Blogging is one of the most widely consumed forms of media on the planet. In fact, as of 2021, nearly 20 billion pages of blog content are read each month by over 400 million unique users. That’s a pretty staggering number when you consider how wide of an audience the blogging medium potentially has.
Blogging helps businesses and personal influencers to reach a much wider audience. With blogs, you can target very important topics to your niche and drive up the SEO value of your website. This helps get more eyes on your brand and page through reaching higher Search Ranking listing levels. Blogs keep eyes on your website and bring new viewers each month.
However, knowing that a blog is important to business success is only half the battle. You actually need to set out to create the blog in the first place. And that is where things get very interesting. With hundreds and thousands of different blogging platforms available, which one offers you the best chance at success?
Let’s talk about some of the most popular blogging platforms, and what you can expect to get as a user.
Let’s kick this off with a look at the grandfather of all web hosting platforms... WordPress. WordPress is far and away the most popular web hosting platform in the world. As of today, more than 39% of all websites on the entire internet are hosted by WordPress. This is largely due to the fact that WordPress offers a wide range of options, packages, and functions to choose from--paired with their rich infrastructure.
Now, with WordPress, you actually get two distinct versions available to you. These are:
Of course, this may seem a bit confusing, but don’t worry it all makes sense. WordPress.org is their primary hosting platform and is in fact actually a software program rather than a website. It is the tool that allows you to have 100% control over your website and blog, with access to nearly 60,000 plugins and all the benefits of owning your own exclusive domain name. This is free to use for the creative process but you will need to pay for the domain name and the right to host it on their servers.
This usually comes out to about $14.99/year and $7.99/month respectively.
With WordPress.com you get a more streamlined and cost-friendly service. It is 100% free to use and host your website, so long as you use the free domain options. These generally look like this blog here.
Now the main appeal with WordPress.com is the absolute ease of use that exists there. You can have a blog set up and running in mere minutes and you can manage it from their simple to navigate dashboard. However, you are going to lose quite a bit of customizability when you choose the .com option over the .org software.
Both WordPress.org and .com offer a lot to be loved about their platform. However, it’s important to know what you are getting. WordPress.org gives you nearly unlimited ability to customize and design your website. You can even add in subscription-based services and a store, etc. It is the best platform for turning your blog into a revenue stream.
However, using WordPress.org is not necessarily a simple task. There is quite a bit of learning curve, and for this many people turn to WordPress.com. Which is a website itself and is far more limited in capability and functionality. However, for those who simply want a basic blog hosting platform, WordPress.com is still a very good option overall.
WordPress.com is 100% free to use in its basic form. Although, both programs will cost you at least $4-8/month for the basic hosting fees and a small annual fee for the domain name should you want a custom domain. Just remember, these packages can only be paid for annually.
Thus, you will need a small lump sum upfront to get off the ground. WordPress is very cheap all things considered, and will always be the ‘mack daddy’ of blog hosting platforms.
Pros & Cons.
Extremely comprehensive and vast in capability and scope.
Access to a massive and reliable network.
Ability to monetize easily.
Access to endless plugins and customization options on .org.
A very steep learning curve for .org.
Very limited options for customization on .com.
Blogger is one of the oldest and most used blogging platforms around. While not quite as ubiquitous as WordPress, it is a great platform that has been around for over two decades. Blogger began back in 1999, and was later acquired by the company that owns and operates them now… Google.
That’s right, Blogger is free to use blogging platform owned and operated by the giants of tech themselves. This is one big drawing factor for Blogger when it comes to getting newbies to host their blogs there. Blogger is backed up by the power and quality control of the largest website on the planet. So, you are getting quite a bit of security and peace of mind when you choose Blogger.
Blogger is centred around being extremely easy to use and set up. It is designed with the beginner in mind and holds your hand quite a bit during the setup process. This makes it a dream for beginners, but maybe a bit annoying for experienced bloggers.
To use Blogger, all you need is a Google account. There you can attach Blogger to your own existing Google platform, and simply use it as an extension of yourself and profile. It’s simple to integrate, especially for Chrome users. On top of all this, Blogger is always 100% free. There is no “premium” option that you can use. It’s always the same package with the same customization options for everyone.
Blogger is very enticing largely due to the fact that it’s free to use at all times. However, this does come with a few drawbacks over a more premium paid service. As always, you get what you pay for. In this case, you are sacrificing two major things:
Customization ability is very limited.
You do not get a dedicated domain name.
Blogger aims to keep everything streamlined and simple. This reduces the amount of
‘bloat’ that can sometimes occur when blogging platforms try to get too fancy. This means you have access to a very limited set of customization options, but all of them are quite nice. In addition, you only have access to a subdomain that will look like this:
Many users choose Blogger because it is by far the most beginner-friendly platform around. Pair that with being free, and you get a recipe for perfection for those who want to start a blog now with very little resources. However, often bloggers find themselves moving on from Blogger if their audience grows too large.
Overall, Blogger is ideal for those who are just getting started. If you are not an experienced blogger or web designer, you likely won’t feel very restricted at all. It’s only when you begin to learn and grow that you see what you are missing. But, that’s okay for a lot of users!
Pros & Cons:
Always 100% free.
Simple to navigate and create new posts.
Very sleek dashboard.
Very restrictive when it comes to customization.
Does not scale well.
Medium is what happens when blogging becomes social. It is the sort of spiritual successor to the once titan of blogging in the early 2000s--Bebo. However, Medium is a much more stripped-down version of what Bebo originally aimed to create. Which was a platform that is designed for blogging exclusively, inside of a neatly packaged social media frame.
Medium is a simple to use blog hosting platform online. It is designed for users to create a profile that is attached to them and publish blogs however they see fit. They can customize their pages to some extent and can post about whatever they like. Other users can find their content and read it, share it, like it, etc.
This creates a very unique ecosystem of users who follow each other's blogs and engage with each other's content regularly. This helps to establish a very fun blogging environment that is more socially focused than business-minded.
With Medium, you are using the platform to create a profile for hosting your content. You can gain followers in a way, and you can also generate revenue if you are part of their partner program. This makes it a lot more fun to write on Medium as it makes the entire process very social.
To put it simply, Medium is not designed to be an all-encompassing tool for creating a blog. It’s simply a tool for having a blog. If your only goal is to showcase your writing skills and get your thoughts out there, then Medium is a great place to be. It allows you to put all of your attention towards writing, and none of it towards design and layout customization.