A blog is a great way to express your thoughts, create your company’s web presence, and present your content online. If you want to create a blog, but do not want to develop your own platform, take a look at this article. These options offer many different features that can be either free or paid. This is a software or specialized service that allows users to publish content on the World Wide Web. It may be difficult for a novice blogger to understand where to start. In this article, Hamster helps you choose the site for blogging and consider the pros and cons of the most popular free platforms.
Value for money – the cost of the service must match the resources offered.
Ease of settings – is it possible to use the full functionality of the platform without special programming skills?
Convenient editor of texts and visual materials.
The ability to SEO-promote the site and improve the natural ranking factors.
Service flexibility – the ability to change the design of the blog and add new features at any time.
Technical support – the size of the community (help forums) and those who will help you to understand the settings, it can be mainly platform support.
Are there still people in the world who are unaware of WordPress.com? If so, let Hamster take a brief look at this platform of websites. Attention! Don’t confuse it with other platforms, such a WordPress.org (.ORG vs. .COM). This one is self-hosted and requires a domain name and hosting providers. A full article on the differences can be found here.
Now let’s talk about WordPress.com. The free version of WordPress.com includes many features, traffic counters, anti-spam filters, SEO, great themes etc. No matter who you are in the blogosphere, an expert or a novice, this platform will definitely be a good choice.
Free registration and blog creation.
You can create your own design.
Possibility to make money from advertising.
A variety of topics on the platform.
Possibility to import your materials from other platforms.
Coding skills are not necessary, but very helpful.
It is possible to create a unique site and individual widgets.
Monetization is possible only with the use of Premium and Business tariffs.
There are not many free themes.
Cost: register on the platform for free. If you want to use a unique domain name and get rid of WordPress advertising, connect Google Analytics, and add third-party themes and plugins – you will be charged for that, however.
Google Blogger is a well-known blogging service that also includes many different options. For example, Blogger comes with a graphic design user interface that gives users the ability to customize the look of the blog as they like.
The platform allows you to create a website on the third-level subdomain blogspot.com. It is easy to use, so every user can create a blog in a matter of minutes. It has additional advantages in the form of reliability and security from Google, which has owned the service since 2003. However, Blogger restricts users in design and settings. Compared to other sites, there are a small number of topics and a fairly simple editor. Knowledge of programming languages will help make the blog more diverse.
Easy to use, thanks to the focus on the functionality of the blog.
The ability to integrate the blog with other Google services. Registration on Google account.
Free use of your own domain.
A large community of users.
Lack of ownership of the content hosted on the platform.
Templates are more average than on other sites.
Lags behind its competitors in the flexibility of settings.
No access to FTP.
It does not provide paid features to improve the blog.
There is a limit on the number of pages created.
There is no user support forum (closed since 2014).
Tumblr is a popular and feature-rich microblogging platform. It provides a number of wonderful, interesting features, such as audio blogging (you can share music, for example), free custom domains and hundreds of awesome free themes. In addition, you can synchronize your Tumblr account with Facebook and/or Twitter so that you can update your own content on many platforms at once. Another distinguishing feature is the possibility to create group blogs. Tumblr supports Google Analytics and Feedburner.
Convenient and intuitive editor.
There is analytics support – Google Analytics and Feedburner.
The absence of plugins, widgets, or other tools for the development of the blog.
You cannot create your own design because there is no corresponding editor.
Extremely limited post formatting options.
Medium is a convenient, beautiful, and responsive blog platform from the creators of Blogger and Twitter. It has been working since 2012.
There is a function of importing materials from other blog platforms and social networks.
You can maintain a corporate blog with several authors and editors (this is called publishing in Medium).
You cannot change the appearance of personal blogs, but publications can be decorated with headings, subheadings, “caps,” logos.
A possibility to take notes in a draft and share them with colleagues and friends before publication.
Easy to configure previews for social networks, there is support for InstantView.
Private blogs have the address medium.com/@user, and publications have the medium.com/blog. Materials are well indexed in search engines. Pages load quickly.
The main disadvantage of the platform is that you can only connect your domain for a fee.
You cannot connect Google Analytics to the blog; only internal statistics are available. What’s in it:
A number of views and readings.
The number of fans (“applauding” users).
Summary of traffic sources.
Income (if you participate in an affiliate program).
Blog In Website Builders
Weebly offers you more than just blog development and maintenance. This service is a fully functional website builder. Weebly has a user-friendly interface, support for image gallery and slideshows, audio and video files, maps, etc. In addition, you can optimize the use of the platform for design development, which will allow you to create a website for your client, effectively using Weebly as a system for managing site content. It is also possible to register an individual domain within the system or connect an existing name. The free option provides users with a subdomain and 500 MB of memory. To expand the opportunities, you will have to choose a paid tariff.
A wide selection of templates and themes.
Editor with drag-and-drop function.
Tools for adding new features.
Open-source with support for third-party encodings.
The best tools are provided for a fee.
Small disk space – 500 MB.
There is no search at the free rate.
A limited number of pages to create.
The free version displays ads at the bottom of the blog.
Hostens website builder
If you are new to blogs, you will need a platform that is convenient, easy to set up, and does not require any coding knowledge. This is more a web site hosting platform than a blogging platform, however, you can easily set up a blog on your website. Website builder’s drag-and-drop tools are very easy to use (no coding required!), which makes developing your blog quite easy. In addition, there are dozens of templates for your choice that will help give your site a more sophisticated look. You can start a blog with any of Hostens payment plans. Online, .Tech, .Site, .Website, .Store domains come as a gift when you connect an annual premium plan. You can also access the following:
Personalized image galleries
Possible to create corporate mail
Ability to add and edit image captions and links
Ability to embed videos from video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo
Possibility to import the ANY website the design of which you like.
Check it out Hostens free website builder here →
A convenient international platform that allows users to create beautiful sites without any programming knowledge. It has been working since 2006.
You can connect an existing domain.
Over 500 templates for any site, many of them free of charge.
A rich collection of web applications to improve and embellish the site.
You can upload your own font.
There is a built-in photo editor.
The free version includes only up to 500 MB of disk space and up to 500 MB of traffic.
For corporate use, it is better to consider a premium plan.
More and more authors are moving from their cozy blogs to social networks. There are many reasons for this: some are “running away” from the innovations and transformations of traditional blog platforms, others are moving away from “long posts” to the format of short notes, others decide to reduce their blog presence due to lack of time, and some authors simply lose sources of monetization of their blogs, which means there is no point in posting their messages in full format … But what about social networks?
Facebook Notes is a tool for publishing long posts and articles, launched by Facebook in 2015. The functionality does not include teamwork, connecting domains and analytics systems, flexible SEO settings or attractive snippets on other platforms. Notes are only good for creating and distributing content within Facebook itself.
Writing and editing articles in FB is no more difficult than on other platforms. Design options:
Title, H1, and H2.
Bulleted and numbered lists.
Boxes for quotes and code.
Photos, videos, audio and gifs, posts from Instagram and Twitter.
Picture is in the header.
The URL of the published note is as follows: facebook.com/notes/pagename/name-article/123456789012345. As you can see, it’s quite long and unattractive.
There are no statistics on views and readings; you can evaluate an article only by its involvement: likes, comments, shares.
Publishing articles on LinkedIn is essentially blogging on the Pulse platform, which has been open to users since February 2016. Developers have invested a lot of time and effort to enable linking the content on Pulse to user’s profiles. The platform was designed so that professionals can share and consume voluminous content. The content is called articles, not posts. Remember that by clicking on an article, people expect to see a story, not a short post with a link or an ad of 200 words. Oddly enough, statistics show that longer materials are read more readily. Notwithstanding the aforementioned aspects, LinkedIn presents a number of benefits for a company blog. The publishing platform provides convenient tools for content marketers. Articles are easy to find; they are well laid out; they can be commented on and reposted.
Your articles are available to the target audience, as well as the following:
• A possibility to post content on a corporate page on LinkedIn and, therefore, increase its credibility, attract potential customers, inform employees, find partners, and share your ideas.
• The platform provides blogging opportunities without the need for technical support, so many of your employees can become your “ambassadors” on the Internet.
• You share experience to attract new customers and create your professional network.
• Users who are not on your network may follow you because your new content appears in their news feed.
• LinkedIn Pulse is well ranked by search engines, so your articles appear more often in search results.
Instagram just seems like a photo and video sharing app. In reality, on this platform, various authors successfully combine lifestyles, portfolios, and narrow-topic blogs.
Twitter is perfect for those who don’t like long reads and ignore pictures.