Despite advancing cries that blogging is arid dying, there are still bags of bodies adorable to alpha a new chargeless blog for the aboriginal time or move to a bigger platform on the Web.
We wrote a complete adviser to blogging platforms two years ago, but the mural has afflicted badly in that time, with new entrants and technologies alms absolutely new approaches to writing.
If you’re adorable for a chargeless blog armpit or a exceptional solution, here’s our ultimate adviser to the best platforms for accepting your blog set up for the aboriginal time, or as a new home for those who are annoyed of what they’re already using.
Recommended Business Apps
There are a accomplished lot of ambagious words and technologies circuitous in ambience up your own blog, so accede this your glossary. These are the accepted terms you will run into aback aggravating to set up your own blog.
This is usually provided by a aggregation that manages the complete blog for you. All you charge to do is assurance up and you can alpha blogging afterwards annoying about ambience up your own server or alive how to code. An archetype of a hosted service is WordPress.com.
A self-hosted blog agency advantageous a aggregation like Digital Ocean to hire a server, again downloading some blogging software to install on your own. This advantage requires some basal abstruse abilities to set up things like a database and custom area name.
The area name is the URL of your website, or how bodies can acquisition you online. An archetype of a area name is www.thenextweb.com or www.facebook.com. To get one, you’ll usually charge to pay a annual fee to a area name provider like IWantMyName or NameCheap.
You’ll additionally see references to sub-domains. They’re acclimated by third-party casework like WordPress or Tumblr so you don’t charge to buy your own. Here’s an archetype – owenw.wordpress.com.
Markdown is a simplified way of formatting your text, developed by John Gruber. For example, to accomplish argument adventuresome you would *write it like this* and to articulation a phrase, it would [look like this](https://thenextweb.com).
It ability attending alarming at first, but it’s absolutely a adroit way to write, because there’s no complicated user interface to get in your way.
A flat-file CMS doesn’t use a database to accomplish the site, instead relying on argument files stored on the server to serve up pages. These sites are easier to move and administer because there are beneath affective parts.
The default choice for abounding bloggers, WordPress charcoal the best accepted best and comes in two forms. WordPress.com offers a freemium hosted account that provides chargeless sub-domains and bound customization to users, or WordPress.org’s chargeless self-hosted advantage that doesn’t accommodate the restrictions begin on the hosted version.
The alignment hasn’t aggregate any official acceptance statistics aback 2013, aback it claimed to run about 19 percent of all websites (W3Techs says Wordpress fabricated up approximately 23 percent in 2014).
Over the aftermost two years WordPress has apparent a lot of improvements, such as a distraction-free autograph mode, bigger media editing tools, abounding emoji support and a absolutely acknowledging administering interface.
WordPress charcoal the baron of customization, with bags of plugins and capacity accessible for installation to accomplish the belvedere do whatever you please. That said, application them accurately requires a fair bulk of ability so you should be accurate which ones you choose.
It ability be the best arid best of blogging platform, but it’s additionally the best reliable.
Pros: Most complete blog platform, abiding and awful customizable through plugins and themes
Cons: Can be circuitous to configure above the basal setup, self-hosting has a aerial acquirements curve.
Verdict: If you’re new to blogging and appetite abounding ascendancy over how your armpit looks and feels, WordPress charcoal the best choice. It’s rock-solid and has been about for a cardinal of years.
➤ WordPress.com (hosted) / WordPress.org (self-hosted)
Many bodies aberration Squarespace as a account for artlessly ambience up a business website, but its blogging belvedere is best in class. Starting at $8 per month, Squarespace makes it accessible to body a adorable blog afterwards any coding acquaintance whatsoever.
The account provides a ambit of affair options, but if you’re accomplished at coding you can additionally body your own.
The best affair about Squarespace is how accessible it is to set up. You can calmly body out an complete website alongside your blog.
Squarespace’s blogging interface is simple, accessible to use and allows you easily embed a huge bulk of third-party agreeable like videos, calendars and alike restaurant menus.
Pros: Accessible to set up and body a great-looking blog
Cons: No chargeless plan, alone accessible as a hosted offering
Verdict: If you appetite an easy, altercation chargeless blog that’s a assert to advance and you don’t apperception spending money, Squarespace is the best choice.
If you’re afraid about ambience up a blog alone to accept the account you accept eventually disappearing, Posthaven is an accomplished choice.
Posthaven rose from the ashes of Posterous, which was abruptly taken offline afterwards it was acquired by Twitter.
Touted as an alms that plans to aftermost “forever,” Posthaven costs $5 per ages to set up your blog. It’s adequately basal and doesn’t action a bulk of features, but makes it accessible to bound allotment your thoughts, pictures or added content.
Pros: Posthaven hopes that it’ll stick about best than best alternatives, accessible to set up and get publishing
Cons: Very basic, not alms appearance that added casework action already
Verdict: A acceptable best if you’re afraid about your blog actuality about for as continued as possible
Originally conceived in 2013 as allotment of a awful acknowledged Kickstarter attack that aloft $300,000, Ghost has been in alive (albeit slow) development anytime since.
The belvedere is based on a avant-garde Web technology alleged Node.js, which agency it’s fast and responsive, alike beneath abundant loads. The interface is fast and simple, application Markdown for formatting posts.
It’s initially adequately basic, but Ghost themes are awful customizable (if you apperceive how to code) and the association architecture them has developed rapidly. Appropriate now, there are no third-party plugins as Ghost doesn’t abutment them, about they’re accepted to acreage after this year.
Ghost is accessible in two flavors, as a download for self-hosting or the hosted GhostPro advantage which starts at $8 per month.
Pros: Super fast, avant-garde blog belvedere that’s accessible to use. The new-comer on the block.
Cons: Ghost is apathetic to add new features, hardly harder to self-host than WordPress
Verdict: The best another to WordPress, if you don’t apperception a few missing features
Kirby is a unique, flat-file CMS congenital application PHP that keeps things acutely basal but offers a lot of customizability. Out of the box, Kirby works as a blog, about it absolutely shines aback you advance your own themes.
Oriented against developers, Kirby makes it accessible to advance your own customized blog with adequately basal PHP knowledge. The CMS takes affliction of circuitous tasks and its API is aggressive by jQuery so you’ll apparently already apperceive how to use it if you’ve coded in the past.
Perhaps the best feature of Kirby is you are able to actualize “blueprints” for the site, which adds custom fields in the administering panel for bushing in areas of your custom designs. There’s additionally a advantageous third-party plugin community.
Because Kirby is flat-file based, you’ll charge to self-host it. One air-conditioned affair to note: because Kirby doesn’t await on a database to run, autumn all posts as files, it’s accessible to about-face hosting providers at any time and advance backups.
This additionally agency it’s adequately simple in nature, so you can’t do things like agenda posts appropriate now. In the past, Kirby has been my CMS of best because it’s so automatic to advance for.
Kirby is chargeless to try and body your theme, but you’ll charge to pay $15 for a claimed authorization afore you put it online.
Pros: Easy to body custom capacity afterwards added acquirements required, simple to use and affable interface
Cons: To absolutely booty advantage of Kirby you’ll charge to apperceive how to code
Verdict: A abundant best if you apperceive some PHP and aren’t afraid abroad by accepting to code
When Medium accustomed on the arena in 2012, it was a major anarchy for the blogging universe. It delivered a admirable interface and a arrangement that can ability a lot of people.
Medium has one of the best well-designed post editors out there, authoritative it accessible to bound appearance text, quotes, images and added media in an adorable way. There are no options to adapt capacity or attending and feel of your ‘blog’ but altered angel layouts, quotes and argument uses can accomplish a big difference.
There are two above gotchas with Medium: first, you’re appropriate to use the hosted Medium armpit and second, custom domains are accurate but are alone invite-only for now so you’ll apparently end up with article like http://medium.com/@yourtwittername.
That said, Medium is a abundant abode to get started because it’s currently actual popular. If you address article that gets abundant recommendations, it can end up on the homepage or in people’s email inboxes, which drives a cogent bulk of traffic.
Pros: Instant setup, accessible to use, absurd editor
Cons: Limited customization, no custom area abutment and no self-hosting option
Verdict: If you appetite a no-setup way to get blogging, this is it. If you appetite to adapt your blog, try article else
In the aforementioned attitude as Medium, Svbtle is a dead-simple blogging belvedere for aloof accepting set up and autograph beeline away.
Svbtle focuses on authoritative the autograph acquaintance as simple as possible. The interface is bare back, alms alone what you charge to address and broadcast a post. It uses Markdown for argument formatting.
You can’t adapt your blog actual abundant alfresco of an emphasis blush and logo and it doesn’t action as abounding options for alignment your images and argument as Medium. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, because Svbtle is advised for simplicity.
In the past, Svbtle was invite-only but it opened up in 2014 for all to broadcast on, alms either a sub-domain or the use of your own custom domain.
Svbtle is alone accessible in hosted form, for $6 per month.
Pros: Dead-simple interface for abbreviation distractions aback writing, accepted amid the technology community
Cons: Limited customization, Medium offers added features for free and no adaptable app
Verdict: Abundant belvedere for abbreviation distractions and aloof writing, about the bound customization options and belted interface are not for everyone
Postagon’s focus is creating a simple, apple-pie blog for you in a few seconds. It’s a affection affluent blogging belvedere that offers RSS feeds, amusing sharing, cross-browser alteration and more.
Like a cardinal of the added options here, Postagon alone offers a distinct affair with bound customization options. You can’t change the way the affair looks above a few photos, but it works able-bodied on adaptable and desktop.
For $5 per month, you get all appearance and custom area support.
Pros: Lots of appearance included with basal bureaucracy to get blogging
Cons: Limited customization, no adaptable app and no new appearance recently
For the adventurous, or those that artlessly don’t appetite annihilation complex. Jekyll is a able ‘static armpit generator’ that uses Ruby to accomplish your armpit from argument files.
The abstraction is that with Jekyll , you don’t charge any affective genitalia in your web app. You artlessly address your post, run a command and a changeless armpit fabricated up of HTML files is generated.
This address agency you’ve got a rock-solid website that can handle a cogent bulk of cartage with actual few issues and you can address in your own editor, on your terms.
You charge to be adequate coding and application a command line, but Jekyll lets you body highly-customized sites. If you’re adventuresome enough, Paul Stamatiou, a artist at Twitter, has accounting an accomplished set up guide.
Pros: Actual customizable, you can use your own editor and body your own themes, handles aerial cartage levels well
Cons: You charge to apperceive how to cipher and be adequate award your way about a command line
Verdict: Want to alarmist out and body your own blog? Jekyll is the complete best way to do it.
A hardly altered way of cerebration about a CMS for developers, Contentful delivers your blog as an API. You write in Contentful, again cipher a abstracted interface to cull in your posts from the cloud.
This admission lets you additionally body your own adaptable apps and admission agreeable calmly there, too. There’s no interface or front-end, that’s all up to you. Contentful aloof provides the accoutrement to actualize a column and delivers it as code.
Pros: You’re not angry to anyone’s interface or development language, instead you can use annihilation you want.
Cons: It’s up to you to body the complete thing
Verdict: Only for the best adventuresome developers
It’s affection rich, accessible to self-install and gives you buying of your own content.
Pros: Free, open-source CMS afterwards the bloat
Cons: If you don’t appetite the basal theme, you’ll charge to apperceive how to code.
Verdict: A acceptable best if you’re adequate architecture your own armpit as able-bodied as demography affliction of self-hosting.
A beautifully advised basal belvedere for accepting blogging done. If Medium and Ghost had a child, Silvrback would be the aftereffect – a beautifully designed, basal belvedere for accepting blogging done.
Silvrback focuses heavily on architecture and accepting out of the way so you can blog. It’s a hosted alms that focuses heavily on design, with a cardinal of advantageous affection such as email subscriptions, custom area abutment and syntax highlighting for developers
It costs $29.99 per year to run a Silvrblack blog, but it’s a abundant advantage for those that appetite to own their own agreeable rather than handing it off to a aggregation that can alone accumulation from affairs your data.
Pros: Beautifully designed, accessible to use and independent
Cons: Bound architecture options, alone accessible in hosted form
Verdict: It’s adamantine to accountability Silvrback; it’s an absolute blogging belvedere that’s able-bodied developed, accessible to use and offers a abundant another to the boilerplate choices.
Still the air-conditioned kid on the block, Tumblr is a abundant abode to bound get your own blog set up. It’s abounding of adolescent bodies and hipsters, but Tumblr’s blogging accoutrement are accessible to use and unique.
The account is congenital about altered column types, so you can allotment a photo set, adduce or video post, rather than aloof abstraction altered agreeable types into a absence style.
The best able affair about Tumblr is that, aloof like Medium, there’s a association that you can appoint with – it’s added than aloof a blogging platform.
That helps to get your blog out there and noticed. If you’re self-hosting, application article like WordPress, you don’t accept that advantage.
Tumblr is chargeless to use, but has advertising.
Pros: Easy to set up, bags of affair options accessible (free and paid), association can advice get you started
Cons: Full of adolescence and hipsters, not anybody wants amusing networking baked into their blog
Verdict: Tumblr makes it accessible to get started and accommodated agreeing people, decidedly added so than best acceptable blogging platforms. It’s accessible to get started and makes it easier to acquisition agreeing bloggers, decidedly more so than best acceptable blogging platforms.
LinkedIn has agilely become a accepted blogging belvedere and the aggregation assuredly launched blog analytics aftermost week. If you’re adorable to accomplish a name in business blogging, it could be the abode to do it.
There aren’t abounding options, aback this isn’t so abundant a acceptable blog as a apparatus congenital on top of LinkedIn’s amusing network. That said, if you address acceptable agreeable that’s accordant to those that chase you, it’s a able way to ability a added audience, thanks to the amusing network’s sharing tools.
Pros: You’re blogging appropriate area the business admirers is, LinkedIn has able accoutrement for amplifying your agreeable on its network
Cons: There are about no agreement options and you’re blogging on top of a amusing arrangement so you don’t really own your own content. Also, not anybody appears to accept access
Verdict: Appetite to ability business readers? LinkedIn is a acceptable abode to start, but don’t apprehend any adorned options
Postach.io is a little altered – it turns an Evernote anthology into a blog. All you charge to do is affix it up, tag entries you appetite to publish, and it will do the rest.
Postach.io is $9 per ages for up to ten sites and bristles authors, or $90 per year with two chargeless months. It’s a hosted-only offering, but additionally keeps things abundantly simple, while absolution you retain control over your own content.
Pros: Easy to use, bureaucracy completed in a amount of minutes, integrates into your existing workflow
Cons: Fairly bound options, a little odd to assignment out of Evernote
Verdict: Love Evernote? Use this.
This blogging platform turns a binder in your Dropbox into a blog. The aggregation aims to abate abrasion to blogging by acceptance you to put words on the internet as fast as possible.
All you charge to do is actualize a Markdown book in your Dropbox — which you can do from any accessory — and hit accord to publish. Scriptogram has a cardinal of custom themes, but you’ve additionally got complete ascendancy over the CSS if you adopt that.
What’s best acute is that Scriptogram is chargeless and supports your custom area afterwards any added cost.
Pros: Free, works with Dropbox, accessible to get publishing
Cons: It actuality chargeless agency the aggregation will accept to monetize one day, right?
Verdict: It’s account application Scriptogram if you don’t apperception application Markdown and like not advantageous money
GitHub offers chargeless website hosting for every user. Tinypress builds on that to accomplish it accessible to bound get an open-source blog – area anyone can abide errors of corrections – on the service.
It offers a simple alteration interface, customizable themes, a abounding Markdown/HTML editor and an Android app. If you’re accustomed with GitHub, you can download your blog as a athenaeum and anon adapt it in your admired argument editor.
You don’t charge a custom area to use Tinypress, because GitHub provides a chargeless sub-domain for you. You can additionally use a custom area for free. The account was aforetime $9.99 per year, but is now accessible for free.
Pros: Developer friendly, accessible to use and free
Cons: If you don’t apperceive Git, this could get complicated
Verdict: Nerd out and use this for a absolutely customizable, but simple, chargeless blog
You ability beam that this is alike an advantage in here, but it’s more becoming the choice of belvedere for adolescent generations.
If you don’t appetite to set annihilation up and appetite the easiest way to accomplish your agreeable shareable, you can aloof address in the addendum app on your buzz and bead it on amusing media. It sounds ridiculous, but endless of the celebrities are accomplishing it.
Pros: Accessible to aloof write, no bureaucracy required
Cons: You didn’t absolutely actualize your own blog
Verdict: Screenshorts are a accepted way to blog, but apparently not a aboveboard one
Last time we wrote a assembly of publishing platforms in 2013, there were a cardinal of options that appeared that didn’t accomplish it this time. Here’s a quick overview of why:
Google : It’s adequately accessible why you shouldn’t be publishing on Google Plus, but if you weren’t aware, it’s not accomplishing decidedly able-bodied as the aggregation has alone it in contempo times, alike agreeable off some of its services.
Quora: It’s a abode you can blog if you really want, but that’s not all that accepted anymore. You’re bigger off affective about new.
Blogger: This belvedere is dead. Google ability assert that it isn’t, but the aggregation additionally isn’t putting any accomplishment into it at all and hasn’t for a cardinal of years. It’s not a safe bet.
Facebook Notes: Do you absolutely appetite to be that being in your acquaintance amphitheater that’s blogging on Facebook?
Did we absence any abundant new blogging platforms? Let us apperceive in the comments!
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