8 Best Blogging Platforms

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The best blogs start with the best blogging platforms! We’ve researched the eight best website builders for blogs to help you succeed online. Compare pricing and features side by side in our helpful chart, then learn more about each blog website builder’s pros and cons in our reviews.

To be a writer, you need a pen and paper, a dose of courage and a flair for words. But if you want to be a writer online, you can add a great blogging platform to the list.

Stacks of blogging tools exist to help you write online and attract an audience. The challenge is to sift through the trash to find a tool that can cater to your blogging needs.

That’s why in this guide we’re focusing on the eight best blogging platforms. In our research we not only tested these platforms ourselves and analyzed their features, prices, and more – we got other, everyday people to test them out too.

Let’s find your best blog website builder. Our top picks are:

  1. Squarespace best website builder for blogging.
  2. Wix perfect for combining a blog with a website.
  3. Weebly good choice for a very basic blog.
  4. WordPress.com best for built-in blogging tools.
  5. Duda expensive, but offers a lot for the design-conscious.
  6. Site123 best if you need a helping hand.
  7. WordPress.org powered by Bluehost best for control and customization.
  8. Jimdo quickest to build.

Squarespace came out on top. Its stunning templates and high quality images make it perfect for blogging, but it isn’t for everyone. If you want a blog and a website, Wix is the ideal platform. If you want maximum power and growth potential, WordPress.org powered by Bluehost is a great choice. 

We’re proud of our research process, because not many sites can say they’ve carried out such rigorous testing before making recommendations. We’ve also tailor our research process based on the type of website users want to build.

We talked to bloggers and found out which features are most important to them, using their insights to guide our research process. We still investigated all our usual categories, but we placed more weight on the main blogging areas we discovered mattered most to bloggers, which include:

  • Ease of use – how easy it is to upload, categorize, publish, and share blog posts?
  • Key blogging features – for example archives, comment management, scheduled sharing, search features, and analytics.
  • Pricing – how expensive is it to publish a blog? Can you build for free?
  • Design – does the platform have blogging specific templates? And do they look good?

These areas affected the final rating of each builder the most, and we tested each builder ourselves to see how well they met the above criteria.

It’s an in-depth process – it’s not just a question of whether a platform allows users to leave comments on your blog, for example. Instead we have a list of questions to determine how much functionality each platform provides. For example, for comments we may ask:

  • Can you manage the comments settings, such as turning them off or on again?
  • Can you create members-only commenting?
  • Can you monitor comments before approving them?

In short, we look at how well each platform delivers these features rather than just ticking a box yes or no.

In addition to this blogging-focused research, we also tested the usual areas we explore when rating website builders:

  • Design flexibility
  • Ease of use
  • Value for money
  • Feature quality
  • Help and support
  • Customer satisfaction

When testing ease of use and customer satisfaction, we always get groups of everyday people to test the builders out and give us feedback on how they found using the blogging platform. We then analyze this feedback to better understand customers’ experiences. For example, we ask them if they liked the builder, what they enjoyed about using it, what they didn’t like, and so on to gain a real-life picture of the platform’s qualities.

The ratings you’ll see in this article are based on each builder’s blogging capabilities, and performance in our general website builder research areas.

Compare the 8 Best Blog Website Builders

Start by selecting which blogging platforms you want to compare in the table below using the arrow at the top of the chart. Then compare ratings, pricing, features, and more side-by-side to help you choose the best blog website builder for you.

0 out of 0
Overall Rating
Our overall ratings are based on the average score of all ratings combined.
Starting from
Publish for Free
Storage Space
Archive
Comments
Search Feature
Analytics
Scheduled Posts
Design Flexibility
Ease of Use
squarespace logo
wix logo
weebly logo
wordpress logo
duda logo
site123 logo
wordpress logo
jimdo logo

Squarespace

Wix

Weebly

WordPress.com

Duda

Site123

WordPress.org

Jimdo

4.7
4.6
4.3
4.2
4.1
3.7
3.6
3.6

$12

$14

$6

$4

$14

$12.8

$2.95

$9

NO

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

Unlimited

500MB+

500MB+

3GB+

Unlimited

500MB+

5GB+

2GB+

YES

NO

YES

YES

NO

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

4.4
4.3
3.9
2.4
4.4
3.3
2.2
2.3
3.5
4.3
3.5
3.3
4.1
4.0
3.3
3.7

What do all of these features mean?

  • An archive lets readers find even your oldest posts with ease
  • comments section allows people to interact with your content
  • The search feature makes it easy to find a specific post within your blog
  • Analytics features allow you to track your blog’s performance over time.
  • Scheduled posts let you set a time and date to publish your content.

We’ve included the price of the cheapest paid plan for each builder in the table, but if you’re looking to save as much as possible, it’s worth noting that Wix, Weebly, WordPress.com, and Site123 all have free plans. However, if you want to start a blog on a free plan, you’ll have to sacrifice some key tools, such as custom domain names and ad-free pages.

When it comes to finding the right blogging platform, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Read on to find the right platform for you.

#1. Squarespace

Best website builder for blogging

$12 – $40 per month, billed annually

Editor's Choice

Squarespace

Best website builder for blogging

Outstanding

4.7

out of 5
  • Best blogging features
  • Beautiful blog designs
  • Save 10% with code WBE

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $12 - $46 / month

Pros

  • 113 stunning, customizable templates
  • Tons of creative freedom over your blog
  • Best blogging features and powerful SEO

Cons

  • Limited number of plans to choose from
  • Can take a while to get to grips with
  • No free plan
Read Review

Squarespace is the best blogging website builder available. Its stunning designs make for beautiful posts, and its powerful SEO tools can help you get your content in front of tons of readers.

Blogging Features: 4.6/5

Squarespace scored strongly for features in our user testing. With this builder, you can:

  • Display blogging categories
  • Allow comments
  • Add an RSS Feed

Squarespace’s blogging features are strong, and they’ve gotten even stronger in recent years. It used to be that on their cheapest paid plan, you were limited to just 20 pages. Now that cap has been lifted entirely. Squarespace also offers powerful SEO tools that can help your blog posts attract an audience. If you’re a total SEO beginner, it may take a little while to get comfortable with these tools – but Squarespace offers in-depth SEO guides to help you get started!

Design: 4.4/5

Squarespace is well known for its stunning templates, and they’re part of the reason why this platform is number one for blogging.

You can browse free and paid templates by industry and select one that suits your blog’s needs. There are even 6 templates to choose from that have been designed specifically for blogs. Squarespace has taken great care with how your content is laid out on its templates. The designs are top-of-the-range and features like grid layout and 3D scrolling can give your blog a unique look and feel.

At times it feels like blog-building from the future!

Pricing: 3.7/5

Squarespace’s $12/month Personal plan is its cheapest pricing plan, and offers plenty of scalable features. The Personal plan will give you everything you need to start blogging. If you ever want to monetize your blog, then you’ll need to upgrade to the $18/month Business plan.

Squarespace also has two specialized ecommerce plans, but these are designed for online stores rather than blogs. Here’s a quick look at all of Squarespace’s plans, billed annually:

  • Personal: $12/month – best for new blogs
  • Business: $18/month – best for growing blogs and monetizing content
  • Basic Commerce: $26/month – designed for small online stores
  • Advanced Commerce: $40/month – designed for larger online stores

Although Squarespace doesn’t come with a free plan, it does start every plan with a 14-day free trial so you can test it out yourself risk-free.

Squarespace’s plans aren’t the cheapest on this list – but Squarespace scores higher for value for money than cheaper builders like Site123 and Jimdo. With Squarespace, you’re really paying for a premium service!

Get 10% Off Any Squarespace Plan

Ready to give Squarespace a go? We have an exclusive offer code for our readers that will save you 10% on the cost of any Squarespace plan! To redeem this discount, simply enter the offer code ‘WBE‘ at checkout.
Click to copy code
Go to Squarespace

Are you a student? Squarespace offers students 50% off any plan with a valid academic email address (Terms and Conditions apply).

squarespace logo

Do You Want a Beautiful Blog?

Squarespace can’t be beaten for its stunning designs and visual templates. If you need looks as well as features, this is worth a try!

#2. Wix

Perfect for combining your blog with a website

$14 – $49 per month, billed annually (free plan also available)

Wix

Perfect for combining your blog with a website

Excellent

4.6

out of 5
  • Easiest platform to use
  • You can publish for free
  • Endless creative freedom

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $14 - $56 / month

Pros

  • Create a whole website including a blog
  • Easy, beginner-friendly editor
  • Ideal for long-term growth

Cons

  • Lacks features – no archive or RSS feed
  • Cheapest plan is pricey at $14/month
  • Lacks storage, especially on cheap plans
Read Review

Wix is an intuitive site builder that lets you integrate a blog at the click of a button. It’s easy to use and comes packed with features. Plus, Wix makes it simple to integrate your blog with a fully fledged website.

Blogging Features: 4.1/5

Wix offers:

  • Analytics, so you can track your blog’s performance
  • Comments sections, so readers can engage with your content
  • Social bookmarking, so readers can easily revisit your blog
  • Search feature to help both you and your users make the most of your blog

Plus, Wix is also strong on mobile. Updating your blog on mobile is a painless experience. Think about this if you’re someone who travels a lot and plans to blog on the move.

However, you can’t create an archive in Wix’s blogging tool, and you can’t add an RSS feed – which makes it more difficult to update content.

Design: 4.3/5

When it comes to blog design, Wix has a great selection of stunning and up-to-date templates for you to choose from.

Wix has recently upgraded its content editor. Along with all the existing features, you can now:

  • Personalize image galleries
  • Add captions and links to images
  • Insert videos from YouTube or Vimeo

The rich editor in Wix makes you feel like you’re crafting your blog with the finest materials. Powerful customization is made simple.

Pricing: 4.3/5

You can launch a blog with your Wix site on any plan, from the Free plan upwards. However, to connect your domain name you’ll need to sign up to the $14/month Combo plan. This will also enable you to get rid of Wix ads. We’d recommend upgrading to a paid Wix plan. It’s a small price to pay to make your blog look professional.

The more professional your blog, the more readers will trust you. Think about it. When you go into a book shop, would you pick up a book that had adverts stuck all over the front cover and different authors’ names on it? Probably not!

For this reason, we recommend the Combo or Unlimited plan for building your blog. Here’s a full list of Wix’s website plans, all billed annually:

  • Free plan: $0/month – adverts displayed on your blog
  • Combo plan: $14/month – perfect for small but professional blogs
  • Unlimited plan: $18/month – generous features for growing your blog
  • Pro plan: $23/month – best for fully branded blogs
  • VIP plan: $39/month – suitable for large business blogs

If you want to monetize your blog, check out its ecommerce plans too:

  • Business Basic plan: $23/month – this is the plan we recommend if you want to accept payments through your blog
  • Business Unlimited plan: $27/month – cheapest plan to sell subscriptions
  • Business VIP plan: $49/month – designed for very large stores, not suitable for most bloggers
logo-wix-100x100

Does Wix Sound Like Your Winner?

Wix is great for combining a website with your blog. Explore its features, templates, and more to see if it’s right for you!

#3. Weebly

Good choice for a very basic blog

$6 – $26 per month, billed annually (free plan also available)

Weebly

Good choice for a very basic blog

Very Good

4.3

out of 5
  • Best value blog platform
  • Simple editing tools
  • Popular with our users

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $6 - $29 / month

Pros

  • Received best customer score from users
  • Great range of blogging features
  • Cheap plans offer great value for money

Cons

  • Limited customization options
  • Less opportunity for long-term growth
  • Editing tools could be more intuitive
Read Review

Weebly is one of the best blog website builders because of how simple it is to use. To add a blog to your website and populate it with great content, all you have to do is point and click with its intuitive drag-and-drop editor.

Blogging Features: 4.2/5

With Weebly, you can build a website and add a blog page without touching any code. Weebly will take care of all the technical heavy lifting in the background, and make sure your blog loads quickly and is accessible to readers.

Weebly also offers an impressive number of blogging features. This is a big reason why it earns a 4.2/5 in the “features” category of our blogging research.

Check out the tools Weebly offers:

  • Detailed analytics on your blog’s performance
  • An easy-access archive
  • Comments section
  • Social bookmarking to help your blog go viral

Scheduled publishing is super easy in Weebly. You can set your blog to go live at a certain time. So if you write your blog during the day, but Weebly analytics tells you your readers engage in the evening, you can delay publication until then.

Design: 3.3/5

Weebly’s drag-and-drop website themes are extremely easy to design, which means you’ll be able to get an organized blog up and running quickly with no technical headaches. All of Weebly’s themes are mobile responsive, so anyone can read your blog on-the-go, too.

However, you won’t have as much design freedom with Weebly as you would with some more advanced builders. Weebly’s templates are pretty structured, so you won’t have as much control over layouts and color schemes as you would with builders like Squarespace and Wix.

Pricing: 4.5/5

Creating a blog is possible on any of Weebly’s pricing plans, which start at the Free plan and go up to the $26/month Performance plan for online stores:

  • Free plan: $0 – adverts on your blog, but you can monetize from day one!
  • Personal: $6/month – still have adverts, but connect a custom domain
  • Professional: $12/month – remove adverts for a professional looking blog
  • Performance: $26/month – designed to support larger online stores, not blogs  

If you’re creating a personal or hobby blog, then we recommend jumping on the $6/month Personal plan. This comes with the same features as the free plan, with the added bonus of letting you connect your own custom domain, to give your site a more professional image.

However, to remove Weebly adverts from your blog you’ll need to upgrade to the $12/month Professional plan.

This is the plan we recommend to most Weebly users, as it offers awesome features and great value for money. For $12/month you can say hello to features such as unlimited storage, a free domain, and password protected pages – perfect for releasing exclusive content to your subscribers!

The Professional plan is the best choice for bloggers wanting to create a blog that’ll be taken seriously by its readers – rather than seen as a “just for fun” or short-term project.

On the whole, we suggest that bloggers steer clear of both the free plan and the most expensive Performance plan, as neither are tailored to suit bloggers’ needs.

weebly logo

Do You Need a Blog Quickly?

Weebly is ideal for building a blog quickly and easily, and even throws in a great range of solid blogging tools. Try it for free!

#4. WordPress.com

Best for built-in blogging tools

$4 – $45 per month, billed annually (free plan also available)

WordPress.com

Best for built-in blogging tools

Very Good

4.2

out of 5
  • Built purely for blogging
  • More advanced platform
  • Coding skills are helpful

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $4 - $45 / month

Pros

  • Powerful built-in blogging tools
  • Easier version of the CMS WordPress.org
  • Cheapest starting price at $4/month

Cons

  • Not user-friendly for beginners
  • Not as powerful as WordPress.org
  • Lack of customization for non-coders
Read Review

WordPress.com is a blog hosting service from the same company that’s behind WordPress.org.

It’s free to launch your blog on WordPress.com, but you have to pay for extra features like storage and your own domain name. Like Wix and Weebly, to remove the WordPress.com logo you need to upgrade to one of WordPress.com’s paid plans, which start from $4 a month.

Blogging Features: 4.5/5

Here’s a snapshot of the key WordPress.com features that make it one of the best blogging platforms:

  • Mobile-optimized themes make your blog look great on all devices.
  • Technical upkeep managed, including software updates, hosting and domain registration.
  • Modern site design.
  • Advanced analytics to help you find out what your readers like.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com

At this point, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

In a nutshell, WordPress.com is the fully-hosted version that takes care of the technical side of your blog. The way it works is more similar to Wix or Weebly than WordPress.org. With WordPress.org, you sacrifice ease of use to gain access to the code and get greater customization options. For more on the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, visit our WordPress Review.

Design: 2.4/5

WordPress.com set up is fast and the platform is straightforward to get to grips with. On the downside, customization opportunities are limited – especially when compared to WordPress.org. You can’t edit the code and you don’t have complete control over your blog.

There is, however, more scope for extensive customization of your blog with WordPress.com. This is because Premium blogs include custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). CSS is a coding language and having the freedom to alter it means you can make really comprehensive changes to your blog. Bear this in mind if you have long-term ambitions for your blog.

Great customization potential, plus hosting and technical upkeep, make WordPress.com a great middle ground between WordPress.org and drag-and-drop website builders. It’s perfect for you if you don’t want to get your hands dirty with the mechanical side of running a blog, but are worried a builder like Wix may feel limiting in the long run.

Pricing: 4.3/5

With a 4.3/5, WordPress.com ranks third in our blogging research for value for money, second only to Weebly and Wix. Here’s a quick look at its price plans, all billed annually:

  • Free plan: $0/month – adverts on your blog
  • Personal plan: $4/month – remove adverts and monetize your blog
  • Premium plan: $8/month – advanced social, analytics, and customization tools
  • Business plan: $25/month – remove all WordPress.com branding, unlock business tools
  • eCommerce plan: $45/month – suitable for online stores rather than blogs

You can blog on WordPress.com’s free plan, but in order to really get started with a custom domain and an ad-free site, we recommend you start with the Personal plan for $4/month. The Personal plan also comes with access to email and live chat support, which isn’t available on the free version.

wordpress.com logo

Is WordPress.com Your Favorite So Far?

WordPress.com has powerful blogging tools without the technical demands of WordPress.org. Plus, it’s free!

#5. Duda

Expensive, but offers a lot for the design-conscious

$14 – $44 per month, billed annually

Duda

Expensive, but offers a lot for the design-conscious

Very Good

4.1

out of 5
  • Design-focused platform
  • Basic blogging tools
  • Poor value for money

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $14 - $59 / month

Pros

  • Creative guidance via structured designs
  • Easily build cool in-house widgets
  • Drag-and-drop tools make editing easy

Cons

  • Expensive plans lack value for money
  • Not enough scalability for larger blogs
  • No blog archive or comments section
Read Review

Duda is a design-focused website builder that demands no technical skill – think of it as a less powerful version of Squarespace. Its variety of stylish templates and excellent ease of use make it a good choice for starting a blog quickly, but you won’t get many standout features for the price. In fact, Duda only scores 1.4/5 in our research for value for money!

Blogging Features: 3.8/5

When it comes to blogging features, Duda has the basic necessities covered – it includes:

  • Display categories
  • Social bookmarking
  • Search functions
  • RSS feeds

Duda also offers site stats and analytics, so you can easily keep track of everything from the number of visitors you get to which pages they’re viewing.

However, Duda is lacking in two very central blogging features: it doesn’t offer an archive or a comments section, two gaps that make it significantly harder for visitors to interact with your posts.

Design: 4.4/5

Duda offers 98 beautifully designed templates, all of which are built so that your blog displays seamlessly across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices (and you can preview these views before choosing a template). You can choose between pre-filled templates or templates with a little more design freedom, so the creative aspect is only as involved as you want it to be.

All of the edits you make to your template will happen directly on-screen – meaning you won’t be sent to a confusing new window every time you want to make small changes!

With a 4.1/5, Duda comes second only to Wix in the ease of use category of our blogging research, and its drag-and-drop templates are a huge reason why. This ease of use does come with certain limits on your design freedom, but if you’re not much of a tech whiz, then you probably won’t mind Duda’s lower level of customization when compared to builders like Squarespace.

Pricing: 1.4/5

Pricing is one of Duda’s weaker areas. Duda offers a 14-day free trial, but it doesn’t have a free plan after that:

  • Basic plan: $14/month, billed annually – best for a small blog run by one person
  • Team plan: $22/month, billed annually – better support, and team collaboration tools
  • Agency plan: $44/month, billed annually – unlock a widget builder to create personalized content

Duda’s Basic plan is the cheapest option at $14/month. This can be a decent price or slightly expensive, depending on what you get for your money. With Duda, you won’t get as much scalability or as many features as you would with Wix or Squarespace – both of which offer blog comments and more customizable templates on their slightly cheaper starting plans.

duda logo

Interested in Duda's easy design?

This builder is a great starting place for creatives, and you can test out Duda’s templates risk-free with a 14-day free trial.

#6. SITE123

Best if you need a helping hand

$12.80 – $34.80 per month, billed annually (free plan also available)

Site123

Best if you need a helping hand

Good

3.7

out of 5
  • Brilliant live chat help
  • Very limited features
  • Dated template designs

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $12.8 - $41 / month

Pros

  • 24/7 live chat perfect for nervous users
  • Design-assistance makes setup very fast
  • Suitable for small, personal blogs

Cons

  • Dated designs and clunky, limited editor
  • Poor quality features, no archive tool
  • Paid plans expensive for what they offer
Read Review

Site123 is a very basic builder, so not ideal for serious or complex blogging sites, but it is intuitive and easy to get the hang of while you get started. You get a brilliant live chat feature, making it perfect for beginners who are a bit nervous or need that extra level of support.

Blogging Features: 3.1/5

SITE123 is only suitable for small, personal blogs. You get tons of features included, but it leans towards quantity over quality. That said, here’s a few features you can expect from SITE123:

  • Blog specific templates
  • Comments system
  • Blog post scheduling
  • RSS
  • Comment reply tool
  • Comment auto-confirmation
  • Social media integration

Apart from the built-in blogging tools, you also get access to the SITE123 App Market. This gives you tons of extras to boost your blog, from Google Analytics to live chat apps. There’s a mix of free and premium apps to choose from. Like everything with SITE123, the App Market is easy to use and designed to help you out!

Although not a blogging tool, it’s also worth highlighting SITE123’s excellent 24/7 live chat support. This makes it easy to ask questions, and save time if you hit a bump when you’re building your site.

Design: 3.3/5

SITE123’s blogging templates are optimized to look great on both mobile and desktop, and are fully responsive. They won’t blow your socks off, like Squarespace’s themes, or give you tons of creative control, like WordPress.org, but they’re simple and clean designs.

The main thing to know with SITE123’s templates is you can’t switch your design once you’ve published your blog.

Pricing: 3.1/5

You can build your blog for free with SITE123’s free plan, which gives you 500MB storage and 1GB bandwidth. Or, you can upgrade to the $12.80 per month Premium plan for more advanced features, including a free domain, 10GB storage, and ecommerce functionality.

Once you’ve signed up for SITE123, you’ll discover a broader range of plans than it displays on its website. Here’s a quick run-down of all its plans, billed annually:

  • Free plan: $0/month – suitable for hobby blogs, comes with SITE123 adverts
  • Basic plan: $12.80/month – removes floating ad, connects custom domain, 100 mailing list messages
  • Advanced plan: $19.80/month – cheapest plan to remove the SITE123 branded footer tag
  • Professional plan: $28.80/month – unlock website statistics to track your blog’s performance
  • Gold plan: $34.80/month – add up to five extra languages for a multilanguage blog
site123 logo

Do You Need a Helping Hand?

SITE123 is there to support you every step of the way, so if you’re a nervous beginner this is a smart choice.

#7. WordPress.org (powered by Bluehost)

Best for control and customization

WordPress: free to use!
Bluehost hosting: $2.95 – $5.45 per month

WordPress.org

Best for control and customization

Good

3.6

out of 5
  • Famous for blogging!
  • Limitless customizations
  • Requires separate hosting

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $2.95 - $5.45 / month

Pros

  • 54,000+ plugins to customize your blog
  • Build from scratch with total control
  • Add whatever blogging tools you need

Cons

  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • You manage security, hosting, updates
  • No in-house support team or resources
Read Review

WordPress.org is a free and open source software that has helped millions of people launch blogs online. In fact, WordPress.org is so popular that it now powers 40% of all websites in 2021. That’s one heck of a social recommendation!

To use WordPress.org, you need hosting. WordPress.org itself recommends Bluehost for this and so do we, because of how well it performed in our research for WordPress blogs.

Blogging Features: 4.2/5

WordPress.org offers a range of powerful blogging tools, from forums and comments sections to RSS feeds and analytics. Plus, WordPress integrates with thousands of plugins, both free and paid. Plugins can add a range of functionalities to your blog, including:

  • Comment management
  • Email marketing
  • Visual analytics
  • SEO
  • Anti-spam

The possibilities are virtually endless!

With WordPress.org, a lot of your core features such as storage space, bandwidth, and security, come from your web host.

If you choose Bluehost for your provider, you get automatic WordPress installation (saving you time and effort), automatic WordPress updates (to keep your site secure and running smoothly), a free domain for one year, and at least 50GB storage. All on its cheapest plan!

Design: 2.2/5

Open source means you can play around with the code. The upshot of this is you get complete control over the look and feel of your blog. It would be like being in charge of the font, color and image on your physical book cover. The caveat is that you’ll need some technical skill (or money to hire a developer) to take full advantage of this flexibility.

WordPress.org is a particularly good option for more technical bloggers looking to develop a more complex blog long-term. But one downside to WordPress’s power is that less technical users will find the learning curve steeper than launching a blog on a drag-and-drop website builder, like Wix or Squarespace.

Pricing: 4/5

While the WordPress.org platform is free to use, essential costs like hosting, security, and registering your domain name can add up. That’s why we recommend a good value web host like Bluehost, which provides a free domain for one year, plus built-in security features to protect your blog.

Hosting means giving your blog somewhere to live online.  This can be a headache for bloggers who aren’t as computer-savvy.

The good news is Bluehost provides one-click integration with WordPress.org to save you time and headaches. It provides hosting plans that are specifically designed to support WordPress websites, called shared WordPress hosting.

Here’s a run-down of Bluehost’s price plans. We’ve listed annual plans and three-year plans, because you can save money by signing up for a longer contract:

  • Basic plan: $4.95/month, billed annually – or $2.95/month for a three-year contract
  • Plus plan: $7.45/month, billed annually – or $5.45/month for a three-year contract
  • Choice Plus plan: $7.45/month, billed annually – or $5.45/month for a three-year contract

Hosting plans work a little differently to website builder plans because you get huge discounts for your first term. For example, Bluehost’s cheapest plan starts at just $2.95 per month. This is great if you’re starting out on a budget!

If you want to start your blog on WordPress.org, hit the button below the image to get started.

wordpress.com logo

Is WordPress Your Perfect Match?

The first step to a successful WordPress blog is a good web host. We recommend Bluehost – take a sneak peek to see why!

#8. Jimdo

Quickest to build

$9 – $40 per month, billed annually (free plan also available)

Jimdo

Quickest to build

Good

3.6

out of 5
  • Easy, fast blog building
  • Tools to run a basic blog
  • Lack of exciting designs

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $9 - $40 / month

Pros

  • Basic editing is quick and easy
  • Quickest platform to publish your blog
  • Choice of classic editor or ADI

Cons

  • Users frustrated by basic editing tools
  • Dated designs and poor creative control
  • Adding a blog archive is difficult
Read Review

Jimdo earned a customer score of 4.0/5 in our research. It’s a great builder for anyone who wants to get a blog up and running quickly, but it doesn’t have the most intuitive editing functions or the most stylish templates.

Blogging Features: 3.7/5

Jimdo’s blogging features include analytics functions, post comments, and social bookmarking – in other words, everything you’ll need to get started. You can add tags and assign categories to your blog posts, and for every category you create, a new subpage will appear under “Blog” in your site’s Navigation Menu.

The one basic blogging area that Jimdo is lacking in is the archive feature. It is possible to set up an archive for your Jimdo blog, but it’s not as simple or automatic as it is with many other blog website builders. With Jimdo, you have to edit your navigation bar to create separate subpages for each year that you want to archive, and then create separate categories for each month of that year.

Design: 2.3/5

Jimdo offers simple design options that don’t require any tech skills – but if you’re a little more advanced, you may find yourself wishing for more creative freedom than this builder can provide.

With a 3.7/5, Jimdo came 4th in the ease of use category of our blogging research. Jimdo’s drag-and-drop templates make it easy to edit text and reposition images. However, some of the customers we surveyed were left a bit frustrated by Jimdo’s editor. One common complaint was that, while it’s easy to add your own content to a template, it’s pretty difficult to change a template’s preset structure.

Pricing: 3.3/5

Jimdo offers a limited free version, which is sufficient for testing out the builder to see if it’s right for you. But if you’re really dedicated to using Jimdo as a blogging platform, then you’ll need to upgrade to at least the Start plan, which is cheapest at $9/month.

However, the Start plan only allows for 10 website pages, so blogs that are looking to grow quickly will find this plan limiting. In this case, you’ll need to consider the Grow plan at $15/month, which includes a total of 50 website pages.

To help you choose, here’s a full list of Jimdo’s annual plans:

  • Play plan: $0/month – free plan with adverts, best for trying out Jimdo
  • Start plan: $9/month – best for starting your ad-free blog
  • Grow plan: $15/month – best for growing your blog with better features
  • Unlimited: $39/month – best for businesses rather than blogs

Jimdo also has another set of plans for its Jimdo Creator coding editor, which range from $10 to $40 per month, billed annually.

jimdo logo

Thinking about Jimdo?

This platform offers a speedy way to get online, with plenty of helpful templates to choose from.

Tips for Choosing a Blogging Platform

We’ve given you the eight best blogging platforms on the market – perhaps one jumped straight out at you, but what if you’re still scratching your head? How are you meant to pick just one to build your blog?

Here are some questions to ask, which will help you find the best blogging platform for you.

#1. Do You Want to Monetize Your Blog?

Weebly makes it easy to start monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing and Google AdSense, so it’s the easiest platform for beginners to start making money through blogging.

If you’re more technically advanced or want to grow your blog into a substantial revenue stream, then WordPress.org with Bluehost is a more scalable solution. With these tools, you can use all kinds of plugins to help your blog start making money.

Top tip!

If you’re looking to sell a few products on your blog, why not use Square Online Checkout links? These checkout links make it super easy for you to securely accept payments through your blog without the hassle of needing to pay for an ecommerce plugin.

To get started, all you have to make a free account with Square Online, give whatever product you’re selling a name and a price, and create a checkout link to place on your blog. Simple!

#2. What’s the Focus of Your Blog?

If you’re a photographer, featuring lots of imagery, or doubling your blog as a portfolio, you’ll need a platform to show off your talent! Choosing a platform like Squarespace will give your work the space and aesthetics it needs to really shine.

#3. How Technically Confident Are You?

Wix and Weebly are both beginner-friendly options that strike the balance between easy editing functions and advanced features. In other words, you you create an impressive blog without any tech skills.

If you’re happy taking on more technical responsibility, then WordPress.org with Bluehost could be very rewarding – but there is less guidance offered along the way.

#4. How Will People Find You?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential for ranking on Google and getting found in search results. If you choose a builder with weak SEO tools, it’ll be much harder for your blog posts to get the readership they deserve!

Wix ranks number one in our comparison of the 5 best website builders for SEO, and its beginner-oriented SEO tools allow for anyone to promote blog posts with ease.

#5. How Design-Focused Are You?

Is a stylish blog design important to you? If so, you need a blogging platform with modern, attractive templates to give your readers the very best experience of your website.

Squarespace has the best designs on the market, and is perfect for creating a stunning blog. Its designs are fresh, clean, and consistently high quality – check out its blogging templates to see for yourself!

Plus, we’re the first to admit that getting the design of your blog right can be a tricky endeavor – so let us help. We’ve put together a list of 15 of the best blog examples to inspire you in 2021 – why not go explore them for yourself?

#6. Why Are You Creating a Blog?

The motivation behind your blog is a key, but often overlooked, part of choosing the right blogging platform. For example, if you’re creating a personal hobby blog then a free, basic platform like Weebly will be fine. However, if you want to make money from your blog, share it online, or even add it to your resume, then you need a professional, scalable builder like Squarespace.

#7. Which Features Are Most Important to You?

If you plan on using a lot of images, then you need a builder with generous amounts of storage space. If you’re running your blog as a side-hustle, it’s smart to look for post scheduling so you don’t have to be tied to your blog 24/7.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of features on offer, so think about which ones are most important to you.

Best Blogging Platforms: Summary

Here’s a reminder of our top eight blogging platforms and who they’re best for:

  1. Squarespace best website builder for blogging.
  2. Wix perfect for combining a blog with a website.
  3. Weebly good choice for a very basic blog.
  4. WordPress.com best for built-in blogging tools.
  5. Duda expensive, but offers a lot for the design-conscious.
  6. Site123 best if you need a helping hand.
  7. WordPress.org powered by Bluehost best for control and customization.
  8. Jimdo quickest to build.

If you’re still not sure which builder to choose, you can’t go wrong with Squarespace, our top-rated overall blogging platform. Squarespace’s dedicated blogging features paired with its stunning templates offer a simple recipe for success.

Whichever builder you choose, have fun – and happy blogging!

Best Blogging Platforms: FAQs

If you have high quality images, Squarespace’s templates will really show them off! It also has great in-built features, such as allowing multiple contributors and syncing with social media – so your blog won’t just look good, it’ll support long-term growth too. You can read our Squarespace Review for more information.

WordPress.org isn’t for everyone. If you have some tech skills, then WordPress.com is the best alternative. But if you don’t want to code at all, try Weebly: it has great blogging features, attractive designs, and good SEO. It’s very beginner friendly and scalable, too.

Weebly is a great platform for monetizing blogs if you’re a beginner. If you’re more advanced, or want to grow a really scalable business out of your blog, then WordPress.org has the powerful tools and customization that you’ll need.

Wix, Duda, and Site123 are the top three easiest to use blogging platforms in our research. Excluding free plans, they all come at a similar starting price of over $10/month, but Wix is the only one that can give you the most bang for your buck in terms of blogging features.

There are a few simple ways for beginners to make money by blogging, and Google AdSense is the best place to start. It’s a free tool that lets you earn money by displaying ads alongside your content, and it’s easy to use alongside most website builders.

Further Information:

23 comments

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  • Nathan
    I wish that I had found this article earlier. I began "designing" a blog and writing content for it, using WordPress. I found the experience to be extremely frustrating. I never "published" it, because I wasn't happy with the appearance and the experience. I'm going to try it again, with a platform that has more intuitive features. I prefer to focus on the development of content (ideas, etc.), and less on technical wizardry. Thank you for your help!
  • Adzuna
    Informative article. Thanks for sharing this useful blog. It's really helpful for the people.
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Hi Adzuna, Thanks so much for your comment - I'm so glad you enjoyed the article! Best, Lucy
  • Matt
    Hi Maura, your article was great. It was very helpful and much needed information. Your article was clear, consistent, and well-researched. Thanks.
  • Simone
    This is a great article. I'm thinking about starting another blog site, but I don't want all the plugins that WordPress bogs you down with. Also, have you guys reviewed Ghost? I've heard some good things about it. Thanks.
    1 reply
    • Maura Monaghan
      Hi, Simone! Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com all offer great built-in features that you won't have to worry about installing separately, which could be a good alternative to WordPress.org plugins for you! As for Ghost, it's similar to WordPress.org because it's a CMS, but it's less user-friendly and demands more familiarity with coding. I hope this helps! Maura
  • Ayush Mishra
    Thankyou for such a helpful information and great articels. It will definitely help me to increase my knowledge
  • Danial Ibrahim
    Great list
  • Tonio
    Hi. I'm planning to start a blog. I would like to know what is the best free blog platform which I can monetize or put some ads? Thank you so much!
    1 reply
    • Maura Monaghan
      Hi Tonio, Thanks for your comment! For some options, you can check out our ranking of the best free website builders, where you'll notice that WordPress.com earns the title of "perfect for blogging." WordPress.com will let you monetize your site through affiliate linking, sponsored posts, and the WordPress advertising program WordAds. Best of luck! Maura
  • Sanjay Mishra
    Thanks for sharing such a informative content.
  • Lin
    Hey Charlie thanks for this! Question - I’m looking to set up a site with two blogs (ie multiple long form posts in two diff sections rather than just diff categories), a shop via affiliate marketing and a very simple clean design. I’ve tried Wordpress (complicated), Strikingly (too limited) and and now trying Wix (only one blog allowed?). Any recs on whether any of these three or others like SquareSpace would be best? Ideally would also like to have the option to port out all content at one go in future if I decide to change. Cheers
    1 reply
    • Maura Monaghan
      Hi Lin, Thanks for your comment! Squarespace makes it easy to set up multiple separate blog pages on the same website, and if you want to switch later, you can export your website's content into a .xml file. Just note that Squarespace doesn't have built-in affiliate management, so you'll need to use a third party tool for your affiliate marketing. I hope this helps! Maura
  • jeni
    Awesome...Such a great information.Thanks and keep on sharing good information .