In this post, you are going to learn about Best blog sites: top 9 blogging platforms to start a blog.
in the end, you should have an in-depth knowledge of the best blog sites for beginners, the best blog sites for business and the best blog sites to make money.
The beginning of every new project has a great role to play in determining the ending, the first few steps you take in blogging help decide
if you are going to succeed or just going to be part of the 6 out of 10 blogs that close up before 3-months of creation.
When I started blogging, deciding the best blog sites was a problem for me,
Why? Every blogging platform has its own advantage.
Some are free while others are premium but then that wasn’t the problem, rather my problem was knowing what will be best for me and my dream blog.
My first blogging platform was Blogspot, I started a completely free blog, with free hosting and free domain name (.blogspot.com). For the first 3 years of my career as a blogger, I made use of blogspot.
But a few months ago I moved from blogger to WordPress because of certain reasons which I will try to explain as we talk further.
The core functionality of a blog is owning a space on the web. In other to make this possible you need a blogging platform also referred to a blog site.
In other words, without a platform, you can’t own a blog. That leads us to the concept of platforms.
What is a Blogging Platform?
A blogging platform is the foundation of a blog. It serves as the core framework of a blog. A platform goes a long way in deciding the functionality, limitation, coding language and usability of a blog.
Blogging Platforms can be free or paid. It is good to consider the platform you use for creating your blog as this will go a long way to deciding how big your blog can become.
There are various features of a blog site. Different platforms have their own features but here I will just list out the basic and common features possessed by all best blog sites.
A space on the web: A blog site should have the ability to create a space for its hosted blogs on the web.
Backend Dashboard: A backend dashboard is necessary because this is the section blog owners will have access to publish posts, optimize their blog, change theme etc.
Theme Customization: Websites are beautified by themes. These themes help improve the look and feel of your blog. A platform features a section where you can edit your theme, add widgets etc.
Publishing Tools: These tools are needed if blog owners are going to be able to write and public articles on their blog.
Media Management: It one point or the other, a blog owner is going to need to upload images, audio, PDF, video etc. A media management system owned by a blogging platform help in storing and processing these files.
Why do I need a platform?
If you want to start a blog, it is compulsory to go to a platform.
Top 9 Best Blog Sites (Blogging Platforms) 2018
1. WordPress.org (Self Hosted)
Self-hosted WordPress is the most popular blog site for starting a blog. It currently holds a percentage share of ” ” and apart from that It attracts a lot of comments from its users and reviewers.
One good thing about WordPress is it’s CMS (Content Management System) being completely free open-source built on PHP and MySQL. But then you would need to host the WordPress CMS on a web server.
Users of self-hosted WordPress have access to unlimited possibilities, from running E-commerce to selling online courses, managing affiliate programs, hosting a forum, building a social media channel, and even creating a question and ask community.
The functionality of WordPress can easily be extended with self-created plugins and free or premium plugins download from the WordPress directory.
Start a blog: With self-hosted WordPress, you can easily start a blog in just a few minutes and start publishing.
Publishing Tools: Self-hosted WordPress has an inbuilt publishing tool for writing and publishing article. Its publishing tool has features similar to that of Microsoft Word.
Media Management: With self-hosted WordPress, images, audio files, video files etc can easily be uploaded and processed. These same media files are saved and can be displayed whenever the need may be.
Multilingual: WordPress is served in more than 70 languages. With WordPress, you can blog in your use language.
Extendable with Plugins: Plugins are add-ons created to help improve the functionality of WordPress. With plugins, you can turn your WordPress blog into a social media channel like facebook, or an e-commerce site like Amazon etc.
Search Engine Optimized: Self-Hosted WordPress is a leading blogging platform in terms of SEO. setting up optimizations is really simple with the help of extended plugins.
Importing & Exporting: If you are already using one of the alternatives of Self-hosted WordPress, you can easily import your existing blog into WordPress and also if you wish to move from WordPress to its alternatives, you can use export tools to transfer your blog.
User Management: WordPress provides a table for managing your users. Visitors can create accounts, login to accounts etc. WordPress keeps it all clean for you, you can also delete users, give them specific abilities etc
Who is self-hosted WordPress for?
Self-hosted WordPress is extremely powerful and easy to use. If you have no idea of coding, plugins and themes will get all the job done for you and if you do have an understanding of the core basis,
you can add more functionality to your blog or even sell them for money. So who is WordPress for?
WordPress.org is for professionals bloggers, small businesses, schools, agencies, companies, law firms, etc. Generally, any website that needs a professional touch should definitely go for WordPress.
WordPress.org has a lot of advantages over the other best blog sites. Which I am going to list out briefly.
Complete owner – if you are going to spend a few bucks on a website, then it should be completely yours without some landlord having the right to kick you off intentionally or mistakenly.
Reach for the skies with functionality – One of the platforms where nearly everything is possible. All manner of functionalities can be achieved in self-hosted WordPress.
Easy to use dashboard – In a few days, you will definitely get used to the platform as if it was your own bedroom. Using WordPress is super for both moms and grandfathers.
Better chances of making the front page – Though they say, platform doesn’t decide where you post is placed on Google, but the functionality of your platform does. Using Yoast or All in one SEO you can immediately make your blog fully SEO compliant.
Makes the whole job easy – Using WordPress.org makes the whole work easier including social media optimization, stats monitoring, post sharing, etc – with plugins all these things are taken care of.
Cons of Using Self-Hosted WordPress.
Nothing is perfect! if self-hosted WordPress was 100% then other platforms would have long close up
Expensive to start – It’s not free. To own a WordPress.org blog, you first need to purchase hosting which should cost a minimum of $9.88/year (get the offer now), a domain name etc
Expensive to Manage – Have been talking about themes and plugins, they help improve your functionality but then most of them are premium.
It has been owned by Google should give it a step ahead of others right? – NO, google can’t do that.
Blogger actually started as a hobby site where persons go create a free blog and start posting stuff on vacation, etc just like a lifestyle journal.
But over the years, It users turned it into an income source.
Majority of top bloggers including ShoutMeloud, Labnol, Linda Ikeji, OgbongeBlog all started in blogspot and earned their first bucks on the blogger platform.
And guess what?, They did not pay not a penny for using the platform.
Functionality of BlogSpot
Start a free blog in minutes – With blogspot in just you can start a free blog right this minute without having to look for capital for hosting or domain.
Publishing Tools – the blogger dashboard features a very clean and simple publishing dashboard where you can publish posts and pages. It’s just similar to the Microsoft word interface.
Media Management – Blogger is linked to another free product by Google called Picasa. It handles all your images and media files. Once you upload your images, they get stored on Picasa for free and can be accessed on your blog and phone anytime.
Search Engine Optimized – The blogspot platform, definitely have a pass mark on basic SEO settings. It comes in with meta description, keywords, post redirection, robot settings etc.
Importing & Exporting: You can easily transfer from another platform to blogger using the import tool but the posts must be in XML format and so also can you transfer your blogger content to another platform using the export tool.
User Management: BlogSpot lets you add users to your blog by inviting them through email. These users can either be assigned a role of an author or an admin. But then it does lag a bit behind platforms like WordPress with large user role setup.
Multilingual: Non-English speaking persons can also use Blogger because it supports various languages both on the dashboard and on the main blog front.
Inbuilt Monetization: BlogSpot comes with an inbuilt AdSense can automatically qualify for approval after first 6 months of using the platform. If you know how to blog, it is easy to gain approval from Adsense through the blogspot dashboard.
Free HTTPS Certificate: With it’s the latest release of HTTPS for custom domains, blogger has completely enabled free SSL certificate for all blogs running on its platform.
Who is Blogger BlogSpot for?
BlogSpot is powerful, simple to use and totally free. On it, you can achieve a lot of blogging marks many bloggers have done that already.
But then who is it for? – BlogSpot is for beginners, low-income small businesses, and hobby bloggers.
The functionality of blogger is generally limited to beginners and hobby bloggers which therefore doesn’t fit for a large business, professionals, agencies etc
Pros of using BlogSpot
Free to start – Blogger is completely free to start. All you need is a Gmail address which is also provided free by Google, and you are free to start your own blog.
Free to Manage – The only things you are ever going to pay for on the platform is external themes or a domain name when you decide to move from the subdomain. Other things are free and don’t require any form of renewal.
Very simple dashboard – In a few days, a blogger should get used to its dashboard. Everything is well simplified and listed in plain English.
Cons of using Blogspot
Half ownership – Your blog belongs to two persons, yourself and google and unfortunately, Google has more power than you. They have a system that checks for spam if your blog gets mistakenly listed, then it’s going to be deleted without notice.
Limited Functionality – Blogger has the basic functionality of a blog which it was initially built for but then it is a bit limited. You can’t turn the site into a shop, neither can you turn it into a forum. It’s purely publishing.
Not professional – Blogspot platform provides a free subdomain name which is lengthy and scary (.blogspot.com) which is not professional. But then you can change this by purchasing a domain name at a minimum price of 0.88 cents.