11 Best Blogging Platforms & Why You Must Use WordPress

Blog Tools, Online Business, Start Your Blog

best-blogging-platformsThere are a ridiculous number of blogging platforms.

Which one should you use? 

In this post, I'll break down:

What is a Blogging Platform?

A blogging platform is a CMS (content management system). It takes much of the manual work of site creation and maintenance. The software will tie all of your posts and pages together into an easy-to-navigate site – both for you and your readers.

Many new bloggers start off with Blogger. It is easy, free, and linked to their Google/ Gmail account. But if you are planning on starting an income blogdon't use Blogger.

Here is a breakdown of the top eleven blogging platforms:

11 Best Blogging Platforms

These platforms are listed as “best” because of their popularity. In my opinion, there is only one blogging platform for business: WordPress. See more on WordPress below this list.

  1. WordPress.org: {Free} A self-hosted WordPress blog is the choice of 11 of the top 20 blogs worldwide. In my opinion this is the best platform for blogging and online business. See a detailed list of reasons at the end of this post. Use WordPress.org.
  2. WordPress.com: {Free} While it might sound like the same thing, it is actually very different. Unless you signup for their premium packages ($1000's / month) this tool is limited. While it is the best option for a free/family blog, this isn't a good choice for an income blog. Avoid for business.
  3. Blogger: {Free} Owned by Google, this tool is popular because it is easy to setup. It looks bad and has almost no ability to customize or monetize. Avoid this platform.
  4. SquareSpace: {Pay} While I have never used SquareSpace, it looks like a great tool. They offer solid hosting, ecommerce capability and costs begin at $10/month for 1 product or $20/month for up to a 20 product store. Because of limited expansion and customization this platform is not recommended.
  5. Moveable Type: {Pay} Pricing starts at $595 for up to five users. For unlimited users price increases to $1,195. I'm not sure why someone would purchase this when a superior platform (WordPress) is available for free. I like the looks of the tool, but if you want a stable, premium CMS – why pay for something that you can get for free? Avoid.
  6. Joomla: {Free} Very popular here in Ecuador, Joomla is a great choice if you like ugly, animated websites. From what I have seen, you need to be well trained to do anything with this software  – and even then the results range from disappointing to sad. Avoid.
  7. Drupal: {Free} Similar to Joomla. Avoid.
  8. TypePad: {Pay} Without doubt, the most popular TypePad blog is run by marketer Seth Godin. It is a minimalist design and a stable platform. If you want your blog to be separate from your site you can use TypePad. Otherwise you should use a platform that properly integrates both into one. Costs from from $8.95 – $49.95 per month. Not recommended.
  9. Tumblr: {Free} Great for microblogging and for curating related photos of your favorite topic this is not a business blogging platform. Avoid.
  10. LiveJournal: {Free} Another popular yet pointless blogging platform. Much like Tumblr, LiveJournal happily allows you to blog on their domain and help build their domain authority. This might be great as a hobby, but if you are going to start a business, you need to own your own content and your domain authority. Avoid.
  11. Weebly: {Free + Pay} This service has improved dramatically over the past few years. You can build a custom site for free, although the premium options will give you more flexibility and a more professional look. Might be good for photographers or someone who needs a brochure style site. Not recommended.


Why You Must Use WordPress

If you want to run an online business, you need to consider WordPress.

Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Popularity: Because of its popularity, users know how to find their way around WordPress. The menus, sidebars and footers are generally the same across the hundreds of WordPress themes – making it easy for site users to navigate. This is an important factor to consider. If a reader cannot easily find what they are looking for (or figure out the menus) then they won't stay around – resulting in an opportunity lost. Check out the top 21 Premium WordPress themes.
  2. Stability: WordPress is popular for one primary reason. It is stable. This means that it just works. It is fast and almost never crashes.
  3. Cost: WordPress is free. You will have to purchase hosting (I recommend starting with HostGator) and a theme (I recommend premium Thesis or Genesis). Or you can use one of the free themes that comes with WordPress to get started.
  4. Flexibility: Because of the huge number of plugins (small programs that run inside of WordPress) you can easily optimize your site to improve conversions, social sharing, monetization and navigation.
  5. Great Documentation / Training: This is no small matter. You will have questions. Without proper documentation, how will you get answers? WordPress.org has a free forum that is very active where you can get many questions answered. But because of it's popularity, there are hundreds of bloggers that create tutorials and answer questions for WordPress issues. Here are a few books that cover WordPress tutorials.

What should you do next? Visit HostGator and setup your new WordPress blog now.

Your Turn

What do you think? Do you love WordPress or another platform? Join me in the comments below!



Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is co-founder of Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Bryan also runs two authority blogs with his wife, Dena: ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorials) and GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel).

42 comments… add one
  • Cynthia Jun 19, 2016, 1:16 pm

    I see this article is several years old but even in 2014 Blogger offered customization. I don’t agree with your review as its one of the easiest blogging platforms out there, it dies not look bad, and you can customize everything. I’ve been using it since 2006 and its my favorite. I personally don’t like the free version of Wordpress. It had customization limitations that Blogger does not have.

    • Bryan Haines Jun 22, 2016, 7:05 am

      I’m glad that you’re happy with your platform.

      Would you share your site url so that readers can see the level of customization?

  • RL Williams, Infopreneur Sep 15, 2015, 2:32 pm

    I have to say that I agree with your conclusion that WordPress is the best platform, but I do notice that you didn’t mention web dot com! I’m really not all that familiar with them but I do remember that when I first started out I looked into it and they offered to build my website for me for FREE! And that was for a FREE website as well.

    FREE website? Build it for FREE? Being a total skeptic I didn’t go with them at the time. I chose instead to test out blogger, wic and weebly. And wic is another one you didn’t mention.

    All the best,
    RL Williams, Infopreneur @ Blog 4 Cash

    • Bryan Haines Sep 18, 2015, 9:48 am

      You’re correct that there are more blog platforms than the 11 in this list. In fact, there are many more. These platforms were chosen based on their popularity for business.

  • Bob Klein Aug 15, 2015, 6:46 pm

    Your readers should take extra care with WordPress, as it it also the platform that is most likely to be hacked.
    Users need to apply all WordPress updates and install only the most trusted plugins.
    Thanks for your tips.



    Digital Scientists
    Alpharetta, Georgia

    • Bryan Haines Sep 18, 2015, 9:56 am

      Do you mean most likely because of the total number of hacks? Or because WordPress actually has a higher probability of being hacked?

      Given that WordPress is the most popular blogging and CMS platform, it wouldn’t surprise me that it is hacked more – in terms of total volume. But I’m curious if WordPress actually suffers from a higher than usual probability.

      (Sorry for my slow reply – I missed your comment)

  • verah Jun 18, 2015, 8:37 am

    Doesn’t Blogger have AdSense

    • Belinda Brica Jun 9, 2016, 3:21 am

      Blogger does have Adsense, and an incredibly easy minimal click setup aswell. Although you need to rely on multiple ads to crowd your page to make anything.

      • Christopher Gilbert Aug 12, 2016, 4:01 am

        Can the blogger chose which ads go in? The placement on page? Is Adsense worth your investment of time? Thanks

  • L May 13, 2015, 8:03 am

    funny how you state in your title “11 best blogging platforms” but then you proceed to only praise one and completely bash the other 10 and tell us to avoid them. what happened to the “best platforms” part of the article?

    • Bryan Haines May 14, 2015, 8:36 am

      As I stated in the intro to the post, “best” is based on their popularity. And while many of these are great for other applications, self-hosted WordPress is the best option for business.

      • Christopher Gilbert Aug 12, 2016, 4:02 am

        Best for ad income, alone? Or, best as a sales channel?

        • Bryan Haines Aug 15, 2016, 10:05 am

          WordPress is the best blogging platform for any business site – regardless of it’s monetization strategy.

  • Aconner Alex Nov 29, 2014, 9:26 pm

    Thanks awesome post. but as a web designer I have to say that Tumbler is the best Blogging platform in terms of usability and ease of use

  • Anurag kumar Nov 19, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Great list. There are so many blogging platforms I wasn’t aware of. I like WordPress, blogger and Tumblr. I don’t think Jommla and drupal are blogging platforms they do support blogging but they are not just for blogging. They are quite complex and they are just better for making websites. Thanks for the list.

  • Mira Steward Nov 19, 2014, 4:17 am

    Times ago started blogging with Tumblr and didn’t expect it to engross me so much. Presently I try to do my blogging more seriously with WordPress which indeed is more customizable and allows a total control over the content. The platform is definitely the most unbeatable blogging software that allows even the greenest of minds run a professional blog. I managed to convert to WP without any scripts (which are a real nightmare for me) using the cms2cms online converter.

    • Bryan Haines Nov 20, 2014, 5:43 pm

      Glad to hear it!

    • Christopher Gilbert Aug 12, 2016, 4:04 am

      Don’t visitors to your blog have to see the Wordpress blog ad, stretching horizontally across the screen constantly? Isn’t the .com a bit over-branded?

      • Bryan Haines Aug 15, 2016, 10:03 am

        A self-hosted WordPress blog won’t have any ads (WordPress or otherwise) unless you add them. You have full control over what you site looks like – there are no automatic ads.

  • Amit Bhatia Nov 12, 2014, 10:52 pm

    I recently started blogging and while looking up how to improve my blogs and site, I just came across your website and and after reading this article, removed any apprehensions about using wordpress.org as my blogging platform.

    It could take initially a few days to get used to a new platform but I believe that would be the case with any platform you go with.

    • Bryan Haines Nov 13, 2014, 11:26 am

      Absolutely. It can be confusing at first, but there really is just one right choice for a professional blog.

  • John @ Pnr Check Sep 15, 2014, 11:14 pm

    After leaving blogger, i moved on to WordPress and since then i am using and i am pretty much satisfied. Now, i am expert in WordPress, so i have no plan to leave this platform. I have heard of Drupal, Joomla and other platform too but I love to stick to WordPress because now i am become use to it.

  • Ashish Ajani Aug 23, 2014, 1:04 am

    I like the way you shown reasons to use WordPress and it is my favorite blogging platform along side with Tumblr and LiveJournal. Great stuff.

  • Maggie May's Gifts May 29, 2014, 1:39 pm

    Thanks for another great article.
    Are you familiar with doing the switch from wordpress.com to wordpress.org?
    I’ve heard it can be tedious and have some glitches. I am nervous to try it myself and have come across a company that says they do it for free but not sure what the catch is.
    Just curious if you had any opinions or advice about getting switched over. Thanks!!

    • Bryan Haines May 29, 2014, 3:48 pm

      I have plans to produce a tutorial about the switch. I would be careful about giving site access to an unknown company.

  • Anders Jensen May 28, 2014, 6:47 am

    Great article! We are running a small blog in three languages. We are trying set it all up i Wrodpress but so far it is A LOT of work! My fear is that with every upgrade in WP we will have issues… We have implemented the WPML tool but we are still FAR away from a launch on that platform. The “look, feel and interaction” is not easy to get exactly right. We might be extremely difficult, I don’t know… If I could combine my 5 favourite templates by just drag and drop I would be happy… I agree that all the work eventually should pay off. Wordpress is great in ONE language, but one of our unique selling points is in fact the multi language bit.

    • Bryan Haines May 28, 2014, 7:11 am

      Interesting project. We considered publishing our blog in two languages and decided against it because of complications. This is something we would like to do in the future – because it reaches a larger audience with (essentially) the same content.

      Have you considered running them as separate blogs, but on the same domain? You could just use three installations of WordPress – one for each language. Install the principal language in the domain root and the other two in a subdomain. threeonthego.com english.threeonthego.com or threeonthego.com/english and then you could also translate the url of each post.

      I checked out your site and it looks good.

      • Anders Jensen Oct 26, 2014, 1:11 pm

        We ended up going for Squarespace and it really works flawless. Yes, there are some limitations but overall I can live with them for now. Three languages are not easy to maintain in Wordpress as the plugins are not always working exactly like they should. Squarespace is the best choice for us right now…

        • Bryan Haines Oct 29, 2014, 8:36 am

          Glad to hear that it’s working out for you. It’s good to know that Squarespace can handle multiple languages.

          I love how seamless the language integration is on your site. Well done!

  • Jay Lickus May 27, 2014, 10:47 pm


    I have been using the free Weebly D & D for over a year with virtually no problems. Although the support is outsourced to India ( I guess based on the names used in comments ) they are responsive and quick. They have tweaked and added some widgets and the like to help me with my analytics and SEO that were not part of the original platform which was very helpful. Although there are a few things I would like to do that are beyond the free platform capabilities I would have to say that I am happy overall.

  • Geri J. May 27, 2014, 2:58 pm

    One of your main criteria for a blog platform seems to be the ability to monetize it. I have no intention of ever monetizing my blog and don’t do anything fancy. Therefore Blogger works well for me and for others who need a simple text-oriented platform to which you can add some images. And, while some of their templates are a design nightmare, they do have simple formats that get the job done without offending the eye.

    I did try WordPress a couple of years ago and found that even though I am not techphobic, it was too much trouble to get it to play well with my Mac. To use WordPress, I would have had to hire a web designer who could set it up so I could maintain it and update my blog entries. As my blog needs are simple, it seemed like WordPress would be like using Thor’s hammer to pound a penny nail.

    As a blog reader, my main problem with the monetized blogs (and even some major websites) is that there are now so many tracking mechanisms and “opportunities” to buy stuff built in that the sites can take forever to load. Once load times approach the old AOL browser times, I stop following them. It’s just too much trouble. Ditto for blogs and sites that do not understand how to compress their photos for the Web. Those big direct download photos also take forever to load and also are seriously annoying.

    So, while I agree that WordPress is a good platform for those who intend more complicated blog uses, for those who merely wish a text-based format with limited photo inclusion, Blogger can work just fine.

    • Bryan Haines May 27, 2014, 3:13 pm

      You make a very good point. If someone just wants to blog as a hobby or for family and friends the blogging platform isn’t all that important. For hobby blogs, I think that the free version of WordPress.com is the best option. You can avoid the technical issues with self hosted WordPress and still get the stable and attractive look of WordPress.

      While some bloggers try to monetize by filling the site with ads and offers, to really make money from a blog it needs to be fast and user-friendly. This post (and site) focus on making money from your site – actually making it a business. This doesn’t mean being spammy, but in offering a solid product supported by great content. To properly monetize a blog, there is a need to consider usability first – because without users, the business will fail.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  • ricardo schillaci May 27, 2014, 12:57 pm

    Great post. Thanks!

  • Ryetr May 27, 2014, 12:07 pm

    Thanks for your great articles. I always appreciate your candid sharing. I do want to change sites for my blog, but I am concerned about losing all of the 75 blog posts that already are posted on Blogspot. I have not had any luck finding someone to help me with this, but I intend to keep trying. On Blogspot since their update last year in April I have only had one comment vs many each blog in the past and I do not have any new followers even though I have over 10,000 hits on my site world wide.

    What type of training or expertise should a person have to do this? Shouldn’t a person who builds websites understand or would they be able to link so that the other blogs show up?

    Thanks so much. I love your family’s blogs!

    • Bryan Haines May 27, 2014, 12:25 pm

      We’ve heard the same issue from other readers. I am going to look into this and publish a tutorial about how to do it.

      Thanks for your feedback on our sites!

  • Pijush Mitra May 27, 2014, 11:29 am

    Very good analysis on why self-hosted WordPress is the best blogging platform.

  • Mi Muba May 27, 2014, 10:12 am

    Hey Bryan Haines
    thanks for sharing such a wonderful list.
    You are right there is no match of WordPress with rest of the blogging platforms because of diversity in convenience, comfort and simplicity. All bloggers are not much techie that is why they want a platform easy to handle and for that WordPress is the best one.
    Thanks again to write such a great list.

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