Big Oak Internet Marketing

What is the Best Blogging Platform in 2017

Updated January 6, 2017 – WordPress is still our choice, but Squarespace has been making up ground.

Congratulations, you have decided now is the time to start a blog (see our post about starting a blog)! Now you are trying to get a handle on what is the best blogging platform to use. This isn’t a question you should dismiss as unimportant, in fact, it is a question you should be sure to answer with some real research behind it. Shifting platforms can be problematic, so deciding which blogging platform you are going to use is a decision not to make lightly. Luckily, I am here to help you make the right decision and you should feel confident in your choice by the time you finish this article.

Choosing the Best Blogging Platform

Well, let’s start with the world’s largest, and my personal favorite blogging platform, WordPress. In fact, this site is built on the WordPress platform. We also build our clients’ sites with WordPress. (See more about how we can build your WordPress site.)

Here is a list of blogging platforms along with their costs and some pros & cons on each:

WordPress.org

Cost: The software is free. Since this is a self-hosted option, you will need to pay for hosting. See our step-by-step tutorial in setting up your blog with hosting.

You will be using WordPress.org software on a third-party hosting solution (continue reading for more about third-party hosting). This means you will have full control to add plugins, which provide additional functionality to your blog that can otherwise require expensive development costs. (So this option saves you money!) You can also edit your HTML code and how the site looks so you can have a professional site that looks unique. You aren’t locked in to the theme’s design; you have complete control. This is the best strategy if you are planning to use your blog to make money or start a business. It is best for bloggers who want to build a brand and businesses that are looking to sell a product or advertise a service.

Pros:

Cons:

Who is WordPress.org perfect for?

WordPress.com (hosted at WordPress.com)

Cost: Free

WordPress.com provides hosting for your blog. They store all your files which means they control what themes and plugins you can use. It keeps your site safe, but limits the control you have. This is a low-cost option and you can always upgrade to a self-hosted blog (see above) later. You can get comfortable with the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) without spending money.

Pros:

Cons:

Who is WordPress.com (hosting with WordPress) perfect for?

Blogger.com

Cost: Free

Blogger is owned by Google, which is a good thing as you will be able to advertise through Google’s AdSense and potentially make money. While not as easy to use as WordPress software, Blogger is a decent blogging platform for those who are looking to get a taste of the blogging life with limited investment of money. As with WordPress.com, you can get acclimated to the software and see how you like it. There is no option to upgrade to third-party hosting as with WordPress. You would need to export your blog posts and import at a later time to start the new hosting.

Pros:

Cons:

Who’s Blogger.com perfect for?

Tumblr.com

Cost: Free

Tumblr (without the “e”) is more of a social platform for bloggers. Most of the posts here are reposts, showing others what things you like and enjoy (which means there isn’t much original content being created and therefore it is more of a microblogging platform for fun). I would avoid this if you really want to write and are looking to reach an audience who will pay for what you have to say and offer.

Pros:

Cons:

Who’s Tumblr.com perfect for?

TypePad.com

Cost: $8.95/month

TypePad tries to create a balance between the professional blogger/business blogger and the hobby blogger who doesn’t mind spending less than $10 per month to get their information to the public. The price provides more features and gives you a blog that has a professional look and feel. I wouldn’t recommend it over a WordPress.com self-hosted blog, but there are a lot of fans and a big online community that use TypePad.

Pros:

Cons:

Wix.com

Wix is another professional blogging platform, like self-hosted WordPress.com, but you don’t have to worry about third-party hosting. Since they provide eCommerce functions, WIX can be ideal for those looking to sell products online and start an eCommerce blog. You don’t get full control over your online shop, but you certainly get enough control to dip your toe into the world of online eCommerce without investing a lot of time or money.

Cost: $4 – $24.92/month

Pros:

Cons:

Who is Wix.com perfect for?

To give you a quick snapshot of the information above, I have created a comparison chart of all the blogging platforms on this page. All of them can help you get your voice out on the Web, but some will be a better fit if you want to build a business, create a brand and make money with your blog.

WP.org WP.com Blogger Tumblr TypePad Wix
Price $0 $0 or $99
per year
$0 $0 $8.95
month
$4 – $24.92
per month
Hosting included No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom domain included No, but you can use one you own. No No No No No
Templates & Themes 1,500+ 100+ Not many 1000 100+ 100+
Plugins and Extensions 20,000+ No No No No 10+
Ease of use 6/10 9/10 8/10 9/10 8/10 8/10
Perfect for…
Business blogs Yes No No No No Yes
Hobby / Personal blogs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Novice Bloggers No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes