If you want to try blogging but don’t want to go through the process of researching a reliable host, thinking of and buying a decent domain name, and then setting everything up, you can test the water by using one of the many free blogging platforms.
There is a lot to choose from. Each has its own good points and bad points.
Let’s look at three of the best free blog sites online in 2017
My personal favourite is WordPress, which is at the top of the list, but the other two are also pretty good.
WordPress is my favourite free blogging platform because it has a great community and it is really easy to use.
You get free storage space in the basic account and you can add on premium features should you wish to use them. All you need to register is an email address.
WordPress.com free features include:
- 3 gigabytes of storage space (about 2,500 pictures)
- Hundreds of themes to choose from
- Integrated stats system
- Comment spam filter
- Your posts are added to the global tagging system
- Fast loading pages and backups
- Social media integration
- Multiple blogs – run as many as you like
WordPress.com premium features include:
- Domain mapping – point a domain name to your blog instead of a using a sub-domain of WordPress.com or shared hosting on a third-party provider
- Additional storage space from $20.00 a year
- Custom design to change fonts or edit the CSS file
- Upload high-quality video
- Ad free
- Premium themes
The major downside of running your blog on WordPress.com is that you cannot run adverts and you can’t use plugins like you can on a self-hosted site.
Blogger was the first blogging platform I used, way back in the day. I haven’t used it for over five years now.
You’ll need a Google account to get started.
Unlike WordPress, you can monetize your blog by placing adverts on your site. You can also run as many blogs as you like.
For some, this is the clincher when it comes to choosing a free blogging platform.
And with a new UI (user interface) that matches WordPress for looks and ease of use, Blogger may easily steal those sitting on the fence.
Blogger offers pretty much the same services as WordPress; spam protection, stats, you can point a domain at your blog, free themes etc.
But there is one major difference and that is that Blogger provides unlimited space.
The third site in this list is Tumblr. Tumblr is the new kid on the block and has a healthy slice of the free blogging software market. Once again you just need a valid email address to get going. Unlike the other two, you can only have one blog per email address.
Out of the three, Tumblr is probably the easiest to use. The UI is well laid out and intuitive. You can upload pictures and video and have your first post published in just a few seconds.
For this reason, I think Tumblr is aimed at younger bloggers and should be avoided if you want to promote your business through a free blogging network (use WordPress instead). If you want to make money from your blog through advertising programs such as AdSense, then Blogger is the top choice.