When we are starting a new business or an idea, we need a platform to be able to talk about it.
At times, we just need a place to blog. We would want to expand it later to offer services, products and much more.
Other times, we want to have a robust solution that is much more than a blog.
As a newbie, it becomes difficult to learn, understand, judge the differences and decide which one to go with.
This article will help you to answer all these confusion and aware of the options you might have never considered.
Let’s get started!
The following are 8 of the most successful platforms used globally for making websites/blogs of all kinds, niches, and industries.
Did you know WordPress powers more than 30% of websites worldwide?
It’s a content management system launched in 2003 and has been evolving ever since.
There are WordPress.org and WordPress.com
So you must know of the differences between the two. While both are the same WordPress CMS platform.
WordPress.org is an open-source and free self-hosted version. That means you will need a domain and hosting to host your website. It could be for example email@example.com
With WordPress.com, you don’t need a domain or hosting. Your domain will be something.wordpress.com So you get much less of the controls, though WordPress.com’s basic version is free.
If you want to pursue a blogging career, WordPress.org is unarguably the best option of all.
There’s a reason why 30% of websites globally use WordPress.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If you want to add a forum, online store, membership plans or just about anything you can imagine.
There’s a 95% chance, it has already been done in the form of themes and plugins. WordPress has more than 54,000 free plugins!
Why Not WordPress
When you opt for WordPress.org, a self-hosted WordPress website. There’s a learning curve to it.
It ain’t difficult at all, but it takes a few weeks for anyone to get completely familiar with the system, themes, and plugins.
Managing security and website backups could be other concerns. It’s not big of a deal though as there are plugins for managing it.
But if you’re someone who’s not willing to learn or spend anytime doing it.
You may either want to outsource it or go with other platforms.
What’s Best about WordPress?
The community. You will always get answers to your most pressing problems. Mostly, help is just a search away.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to start your WordPress blog and scale it quickly.
With WordPress, you get plugins for everything.
If you want a graphical user interface to build a page. There are many for example, Elementor that lets you easily create pages by just dragging and dropping stuff. No coding!
Blogger is a completely free Google’s service started back in 1999 by Pyra Labs and later acquired by Google in 2003.
I remember to have started blogging on Blogger.com back in somewhere around 2005.
The idea of blogging was pretty basic back then. It was merely considered an ideas journal.
As Google Adsense became popular, Blogger became even more popular. Because the people could easily create their new blog, post content, publish with AdSense ads to start earning money.
It’s free and pretty secure, powered by Google. There is not much of a learning curve at all.
If you’re very new to blogging or even using the Internet (just in case), that’s probably why it should be the only reason to use Blogger.
It’s a little technical of a process, but you can use your domain to host your Blogger blog.
Why Not Blogger
Most Blogger blogs ultimately shift to WordPress, in my experience.
People used to start with Blogger to understand blogging. As there weren’t many good resources to understand blogging.
With a great number of excellent resources these days, you don’t have to go down that route.
It’s pretty basic, considered old school and you cannot do even 20% of what you can with WordPress.
Medium launched in 2012 is modern blogging and pretty minimal, especially focused on writers, bloggers, journalists, and niche experts.
Medium bridges the gap between blogging and social media.
You register like you would with any other social network. Your domain becomes much like a social networking site address, i.e medium.com/@yourusername
You can then publish posts and interact with other medium publishers too.
You don’t need a domain, hosting and coding skills like all the other modern hosted platforms.
You can also reach out to other Medium users with similar interests and network with them.
The focus is solely on the writing and not the design.
Why Not Medium
Your audience isn’t yours technically, everything is owned and operated by Medium.
So if you lose your blog, you lose all that you had your blog posts, your network, friends, and whatnot.
You can never host it in your domain. You will only be able to use it via medium.com/@yourusername
Worst of all, if you’re planning to run ads and make money. You can never run your ads.
While Medium is still free but has started charging a $5 monthly fee for ad-free unlimited access.
Again, most Medium users eventually end up launching their self-hosted WordPress blogs.
WIX has become a super popular alternative for first-time bloggers. It was launched in 2006.
But their massive YouTube advertising campaigns have made it pretty popular lately.
WIX has over 150 million users, owned by an Israeli company.
Setting up a website/blog can’t be any easier. It’s quick and pretty straight-forward.
WIX is best when it comes to templates. They have invested a lot in exciting and exemplary templates.
Templates that you won’t find anywhere else. A few example sites https://www.wix.com/explore/websites
Why Not Wix
The free option isn’t worth at all because
- Shows Wix branding plus their ads as well.
- You can’t use all the third-party apps as well.
- Can only choose a theme once, can’t change it later.
- Not a core blogging platform. More focused on website + blog model.
It’s only viable if you’re using a paid subscription. Then you can connect your domain to the Wix website.
You need at least $9 a month to remove Wix branding and use their “connect your domain” feature. That too with a limited bandwidth of 2GB.
You can upgrade anytime to their $13 or $25 per month package for unlimited bandwidth and premium support features.
Suitable for small businesses, who are already generating revenue and don’t mind spending $13-$25 a month to focus on their main business.
Squarespace has become massively popular amongst trainers, leaders, entrepreneurs and those who travel the world.
The customer loves Squarespace for its amazing customer service via email only. Their online help center is pretty in-depth though and offers 24/7 live chat support.
It has a unique publishing system, on top of using the drag & drop GUI system. So those who have used Squarespace for a while, tend to prefer it instead of WordPress.
Why Not Squarespace
They don’t have any phone support.
The Personal plan starts at $12, becomes Business at $18 a month. Whereas, basic eCommerce plan is for $26 and $40 a month for an even advanced version.
They have increased prices from $96/year in 2014 to $144 – $164 (depending on the plan) annually now. That’s a whopping 50% – 70% increase.
For small businesses, it might not be as much of a concern. But for those who are just starting with minimal resources.
You need to take into account every penny. As you must plan your business for the months to come, if not years.
As an ending note, I hope you have found this guide useful. That it helps you to choose the right blogging platform for your needs.
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