The best free 5 blogging platforms

The best free 5 blogging platforms

The best free blogging platforms can give you an online presence that allows you to showcase your work or share your expert knowledge and experience with the world without having to pay for hosting. The most simple blogging options do everything for you, so you can get up and running quickly using ready-made templates, even if you have zero web design or coding skills. Meanwhile, those who are comfortable with web technology can go for more advanced options to customise their blog to for exactly the look and feel they want.

Below we round up the best free blogging platforms available now, from quick and easy template solutions to full online publishing platforms that can do a lot more as well as provide a blogging space (if you think you might want more than a blog in the long term, also see our best website builder guide). If you’re unsure about how to get going, see our guide to how to start a blog. Otherwise, read on for quick links to our top three best free blogging platforms or scroll down further for our full selection.

The best free blogging platforms: top 5

The best free blogging platforms: Wix

(Image credit: Future)

01. Wix

The best free blogging platform for beginners

If you need a quick and easy way to get your blog online without having to learn any web skills in the process, Wix is the best free blogging platform to consider. It offers a drag-and-drop website builder with tons of free templates, including a good number specifically designed for blogs. A free Wix account gives you 500MB of online storage and 1GB of bandwidth, and it’s very quick to get set up.

Note that with the free Wix option, you’ll have an ad for Wix on your site and a Wix domain name. To remove those and unlock other features like an online store and Google Analytics, you’ll need to turn to Wix’s paid-for plans, but these are very reasonably priced. You can keep your free website for as long as you wish, but the option to upgrade to cheap paid-for plans makes it easy to scale up if you want to make your blog more professional in the future.

The best free blogging platforms: Weebly

(Image credit: Future)

02. Weebly

The second best blogging platform for beginners

Substack is designed for sending email newsletters rather than for hosting blogs, but it actually works perfectly well as a blog platform too (in fact, many users treat it like one and Substack even describes itself as “the home of great blogging”). Substack offers a free account that comes with web space included. Your newsletters get archived here so anyone can read them and subscribe for further updates, but you can treat this space just as you would a blog.

If you want stunning presentation and snazzy web features, Substack will probably leave you unimpressed since its main focus is on making the written word look good in email format. It does, however, provide a basic CMS with text formatting tools and the ability to embed images, video and other web content to spruce things up a little.

What really makes Substack interesting, though, is that it offers the potential to start earning money from your posts. While you can publish for free, if you start to pick up a following, you may be able to turn that into paid subscriptions. It’s not a path that will appeal to everyone, but if you gain an audience and you’re prepared to put in the time to build your personal brand, Substack’s a straightforward and low-risk way to make that pay.

The best free blogging platforms: wordpress.org

(Image credit: Future)

04. WordPress.org

The best blogging platform for finer control over your design

WordPress.org is huge. Launched in 2003, it now powers around a third of the world’s websites and it’s easily one of the best free blogging platforms in the business (note that this option is not 100 per cent free. The open-source site-building software is free to use, but note that with WordPress you’ll need to pay for web hosting and a domain name to get your blog online). The plus side of paying for your own domain and hosting is that any ads that appear on your blog will be ones that you’ve put there and are making money from.

WordPress.org is incredibly powerful, but it isn’t exactly easy if you have no web experience. You’ll have to put in some hours if you want to use it effectively because the CMS takes time to get to know and getting the best results usually requires learning at least some web design skills. You can pick up the basics in our article on how to make a website, but you’ll also need to acquaint yourself with WordPress’s extensive documentation (our guide to the best WordPress tutorials can help).

However, for anyone wanting a great range of customisation and usability, WordPress.org is the gold standard. Check out our guides to the best free WordPress themes and best WordPress plugins. As a final note, make sure you don’t confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com – we’ll look at the latter next.

The best free blogging platforms: wordpress.com

(Image credit: Future)

05. WordPress.com

Free blogging platform for hobbyists and enthusiasts

It’s easy to get confused here, but WordPress.org (above) and Wordpress.com are two quite different things. The first one, which we’ve just looked at, offers a powerful web design platform but leaves you having to pay for hosting and a domain name. If you don’t want to pay for hosting and all you need is a straightforward website building tool, then in steps WordPress.com, a separate service from the same company.

Aimed more at beginners and hobbyists, Wordpress.com is just the ticket if you’re after one of the best free blogging platforms but don’t fancy delving into documentation. It’s easier to use and offers free hosting, 3GB of space and a branded domain name ending in .wordpress.com.

Just beware that it doesn’t give you anywhere near as much ability to customise your site’s look and feel as Wordpress.org, and your blog will feature third-party ads that you have no control over. You won’t be able to add ecommerce features or place your own ads either. That said, if you’re a beginner or casual blogger who just wants to dip their toes and get a site up and running with minimal fuss – and no cost –WordPress.com can be a good option.

The best free blogging platforms: Joomla

(Image credit: Future)
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