Welove to consume content.
Wewant to stay updated, know all the latest happenings around the world. Contentgives us a leeway to strike a conversation with others as well as get sharinginformation.
Inthe 21st Century, with so many things interconnected, a lot of stories aregenerated every other minute. While early on, it would’ve been impossible tokeep track of all the happenings, with the Internet you get a safe harbor toaccess them. Probably not all at once, but you can access them in the future.
Blogginghas been instrumental in the Internet’s development and its hold over contentcreation and consumption. People have different experiences and stories totell, and blogging gives you a platform for your stories.
The development of the internet, from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, shifted its focus from sharing content to focus more on user-generated content.
Bloggingusually involves sharing your personal opinions and experiences. You can blogfor a non-profit reason, keeping a journal of sorts, sharing it with yourfriends and acquaintances. Or, you can make for-profit blogs sharing yourexpertise on a certain subject.
Youmight want to jump on the bandwagon of blogging. After all, everyone has astory to tell.
Inthat case, we bring you a list of 21 Best Free Blogging Platforms to Start yourBlog in 2020.
Itis noteworthy to mention the fact that WordPress powers about 30% of theinternet. They must be doing something to have such a share of the pie. Andthat is thanks to two reasons:
- Easy-to-use and build interface.
- Lots of customizability options to choose form.
WordPressis offered in two variants: one is WordPress.com, and another isWordPress.org. The difference being the latter is used for the self-hosted blogfor which you have to buy your hosting service and domain name. Both of theseinvolve shelling some bucks out.
Thishosting problem is not the case with WordPress.com.
Theyhave designed the interface as such that you can easily set up your blog withinminutes. The basic blog is stocked with all the basic features to create yourfirst post.
Althoughthe drawback of the platform is that you won’t be able to use a wide range ofplugins and themes that are available on the marketplace; plus you don’t havethe full claim of your blog, your blog must abide by the rules of WordPress.
Andin any case, if you violate their ToC, they can straightaway suspend yourwebsite. The reasons are often ambiguous, and one is in constant fear ofgetting all the hard work flushed down the drain.
Firstdeveloped by Pyra Labs in ‘99 and then sold to Google in ‘03, Blogger has seenits share of development over the years. Having the Google stamp over theproduct means that you get a quality assurance on par with Google’s otherproducts like Google Drive.
Withthe help of Google account, you can easily sign and start creating your firstblog post. It is easy to use and self-explanatory in design. You don’t need toknow the code aspect to redesign, although Google provides you with the HTMLcodes to tweak around.
Beingbacked by Google brings another benefit. It has a very good up-time, and yourblog would rarely go down. Plus with the help of Google’s cloud services, youcan easily save thousands of images and video data relating to the website.
However,there are two major drawbacks:
- It doesn’t offer you many options to customize. Layouts restrict you.
- Google is known to discard their products in a flash (Orkut, Google Plus). Although there are very fewer chances of Blogger going offline soon, there is still a possibility.
Chances that a Wix ad has greeted you by now are quite high.
Wixis a recently launched service. However, they are targeting first-time userswho want to start their content-based blogs and websites. And as such, theyhave created tools and mechanisms that are user-friendly and can get youstarted ASAP.
Ituses a drag-and-drop mechanism to customize your website, and also provides youwith the HTML code just in case you want to develop it at a more atomic scale.
UnlikeBlogger, it offers you about 500 designs to choose from. Although onceselected, you can’t change the theme again. It also doesn’t allow you toinstall new features.
Witha free account, you get 500 MB each of the bandwidth and storage capacity.Enough if you are not running a media-intensive website.
Also,with the free version, you will have a Wix marking on your website. And a Wixsubdomain and not a top-level-domain like .com.
Tumblrwas made for the entire process of writing and expressing ideas easier. Youdon’t have to worry about hosting and all; you should focus on content that youwant to share among the Tumblr community.
Insanelypopular amongst the teens, especially people belonging to a certain trope orfandom, you can easily connect with new people on the platform. The entirepurpose of the platform is to create content and re-blog/share content made byother users/bloggers.
It is more of a microblogging website centered around sharing, and not exclusive to written content. You can share almost anything, ranging from GIFs to images, without the need to write content.
This option might repel some bloggers looking forward to writing content, but it promises you a good audience to pitch your content.
Majordrawbacks include: harder to take backup and import, and not manycustomizability options available.
Ifyou are a blogger looking to work your way around with words and seeking peoplewho are interested in the same, Medium is the platform for you. Like-mindedessayists, columnists, and bloggers usually visit the platform.
Startedin 2012 by one of the Twitter founders, it gives you a WYSIWYG editor throughwhich you can easily put your content out.
It follows a system synonymous with Facebook, where instead of a like button, they provide you with a clap button to rate the articles. It also follows a tag system that splits the story into different categories so that users can choose which category they want to read first specifically.
It also comes with a total time read widget, which helps users to know how much time they will require to go through it.
Youcan see how they designed features to attract readers.
- You don’t have to code.
- You can easily get an audience thatwants to read the content.
- You don’t have to waste timedesigning a website.
Butthe negatives are:
- Medium essentially provides you withan account. So if they disband your account, you lose all your content as wellas your users.
- You also can’t monetize youraudience through ads, although affiliate marketing can be used effectively.
Quoracan be said to be a glorified Yahoo Answers.
WhileYahoo Answers was not able to control spam questions and answers, which led toa drop in credibility, Quora has managed to control this issue. It is by farthe #1 Q&A website.
UnlikeYahoo Answers, you can follow others on Quora and create your following. Youcan get your question answered by popular people and get posed by questionsfrom others.
Theyare trying to expand their business by providing users with the ability tocreate their blog. Once you build a good following by answering the questions,you can have readers for your blog, and start writing for them. You can evenbecome an authoritative person in a sub-niche such as blogging.
Quoradoesn’t provide you with options of customizability; you have to stick to theirdefault template. You are provided with an editor to write your content. If youwant to focus on writing content and not about anything else, this can serveyou perfectly.
Comingon the lines of Wix, Weebly is a web-hosting service that lets you create blogson the go. With the help of a drag-and-drop builder, you can easily customizethe major elements of the website.
Theyhave designed their service so that you don’t have to break a sweat whiledesigning the website. It gives you different customizable layouts and freethemes to choose from.
Evenif you don’t want to buy the premium version, you still have the option to givetheir service a run.
Thereare several cons, though:
- Integration with 3rd party apps ishard.
- Ads are present in the free version.
- exporting the website is difficult.
Yolais a simple and straightforward service. You don’t get many pages to create andedit: you get about two websites and three pages to do your job. But on thepositive end, you get about 1GB of capacity and bandwidth. So if you are makinguse of product landing pages, this might work fine in your favor.
Configuringand designing pages is easy and straightforward. Adding to the mix aredrag-and-drop-widgets and customizable layouts, and visually, you can createyour blog appealing. Plus, you also get the option to edit the CSS if you wantto get your hands dirty in coding and tweaking.
Drupalis one of the most well-known website builders in the industry. Dries Buytaertdeveloped it in May of 2000 as an open-source content-management framework thatcan hold your content in streamlined order. It gives you better reliability andperformance, along with security.
Drupalis not as popular as WordPress or Blogger, but it has its active community,which develops modules for it. Thanks to this community, there are a lot ofthemes to dabble with, plus you also have modules to enhance the functionalityof the blog.
Onthe downside, you need to know the technical aspects of Drupal quite well tostart working with it. If you are a newbie foraying into blogging, learningtechnical stuff to start blogging is something you might not like. It alsoworks slower compared to other customized platforms like Blogger.
Squarespacehas sponsored a good number of videos on YouTube. But while they promote theirservice like crazy, they also offer you a service at the same standards.
Itis easy to use and offers you a lot of options. Seriously, a lot. From buildingpersonal blogs to create a web store, you can get it done easily and quicklywith SquareSpace.
Thebest part is that it comes with different themes to choose from. You need totweak a little bit here and there, and you are ready to go live with your blog.So if you are a newbie blogger who wants to create a good looking blog withoutthe hassle of getting into technicalities, you should give SquareSpace a look.
Youdon’t have to worry about the host, as SquareSpace does the hosting part byitself.
Itcomes with a 14-day trial period, after which plans start from $24-$48 permonth.
Oneof the industry veterans: Joomla is an open-source content management servicealmost on par with WordPress. Like WordPress, users can log on to the backendof the website from where they can customize the content as they want.
Youhave a healthy number of themes and add-ons to choose from to further enhanceyour blog, although the community is not that diverse as that of WordPress.
Itis a capable service with more options to customize your website compared toWordPress. Point to note here is that it is a self-hosted service, and you willrequire a hosting service and domain name to go along. So, although Joomla isfree to use, you will need to spend bucks on hosting it.
#12. Google Sites
Thisservice from Google is intended to target business users. It promotes datasharing and real-time collaboration among different users. That is, users canedit the same set of content and see which user has edited what content.
Itgives you a structured wiki-type website. If you have a Google account, you caneasily sign-in and create your own blog/website. It follows a drag and dropmechanism, so you don’t have to dip yourself in coding.
Plus,two of its best features are:
- It is responsive, looks great acrossdifferent devices.
- It can be easily incorporated withother Google applications like Google Calendar and Google Docs.
Althoughtwo major drawbacks are:
- The inability to add AdSense ads on your website.
- Few customizable options.
Foundedby three ex-Microsoft employees, HubPages is a user-generated contentaggregator website.
Usersare known as hubbers who provide content in the form of an article (known ashubs) to the website. The best part about this platform is that if your articlegenerates enough traffic, you also get paid.
Toearn an income, you need to have a valid AdSense account. If you don’t have anAdSense account, you can apply for one after submitting 10-15 hubs. You getpaid by the number of clicks you get on the ad. Once the earnings reach $50,you are paid.
HubPageshad acquired Squidoo, one of its major competitors, and now remains the top inits sub-domain, although they have shifted their approach from a single-site tomulti-site.
Youdon’t get to customize much, as all the posts follow a standard styling.
Asthe name suggests, it is a no-nonsense website builder. It compromises some ofits customizability options for easy to set up features. While you are settingup, you have been provided with the option to create for personal uses orbusiness uses to set up your blog effectively.
Itoffers you a simple theme and not a lot of options to customize. It is a greatservice for first-time bloggers.
Itis also mobile-friendly so that you don’t lose the audience from a differentplatform. If you are planning to scale your website in terms of an increase inthe audience this won’t be able to give you many options on that front either.It offers you a very limited set of features.
Also,the support is quite a lackey, although you would rarely require one.
TypePadis one of the industry veterans. Started in 2003, it still enjoys nichepopularity among a selected few. It is simple in design and easy to manipulate,one of the reasons why major companies like MSNBC, ABC, BBC, Sky News use theservice for their weblogs.
Theproduct was made for non-technical users with essential features like theability to add photo albums, mobile blogging support, and multiple authorsupport.
Otheressential features include amazing customer support, easy tools to design,several design templates to choose from, easy to upload photos and manipulatesidebar with widgets.
Youcan’t upload your website’s banner or change the colors of the blog unless youhave a plus account. For further customization, you are given access to the CSScode, but for that, you will require a pro account.
Jimdo’swebsite building service is targeted toward personal use and small businessowners. These types of people aren’t interested in getting into thecomplexities of running a website from the ground up.
Assuch, Jimdo has tried to make its website building service as smooth as it can.You can either make it through the Jimdo Creator, which is an interface basedon drag-and-drop format. You can click on sections, and replace the contentwith your content.
Italso offers you another option: Jimdo Dolphin. It is an artificial designintelligence solution. You need to answer some questions, and the AI will builda website for you.
Bestfeatures include the ability to tweak your website’s overall SEO, one of thesimplest website builders, ability to create a blog on the mobile app.
Butlike some of the other services on this website, it compromises its easy to usenature with a lack of templates. You also don’t get a preview option; changesonce made will automatically be applied to the live blog.
Angelfireis the godfather of all website building services. It predates most of thempresent in the list. It is so old that when Mark Zuckerberg was 15, created oneof his first blog on the website.
Onthe front, they offer you over 200 templates to choose from, drag and dropbuilder interface, and a free plan to choose.
Althoughthe sad part is that quite a lot of things are going against it. Themes are notresponsive and also not up to standard to what websites use these say. Thisshortcoming means there is no mobile version of your website.
Ifyou were to see their social media presence, their last tweets and posts werefrom 2012, and after that, it feels like an abandoned place.
Thebottom line is this: Angelfire would have appealed to people in 1996 when therewere not a lot of options to tweak. But they have failed to keep up with theprogress in web development.
Diigois quite different in its approach.
Youdon’t create content. You instead collect links from the internet and store iton a single page. You can bookmark and tag web pages for future access.
Onceyou bookmark links, you can annotate certain parts of the webpage and highlightwebpages. You can attach sticky notes to these highlighted areas or the entirewebpage.
Afteryou create your bookmarks, you can choose to share them with other people; theyhave aimed to make Diigo a social-networking website. So it can do a great jobwhen collaborating with other people to research on certain topics.
Oneof the best features included in the premium section, where pages onceannotated, will be with you forever — no matter whether that specific webpageexists at the source or not.
Diigocan come in handy for you when searching for topics and content for your nextblog.
Splashis an event management service. It won’t appeal to users looking to buildpersonal blogs and websites, but if you are planning to have a platform foryour event, this can do a good job.
Agood number of Fortune 500 companies use Splash. And Splash’s approach is tomaximize user conversion. It achieves this by providing users with analytics ateach stage. It can also be incorporated with 3rd party applications like Slackand Salesforce for better hold on your marketing process.
Youcan also track your events' progress through the dashboard present in theSplash.
Developingweb pages is easy with Splash, and it provides you with a drag and drop builderand beautiful looking responsive designs so that your brand credibility staysput without compromising on putting in too much effort.
Italso gives you responsive themes to choose from that work amazing across allplatforms, especially mobile platforms.
Asthe name suggests, with this website, you can create your own journal. Thecompany claims that the service is the middle ground between blogging andsocial networking.
Itallows users to create journals that can then be shared with other people basedon the restriction level. You can also keep your journal entirely private,making it work as a diary as well.
Youalso get the option to join communities where you can share your journals amonglike-minded people. It has a friends page as well, which broadcasts otherpeople’s journals. Kind of like how facebook’s social feed works. You also getthe ability to change the user’s profile picture for each blog post.
LiveJournalmight not be that popular in 2019, but some of the communities have other100,000 users in it and can be used to socialize with other people.
Hatenais a Japanese owned company, and its blog service is targeted to personal use.They want users to share the daily experiences for others and themselves aswell, as they can check their blog in the future, in which case it will act asa journal.
Youcan easily write and incorporate data such as images, videos, and evenadditional information like restaurant information to your blog post. You canalso import tweets and bookmarks. It also gives you the ability to revert thechanges you made while writing.
Itprovides you with a set of good looking themes which you can edit from yourdesktop computer and your phone. Plus, you also get to set a restriction on whocan read your blog post.
Theonly drawback here is that since it is made by a Japanese company, you mighthave to face some issues to move around. Although, it claims that the servicekeeps in touch with all the latest developments, and constant updates arethere.
Phew!So that was a massive list of free blogging platforms you can choose in 2020.You have to sort out your priorities and select the one platform that providesyou with more benefits than the negatives it provides you.