After deciding you want to start a blog, you need to decide which blogging platform to use.
There are many blogging platforms out there. The most popular blogging platforms include: WordPress.org, WordPress.com (yes, there’s a difference between the two WordPress platforms!), Wix, and Blogger.
I tested free blogging platforms such as Wix.com and WordPress.com for about three years before I finally took the plunge and went for self-hosted WordPress.org. So I have enough personal experience from 3 out of 4 of the aforementioned platforms to relate accurate reports of each. That’s more than most other bloggers who either hop right in to self-hosted wordpress.org. Or bloggers who transfer there after starting one one of the free platforms.
So there are four main blogging platforms that I’ve listed. But which one should you choose?? I’ll tell you.
Simple Breakdown of Each Blog Platform
Blogger – Provides a Way to Make Money While Paying Nothing
This is a blogging platform hosted by Google. And I’ve heard that you can even make money through ads using blogger. This is something that is not possible with wix.com and wordpress.com! You can only place ads on your blog through self-hosted platforms such as WordPress.org.
Best Parts of Blogger: Simple to start, easy to use, and you can monetize to make money.
Not So Good Parts of Blogger: Social sharing is through Google+ rather than all other social media platforms; Google can suspend your blog or even get rid of Blogger altogether causing your blog to be lost; it’s free which means there are limitations to your design among other limitations.
Wix.com – Provides Freedom of Blog Design
Like I said, I started blogging on free platforms years ago. I was willing to do anything other than paying to own my own blog. I loved my money (still do lol) and wanted to keep it all!
So, because I wanted to keep it free, I chose Wix.com. I chose Wix.com because it was super simple (compared to WordPress.com which was so confusing to me and would require a learning curve). It also allowed me to have lots of freedom over the look of my site. I created it from scratch, and without any code.
However, after a little over a year, I realized that that wasn’t going to cut it. I barely had any subscribers at all. I had less than fifty. Why was that?
Because with Wix.com, visitors had to sign up 100% through their email. There wasn’t a simple follow button like WordPress.com had. There weren’t even simple widgets to add to my sidebar that would easily connect readers to my social medias or a BlogLovin’!
Best Parts of Wix: There is a lot of design freedom when making your website, even with it being free.
Not So Good Parts of Wix: This is NOT the place for your blog if you want it to grow! It’s exceptionally hard for people to find your blog through social outlets if you use Wix.com.
WordPress.com – Provides a Way to Grow Your Readership Easy
With that realization, I moved my site over to WordPress.com. Instead of moving all of my data over (didn’t even know if/how to do that, at the time), I just started a new blog from scratch. Within a couple weeks, I had already gained some subscribers. I knew instantly that WordPress.com was better than Wix.com as a free platform.
However, it still wasn’t cutting it for me. Sure, I was gaining subscribers, but I still couldn’t make my blog look the way I wanted it to look, and I’m big on design and perfectionism. I like to play with making my blog look the prettiest it can! And I found that because I was upset with the look of my blog, I was losing my desire to post on that blog.
Best Parts of WordPress.com: Simple to start, easy to use, and more social sharing options than Blogger meaning you can share to multiple different social medias including instagram, pinterest, and twitter.
Not So Good Parts of WordPress.com: You do not own your blog. Your blog belongs to WordPress.com so they can suspend your account and your blog if you’re violating their Terms of Service. Therefore, you don’t own your blog content either.
WordPress.org – Any Thing You Can Think Of, You Can Have
Because I wanted to design my own website look, have my own domain name, and monetize my site, I switched from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I started with free blogging platforms because I was too afraid to put in the money for something more. But now that I have, I’m so happy I did!! Keep reading, it gets better.
So, Here’s What Blogging Platform I Recommend You Use
If you want to just test out what blogging is like for a couple months, really don’t have the money to spare, or just want to use it for yourself and not a community of people, then feel free to use WordPress.com or Blogger. Just keep in mind that you don’t own your blog or your work and it can get deleted if the companies decide on that.
However, if you want to blog for longer than a couple months, for more than just yourself, and have a little money to spare, I encourage you to go with self-hosted WordPress.org.
In fact, in my experience with multiple blogging platforms, I think all bloggers should just dive straight in to self-hosted WordPress.org without starting on any other free blogging platforms first.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform which means you have to buy hosting through someplace else. For this, I recommend SiteGround, which is what I use for my own web hosting service.
If you want to research more about web hosting before buying it with SiteGround, then please feel free to start with my post CHOOSING A WEB HOST FOR YOUR BLOG: WHY SITEGROUND IS THE BEST by clicking on this link or the banner above. The post compares the most popular hosts (SiteGround, BlueHost, & HostGator), and shows both facts, research, and personal experiences from a multitude of bloggers in order to give you an accurate understanding of each host.
I started with, and still use SiteGround’s Grow Big Plan for $5.95/month because the extra features that I wanted but didn’t necessarily need were included, but they have the StartUp plan for the low cost of $3.95/month!
If you really want to blog then starting with WordPress.org is a great investment. And note that this is coming from someone who is protective of their money! All money you use to pay for WordPress.org (+ a theme if you want, though there are many free themes that come with WordPress.org) can be made back with hard work and monetization!
To start a self hosted blog/site through WordPress.org, you just have to get hosting. SiteGround automatically installs WordPress.org for you too!
Pin Gallery – Click the Pinterest Tab on the Lefthand Side and Instantly Pin Any of the Images Below!
If not, then dang! But if so, great! If you decided to go with WordPress.org and were intrigued by SiteGround, please do check out my Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Web Hosting with SiteGround when it’s posted. If you start a blog on any of the four platforms I mentioned in this post, I look forward to seeing them, and contact me through the comments or my contact page to let me know about it!