If you have already decided to start a blog congratulations and welcome to the community.
I am sure like me you must have also heard about all the platforms present to start a blog.
When i started my very first blog which was a collage of royalty free images depicting stories from India from 19th and 20th centuries.
There were not many options available. I was not sure even sure if blogging was a just a summer hobby or a long term commitment. This was about 8 years ago when wordpress was also new and blogger was pretty much the only option available.
I was not entirely sure if blogger's template would do justice to blog which was essentially had many pictures and supporting text. But I went and started with blogger as I had no choice
It would have been much easier ten years ago when there was no choice and if you had to blog you just had to write.
But not today.
The social media has shaped most of the platforms available today. If you are someone who expresses themselves more with pictures and audio there are customized platforms which help you go beyond words.
Or if you simply want words to flow from your mind onto the screen there are no-nonsense sites which help you voice your opinion taking care of the reach and teach technical aspects like SEO and design optimization for different devices.
Before introducing you to the options available I would like you to consider a few questions which will make sure that you stick to your chosen platform and not jump platforms.
What kind of blog are you looking to establish?
Is your blog about fashion which will be rich in pictures?
A cookery blog which will comprise of pictures and the recipe too?
Or a simple blog commenting on a social issues expressing your opinion?
Are you HTML friendly or prefer customized themes?
There are a few platforms which provide you freedom to choose themes but a few which
Don’t offer that freedom, but if you know a bit of HTML or CSS you can customize your blog as you like.
Do you plan to switch to premium CMS in future?
Are planning to generate income from your blog in future or see it as a hobby which you will keep as one.
I will introduce you to all the mediums available out there so that you will be informed, free to decide which one to choose.
Whose it for: Any person who's new to blogging and would like to consider blogging professionally at some point in time.
You must have already heard about wordpress if you have been planning to start a blog.
Afterall it powers one in every six websites.
WordPress apart from being a free blogging platform is a rich content management system.
Wordpress provides reasonable amount of customization and a few plugins to manage social media likes, sharing, email subscription and SEO.
There are hundreds of free themes to choose from many of which can be customized.
You can easily upgrade to a premium plan and have a self hosted website.
- 3GB of storage space for all your content
- Plugins such as social media buttons, contact form builder, email list builder and analytics available for free
- A huge community online and extensive support network.
- Nice clean design with enough customization for a free platform.
Whose it for: A hobby blogger
Although Google bought blogspot and named it blogger but it has remained a neglected child since.
There are not many customizations or themes to choose from.
It’s a no-nonsense platform which wants you to write and only write. It is an ancient platform with no feature addition or plugin updates for years.
Also it will be a cumbersome task if you plan to move to a self hosted domain as you will loose all your SEO.
A lot of people who start blogging still use Blogspot as it’s backed by Google.
Another plus is the ease of interaction with adsense. Yes you can monetize your free blog.
You cannot integrate Google’s ad program (adsense)with wordpress or any other blogging platform. Also you get best of analytics with google analytics on board.
So you can actually make a little money without making any investment .
- A Chance to monetize your blog
- Quick setup and easy to use
- No plugins but a decent range of simple gadgets
Whose it for: A microblogger who would like to integrate animation, pictures and sound to Convey the message
It's a bit difficult to describe but fun and easy to use.
It's an lies somewhere in a space between twitter and WordPress.
Its a microblogging site but does not limit you in any way. You can make colourful post choose wide variety of templates integrate GIFs images. If you are a storyteller tumblr is a great place for you to unwind and create magical posts.
Below stats prove that tumblr is a hot favourite with generation y
- Already 106 million blogs on tumblr
- Popular among the millennials if that’s your audience.
- Hundreds of themes which can be customized in a lot of ways.
Whose it for: An opinionated blogger trying to build a following.
Medium comes to us from founders of Twitter and Blogger(before it was sold to google in 2003). Medium boasts of a clean setup. It’s writing tool is clutter free and easy to use and
If you are a serious writer you are going to love medium.
If you remember MySpace, the obsession was about the design of your page, We've taken a great care to create a writing environment that gives you just the tools you need in terms of formatting to focus on your words.
Evan Clark Williams
Medium does not provide a lot of customization.
If you have a passion for writing and want to hone your craft medium is the medium for you.
- A place to discover and get discovered if writing is your forte.
- Has a clean design and resourceful tool box but cannot be customized in any way.
Also hailed as the wordpress killer Ghost is a platform which has got the community excited.
Unlike wordpress which is mostly a CMS and has matured from a blogging platform to a website building tool, Ghost is being marketed as a Blogging platform.
Ghost is an open source project which means there no restrictions at all on themes, plugins or anything else
Ghost is a not for profit project and is headed by John O’Nolan former deputy head at
WordPress UX team.
I prior to researching for this article didn’t have much information about Ghost except that it was a new free not for profit initiative
You can learn more about Ghost at Ghost for beginners
A community is developing and exciting new developments are taking place each day.
- designed as a platform for bloggers not for you if you want an extensive site.
- clear write and publishing interface
- no extrnal plugins
- Runs on node js
- a new and promising platform still in beta phase
So these are the best free platforms out there and you need to choose one for you based on the kind of blog you will be hosting.
Clearly there are many options to choose from and each platform is getting better everyday.
Do leave comments if you still have doubts of any sorts will be happy to help.