What are the best free blogging sites for new bloggers? Are you looking to start a blog but you aren’t sure what is the best site to use for blogging?
For new bloggers, it can be difficult to know what blogging platform to use for blogging. It’s understandable. We’ve been there and we know how challenging it can be to choose the right site for your blog and that’s why we have prepared this tell-all guide to help you make an informed choice from the beginning of your blogging journey.
According to internet live stats, there are more than 600 million blogs out of 1.7 billion websites worldwide. That means the competition in the blogging world is fierce that for you to stand out, you need to get blogging right from the start. Getting it right from the word go involves picking a good domain name, starting your blog on the right platform, and choosing the best hosting provider.
Unfortunately, there are many open-source and free blog platforms to choose from out there.
So, how do you know which blogging site is the best one for you?
First, you need to research carefully to make sure you aren’t starting a blog on the wrong blog site, but what if you don’t have the time to do the research?
Don’t worry- you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done hours of research and pulled out these best blogging platforms to help you determine the suitable one for your blog. We have also mentioned the pros and cons of each platform.
But before that, let’s understand the basics.
Types of Free Blogging Platforms
When choosing the best platform for your blog, you will likely choose from the following platforms:
The free blogging site- A free blogging site is suitable for beginner bloggers. With this type of blogging platform, your blog name will appear in this form- blogname.nameofthebloggingsite.com. For instance, if you choose WordPress, your blog name will be blogname.wordpress.com.
Self-hosted- With this type of blogging platform, you have the free reign to run a blog on your own domain. Self-hosted blogging platforms are usually open-source and free.
Freemium blogging site- A freemium content management system offers you a free trial for a given period then start paying after the period elapses. TypePad is one of the popular premium/freemium content management platforms.
Blog/website builder- This is a platform that allows you to create a blog or website using templates. It’s designed with drag and drop features to simplify your blog/website design work.
Equipped with that information, let’s take a look at the best free blogging sites for your blog or website.
Our number one recommendation of the best free blogging sites is WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress.
For a new blogger, the two versions of WordPress: WordPres.org and WordPress.com can be confusing. Ideally, this is the WordPress software. It’s free software and open-source content management system that you can install on your own server.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a blogging site within the WordPress.org software where you create an account and design a blog or website right away. The two versions of WordPress are owned by Automattic.
Currently, 35% of the internet is powered by WordPress. Besides, each day, 661 WordPress sites are created.
WordPress.org is free to use but you will need a domain name and web hosting to start your blog.
With WordPress.org, you can install plugins, change your HTML code. You also have full control over your site.
It’s currently the most popular blogging platform as it allows you to create your blog or website fast and with ease.
Who is WordPress.org Designed for?
WordPress.org is suitable for all types of bloggers with different blog budgets as well. If you are looking to own your blog 100% then this would make the best blogging site for you. You do not need to be tech-savvy to use this platform.
- Access to thousands of free themes and plugins
- It’s open-source and free to use
- It’s a search engine friendly blogging site with plenty of customization options.
- You own your blog and the content 100%.
- It’s easy to use.
- You must buy web hosting and domain
- It has a learning curve before you understand how to manage your own blog/site.
- WordPress is also prone to security threats.
Even if you are just getting started with blogging, you must have heard of WordPress. But as mentioned above, the two versions of WordPress can be confusing.
We’ve talked about WordPress.org as our #1 choice among the best free blogging sites, and now let’s take a look at the other version- WordPress.com.
WordPress.com is also another best blogging platform with over 50 million users on the internet.
The platform is easy to use and you don’t need to download any software. You just sign up and start creating your blog or website. Well, WordPress.com has some restrictions in that you only have 3GB of space and your blog will show some ads. Also, you will be restricted to use yourname.wordpress.com as your domain. You can upgrade to the premium plan for $99 per year or chose the business plan for $299 per year with unlimited space.
Who is WordPress.com Designed for?
WordPress.com is a good content management system for someone who is just getting started with blogging. If you aren’t concerned with monetizing your blog or you plan to upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog in the future then this would make the best option for you.
- Easy to use- no coding or design skills required.
- Plenty of free themes to choose from
- Free to use although you will be limited to a WordPress.com domain.
- No setup required
- You do not have full control over your blog.
- No space for customizations
- The free plan is limiting
Another powerful platform for blogging that has been around for many years (approximately 21 years now since it was launched by Pyra Labs) is Blogger, a product that was acquired by Google in 2003 but it was founded in 1999. You must have seen it on almost every list of the best blogging sites out there.
If you are looking to test the blogging waters, Blogger would make a suitable option for you. When you use this platform for your blog, you also access tools such as Google Analytics, AdSense, etc. Well, this site isn’t as flexible as WordPress.org though but it allows you to create a blog within minutes.
You can monetize your blog with ads, although it doesn’t allow you to customize your blog fully.
Who is Blogger Designed For?
Blogger offers a quick and easy way to create a blog hence making it suitable for non-tech-savvy users.
If you are looking for a free platform to start your hobby blog and learn the blogging ropes, Blogger would make the best option for you.
- Blogger is a free blogging site.
- It’s easy to use- suitable for non-tech-savvy users.
- Offers some customization options
- You may monetize your blog with AdSense ads.
- Lack of frequent updates or new features
- Fewer templates available
- Google can suspend your blog without warning.
Wix is the best website builder with blogging features and is suitable for businesses. The platform was founded in 2006 and allows users to create sites without coding- you just use the drag and drop features available on the platform.
Wix is currently being used by more than 150 million people in 190 countries worldwide.
The platform has eCommerce functions so you can build your online store within minutes, although the free plan doesn’t allow you to control your ecommerce store 100%.
Wix has free hosting included with plenty of free and premium themes and templates for a wide range of purposes including blogging.
To create your blog on Wix, you just need to sign up or fill a form and the Wix AI will take care of the rest.
The good thing about Wix is that it allows you to add multiple elements to your blog including menus, forms, multimedia widgets, etc. Once you are sure setup is complete, click Publish and start blogging right away.
Who is Wix Designed for?
If you are looking to start a blog for free without having to worry about security, hosting backups, etc. then Wix is for you. You don’t have to be tech-savvy. But if you are looking to monetize your blog or customize your blog fully, the free version of Wix isn’t for you.
- Easy to create a blog- no coding required.
- Easy to use website/blog builder
- 20GB storage space.
- You get access to plenty of great templates
- Drag and drop tools allow you to create your blog within minutes.
- Not search engine friendly
- The free plan has limited features
- Limited customization options.
Weebly is also top-rated among the best free blogging sites out there. The hosted blogging platform was built with eCommerce in mind and is easy to use- you just use the drag and drop feature to create a professional-looking blog.
The platform allows you to monetize your site as well. To get more features, you will need to upgrade to their premium plans though.
To use Weebly for serious blogging, you will also need to buy a domain name otherwise the free plan has five custom pages, up to 500MB storage, subdomain, and space for ads.
The blogging site is said to have been started as a college project at the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Pennsylvania State University but has now become one of the best free blogging platforms out there.
Currently, more than 40 million websites are run on Weebly. It is beginner-friendly so you can build your blog within minutes.
You just need to choose your desired theme, edit text blocks, add videos, sliders, galleries, etc. Creating new pages, selecting color schemes and adding navigation menus is simple- just select elements in the builder.
The good thing about Weebly is that it can make amazing websites and ecommerce stores.
Who is Weebly Suited for?
If you are looking for a beginner-friendly website builder with blogging capabilities then Weebly would make the best option for you. Weebly allows you to blog and sell on the platform. No coding is required.
- Easy to set up a blog
- Comes with a handful of SEO options
- Easy to use- You just drag and drop elements
- Plenty of templates to choose from
- The free plan lacks advanced features
- It does not allow full control over your blog
- It does not allow full customization outside the plugins provided.
Medium is yet another amazing blogging platform used by writers, journalists, and bloggers all over the world. More than 60 million users visit Medium each month.
Medium is an easy-to-use blogging site although it has limited social networking capabilities.
The platform was launched in 2012 but is currently one of the best blogging sites due to its minimalist style.
Although Medium allows users to share blog content, it’s much like a social networking platform where one can create an account and start posting articles right away.
Medium has a partner program where you are paid for writing as long as your articles are engaging. The downside of Medium is that if you don’t follow the site’s rules and regulations, your account will be brought down together with all of your audience.
Who Is Medium Designed For?
If you are looking for a platform to express your thoughts and views without spending money on hosting and domain names then Medium is for you. Medium has a huge community and can help you find your voice as a new blogger or writer.
If you are looking for a platform to blog like a professional blogger choose another platform.
- Free to use.
- Easy to use- no coding required.
- It allows you to connect with a community of bloggers and writers.
- You can make money on Medium.
- Lack of customization options.
- Single monetization option.
- When you lose your blog you lose your audience.
- No ideal for professional sites.
Tumblr, also known as Tumbler is a free microblogging site that was founded in 2007 as a social network but was later bought by Yahoo in 2013 and was recently acquired by Automattic– the company that’s beyond the creation on WordPress.
Similar to Medium, Tumblr is both a blogging platform and a social network. It is easy to use but not suitable for creating long-form content.
Tumblr allows users to share infographics, pictures, links, videos, etc.
Who Should Use Tumblr?
Tumblr is more of a social network than a blogging site and that’s why it’s called a microblogging platform and is preferred by the younger generation between 18 and 29 years.
If you are looking to quick and short content but you don’t have the time to run your own site then Tumblr is for you.
In short, Tumblr is a suitable platform for casual bloggers who want to share visual content.
- Easy to use.
- It has plenty of themes to choose from.
- It has integrated social media features.
- It allows users to share visual content fast.
- It is free to use.
- Not suitable for text-based content.
- Not optimized for SEO.
- Monetizing isn’t easy.
Although Joomla has a smaller community, it’s an open-source content management system like WordPress.
The platform has plenty of different designs so you can any type of blog using the available templates. You will need to buy a domain name and hosting to use Joomla if you are looking to blog professionally though. You can also customize your blog with the available themes and extensions.
Who is Joomla Best For?
Joomla is for you if you are looking to start a simple personal blog.
- Plenty of themes and amazing templates to choose from.
- It is a flexible blogging site.
- It’s not suitable for serious blogging.
Ghost is another free open-source content management system with features meant for writing blog posts.
Ghost was launched in 2013 as a hosted platform but it is currently downloadable as software that you can install and host yourself.
With Ghost, you can upgrade and pay around $29 to $299 per month if you want to get into serious blogging.
Who Can Use Ghost?
If you are looking for a simple blogging site with a modern vibe then look no further than Ghost.
Similar to WordPress, Ghost is downloaded for free as software although you will need to buy web hosting.
- Designed for bloggers and writers.
- It’s an open-source content management system.
- It has a clean user interface.
- No setup required.
- It is super fast.
- Insufficient themes.
- Not suitable for serious bloggers and writers.
- Lack of free hosting service.
Best Free Blogging Sites in 2020- How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform
Now, even though we’ve talked about the best blogging sites, it can still be difficult for someone new to blogging to choose a suitable platform given that all of them work almost the same.
Ideally, you want a blogging platform that’s right for you and your needs but not one that’s featured in the list of the “Best of”
So, how do you pick the best out of the best?
Always put the following criteria into consideration when choosing the best blogging platform.
User-friendliness- Although most blog builders are made with beginners in mind, not all are easy to use as they claim. Always make sure you choose a platform with a short learning curve, one that does not require coding or technical skills.
Monetization options- Although not all platforms offer monetization options, if you are looking to make money with your blog, it would be better to choose one that can allow you to do that if you want to.
Features- Well, many free platforms don’t offer plenty of features but you can get them when you upgrade to their premium plans. If you intend to get into serious blogging in the future, it’s good to choose one that will offer you those features.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform/site or content management system is a type of software that enables you to create a blog and publish your content on the internet.
If you are planning to get into blogging, your first step is to choose a CMS that will make your content management a breeze.
What is the best blogging platform?
Many blogging platforms are coming up each day but none has outshined WordPress.org so far. In fact, if you upgrade to the self-hosted version of WordPress, you get full control over your blog and content. You also get access to thousands of themes and plugins.
How do you create a free blog?
Creating a blog for free is easy with the free blogging platforms we have mentioned above. You don’t need coding skills to create a blog.
Blog vs a Website: What’s the difference?
A blog is an online platform with content updated regularly. Bloggers can write about topics they like and are passionate about.
However, a website is a platform that shares information about something (products, services, etc.).
Can you transfer a blog from one platform to another?
Yes, it is possible to move a blog from one platform to another although sometimes it can be difficult with some platforms. That’s why we recommend choosing the right blogging site from the onset of your blogging.
What is the Best Blogging Site?
We’ve talked about many platforms in our list of the best blogging sites but according to our experience and the research we conducted, none of the platforms listed above can outshine WordPress.org.
It is the most flexible blogging platform, easy to use and you can build any type of blog or website on it.
If you liked our article, please help another blogger out there by sharing it on your social networks and don’t forget to leave a comment below.
If you have a question or concern, we would like to hear that in the comment section as well.