What is the best blog platform out there? Would you like something free, intuitive, or something that you can customize and tailor to your personal preferences? We’ll consider these concerns and more to find out what best works for you and your needs.
What is a Blog Platform?
A blogging platform is essentially a software or service used to manage and publish content on the internet in the form of a blog. Moreover, it allows the user to create, organize, and publish written and visual content. Additionally, a blogging platform displays content in reverse chronological order – the most recent content is displayed first. Other blogging platform features include displaying the date the post was published, and tagging content with specific categories and keywords to help search for specific topics.
Before deciding on the best blog platform to choose from, you need to consider your reasons for blogging and your target audience. It is critical that you know who you’re writing to and why before you figure out the specifics on what to write about and how. Do you want to blog about fun content, inform your audience, or use blog marketing to help your brand and/or business? Do some research, think of some topics, then consider your target audience. If you are stuck on what to write about, start by asking yourself “what should I blog about?”
Why use Blogging Platforms?
Apart from some blogging platform features mentioned above, there are other benefits as well. Here are just some blogging platform benefits that can help you decide if it’s what you’re looking for.
- It is easier to optimize your blog for search engines. Most blogging platforms allow you to include metadata to tell search engines what your website is about.
- Make money. You can make money from blogging like promoting your own products and services, selling e-books online, writing sponsored blog posts, and be involved with affiliate marketing.
- Get more free traffic from search engines. In order to get this free traffic, the key is to publish high quality, original content regularly. This is just one of the ways to improve your keyword search results.
- Create and strengthen customer relationships. Another benefit of blogging is that it provides a simple, yet effective way to connect and engage with customers. It also allows communication and feedback through the comment section, thus building trust and a stronger relationship.
- Sharing capabilities. A blogging platform makes it easy for others to share the link to your blog. Through the power of the internet, something can be shared with hundreds, thousands, millions with just a click or two. This can of course be a double-edged sword, but with great power comes great responsibility. Word-of-mouth and free marketing is always a plus when growing your customer engagement, brand awareness, or want to share information and content that will make a difference in the world.
What is Blog Hosting?
Simply put, blog hosting is a type of web hosting. Blog hosting would allow you to install or use a blog-software like WordPress, Typepad, Nucleus, etc. The features will include scripting support, database support, large amounts of storage space and bandwidth, as well as easy one-click install.
Choosing the Right Site
When choosing a blog host, it is important to decide if you want to create a blog with free web hosting or a paid blog hosting provider. Paid options have more features and business opportunities for monetization. If you intend to blog for personal use and not so much for business, then a free blog hosting service would suffice. Free blog hosts like Blogger and WordPress offer intuitive interfaces so that beginners can have no trouble starting a blog. The drawbacks are that you cannot remove ads from the site, there is less customization features, and most free blogging platforms and blog hosting do not allow you to use for business purposes. If you want to blog in order to make some money, then it is best to invest in a paid blogging platform and blog hosting. Then, you can use your blog for business purposes, have your own domain, have more customization options, and run ads on your site to make additional income.
The Best Blog Platform
Now that you are informed of the definitions, features, and benefits of blogging platforms, here are the best blog platforms. This is based on different categories such as best overall, simplicity, design, and features. Whether you want a blogging platform for the aesthetics, the simplicity, the monetization opportunities, you are sure to find one that will meet your and your business’s wants and needs.
The best blog platform overall would be WordPress.org. (Note, there is a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com so do not get the two confused). WordPress.org is the world’s most popular blog platform. You will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider.
- It is a great option if you want full control over your blog. You don’t want to risk losing control over your own blog. WordPress.org has got your back!
- You can add features like forums, paid memberships, and add an online store. It is the best blog platform to make money.
- Great customization options. There are numerous free themes and you can have control over the design of your site.
- Easy to use. There are drag and drop features available to create any type of content and embed things like videos, Google Adsense, graphs, and more with ease.
- A little learning curve managing your own website
- The software is free, but you will need to pay for the domain name and hosting. However, most blogging platforms are not completely free in this regard. For instance, if you want a custom domain name, you’ll likely have to pay for that for any blogging platform.
- Manage your own backups and security. Sometimes, it is easier and more convenient for the platform to do this for you. Unfortunately, with Wix you have to handle the backups and security on your own.
As described on the Wix website:
“Wix is a free, user-friendly, website building platform. Our intuitive technology and powerful built-in features give our users the freedom to design professional websites with ease that look amazing on any device…We offer a complete set of tools to build your online presence, from getting found on search engines to building your business.”
Additionally, Wix is very user-friendly because it has easy-to-use editors, drag and drop technology, and even has a smart automatic site builder if you would really prefer to have something easily made for you. Another benefit of Wix is that it is free to use their platform. However, if you want to connect your own domain, remove Wix ads, accept online payments and more you can upgrade to one of Wix’s Premium Plans.
Benefits and Disadvantages
Thus, Wix can be an accessible and intuitive blogging platform. There is free web hosting, integrated SEO tools, categories and hashtags, ability to share posts and reply to comments and more. However, drawbacks from the blog platform is that the free version shows Wix ads on your site, there are limited customization options, and cannot make money if you are on the free plan. If you upgrade to Wix’s Premium plans, however, you could take care of these problems and it can be the best blog platform for you if all you need is something simple, intuitive, and has typical blogging features like comments, ability to share, categories and hashtags, etc.
Squarespace is a website builder that easily lets you create beautiful website with drag and drop tools.
- Easy to use; you do not need to know how to code
- Professional and aesthetic designs/templates available
- It separately offers domain name with SSL/HTTPs and eCommerce stores
- It is limited to the features built into their platform
- It is not a free platform. You can switch to WordPress for less costs and more features
For the Most Features
WordPress.org is the best platform to make money with the additional features available such as adding paid memberships, online store, lots of free themes, more than 58,00 free WordPress plugins, and more. With plenty of features, customization, and ways to make money on this blogging platform, it is no wonder that most bloggers choose WordPress for their blogging needs.
Now that you know the best blog platform for you and your needs, there are other things to consider for your blog site. Maybe you are wondering how long should a blog post be. Perhaps you do not want to write all the blog content yourself and are thinking of how to hire a blogger for your business. If you would like help designing and creating a blog website, contact us at SEO Design Chicago to help get you started!
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