Best blogging platforms 2020

If you want to become a blogger in 2020, you have over a hundred blogging platforms to choose from (115, to be specific, according to a recent graphic on SocialSamosa). But not all would suit your needs. Let us look at specific strong and weak features of the most popular blogging platforms.

Blogger [https://blogger.com] is the most popular free blogging site and it is everywhere. Blogger is a Google product and thus automatically integrates with Gmail and other Google products. Blogger is very easy to set up and maintain. 

Blogger blogging platform is completely free and gives large storage space for blogging resources (photos, videos, audio etc). It is highly secure. You can modify the looks of your blog in a hundred ways. You can also migrate a Blogger blog to another platform if the blog grows beyond Blogger's free resources or for some other reason. 

On a Blogger blog, you can also place advertisements, and this makes Blogger the best free blogging platform to make money.  

Wordpress [https://wordpress.com] is another free blogging platform and almost as easy as Blogger. However, it needs some setting up. The free account does not allow many changes to its design and does not allow you to put advertisements and make money. Many bloggers are in love with this platform and call it the best free blogging platform, better than Blogger. In my view, Blogger suits new bloggers more than Wordpress.

Wordpress's software-only version is wordpress.org. This is not a free blogging platform but a software kit (technically called content management system or CMS) and is much more popular than the free blogging platforms named here. 

Wordpress CMS only creates a blog for you but it does not give you a blog name and does not host your blog (= it does not place your blog on the web). Others can view the blog only when you buy a domain name (=the name for your blog) and buy a website hosting plan from a web hosting company.

Talking still of CMSs, let me add that there are many other CMSs used by bloggers and website creators. These are slightly more complicated than Wordpress and do not have as big a community as Wordpress has; the Wordpress blogging community discusses blogging matters and helps new bloggers in sorting out issues. The most popular CMSs after Wordpress are Joomla and Drupal. But most people whose blogs/ websites have been created using Wordpress CMS call it the best blogging platform and I agree with that.

Tumblr is another free platform, with limited facilities for customization. It has been traditionally popular among the younger users, especially because it makes sharing of content within the platform easy and leads to socialization.

Medium is another free blogging medium and would suit you if you are interested only in posting quality content (mostly text) and are not bothered about design, money making etc. This platform gives one of the cleanest, no-frill design to the blog so that visitors concentrate on reading the content. The blogger can earn some bucks by way of a partner program in which the blogger gets paid on the basis of engagement, but Medium does not allow any other form of monetization.

If you are a casual blogger but active on a popular social networking platform such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Quora, you can open a page/blog on that platform. The advantage in opening a 'blog' on these social networking/ social sharing networks is that the blog is seen by your followers and friends on that network. So, if you are a professional in some field (engineering, technology, medicine, philosophy...) and you maintain an account with LinkedIn, you should definitely open a blog/ page there. 

In addition, if you want to become part of a blogging community, you can open a blog on the community platform. Such blogging platforms go by gender, country or specific interests such as cooking/ travel/ fashion/ photography. You can find links to such platforms on many blogs. The advantage is that you get a targeted audience and you can share your blog easily on social networks.

If you want to communicate using mainly visual or audio-visual media, you can open a 'blog' (or pinboard/ channel/ etc) on YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram. They have the advantage of their own big audience and you can cross-share the images or videos or podcasts easily on other social media. YouTube is the best blogging platform for videos and Instagram for photos. 

Please note that when you open a stand-alone blog on Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr or Medium, you need to do all the promotion. You have to share the post yourself and there may not be many reader comments until you have become popular. You will also need to take other actions (e.g. search engine optimization or SEO) for becoming popular. On the other hand, a blog on social networking/ media sharing and community sites gets easily integrated with other social media entities. However, if you are a serious blogger who wants to stand on your own, a stand-alone blog is the right choice - and you should chose one of the top blogging platforms mentioned above (recommended: Blogger if you want to open a free blog, and Wordpress CMS if you'd like to go for a self-hosted blog).

I think, a blogger does not have to go beyond these platforms, though there are many paid blogging platforms and also website builders with blogging options. For the sake of listing, let me mention Wix and Weebly (versatile, drag-and-drop website builders); Typepad, Squarespace and Ghost (paid blogging platforms with many facilities; they need some tech skills); Livejournal - one of the earliest blogging platforms (still exists but now lags behind others in features).

Best blogging platform for your needs: how do you make a choice?
choosing the best blogging platform looks difficult
Which blogging platform to select?


The above discussion should be enough for making a decision about which platform to choose for your blog. Let me make things more clear with this comparative chart (courtesy: The Manual of Blogging):

best blogging platforms and sites compared


My final take on choosing the right blogging platforms is:
  • New bloggers would be fine starting with Blogger or Wordpress free blogging platforms.
  • Bloggers who want only to reach more people with their content, and have no wish or ambition to make money from the blog or adding special features to the blog can go for Medium.
  • If you want to start with a free platform and then test the ground before migrating to professional blogging, start with Blogger and then (i) either remain with Blogger and map the blog to an independent domain or (ii) shift to Wordpress CMS. But if you like the feel of Wordpress, start with its free platform from the beginning and later shift to Wordpress CMS.
  • Bloggers wanting to maintain a feature-rich professional/ commercial blog should go for Wordpress CMS and invest in a good domain name and web host.
  • While the right choice of blogging platform is important, the quality of content, optimization, socialization and other aspects of blogging play a very important part in making the blog successful and earning from it.

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