the number of bloggers. For most users, who have made up their minds to join the “blogger community”, the choice of the most suitable platform to get started frequently becomes a challenge.
WordPress, Wix, Medium, Blogger and Tumblr are those services that will help you launch and manage a full-featured and informative blog with ease. These systems are the best in the niche due to their advanced blog building, customization, management and promotion options.
The final choice of the best blog development platform, however, should be based upon the type and specialization of the project you wish to set up, the industry you specialize in, the goals you set, the result you expect to avail in the long run and, of course, the budget you are ready to invest into the project. That is exactly why, the choice of a suitable platform that will help you complete all these tasks matters a lot.
Which service works best for your web building needs? This depends on your individual blog development aspirations as well as on other above listed nuances. Anyway, consider all the options reviewed in the post to pick the solution that works best for you.