These are 47 of the best blogging platforms where you can start your site in 2020, publish amazing content and build your audience.
It’s easier than ever to start a site and create your online home. Even if you don’t want to spend time setting it all up, or if you don’t want to spend any money on it or even if you don’t have any technical skills. Let’s get started with the list of best blog sites.
- Craft CMS
- LinkedIn Pulse
This is my recommended choice
What is it: Open-source and self-hosted platform that is so customizable with thousands of free themes and plugins so that you can build anything you want without any tech know-how.
By far the largest and most popular blogging platform and CMS. Initially released in 2003 and currently hosts more than 35% of the total web, including my own site.
With WordPress, you’re in the safe hands. It puts you fully in control of the whole experience. You can trust that WordPress will be here in the long run and that you always will fully own all your content and data. See my full review of WordPress.
Best for: Recommended for everyone from those who want to start a personal blog or site to those who want to create an online business.
How to get started with WordPress
WordPress is open-source and free to use. You do need a domain name (address people will type to get access to your site) and space on a server (computer that delivers your content when requested by a visitor) to make your site accessible on the Internet.
WordPress hosting provider that I use and recommend
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There are so many capable and affordable WordPress web hosting providers. I recommend GreenGeeks. I pay them to host my site and they have everything you need for a great WordPress user experience:
- GreenGeeks is an independent company based in Los Angeles, California. They are specialized in WordPress hosting with more than 10 years of experience, more than 40,000 customers and are home to more than 500,000 sites.
You get a free domain name, fast loading site, automatic updates, automatic backup and top security. There’s a 99.9% uptime guarantee. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case.
- Unlike most providers, their servers are environmentally friendly and your site will be 100% carbon neutral. They use energy-efficient hardware and purchase wind energy credits for 3 times the amount of energy they consume.
- They provide 24/7/365 customer support via chat, email and phone. I’ve never had to call, but I’ve emailed and chatted multiple times. They’re fast, responsive and unlike some other providers I’ve dealt with actually solve any issues.
11 steps to register your domain name and install WordPress
It will take you 10 minutes to get your WordPress site up and running. Here are the step by step instructions:
Step 1: Visit GreenGeeks and choose your plan. I pay for the Pro plan at $5.95/month as I run more than one site. The Lite plan at $2.95/month is the best value for those with one site only. Click the big green “Get Started” button.
Step 2: Now you need to register your domain name or transfer an existing domain name. GreenGeeks provides you with your chosen domain name for free. Type your domain name and click on the “Check Availability” button.
Step 3: Fill in all your details in “Account Information“.
Step 4: In “Package Information” you see the summary of your chosen plan. To get the best value monthly price you need to sign up for 3 years.
3 years of hosting on the Lite plan is billed $106.20 total. If you wish to purchase one year only, the total price will be $59.40.
You can choose your “Server Location“. Options are the United States, Canada and Europe. Pick the one closest to where the majority of your target audience is.
“Coupon Code” with the highest value is automatically applied. You always get the best possible deal so no need to take any action.
“Domain WHOIS Privacy” at $9.95/year is selected by default but it’s possible to deselect it if you wish.
Every domain name registered has a publicly viewable database which includes the contact info of the domain name owner. This option protects your personal information with an anonymous registration.
Step 5: Fill in your credit card details and click on the “Create Account & Get Started” button. Then wait for an email with your GreenGeeks account login details.
Step 6: Log in to your GreenGeeks account and click the “CPANEL” button. Search for “Soft” in the top box to locate the “Softaculous Apps Installer“. This is an easy way to install WordPress.
Step 7: Click on WordPress and on the next page click on the “Install Now” button.
Step 8: In “Site Settings” type your Site Name and Site Description. You don’t want your site to be “my WordPress blog” or “just another WordPress site”.
That doesn’t tell your visitor much about what you care about. Fill in your title in “Site Name” and explain what your site is about in the “Description”.
Don’t worry about making this perfect as you can change it at any time in your WordPress dashboard.
Step 9: In “Admin Account” select a new personal username and a strong password. These will be the login details you will use to enter your WordPress dashboard.
Don’t use the default admin username as it makes you a target of brute force attacks. Create a new and unique username for yourself.
Step 10: Click on “Advanced Options” and choose to Auto Upgrade WordPress to “Any latest version available”. Auto upgrade plugins and themes too. Set “Automated backups” to “Once a week”. These are the best practices to secure your WordPress site.
Step 11: Now you can “Select Theme” that you like. By default, you’ll get the great and modern looking Twenty Twenty theme.
You can change to a different theme with one click in your WordPress dashboard at any later stage so don’t worry about making a perfect choice now.
Click “Install” and wait until your site has been set up. You can now log in on yourname.com/wp-admin/ with your WordPress username and password.
What is it: Commercial platform.
Blogger is one of the early blogging platforms later acquired by Google. Easy to start, easy to use with a decent selection of design themes.
Very few developments over the last few years point to the idea that Google may not be that interested in Blogger anymore. It could be on the way to join Google Reader and other products Google stops liking.
Blogger has seen a decline in usage and currently hosts fewer than 1% of all sites on the web. See a detailed review in my Blogger Vs WordPress comparison.
What does it mean to be a commercial blogging platform?
Commercial and proprietary platforms are all-inclusive and low maintenance so you don’t need to worry about a hosting server, software updates or security. They manage it all for you.
Here are the main drawbacks:
- When using a commercial platform you don’t own your blog, the company behind the platform owns it.
- Commercial platforms change, adapt their positioning and disrupt their users. Some cease to exist. Some get taken over, get neglected and shut down.
- At the same time, they make it more difficult to export your content and move it to another platform.
Blogger is best for: Those who want something quick and easy to write on.
A simple platform with no user interface
Price: $20 per year.
What is it: Indie commercial platform. I love the idea of this. Very cool and simple blogging platform with no user interface. Just upload a file to your Dropbox folder and it automatically gets published as a blog post on your blog.
Blot’s simplicity can be a negative point for some. If you want to build something more advanced, you may need to look for a different solution.
Best for: For those who don’t want to deal with a blogging platform but still want to have a public home for their thoughts online. And for those who want to support indie developers. Blot is developed by a solo entrepreneur with a public roadmap.
Price: $99 per year or $13 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. Simple to use site builder with a selection of sixteen unique and visual design templates. It may not be the best option if you know what you want and have some specific needs.
Best for: For those who want a simple way to create a creative site with a unique design.
Price: Free for personal sites. $299 plus $59/year for professional sites.
What is it: A fully-featured content management system that you install on your web server and that includes e-commerce support and plugins. Focused on creating sites from scratch rather than from templates.
Hosts 0.1% of all sites on the web. Not too user-friendly to beginners who don’t have much tech-experience and just want a place to share their passion with the world.
Best for: For those with technical know-how and that really know what they want to do with their site.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $19/month for a premium version with no ads.
What is it: Commercial platform and a social community for front-end designers and developers to showcase their skills and find inspiration. Not for you if you’re just a writer without any skills or interest in design or development.
Best for: For designers and developers who want to be a part of a community of like-minded creatives.
What is it: Open-source content management system that you install on your web server. Focus on enterprise and not just a blogging platform. Hosts fewer than 2% of all the websites.
Best for: For larger corporations that are looking for an open-source self-hosted CMS alternative to WordPress.
Price: Feature restricted free version without a domain name, analytics, embeds and Google indexing. $7.95 per month or $39.95 per year for the premium version.
What is it: Commercial platform. Powered by the WordPress software but with a focus on educational institutions, teachers, and students.
Best for: For students and teachers to use at their institutions.
Price: Feature restricted free version with ads. Premium yearly subscription for $2/month.
What is it: Commercial platform. Hosted site builder where you can create a blog or an e-commerce store.
Best for: For those looking for a Google-free alternative to Blogger.
A good blog alternative to WordPress
Price: Free to self-host. From $79 per month when billed annually for a managed hosted version.
What is it: Open-source, non-profit, transparent and independent blogging platform. They have a public development roadmap and even openly share their revenue. Very open about their pros and cons versus other popular platforms.
Ghost is more focused on publishers and is not for those wanting an e-commerce store, a business site or custom features and extensions. It hosts less than 0.1% of the total web.
Best for: For those looking for a simpler, self-hosted and open-source blogging platform alternative to WordPress.org.
What is it: Open source content management system focused on performance.
Best for: Those comfortable with the command line interface looking for a speedy and versatile CMS.
Price: Free for 100MB of storage. Pro account at $7/month.
What is it: This one is a bit different from all the other platforms on my list. It provides storage for websites on the peer-to-peer web. Peer-to-peer web uses the Dat protocol rather than HTML and doesn’t use a server. Explore more with the Beaker Browser.
Best for: Those who want to explore the peer-to-peer web.
What is it: Free and open-source framework for building websites and blogs. It’s a static site generator with speed and flexibility. Features a passionate community, hundreds of templates and allows you to build anything you want.
Best for: Those familiar and comfortable with the command line interface and Markup.
What is it: Open-source static site generator in Ruby. Great for coders but not for those unfamiliar with coding.
Best for: If you’re a developer and want a simple blogging platform.
What is it: Open-source and self-hosted complete content management system. Second-largest CMS in the world hosting less than 3% of the total web.
Best for: Like Drupal, it’s best for those that are looking for an open-source self-hosted full-fledged CMS alternative to WordPress.
What is it: Commercial platform. LinkedIn wants you to post your articles on their platform. There are no advanced features at all but you do stand to get benefit from the network effect of more than 650 million users of LinkedIn.
Best for: Best to use as a content syndication platform and publish some of the content from your site there in order to expand your reach and traffic.
Privacy and cryptocurrency integration
Price: Free. Needs a premium subscription of $34.99/year if you want to connect your own domain name.
What is it: Open-source, minimal and no-interface blogging platform using the end-to-end encrypted privacy writing app Standard Notes to post your articles.
Features CSS styling. There’s an option to run a mailing list. Readers can subscribe to get new post notifications via email. Readers can tip or pay to read posts using cryptocurrency.
Best for: For those who want a simple site that allows cryptocurrency tipping and paywall without needing to use a blogging platform interface. And for those who want to support indie developers as this is an independent app.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. $19.95 a year for the premium version.
What is it: Commercial platform. More of a social community where you can share your life stories using a blog journal and meet other people.
Best for: For those looking to socialize as part of a community rather than simply starting a blog.
What is it: Commercial platform launched in 2012. A place to publish your writing. Using their Partner Program you can get paid based on how Medium’s paying members engage with your content.
It has a large network effect of millions of monthly visitors but at the same time a lot of noise with 20,000 new articles published per day.
It can drive views to your posts, especially if you submit your content to one of the popular Medium publications such as:
- freeCodeCamp with more than 600,000 subscribers. Here’s how to post there
- The Mission with more than 500,000 subscribers. Here are the submission guidelines
- The Startup with more than 500,000 subscribers. Here’s how to submit your story
- Better Humans with more than 300,000 subscribers. Here’s how to write for them
- Think Growth with almost 200,000 subscribers. Here’s how to contribute
Best for: Medium is best to use for content syndication in order to expand your reach and traffic. It’s not recommended to host your main site there.
Custom domain names are no longer a feature and Medium is a bad user experience for your visitors due to all the pushy elements they place on top of your content to get them to become paying members.
It’s also not a profitable platform so the future of Medium is uncertain. In January 2020, Medium experienced a drop in their Google traffic and that will put pressure on them as it’s the key source of new visitors with more than 60% of the total traffic.
Price: 7-day free trial and $499 per year after that.
What is it: Commercial platform. One of the blogging pioneers hosting blogs since 2001. Less than 0.1% of the web is hosted on it these days.
Best for: For those who are curious to test one of the original blogging platforms.
Price: 14-day free trial and $11.99 per month after that.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder that allows you to build a blog without any coding.
Best for: For those looking for a simple and easy solution to start a managed site.
What is it: Open source and community funded platform. There is no ads and no tracking. Basic accounts are free but you can upgrade to a $5/month supporter account and get extra features such as custom domain name.
Best for: For those who want to join a community of creative, Geocities-like sites.
What is it: A federated and open source blogging application. It’s an interconnected but independent network. Supports collaborative writing where many people can contribute to the same content.
Best for: Those who want to explore the federated web.
What is it: Evernote powered blogging platform with no interface. You write your posts in Evernote and with a click publish them on your blog too.
Best for: For people that don’t want a traditional blogging platform and just want to publish their writing from Evernote.
Small, self-sustaining blogging platform
Price: $5 per month.
What is it: From the founders of blogging platform Posterous which was acquired by Twitter and shut down. It’s a simple blogging platform with a pledge that they will last forever, are not looking for investors and have a self-sustaining business model.
Best for: For those who want a simple blogging place that they can trust will be here next year too.
A popular commercial site builder
Price: Free trial and after that $16 per month plus taxes for a personal version, $26 for business.
What is it: Commercial and hosted site builder founded in 2003 with annual revenue of about $300 million. It makes it easy to start a site from a variety of templates.
Venture funded with a $1.9 billion valuation. They have a large marketing budget so you might have heard about them on your favorite podcast. Hosts 1.5% of the web.
Best for: For those who want a simple turnkey solution. See full details in my WordPress or Squarespace guide.
Price: Feature restricted free version. $20 per month for a pro version.
What is it: Commercial site builder that allows you to start with no design or coding experience.
Best for: For those looking for a simple and easy solution to start a managed site.
Price: Free for the first 2 weeks and then $6 per month.
What is it: A simple blog site focused on the writing and reading experience and with a promise that it will remain online forever.
Best for: For those who want a safe, long-lasting and very simple place to publish their writing.
What is it: A minimal publishing platform from the people behind the Telegram messenger app.
Best for: For those who love Telegram and just want a place to occasionally post some long-form content.
What is it: Commercial platform. A social network with an inbuilt blogging feature. Has seen a decline in usage since acquired by Yahoo and now hosts 0.1% of the total web.
It was recently acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, and it remains to be seen what they will do with it. See a full review in my Tumblr Vs WordPress comparison.
Best for: Tumblr may not be the best to use as your site’s home but you can use it for content syndication to expand your reach and traffic.
What is it: The simplest blog site there is. Write something in the large text field you see when visiting the site, click publish and your post is live online.
Best for: Those who want the simplest possible way to write something and share it with their friends or network.
Price: 14-day free trial and then $8.95 per month for the basic plan.
What is it: Commercial platform. Another one of the blogging pioneers, launched in 2003, and based on the Movable Type platform. Has seen a decline in development, popularity and use over recent years and currently hosts less than 0.1% of the total web.
Best for: For those who want to try Seth Godin’s original blogging platform. Seth himself moved his blog from Typepad (after many years there) to WordPress.
What is it: Open-source and self-hosted content management system focused on the enterprise. Not really focused on bloggers. Hosts 0.5% of the total web.
Best for: For those in corporations looking to build more complex sites.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. Option to subscribe from $5.99 per month to remove ads and get a full set of features.
What is it: Commercial platform. Site builder that hosts 0.1% of the web.
Best for: For those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: 14-day free trial and then subscription from $4 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. Site builder targeting businesses. Easy drag and drop, hundreds of templates and ability to sell your products online.
Best for: For businesses looking for a simple-to-use site builder.
Price: 14-day free trial and then $10 per month subscription.
What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder targeting creatives.
Best for: For those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: Starting from $8 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. A front-end site builder targeting agencies, designers and developers who are creating sites or e-commerce stores for their clients.
Best for: For agencies, designers and developers looking for a simple place to host their clients.
Price: Starting from $12 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform focused on designers founded in 2013. It’s a CMS that allows you to build a site from scratch while working in a visual site builder and without any need for coding.
Raised $72 million in funding valuing the company at $300 million in August 2019. Has more than 120 employees, more than 45,000 paying customers, more than $20 million in revenue and is profitable.
Best for: For those that want to build something different and unique starting from scratch.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $11.95 per month for the ad-free version.
What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder that makes it easy to create a site using a template.
Best for: As another alternative for those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: From $5.95 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting small businesses. A subsidiary of Vistaprint. Hosts 0.1% of the web.
Best for: For small businesses looking for a quick and easy way to build their site.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $4.89 per month for the ad-free version.
What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder.
Best for: Another alternative for those who are looking for a simple site builder.
Price: Starting from $90 per month.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting designers and agencies.
Best for: For designers and agencies who want an easy hosted solution for their clients.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $6 per month for ad-free.
What is it: A commercial platform with more than 600,000 paid subscribers. Was acquired by the payment company Square for $365 million.
It’s an advanced site builder featuring e-commerce and email marketing, and it’s targeting creative entrepreneurs. Hosts 0.4% of the total web.
Best for: For those who want a turnkey solution for their business.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $8.5 per month for the ad-free version.
What is it: Public listed commercial platform founded in 2006. More than 2000 employees and annual revenue of more than $700 million in 2019 but still isn’t profitable.
Features an advanced site builder with innovations such as the “Artificial Design Intelligence” that builds a website for you automatically. Hosts more than 1% of the total web. See my full Wix vs WordPress comparison.
Best for: For those who want a turnkey solution for their business.
Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $4 per month for a basic ad-free version and from $25/month for better features such as premium themes, Google Analytics, and no branding.
What is it: The commercial and hosted version of the WordPress software run by the remote-first company Automattic. They raised $300 million in venture funding with a valuation of $3 billion in September 2019.
Automattic also contributes to the development of the open-source version. See a detailed review: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
Best for: Best for entrepreneurs who want an easy and managed WordPress solution without needing to deal with hosting, security and such.
Built with strong privacy principles
Price: Free. $0.83 per month for the ability to add your own domain name.
What is it: Ad-free, distraction-free and independent blogging platform funded by its customers. It’s built around privacy with strong principles and your identity as a blogger is being kept confidential.
It doesn’t track you, doesn’t log your IP address, doesn’t know who you are and you can even publish using their Tor hidden service. A supporter of the open web.
Best for: Great ethical choice for those who believe in the open web, want to support an independent platform that has strong privacy principles.
Price: Free for a 3-page site. From $6.95 per month for the full version.
What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting businesses.
Best for: For those who want a simple site builder solution for their business.
By Marko Saric
I help startups reach more people using content, search and social media marketing. If you have a marketing problem you’d like my help with, write me an email or find me on Twitter.
You can also learn more about me.
Looking to start your own independent website?
- You might like my guide on installing and using WordPress to create beautiful sites without tech know-how.
- I also list and review the most popular content management systems and website hosting providers.
Looking for better technology to use in your daily life?
- You might like my guide on why you should give Firefox a chance to become your default browser.
- Here’s a list of more ethical alternatives to the most popular tools we use.
- Here’s also how I switched to Linux after fifteen years on macOS.
Looking to grow your SaaS startup?
- See my lessons learned from three-years of running growth marketing for a B2B SaaS.
- Here’s also my guide on how to promote and drive traffic to a website.
Are you a web developer?
- You might like my guide on speeding up the web and making it a little bit greener.
- You might also like why I think Google AMP is not the best tool to use.
- You might also like my post on why you should remove Disqus from your site.
- Use Firefox Preview to make browsing on Android fast and distraction-free
- How to secure your WordPress site in 2020: The definitive guide
- How to start a vlog and become a YouTube influencer in 2020
- Ethical marketing in the GDPR, CCPA and no third-party cookies world
- Blogger vs WordPress: Which is the best blogging site in 2020
- 47 best blogging platforms to start your site in 2020
- How to design a blog and make it look pretty in 2020
- How to start a blog and make it a success in 2020
- 20 environment and open web goals for 2020 and beyond
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