Picking a suitable blogging platform is not as easy as it looks. If you asked them to choose the best blogging platform, each website owner you ask will probably have a different response.
Many factors come into play when choosing a platform for your blog—your skills, your needs, and how you use it, to name a few.
By the end of this guide, you’ll know which is the best blogging platform for your business and start reaching millions of readers.
The best blogging platforms
What makes a great blogging platform?
I reached out to marketers, freelancers, and small business owners on their non-negotiables for a blogging platform.
Here’s what I found out:
It needs to be flexible
As marketers and business owners, we have a million things on our plate. We’d rather not dig into tasks that fall outside the scope of what we do best.
Chantelle Marcelle, head of growth at PromoPrep, finds it a nightmare to navigate technical challenges.
Speaking on what she looks for in a blogging platform, Chantelle reveals that flexibility is high on her list. “If I want something simplistic, I can use a pared-back setup. If I want to get more advanced with the digital infrastructure, I can also do that.”
Likewise, Marie Lamonde looks for flexibility—bonus if it offers high-level customization. The content marketing and communications specialist at DashThis says, “We needed a platform that our developers and designers can work on and really make it ours.”
As you scale, you’ll need advanced features for your blogging platform.
For example, if you’re starting an affiliate blog on a budget, you can get by with the essentials (e.g., editor, basic analytics, basic design options).
But as your blog grows, you might find yourself needing additional features to keep the momentum going (e.g., if you’re outsourcing your blog posts to freelancers, you’ll need a content calendar to keep everything organized).
Source: WP Scheduled Posts
This is where plugins come in: They provide advanced functionality for your blog.
Jessica Pereira, founder of Freelance to Fortune, counts WordPress as her favorite blogging platform as there are plugins for almost all use cases.
She says, “I can easily build landing pages, email opt-ins, and other marketing tactics using plugins. I’ve tried other sites, but they have limited features.”
It must match your skillset
Rather than following the crowd and picking the most popular blogging tool, ask yourself this: “Do I know how to use it, and can it help me reach my goals?”
Stephen Light, CMO and co-owner of Nolah Mattress, sums it up best: The best blogging platform is one that matches your web creation skills.
For the complete beginner, Wix is a no-brainer. The drag-and-drop website builder makes designing an intuitive experience. But, for the developer looking for advanced customization options, WordPress is the best choice.
1. WordPress [Advanced customization]
WordPress powers 41% of the web and counts many big companies as its customers (think TechCrunch and BBC America).
It’s not hard to see why many users pick WordPress in a heartbeat over its competitors. Gutenberg, the block-based layout editor, gives you a media-rich blogging experience. (Don’t believe us? Give it a whirl here.)
Its theme library ranges from abstract and artistic to personal and professional. So, whether you’re an agency owner or beauty blogger, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Bear in mind that WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org. The biggest difference between these two popular blogging platforms is limitations. You can upload SEO tools on WordPress.org. For WordPress.com, you need to pay a premium, though it does offer a built-in SEO tool.
To get your blog up and running without fussing over the nitty-gritty—like buying a custom domain or building a custom theme—opt for WordPress.com.
However, if you want full control (e.g., advanced SEO options), look no further than WordPress.org. Here’s a detailed comparison if you’re curious to learn more about their differences.
WordPress.org can host your blog on any web hosting provider since it uses PHP and MySQL. Many users often end up selecting Bluehost, DreamHost, or SiteGound.
WordPress.org is also a top choice among startups. (You’ll see why below!)
(i) World-class plugins
With over 50,000 (!) plugins, the options are endless. Anyone can customize a blog or website unique to their brand and needs—often, without any coding involved.
Side note: No blogging platform on this list has an offering of plugins anywhere near WordPress’s figure (e.g., Wix currently offers 250+).
Want to boost your SEO? There are SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and Squirrly SEO.
Worried about your blog crashing? Activate UpdraftPlus to back it up every week.
Wondering how you can manage client projects without overspending on software? Download Client Portal. Better yet, check out the AppSumo store for lifetime deals.
As a one-woman show, I wear multiple hats to run my content marketing business—maintaining a website is one of them. Here’s how my website looks after I customize it with Elementor.
Source: Content Kapow
All I did was select a template, shift a few blocks around, and change the colors and fonts.
(ii) Excellent content management system (CMS)
According to Gotch SEO, WordPress is the best CMS for SEO, with 45% of its websites dominating Google rankings. Its competitors (Squarespace, Wix, and Medium) make up less than 1% on Google.
Brendan Hufford, founder of SEO for the Rest of Us, uses the open-source blogging platform. He says, “It doesn’t hold you back from ranking on Google and can scale with more writing and production.”
Massimo Chieruzzi, co-founder and CMO of Breadcrumbs, seconds it. He says, “With WordPress, developers are easy to find. You don’t need to train your team on an unknown CMS. Plus, content writers know WordPress. This makes it easier for your editorial team to collaborate.”
Pricing: Starts free with paid plans starting at $4/month.
2. Medium [Built-in audience]
Out of all the blogging platforms in this list, Medium is the only one where you can blog, publish it to a built-in audience, and monetize your writing (based on readers engagement, not ads)—in one place.
Check out its “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editor below. It’s ideal for users who want to blog without getting bogged down by custom plugins, domain registration, and whatnots.
[Caption: Medium scores bonus points for its clean and distraction-free interface!]
(i) Share draft link
If you work with an editor, you know how the process goes:
- Write a draft on Google Docs
- Submit to editor for review
- Edit according to editor’s feedback
- Submit for final review
- Publish on blog
That’s. A. Lot. Of. Steps.
With Medium, you can easily skip most of them. Just write the draft on Medium and share it with the editor, who can then leave private notes within the microblogging platform.
(ii) Medium’s partner program
Medium offers built-in monetization options. You can earn money for the content you publish based on reading time from Medium’s members.
Your earnings on the publishing platform can be anywhere from a quick buck to $49,000+ per month. Here’s a user sharing their experience on Medium’s partner program.
Ultimately, your success on Medium will depend on myriad factors: The number of your followers, your publishing frequency, and the relevance of your articles.
Pricing: Free (only for publishing). If you want to read all articles on Medium, membership costs $4/month annually.
3. LinkedIn [B2B prospecting]
LinkedIn is a no-brainer for B2B professionals.
Using the WYSIWYG article editor is straightforward. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. A click on the “+” icon shows the option to add an image, video, links, snippets, or slides.
LinkedIn’s unique features have little to do with the article editor—it’s the distribution.
With four out of five members driving business decisions at their companies, LinkedIn is the social platform to be at if you want to connect with your target audience. Here’s an example to show you what I mean.
Back in early 2020, I cross-posted my case study on LinkedIn. Some of my first connections saw it and reached out about my blogging services.
Not too shabby, considering my post got just over 40 views. *assures self that it’s the quality that counts*
(i) Tag in comments
Did you know that you can tag any LinkedIn user in the comments section?
Side note: Medium offers a similar feature (called Medium Mentions), but there’s a limitation. Unlike Medium, LinkedIn doesn’t put content behind a paywall.
Whether it’s your first connection, a dream company, or Ray Dalio, tag these thought leaders to attract their attention.
[Caption: Just don’t go overboard with tagging. Promise!]
Plus, there’s also the cool option to comment with your LinkedIn profile on WordPress.
Activate WP LinkPress on your self-hosted WordPress site. Edit your job title, leave a comment, and enable Share on activity feed.
Once you hit Post with LinkedIn, two things will happen: Your comment shows up on LinkedIn’s newsfeed, and your LinkedIn profile appears on your website.
Grab the WP LinkPress lifetime deal on AppSumo today for $39.
Pricing: Free. LinkedIn’s premium plans start at $29.99/month, with a 30-day free trial.
4. Squarespace [Fast set-up]
Squarespace is a beautiful blogging platform. It’s perfect for creatives who want a clean and user-friendly interface. The templates are gorgeous, and the front-end editor is incredibly sleek and intuitive to use (case in point: it took me only seconds to grasp Squarespace).
Hands down, it’s an ideal choice for casual and professional bloggers who want to get their websites up and running within minutes. However, you should avoid Squarespace if you’re looking for complete control.
These two comments on Reddit sum up when it’s best to use the premium blogging platform.
(i) 100+ world-class website templates
Squarespace’s templates may not be in the thousands range like WordPress, but you can’t deny that it has by far the most gorgeous layouts. According to its site, the templates were designed by award-winning designers, and it shows.
These world-class website templates are customizable. Here’s how it looks in editing mode. Note how fast it is to tweak the settings.
[Caption: Click the site styles icon and edit the settings accordingly]
(ii) Intuitive layout builder
It’s much faster editing your blog layout on Squarespace than complex platforms like WordPress.
I’ve been using WordPress for almost ten years, and the editing elements still stump me to this day.
[Caption: The editing elements on WordPress draw a lot of blanks]
Now compare it to Squarespace. Note how everything is shown clearly. You can edit your blog freely since you know what each element does.
Squarespace may not be as powerful as other bigger blogging platforms, but it ranks top when it comes to ease of editing.
Pricing: 14-day free trial. Paid plans begin at $12/month yearly.
5. Wix [Best for beginners]
Wix is a fuss-free blogging platform for beginners. This drag-and-drop blogging platform offers various beginner-friendly tools to make web creation as easy as possible.
Check out this user review below. It talks about how you don’t need to get in the weeds of pixel counts and coding when you blog on Wix.
(i) Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI)
Overwhelmed by the hundreds of templates on Wix? Let the blog platform build it for you then.
Wix ADI creates a website based on your answers to its questions (e.g., what kind of website are you creating, have you created a website before).
After getting the basics down, Wix ADI then prompts you to create a blog name, select a theme and homepage design, and import images and text from your existing online presence (e.g., website, Google Places).
It takes a few seconds to a minute to create a new blog on this simple platform. Its blog editor is clean and straightforward. Like Squarespace, you know what each element does right away.
Pricing: Starts free, with paid plans scaling from $4.50/month.
6. Ghost [Content memberships]
Ghost is the ultimate platform of choice for coaches. This unconventional blogging suite revolves around running a membership program.
Best of all, these membership-centric features are built within the platform. You don’t need to download or build custom plugins.
Here’s a Capiche user review explaining why he chose Ghost.
Source: Capiche [Caption: Capiche user, you got us at “no fees.”]
Another interesting feature of Ghost is its pricing: Monthly cost is based on the scale of your publication.
(i) Built-in email newsletters
With Ghost, whenever you publish a new post, you can send it as an email newsletter. (Talk about a huge time-saving trick.)
There’s more. You can also view email analytics and segment your email subscribers. There’s even a native sign-up form—embed it on your professional blog and grow your audience!
(ii) Native memberships and subscriptions
Ghost’s membership-focused features allow you to turn members into paying subscribers. It integrates with Stripe, storing all sensitive information securely.
You can even choose your pricing model. The best part? The revenue you make is entirely yours. Ghost doesn’t take a cut of your sales.
(iii) Member management features
You can also track and support members easily with Ghost. Add a note, create a complimentary plan, or segment your VIP members, Ghost is the new BFF of every membership coach.
Just when you thought Ghost couldn’t get any cooler.
Pricing: 14-day free trial, with plans going up from $9/month when billed annually.
Is there such a thing as the best blogging platform? Not exactly
It’d be unfair of me to pick a winner from this list.
All blogging platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. Where they lack in one area, they make up for another. So, what makes a great blogging platform? It meets your needs and helps you reach your blogging goals as quickly as possible.
Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered:
- WordPress is ideal for SEO and advanced customization. It’s the only blogging platform in this list with a wide range of plugins (over 50,000!). Whether you want to back up your blog or integrate a client portal, WordPress has got you covered. Just watch out for the steep learning curve.
- Medium is best for freelance writers who don’t want to get bogged down by HTML, custom CSS, and third-party themes. Its partner program allows you to earn money based on reader’s engagement.
- LinkedIn is for B2B professionals looking to amp up their prospecting game. Its tagging feature helps with content distribution. Grab the WP LinkPress lifetime deal on AppSumo today for $39 to comment with your LinkedIn profile on your WordPress-hosted website.
- Squarespace is best for users who want to get their website off the ground within minutes. The gorgeous, flawless templates make it a perfect fit for creatives like artists, designers, and hobby bloggers.
- Wix is a no-brainer for beginner bloggers. Wix ADI, an artificial intelligence tool, helps you whip up a website without using any coding skills.
- Ghost is perfect for membership coaches. If you want to set up an online community with zero hassle, this is it. Ghost also offers numerous features (e.g., email newsletters, subscriptions) in one place. Best of all, it takes 0% of your sales.
Phew, that’s a lot of information to process. I hope this guide’s helped you determine which is the best blogging platform for your needs.
When you’re ready to scale, check out the AppSumo store. We’re always adding new tools with lifetime deals every day to help you gain more traffic and earn more money on your blog.