So you want to start a blog, maybe you’ve been seeing your friend blogging on your Facebook timeline and thought “hey I could do that”, or you’ve been told you should start a blog about something you’re pretty good at, or you’ve just got a huge interest in a topic and really just want to write about it.
Whatever the reason, starting a blog has never been so easy or so popular. There are literally hundreds of websites and platforms that enable you to pretty quickly get set up and just started with your writing. But as with everything in life, easy doesn’t usually mean it’s the best.
#3 – Blogger
The name is a little on the nose, but Blogger was bought several years ago by Google and so comes with some nice features, and is super easy to use.
Blogger is the go-to platform if you just want to start writing and you want to start writing NOW. Set up takes less than 5 minutes, and most important to many brand new blogs – it’s free, and because it’s all Google owned, the performance is top-notch. In-fact your blog might even be slightly faster than most other paid options – there’s just not much that can compete with those Google servers!The interface works pretty much like a word processor, so you’ll feel right at home. You can even add subpages much like a website. Need an about page? No problem.
- It’s FREE
- Fast blog site performance
- Easy to use word-processor like interface
- Can edit using custom HTML and CSS
- Can create a pseudo-site by adding sub pages
- Can replace blogger url with your own domain
- Easy monetisation and setup via Google Adwords
- Start writing in 5 minutes
- Possibly favoured by Google for organic SEO (unconfirmed but widely suspected)
- Blog design options and ‘templates’ are restrictive
- Page design equally restrictive
- On-site monetisation limited to Google Adwords
- Analytics / remarketing also limited to Google
#2 – SquareSpace
It’s a rising star in the blog / website building world. In fact there are many web designers who only work with SquareSpace. The focus here is on making a professional quality website without the required tech knowledge to get it set up and going.
SqaureSpace is a website building platform, not just a blogging platform, but you can set up a blog and have a lot more control over the rest of the site.
- Easy tech-free setup
- Good performance
- Full website building tool allows fairly unrestricted design
- HTML, CSS, JS are all allowed
- Monetise however you like
- Add any analytics code you need
- It’s quite expensive
- It’s still a little bit restrictive
- ‘Simple’ interface is not that simple before you learn it
- Costs even more money to upgrade to better servers / online shop
#1 – WordPress (of course)
The worlds most popular blogging platform for a reason – it’s the best one.
Getting set up properly takes a little longer than the other, easier methods – but not much, and in terms of freedom of design and options for development, and value it simply can’t be beat.
- WordPress itself is free – it’s just the hosting that costs money
- Make whatever kind of site you want
- Monetise however you want
- Completely open to develop however you want – online shop, business website etc etc
- Complete freedom for analytics
- Highly active industry – easy to get help or find a designer / developer
- Quite simple once you know where to look (like SquareSpace)
- Not quite free, domain and hosting are required but can be found for as little as £3 per month.
- Some tech-knowledge is helpful but there are many tools and guides available.
Linkedin isn’t known as a blogging platform, however, Linkedin Articles give you the ability to essentially maintain a blog entirely with your Linkedin Account – probably one of the best options for B2B businesses do to the professional audience you’d be exclusively reaching.
Tumblr – it’s an oldy but a goody. It’s simple to set up, but the biggest positive is the built in audience. Your blog can reach other Tumblr users via hashtags, public feeds, and occasionally being featured across the site. Probably best just to use this one for personal / fun blogs though.
So there you have it. WordPress probably unsurprisingly wins out for the blog wars. If you’re serious about blogging regularly and want to use your own domain you should almost definitely use WordPress. SquareSpace has a shiny reputation much like Apple, but it charges a premium for it’s ‘ease-of-use’, which in my opinion isn’t that much easier to use.
We have a guide upcoming to help you with starting a WordPress site off right, and if you need any help just send us a message or email. If you’re looking for an awesome, cheap hosting look no further than Siteground – we still can’t find a better WordPress hosting provider.