Written by Dan Barraclough Updated on February 28, 2020 On this page 1. Wordpress 2. Wix 3. Blogger 4. Squarespace 5. Weebly What's Next? Expand Whether you’re a brand new business working to build an online presence, an established company looking to add value to your website, or a lone creative with hopes of making your mark on the world wide web, starting a blog is an excellent avenue to explore.Gaining exposure, building trust among your audience, improving your chances of ranking highly on Google, and, of course, bringing in some extra cash are all potential benefits of running a quality blog. But how do you go about setting one up?Well, there are plenty of blogging platforms out there, all vying to help you do just that. Of course, with so many options available, you might be at a loss as to which one to go for. In compiling and reviewing the top blog platforms on the market today, we hope to make that decision a little easier for you. WordPress In the world of blogging, WordPress is a giant – not least thanks to the range of stunning free themes, fonts and handy plugins you can choose from to customize your blog (though it should be noted that you won’t be able to build anything truly bespoke). First off, you’ll need to choose whether you want to useWordPress.orgorWordPress.com– the former enables you to host your blog yourself, giving you total control over it now and in the future, while the latter hosts your blog for you. This affords you less flexibility, but does give a greater degree of simplicity and support that might prove invaluable. While WordPress does offer a free version, it’s impossible to earn advertising revenue from your blog using it as WordPress will fill it with its own ads – so you’ll need to go for a paid plan if you want blogging to earn you some cash. Pros Thousands of free themes Over 50,000 free plugins Choose hosted or self-hosting Premium customer support (with WordPress.com) Free version available Cons Can be complicated to use at first Need to pay for a plan if you want to monetize Limited customer support (with WordPress.org) WixBest for Intuitive Ease of Use Known more famously as a powerful website builder, Wix can also be used to start your own blog. In particular, Wix is a great fit for newbies, as its interface is intuitively easy to grasp (simply drag and drop your page elements, with no need to understand code). Plus, the Wix team provides reliable, premium support to its users – a huge benefit in our eyes. Wix’s simplicity does mean it lacks some of the more complex features and SEO focus offered by other providers. However, this is balanced out by the fact that Wix makes it very easy to integrate your blog with an existing website and, unlike a lot of providers, Wix is optimised for mobile on all fronts. Not only will the blog you create be responsive, you’ll also be able to edit and update it from the palm of your hand with rare ease. Pros Very easy and quick to use – no coding knowledge needed Easy to update your blog via mobile Premium customer support Free version available Cons Limited customization and apps Fewer features than other platforms – no RSS feed, for example Need to pay more if you want to monetize BloggerBest for Simplicity and Speed One of the longest-serving blogging platforms out there, the aptly-named Blogger was born in 1999 (!) and bought by Google in 2003. A big selling point, this free platform is fortified by the cyber security and reliability of service you’d expect from Google. Plus, getting started is made simple by the fact that you can set up using only a Google account, and integration with Google AdSense makes it unprecedentedly painless to monetize your blog. This incredible ease of use is what makes Blogger a top platform for inexperienced bloggers – but the flipside is that Blogger is very basic. Few features and design options are available, and Blogger caps the number of characters you can use and blogs you can run, which you might find limiting to your growth. However, if you’re looking to start quickly with the no-frills essentials, Blogger could be ideal. Pros Free to use Very easy to set up and maintain without coding knowledge Monetization made easy with Google AdSense Comes with Google’s reliability and security Cons Only basic tools, designs and features available Capped character and blog count Limited customer support Rarely undergoes updates – risk that Google will discontinue it SquarespaceBest for Beautiful Blog Posts Like Wix, Squarespace is a website builder that has also found its feet as a popular blogging platform. Notably, Squarespace is all about the aesthetics – so if you’re looking to create a blog that looks beautiful, this could be the platform for you. With a range of stunning templates (both free and with price tags attached) designed by professionals, you know Squarespace wants your blog to look fantastic. And this platform doesn’t skimp on the features either, with all sorts of functions such as comment threads, post categorisation and RRS Feeds ready to be built in. The tradeoff is that Squarespace is more expensive than other platforms – unlike most, it doesn’t offer a free version – and it’s also significantly trickier to get to grips with than many other options. As with any investment of money or time, though, the rewards of getting Squarespace right could be great. Pros Comes with high-quality, professionally-designed templates Very customizable Plenty of features Focus on small business owners Cons More difficult to use Can’t add new features More expensive price plans – no free version Need to pay more to monetize WeeblyBest for Powerful Features Weebly sits alongside Wix and Squarespace as a website builder that’s also revered for its blog-building arm. Including performance analytics, archiving, comment threads, post scheduling, and social optimisation, Weebly is very strong on features. It’s likely that you’ll be able to build a blog that can do everything you need it to and then some (which is handy, because Weebly doesn’t enable you to add new features). The platform’s downfall is perhaps the limited customization it affords you – which seems minimal when compared to the creativity other platforms allow. However, Weebly is an incredibly simple platform to use, with drag-and-drop building that’s ideal for bloggers who aren’t exactly tech-savvy, or who don’t want to spend an age setting things up. While SEO isn’t a big focus for Weebly, it will take care of the techie bits that ensure your blog offers its readers a smooth, pleasant experience on your pages. Pros Quick and easy to use without coding knowledge Wide variety of handy features Free version available Cons Limited customization Can’t add new features Limited focus on SEO Need to pay more to monetize What's Next?Running a high-quality blog can come with a ton of benefits, whether you're just starting out on a solo venture, or keen to add value to your existing company website.In deciding which blog platform is right for you, it's worth mulling over a few important questions: What features and functions will your blog need to boast? Would you like to monetize your posts? Will you need your platform to be easy for a beginner to use, or do you have some tech experience that might help you make the most of a more complex platform? How expansive do you want your blog to become? How much do you want to spend?Hopefully, the above reviews have given you enough inspiration to proceed with your search for the right platform based on your unique needs. Dan Barraclough Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.