Blogging is something that has been growing popular these days. However, serious blogging does not come for free. Want to have an experience in blogging before going the expert’s way? Here are a few best free blogging sites you can indulge in. We would assure you that the sites we bring up here are reliable and easy to use.
Top 15 Free Blogging Platforms in 2017
Well, to begin with, the blogging sites featured here free to use. They will give you a means of starting off with your blogging career. Once you are sure that you have had enough experience, you can switch to paid hosting which can give you more customization options.
This is one of the best and popular blogging platform. It offers you both a free blogging through WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The former is used with hosting sites and the latter is meant for a free blog that can be hosted on the platform itself.
Rightly, this is worthy of being the first on any list of blogging platforms. They claim to be controlling over 25 percent of the entire internet community. Please note that the platform is free to use, but it does not come with any hosting. It will not offer you a domain name either. Those are something you need to get separately.
If you are configuring it for the first time, it will take a little time to assimilate the concepts. However, once it is set up, posting your daily dose of contents is quite easy and simple to follow. What makes it an excellent choice is an enviable number of themes and plugins. Theses will help you in changing the look of your blog, while the plugins and extensions will help you add up additional functionality to your blog.
The platform is best suited if your main concern is to make money from your blog. You can also go for it if you want to make it a part of your business. Endless customization options that it offers you can be the prime reason to go for it.
Blogger – that is in fact, the first platform that launched blogging in the real sense of the word. The platform is now being run by Google.
You can sign into it using your standard Google account. It handles the hosting as well. You need not worry about hosting and all those details, just concentrate on adding content. It does provide you domain which will read like yoursite.blogspot.com where yoursite is any of your chosen name (provided it is available). You can configure your custom domain as well.
When it comes to learning and using it, we must say it is quite easy to use and work on. Yes, it may not offer you the high-end features that are available on other sites like WordPress, but still, it is best suited for the first steps in blogging that you are planning to take.
Weebly likes calling itself a website creation system rather than being referred to as a blogging platform. It consists of free blogging templates and thus lends you a helping hand in creating your own blog.
The platform is quite easy to use. The drag and drop feature that it comes with can indeed be the perfect for all your blogging requirements. The platform offers you a considerable number of themes you can use customize the appearance of your blog. You can just begin creating your content without many hassles. If you have no experience in web designing, Weebly is the best option for you.
You can create websites with perfect professional looks. One of the added advantages of opting for Weebly would be the fact that it is one of the most mobile responsive platforms you can think of. If you are looking for something professional that can be run faster and effectively, this is your perfect option.
Here comes yet another user-friendly and simple website builder for your needs. It offers you excellent choices in terms of website building solutions.
Though we have listed it out in this article, we would like to ascertain that the platform works on a subscription basis. And yes, it includes hosting as well. The platform offers you a free domain name along with your subscription.
The simplicity it offers you is quite commendable. You can use it with ease even if you are not an expert in blogging or web design. The interface ie quite easy to follow and understand. The settings and options are well placed and easily fathomable. Posting content is super easy with Squarespace. It features a great customisation feature named LayoutEngine which helps you rearrange the content as per your preferences. The Engine uses a drag and drop feature.
Just like WordPress, you get a lot of themes to make your site appealing and plugins to make it more functional. If you are a businessman who needs a website along with a blog, this can be your best option. We would suggest it for those who want to showcase their work along with their own blog. From that perspective, it can be a perfect choice for artists, novelists, and other creative people.
Here is another website builder and hosting service. It does work in the same way as Squarespace, but the style of working differs a little.
If you are fond of HTML5, Wix should work perfectly for you. In fact, there have been claims from the creator of the platform that it is the only website builder that has been based on HTML5. You can opt for a free account with 500 GB of storage space and 1 GB of bandwidth. If your requirements exceed this threshold, you may need to go for paid service.
The service comes with hosting included. However, you do not get a custom domain included with the package. It offers you a domain name like yourname.wix.com, just like Blogger. But, you can configure your own custom domain if you have one. It comes handy when you want to launch a website. If you want to use it for blogging, you may need to go through a few extra steps to set it up.
Yet again, this is one of the best options for those bloggers who lack technical know-how. One of the excellent features we liked with Yola is the telephonic support it offers for its customers.
The free account offers you limited functionality. You just pick a theme and then customize it with the fonts and other features as per your choice. Once you are done with the looks, you can add up additional features like blogging or other needs. You can post more than one posts at once and schedule them to be posted as per your own preferences.
The free subscription model has a limited functionality. However, you get 1 GB of storage space and 1 GB of bandwidth which are quite good compared to the competing providers. But, the limited functionality can be something that can disappoint you. It is quite easy to use and comes with several widgets for sites of different genres. Even then, it lacks some of the features that other services like Weebly or WordPress have on offer.
The Ghost is available in two versions – Downloadable and Hosted. It has been claimed to be a simplified version of WordPress.
In fact, it has been designed to serve the blogging needs you have – minus the special content management options that WordPress has on offer in its latest versions. The downloadable version is free, while the hosted version is subscription-based. The free version does not include hosting. You may need to choose a hosting provider and then install your Ghost blog onto it. The service – either free or paid – does not come with a domain name. If you have a domain name registered already, you can easily configure it with Ghost.
Setting it up and ease of it will depend upon the plan you have chosen. The free version will not be easy to set up as you will need to go through the complicated procedure. If you are not an expert, it may take a little time for the same. However, Ghost has well-defined tutorials to go through the steps. The Pro version, however, provides a simple setup procedure. Using it for posting content on a daily basis once you have set it up much easy.
Customization is quite limited. Ghost can be a good option for you if WordPress overwhelms you and you feel a little uncomfortable with its sprawling functionality that may appear a little complicated. But, do remember – you will not get any external plugin support apart from a few basic features built in.
A social network combined with a blogging platform – that is exactly what we will call Tumblr. If you are into a shorter form of blogging (Can we really term it so? – maybe we can call it microblogging), Tumblr is your best option.
It lets you post short content in a community-based format. That would make it stand equally with both WordPress or Weebly, but also with the likes of Twitter or Facebook at the same time. You can post short content like microblogs, images, poems, quotes, videos and such content. Tumblr has a community wherein you comment on or like each other’s post. The platform is indeed free to use with no other ifs and buts included.
The service hosts your blog free of cost. It offers you a domain name in the form of yoursite.tumblr.com in the same way as Blogger and Wix offer. If you have a custom domain, you can configure it with your Tumblr account. The interface is super easy. In fact, we would consider it to be the best among all the platforms discussed here when it comes to the simplicity. We do not think there is any steep learning curve involved here.
The platform offers you a lot of themes to choose from. However, if you are looking for plugins and extensions, you may be forced to be disappointed. If you want to be in the blogging arena just as a hobby and not as a business, Tumblr can be your perfect choice.
Medium is indeed a medium to share your views, ideas, and articles. It works in a community-based style. All the bloggers and authors use the similar looking site to work on to share their views and opinions.
Coming from the founders of Twitter, Medium is akin to social network sites in what it does. It is completely free to use. You get hosting along with your free subscription. And yes, it does not offer you any domain name. Instead, you are assigned a profile name in the format medium.com/@yourname. You can configure your custom domain for the individual stories on the platform.
The service comes with an easy to use interface. There is practically no learning curve involved. You only need to sign up to the service and rest all is self-explanatory. Medium offers you a platform to share your views, opinions, and stories with the world outside. However, if you are someone looking for customization options, it may not be your cup of tea. The service lacks themes and plugins of any nature.
It can be a good option to consider if you are a blogger by hobby. If you are a writer and looking for an instant readership – yes, Medium can be good option to reach out a great number of readers in the considerably shorter span of time.
LiveJournal is indeed one of the oldest serving blogging platforms. In fact, just like a couple of platforms discussed in this listing, LiveJournal strikes a balance between a blog and social network.
The tool works more like an Online Diary as the creators claim it to be. The easy to use interface combined with a couple of customization options. The interface is quite clearly stacked up and easy to understand. It does support mobile and voice typing options so that you can continue sharing your feelings, views, and opinions on the go.
It may not have the kind of user friendliness or customization options you may find on the competing platforms. But, it has an immensely active online community. There is a catch here though. If you are entering the blogging arena for the first time – it can be a little daunting. The platform can be used for any kind of blogging including audio blogs, video blogs, images and whatever you want.
LiveJournal lets you blog anonymously. That can be one of the best features that make it an excellent option. However, if you are looking for a platform for professional blogging or a business website, this may not be a good choice. There aren’t many professional templates available on the service, which may be another deterrent. However, if being active in an ever popular and one of the active online community – you can use it to link with your main blog so as to direct more traffic.
Just like LiveJournal, this is yet another Online Diary option you have at your disposal. The major difference between LiveJournal and Penzu lies in the extra security features adopted by Penzu.
You do not need to go through any steep learning curve to be able to use the online diary. Even with basic computer knowledge, you should be able to work with the platform effectively. The interface is quite easy to understand and much uncluttered. It will give you an experience of working in the traditional way except that you are typing in here.
The 256-bit encryption ensures that your journal entries completely private. Incidentally, it is the same security standard used by US administration for its military services. It can be a complete one-stop solution when it comes to your needs in online diary functions. It also comes with several additional features like spell checker and font selector.
Here is one of the simplistic blogging platforms you can think of. In fact, simplicity is the name of the game in case of SVBTLE.
It made its beginning as an invite only blogging platform, now available for all users. Right from signing up for the service to using it for your blogging needs – it ensures that everything is minimalistic. This simplicity translates itself into the user-friendly functionality of the platform, and thus in its popularity.
However, this same simplicity also results in a few disappointing lack of features. There are no themes support or plugins available. That would make customization next to impossible. The service does not offer you an option to easily configure your custom domain name. However, there are no extra SEO tools within the platform. So that would rule out your chances of making your content SEO friendly. There is no scope for comments either.
If you compare it to other blogging platforms, you may end up finding more cons than the pros. It can only be a good choice for those who want minimalist approach and for those who possess just some basic computer skills.
Contentful is a CMS (Content Management System – simply put a blogging platform) that differs in design from the plethora of other blogging platforms. It uses an API to deliver its services.
The embedded API system makes it a great option for the users to showcase their content wherever they want to. All the content you have created will be stored on their servers. You can use it within any of your favorite platforms and design of your choice. The free plan of the service entails you to up to 3 users. You can post up to 1000 content entries and 10,000 API requests per month.
Some of the features that make it one of the excellent options include its modular design and multiple language support. Cross platform functionality makes it one of the great feature rich blogging platform. However, it can be best suited only for the tech savvy users. It involves a lot of complex technological manoevres. It does come with If you do not have the requisite expertise, you may need to look for other better options.
If you are planning to build a static site, Jekyll can be a good option you can go for. Jekyll is what is powered by GitHub pages.
You can feed in the plain content files you have created and Jekyll will convert them into a static web page within a few minutes. Though it may appear to be simple and easy to set up, you should also note that the concept needs a lot of technical know how. Having your own repository on GitHub and then getting it converted to your GitHub pages. Even then, there is an advantage associated with it. You need not worry about creating and maintaining the databases or upgrading them.
If you compare it to the high-end blogging platforms like WordPress, Jekyll will be the winner with its simplicity. It has everything that you would expect to have for your work. It does not bring up anything unnecessary. The platform lets you write in any of the text editors you want to use. That would mean a perfect customization. You can be sure of nothing going wrong. That is because you are not handling the complex tasks on the server side as GitHub handles all those intricate tasks on its own.
After WordPress, Joomla adorns the second place when it comes to the popularity of blogging platforms.It is an open source CMS tool just like WordPress and compares effectively with it.
It is a self-hosted option for your blogging needs. That would mean you will need a custom domain name and a paid hosting provider to go along with it. It is quite flexible and easy to configure. That would make it one of the prominent options to build any kind of blog. It offers you a good deal of templates and themes to make your site appealing. The plugins and extensions available on Joomla are comparable to WordPress and are quite good enough to compete with it.
There are some issues though. Backups, security settings and updating the software will be your responsibility. That would need you to be technically compatible enough. If you are not sure of it, WordPress can be a better option for you.
Well, WordPress is what outperforms all other competitors. That does not mean the other options we have featured here are no good either. It all should depend upon your application requirements. We have made an attempt to list out the platforms that should meet the varying degree of your requirements.
Have you used any of these platforms for your blogging needs? Do share your opinions and views with us. Your inputs will serve our readers in making a knowledgeable choice for the best platform that would meet their goals. If you have any of your favorite blogging sites that we have not listed here, you are free to share your views with us so that we can update our listing if your choices really work out to be one of the best competitors we have featured here in our listing.
Choose your favourite platform and enjoy blogging!