If you are a new blogger or are struggling with a blogging issue, I might be able to help you.
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Which is the best free blogging platform?

This post, of 2014 vintage, has been retained for archival purposes. For the latest discussion on blogging platforms and website builders, please visit the linked article.

We'd compare here the most well-known free platforms - Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr and Livejournal.

Common features of free blogging platforms

  • Free account and free blog(s). You don't have to pay to host and publish the blog.
  • Limits on technological support beyond the offer [unless you go for premium services if available].
  • Themes available to suit different genres and for varied looks and feel.
  • Editing of content, sprucing it up, posting graphic content possible. Sprucing up is possible by  choosing different options of fonts, colors, backgrounds, widgets, etc.
  • No or limited facility to control the base code.
  • You need not know html and other web technologies to change design, layout and presentation of the blog.

Blogger
  • Many themes available.
  • You can change code if you so like, to a good  extent.
  • Versatile post editor.
  • You can modify a page's / post's URL [to some extent].
  • You can put advertisements.
  • Solid Google support and seccurity behind it. New features added regularly.
  • Integrates with other Google apps such as Google+ and Picasaweb.
  • Integrates with Google Analytics.
  • It has inbuilt social networking aids.
  • You can do a lot of experimentation with colors and widgets. [It may make your blog beautiful but it can make it look childish too, depending upon your sense of design.]
  • It is possible to map your own domain [e.g indiantopblogs.com] with the free blog [indiantopblogs.blogspot.com]. This mapping or redirection is free.
  • It is easy to have widgets. Google calls them Gadgets.
  • You can have multiple authors for the same blog.
  • You can make the blog password protected or private. 
  • Each post can have its own meta description and privacy control.
  • Provided with https security.
  • You can monetize the blog through AdSense and other PPC ads. All types of ads are possible through widgets.

Wordpress
  • Numerous themes available.
  • Most themes give modern and clean look and feel. [Some themes allow customization but you cannot do too much experimentation with color, design.]
  • Very little change in code of the blog is possible in free plan.
  • It is easy to have plugins and widgets. Javascript widgets are not allowed.
  • Reliable Worpress support and backing.
  • It has inbuilt social networking aids.
  • Premium plans available.
  • Good post editor but you can only add photos, not videos in the free version.
  • It is possible to map your own domain [e.g indiantopblogs.com] with the free blog [indiantopblogs.wordpress.com] but at a payment.
  • You can have multiple authors for the same blog.
  • Provided with https security.
  • You can make blog as well as individual posts private or password protected.
  • No monetization possible through AdSense and other such methods.

Tumblr
  • Focuses on sharing content. You can decide to keep your identity anonymous while sharing.
  • You can publish text, photos etc on the fly and share them.
  • You can reblog a blog post on another blog. In fact this is how Tumblr bloggers mostly operate.
  • Posts come out clean, focusing only on content [rather than widgets, advts etc].
  • Has some themes and allows some customization, but not as versatile as Wordpress and Blogger.
 
Livejournal
  • Its strength is its communities and a highly social ecosystem.
  • Not scalable. Limited resources.
  • No scope for putting advertisements.
  • Very good if you are OK with having a sober web diary and sharing content with your community on Livejournal.

Medium and Pen.io also deserve a mention here though they are not full-fledged blogging platforms with a variety of options. Medium is a platform where you write a post and start a discussion or you participate in a discussion started by others through their posts. On Pen.io, you can publish a page on the go, with a minimalist post editor. Just post a page and share its URL with whomsoever you want. And to recall blog.com, which splashed as a vibrant platform that gave many free options but disappeared in 2016.