Are you interested in blogging but want to try it out before taking the plunge? Or maybe you have limited resources for starting a blog?
If so, look no further. Here is the list of 6 completely free sites for blogging that is ideal for beginners. We will discuss these top free blogging sites’ pros and cons and help you determine which one is right for you.
BEST FOR: Bloggers who want to try blogging for free first and the ability to upgrade to a self-hosted professional website using WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is undoubtedly one of the world’s most popular free blogging platforms and website builder. You can start a basic blog with dozens of free themes to choose from, and you do not have to pay a hosting fee. Once you are ready, you can upgrade to a professional business website.
WordPress also has a large user community who is more than prepared to assist a fellow user with common questions and concerns about different aspects of WordPress blogging.
Do not confuse WordPress.com with WordPress.org, which is a self-hosted platform. While WordPress.com is a great place to get started for free, most of the professional website on the internet is self-hosted using WordPress.org so the blogger can have full control.
Who is it good for?
- WordPress.com is ideal for beginners looking to start your blogging journey for free
- For small blogs or hobby blogs, it is a perfect and most popular blogging platform
- WordPress.com is also a great choice if you may want to upgrade and host your website on WordPress.org in the future
- Easy to setup – create an account and simply follow the installation wizard
- Hosting included – fewer moving parts of dealing with
- Can be easily upgraded to professional, self-hosted WordPress.org
- Interface is streamlines
- Built-in community functions
- Low site maintenance needed
- Support included helping you get started on business sites, for example (on paid plans)
- Your blog is hosted on a subdomain
- The free plan has limited customization options for free themes
- Plugins are only available on Business Plans
- The free account includes WordPress.com ads and branding present on your site unless you pay to remove them
The free plan only covers essential blogging components, including security, and dozens of free themes to choose from. If you need additional features and customizations, the cost will add up. The paid plan range from $4 personal plan to $25 business plan per month billed yearly. The Ecommerce plan will cost $45 per month if you need to integrate with shipping carriers and take credit cards from 60+ countries.
BEST FOR: Bloggers who prefer drag-and-drop builder, elegant, quick, and easy to get the website up and running with a dedicated support team and fully supported tools.
Among the top sites for blogging, Wix is also a great option, hosting over 100 million websites worldwide. Wix allows you to put together your website quickly via drag-and-drop and comes with blogging ability that you can add to your site. Quick, modern, and easy to set up a website have been the core strengths for Wix.
To set up a website, you simply pick one of the 500+ stunning templates and use drag-and-drop to customize your website. Then publish your website when you are done.
Another useful feature is Wix automatically optimizes your website on the mobile device. Wix even provides a mobile editor so you can further fine-tune the customization for mobile users.
Who is it good for?
- Wix is perfect for visual bloggers who prefer drag-and-drop to get a website up and running quickly
- Wix can be ideal for bloggers who prefer having a dedicated support team and tools supported by Wix, instead of plugins created by 3-party with mixed qualities
- Wix also caters to business owners needing a blog to complement their website to strengthen their brand presence
- Lots of software and models from third parties to customize your web
- Fast and simple to set up
- Free hosting
- Access to 100s of templates and unlimited pages (up to storage limit)
- It offers several design options and was designed with HTML5
- Wix can use artificial intelligence to develop your blog automatically
- Comes with lots of stock photos from which to choose
- With the graphical interface, you can accomplish anything without any coding skills needed
- The free account has minimal features, traffic, storage, and has Wix branding and advertisements
- The number of free apps is limited
- After selecting your site template, you are unable to change it
- It is not possible to migrate Wix to another hosting platform
- The service charges for many items, so the costs quickly accumulate
Wix’s free plan has limited apps, storage, and display Wix ads. The premium plan starts at $14/month with 3GB storage. A professional plan will cost $23/month with 20GB storage. For an eCommerce website that requires taking payment and other relevant features, the Wix business plan starts at $23/month up to $49/month.
BEST FOR: Blogger who prefers drag-and-drop builder but do not mind fewer templates and options. A cheaper alternative for WIX if you plan to upgrade.
Weebly powers over 40 million websites around the world. You can create a blog, gallery, and eCommerce site using Weebly’s drag-and-drop website builder and eCommerce tools. You can build and edit your site from a mobile device as well.
There are fewer templates and customization to choose from when compared to Wix. However, there is a free eCommerce package available and cheaper compared to Wix.
Who is it good for?
- Weebly is ideal for beginner bloggers with limited technical skills who prefer drag and drop capability and affordable upgrades
- Weebly is also suitable for small businesses, portfolios, or e-commerce websites
- Weebly has a free (but limited) eCommerce site option available
- Simple to use with a blog building tool for drag-and-drop
- Strong mobile app range to run your site on the go
- Strong SEO features – beneficial for businesses
- Free eCommerce website option available.
- Few integrated specifications
- A small number of integrations with third parties
- Difficult to export site
- Weebly branding and subdomain included in the free plan
Without paying anything, Weebly provides you with five custom pages to start with, a Weebly subdomain and 500MB storage.
With a paid plan that is relatively affordable ($6 – $26 a month), the platform includes built-in analytics and allows you to be more creative and customize your own domain. This platform provides a wide range of easy-to-use features for those who want to make changes without learning to code.
BEST FOR: Bloggers who just want to focus on writing content and not the hassle of maintaining a site.
Medium is another top free site for blogging with over 170 million monthly visitors. Medium has become a popular community for writers, bloggers, and journalists looking to share their thoughts and ideas.
Unlike other blogger sites, Medium is a collaborative blogging platform, and you do not have your own “space” or subdomain. Think of yourself as a contributing writer on Medium. Your focus is simply writing great content and not worrying about the hassle of owning a website.
Getting started on Medium is as simple as open an account and start writing. You can immediately tab into millions of monthly readers already on Medium.
You can also get paid for writing premium content on Medium by joining the Partner Program. Your content will be accessible for premium Medium subscribers who pay a monthly fee. When readers spend time reading your writing and “clap” (similar to Like on Facebook), you can earn a little money from profit sharing. You do not have to be a premium subscriber to join the Partner Program, and Medium pays monthly.
Who is good for?
- Medium is good for writers, bloggers, and journalists looking for a free platform that is easy to use and focused on content creation and writing
- Bloggers who do not mind not having their own space and subdomain
- Bloggers who are looking to make a small passive income with minimum effort
- A quick sign up and you are ready to start blogging
- Robust user interface and elegant experience of writing
- Writers can focus on the development of content, not running or building the web around it
- Option to monetize your writing by joining the Partner Program
- Tab into millions of readers already on Medium
- Material from other sites may be incorporated (YouTube, Twitter, etc.)
- All Medium blogs look very similar, with hardly any customization options
- Rather limited features of marketing
- No way to move the audience to some other platform from Medium – the audience is built on the platform
- Options for monetization is minimal (ex. no ads, affiliate marketing)
- Not ideal for a business looking to build brand awareness
- Medium can influence your content
Medium is a completely free blogging platform.
BEST FOR: Bloggers who want to be able to monetize on a free website.
Blogger is a Google service. Blogger has been around for a long time and despite its recent dip in popularity, it is considered one of the best free sites for blogging.
Blogger is completely free and easy for beginners to set up and start blogging. Blogger has a few dozen themes to choose from with various widgets and allows users to add photos and publish. This platform also allows users to edit HTML and add blog widgets, which are not supported by many blogging sites for beginners.
Blogger is the best free site for monetization because you can serve Google Ads and other affiliate ads on your Blogger site.
However, the major disadvantage is Blogger is not Google’s core business, so there is barely any enhancement to improve this free blogging site. Most themes appear quite basic, and there is limited customization capability. Therefore, many bloggers eventually “graduated” and move the blog to a self-hosted blogging platform on WordPress.org.
Who is it good for?
- Blogger is ideal if you are looking for the best free blogging site to monetize from your content
- It may appeal to techies who can edit HTML and CSS to customize the website
- Blogger will give you a subdomain where you can build out your content
- Free to use and just takes minutes to set up
- It takes care of hosting, servicing, and other technicalities.
- Best free site for monetization by serving Google Ads and other affiliate ads.
- Integrates well with other offerings from Google – you can store your pictures on Google Drive
- Integrate custom domain for free
- Ability to edit HTML and CSS
- Mobile-optimized templates
- Tracking and anti-comment spam initiatives
- Restricted to simple tools for blogging and there is no way of incorporating extra features
- There are few design possibilities
- Updates or new functionality are uncommon
- Blogger reveals the blog ads
Blogger is a completely free blogging platform.
BEST FOR: Microblogger and short-form blogger.
Tumblr is another free blogging site for those looking to publish multimedia or social-media related content. Tumblr is a platform for micro-blogging designed for short-form content (links, images, videos, jokes, quotes, art, fashion, etc.) It also has a culture and features of social networks behind it.
One of Tumblr’s best qualities is its focus on the blogger community. It offers a range of choices for content sharing and re-blogging. However, this means that users do not have complete control over the copyright of blogging material.
Tumblr provides multiple post formats for various kinds of content, just like a standard blogging site. Tumbler is strictly for personal use only and not suitable for business-oriented users. This platform is also completely free to use!
Who is it good for?
- Tumblr is for those interested in short-form, image-focused content and does not require any “regular website” functionality
- It is suitable for hobby bloggers, personal bloggers, microbloggers, and visual bloggers, but writers may not necessarily like this platform
- Free and very easy to set up and to use
- Hosting is included (your blog is on a subdomain of Tumblr.com)
- Integrated social factors, such as following, re-blogging, and sharing
- Multimedia, such as videos, GIFs, photographs, and audio, are easy to post.
- Different options for design
- Limited features with no way to extend them
- Difficult to back up Tumblr content to use on other platforms
Tumblr is a completely free blogging platform.
Common Drawbacks with Free Blogging Sites
As you may realize, there are several common shortcomings for these free blogging sites.
You do not have full control of your site.
It is analogous to a renter versus owning a house. You are just a tenant on those blogging sites. You are typically given a subdomain or access to create content under those blogging sites. You do not have full control of your website.
Limited functionalities and ability to customize.
Many of the essential functionalities are not available until you upgrade to a paid version. Your website is also limited to what you can customize. The limitation will compromise the user experience, more challenging to retain visitors, and ultimately negatively impact your ranking on the search engines.
Compromise Brand Awareness
If you are just a casual blogger, branding may not be a big deal. However, if your goal is to build a business, you should have a website with your domain name (i.e. www.mycompany.com). At the minimum, you will have to buy a custom domain name.
Shows ads for the free blogging site
Your free version of the website will display ads of your free hosting provider. You cannot remove it on Blogger because the site is completely free. Or you will typically have to upgrade to a business plan to remove those ads.
WordPress.org – The most popular blogging platform
BEST FOR: Professional website at an affordable cost.
If you are looking to transition from a free blogging site to a professional website, WordPress.org is the most popular choice, powering 39% of websites worldwide.
While WordPress is free, you do need a reliable hosting provider such as Bluehost to run your website. Bluehost is a trusted WordPress partner, includes a convenient WordPress installer, and offers an affordable hosting plan, making it ideal for beginner and even professional bloggers.
One common myth is hosting a professional website can be costly, but you will soon realize it is actually much cheaper than the premium plans that some of these sites offer.
Basic hosting on Bluehost costs $3.95/month for the 3-year plan for a total of $142.20. You can buy a beautiful and highly customizable premium theme for a one-time fee of less than $60. You can also hire a WordPress web developer on Fiverr for about $100 to $200 to set up and launch your website. With approximately $400, you can set up a professional website that is good for 3 years. That is a cost of about $11/month or less than $0.4 a day.
Another benefit of owning the website is that you can sell your blog for a profit on a website marketplace such as Flippa if you ever change your mind and decide blogging is not for you.
Pick a platform and get started
Whether you want to practice your writing, share ideas, test your passion, establish your brand, or promote a business, blogging is a great place to start.
We have listed six platforms that are considered top sites for blogging suitable for beginners and non-techies with different characteristics! Each free blogging site has its own set of pros and cons. These sites are either completely free or have free plans available, so you do not have to commit financially until you are ready.
Blogging is a journey; hopefully, one you will enjoy. The best way to know is to get started and give it a try.
Let us know if you have any questions regarding the platforms in the comments below, and happy blogging!