There are plenty of reasons for you to start your blog. Are you thinking about how to start your blog?
First of all, you need to choose a website to build your blog. Selecting the best site for your blog is easier said than done. I am saying this because of the large number of platforms out there. Each platform has its ups and downs.
Most of the people, while starting their blog, make a common mistake. They don’t compare different platforms according to their needs. More or less, they lack proper guidance and understanding.
Choosing the right blog website can help you in creating a following, generating brand awareness and connecting to like-minded people from your niche.
Now, I will help you with choosing the blogging solution for yourself. As you will read further, you will find the right blogging platform for you, depending on your preferences, needs and goals.
Six essential factors for deciding the best blogging platform:
These points will abridge your path of decision making. These are the factors you should look for in a blogging platform.
- Look for better features: A good blogging platform must accommodate your needs and requirements. You should be able to easily modify the design and features over time as you improve your skills.
- Look for various monetisation capabilities: Blogs enable you to earn money by writing about what you love. You should choose a platform that has monetisation options that can work for you.
- Look for low costs: Although a lot of platforms are free, it’s not worth it if you don’t get what you need. Price is important, but everyone has a budget to invest.
- Check the rules and regulations of the platform: You should know the ‘terms of usage’ before finalising the right platform for you. This will make sure that you don’t violate any rules while using it.
- Find a more manageable platform: At times, you will need to update your blog, fix some issues or change the layouts. So, you need to make sure that your platform provides you access to the admin area or back-end whenever required.
Read this article to learn more about how to start your blog.
One of my colleagues posted content for six months on his travel blog. One day he found out that his blog has been removed without any prior notice as the hosting platform went off the web. So, from my personal experience, I suggest that you should always look for such platforms that are quite popular and trustworthy.
Now we will learn how to interpret the performance of a website effectively.
Understand web vitals before it’s too late.
You should understand the quality of experience you will deliver to your user and how much optimised your website is.
Seven metrics track the performance of a website. Let’s discuss them in detail:
- Speed index: knowing speed index you can find how quickly the contents of the page are loaded. It should load in less than 3 seconds.
- Largest contentful paint (LCP): You can measure the time when the page’s main contents are loaded. LCP less than 2.5 seconds reassures the user that the page is useful.
- First input delay (FID): it is the load metric that determines the responsiveness. It is the time when the browser begins execution of your response of a click or tap. It should be less than 100 ms.
- First meaningful paint: it is the measure of time when the primary content of the page is visible.
- Time to interactive: it is the amount of time taken by the website to become fully interactive.
- Max potential first input delay: it is the duration of loading of the lengthiest task.
- Cumulative layout shift (CLS): CLS is a metric which determines visual stability. A low CLS ensures that the page is delightful.
You can test the performance of your website.
Check out my blog on Step by Step Guide to Guest Blogging to boost your SEO and drive Insane Traffic, for better performance.
You can view WordPress.org page’s performance in the image given below.
Before comparing different blog hosting platforms, let’s have a look at the two varieties of blog sites.
Varieties of blog sites:
|Self-hosted platforms||Free hosted platforms|
|According to your choice, you can store files in some external server.||Blogging platform server stores all the files.|
|You should have some technical knowledge to install and setup on a server.||You just need to register your account and complete a little setup.|
|You always have full access to your files and structures.||Comparatively, you have less access to files and structures.|
|You will get more customisation options.||Features are restricted and are given by the platform.|
|You are responsible for security, updates, maintenance of your blog.||You don’t need to spend your time on updates, security and maintenance; the platform looks after them.|
|You can monetise in the ways you want, and you have full control over advertising.||Monetisation and advertising options are restricted.|
|It is a sure shot that you will need to purchase a domain and hosting.||You can get a free subdomain.|
|Self-hosted platforms include WordPress.org, Joomla.com, Ghost.org, Drupal.org etc.||Free hosting platforms include WordPress.com, Wix, Medium, Tumbler, Weebly etc.|
Now let’s compare some of the most popular blog sites and find out the best blog site that fits your needs and requirements.
It is for those who want full control over their website.
WordPress.org is the most popular self-hosted platform. You can use wordpress.org for personal and business blogs. It is a free platform, but you have to build the site and host the software all by yourself.
Since wordpress.org is a self-hosted platform, you have full access on your site’s functions and looks.
- You have full ownership of your website.
- WordPress.org provides high flexibility in designing and other aspects.
- You are just one click away to switch between hundreds of themes available.
- WordPress.org websites come up on top in search engines. The platform is very well optimised with social media as well.
- Millions of people use the platform, and a lot of people are there to guide you.
- WordPress directory has over 55000 plug-ins which provide you with a lot of options.
- Need to manage security and backups on your own.
- Requires some time in understanding and managing the website.
WordPress.org and wordpress.com are different platforms but are like close cousins. Now Let’s find out what wordpress.com is.
The main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the hosting of your website. With WordPress.com, it’s WordPress.com that takes care of your website hosting (including updates, security, etc.). But, on the other hand in WordPress.org you need to host your website on your own.
wordpress.com is a versatile platform; here, you can create blogs of every size. Understanding all the features and menus isn’t a cup of tea for everyone. You have to spend some time getting to know the interface, but it is worth it as you create something for yourself.
You can also track down stats such as page visitors, views, likes and comments from time to time. You can even know the places which drive your traffic, whether it is quora, youtube, Pinterest etc.
Your hosting will have an address format yoursitename.wordpress.com. You can get live chat and email support if you pay. Most of your doubts can be cleared instantly on active WordPress community forums.
wordpress.com provides some basic features free of cost, but you have to pay for additional ones. However, WordPress displays ads on free blogs. You cannot monetise your blog if you are using the free version.
- You just have to follow an installation wizard to create your website from scratch. It is relatively easy.
- You can get professional support on paid plans.
- You will get active community functions and stats build-in.
- You will get powerful customisation options.
- Comprehensive SEO tools are present so that you can help your viewers find you easily.
- You can create media galleries just by drag and drop option.
- Your free blog will be hosted on a subdomain.
- You cannot advertise if you are using lower plans. Moreover, the monetisation capacity is relatively narrow.
- If you use a business plan, then only you can add plug-ins and third-party themes.
- The terms and conditions are strict and incase violated; you will lose your account.
Wix comes up with a lot of customisation capabilities. Using their simple editor, you can import images from gallery, music and video content as well. You might like a unique feature called Wix Bookings that will allow you to schedule classes and appointments on your website.
The real distinguisher for Wix.com is its robust blogging functionality. You can make endless pages of the blog.
Aside from blog support what I liked most is the design editor, where you can choose the kind of site you want to create followed by some more specs. Then using Artificial intelligence, the editor produces some things according to your selections. Impressive, isn’t it?
- You can add free stock images.
- You can use third-party apps and templates to customise your site.
- You can get your blog automatically designed through AI.
- You only get a limited number of free apps.
- You will be limited to only 500MB of data transfer in a month. Hence I won’t recommend Wix to you if you want a heavily trafficked website.
- Branding opportunities are narrowed to Wix branding and ads.
- Even on paid plans, you get limited e-commerce capabilities.
- You cannot move your site or content anywhere else.
It is for those looking for a pre-existing audience and for who owning a site isn’t the target.
Medium was founded in 2012. It’s quite popular among bloggers, journalists and writers. It is a platform where anyone can write, provided that they have an account. The platform is visited by 60 million+ people so your blog can have tremendous visibility.
Medium is a community of writers and readers having their perspective on ideas. You can find niche-focused writings on medium as serious writers primarily use it. For example, if you are looking for writings on insects, you can find posts on entomology rather than zoology and animals.
The medium does not provide you with a lot of social networking options, although you can comment and clap (similar to like) on other’s content.
- It’s all free to start your blog. You just need to sign up.
- You will have an excellent writing experience due to the elegant user interface.
- You can link your content with YouTube, Twitter etc.
- Medium can control your content.
- You will not get a lot of marketing options; even monetisation features are absent.
- You cannot transfer your content to other platforms.
- There is hardly any customisation option on medium; almost all the content looks similar on medium.
It provides ease of use and is the best site for personal blogging.
You can quickly sign up with your Google account on blogger as Blogger.com was created in 1999 and was acquired by Google in 2003. A lot of online traffic nowadays is driven by mobile phones and smaller screens. Blogger integrates best with mobile devices.
The best part about the blogger is its compatibility and integration with other Google services. You can get 15 GB free storage space using Google drive; this makes it easier to share a lot of images on your blog. The editor looks somehow similar to the Word page, and the platform somehow resembles Google+ profile. To drive the main focus on writing, the blogger comes with simple looks options.
Blogger comes with a spam filter which keeps you away from unnecessary comments. You can see your visitor stats. Moreover, you can also view a distributed global map to get a handy visualisation of your targeted regions.
Like all Google services, your blog will have ads, and your address will be like sitename.blogger.com.
- Blogger takes care of all the maintenance, hosting and technical updating.
- Blogger is free to use.
- Since Google provides the blogger, it integrates well with Google Drive and other platforms.
- You can use mobile-optimized templates.
- You will not get a lot of updating features.
- Blogger will display advertisements on your content.
- Blogger lags design options, updates and a lot of additional features.
- Not so powerful like WordPress.
It is for those who are more focused on the website detailing and need host support.
Joomla is an open-source system using which you can create every kind of website. You will get free software, but you need to pay for the hosting just like WordPress.
Joomla is a platform that looks like Microsoft Word in terms of the tools in the menu. On the editor, the tags include selecting keywords, post category, date, meta description etc.
Generally speaking, you should use Joomla.org when you want to create a more complex and detailed website. You will have a lot of templates and extension functionality options.
- More features and functionalities can be accessed using add-ins and extensions.
- You can change the designs by choosing between hundreds of templates.
- Using this powerful platform, you can easily create websites that have more offering than just the blog.
- You need to have some knowledge of HTML and CSS. There is a lot of technical stuff on this platform.
- You have to avail Joomla hosting. Otherwise, you have to manage security and backups on your own.
It is for those looking for robust and modern offerings.
You need to pay for hosting, but then you can download the software for free. Indeed, the ghost is relatively cheap, and you are provided with some cool features that form the start.
- You will get a user friendly, intuitive and straightforward interface.
- You can do a live preview of your blog post.
- If you are using the hosted version, then you don’t need a setup.
- Ghost is mainly focused on writing and blogging.
- You will get built-in SEO and social media capabilities along with integrated functions for accelerated mobile pages.
- You won’t get a large number of themes to choose from.
- You might find the self-hosted version of the ghost a bit complicated to use and setup.
- Ghost has a limited number of customisation options.
If you are looking for an all in one content management system, Squarespace is the destination for you. You can create your website, track results, even sell your products and host your content on Squarespace.
You can gather a vast audience with the help of marketing tools. Squarespace is famous for the look it can give to your blog through its minimal blog layout and quality of templates. Squarespace often organises webinars and tutorials so that you can learn everything you need to run your blog.
- you can build your online store.
- You will get a free trial to take a tour of the platform.
- They provide you with 24/7-hour customer support for any issue.
- SSL encryption is already built-in.
- You can choose from a lot of professional design templates.
- You can promote your blog on marketing channels using marketing tools.
- You can integrate with a limited number of third-party tools and services.
- If running a simple blog website is your aim, then using this platform can prove to be a little overpowered.
You have to use only those features that are provided by Squarespace
So basically, after choosing the right platform, you need to follow these six necessary steps:
- Find a name for your website.
- Buy a domain and get web hosting: depending upon your favourite platform.
- Install software that can host your website.
- Select a theme and template.
- Add some plug-ins and add-ons.
- Launch your blog and share your writings.
It’s time to decide:
There exists a sheer number of blog sites and platforms. We have reviewed some of the popular platforms. Now it’s time to pick up the best one for you.
Best platform for dedicated bloggers: wordpress.org
Best platform for free: wordpress.com
Best platform for photographers: squarespace.com
Best platform for writers: medium.com
The best platform to make money: wix.com
Most updated and powerful platform: ghost.org
Best platform for complex and detailed website: joomla.org
Best platform for personal bloggers: blogger.com
It’s time to summarize about every platform we discussed so that you can pick the best one for your site. The following table will help you.
|Platform||Hosting included||Free plan||Designs available||Plugins & extensions||Ease of use||Pricing|
|WordPress.org||No||Yes||1000+||1000+||7/10||Domain name- $10/year Web hosting- $4/month|
|WordPress.com||Yes||Yes||100+||NA||9/10||Personal- ₹160/month Premium-₹280/month Business-₹640/month eCommerce-₹1152/month|
|Wix||yes||Yes||100+||10+||8/10||Connect domain-₹80/month For freelancers- ₹185/month Personal -₹125/month VIP-₹325/month|
|Medium||Yes||Yes||NA||NA||10/10||$5/month for membership|
|Blogger||yes||Yes||Almost zero||NA||8/10||Free domain|
|Squarespace||Yes||No||10+||100+||9/10||Personal- $12/month Business- $18/month Commerce- $40/month|
So which is the best blogging platform for you? Do you already have any experience of these sites? Do let us know your reviews and experiences if you have some in the comment section.
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These are the factors you should look for in a blogging platform.
· Look for better features
· Look for a more user-friendly interface
· Look for various monetisation capabilities
· Look for low costs
Metrics to track the performance of a website are:
· Largest contentful paint (LCP)
· Speed index
· First input delay (FID)
· First meaningful paint
· Time to interactive
· Max potential first input delay
· Cumulative layout shift (CLS)
For more details, You can also read the article on how to write a best blog
We have reviewed some of the popular platforms for you:
· Best platform for dedicated bloggers: wordpress.org
· Best platform for free: wordpress.com
· Best platform for photographers: squarespace.com
· Best platform for writers: medium.com
· The best platform to make money: wix.com
· Most updated and powerful platform: ghost.org
· Best platform for complex and detailed website: joomla.org
· Best platform for personal bloggers: blogger.com
You can also check out my article to know more tips on how to blog like a pro.