Want to see the best blogging sites in one place? You’ll love this hand-picked list of the best open-source and proprietary blogging platforms.
These are 43 of the best blogging platforms to start a blog in 2019.
The recommended choice
What is it: Open-source and self-hosted platform that is so customizable with thousands of themes and plugins so that you can build anything you want.
By far the largest and most popular blogging platform and CMS. Initially released in 2003 and currently hosts 34.1% of the total web, including this blog.
Best for: Recommended for those who want to start a blog and turn it into a business.
There is no cost for WordPress itself. You do need a domain name (the address people will type to get access to your blog) and a web server space (the computer that delivers your content when requested by a visitor) to make it accessible to people.
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For domain name registration and hosting, I recommend GreenGeeks. I’m a paying customer myself and use them to host this blog. Here’s why:
- GreenGeeks is an independent company based in Los Angeles, California with more than ten years of experience, 35,000+ customers and 300,000+ websites hosted.
- 24/7/365 customer support over live chat, phone, and email. I’ve never had to call them, but I’ve emailed a handful of times and live chatted multiple times. They’re fast, responsive and solve the issues for you.
- They’re specialized in WordPress. You get a fast loading site, automatic updates, automatic backup, a free domain name secured with SSL, unlimited SSD disk space and unlimited bandwidth.
- Environmentally friendly. Energy-efficient hardware is used and they purchase wind energy credits for three times the amount of energy they consume. Your blog will be carbon reducing.
- There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you’re unhappy about anything. There’s a 99.9% uptime guarantee too.
Here’s how to sign up, register a domain name and install WordPress:
Step 1: On GreenGeeks WordPress hosting page, choose your plan.
I use Ecosite Pro at $5.95/month as I want to host more than one blog. For those who only plan to run one blog, Ecosite Lite at $2.95/month is the best value.
Click the big green “Get Started” button on your chosen plan.
Step 2: Now you need to register your domain name. GreenGeeks gives you the domain name for free. Type your chosen domain name and click on “Check Availability“.
Step 3: Fill in all your personal details under “Account Information“.
Step 4: Under “Package Information” you see the summary of your chosen plan. To get the best value monthly price you need to sign up for 3 years. This is pretty standard for all hosting companies.
3 years of hosting on Ecosite Lite is billed $106.20 total. If you wish to purchase one year only, the total price will be $59.40.
You can choose your “Server Location“. The default is the United States. The other options are Canada and Europe. Pick the server location closest to where the majority of your target audience is.
“Coupon Code” with the highest value is automatically applied. You always get the best possible deal.
“Domain WHOIS Privacy” at $9.95/year is selected by default but it’s possible to deselect it if you wish.
Every domain name registered has a publicly viewable database which includes the contact info of the owner. This option protects your personal information with an anonymous registration.
Step 5: Fill in your credit card details and click on the “Create Account & Get Started” button. You’ll get an email with your account login details.
Step 6: Login to your shiny new and green GreenGeeks account and click on the “CPANEL” button.
Step 7: Start typing “Soft…” in the top box to locate the “Softaculous Apps Installer“. This is your easy way to install a WordPress blog.
Step 8: Click on WordPress and on the next page click on the “Install Now” button.
Step 9: Under “Site Settings” type your Site Name and Site Description. You don’t want your blog to be “my WordPress blog” or “just another WordPress site”.
That doesn’t tell your visitor much about what you care about. Fill in your title in “Site Name” and explain what your blog is about in the “Description”.
Don’t worry too much about this as you can change it at any time.
Step 10: Under “Admin Account” select a new personal username and a strong password. Do not use the default “admin”. These will be your login details for your WordPress blog.
Step 11: Click on “Advanced Options” and choose to Auto Upgrade WordPress to “Any latest version available”.
Tick also to auto-upgrade both plugins and themes. Set “Automated backups” to “Once a week”. These are the best practices to secure your WordPress blog.
Step 12: On the next stage you can “Select Theme” that you like. By default, you’ll get the great and modern Twenty Nineteen theme.
Note that you can change to a new theme at any stage so it’s not something you need to perfect now.
Step 13: Click the “Install” button and wait until your blog has been set up.
Step 14: Now you can log in on yourblogname.com/wp-admin/ with your WordPress username and password. You’re ready to blog!
What is it: Commercial platform.
Blogger is one of the early blogging platforms later acquired by Google. Easy to start, easy to use with a decent selection of design themes.
Very few developments over the last few years point to the idea that Google may not be that interested in Blogger anymore. Could be on the way to join Google Reader and other products Google stops liking.
Blogger has seen a decline in usage and currently hosts 0.8% of all sites on the web. See a detailed review: Blogger Vs WordPress.
What does it mean to be a commercial blogging platform?
Commercial and proprietary platforms are all-inclusive and low maintenance so you don’t need to worry about a hosting server, software updates or security. They manage it all for you.
Here are the main drawbacks:
- When using a commercial platform you don’t own your blog, the company behind the platform owns it
- Commercial platforms change, adapt their positioning and disrupt their users. Some cease to exist. Some get taken over, get neglected and shut down (remember Jux or Posterous?)
- At the same time, they make it more difficult to export your content and move it to another platform
Blogger is best for: For those who want something quick and easy to write on.
A simple platform with no user interface
Price: $20 per year.
What is it: Indie commercial platform. I love the idea of this. Very cool and simple blogging platform with no user interface. Just upload a file to your Dropbox folder and it automatically gets published as a blog post on your blog.
Blot’s simplicity can be a negative point for some. If you want to build something more advanced, you may need to look for a different solution.
Best for: For those who don’t want to deal with a blogging platform but still want to have a public home for their thoughts online. And for those who want to support indie developers. Blot is developed by a solo entrepreneur with a public roadmap.
Price: $99 per year or $13 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. Simple to use site builder with a selection of sixteen unique and visual design templates. May not be the best option if you know what you want and have some specific needs.
Best for: For those who want a simple way to create a creative site with a unique design.
Price: Free for personal sites. $299 plus $59/year for professional sites.
What is it: A fully-featured content management system that you install on your web server and that includes e-commerce support and plugins. Focused on creating sites from scratch rather than from templates.
Hosts 0.1% of all sites on the web. Not too user-friendly to beginner’s who don’t have much tech-experience and just want a place to share their passion with the world.
Best for: For those with technical know-how and that really know what they want to do with their site.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $19/month for a premium version with no ads.
What is it: Commercial platform and a social community for front-end designers and developers to showcase their skills and find inspiration. Not for you if you’re just a writer without any skills or interest in design or development.
Best for: For designers and developers who want to be a part of a community of like-minded creatives.
What is it: Open-source content management system that you install on your web server. Focus on enterprise and not just a blogging platform. Hosts 2.1% of all the websites.
Best for: For larger corporations that are looking for an open-source self-hosted CMS alternative to WordPress.
Price: Feature restricted free version without a domain name, analytics, embeds and Google indexing. $7.95 per month or $39.95 per year for the premium version.
What is it: Commercial platform. Powered by the WordPress software but with a focus on educational institutions, teachers, and students.
Best for: For student and teachers to use at their institutions.
Price: Feature restricted free version with ads. Premium yearly subscription for $2/month.
What is it: Commercial platform. Hosted site builder where you can create a blog or an e-commerce store.
Best for: For those looking for a Google-free alternative to Blogger.
A good blog alternative to WordPress
Price: Free to self-host. From $79 per month when billed annually for a managed hosted version.
What is it: Open-source, non-profit, transparent and independent blogging platform. They have a public development roadmap and even openly share their revenue. Very open about their pros and cons versus other popular platforms.
Ghost is more focused on content publishing and is not for those wanting an e-commerce store, a business site or custom features and extensions. Hosts less than 0.1% of the total web.
Best for: For those looking for a simpler, self-hosted and open-source blogging platform alternative to WordPress.org.
What is it: Free and open-source framework for building websites and blogs. It’s a static site generator with speed and flexibility. Features a passionate community, hundreds of templates and allows you to build anything you want.
Best for: Those familiar and comfortable with the command line interface and Markup.
What is it: Open-source static site generator in Ruby. Great for coders but not for those unfamiliar with coding.
Best for: If you’re a developer and want a simple blogging platform.
What is it: Open-source and self-hosted complete content management system. Second-largest CMS in the world hosting 3.1% of the total web.
Best for: Like Drupal, it’s best for those that are looking for an open-source self-hosted full-fledged CMS alternative to WordPress.
What is it: Commercial platform. LinkedIn wants you to post your blog articles on their platform. There are no advanced features at all but you do stand to get benefit from the network effect of more than 500 million monthly users of LinkedIn.
Best for: Best to use as a content syndication platform and publish some of the content from your blog there in order to expand your reach and traffic.
Privacy and cryptocurrency integration
Price: Free. Needs a premium subscription of $34.99/year if you want to connect your own domain name.
What is it: Open-source, minimal and no-interface blogging platform using the end-to-end encrypted privacy writing app Standard Notes to post your articles.
Features CSS styling. There’s an option to run a mailing list. Readers can subscribe to get new post notifications via email. Readers can tip or pay to read posts using cryptocurrency.
Best for: For those who want a simple blog that allows cryptocurrency tipping and paywall without needing to use a blogging platform interface. And for those who want to support indie developers as this is an independent app.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. $19.95 a year for the premium version.
What is it: Commercial platform. More of a social community where you can share your life stories using a blog journal and meet other people.
Best for: For those looking to socialize as part of a community rather than simply starting a blog.
What is it: Commercial platform launched in 2012. A place to publish your writing. You can even get paid based on how Medium’s paying members engage with your content if you join their Partner Program.
Has a large network effect of 90 million visitors per month but at the same time a lot of noise with 20,000 new articles published per day.
It can drive views even to a brand new blogger, especially if you submit your content to one of the popular Medium publications.
Best for: Medium is best to use for content syndication in order to expand your reach and traffic.
It is not recommended to host your main blog here. Custom domain names are no longer a feature and Medium is a bad user experience for your visitors due to all the elements they place on top of your content.
It’s also not a profitable platform so the future is uncertain.
Price: 7-day free trial and $499 per year after that.
What is it: Commercial platform. One of the blogging pioneers hosting blogs since 2001. Less than 0.1% of the web is hosted on it these days.
Best for: For those who are curious to test one of the original blogging platforms.
Price: 14-day free trial and $11.99 per month after that.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder that allows you to build a blog without any coding.
Best for: For those looking for a simple and easy solution to start a managed site.
What is it: Evernote powered blogging platform with no interface. You write your posts in Evernote and with a click publish them on your blog too.
Best for: For people that don’t want a traditional blogging platform and just want to publish their writing from Evernote.
Small, self-sustaining blogging platform
Price: $5 per month.
What is it: From the founders of blogging platform Posterous which was acquired by Twitter and shut down. It’s a simple blogging platform with a pledge that they will last forever, are not looking for investors and have a self-sustaining business model.
Best for: For those who want a simple blogging place that they can trust will be here next year too.
Popular commercial site builder
Price: Free trial and after that $16 per month plus taxes for a personal version, $26 for business.
What is it: Commercial and hosted site builder founded in 2003 with a yearly revenue of about $300 million. It makes it easy to start a blog from a variety of templates.
Venture funded with a $1.9 billion valuation. They have a large marketing budget so you might have heard about them on your favorite podcast. Hosts 1.2% of the web.
Best for: For those who want a simple turnkey solution. See full details in my WordPress or Squarespace guide.
Price: Feature restricted free version. $20 per month for a pro version.
What is it: Commercial site builder that allows you to start with no design or coding experience.
Best for: For those looking for a simple and easy solution to start a managed site.
Price: Free for the first 2 weeks and then $6 per month.
What is it: A simple blog site focused on the writing and reading experience and with a promise that it will remain online forever.
Best for: For those who want a safe, long-lasting and very simple place to publish their writing.
What is it: A minimal publishing platform from the people behind the Telegram messenger app.
Best for: For those who love Telegram and just want a place to occasionally post some long-form content.
What is it: Commercial platform. A social network with an inbuilt blogging feature. Has seen a decline in usage since acquired by Yahoo and now hosts 0.1% of the total web. See a full review here: Tumblr Vs WordPress.
Best for: Tumblr may not be the best to use as your blog’s home but you can use it for content syndication to expand your reach and traffic.
Best for: Those who want the simplest possible way to write something and share it with their friends or network.
Price: 14-day free trial and then $8.95 per month for the basic plan.
What is it: Commercial platform. Another one of the blogging pioneers, launched in 2003, and based on the Movable Type platform. Has seen a decline in development, popularity and use over the recent years and currently hosts less than 0.1% of the total web.
Best for: For those who want to try Seth Godin’s original blogging platform. Seth himself moved his blog from Typepad (after many years there) to WordPress.
What is it: Open-source and self-hosted content management system focused on the enterprise. Not really focused on bloggers. Hosts 0.7% of the total web.
Best for: For those in corporations looking to build more complex sites.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. Option to subscribe from $5.99 per month to remove ads and get a full set of features.
What is it: Commercial platform. Site builder that hosts 0.1% of the web.
Best for: For those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: 14-day free trial and then subscription from $4 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. Site builder targeting businesses. Easy drag and drop, hundreds of templates and ability to sell your products online.
Best for: For businesses looking for a simple to use site builder.
Price: 14-day free trial and then $10 per month subscription.
What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder targeting creatives.
Best for: For those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: Starting from $8 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. A front-end site builder targeting agencies, designers and developers who are creating sites or e-commerce stores for their clients.
Best for: For agencies, designers and developers looking for a simple place to host their clients.
Price: Starting from $12 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. It’s a CMS that allows you to build a blog from scratch while working in a visual site builder and without any need for coding.
Best for: For those that want to build something different and unique starting from scratch.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $11.95 per month for the ad-free version.
What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder that makes it easy to create a site using a template.
Best for: As another alternative for those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: From $5.95 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting small businesses. A subsidiary of Vistaprint. Hosts 0.1% of the web.
Best for: For small businesses looking for a quick and easy way to build their site.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $4.89 per month for the ad-free version.
What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder.
Best for: Another alternative for those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: Starting from $90 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting designers and agencies.
Best for: For designers and agencies who want an easy hosted solution for their clients.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $6 per month for ad-free.
What is it: A commercial platform with more than 600,000 paid subscribers. Was acquired by the payment company Square for $365 million. It’s an advanced site builder featuring e-commerce and email marketing, and it’s targeting creative entrepreneurs. Hosts 0.3% of the total web.
Best for: For those who want a turnkey solution for their business.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $8.5 per month for the ad-free version.
What is it: Public listed commercial platform founded in 2006. More than 2000 employees and yearly revenue of $300 million. Features an advanced site builder with innovations such as the “Artificial Design Intelligence” that builds a website for you automatically. Hosts 0.8% of the total web. See my full Wix vs WordPress comparison.
Best for: For those who want a turnkey solution for their business.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $4 per month for a basic ad-free version and from $25/month for better features such as premium themes, Google Analytics, and no branding.
What is it: The commercial and hosted version of the WordPress software run by the remote-first company Automattic. They raised $160 million in venture funding with a valuation of $1.16 billion.
Automattic also contributes to the development of the open-source version. See a detailed review: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
Best for: Best for entrepreneurs who want an easy and managed WordPress solution without needing to deal with hosting, security and such.
Built with strong privacy principles
Price: Free. $0.83 per month for the ability to add your own domain name.
What is it: Ad-free, distraction-free and independent blogging platform funded by its customers. It’s built around privacy with strong principles and your identity as a blogger is being kept confidential.
It doesn’t track you, doesn’t log your IP address, doesn’t know who you are and you can even publish using their Tor hidden service. A supporter of the open web.
Best for: Great ethical choice for those who believe in the open web, want to support an independent platform that has strong privacy principles.
Price: Free for a 3-page site. From $6.95 per month for the full version.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting businesses.
Best for: For those who want a simple site builder solution for their business.