The Best Blogging Platforms for Beginners

A comprehensive list of all the blogging platforms new writers should consider in 2020

There is no single perfect platform to blog on. Especially if you are a new blogger. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something or has not stopped to evaluate your unique needs as a writer.

Picking a single “best blogging platform” is also counterproductive, because top bloggers tend to post across multiple platforms.

In order to find the ideal blogging platform for someone who is new to the digital publishing landscape, there are three basic steps to follow:

  1. Identify why you are blogging. Are you looking for a creative outlet or is this part of a marketing strategy for your company? Are you trying to monetize the blog? If so, how do you want to monetize your blog? What is your level of technical expertise when it comes to basic web design? Is your blog intended to be a solo project, or is the plan to include other writers? These are just a few of the questions you should think about before selecting a blogging platform.
  2. Research the different blogging platforms with up to date information and from someone who has personally tried all the platforms (that is the purpose of this article). I have been writing on various digital publishing platforms, for over 10 years. I have seen literally dozens of platforms come and go during this time, but I have never shied away from testing a new blogging platform.
  3. Select a blogging platform that best meets your individual needs, and start writing on one or more of these platforms. Once you understand your blogging needs and what is available, you will be able to narrow down your choices to a few top blogging platforms. In some cases you will pursue sharing content across multiple platforms. In other cases, you will begin focusing on mastering the platform you select and start regularly writing posts.

The following list reviews 50+ of the top blogging platforms currently available in 2020. The number rank of the platforms in this list are in no particular order. As I mentioned above, I think that choosing the right platform is the responsibility of each blogger. I will however try to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each platform. All of these reviews are my own opinions, and I have not included any affiliate links in this article.

Note: Although they are digital publishing platforms, this list does not include major social media sites whose primary purpose is interacting with others. Some of these examples include Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. I also tried to focus digital publishing platforms that were primarily blogs emphasizing written text, as opposed to images or video, such as Imgur, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat, and Periscope, Pinterest, and Instagram.

1. Medium

Medium is first on this list because — well — this blog post you are reading is written on Medium!

Medium was created by Ev Williams, one of the founders of Twitter and Blogger, in August 2012. In many ways, Medium is the natural extension of Williams’ previous companies. Medium makes writing and publishing content longer than 140 (now 280) characters incredibly simple.

Medium has far more features than most of the blogging platforms on this list. This is partially because it has (a relatively) large amount of funding and is also a hybrid social media/journalism site.The platform has pivoted in its business model many times over the years, as well.

Writers write everything from personal essays to poetry to micro fiction. Medium also allows bloggers to create their own publication, which is essentially a collection of articles (yours and/or other writers’ articles), allowing you to act as a mini “magazine editor” of sorts.

Medium is probably best known among writers for its Partner Program, which allows writers to earn money based on total member reading time, as opposed to display ads or affiliate links. Anyone can become a writer and earn from the partner program (as long as they live in a country that processes apyments through Stripe). Top writers in the Partner Program earn $10,000+ per month.

Pricing:

Medium is free for all writers.

Advantages:

  • Free to use
  • Built in monetization method and revenue sharing program that almost none of the other blogs on this list have (Medium Partner Program)
  • Sleek design which is optimized for any device size (including movile)
  • Built in audience (100 million active monthly readers)
  • Opportunity to be featured by curators in publications alongside, “traditionally famous” writers
  • Solid article formatting editor

Disadvantages:

  • The design is beautiful, but it is uniform across all writers’ accounts
  • There is no automatic built in tool to collect followers contact information (you can use Medium to generate leads, but this requires an email marketing system)
  • Bloggers are relying upon someone else’s platform to host their blog (as opposed to having a self hosted blog)

Learn more about Medium:

2. WordPress.org

WordPress is the world’s leading blogging software. It powers 34% of all websites in the world and continues to increase in popularity. It’s an open-source solution and the software is free to use. Not to mention, you own all your site’s data and have complete control over the design and functionality of your blog.

It’s a self-hosted blogging platform, meaning you will have to invest in WordPress web hosting to get your blog up and running. Luckily, there are several high-quality hosting providers available to help install WordPress on your website using setup wizards and one-click installation tools.

You can monetize your self-hosted WordPress blog in any way you see fit. For example, sell ad space, get into affiliate marketing, or even create a paid membership, directory, or online forum to complement your blog content. And if you want, you can even start an eCommerce shop and sell physical or digital products to customers with ease.

  • Easy to set up thanks to web hosts that guide you through the process
  • Complete control over every element of your site, meaning there are endless customization options
  • Freedom to monetize your blog in any way you want
  • Thousands of free and premium WordPress themes and plugins to extend the design and functionality of your blog
  • WordPress core is SEO optimized, which helps with search rankings
  • Easily change web hosts if you want
  • Built-in text editor makes adding blog content to your site a cinch
  • Managing and customizing your own website takes practice
  • You have to handle backups, site security, and site maintenance on your own
  • You have to pay for web hosting

The WordPress software is free to use. However, you’ll have to register a domain name (your website’s URL), which costs about $15/year. You will also have to pay for web hosting, which varies depending on the company you choose and features you need.

Here’s what the WordPress interface looks like when creating a new post:

Pricing:

WordPress is the world’s largest, open-source content management system (CMS) used to build websites. It’s free to use, but there are costs associated with site building, including web hosting ($3 to $25/month), and optional premium themes ($29-$49) and plugins ($19-$100 or more). Overall, total WordPress website costs range from $0 to $500 or more.

Advantages:

  • A huge amount of control over your blog
  • Completely free aside from the cost of hosting
  • More professional than other platforms
  • A large number of themes and plugins to modify and use as you see fit

Disadvantages:

  • You will have to purchase the hosting and domain name separately
  • You will have to manage your updates, backup, and security
  • Can be difficult to set up for those who lack technical knowledge

3. WordPress.com

WordPress, not to be confused with the self-hosted WordPress.org platform, is a fully hosted blogging platform brought to you by the company Automattic.

It was started in 2005 and gives people a simple way to start a free blog. It comes with far less design and functionality options than its self-hosted counterpart, but is a great solution for those that want to test the WordPress CMS or simply don’t need advanced features.

That said, if you want features such as access to premium WordPress themes and plugins, the ability to create an online store, or a custom domain name that does not have wordpress.com added the end, you can invest in a premium plan.

  • No setup required, just launch and go
  • Completely free blogging platform, or at the very least cheap if you invest in some add-on services
  • Easily drag and drop images into posts and pages, as well as embed video and audio
  • Let WordPress.com handle all site maintenance like hosting, security, and technical issues
  • Perfect for those that don’t want to monetize their blog
  • Limited functionality and design because you cannot use custom themes or plugins
  • WordPress.com will display their ads on your blog
  • You do not control your blog, meaning you can be deleted if the company decides you’re violating their terms of service
  • Not ideal for those wanting to run their blogs into an online business
  • Your domain will have WordPress branding
  • Hard to earn revenue (even paid plans that allow ads are revenue sharing)
  • For added features and functionality you have to pay for the expensive premium plan

Pricing

It’s free to use unless you want to unlock additional features like a custom domain name, premium themes and plugins, analytics, and eCommerce functionality. Paid plans start at a modest $3/month.

Advantages:

  • Hugely popular blogging platform with a large and active community
  • Relatively simple to use and manage
  • Get access to a ton of amazing themes and plugins with the paid plans

Disadvantages:

  • The free version comes with no monetization options
  • Access to third-party plugins and themes limited to Business and eCommerce plans
  • WordPress ads and branding in the free version can make your blog look unprofessional

Learn more about WordPress:

4. Substack

Substack is an email newsletter platform designed for small publishers hoping to turn their subscribers into paying customers.

Writers get a content management system (CMS) built for publishing email newsletters, integrated payments through Stripe, and a website that can host free and subscriber-only content.

Consequently, Substack makes it very simple for a writer to start a paid or free newsletter.

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Learn more about Substack:

Pricing:

Substack is free for bloggers. They do take a 10% cut of subscription revenue if you choose to charge for subscription access to your posts/newsletter.

Advantages:

  • It is easy to use
  • Clean simple interface
  • Includes a free blog, CMS, and an email marketing system

Disadvantages:

  • Compared to a top alternative like Medium, it does not drive traffic. It is simply a really comprehensive free tool that allows creators to distribute their content. Writers still need to market their work (Note: This is true for most of the platforms on this list).

5. LinkedIn (Formerly LinkedIn Pulse)

LinkedIn offers a great way to publish blog posts which can be read by your connections or anyone on the platform. LinkedIn’s blogging platform (formerly called Pulse) is located at the top of your page:

Once there, LinkedIn users can choose to publish a post just as they would on their own blog. It’s even possible to publish a complete blog post directly to your LinkedIn home page.

Even though it may seem counterintuitive for bloggers to post content somewhere other than their own website, posting on LinkedIn may actually be a way to drive readers to your site. Remember that visitors to LinkedIn are looking for information and are ready to spend some time reading content.

By posting directly to LinkedIn, you’ve got an opportunity to show a new audience what you can do. Write a fantastic how-to or list post related to your niche, show off your photography skills with your media selections, or highlight a professional skill you bring to the blogging table.

Pricing:

Free

Advantages:

  • LinkedIn has a highly engaged and valuable audience (depending on your network)
  • LinkedIn is free and there are almost no barriers to entry
  • LinkedIn articles can include canonical links, boosting the SEO of your own site.

Disadvantages:

  • You have almost now ownership or control over your content or how you contact them since LinkedIn is facilitating content distribution.
  • If you don’t write about business, technology, entrepreneurship, marketing or work, your content may be overlooked.

Learn more about LinkedIn:

6. Joomla

Joomla is an open source CMS that launched in 2005. It’s a flexible platform that allows a lot of customization without knowing too much code. You can extend the functionality with “extensions” and use templates to change the look of your site.

Features

  • WYSIWYG Editor.
  • Monetization.
  • Multi-user Environment.
  • Tiered Permissions and User Management.
  • Password protection.
  • Content Scheduling.
  • Advanced SEO Options (through extensions).

All-in-all, it’s not a hard interface to learn your way around and beginners could probably get their site up and running with a template of their choice without too many issues.

Pricing:

Free, except for hosting and DNS costs as with other open source platforms.

Advantages:

  • Full Customizability of Template Files.
  • SEO-Friendly Content Structure.
  • Multilingual (core).

Disadvantages:

  • Extensions can be expensive

7. Squarespace

Squarespace is a website building platform. Squarespace has built a reputation on being an all-in-one system, that’s easy to use. Squarespace is well known for it’s designer quality templates, and modern features (all websites are mobile responsive, right from the get go).

The primary draw of Squarespace comes from the gorgeous design options available. Once you get a hang of using it, you’ll be able to create a beautiful looking blog. They have 100+ well-designed and fully responsive templates to choose from and you can switch between them at any time without any issues. For additional functionality, Squarespace has ‘Blocks’ that add features such as Social Media icons and links, Product Pricing, Foursquare check-ins, Newsletter subscription forms, and more. Another reason to get Squarespace is the premium customer support. You will have access to the community forum, knowledgebase, as well as live chat, should any issues arise.

As fantastic as Squarespace is, the learning curve can be a stumbling block for those who are new to blogging. For a premium blogging platform, the existing third-party integrations feel quite limited as well. If you’re not a beginner, you might feel that that Squarespace lacks flexibility when compared to something like WordPress. Moreover, not everyone is looking for a premium blogging platform so it’s understandable if Squarespace doesn’t interest you. Even among the premium blogging platforms, Squarespace is one of the more expensive ones.

Pricing:

Squarespace has four price plans to choose from — two website builder plans, and two online store plans. Which one you choose depends on your needs.

  • Personal Plan: $12/month
  • Business Plan: $18/month
  • Basic: $26/month
  • Advanced: $40/month

Advantages:

  • Fantastic design with great templates
  • Comes with Hosting and Custom Domain
  • High creative freedom in customization
  • Built-in eCommerce functionality

Disadvantages:

  • Slight learning curve
  • Not very flexible
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Many features not available for the Personal Plan

8. Wix

Wix is a popular blogging platform for beginners looking for hosting and blogging tools in one place.

You can start by selecting from over 500 pre-designed templates that any blogger can use, whether you own a retail business or run a food review website. Or you can start from scratch if you know HTML and CSS.

After you’ve picked or created your template, you can begin writing and editing posts on desktop or mobile, embed Wix’s stock photos and videos or your own media, and organize them into topics.

To add more advanced elements to the page, like music or maps, you’ll have to add HTML code. This process can be intimidating for beginners, particularly when compared to the ease of installing plugins on WordPress. It’s post editor also isn’t drag-and-drop, which might frustrate some bloggers.

Once you’re done writing, you can configure your SEO settings to boost your organic reach, push your content to your subscribers with Wix’s email tool, and share them through your social media accounts. You can further foster a sense of community among your readers by letting them become members.

While Wix is more versatile than other hosted website builders, it lacks customization options and content management features, particularly when comparing Wix vs WordPress or another CMS. This makes Wix ideal for bloggers looking to create blogs that prioritize visual content over functionality. Take a look at this Wix blogger’s site below.

Pricing:

Wix gives you the option of having a free account, but it comes with several caveats. First of all, your website domain name will show up like this:
https://yourname.wixsite.com/pagename

Your website will also have the Wix branding on it, and it will show ads for Wix. Also, if you want to make money out of your blog or website, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan.

There are plenty of plans starting from $11 and going up to $35 per month. The most popular though is the $25/month Business Unlimited Plan. It gives you unlimited bandwidth, a free domain, and Wix’s marketing tool called Wix Ascend.

Advantages:

  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop software makes it incredibly beginner-friendly
  • Less of a learning curve when building your site

Disadvantages:

  • Far fewer options for themes and third-party plugins
  • Plans are less flexible due to lack of hosting options
  • Costs extra if you want to build an eCommerce store on your site
  • Free version is very limited and includes Wix ads on your site
  • Far fewer software integrations than WordPress

9. Tumblr

Tumblr is a free publishing platform that offers blogging and social networking features in one place. It’s ideal for publishing multimedia content to attract readers and establish topic authority.

Tumblr has a great variety of sharing and reblogging options, which makes promoting your content so much easier than other blogging platforms. Users can share content with each other by simply pressing the reblog option, which then republishes the content on your blog feed.

Tumblr is definitely a platform for visual bloggers that like publishing photos, art, illustrations, video and gifs. Probably not ideal for writers. That said, if you publish hybrid content (visual and written), Tumbr may not be a bad option.

The reblogging feature may not appeal to writers as it does take an element of control away from the creator of that content, particularly if you require your material to have 100% control over copyright and other such protections.

Pricing:

Tumblr is a free publishing platform with over 450 million users. To publish your content on Tumblr, you simply need to sign up for a free account.

By default, you’ll be set up with a Tumblr subdomain that looks like: https://mywebsite.tumblr.com. If you’d prefer to have a custom domain, then you can purchase one from a third-party registrar like Domainr and connect it to your Tumblr account. A custom domain costs between $10 and 40 per year.

You may also need to factor in the cost of a premium theme. While there are many free themes available in Tumblr’s official repository, you may have to opt for a premium theme to get the exact look you want for your site. Premium themes range from $9 to $49.

Advantages:

  • Quick and easy to publish Gifs, Videos, Images, Photos and Illustrations.
  • Reblogging makes promoting your content easier than other platforms.
  • Excellent integration of social media sharing functions.
  • Very easy to use and it’s totally FREE.

Disadvantages:

  • Difficult to export your content should you outgrow your Tumblr blog and wish to move elsewhere.
  • Limitations around features that you can add to your blog
  • Tumblr themes are available, but they lack any additional features or functionality.

10. Ghost

Ghost is a good option for someone who wants a slick publishing experience and a nice user interface. Ghost, however, requires significant technical skills to set up and run.

Ghost is a minimalist, open-source blogging platform that focuses entirely on publishing blog content — and nothing else. It’s a hosted platform that only takes a few clicks to set up yourself. And thanks to the modern, clean interface, writing and publishing your blog posts is easy and fast.

This unique blogging platform is limited when it comes to extending the design and functionality of your blog. That said, it’s written in JavaScript so you know your blog will always load blazing fast for readers.

  • Built-in SEO including semantic markup, permalinks, XML sitemaps, canonical tags and automatic meta data
  • Fully managed: install, updates, backups, optimizations, and site security handled for you
  • Blogging-first platform
  • Built-in social features for a broader audience reach
  • Blazing fast for a great user experience
  • Simple, clutter-freeinterface
  • Can use markdown or HTML to write posts
  • You can’t create an online business or eCommerce site
  • Customizing with native apps can be tough
  • Limited customization thanks to minimal number of themes
  • Self-hosted version not supported by all hosts

Pricing:

Ghost plans start at $29/month and increase to $79 and $199 per month for additional monthly views, staff users, CDN services, and priority support.

If you choose the free, self-hosted Ghost platform, you’ll have to pay for web hosting and a domain name separately.

Advantages:

  • Open source
  • Markdown option
  • Custom domain

Disadvantages

  • Post editor need improvement
  • Requires relatively high technical knowledge to make full use of (more complex than WordPress).

11. Weebly

Weebly is an online drag and drop website builder that lets users create unique websites and online stores. The platform is also available for mobile devices that can be used to create and publish websites on the go.

Like Wix, Weebly is a popular blogging platform that provides everything you need to launch a blog, including website building tools, templates, and hosting.

Weebly differentiates itself from Wix in multiple ways. The editor supports drag-and-drop functionality for both posts and pages, for example. You can create more complex layouts by adding elements like forms and image galleries as well. You can also add more sub-levels to your navigation menus, which allows you to organize larger amounts of content. All Weebly templates are also mobile-optimized, which means you won’t have to do any additional editing or rearranging for mobile.

While Weebly offers more functionality than most website builders, it does lack flexibility when compared to WordPress or another CMS. For example, you can’t drag and drop elements anywhere on your posts and pages or edit parts of the underlying source code.

That makes Weebly ideal for blogs with lots of content but more basic functionality.

Prices:

Weebly’s prices start at $6 monthly for the Personal plan (paid yearly). Professional costs $12 a month and adds video and membership features. It also removes the Weebly ad and includes a free domain name for 1 year. Finally, Weebly Performance (for serious online stores) is $26 monthly.

Advantages:

  • Beginner-friendly with no coding required
  • Useful analytics included
  • Affordable pricing

Disadvantages:

  • Limited blogging tools
  • Intrusive self-advertisement by Weebly in the free version
  • Limited third-party apps

12. LiveJournal

LiveJournal was launched in April 1999 by Danga Interactive’s Brad Fitzpatrick. It was one of the first free blogging platforms and online communities. For the first few years, the service was by invitation only but eventually became accessible to everyone.

What started as a fun project — a way for Fitzpatrick to keep up with his old high school friends in pre-Facebook days — soon became too big for one person, and Live Journal began hiring their first team.

In 2005, Six Apart bought Danga Interactive, with Fitzpatrick continuing to work on the site. In 2007, a Russian company called SUP purchased Live Journal and established LiveJournal Inc. to run it.

LiveJournal describes itself as:

“an online community, a social network, and a place for self-expression. We strive to create an environment where you can connect with others, share your thoughts, and be yourself. Our core values guide us to protect and cultivate that community.”

Each LiveJournal account contains a journal page that shows all of a user’s most recent journal entries and links to comments pages, similar to a blogroll. Privacy settings allow LiveJournal members to edit their friends list, set viewer restrictions or make certain posts — or their entire account — completely private so that their journal resembles a diary. Members can customize their profiles by uploading an avatar or image files and choose between a free or paid account. Paid accounts offer members the ability to send text messages, voice posts, take advantage of extra storage and get access to the “Express Lane,” which makes the LiveJournal experience faster.

LiveJournal is also the name of the free and open source server software that was designed to run the LiveJournal virtual community.

Pricing:

LiveJournal members earn giveaway codes over time. Interested users can sign up for free if they get an account code from a current member.

Aside from the above option, LiveJournal offers the following enterprise pricing plans:

  • Annual: $25 for 1 year
  • Semi-annual: $15 for six months
  • Monthly: $5 for 1 month

Advantages:

  • Long track record
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages:

  • Owned by Russian media company (some potential censorship issues)

13. Constant Contact Website Builder

Constant Contact is one of the most popular email marketing services in the world. And also one of the best blog sites.

The team behind the email marketing software has also created a powerful blogging platform, Constant Contact Website Builder. It’s artificial intelligence (A.I.) powered website builder that lets you create a blog within minutes.

Advantages:

  • Creating a blog with Constant Contact Website Builder is super easy. You can simply sync your Facebook page or answer a few questions, and then it’ll build a site for you.
  • It’s a fully hosted platform that manages hosting, security, backups, and everything for you.

Disadvantages:

  • The customization capabilities are limited.
  • There aren’t many third-party integration plugins as in WordPress.

Pricing:

Constant Contact Website Builder offers a free plan with a Constant Contact subdomain. If you want to use a custom domain name, then you need to upgrade to their paid plans. Their Starter plan costs $10 per month.

14. Typepad

Typepad was a pioneer premium blogging platform.

Although its market share has reduced significantly as competitors join the race, the fact that this platform has been around since 2003 speaks to its strength.

While it’s not free, Typepad proves its value by offering more than most free services — unlimited storage, priority support, and custom domains.

It’s also loved for its reliability with an almost 100% uptime. The only major incident that shook the platform’s reputation happened in April 2014 when it went down for about six days after a DDoS attack.

Opening an account is easy. You can choose to start with a 14-day free trial, but you’ll need to provide billing information to activate it.

Overall, Typepad is user-friendly with a straightforward dashboard and lots of room for customization. You can publish content from your computer, phone, or email. You can also sell products (or services) and run ads on your blog if you choose.

Pricing:

Typepad offers several enterprise pricing options to meet the needs of different users. Give the details a look, and select the best plan for your business:

Plus — $8.95/month

  • Blog/Site Designs
  • Personal Support
  • Domain Mapping
  • Unlimited Storage

Unlimited — $14.95/month

  • Blog/Site Designs
  • Personal Support
  • Domain Mapping
  • Unlimited Blogs
  • Fully Customizable Designs
  • Unlimited Storage

Premium — $29.95/month

  • Blog/Site Designs
  • Personal Support
  • Domain Mapping
  • Unlimited Blogs
  • Fully Customizable Designs
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Priority Support

Enterprise — $49.95/month

  • Blog/Site Designs
  • Personal Support
  • Domain Mapping
  • Unlimited Blogs
  • Fully Customizable Designs
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Priority Support
  • Co-Owner

Advantages:

  • User-friendly with a straightforward dashboard
  • Easy to customize

Disadvantages:

  • Premium plans are expensive

15. Vocal

Vocal is a social publishing platform for people to make money from their articles. It is a one of a kind platform for content creators allowing them to write articles and get paid in return. Established in 2016, Vocal now has over 75,000 authors and around 300 content pieces are publish daily on average.

Vocal accepts a diverse range of content; from fiction writing to product reviews to poems. Readers can search for any topics available and write about them. The more readers read your content the more rewards you get from Vocal.

There are three main ways to make money through writing content on Vocal:

  1. Reads’ — refers to how many times readers have engaged with your content. Vocal rewards its writers on the basis of how many ‘reads’ the content has had. So the more the reads your content gets, the more you are paid for it. That is why its important to write quality content that engages your readers; and to do that writers have to promote their posts via social media, word of mouth etc.
  2. Tips — Another way to make money from writing is tipping, also called micro-payments. Tipping allows readers to pay a tip to the writers for their content. Writers can conclude their post by asking for a tip e.g:
    Like what you read? Help us write more stories with your support. This is one of the ways writers can ask for a tip politely.
  3. Sales — Writers can also make money by promoting a product or a service. Simply write a review or good quality content on the product you want to promote, embed that product or video link in your content to urge your readers to buy or watch.

Pricing:

There are two different account options for creators. Vocal states that it will always offer a free account option, which allows creators to publish their stories on our communities, monetize on the engagement they receive, and collect tips from fans — at no cost.

The second option is Vocal+, which is $9.99 per month.

As a Vocal+ Member you get the following:

  • Vocal+ Member badge
  • Earn $6.00 / 1000 reads
  • 2.9% transaction fees on tips
  • $20 payout minimum
  • Vocal+ Exclusive Challenges
  • Early access to new features

Advantages:

  • Bloggers can make money from views/built in ad revenue sharing system, in addition to direct tips from readers.
  • Decent editor (similar to Medium).
  • Solid track record of paying writers .

Disadvantages:

  • Story approval can seem a bit arbitrary and not every piece will be automatically published (like many sites on this list).
  • They appear to be competing with Medium by offering a similar subscriber model but they are not nearly as established nor do they have the financial backing of Medium so I’m not confident that they. I’ll be around long-term.

16. HubPages

HubPages is a user generated content, revenue-sharing website founded in 2006. The company acquired its main competitor, Squidoo, in 2014 and moved from a single-site to a multi-site business model in 2016.

launched on August 6, 2006, by Paul Edmonson, Paul Deeds, and Jay Reitz, former employees of Microsoft and were part of the startup MongoMusic.

In 2011, traffic to revenue-sharing sites, including HubPages, was slashed following changes to Google’s algorithm (Panda). Over the ensuing years, HubPages made strenuous efforts to recover from the setback, while most of its competitors gave up and closed their doors. In 2014 HubPages acquired its largest competitor, Squidoo, in a friendly takeover.

In 2016, HubPages announced it was moving from a single-site to a multi-site structure with the introduction of separate “vertical sites”. Each site contains articles covering a group of broadly related subjects.

Hubs are essentially articles on just about anything. Creators of content can write articles or Hubs on just about anything they are knowledgeable about, have an interest in or perhaps even want to promote, such as businesses, websites or links to other content sites.

Hubs are broken down into smaller sections called capsules. Capsules can be filled with text, a photo, links, RSS feeds or even money-making options.

Visitors to the site can search for hubs on a specific topic, of they can visit the main page to see what is hot, what is new and what is the best rated. From the “Topics” tab, users can browse through popular categories and subcategories.

Pricing:

Free

Advantages:

  • Free — perhaps the best advantages of sites such as HubPages is that they offer blogging for free.
  • Opportunity to Earn — Similar to Medium, HubPages offers writers a chance to earn money through a pre-monetized structure. However, unlike Medium, writers are paid based on ad revenue from all traffic. Medium only compensates traffic from paying Medium members.

Disadvantages:

  • Ad Revenue Split — HubPages takes a 40% cut of all revenue generated through ads placed on your article (writer only gets 60%).

17. Blogger

Blogger is a blog-publishing service that provides users with features to create and maintain their own website. The functionality and design tools of Blogger work together seamlessly so that users do not need to buy, install, and manage separate applications to build a webpage.

The integration makes creation of designs and content much easier using simple drag-and-drop actions. Pages are hosted by Google via the free subdomain blogspot.com. There is also an option to host in a customized domain (example: customblog.com) and secure a pre-installed SSL certificate.

Blogger was developed by Google-owned Pyra Labs, making the application automatically available for anyone with a Google account.

Pricing:

You don’t need a domain, a server, or a hosting plan — which makes it a 100% free solution. But that’s because you don’t truly own the content you’re writing — it’s on Google’s servers.

Advantages

  • Extremely easy to setup
  • Easy to Use (Content, Website Creation and Publishing)
  • SEO Optimized By Google (Blogger.com website infrastructure is developed by google so there are no any option to change SEO settings. All are the same. The only different thing is content for each blog on blogger.com. Hence quality content is a necessity if you want your blog to be on top of search engine results.)

Disadvantages:

  • Limited Customization
  • Unattractive Layout Design
  • Limited Support

18. Microblog

Micro.blog shows recent posts from sites and people you are following. Micro.blog posts are short — quick thoughts, links to web sites, and replies to friends. It’s a fast timeline that’s powered by RSS and the open web.

Some of the features include:

  • Integrated timeline from blogs (Browse posts from friends, powered by RSS and indie microblogs)
  • iPhone app posts to Micro.blog or WordPress (view the timeline and post to your microblog in one app)
  • Option for hosted microblog with your own domain (map a custom domain to your new microblog)
  • Customize your microblog with themes (control the look of your own site with built-in themes)
  • Markdown highlighting (hosted blogs have a full web interface with a Markdown editor)
  • RSS feeds and APIs (post from other blogging apps, use our Sidebar.js include, and more.)
  • Your content, your site (publish to your own site, host directly on Micro.blog, or use any service that can generate RSS feeds. Text in each post should be short, 280 characters or less, without a title. Then just add your RSS feed to Micro.blog and anyone can follow you)

Instead of trying to be a full social network, Micro.blog is a thin layer that glues the open web together, making it more useful. Micro.blog adds discovery and conversations on top of previously unconnected blog posts.

Pricing:

Micro.blog is free for basic accounts and paid for extra features. Micro.blog can host your microblog for $5/month, including cross-posting to other social media platforms. If you host your own microblog, you can also use this plan for cross-posting from your external blog

Advantages:

  • Tweeting is one form of microblogging. But when you use Twitter, your content stays at Twitter. At Micro.blog, you can write short posts that appear in the Micro.blog timeline, as well as on your own blog that you control.
  • Markdown for styling.
  • You can cross-post from Micro.blog to Twitter

Disadvantages:

  • High level of content moderation/less freedom for discussion

19. Write.as

Write.as is a distraction-free, no-frills platform where the idea is to just have somewhere to get your words down without necessarily having an audience in mind like, say, WordPress, where tags and SEO are a part of the process. The social media part is essentially removed: no one can “like” or follow your blog or posts.

By default, nothing you publish on Write.as is publicly visible so people can only read your article or blog if you specifically share a link to it. You can create an anonymous blog, start writing and it is saved automatically as you go.

If you’re curious about who writes on Write.as, there is a separate “read stream” (https://read.write.as/) where you can peruse content ranging from the confessions of an ex-employee in the beauty business to rants on UX design and food diaries. A good place to anonymously vent or think aloud.

Pricing:

Write.as has three enterprise pricing options. The details for these are listed below to help you decide which one suits your needs best.

Casual — $1/month (billed yearly)

  • 1 blog
  • 100,000 character limit per post
  • Unlimited cross-posts to Twitter and Tumblr per month

Pro — $6/month or $60/year

  • 3 blogs
  • 500,000 character limit per post
  • Unlimited cross-posts to Twitter and Tumblr per month

Support — $25/month or $250/year

  • 3 blogs
  • 500,000 character limit per post
  • Unlimited cross-posts to Twitter and Tumblr per month
  • Publish via email

Advantages:

  • Minimalist design
  • Allows writers to focus on writing

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of draft location
  • Limited fonts and formatting features

20. Drupal

Drupal is the second-largest open source CMS (after WordPress). Rather than a strict blogging tool, it’s better described as a professional, scalable online publishing platform.

Drupal gives you much more granular control over user permissions. You can even create unique permissions for specific users. There’s also support for multilingual sites built into the core.

Features

  • Basic Editor.
  • Monetization.
  • Multilingual.
  • Password Protection.
  • Global Navigation.
  • Full Customizability of Theme/Template Files.
  • Customizable Access Control and Tiered Permissions.
  • Advanced Content Scheduling.
  • Full-Fledged Versioning (with module).
  • SEO-Friendly Content Structure.
  • Advanced SEO Options (with module).

The interface is quite dated and not very intuitive for beginners. When you first log in to your installation, there is no tutorial. Instead, you start on the user page and have to figure out how to edit your new website by yourself.

It has a reasonably steep learning curve. Now don’t get me wrong, for someone with CMS or similar software experience, it’s not too difficult to figure out how to do the basics.

But it’s not even close to intuitive. So if you’re not a developer or a techy person, Drupal is probably not the right choice for you.

Pricing:

Drupal is open source and completely free and you’d need to pay for your domain name and hosting provider.

The main difference between Drupal and WordPress is that it is specifically designed for developers, agencies, and enterprises. It has advanced features, like multilingual support in core, but it can be difficult for beginners to learn to use.

Advantages:

  • Free and open source code: Drupal is completely free which allows it to compete with other similar CMSs like Joomla and WordPress. In addition, Drupal’s system code is open, which means users can rebuild it according to their precise needs.
  • Multilingual content: Other CMSs (like WordPress) may require you to use a plugin but, with Drupal, multilingual functionality is built into the core.
  • Updates: Programmers and users regularly update Drupal with new modules (aka plugins), bug fixes and, as mentioned above, support documentation.

Disadvantages:

  • Steep learning curve: Whether you’re a professional developer or (especially) a casual user, prepare to read a lot of documentation to understand basic Drupal functions.
  • Basic coding skills needed: Drupal isn’t the best choice for web beginners, as it does require, at minimum, some basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP just in order to manage the site.
  • Themes and plugins: Drupal does provide a large number of extensions and templates but you will probably have to leave the system to search for modules before installing them. Many modules are not free so you’ll have to purchase them.

21. Pyro

Pyro is a Laravel-based CMS, which prides itself on being an excellent platform for developers. When it comes to blogging, Pyro offers a grid-based layout system, which means you have full control over the way your posts look. On top of that, this platform makes it easy to edit all of your content.

Overall, Pyro is an excellent option for simple blogs and more complex websites. However, once you move beyond a basic blog, things start to get complicated. You’ll need to customize your website’s code yourself to make any major changes. Likewise, a lot of Pyro extensions are rather expensive, so costs can quickly add up for blogs with a lot of functionality.

Pricing:

Basic product is free, but Pyro Pro, the premium subscription version of this platform. Pro subscriptions come with GitHub access to over 30 first party private addons. All addons we make in the future are included and you can follow development on pre-release addons too.

Advantages:

  • Use a built-in grid system to get full control over your pages’ layouts.
  • Run your blog using a modern dashboard with plenty of options.

Disadvantages:

  • Implementing advanced features often requires you to have experience using PHP.
  • A lot of Pyro modules are rather expensive, so costs can add up quickly.

22. Svbtle

Svbtle is a blogging platform known for its minimalist design and straightforward functions. Its simplicity is intended to highlight only the important aspects of blogging — a basic hosted platform where individuals can develop ideas and easily share them online.

Svbtle disables commenting on posts to help bloggers manage their pages more easily. However, readers can offer what the application calls a “Kudos” to express approval for a post. Readers can also “Nudge” a writer who has not published anything for a time.

Posts can be shared on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. There is also a Google Analytics section which allows bloggers to incorporate analytics by coding in a system-generated number.

Pricing:

All of Svbtle’s features are available for:

  • $6 per month
  • $70 per year

Advantages:

  • Clean writing experience
  • Zero setup required — As soon as you sign-up for the service, you are ready to start writing
  • Svbtle can provide an audience — You can get your post featured ensuring that it will be read

Disadvantages:

  • It costs 6$ per month
  • No real customization options — Accent color can be changed and that’s about it
  • Svbtle has no way of leaving a comment. The only way of communicating with the author is via email or Twitter if he chooses to supply that information

23. Diigo

Diigo’s primary function is to help you organize bookmarks to your favorite web pages in an online repository. You can make the bookmarks public to share with others or keep them private. You can also annotate and highlight the pages you’re bookmarking. It also lets you make screen captures of full or partial pages, send links to email, Facebook, and Twitter, and even write a blog post from it.

Diigo has a featured called Enhanced Linkrolls that lets you create a list of bookmarks, filtered by the tags you’ve applied to them.

You can read more effectively with annotation tools as you browse around the web. Add digital highlighters and sticky notes whether on PC, tablets, or mobile, and have them always be where you left them when you return! Print to mark-up? No longer necessary.

Build your personal library in the cloud, with links, pages, notes, pictures etc, never to be lost, and ready to be accessed anywhere. Of course, those digital highlights, sticky notes and screenshots you added while going around the web automatically go into your library.

Say goodbye to broken links and lost treasures The web is dynamic — valuable content you found earlier is often no longer there when needed. Diigo archives the webpages for the links you save. Better yet, the archived pages are fully searchable. So do not just bookmark, save to Diigo!

Provide feedback and catch attention with annotation or screenshots Want to draw attention to a particular paragraph to your Twitter followers? Highlight it and tweet. Want to comment on a student’s writing? Use sticky notes for inline commenting. Want to provide feedback on a web design? Capture the page and mark it up.

Organize your information as little or as much as you want. Since Diigo provides powerful search capabilities, the simple act of saving or annotating something, often with just one-click, will enable you to find it easily later. But of course, when you do want better organization, for easier review, for connecting the dots, for better sharing, for presentation, or whatever, Diigo provides unsurpassed organization capabilities, with both tagging and lists, to suit different needs.

Share information as much or as little as you want One advantage of storing information in the cloud is that you can share them easily when you want to. Each piece of information can be set as private or public on Diigo. If you are an extrovert and like to share your passion and showcase who you are, make public as the default! If you are introvert, keep them all private! Want to send a whole collection to someone? just a few clicks away.

Enable better collaboration on information for any group, large or small. Too little or too much sharing with email? Build a group knowledge repository for your family, your class, your team, or your entire company; each group member can add and subscribe to it, and browse and search it. Better yet, group members can interact with on-the-page annotations. So imagine your class are all reading the same Wikipedia article, and commenting and discussing right on the page!

Pricing:

Diigo offers a straightforward enterprise pricing structure with four plans:

Free — $0

  • With Ads

Standard — $40/year

  • No Ads
  • Unlimited webpage highlights
  • Unlimited PDF highlights
  • Unlimited cloud bookmarks
  • Unlimited cached pages
  • Unlimited image storage
  • Import kindle notes and highlights

Professional — $59/year

  • Everything in Standard
  • Unlimited outliners
  • Unlimited PDF storage

Business — $10/user/month

  • Everything in Professional
  • Admin console dashboard
  • Collaborative PDF annotation
  • Collaborative web annotation
  • Unlimited team library for images, PDF, and webpages

Advantages:

  • Read more effectively with annotation tools as you browse around the web. Add digital highlighters and sticky notes whether on PC, tablets, or mobile, and have them always be where you left them when you return.
  • Great for collaboration
  • Diigo archives the webpages for the links you save

Disadvantages:

  • There are Ads in the free version, which can be distracting
  • You need to pay for a premium plan to access most of the useful features

24. Bloggi.co

Bloggi aims to be a simple, flexible, affordable and reliable solution to let you share your ideas with the world.

There are many options out there for digital publishing, but most are either too complicated, too restrictive, too expensive or too free (which means an uncertain future for your blog) claims Bloggio.

It has a simple focus. It lets you write without distractions.

Pricing:

$49 per year

Advantages:

  • It lets you write without distractions
  • It is incredibly easy to set up

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive for what the service offers

25. Open Diary

Open Diary was the first website that brought online journal keepers together as a community, as users had the ability to read each other’s journals and leave comments on them. It was founded in 1998 by Bruce Ableson. To date, the site has hosted more than five million diaries since launch, with more than half a million diaries currently being used.

Pricing:

Open Diary is a subscription service, and you are signing up for a 30-day free trial At the end of thirty days, you will have to upgrade to a paid membership for $3.99 a month if you wish to keep using the site.

Advantages:

  • Sense of community
  • Straight forward format
  • Long track record

Disadvantages:

  • Not ideal for content that is supposed to look professional/modern
  • After 30 day trial, you must pay

26. Jekyll

Jekyll is a blogging platform that works entirely from your command line and doesn’t have a graphical interface. If you’re not intimidated by the command line, Jekyll has a lot going for it. It’s the best blog platform if you’re looking for something ultra-lightweight, and it enables you to create blazing fast static websites.

With Jekyll, you can use HTML, CSS, Markdown text, and Liquid templates to create simple sites. The philosophy behind the platform is to remove as many frills as possible from the content creation process, and enable developers to set up blogs in a matter of minutes.

Despite its straightforward approach to blog building, Jekyll does support basic features such as pages, posts, custom layouts, and categories for your content. However, it doesn’t use databases or support comments.

Pricing:

Jekyll is published under the MIT license, which means it is free for commercial and private use.

Advantages:

  • Lets you run your entire blog from the command line.
  • Support’s blog taxonomies.
  • Helps you create static websites using HTML, CSS, Markdown, and Liquid templates.

Disadvantages:

  • It’s only a viable option if you’re very comfortable using the command line.
  • Customizing Jekyll websites requires some basic HTML and CSS knowledge.
  • It doesn’t feature a visual text editor.

27. Virb

Virb started out as a MySpace competitor back in 2007. However, when it became obvious Facebook would become the next king of social media, Virb was acquired by MediaTemple and revamped as a site builder in 2008.

With GoDaddy’s acquisition of MediaTemple in 2014, Virb changed ownership once more. Since then, this site builder has been maintained by GoDaddy, trying to cater to a large user base ranging from small business owners to photographers to bloggers.

Since its launch 11 years ago, Virb has positioned itself as a legitimate website builder — however, there is a sense that Virb’s development has stalled. The editor feels clunky and outdated. Drag and drop WYSIWYG editors are the standard among modern website builders but this isn’t the case for Virb whose editor, which is viewed in two modes, has a somewhat steep learning curve.

For the most part, integration with third-party widgets (and there are plenty here) is seamless with the option of adding code to create custom widgets to your liking.

While Virb gives you the basic tools to build a simple and responsive website, there is still a lot missing. While it features access to HTML and CSS and various SEO tools, inbuilt site statistics, integrated stores, and a drag and drop interface are lacking.

Pricing:

Virb’s pricing is very simple. The company only offers one, monthly plan ($10) which gives you unlimited pages, unlimited photos, videos, and audio content. You can connect a custom domain to your account — but keep in mind that you cannot purchase a domain through Virb.

Advantages:

  • Simple, no-frills site builder with a low learning curve
  • It offers a decent selection of themes that can be used for a very basic blog

Disadvantages:

  • No ability to purchase a domain name through its dashboard
  • Limited support options
  • Limited customization options for those unfamiliar with HTML and CSS

28. Emyspot

Emyspot is a free, easy-to-use, full-featured online tool to make a website bursting with interactive and responsive content. Emyspot users get access to all the web building tools they need to make a website, then manage and host their content with ease — whether it be for a personal, business, class or community website.

Emyspot’s flexible content management system (CMS) lets users personalize the design and function of their webpages, creating pages that combine static content — like text or directories — with interactive elements like a photo album, videos, blog or forum. And when you need to change your content, that is easy too.

Pricing:

Advantages:

  • Interactive elements like a photo album, videos, blog or forum. And when you need

Disadvantages:

  • Emyspot is a French company so you may have some trouble if you are from the US and are looking for very easy to rely on customer support

29. Silvrback

Silvrback is a hosted and Markdown-powered blog built to help users exploit the power of simplicity. The platform provides features that deliver a well-rounded but minimalist blogging experience to all authors. It gives STEM writers complete control over their brands and contents. Although the application is not well endowed in the themes department, it makes up in the clean, modern user-interface

Silvrback provides a rich set of features which include: syntax editors, scheduling posts, security, media gallery, search, RTL & LTR languages, analytics, subscribers, social media, mathjax, code highlighting, reader engagement, no Ads, and Github. The software scale back to the available customization options to build a distraction-free writing zone. The writing space is uncluttered and is easy to get started with and keep moving.

Pricing:

Silvrback provides three straightforward enterprise pricing plans for users to choose from:

  • Annual plan — $34.99
  • Quarterly plan — $9.99
  • Monthly plan — $3.99

Advantages:

  • Markdown option
  • Great UI
  • Custom domain

Disadvantages

  • Mobile templates aren’t great

30. BOLD

BOLD by Quintype is a digital publishing solution that is focused on new media and lets media businesses and organizations as well as content creators to manage, publish, share, and monetize their content on all social channels, platforms, and devices immediately and effortlessly.

With its “Mobile First, Social First, Data First” approach, BOLD helps users boost their engagement, discover and maximize monetization opportunities, and derive all their data and analytics in one, unified location.

BOLD is built to enable media companies and organizations create and solidify viable and effective new media approaches and strategies that will help them achieve and maintain the advantage in a business world where everyone is mobile and anchored to social media platforms and channels for information, entertainment, business, and more. It also supports 150 languages.

Pricing:

Advantages:

  • Supports 150+ languages
  • Helps media businesses and organizations as well as content creators to manage, publish, share, and monetize their content on all social channels

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive monthly plan

31. Cargo

Cargo bills itself as the platform built by artists, for artists. The layouts are often simple grids or single-image pages with a sidebar. To get an account, you need to apply or be referred, but don’t let that stop you. The platform is focused on being portfolio-friendly, with images as centerpieces of the site designs. It’s probably the best bet for the most straightforward, simple website.

Price:

Advantages:

  • Geared toward visual content

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive for the limited amount of storage you are given

32. Grav

Grav is a fast, simple, and flexible file-based Web-platform. There is zero installation required. Just extract the ZIP archive, and you are already up and running. Although Grav follows principles similar to other flat-file CMS platforms, it has a different design philosophy than most.

There are plenty of great open source CMS platforms out there, including personal favorites Joomla and WordPress.

All of these platforms rely on a database for data persistence, are powerful, and offer a good degree of flexibility.

One real downside to these platforms is they require a real commitment to learn how to use and develop on them. You really have to pick one out of the pack, and dedicate yourself to that platform if you wish to become competent as either a user, developer, or administrator.

Grav is heavily inspired by a whole raft of other platforms, but is written from scratch focusing on speed, simplicity, and flexibility.

The core of Grav is built around the concept of folders and markdown files for content. These folders and files are automatically compiled into HTML and cached for performance.

Its pages are accessible via URLs that directly relate to the folder structure that underpins the whole CMS. By rendering the pages with Twig Templates, you have complete control over how your site looks, with virtually no limitations.

Part of the flexibility comes from Grav’s simple, but powerful, taxonomy functionality that lets you create relationships between pages. Another key part of this flexibility is the plugin architecture that exists throughout the entire platform to allow you to interact and modify pretty much any part of Grav as needed.

Pricing:

Free

Advantages:

  • Content created in Markdown
  • Extensible and flexible via far-reaching plugin architecture
  • Simple to install, with minimal server requirements

Disadvantages:

  • Some users report problem importing posts

33. Google Sites

Google Sites is an easy-to-use website building platform that lets you quickly create and publish new sites. While it can’t compete with some more in-depth, paid and freemium alternatives — such as Squarespace or Wix — it’s a great way to get your site up-and-running without the costs of professional design and development.

Google Sites is free but basic. There are definitely better, more customizable website builders but they cost money. So it’s a question of your budget.

When viewed as a whole, Google Sites is clearly a product for intra-company communication and personal sites of the most basic sort and not geared toward any industry in particular.

Before the last update of Google Sites, a large number of templates were on offer, subdivided into various business and organizational categories. These templates were all a bit outdated. However, Google Sites went through a big overhaul a few years ago, and the new editor doesn’t really make use of templates at all. You can select from between six “styles,” which determine header appearance, font, and font colors. There are no industry-specific choices here.

Pricing:

Free

Advantages:

  • Good intranet site creator
  • It is entirely free
  • It allows you to add files from your Google Drive to your page, giving you an easy way to store and display your documents, forms, charts, etc.

Disadvantages:

  • No templates
  • No dedicated customer support channels
  • Connecting to a domain is difficult

34. Live Center

Live Center is a flexible live blogging solution that allows media users to cover any type of breaking news including sports, elections, traffic, or weather news. The solution has a mobile-friendly and intuitive editor, allowing you to work easily from any location. Content is easily created by automatically pulling in Tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts, and capturing videos directly on your device and uploading it through Live Center. Live blogs are easily embedded on any site or app.

A key feature of the product is that it allows users to create custom post visuals and elements such as sport scoreboards, election counters, financial markets panels, and in-game event icons. This can be done independently of the team behind Live Center, allowing customers to add features themselves to fit their needs.

Social Media can be retrieved from Twitter and tweets automatically republished based on defined words, hashtags, or handles. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms are also compatible with Live Center so that engaging and rich live blogs can be created.

Pricing:

Advantages:

  • Great data aggregation tools
  • Sleek design

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive

35. Hexo

Hexo is a fast, simple and powerful blog framework. You write posts in Markdown (or other markup languages) and Hexo generates static files with a beautiful theme in seconds.

Pricing:

Free

Advantages:

  • Site generation is extremely fast — even with hundreds of files, you can generate your site in seconds.
  • All features of GitHub Flavored Markdown are supported, including most Octopress plugins.
  • Hexo sites can be hosted almost anywhere, including free options, like Netlify.

Disadvantages:

  • Complex for those who are not tech ssavy

36. Publii

Publii is an open source CMS and website builder created by Bob Mitro. It’s an extremely lightweight CMS. What makes it unique is that it is a desktop app, which means you can manage it from your desktop without having to go online. Once you have made the necessary changes or written a blog post, all you have to do is sync it with your server, and you are done.

The app is extremely simple to use. Although Publii is well documented, you won’t need them much. The user interface , despite having various features that running a professional website needs, is self-explanatory. Even beginners won’t take much time to get a hang of it.

Publii comes with eight free themes — all of them are professional looking and responsive. These free themes are included in the Publii app. All you have to do is select the theme that you want to use. There are a few paid themes available as well which you can purchase from the Publii Marketplace page.

Websites created with Publii load very fast. One of the major reasons is that you can disable various features if you do not want them on your website. Also, a website created with Publii is just a collection of static HTML files, thereby, making it load faster.

You don’t need any additional plugin for search engine optimization of your Publii site. All the tools are in-built. You can easily set up post slug, title, meta description, follow/nofollow tag, index/noindex tag, featured image, alt tag, canonical URL, etc. from the post editor itself. You can also enable/disable tags, author name, date, etc. for individual posts.

You can choose to enable social sharing buttons if you want to for individual platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc. Also, you can integrate Google Analytics to your site for tracking purposes.

With Publii, you don’t have to worry about server crash and the likes. Publii comes with in-built backup and restore tools. You can create a backup of your site in your computer itself. If necessary, you can restore the website with just a few clicks.

Pricing:

Free (unless you want to buy a custom template)

Advantages:

  • Extremely Simple
  • Built in SEO tools
  • Local backups

Disadvantages:

  • Those newer to user-friendly website builders will have a bit of a steeper learning curve, but there are explanations for most of the features in Publii.

37. Postash.io

Postach.io is a simple personal blogging platform, especially for those looking for a distraction-free blogging platform for writing. Postach.io is a minimalist blogging platform that is integrated with Evernote. Basically, Evernote, the note-taking app, works as a Content Management System (CMS) for Postach.io and you can publish your articles directly from there.

You cannot use Postach.io without Evernote. It is through Evernote you have to create, manage and maintain your content on your Postach.io blog.

Compared to other minimalist blogging platforms, like Medium and Svbtle, Postach.io offers more option in terms of customizing the design of your blog. Postach.io offers a number of premium themes, which are decent and available even with the free plan.

With paid plans, you can customize the themes.

You can create posts using Markdown, which is easier than HTML. The syntax is easy to learn and there is less possibility of making mistakes.

Postach.io supports a very limited number of add-ons — only five — Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram integrations, Google Analytics, and Disqus comments.

Unlike Medium, Postach.io supports custom domain. Of course, you have to purchase it from somewhere else and then link it to your Postach.io blog. Postach.io doesn’t offer any free (or even paid) custom domain even with their yearly paid plans.

Pricing:

Postach.io offers three SMB and enterprise pricing packages to meet the needs of different users. Give the details a look, and select the best plan for your business:

1–5 Sites — $5/month or $50/year

  • Own Domain
  • Password Protection
  • Premium Themes
  • Source Code Access
  • Priority Support

6–20 Sites — $15/month or $150/year

  • Own Domain
  • Password Protection
  • Premium Themes
  • Source Code Access
  • Priority Support

21–50 Sites — $25/month or $250/year

  • Own Domain
  • Password Protection
  • Premium Themes
  • Source Code Access
  • Priority Support

Advantages:

  • You can create posts using Markdown, which is easier than HTML. The syntax is easy to learn and there is less possibility of making mistakes.

Disadvantages:

  • You cannot use Postach.io without Evernote
  • Postach.io supports a very limited number of add-ons

38. Subrion

Subrion packs all the basics you’ll need for blogging. It enables you to set up pages and posts, and it includes a robust text editor. The platform also offers built-in SEO features and plenty of other functionalities.

One of the best features Subrion’s offers is it enables you to manage subscriptions for your website from the get-go. That means you can use it to set up a private blog, for example, and you can even monitor your earnings from your dashboard. This platform also supports themes and templates, although it doesn’t offer as many options in either department as WordPress does.

Pricing:

Free although some of the premium plug-ins are not

Advantages:

  • Lets you easily set up blogs and other types of websites.
  • It is simple to implement subscriptions for your site and monitor your earnings.
  • It provides access to several plugins and themes.

Disadvantages:

  • It doesn’t offer as many add-ons as other blogging platforms.

39. Hugo

Hugo is an open source static site generator. Static site generators build a web page once, at the moment you’re creating new content or editing it.

In contrast, content management systems like WordPress build a page every time a visitor requests one (although there are various caching techniques available). There are a lot of advantages and benefits to choosing a static site generator like Hugo over a system like WordPress.

Hugo also comes with a watch mode which automatically refreshes web pages while editing them. Originally, Hugo was started as a side project by Steve Francia. Today, the Hugo community has more than 165 contributors, 35 themes and thousands of users.

Pricing

Hugo is open-source and completely free.

Advantages:

  • Extremely fast. Build times under 1s.
  • Extremely versatile. Plenty of out the box functionality for enterprise-scale web sites.
  • Enterprise ready. With support for multiple output types and multilingual sites, you’re set!
  • Thriving community. Getting help with Hugo is easy. Ask a question on their forum and you will get an answer.

Disadvantages:

  • No extensions. Hugo doesn’t have plugin support, so adding highly custom functionality isn’t possible.
  • Confusing template syntax. While the template engine for Hugo is versatile, it’s fairly non-standard and confusing for beginners.
  • No asset pipeline. Hugo doesn’t have any asset processing at all, so you need to use third-party tools.

40. Notepin

Notepin.co is a web-based note-taking app launched in 2017. It is a well known anonymous blogging platform.

Notepin attempts at removing the disadvantages of most web-based note-taking apps.

To use Notepin, one doesn’t require to sign up using their email ID or any other option. No sign-up, no email verification. You can simply start writing anonymously by clicking the option that says “Or write anonymously”.

If you want, you can have a unique URL for your notebook which will be available at mynotebook.notepin.co. You can manage it from notepin.co/mynotebook. You can set up a password (no signup required even in this case) and access it from any device. Each of the entries would pick up the title as the URL making it easier to remember.

There aren’t many features in Notepin. This means you can just focus on your writing. There are, of course, the basic formatting options, H1, bold, italicized, underline, blockquotes, and strikethroughs. You can also create tables.

Right now, there is this option to share your notes only on Twitter. Also, there is this option for others to like your notes which you can enable or disable for individual notes.

Although there are two paid plans of Notepin, all the above-mentioned features are available for free. The paid plans come with additional features, some of them are very unique.

Pricing:

As mentioned above, Notepin has two paid plans:

  1. Pro, which available at $11 per year,
  2. Pro with Blogging Platform, available at $19 per year.

Advantages:

  • Generous free plan

Disadvantages:

  • Limited features

41. Posthaven

Posthaven is a long-term project that aims to create the world’s simplest, most usable, most long-lasting blogging platform. As the platform says:

We’re as sick as you are about having to move your posts and photos every time a service goes away. Other services will have more features and have newer shinier bits-and-bobs, but this one will keep plugging away year after year.

Posthaven is a minimalist blogging platform created by Garry Tan, who also co-founded Posterous. When Twitter acquired Posterous and decided to close it, many people lost their trust in the platform and shifted to other blogging platforms. This led to the creation of Posthaven.

The main appeal of Posthaven is that they aim to keep content online forever.

Pricing

$5 per month

Advantages:

  • It will never shutdown or get acquired by any company
  • Allows publishing via email
  • Minimal design

Disadvantages

  • The $5 monthly fee may increase

42. MovableType

Movable Type was created by a husband and wife team with a single purpose: to create a powerful solution for the creation and management of web content. An originator of the blogging field, Movable Type offers stability, a user-friendly interface, and beautifully extensive visual customization for websites and blogs.

With Movable Type, users can look forward to a stable solution. The platform lets them manage their content seamlessly while maintaining the constant experience offered by static publishing.

Moreover, Movable Type is flexible. It offers design templates that users can use as is or customize to suit their needs. Also, developers have access to the source code, so they can go there directly to make their structural and design changes.

Pricing:

Advantages:

  • OS, Applications, web server, PSGI server, PHP, and database are all optimized for Movable Type.

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive

43. Craft CMS

Craft CMS is a focused content management system for developers, designers, and web professionals that blends flexibility, power, and ease of use for clients. Built to be as exceptionally scalable and as flexible as possible, without compromising on the ease of use for content authors.

Pricing:

Advantages:

  • Out of the box, you can create different content types (entry types, in Craft parlance). There are about ten different field types, which would cover most situations.
  • The file structure is interesting because the bulk of the files, including templates, are stored outside of the root directory.
  • Craft is not a hosted solution like Squarespace, so you have a lot more control, and because you have the code, you can do more within the Craft parameters.

Disadvantages:

  • You are only allowed one user out of the box. You need to pay $200 to add a “client” user and $300 to add unlimited users and to use permissions. The client user version presets those permissions and you’re stuck with those settings.
  • Craft uses a plugin system, the centralized area to find plugins can be found at straightupcraft.com. There are some free plugins, but as with Magento and other open source frameworks, a lot of the plugins require payment since they are developed by outside entities.

44. SimpleSite

SimpleSite is a user-friendly and customizable blog hosting platform. It has a basic plan that is free-to-use that already supports the creation of a webshop and integration with PayPal for payment processing. Those that have more complex needs can choose between two paid plans.

With SimpleSite, creating stunning website designs does not require complex coding knowledge. It lets users apply themes and customize them with ease to reflect their branding or personality through the platform’s guided design wizard.

Furthermore, SimpleSite blogs are optimized for mobile. Each page adapts to every screen size, letting readers enjoy content that fits perfectly on their preferred devices.

Pricing:

Advantages:

  • Very straightforward to use
  • Beginner friendly
  • Great for mobile optimization

Disadvantages:

  • Dated designs and restricted customization
  • Limited features
  • Paid plans lack value for money

45. Gatsby

Gatsby is a React-based, GraphQL powered, static site generator. It weaves together the best parts of React, webpack, react-router, GraphQL, and other front-end tools in to one very enjoyable developer experience. Gatsby is far more like a modern front-end framework than an older static site generator.

It uses powerful preconfiguration to build a website that uses only static files for incredibly fast page loads, service workers, code splitting, server-side rendering, intelligent image loading, asset optimization, and data prefetching. All out of the box. It does so with incredible speed.

You code and develop your site, Gatsby transforms it into a directory with a single HTML file and your static assets. This folder is uploaded to your preferred hosting provider, and voila. Overall think, part Jekyll, part create-react-app.

Pricing:

Free

Advantages:

  • Gatsby generates Progressive Web Apps — so your site enjoys the benefits that come with them.
  • A ton of plugins are available — talk about the benefits of a huge user community.
  • Explanatory tutorials are not hard to find, and the documentation is great too.

Disadvantages:

  • Using Gatsby has a steep learning curve — knowledge of JavaScript, React and GraphQL is needed.
  • Site generation speed can be faster, Gatsby is a bit slow.

46. Postagon

Postagon focuses on providing a minimal UI with all the necessary functionality to get the job done. It is offered on a monthly price of $4.99 and allows posting through email. Being a minimal blogging interface, Postagon also comes with social media integration, and an export feature to transfer blog posts.

Pricing:

$ 4.99 per month

Advantages:

  • Markdown option
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Minimal design

Disadvantages:

  • Updates come rarely

47. Serendipity

Serendipity bills itself as a weblog engine instead of a CMS, and that’s appropriate given the features it offers. This platform is all about blogging, and it’s a solid option if you’re looking to set up a simple website with few frills.

While Serendipity does offer templates, most of them are quite basic. To put it another way, blogs built with Serendipity aren’t going to win many design awards. However, what the platform lacks in style, it makes up for in substance with its blogging-friendly features. For instance, Serendipity features a powerful text editor, media management features, and advanced taxonomy settings.

On top of that, the platform also includes built-in spam protection and support for multiple users. In short, it has all the features you’d expect to see from a best blogging platform, and it doesn’t require you to have any background in web development.

Pricing:

Serendipity is a free-to-use blog and weblog software, and comes with no enterprise pricing fees to worry about

Advantages:

  • You get access to all the blogging basics you need, in an easy-to-use package.
  • You’ll benefit from the built-in spam protection features.

Disadvantages:

  • Serendipity themes aren’t the most stylish, although they do get the job done.
  • The potential for building anything besides a simple blog is limited.

48. Gator

Gator Website Builder is a blog site created by HostGator, one of the most popular domain and hosting companies in the world.

It offers a drag and drop builder, which lets you create a blog easily and quickly. You don’t need any technical coding skills to set up a blog and manage it.

Pricing:

Users get 55% off on all Gator Website Builder plans. So, you can buy the Starter Plan for just $3.46 / month.

Advantages:

  • It’s a beginner-friendly blogging site. Anyone including absolute beginners can quickly make a blog in this platform.
  • The Gator Website Builder handles backups, performance, security, and all aspects of your blog.

Disadvantages:

  • There’s no free plan available.
  • It includes a limited number of apps and extensions.

49. IM Creator

IM Creator offers immense flexibility in terms of modifying the selected template as per your requirement. And you don’t need to have a bit of technical skills to create an awesome website. In fact, you can publish a beautiful website within five minutes.

All you have to do is replace the existing content with yours. You can also add pages, edit the menu, add (and customize) pre-built segments to each page, like Gallery, Features, Blog, Store, Text Block, Form, Map, Social buttons, you name it.

The platform allows you to add all the necessary features to build an e-commerce site. You have to add the “Store” section to get started and then you can add various features like, analytics, checking out with credit card, management console, etc.

Pricing:

IM Creator has both free and paid plans. The paid plans start from $8 per month.

Advantages:

  • It provides unlimited hosting to both free and paid users
  • No ads are displayed even on websites built on the free plan
  • For students, artists, and non-profit websites, IM Creator allows you to connect a domain free of cost (otherwise, the free websites are a sub-domain of IM Creator site).

Disadvantages:

  • Once you select a template, there is no way you can change it. You have to start building your website again from the scratch.
  • You can add title, keywords, description to the site, but instead of having the feature to add them separately for each page/post, IM Creator allows you to add these only once, for your entire website.
  • The blog section is not user-friendly. I mean it’s not difficult but unlike other platforms, creating, editing, and formatting blog posts on IM Creator is time-consuming.
  • There are forums and help articles but the chat and email supports are not very impressive.

50. Tilda

Tilda is a design-centered website builder that focuses on helping people create sites that offer beautiful typography, images, and colors without the need for any prior coding or design knowledge. It achieves this through a foolproof, block-based interface that enables users to simply stack pre-made block elements onto a page.

The Tilda editor is built using a block system. This means that each section of each page of your website is divided into pieces that are stacked to create a complete site.

The blocks library consists of covers, about cards, titles, text boxes, images, galleries, features, and much more, thus reducing the process into a very linear task. When using the design software you will begin thinking about even basic elements as separate from one another. This can be either good or inconvenient, depending on how you see it.

Adding a block takes just a couple of clicks to add to your page, can be customized to your liking, and you can even create your own blocks if one of the many options in the default catalog doesn’t suit you. Keep in mind that some blocks are only available with a premium account.

Although Tilda isn’t as free as other companies that offer a drag-and-drop interface, there is a lot to be said for the ease of use of the block system.

Pricing:

Tilda has both free and paid plans:

  • The free plan allows you to create one website using a collection of 50 fundamental blocks. This plan has a few limitations: You can’t connect your own domain, and a UI element saying “Made on Tilda” will be placed on all pages by default.
  • The personal plan is $10 per month. This plan allows you to create one website and provides access to the full blocks collection. It also allows you to configure a custom domain. There are no extra charges when you create an e-commerce website.
  • The business plan is $20 per month. It includes everything in the personal plan but also allows you create up to five websites and to export source code.

Advantages:

  • Tilda is easy to learn and use.
  • The block system is intuitive and allows for some really expert-level features.
  • The template selection is great, especially the cover pages.

Disadvantages:

  • The service is expensive, especially for what the premium packages include.

Casey Botticello

medium blogging guide, blogging guide, blogging guide publication, medium writer publication, new medium writers, medium post

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Casey Botticello is a partner at Black Edge Consulting. Black Edge Consulting is a strategic communications firm, specializing in online reputation management, digital marketing, and crisis management. Prior to founding Black Edge Consulting, he worked for BGR Group, a bipartisan lobbying and strategic communications firm.

Casey is the founder of the Cryptocurrency Alliance, a Super PAC dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy. He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. in Urban Studies.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or by following his Medium publication, Blogging Guide.

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