- Web design
- The 14 best free blogging platforms
Fresh to blogging but brief of cash? These are the best free blogging platforms available today.
It used to be said that everyone has a book in them, but these days, it might be more suitable to argue everyone has a viral blog post in them. Slew of people retain a thirst for more thoughtful writing than a Tweet can afford, and these are the best blogging platforms to use.
There’s something about having a space that’s decently yours, potentially free from the distractions of a billion adverts and innumerable challenging status updates. And the best thing is, there are a blast of free blog sites out there to get you commenced.
In this round-up, we explore 14 of the best blogging platforms for newcomers who want to get a free blog up and running.
If HTML5 matters to you then Wix is well worth a look, it claims to be the only drag-and-drop site-building platform with HTML5 capabilities. On top of that you’ll find over 500 designer-made templates as well as slew of extra features and apps, along top-grade hosting so you can rest assured your site will be there when you need it.
You get 500MB storage and 1GB bandwidth with a free Wix account, if you need more &ndash, plus other features like your own domain, and online store and Google Analytics &ndash, then take a look at its premium plans.
Yola boundaries you a bit if you have grand plans for your blog &ndash, you can only have two sites and three web pages with its free plan &ndash, but the upside is a healthy 1GB of storage and bandwidth, and your site won’t be littered with unsightly third-party ads.
Getting commenced is effortless, with dozens of customisable templates to choose from, a straightforward site builder for putting everything together, supple layouts and drag-and-drop widgets, and if you have the abilities then you can edit your CSS in order to fine-tune your site’s look.
Nobody knows how they’re going to want to display their articles a few years down the line, so Contentful provides a way to separate your content from your design. It calls this an “API-first” treatment, so your content is stored on its servers and you can call it into any design or platform as you like. So if you want to build a fully different site in a few years time, it’s effortless to bring everything in as it’s set up to be portable from the embark.
Jekyll takes your raw text files, which may be written in Markdown, if you like, and turns them into a sturdy static site to host wherever you want. It’s the engine behind GitHub Pages, which means you can host your blog on there for free.
Making your blog with Jekyll avoids the need to work with technicalities such as databases, upgrades and so on, so there are fewer things to go wrong, and you can build something entirely from scrape.
If the folks over at WordPress are to be believed (and they seem suitably trustworthy sorts), it now ‘powers’ over a fifth of the internet.
It’s effortless to see why: on WordPress.com, you can rapidly create a fresh blog entirely for free, with a reasonable amount of customisation. Alternatively, most web hosts provide WordPress as a free single-click install, and more information on what’s possible there can be found at WordPress.org.
Newcomers might find WordPress a touch bewildering primarily, but it’s the best free option for anyone wanting a good mix of power, customisation and usability. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best WordPress tutorials and the best free WordPress themes to get you commenced.
To some extent, Tumblr feels a bit like a halfway house inbetween WordPress and Twitter. It offers more scope than the latter, but tends to favour rather more succinct output than the former.
Decent mobile apps make it effortless to submit content to a Tumblr blog from anywhere, however, and it’s reasonably effortless to customise your theme to make it your own.
Tumblr also has a strong social undercurrent, via a following model combined with notes and favourites. Albeit be mindful that the service has fairly a few porn bots lumbering about, which may give the faint-of-heart a bit of a shock should they check every favourite off of their posts.
You’d hope with a name like ‘Blogger’ that Blogger would be a decent free service for blogging. Fortunately, it is. Sign in with your Google ID, and you can have a blog up and running in seconds, which can then be customised with fresh themes.
It is, however, a Google service, so be a touch wary, given how abruptly that company sometimes shuts things down that millions of people were cheerfully using.
Medium is the brainchild of Twitter’s founders, and emerges to be their attempt to do for ‘longreads’ what they once did for microblogging. The result is a socially-oriented place that emphasises writing, albeit within an utterly locked-down set-up.
It’s a place to blog if you want your words to be taken gravely, and if you favour a polished, streamlined practice. But if you’re big on customisation and control, look elsewhere.
Svbtle is a stripped-back free blogging platform for longform writing
Describing itself as a “blogging platform designed to help you think”, Svbtle is fairly similar to Medium in treatment. It again strips everything right back, resulting in a bold, stylish practice that thrusts words to the fore.
It could lightly become your favourite blogging platform for the act of writing, but it again relies on you also wanting something enormously elementary and not caring a jot about customisation.
LiveJournal combines blog and social networking
One of the veterans of this list, LiveJournal (like Blogger) embarked life in 1999. Perhaps because of its age, it rather blurs the lines (the site says “wilfully”) inbetween blogging and social networking.
The result is more of a community that affords you your own space, but that also very much encourages communal interaction. It is possible to style something more private, but to get the most out of LiveJournal, you need to be ready to delve into discussion as much as writing.
Weebly is a website creation device that includes free blogging templates
Weebly bills itself more as a website-creation system than something for solely creating a blog. It’s based around drag-and-drop components, which enable you to quickly create fresh pages.
However, blogging is also part of the system, and you get access to customisable layouts, a bunch of free themes, and the usual sharing features you’d expect, to spread your words far and broad.
Postach.io is a free blogging platform from the creators of Evernote
Postach.io claims it’s the “easiest way to blog”. It’s from the people behind Evernote, and, naturally, is deeply integrated into their system.
Essentially, you just connect a notebook to Postach.io and then tag notes as ‘published’ to make them public.
However, you get some customisation, too, including a bunch of themes, the means to embed content from other sites, Disqus commenting, and the option to instead use Dropbox for storing content.
Pen.io’s treatment is also rather different from its contemporaries. Unusually, it doesn’t require a login &ndash, instead, you define a URL for a post and set a password.
Photos can be dragged into place, and you can create multi-page posts using a tag. And that’s about it.
Indeed, it’s a open up to call Pen.io a blog in the traditional sense, but it’s a decent option for banging out the odd sporadic post, especially if you don’t want any individual info stored.
Open source platform Ghost is free if you install it on your own system
Something slightly different for our final entry. Unlike the others on this list, Ghost is only free if you download and install it yourself, use the Ghost site and you pay on the basis of traffic.
However, this system differentiates itself in other significant ways: it’s entirely open source, and while writing you get a live preview of how your post will end up.
You need to be technically minded for this one, then, but it’s a worthy alternative to WordPress if you’re glad to get your arms dirty and have your own web space that’s awaiting a blog.
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