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13 Best Blogging Platforms in 2024 – 7 Are Free

Alexander Banerjee Alexander BanerjeeWebsite Development Expert February 13, 2024
February 13, 2024
Don’t make the mistake of relying on social networking blogging platforms like Medium or Tumblr. Those platforms are tempting because of their built-in audiences and ease of use, but your content’s visibility and monetization are at the mercy of the platform’s changing algorithms and policies. Plus, your blog won’t have a unique look.

A unique branded blog is best for establishing an online presence: it offers you control and a distinct identity in a crowded digital space.

But not many platforms have the right balance of features. Website builders that specialize in blogging, like Ghost, are often pricey and have a high learning curve. For most bloggers, a general-purpose website builder is the best solution – these builders often have better template selections, rich SEO features, monetization tools, and are easy to use.

After testing all the leading website builders and blogging platforms, I found Wix to be the best option. Wix is easy enough to learn for beginners and offers advanced customizations for experienced users. Aside from having a strong blogging platform, Wix has a ton of design flexibility that lets you create a unique look for your blog – and it even offers a free plan. Read on to learn more about Wix and other top blogging platforms.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Blog Builders in 2024

  1. Wix – All-in-one blogging platform with the most customizable templates.
  2. WordPress.com – Powerful writing-oriented builder that’s best for managing content.
  3. Squarespace – The most polished templates around with built-in blogging tools.

See 10 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Blogging Platforms

Blogs have specific needs, so I judged website builders and platforms based on how well they provided a combination of the following things:
  • Customization. The ability to customize your blog’s design and layout is crucial for standing out. The website builders on my list vary in their degree of customization flexibility, but all of them let you create a unique-looking blog.
  • Ease of use. The builders on this list are beginner-friendly, and some even have AI tools that make it easier to produce blog content. They also have fully featured templates, which save time by including essential elements such as opt-in forms and commenting features to increase engagement.
  • Blog promotion. My picks offer SEO and marketing tools. This way your blog can get discovered on search engines as well as social media – plus, you can turn blog visitors into loyal readers.
  • Monetization tools. The builders on my list offer various ways for you to earn money with a blog, including exclusive subscriptions to premium posts or newsletters, donations, and ad revenue. If you want a blog to drive traffic to an online store, many builders offer e-commerce tools.

10-best-blogging-platforms-a-comparison-guide---abi-1.png
Wix has templates for nearly every blogging niche. Hover over to see my favorite!
Wix has about 70 templates devoted to blogging, plus hundreds of others that can easily incorporate a blog with a few clicks. Alternatively, you can use Wix’s AI assistant to generate a unique blog. Aside from its large template library, Wix offers the most code-free customization options of any major builder – you can change almost everything about your blog, and therefore truly stand out.

Wix also doesn’t disappoint with its built-in blogging tools: you can easily schedule and categorize posts, for example, or display read times on articles. Wix also offers multiple ways to monetize your blog. You can get ad revenue by integrating Google AdSense, sell subscriptions for premium content, or even sell courses related to your blog content.

You can use Wix’s free plan indefinitely. It includes most customization options, but it will also have Wix branding and a subdomain. Wix’s Light plan is a better option for a professional blog, as it comes with 2GB of storage, removes Wix ads, and allows you to connect a custom domain. However, for e-commerce functionalities, higher-tier plans are necessary.

wix logo alt 2

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Features

  • Marketing tools. You can add forms to capture leads, send out newsletters that incorporate your blog posts, build landing pages to drive subscriptions, customize how pages look when shared on social media, and much more.
  • Easy SEO. Wix structures its sites to automatically meet Google’s best practices. Plus, you can use Google Search Console from your Wix dashboard, get guidance from a custom SEO checklist, and access detailed blog analytics.
  • Member’s Area. When you start your blog, you can choose to add a Member’s Area. This lets site visitors create logins, public profiles, and comment on blog posts. It’s a good way of fostering a sense of community around your writing.
  • Post on the go. There’s never enough time to write. But Wix’s mobile app solves that issue by letting you write and edit posts while you’re away from your computer.
Read our expert Wix review for more details.

Free plan
Blog templates About 70
Customizability Very high
Starting price $16.00

WordPress.com's blog themes
WordPress.com themes have become a lot more modern in recent years
WordPress is an enormously popular website management platform, but it has two flavors. WordPress.org is free software that requires you to obtain web hosting and a domain name separately. WordPress.com is what I’m talking about here: this option is more like a normal site builder as it includes hosting for your site.

WordPress.com has a ton of tools for writing and organizing content – it’s one of the few services that lets you publish posts via email, for example. Major news outlets like Bloomberg and CNN use WordPress.com because of this, and also because of its strong security features and the ability to add a lot of collaborators to one site.

WordPress.com has over 30 blog templates, plus dozens of others for writers, newsletters, and magazines. Most are free. The level of site-wide customization you can do depends on the theme you pick, but you can customize individual pages extensively. However, the disconnect between theme and page editing could be tricky for beginners.

WordPress.com’s free plan has e-commerce functionality, which is unique among website builders. Free users can accept donations and charge for subscriptions, though they’ll pay a hefty transaction fee. But as with other builders, the paid plans are better if you want a professional look with your own domain name and better features.

wordpress logo alt 2

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Features

  • Dynamic page content. WordPress.com includes a lot of content features that make pages and blog posts more dynamic. For example, there are several options for highlighting quoted material, creating lists and tables, and so on.
  • Newsletter and RSS support. All WordPress.com plans come with the ability to create and send newsletters. And because all WordPress.com sites have an RSS feed built in, your blog visitors can easily use it to keep up to date with your posts.
  • Plugins. The highest pricing tiers get access to the WordPress plugin market, which has over 50,000 extensions. There’s a plugin for everything, from booking tools for travel blogs to automatic spam removers.
  • Built-in SEO. Like Wix, WordPress.com sites are automatically built to top-tier search engine standards. Plus, you can verify your site with search engines, take advantage of mobile-friendly themes that rank higher in search results, and use Google Analytics from your dashboard.
To learn more, check out our in-depth review of WordPress.com.

Free plan
Blog templates 30+
Customizability High
Starting price $4.00
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Squarespace's template library
Squarespace templates often look classy and artistic – hover over to see what I mean
Squarespace has 50 templates with blogs already built in. These templates are sleek and modern, so they’re best for blogs with a more polished, professional vibe (as opposed to “quirky” or “fun” blogs). I find Squarespace is a bit easier to use than Wix and WordPress.com, but that’s partly because there are fewer customization options.

Squarespace has solid built-in blogging features. Aside from the basics, like post scheduling or comment sections, you can add locations to blog posts (a great feature for travel blogs) and email your post as part of a campaign. Squarespace also makes it easy for you to sell memberships, premium newsletters, access to gated content, and courses.

There are no free plans, but Squarespace’s entry plan has everything a blogger needs. E-commerce functionality kicks in from the second-tier plan onwards, but you can still sell digital products on the first tier by integrating a paid add-on. This setup ensures you have a strong foundation, regardless of the plan you choose.

squarespace logo alt 2 1 1

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Features

  • Integrate with other platforms. Squarespace’s integration with Tumblr lets you cross-post blog posts. Squarespace also lets you add your blog as a branded news channel on Apple News.
  • Paywall content. Membership Sites is a paid add-on that lets you create exclusive blog posts and newsletters for subscribed readers.
  • SEO suite. There’s an SEO checklist and SEO settings for individual pages, which help you accomplish the basics. But Squarespace also integrates with Google Search Console, which lets you do keyword research to beat the competition.
  • Squarespace Extensions. Although Squarespace’s market for third-party apps isn’t huge, there are still some solid tools for extending your blog’s features. For example, you can use Outfy to automate social media posts, or Weglot to translate your blog for international readers.
Learn more from our full review of Squarespace.

Free plan
Blog templates About 50
Customizability Medium
Starting price $16.00

SITE123 travel blog template
SITE123 covers a lot with blog templates in the travel, tech, beauty, and cooking niches
SITE123 has 7 templates for blogging, but you can easily add a blog to any of its other templates with just a few extra steps. SITE123’s point-and-click editor makes site editing as simple as possible. It doesn’t offer the level of customization that the top three builders on my list have, but it’s also easier and faster to use because there are fewer options.

SITE123’s blogging functionality is a bit basic, but it has the essentials. For example, you can schedule posts and access a rich library of stock photos, which makes it easy to add images to your posts. SITE123 even supports RSS, so your readers can stay updated with your latest posts. You can also sell digital products, like eBooks or essays, and earn ad revenue with Google AdSense.

SITE123’s free plan offers nearly all site building tools, but it lacks e-commerce and you won’t have a custom domain name. SITE123’s paid plans are relatively affordable and include e-commerce functionality. Even if you don’t plan to monetize your blog, you’ll probably want the custom domain name and extra storage provided by the paid plans.

Features

  • Comment systems. Like other builders on this list, SITE123 has a built-in commenting feature for blog posts. But SITE123 also lets you integrate Facebook and Disqus comments on your blog, which makes it easier for visitors to start discussions on your posts.
  • Multilingual sites. If you have a premium account, you can get your blog’s text automatically translated to different languages, which is great for appealing to a wider audience. Plus, translated pages have different URLs, which improves your SEO.
  • Free SEO tools. SITE123 gives you an SEO boost just by signing up as it automatically optimizes your pages for search engines. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools within the SITE123 editor to analyze your blog’s traffic.
  • App market. SITE123’s App Market has about 100 apps that can add any functionality you find lacking from SITE123 itself. For example, you can install Donately so that your blog can accept donations from readers.
Get the full scoop with our expert SITE123 review.

Free plan
Blog templates 7
Customizability Light
Starting price $12.80

5. Webador: The Simplest Builder for Blogs

Webador blog example
Webador may be simple to use but you can still build a comprehensive blog
While SITE123 is almost as easy as it gets, Webador manages to be even simpler, making it a solid option for beginners. You can drag-and-drop elements onto your page, which will automatically fit to a grid pattern. You can’t customize individual page elements very extensively – but if you just want your own no-frills blog, that should be fine.

Webador’s blog editor is basic but still solid enough for most purposes. You can categorize your posts and allow site visitors to comment on them. You even add a rating system so visitors can score your post’s usefulness, a handy way of increasing engagement.

Aside from its free plan, Webador is one of the most affordable builders on my list. There’s a catch though: the entry-level paid plan still has Webador branding and lacks some other features that might be useful for blogs, such as a search bar. The Lite and Pro plans offer more value. The Pro plan, for example, is still low-cost despite offering e-commerce.

Features

  • Unlimited storage. Webador is unique in that all plans, including free ones, have unlimited storage. You can add as many photos to your blog as you want.
  • Free stock photos. Every plan gets access to a library of over 100,000 free stock photos, so you can make each blog post eye-catching.
  • Google SEO tools. Some plans can integrate with Google Analytics, Google Business Profile, and Google Search Console. These three tools offer a powerful way to boost your blog’s visibility in Google search results.
  • Custom HTML. The top two premium plans let you add custom HTML to your site. Don’t let this intimidate you – it’s a super easy way to embed third-party widgets. For example, newsletter platform Substack provides a shortcode that creates a small sign-up form on your site’s pages.
See our full Webador review for more on plans.

Free plan
Blog templates 10+
Customizability Light
Starting price $4.00

6. IONOS: Budget AI Tools to Grow Your Blog

IONOS' AI-generated template #2
IONOS’s AI tool generated this blog template for me
IONOS doesn’t offer any templates with a built-in blog but like other builders on my list, you can easily add a blog after choosing your template. You can customize some colors and fonts, but for the most part it’s hard to change the layout and there aren’t many page elements to add either. That’s where IONOS’s AI site generator comes in.

IONOS has just a few blog layouts to choose from, and the writing tools are a bit basic. However, IONOS compensates for that with its AI features. IONOS’s AI text generator needs editing but can save you a lot of time. Even more useful is the AI image generator, which lets you create custom blog graphics without having to hire a professional illustrator.

While there’s no free plan, the introductory pricing is quite low. Once the introductory period ends, the cost increases but remains affordable overall. The low starting costs combined with strong business tools make IONOS good for quickly and affordably getting an online presence.

Features

  • SEO Text Generator. Aside from the regular text generator I mentioned above, IONOS’s Plus and Pro plans let you use AI to generate page titles and descriptions for search engines. SEO is essential but time-consuming, so this can be a handy feature.
  • Competitor tracking. In addition to the standard SEO tools, all plans have access to instant alerts about competitors’ Google rankings and social media activity.
  • Generous storage. The entry-level plan has 10GB of storage space, which is a lot more than what other builders offer on their introductory plans. You’ll be able to grow your blog without needing to upgrade.
  • Online store tools. You can add an online store builder to any paid plan, which includes the ability to sell digital products. As an added bonus, you can integrate your store with Instagram and Facebook to sell your writing to a larger audience.
Read our review of IONOS to learn more.

Free plan
Blog templates No (generate your own with AI)
Customizability Light
Starting price $6.00
Do I need AI to keep my blog competitive? AI template creators are pretty solid, but for AI writing tools, it may be too early to tell. AI writers have a learning curve, and once you master them, they can help you produce a greater quantity of blog content. But even if you master AI prompts, you need to be mindful to keep your posts from becoming repetitive – your readers will notice. Check out our list of the best AI writing tools to learn more.

Other Notable Blogging Platforms

If the options above don’t seem like a great fit for you, rest easy: I’ve got a few more builders for you to check out below.

7. Shopify

Shopify's 'Boost' store theme
Blogging isn’t Shopify’s specialty, but it sure can integrate blogs nicely
Because it’s first and foremost a powerful e-commerce solution, Shopify is best if you want to use a blog to drive traffic to an online store. It has a pretty impressive collection of themes, many of which include a blog. The blog editor is decent and on par with some of the simpler builders on my list, so you can manage and publish content effectively.

But while Shopify can do well at bridging content and commerce, its pricing is higher than most website builders. Plus, most of its themes come at an additional cost. So if e-commerce is not your main priority, Shopify likely isn’t a good fit. You’d be paying for advanced features you don’t need.

8. WordPress.org

WordPress.org themes
Here are a few blog templates…out of about 3,400 blog template options
WordPress.org is essentially a free content management software that requires you to secure your own web hosting and domain name. This contrasts with WordPress.com, which already includes hosting. WordPress.org gives you full access to its vast library of themes and plugins, whereas WordPress.com only gives you full access if you sign up for a high-tiered paid plan.

WordPress.org comes with a steeper learning curve. Even if you’re not a beginner, finding suitable web hosting and installing WordPress.org can be daunting. Plus, things like site maintenance, updating plugins, and trouble-shooting technical issues are largely left to you.

9. Duda

Duda's 'SEO Consultant' template
I like that the blog header is a different color than the homepage header
Duda is a more advanced site builder that lets you make alterations to every aspect of your site. It’s on par with Wix’s flexibility, and in some cases surpasses it. Its prices are about average, perhaps a bit on the higher side when compared to Webador or IONOS. Overall, Duda’s pricing is competitive if you’re prioritizing customization.

On the flip side, while coding knowledge isn’t necessary, navigating Duda’s intricacies may present a steep learning curve. (Even though Duda offers AI assistance.) Plus, its blog editor is rather simple. Because of that, Duda is best suited for those who seek advanced customization but have only basic blogging needs.

10. Hostinger Website Builder

Hostinger's 'Good News' blog template
This is one of the best-organized blog templates I’ve seen
Hostinger Website Builder offers a pretty solid balance between ease of use and customization. And while it has just a few blog templates, they’re pretty well-crafted. It’s also worth noting that Hostinger Website Builder sites tend to be very responsive – they load quickly on all devices.

But while the customization tools are solid, the overall features are somewhat basic. And because Hostinger Website Builder doesn’t integrate with many third-party services, you can’t expand that limited functionality the way you can with other simple builders on my list. Hostinger has just one pricing plan that provides good value, but that also means it’s harder to scale up as your blog grows.

Should I Use a Dedicated Blogging Platform?

Aside from the builders I’ve listed above, there are some platforms dedicated to blogging. These range from specialized website builders to social networking writing platforms. Below I’ll explain how they compare to standard builders.

Ghost

Ghost is a website builder that focuses solely on writers. It provides advanced tools, though some of its offerings are more complex than what most bloggers need. Ghost has some great templates, but only a few are free. Plus, each plan puts a cap on the number of followers your blog/newsletter can have – a constraint most website builders don’t have.

Substack

Substack is a newsletter/blog subscription platform that many high-profile writers have adopted as their own. It’s free to use and makes it easy for you to charge for exclusive posts or newsletters. However, customization is very limited. And if you monetize your blog, Substack takes a hefty 10% of your subscription revenue, in addition to the roughly 3% that its payment processor Stripe takes.

Medium

Like Substack, Medium offers the advantage of a large community of readers and writers, which makes it easier for your work to get discovered. But this vast community comes at a cost. Unlike Substack, where readers directly pay writers, readers subscribe to Medium and Medium then allocates money to high-performing writers. This means you’ll only get paid if your content meets high engagement requirements.

The Best Blogging Platform Is Out There

Clearly there is no shortage of options when it comes to finding a platform that can build and host your blog. To choose one, think about what your priorities are and how much time you want to spend setting up your blog.

The best all-around solution is Wix. it lets you customize your blog extensively while still being easy to use, so it’s an excellent way to have a uniquely branded blog.

Alternatively, WordPress.com is best for dynamic writing, or if you plan to put out tons of blog posts and work with collaborators.

If neither of those sounds quite right for you, you can’t go wrong with Squarespace and its polished blog templates. It’s particularly good if your blog has a more serious or professional subject matter.

For an overview of how these options stand in relation to each other, see the table below:
Free Plan Best Feature Best For Starting Price
Wix All-in-one builder with built-in blog Easy blog customization $16.00
WordPress.com Advanced content management system for posts Publishing large amounts of content $4.00
Squarespace Sophisticated blog templates Blogs with serious or professional themes $16.00
SITE123 Efficient site editor with lower learning curve Setting up a blog as quickly as possible $12.80
Webador Easy-to-use blogging platform Beginners that want a low maintenance blog $4.00
IONOS Budget AI tools for design and text/image generation Bloggers trying to establish an SEO presence quickly $6.00

FAQ

Should I use a website builder that specializes in blogs?

Counterintuitively, blog-focused website builders tend to lack customization options while offering a lot of tools most bloggers don’t need. It’s true that general site builders sometimes have simple blogging tools, but for most it’s enough and a good trade-off to have a unique, branded blog. The ideal is a builder like Wix, which offers extensive customization without sacrificing strong blogging tools.

Can I make a blog for free?

Yes. Some builders, like Wix, WordPress.com, and SITE123, offer free plans that you can use indefinitely. However, these plans come with limitations that make your blog look less professional, like the inability to have a custom domain name. You can also use a platform like Medium, where lacking a custom domain name doesn’t look as bad, but you’ll have less control over your blog.

Is Wix or WordPress better for building a blog?

Generally Wix is better, but it depends on your needs. WordPress.com and WordPress.org have higher learning curves but are better for managing large amounts of content and offer stronger writing tools. However, Wix is generally easier to use than both and also offers more customization of your blog’s look.

Can I earn money from blogging?

Yes, in many ways! The most direct way is to offer subscriptions for premium blog posts or newsletters, which you can do with Squarespace. But you can also use your blog to bring web traffic to a store or service or get ad revenue by allowing advertisers to use space on your blog. Check out our guide to building a website for more info on monetizing your online brand.

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Shamsher Khan
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Your FAQ section is very helpful and easy to understand with quick answer trick. This will help to many people to select the best platform and start with the blogging niche.
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Website Planet Team
Thanks, Shamsher for your feedback. Glad you find it helpful!  
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David
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Why you forget to write about content managment sysytem Joomla ? This is one of the best CMS on the Internet for bloggers and content creators
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Website Planet Team
Hi David, Please check out our article about Joomla to find out more about its features and why it's a better option than WordPress.
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