9 Best Free Blog Sites Compared

Posted on July 23, 2017 by in Resources | 20 comments

9 Best Free Blog Sites Compared

Starting a blog sounds easy – you just need to pick a topic and start writing. However, there’s much more to it than that. For example, you also need to choose the right platform to power it all, and the decision isn’t an easy one to make.

Choosing the right blogging site can help you hit the ground running and make your new project that much easier to tackle. In this article, we’ll compare nine of the top free blog sites available online, and help you pick the right one for you. Let’s get started!

9 Best Free Blog Sites Compared

Over the course of this list, we’re going to cover a broad range of free blog sites, including self-hosted options. There are good choices for everyone here, regardless of your level of experience, so take your time until you find the right one for you (and test them on your own if possible!).

1. WordPress

The WordPress homepage.

There are two options when it comes to WordPress – the self-hosted version and WordPress.com. We’re big fans of the former, but some of you might prefer to stick with the latter.

If you just want to get a blog up and running quickly, and not have to deal with finding a web host, WordPress.com can be a decent option. Just keep in mind it only offers a fraction of its self-hosted alternative’s customization potential. You won’t have access to all of WordPress’ plugins or themes, but you can always migrate your content later if you change your mind.

On the other hand, self-hosted WordPress offers a highly-flexible and customizable platform for creating your website. Since it’s an open-source platform, you can customize it in any way you want, and use it to set up blogs of increasing complexity.

Plus, the self-hosted route enables you to have access to powerful themes such as Divi. The theme includes a wide variety of modules to help you customize your blog, as well offering pre-built layouts to help you get started – so it’s easy to come to grips with.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to build any type of site you want, including blogs.
  • Offers access to thousands of plugins and themes if you use self-hosted WordPress.
  • Provides almost full control over every aspect of your blog, covering both style and functionality.

Price: Self-hosted WordPress is free | More Information

2. Drupal

The Drupal homepage.

Drupal is another big name when it comes to self-hosted platforms. It’s an open-source solution that powers popular sites in government and higher education, and it’s also a good option for regular blogs.

On top of being free to use, it also offers you a wide suite of themes and modules (their version of plugins). Plus, there are several free distributions available that enable you to download bundled versions of the platform, which can make setting up specific types of sites much easier.

Key Features:

  • Lets you create blogs and other types of websites.
  • Gives you access to an active community and excellent documentation.
  • Enables you to use any of a wide variety of modules and themes.
  • Lets you download either the default version or a bundled distribution of the platform.

Price: Free | More Information

3. Joomla!

The Joomla! homepage.

Joomla! is one of our favorite Content Management Systems (CMS) thanks to its flexibility and ease of use. If you ask us, it’s one of the closest alternatives to self-hosted WordPress when it comes to functionality, which makes it a good option if you don’t want that particular platform.

In this case, we’re also talking about a self-hosted platform, so your costs will depend on which web host you choose. However, Joomla! is a very lightweight platform and it includes built-in caching functionality that can make for fast-loading websites.

Key Features:

  • Lets you enhance your site’s functionality using extensions.
  • Provides access to built-in caching and Search Engine Optimization (SEO features).
  • Gives you the ability to edit your blog’s content quickly thanks to an intuitive dashboard.

Price: Free | More Information

4. Wix

The Wix homepage.

Wix is one of the most popular hosted site-building platforms available, and it’s very easy to use thanks to its drag-and-drop functionality. You can also access an extensive gallery of templates to create pages even faster.

The main downside in this case is that Wix isn’t a free platform per se – it just offers a free tier. You get a modest 500MB of space to host your website. However, you can’t connect a domain name to your site, and you get to deal with ads. This might not be a big deal for personal blogs, but it’s not a good plan for professional sites.

Key Features:

  • Provides a drag-and-drop builder to create stylish websites.
  • Offers access to an extensive library of pre-built templates.
  • Lets you automatically create a responsive version of your site.
  • Enables you to install any number of apps from Wix’s dedicated library.

Price: Free and premium plans available | More Information

5. Weebly

The Weebly homepage.

Weebly is very similar to our previous pick in many aspects. For one, it only provides you with up to 500MB of space on its free tier, and you also have to use a subdomain if you opt for that plan.

The platform also emphasizes its top-notch drag-and-drop builder as a main selling aspect, and it offers dozens of modern templates. However, there are a few things that set it apart – for example, you can manage your site using a mobile app, and it packs in a decent set of SEO features.

Weebly’s biggest downside is that, similarly to Wix, the free tier includes ads. If you can overlook this, it can be a good option to host your blog.

Key Features:

  • Offers a template library to create a modern-looking blog.
  • Includes a drag-and-drop builder to customize your website.
  • Lets you access a vast collection of apps to extend your site’s functionality.
  • Enables you to optimize your site’s SEO using built-in features.
  • Gives you the ability to manage your website using dedicated mobile apps.

Price: Free and premium plans available | More Information

6. Blogger

The Blogger homepage.

Blogger is one of the oldest free blog sites around. It was acquired by Google in 2003, and it’s been trucking on since then. The hosted platform doesn’t offer you as many features as the others we’ve covered so far, but that’s to be expected. After all, Blogger is a pure blogging service, although it does offer plenty of functionality for sharing your thoughts with an audience.

As far as price goes, Blogger is entirely free, and it enables you to link your blog to a domain of your own. If you’re looking for a straightforward and fast blogging option, this is a good choice.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to set up a simple blog in a matter of minutes.
  • Lets you connect your blog to your Google account.
  • Gives you access a decent collection of modern blogging themes.

Price: Free | More Information

7. Ghost

The Ghost homepage.

Ghost is the new kid on the block when it comes to blogging platforms. The self-hosted service launched in 2013, and since then it’s become one of our favorite options for several reasons.

For one, it feels like a more streamlined version of WordPress. Ghost is all about blogging, and every single one of its features is designed to make the process easier and more intuitive for you. For example, you can write your posts using markdown and preview them instantly. You can also collaborate with other writers, schedule posts, work on your content’s SEO, and much more.

Overall, Ghost is an excellent solution if you’re a DIY type of blogger with a penchant for using cutting-edge platforms. However, it does lack as a more multipurpose platform.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to edit and preview your posts simultaneously.
  • Offers a way to schedule your content.
  • Lets you collaborate with others on your publications.
  • Offers built-in SEO functionality.
  • Gives you a way to create Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
  • Enables RSS feeds, email subscriptions, and Slack integrations.

Price: Free | More Information

8. Tumblr

The Tumblr homepage.

Tumblr doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to blogs. Some people don’t see it as a serious platform, but it can be a decent option if you’re looking to set up a personal blog. It’s easy to use, it can look professional with a little work, and it has a built-in audience.

This last point can be great if you’re looking to set up a personal blog, but you don’t know how to reach your first readers. With Tumblr, the chances are that people will stumble upon your blog sooner or later, and they can use the platform’s built-in features to get you more exposure.

Key Features:

  • Offers a combination of social media platform and blogging vehicle.
  • Provides optimization for short-form content.
  • Lets you start blogging straight away thanks to a quick learning curve.

Price: Free | More Information

9. Medium

The Medium homepage.

Medium is a modern free blogging site that’s all about providing people with an easy way to share their thoughts, and helping others find interesting articles. Unlike some other platforms, you simply need to open a free account and publish your posts using the built-in editor. Medium is built for readability, and it’s a fantastic option for long-form content.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up your own website, Medium can be a great option. Plus, there’s a chance that one of your posts may hit it big on the platform and net you some exposure.

Key Features:

  • Lets you publish articles using a simple editor.
  • Provides content optimization for readability.
  • Enables readers to favorite, share, and bookmark your content.

Price: Free | More Information

Conclusion

Starting a blog isn’t a walk in the park, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated either. There are plenty of free blog sites available, and picking the right one for you can make your work that much easier.

As you can probably guess, we’re big fans of self-hosted WordPress. It’s a powerful platform with a broad range of customization and robust themes such as Divi. However, some of you might prefer an easy-to-set-up hosted option such as Wix. There’s no single platform that’s perfect for everyone, so make sure to fully test the choices on offer before picking one.

Have you used any of the options in this list (other than WordPress), and how did you fare? Let us know in the comments section below!

Article thumbnail image by VLADGRIN / shutterstock.com.

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20 Comments

  1. Ghost is not free. WordPress is the best.

    • Thanks for commenting! The core Ghost platform is free and open-source, although there is also a Pro version with various pricing levels: https://ghost.org/pricing/.

  2. I would stay away from wix, when is the last time you saw a wix site ranking for just about any keyword?! They’ve had seo issues in the past which were so bad, gogle were not indexing wix sites. Although many issues have been resolved, they still have some problems. One of the biggest problems is how easy it is to build low quality Web 2.0 backlinks with them. Google doesn’t like that! I would stay well clear of wix for my money sites!

    • I agree and from my research, totally agree and I am surprised it made the list.

    • You’re right William! WordPress is the best especially when it’s with Divi.

  3. No matter how many times you compare or how many pros and cons you mention. There is nothing like wordpress made so far in the history of mankind. WordPress just changed the face of internet with lots of blogs like a magician. Thanks to worpress and Matt Cutts.

    • Hi, thanks for your comment! We think WordPress is pretty great too. 🙂

  4. Hey Johm, TBH I didn’t know about most of above, but I am very much familiar with blogger and WordPress as I am using both. Thanks Medium seems to be interesting

    • You’re welcome! Of course we’re partial to WordPress, but there are a lot of other platforms worth checking out on this list. 🙂

  5. Anyways wordpress.org is the clever choice by any blogger

    • We tend to agree. 🙂

  6. Tried joomla, wordpress was first and curently the last.
    Also tried perch, little CMS also can be used for blogs. Its not free.

    WordPress has some logic that is missing in joomla and vice versa, but comfort i feel most with WP.

    Done cca 50 sites on wordpress maybe more, and stil going. I think divi is used on 15-20 of them.

    • Hi! Thanks for your input, and for supporting our products. 🙂

  7. I love wordpress.com for a free blogging platform.It would give a better working skill for self-hosting WordPress blogging.

    • You make a good point; WordPress.com is a great first step towards getting comfortable with the self-hosted version of the platform. 🙂

  8. I’ve tried a number of these including Ghost which is not free.

    Ghost has a 14-day trial but after that it starts at $29/ month (month to month)for personal account $19 per month (billed annually).

    WordPress is still my favorite. Self hosted or WP hosted.

    • Hi, thanks for your comment! WordPress is pretty great. 🙂 As for Ghost, the core platform is free and open-source (https://ghost.org/developers/), although the hosted Pro version does require a monthly payment.

  9. Try jimdo.com as well 🙂 (lots of templates, index/follow/dofollow links, blog page type etc.)

    • Hi Adrian! Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  10. I can’t find a platform that will allow me to do what I can do on Facebook…namely, create a post that begins with a text intro and that then allows me to paste the URL of an article, Amazon item, etc., and have that link pull an image that’s a hot link. Yet most Facebook posts have this format.

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