A Glance at What’s Out There: 5 Popular Blogging Platforms Reviewed
When searching for the best blogging platform and web hosting provider, you come across plenty of sites professing to be the “best”. But what these platforms don’t mention is that there is no single “best” blogging platform.
There are a handful of platforms that deserve to be in the running for the “best web hosting 2019” award, but each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, making it better suited for certain tasks and functions. These are five popular blogging platforms, along with their strengths, weaknesses, and reviews so that you can choose the right platform for your blog.
Nearly a quarter of the web is now powered by WordPress, making it the most popular blogging platform by quite some distance.
Most beginner bloggers opt for WordPress.org as a platform when they are starting out. Firstly, it is free, so there are no fees, to begin with, however, with the free package you won’t be able to choose your own domain name. Once you have downloaded the required software, it is easy to set up, and you can have your first website built in under half an hour.
The major drawback is that WordPress.org does not offer web hosting. This means that you have to find a web host to upload and install the site on their server. However, due to its intricate level of customization and ease of use, WordPress.org is still one of the best platforms around for new bloggers.
Although it has a similar interface to WordPress.org, WordPress.com differs from its .org counterpart in several key ways.
Firstly, WordPress.com includes hosting. This means you don’t have to find a separate web hosting provider to upload your site. However, the WordPress.com platform will not allow you to install plugins, making it unsuitable for websites business sites which require e-commerce plugins, customized email opt-in forms, or a membership site.
WordPress.com is perfect for small, personal blogs. With plenty of free themes to choose from, you can make a sleek, attractive blog without spending any money, besides, if you decide to transfer to WordPress.org later, it isn’t a problem.
A relative newcomer to the scene, Medium is becoming more popular by the month. The platform itself has its own design and interface, leaving bloggers to focus on their content.
Medium does not allow users to customise anything. It is therefore not suitable for doing anything else other than disseminating and consuming content. It allows brands to get their name out and build awareness, but they cannot do anything else.
Squarespace is an all-in-one blogging and hosting provider. This means you can use it to build and upload your blog or website.
Squarespace offers users a fully customisable domain name and uses a simple drag and drop interface, so even total beginners will feel comfortable designing the layout of their site. Because of the freedom to create a site that looks exactly how you want it many creative industries and artists use Squarespace to build their blog and advertise their brand.
Plugins are also available, although not directly through Squarespace. This makes the platform ideal for businesses looking to start a blog alongside an e-commerce site, or similar online store.
Squarespace charges a monthly subscription of between $8 and $24 per month for its services.
Ghost was originally designed to be a simpler version of WordPress. Like WordPress, you download the software, select your theme, find a hosting platform, and you are ready to publish your content.
Ghost also has a Pro version which includes hosting, in much the same way as WordPress.com does. Because all of the social media sharing options and comments are built in, Ghost doesn’t run plugins.
As a result, Ghost is an excellent content management tool but isn’t suitable for blogs that want to go beyond that and build a mailing list, sell memberships, or sell products directly on the blog.