So you finally decided to start your blog but the biggest mind struggle now is to decide what is the best platform to blog? If you have a non-technical background than this could be a tough choice to make, as there are so many platforms available to blog. So, How to find what is the best platform to blog in 2019 and beyond.
Let’s find out in this blog.
Some of the most popular platforms that you can choose to create your blog are as follow:
These days there are many platforms available that you can choose to blog on, But before we choose any platform to blog we must understand a few deciding factors:
a) Cost of the Platform: The number one factor that most of the new bloggers are worried about is the cost of the blogging platform and I completely agree that in the beginning stage you can’t ignore the cost factor while making the choice to decide which blogging platform to go with.
b) Learning curve: No matter what blogging platform you choose there will be a learning curve involved. The point to consider here is, how difficult or easy it is to learn that platform to use. Also, we must check if there is any coding knowledge is required to use any blogging platform. It’s a major decision-making point to consider if you are from a non-technical background.
c) Scalability: Today you might be starting your blog just for fun or as a hobby. But there could be a time that you want to make your blog as your full-time business or maybe you want to extend your blog in the form of a forum or service to your audience. You need to check that if your blogging platform can do that or not and how easy it is to scale that platform.
So, Now we know what we are looking for while choosing our final platform for the blog. Let’s compare each of the above blogging platforms and see which one comes out as the best platform for creating our blog.
WordPress is the most popular platform for blogging in the world powering more than 30% websites and blogs worldwide on the internet. Technically WordPress is an opensource application that is available for free of cost.
It’s important to mention here that the WordPress.org is freely available(Self-hosted platform) but it’s just a package of code that you need to deploy on a hosting server, So you need to buy a domain and Hosting for this to work for you.
Let’s see how it fits in the deciding factors that we discussed earlier.
a) Cost of the Platform: WordPress.org is a free open source application but you need to invest in a domain and hosting server which may cost from 4usd per month on Bluehost to around 7usd per month on Siteground hosting server. You don’t have to manually install WordPress on your hosting server, it can be done in just one click or you can just ask you hosting support guys and they can do free for you.
b) Learning Curve: If you are new to blogging then you need to learn something about the platform you use. So it’s better to learn the most popular platform on the internet because you will get all the information easily available online. You can watch some youtube videos or you can join an online course available on Skillshare, which is cheap and you get unlimited access to all the courses on the website. New bloggers feel a little afraid when starting up with WordPress but trust me it’s as easy as using your Email account.
Above that, with the recent launch of some amazing page builders like Elementor, Anyone can create their own WordPress website without touching a line of code.
c) Scalability: WordPress is absolutely the best platform when it comes to scalability. You can scale your small blog to any level by using free as well as paid plugins available online. For example, If you want to scale your blog to create an online course website there are plugins like LearnPress that can easily add the full online course management system to your website.
Along with that, WordPress is an open source system. You can work along with a developer and scaling limits are endless. You can create whatever you want.
Now before you get confused, Let me tell you that it’s not a typo mistake. There are actually two versions of WordPress. One is an open source platform(.org) that we just discussed and another one is WordPress.com which is hosted blog service by the founders of WordPress.
It’s a free service with some limited features, but you can purchase their pro plans to get features like custom domain, more space, and other premium services. Let’s see how it fits in the deciding factors that we discussed earlier.
a) Cost of the Platform: WordPress.com is also a free blogging platform which is out of the box ready to use once you create your account. But the free version is very limited and you won’t even get your domain URL with the free plan. But if you go with their premium plan you need to choose the 25USD per month plan to make a professional blog, which is a way too expensive.
I would suggest to create a free account on WordPress.com, use it for some time so that you can get familiar with the WordPress ecosystem and then move to the self-hosted version of WordPress by purchasing your own domain and hosting plan.
b) Learning Curve: Once again, you also need to spend some time with WordPress.com as well to get familiar with the platform but it’s very similar to the self-hosted version so even if you decide to move to the self-hosted version after some time, things won’t change.
c) Scalability: Unlike WordPress.org you are not completely free to do any customization you want. Even if you purchase the paid plan, which is very expensive, still you are bound to stay in the closed system of WordPress.com. So, you don’t have a good scalability scope here.
Wix platform was launched with an aim to help small business owners create their website without any coding knowledge. It is a hosted platform which is ready to use once you register your account. Now as Wix was not built exclusively for blogs, you need to add an extra app from the Wix store to add the blogging module to the platform.
So does it fit in our decision criteria?
a) Cost of the Platform: Like other hosted platforms Wix comes with a free plan and it also comes with limitations like no branded URL and other high-end features. But it comes with free templates that you can use to customize your website/blog. But once you choose your template you can’t change it and it’s a big let down. Once you go with the paid plans it starts from 8USD per month to 24 USD per month.
b) Learning Curve: Wix free version vs Wix Paid version doesn’t have any difference in functionality. You just unlock some extra features. With the recent updates in the backend of Wix, I can say that it’s not very hard to learn.
c) Scalability: With all the recent updates Wix can be used for any kind of website or blog or even an E-commerce website. All you have to do is take the correct plan and add the required plugin.
But here is the big issue. When using Wix, you are bound inside a system or platform. No matter what happens you cannot change anything which is not available as a plugin. If you want to create anything custom then you need to check if there is any plugin available for the same or not. If there is a plugin available then you can pay for it and implement that change, Otherwise, there is no other way.
Similar to Wix, Squarespace is another hosted platform to create your business website where anyone can register and create a website by just choosing the desired theme. They also have drag and drop feature like Wix but unlike Wix, you can change your theme whenever you want without any issues. You will not lose your data is you change the theme.
This is a big plus as compared to Wix but let’s how it fits in our decision criteria.
a) Cost of the Platform: As a hosted platform Squarespace also comes with a free plan where they restrict you with a non-branded URL and just with some basic features. Their paid plan ranges from 12USD to 24USD per month depending upon what you wish to make.
b) Learning Curve: For Squarespace, you can consider very less to be learned. When you need to create a website or blog all you have to do it select a theme and just add content. There are some advance content layout features available but still if you know how to edit a document you can easily learn using Squarespace too. But that’s actually the biggest problem with the platform, will explain that in the next point.
c) Scalability: When you are building a Squarespace website you need to first decide what type of website you are building and then pay for the plan. So your scalability is dependent on what plan you choose. Other than that you are bound to stay in a controlled environment and can’t do any custom changes.
Now there is something very important to mention about Wix vs Squarespace. I have used both Wix and Squarespace and I can say Wix user experience is far far better than Squarespace, especially if you want to create a custom layout inside your decided theme.
Blogger is one of the oldest platforms which is now owned by Google and provides very simple to use blogging platform. All you have to do is use your own Gmail account or create a new one and you will get started with your blog.
With the very basic interface and with unbranded URL anyone can start blogging using this platform.
Can this be your main blogging platform?
a) Cost of the Platform: The platform is free and has no pricing plan to upgrade. All you may need to spend your money is to buy a domain if you want a branded URL, which you can do from any website.
b) Learning Curve: The platform is so simple to use that you may not need a training program to learn from. If you can use Gmail you can easily learn to use Blogger platform.
c) Scalability: This is the biggest restriction of the Blogger platform, that there is no scope for scaling your blog to any hi-end website. What I can recommend here is that if you just want to have hands-on experience about how to blog then this is a good platform to play but not to create a professional blog.
So which one is the best platform to blog and earn money from it?
My Answer will always be WordPress and the reason is that it’s highly scalable and I am the only one who controls it. I can do whatever I want from my blog and no one can put a restriction on it of any kind, It’s completely my property.
Now, most of the people are afraid of using WordPress because they think it might not be secure or there is no one to look for help if anything happens. But here is the answer to this.
WordPress is a completely secure platform and with some additional plugins, you can make sure you can make a fully secured WordPress blog. In case if you get stuck somewhere, you can check so many active Facebook groups, forums or youtube videos to get help, which will be a rare case if you keep it simple with your website.
So WordPress is my number one choice to create a blog. Let me know in the comments section what you think about it.