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Where do I start my blog? This may be one of your first questions if you want to start your own blog.
It really is an important question and lays the building blocks of your blog. It can affect your frustration level, the speed and performance of your blog, and your ability to customize it.
Therefore, choosing the best blogging platform in the beginning is a must-do on your blog-starting journey.
So read on! Below is the information you need about some of the most popular blogging sites out there so you can make the right choice for you.
Here are my picks of the 12 best blogging platforms and sites for starting your own blog:
How do I choose the best blogging platform?
Reviewing all of the options below will help you get a good idea. But you should be considering a few key factors:
Blog customization abilities
Make sure you will have options for changing the structure and look of your blog, as well as adding functions such as ads or ecommerce
Speed of loading time for your blog
The time it takes for your blog site to load can affect your SEO and your google ranking. There are a lot of things you will have to do over time to improve your speed, but starting with a blogging platform designer for performance will help lay a good foundation.
site Security and blog backup options included
Having your site protected from malware and hacking is super important! And it is much safer if a blogging platform or site includes backup for you. That way if anything ever goes wrong, they can restore all your months of work with the click of a button.
Customer support and assistance
When you are a newbie blogger, and even when you are a pro, having access to someone to help you with issues is so important! Trying to fix things all by yourself is never a good idea.
WordPress.org (powered by a blog hosting site)
So before I go through the best blogging platform and site options, I want to mention one important building block. For the blog hosting site options listed below of #1-8, they all include your use of WordPress.org.
Technically it is the “blogging platform” and they are the blog hosting sites, but since it is the most important blog platform to use, I have several options including it.
Not to be confused with WordPress.com, WordPress.org gives you the capabilities you need to build a money-making blog. It is an open source platform that was actually built for blogging.
While it may take a bit more time to learn how to use it, it will give you more flexibility. If you purchase premium design themes that come with customer support, it is a good way to get help when first setting up your blog.
With WordPress.org, you will need a web hosting company like the ones detailed below, but the great news is they all make it easy to set up your blog on the WordPress.org platform.
Thousands and thousands of free and premium plugins give you the ability to add just about any feature you want to. Plugins are extremely easy to install and generally easy to use. They give you additional capabilities like placing ads, and customizing the look you want.
For this reason, we do not suggest using WordPress.com. Instead you should opt for a blog built on WordPress.org and powered by one of the blog hosting sites listed below! wordpress.org my top choice platform for starting a blog.
In order to have your blog on wordPress, you will need to choose what is called a web hosting site. To basically “host” your blog. There are actually a lot of hosting options out there, below is a list of our top choices.
Bluehost is a super easy way to start your blog, and the way many of the pros began. What makes Bluehost a no-brainer choice, is you can get your domain url, web hosting, and WordPress.org platform all at once.
Plus, when you sign up for the web hosting, the url comes free for the first year.
They have 3 plans to choose from, all of which are super affordable. They are actually officially recommended by WordPress! Their 1-click WordPress install couldn’t be simpler and they offer 24/7 support when you run into issues.
With a basic plan that is just $3.95/month and includes your free domain name, this is an ideal way to start your blogging journey and keep costs down. If you want improved performance or features like automatic backup, you can opt for a slightly more expensive plan.
Bluehost is an officially recommended by WordPress, so you can trust it is a safe bet to start your blog on the WordPress platform with Bluehost. And, since the monthly price is so low, this makes it a best blogging platform choice for making money as your overhead is low.
Monthly plans starting at $3.95
- 1-click wordpress install
- Low monthly price with free url the first year
- Hundreds of available themes which can be plugged into your blog with sign up
- 24/7 support for any issues
- Free email addresses for your site
- Tons of plugins, apps and extensions available
- Shared server means not as fast loading time as some of the more expensive web hosts — However, if you opt for one of the premium, non-shared hosting monthly plans speed time will increase.) They have recently added a premium, managed WordPress hosting plan if you want to opt for more performance.
Bottom line: If you are just starting your blog, trying to keep costs down but want the ability to build a proper blog and grow it Bluehost is an ideal blogging platform.
This is another web hosting platform, similar to Bluehost. You can easily and affordably start your blog with HostGator.
They also provide a WordPress installation with your web hosting plan. Plans start as low as $2.75 a month and go up in price from there, depending on the capabilities you want.
Just like Bluehost, they offer your domain url free for the first year so you automatically save about $30 to start. They offer multiple hosting and application options, from WordPress to Joomla and more.
HostGator offers flexibility with installations and the type of site you want, from blog to ecommerce or CMS.
They also have an easy-to-use website builder if you are starting a regular website instead of a blog. It features and easy drag and drop builder and is fully customizable.
HostGator is a great place to start your blog as it is built for site speed. They also offer easy and free site migrations if you blog is hosted on another site and you want to switch to them. Use this link and the coupon code SNAPPY to save 20% off your hosting plan today!
Monthly plans starting at $2.75 (20% off with this link and code SNAPPY)
- Easy wordpress installation
- Low monthly price with free url the first year
- 24/7 support for any issues
- Free, unlimited email addresses for your site
- WordPress built hosting, designed for fast load times
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Automatic backups
- Backup restoration requires additional fee
- Slower customer support response times
SiteGround is a consistently top-rated, managed hosting company for WordPress. They are actually an officially recommended provider by WordPress.
SiteGround provides you with its proprietary plugin for speed and performance optimization that offers capabilities like lazy loading. This can save you a little money as you won’t need to opt for a premium cache plugin.
SiteGround provides your site with fast-loading time, security, and uptime for a great price. (I suggest opting for the GoGeek plan at $11.95 for added features.) They also offer cloud-hosting for high performance, larger sites. I am currently using SiteGround for my site!
- Monthly plans start at $3.95
- 24/7 support
- Fast speed and performance
- Free and quick site migration
- WordPress installation and WordPress support
- Advanced caching and Cloudflare CDN included
- Email addresses included
- No free domain offered
- Limited data storage
4. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is one of the older providers, having started in 2001. Like the others mentioned so far, they offer shared hosting for a lower monthly price, or managed WordPress hosting for improved performance and support.
If you need something even more advanced, they have VPS and cloud hosting plans available. In total, they offer 6 different types of hosting plans, you can pick the best choice for your blog.
A2 Hosting offers excellent customer service and even offers a full refund within 30 days of signing up if you are unhappy. They have extra secure servers, but do not have the best uptime compared to other blogging sites and platforms.
In addition, they do offer speed. Their tagline is actually “Our Speed, Your Success” if that tells you anything about their priorities! Start your blog with A2 Hosting today.
- As low as $3.92 per month for WordPress hosting plans
- Very fast performance
- Backups included with some plans
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Extra secure servers and excellent customer service
- Money back guarantee
- On demand backups require separate purchase
- Uptime not as good as other sites
- No support for PCI compliance which makes it not an ideal fit for eCommerce sites
5. WP Engine
WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting instead of a shared hosting site. (Note: the cheaper Blue Host monthly plan is for “shared” hosting which will not have the same performance. The VPS plans of Blue Host however are managed instead of shared.)
The managed WordPress sites cost more per month, but as-is usually the case, you get more for your money.
With a managed hosting plan from WP Engine, you get premium support with WordPress experts on your side. Plus, these hosts will run the technical aspects of your site such as security, speed which is super important, backups and more for you.
Built for developing and hosting fast and reliable WordPress sites, WP Engine is an ideal blogging platform for your site.
WP Engine features the Genesis framework which is a more customizable and flexible architecture for your blog. Genesis framework is also supposed to improve your blog site speed. And with a WP Engine blog hosting plan, you get 36 themes built on the Genesis framework for free!
Not all themes can be used with the Genesis framework however. You will just need to make sure the theme you choose is compatible, but since the WP Engine plan comes with 36 free compatible themes, you will have plenty of options.
Plans start at $25 a month, so it is not the cheapest option but you get access to 36 premium Studio Press themes which saves you close to $100. And, because they focus on WordPress, I highly recommend them as a site to host your blog.
The free Genesis (preferred blog framework) themes, the managed support and the speed make this a best blogging platform choice.
- Monthly plans start at $25
- Automated backups included
- 24/7 support
- Plug-ins and apps supported for unlimited customization
- Easy and free migration of your existing site if you want to switch
- Access to WordPress experts
- Comes with 36 free, premium themes for your blog (normally $99)
- Higher monthly payment plan with no cheaper, shared hosting option
This managed cloud hosting platform includes 24/7 support and a built-in CDN for speed and performance. They have several different package types with altering tiers depending on the size and needs for your business.
Cloud hosted means a simpler process for you with better speed and performance. Plus, you can add services as needed from other providers they work with such as google.
With Cloudways you get 99.99% uptime and loading speeds around 400 – 600 milliseconds. Their loading times are 40%-50% better than a regular hosting service.
Cloud systems like these show better speed and performance than regular hosting. Daily automatic backups and server monitoring are just a couple more advantages of signing up with Cloudways to start your blog.
- Monthly rates starting at $10
- Increase speed, uptime and performance
- Automatic backups included
- 24/7 support and monitoring
- Managed security
- Free site migration from your current host
- Free trial plan
- No cPanel, they have their own console for managing your applications
- No email accounts or domain registrations available (you will have to use another site to register and purchase your domain name)
- Not as easy-to-use, requires some technical learning since you will have your own serve
Another managed WordPress hosting company, Kinsta provides high speeds, high performance and excellent customer service. Some big-name, big-site companies like Intuit and Rico use Kinsta.
Kinsta is powered by Google Cloud Platform, a premium tier network that provides improved speed, so if fast is what you want, then Kinsta is a no-brainer choice of blogging site.
They use state-of-the-art technology to boost speed and also offer maximum security to protect your site. And, since they are WordPress experts, you can get the support you need for help on your blog. They have plans ranging from a single blog site, to enterprise level if you run several sites.
Check out Kinsta’s article on optimizing speed on your WordPress site for some great tips.
- $30/month plan
- Staging environment for making changes
- Hosted on Google Cloud Platform, which means they are using google data centers, improving speed and performance
- Excellent customer support
- CDN included as well as daily automatic backups
- Optimized for eCommerce
- No cPanel if you are accustomed to that
- Lower-priced plans not available
- No email hosting provided, you will have to have an email account outside of Kinsta
8. Liquid Web
Liquid Web is another managed WordPress hosting company that is well-respected and offers superior speed and performance for your blog or website. They offer multiple levels of plans from WordPress hosting to cloud sites, or VPS. And, if you are more focused on eCommerce they have offer a plan tailored to that.
Pricing plans vary by needs for your site, but for a WordPress blog they have $19/month option that is less expensive than many other managed WordPress sites.
Because Liquid Web has WordPress experts on-hand, you can get expert support when you need help. Liquid Web consistently ranks high for speed and for customer support, making it an excellent choice for your blogging platform. Plus, they have over a million sites currently under management!
- Managed WordPress hosting starts at $19/month
- Very fast loading times
- High performance servers
- 24/7 support
- Great option for scaling and growing your business
- 99.9% uptime
- Proactive management of your hosting for network, security and availability
- Higher priced option
- No shared hosting plan offered for entry level, economical hosting
The following site options, #9-12, are not wordpress.org platforms, but what I would call “website builders.” While they may not have the same level of customization as a wordpress.org site will, they are easy to start.
They are especially ideal if you are looking for a simpler website, maybe to just sell products, or advertise freelance services.
Also, if you want a super fast and easy way to start your own blog these will allow that. However, my recommendation if you are starting your own blog, is to choose one of the options 1-8 from the beginning of this article! While these website builders allow an easy start for your blog, they don’t provide the customization you need for the ideal blog.
Site123, as the name indicates, helps you set up your site as easy as 1-2-3! With customized templates based on niche, you can choose and implement a design for your website or blog with little effort.
It is quick and easy to sign up, choose a theme, and get started with content creation.
It is important to note that Site123 is not a “Drag-and-drop” website builder. However, there are a lot of page elements you can choose from to get the look you want. One advantage of Site123 is they offer a lot of plugins so you can add functionality to your site. Plus, they have eCommerce functionality.
- Plans start as low as $10.80/month
- Easy set up of your site
- Simplicity of installation
- Plugins and integrations available
- Free domain provided with monthly plan
- Free plan available, but some with SIte123 branding
- More expensive than its direct competitors, with limits on bandwidth and storage
- Not as good a value as a self-hosting option
- Less design and layout customization available
Wix is a free website builder, although the free option requires Wix ads on your site. It is primarily a general website builder, but can also be used to start a blog. Designs are mobile-friendly and it is an easy-to-use solution whether you are setting up an online store, or starting a blog.
You can start from scratch with your web design or pick from templates and customize them for your site. Or for an even easier set up, if you answer a few questions you can actually get a free website designed just for you!
It features an easy drag and drop builder and the ability to have animations, scroll effects and even video backgrounds. I suggest that you choose to upgrade to a premium plan. This requires a small monthly charge for additional features, but includes $300 in ad vouchers and the removal of Wix ads from your site.
- Plans range from free to monthly depending on the level chosen. ($13, $17, $22, and $39 per month)
- Easy-to-use drag and drop builder
- Lots of available design options and templates
- Hosting included, quickt o set up
- A.I. feature will design your blog automatically based on your input
- Comes with a free stock image repository
- Free account features Wix branding
- Not as much ecommerce functionality
- You won’t be able to migrate your site to another host later
- Not as many free apps available
Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder. It is super easy to use and simple to set up, making it great for beginners. However, it does not come with as many choices for customization as other blogging platforms do.
If you want to have eCommerce capabilities and sell products on your blog or website, you will need the upgraded, more expensive plan and have to pay 3% transaction fees.
- Monthly plans start at $12 and go up to $40
- Free domain
- Hosting and domain included
- 24/7 customer support
- Website analytics provided
- SEO features
- Variety of template options
- Easy-to-use backend design
- Not as many third-party integrations, no support for plugins or apps so less customization
- Limited to using the platform’s features
- More expensive than other optionsNo phone support, only chat support online
Weebly is a website builder and blogging platform that includes a drag and drop builder and easy-to-use features. They offer a free plan as well.
It is great if you want to quickly create a blog or website, but if you are looking for the ability to change CSS or HTML code for customization you won’t have that. There are a lot of built-in tools with the platform however. For instance, you can add an online store, contact form etc. without installing an extension.
- Plans start at free!
- Drag-and-drop builder
- Good SEO features built-in
- Easy to use
- Limited third-party integrations
- The free plan has Weebly branding and subdomain which I don’t suggest for your blog
- Weebly hosts the site which makes migrating your site or switching to another platform very difficult (with the wordpress.org self-hosted options, you own all the content and can move or switch easily)
Other blogging platforms not recommended
There are a quite a few blogging platforms that are free and super easy-to-setup that you may see in your google searches that I wanted to mention because I do not suggest them! Platforms like blogger, wordpress.com (not to be confused with wordpress.org which I do suggest) and blogspot are just a few.
While these may seem like a great way to start your blog don’t! You won’t own your url or be able to have a clean domain name and full blog customization options.
So if you are ready to start your own blog, then choose one of the options 1-8 and get going today!
My favorite blogging tools
Tailwind for Pinterest to help boost your blog traffic
Constant Contact for emailing subscribers
Elegant Themes for design themes