How to Choose a Blogging Platform
To select a blogging platform that’s right for your business, you first have to evaluate how its capabilities align with your goals and needs. If you need to boost your visibility in SERPs, for example, look for a platform with built-in SEO tools. If your main priority is to start publishing visual content fast, then you might focus on finding a platform that supports Blogging Platform multimedia posts.
Let’s take a look at some essential features that you might need for your blog. You can use this list when evaluating different blogging platforms.
The content editor is the core of every blogging platform. As a blogger, you might be working in this editor every day, so make sure you pick a platform with an editor you like.
You could make a list of must-have and nice-to-have features. For example, maybe your editor must have drag-and-drop functionality and an auto-save feature but it’d be nice to have an option to preview how your post looks on different devices.
Themes and Templates
Themes and templates allow you to customize a blog quickly and easily. When looking at different blogging platforms, check out their selection of themes and templates.
Do they have a lot of options for blogging specifically? Do they have a variety of free and premium ones? What’s the average price of their premium themes? Can you edit the themes and templates to create a truly customized look for your site?
You might also want the option to start from scratch rather than use a predesigned theme.
These are just a few questions that can help you select a platform with the design and customization options you need.
SEO Features and Tools
Optimizing your content for search is essential to driving traffic to your blog. According to a study by Sistrix, sites listed on the first SERP in Google get 88% of the organic clicks for a keyword or phrase, with 28.5% going to the first result alone.
To get on that first page, you ideally want a platform with built-in tools to help you optimize your content. CMS Hub, for example, offers SEO recommendations as you write.
If a platform doesn’t have this type of advanced functionality, then check if you can install a third-party SEO tool. Otherwise, you’ll have to get up to speed on SEO best practices and make sure to implement them on your blog.
Extensions and Integrations
No blogging platform can offer every single feature every single blogger wants out-of-the-box. Besides, your blogging needs and goals will likely change over time as your audience grows or strategy shifts.
That’s why it’s important to select a blogging platform that offers extensions or integrations with third-party tools. Platforms with an ecosystem of apps will be able to scale with you over time so you don’t have to migrate to a more flexible alternative in the future.
Now that you know some features to consider in your selection process, let’s take a look at some of the best blogging platforms on the market.
CMS Hub Ideal Users
What sets CMS Hub apart from other blogging platforms is that it’s ideal for both developers and marketers. It has the tools, technologies, and workflows that developers need to build a CRM-powered blog and that marketers need to manage it.
CMS Hub Pros
The biggest advantage of CMS Hub is that it’s powerful but still easy to use. You can start by selecting a pre-designed theme or build your own custom theme. Then, using HubSpot’s blog editor and built-in SEO tools, you can quickly create search engine optimized blog posts with CTAs, forms, and other interactive elements. You can even create multi-language variations of your blog posts and run A/B tests on them to reach a global audience. Before you publish, you can preview how your posts and pages look on different types of devices.
Once you’re ready to start promoting, you can connect your blog to your social media accounts. That way, you can automatically share new blog posts on your social networks in the same place that you wrote them.
As you publish more content, you can analyze your blog performance to understand what topics and types of content are resonating with your readers. That’s because CMS Hub is built as part of HubSpot’s CRM platform.
CMS Hub Cons
Since CMS Hub is designed to be an all-in-one solution for marketers and developers, it has lots of rich functionality, including activity logging, flexible themes, multi-language support, and more. This is a good thing for most bloggers. But, if you’re an individual or small business just starting to blog, then you may not have the time or expertise to leverage the full power of the CMS Hub. In that case, you might be better off with a simpler or free alternative to start.
WordPress Ideal Users
Creating and managing a blog on WordPress will likely require more maintenance than other platforms, but it will provide the extensibility and content management features publishers and other businesses need to create a complex blog.
WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform. Though it has evolved into a multi-purpose content management system, it still has many features and themes for blogging.
WordPress enables you to not only purchase a custom domain and download one of 3,500+ themes specifically designed for blogs — it also lets you add social media buttons, forms, affiliate links, and other features via plugins.
The customization options are virtually limitless with the 59,000+ free plugins available.
You will have to make sure your theme and plugins are compatible and up-to-date. Otherwise, they can disrupt the user experience or break your site. Other maintenance tasks like finding and fixing broken links, updating the core software, and optimizing your database will also be your responsibility. This can be difficult for site owners who don’t have the time or technical expertise to regularly maintain their site.
WordPress Blog Example
Tech Crunch, one of the largest and most popular technology news blogs, is powered by WordPress. Take a look at this WordPress website example below.
Squarespace Ideal Users
Squarespace is an ideal blogging platform for businesses and individuals creating image-rich content. With Squarespace’s award-winning designer templates and integrations with Getty Images, Unsplash, and Google AMP, you can create visual content that’s engaging and shareable.
While Squarespace only offers about 140 templates, they are all mobile-optimized and fully customizable so you can create a blog that looks the way you want it to. Once you’ve designed your pages, you can use Squarespace’s blogging and SEO tools to create and optimize your content.
Finally, after publishing your blog posts, you can connect your social media accounts to easily promote them. Then use the built-in analytics tool to learn where your traffic is coming from, what your visitors are looking for, and how they’re interacting with your content.
Squarespace offers even more features, from audio files support to newsletter signup forms, but ultimately it’s limited in functionality. That’s because it supports less than 30 extensions, so you’re mostly limited to the features Squarespace provides out-of-the-box.
Since they lack some feature that bloggers needs — like an auto-save feature, for example — Squarespace is not the ideal platform for everyone.
Wix Ideal Users
wix is a popular blogging platform for beginners who are looking for hosting and blogging tools in one place and who prioritize speed and design over functionality.
Creating your blog
With Wix, you have two options for creating your blog. Using the Wix Editor, you can start by selecting from over 800 pre-designed templates that any blogger can use, whether you own a retail business or run a food review website. Or you can start from scratch if you know HTML and CSS. Using Wix Artificial Design Intelligence, on the other hand, you can fill out a quick questionnaire and have a blog created for you.
Desktop or mobile
After you’ve picked or created your template, or had one selected for you with Wix ADI, you can begin writing and editing posts on desktop or mobile, embed Wix stock photos and videos or your own media, and organize them into topics.
Once you’re done writing, you can configure your SEO settings to boost your organic reach, push your content to your subscribers with Wix’s email tool, and share them through your social media accounts. You can further foster a sense of community among your readers by letting them become members.
While Wix is more versatile than other hosted website builders, it lacks customization options and content management features, particularly when comparing Wix vs WordPress or another CMS.
For example, to add more advanced elements to the page, like music or maps, you’ll have to add HTML code. This process can be intimidating for beginners, particularly when compared to the ease of installing plugins on WordPress. It’s post editor also isn’t drag-and-drop, which might frustrate some bloggers.
Wix Blog Example
Take a look at this Wix blogger’s site below for an example of a stylish but relatively simple blog.
Weebly Ideal Users
Weebly is another popular blogging platform for bloggers that want everything they need to launch a blog in one place, including website building tools, templates, and hosting. More specifically, Weebly is best suited for creating blogs with lots of content but more basic functionality.