One of the advantages of being at home during quarantine is you can start something new. Like if you love writing and wondering about starting a blog, this is a perfect time for you to explore. Blogging is a great way to connect with the world. Whether you blog to express your passion, blog to connect on a personal level with others or blog to help promote a business, it can be a great way to connect with anyone.
To start blogging, you’re going to need a platform, and as a beginner, you will want a blogging platform that is easy to set up, easy to learn, and of course, being free is a major plus. Finding the best platform for your needs is important, think about what kind of blog you want to create. There are blogging sites that provide both free and paid services that you may consider as you grow as a blogger. Here are some of the top blogging sites that are available:
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If there is one platform that is easy for beginners to use and totally free, it is Blogger. Founded in 1999, it is one of the oldest blogging platforms that’s still active. It is usually used for personal blogs, as doing a business blog here is not advisable. So if you’re just starting to blog, this platform is suitable for practicing your writing skills. Another downside is it lacks the functionality, design options, and several features that other blogging platforms offer.
WordPress.org is for starters, as it is the simplest and least expensive option. You will, however, have to find and pay for your own web hosting. Meanwhile, WordPress.com is more complicated, usually used by bigger businesses, and your blog will be hosted on their servers.
WordPress is a great option for people who want to have control over the customization of their blog and monitor traffic via Google Analytics.
If you want to try this out, you can start with their free service with free themes, their Jetpack Essential features, a pre-installed SSL certificate, and 3GB of storage space. Pricing starts at the Personal plan for PHP 200/month, Premium plan for PHP 416/month, Business plan for PHP 1,166/month, and eCommerce plan for PHP 2,009/month. All of these are billed annually.
Wix has become a wildly popular blogging platform for people who are fond of design options. It has a unique AI feature that will design your blog automatically, but once you choose your template, there’s no going back. It also comes with lots of stock images to choose from, and it has an easy-to-use interface with no coding skills required.
With the Free plan, you will cover all the basics and be able to have your first free blog website, 500MB of storage, and 500MB bandwidth. The VIP subscription costs USD 24.50 a month, with unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage, and all the features Wix has to offer. For the Unlimited subscription, it will cost you USD 12.42 a month, which gives you unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, form builder app, and site booster app. The Combo subscription costs USD 8.25 a month, gives you 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage, removes native and mobile ads, gives you a free domain for a year, customized favicon, and a Google ads voucher for USD 75. Lastly, for Connect Domain, it will cost you USD 4.08 a month, which allows you to connect your domain, 1GB bandwidth, ability to integrate Google Analytics and access premium support.
Founded in 2004, Squarespace has fabulous, responsive designs, and a wide variety of customization options. It has its own analytics dashboard, so you can see where your website’s traffic is coming from, what pages your visitors are looking at, how they’re engaging with your content, and so much more.
After the initial 14-day trial period, if you decide to stay with Squarespace, you’ll be able to choose between four plans billed on an annual basis: Personal for USD 12 per month, Business for USD 18 per month, Basic for USD 26 per month, and Advanced for USD 40 per month. If you want to know more about the coverage of each plan, click here.
Weebly is a blogging platform that is great for businesses that want to maintain a blog on their website. Business owners find this platform a lot easier to use than other platforms where blogs and websites are created separately. The only downside is that it’s difficult to change and customize HTML or CSS on the blog as the platform focuses its services for those who want to create and update a blog quickly without hassle.
You can start using Weebly for free, which will be enough for small personal blog sites. If you decide to upgrade plans, Weebly offers plans ranging from USD 5 to USD 25 per month for websites and USD 12 to USD 38 per month for online stores. As you might have guessed, the more you pay, the more you get.
Medium is an easy-to-use blogging site, with minimal features. It operates much like a website where you can create an account and start publishing posts. No setup required and no coding skills needed as it focuses solely on writing, instead of designing a website.
Sometimes writing is the best way to escape the anxiety we are experiencing during these days. Hopefully, these platforms can help alleviate your anxiety and connect more with others.