Top 10 Free Online Blogging Platforms

Mar 13 2012 by Sufyan bin Uzayr | 24 Comments

Top 10 Free Online Blogging Platforms

A blog is a great way to express your thoughts, create a web presence for your company and provide content to Internet users.

If you’re planning to create a blog, but don’t wish to get into the hassles of hosting, developing and deploying it yourself, consider creating a blog at any of the free blogging platforms mentioned below. Such services offer a plethora of features and generally come with both free as well as paid plans.

Let’s look at the top 10 most popular online blog-publishing services.

1. WordPress.com

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is perhaps the most feature-rich blogging service out there. It uses the popular open source web software WordPress, and offers many features in its free version — traffic stats, anti-spam filters, SEO, gorgeous themes and more.

If you choose to use WordPress.com, you’ll be in good company, as many popular blogs — including CNN’s Political Ticker, People Magazine’s Style Watch and Flickr — are on this platform.

If you need more than what the free version offers, you can opt for their premium features that include custom domains, upgraded web hosting resources and more.

Whether you’re an expert blogger or a beginner, this ultimate blogging platform is a safe bet.

2. Blog.com

Blog.com

Blog.com is another popular WordPress-powered blogging platform.

Just like other services, it has its own share of pros and cons. For a start, it offers many beautiful premium themes in its free accounts, as well as advanced plugins that one can expect only on a self-hosted blog. However, on the downside, the free service displays more ads as compared to WordPress.com. (But you can opt for paid upgrades to remove the advertisements.)

The free storage space offered on Blog.com is 2GB in the basic plan, which is less compared to 3GB that WordPress.com gives its users.

3. Blogger

Blogger

Google Blogger is a well-known blogging service that offers many features to its users. For example, Blogger comes with a Template Designer user interface that lets you tweak your blog’s appearance as much as you want. (However, the templates provided are, in my opinion, no match compared to WordPress themes.)

When it comes to ease of use, most beginners prefer Blogger as it offers a no-nonsense interface for administering your blog and top-notch integration with their Google account. Another great thing about Blogger is that it offers certain great features for free that you normally need to pay for in other blog-publishing services,  most noteworthy being the ability to set up custom domains without paying a cent.

4. TypePad Micro

TypePad Micro

TypePad Micro is another free blog-publishing service. The interface is easy to use, and you can import/export content from many other blogging platforms.

However, in terms of add-ons and themes offered, TypePad Micro won’t satisfy even the most basic blogger. The cheapest paid plan begins at $8.95 per month and comes with additional themes, custom domain mapping, as well as technical support.

In an age where almost all blogging services are offering numerous features in their free versions, TypePad Micro seems to be lagging behind.

5. Jux

Jux

Jux is an innovative service that lets you easily share content online. Conventionally speaking, it’s not a blogging service like the ones previously mentioned, however, it has a lot of the same functionalities. Rather, Jux lets you create your own microblogging site for sharing your content.

By default, Jux templates don’t have the native sidebars and other widgets that are common to most blogs. Instead, Jux provides a clean (and beautiful) approach to blogging. Simply create an account, and then start sharing your content.

While Jux does seem amazing and has excellent support for mobile devices, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. For instance, if you’re planning to create a more conventional blog, opting for WordPress might be a better option. On the other hand, if you’re leaning more towards visual content, such as photos and artwork, Jux may just amaze you with its features.

6. Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr is a popular and feature-packed microblogging platform. It comes with many outstanding and interesting features such as audio blogging (for sharing your music, for example), free custom domains, hundreds of amazing blogging themes and more.

Furthermore, you can sync your Tumblr account with Facebook and/or Twitter so that you can update your social media feeds in a single location. Yet another awesome feature is the ability to create community-powered group blogs. Tumblr also offers support for many third-party apps such as Google Analytics and Feedburner.

7. Posterous Spaces

Posterous Spaces

Posterous Spaces is an excellent online blog-publishing service that is similar to Tumblr.

Posterous Spaces has excellent privacy and viewing features so that you can easily control who can see what on your Posterous Spaces site. It’s designed to allow its users to post content quickly and as hassle-free as possible, so it has loads of features included to facilitate this, such as free mobile apps for iOS and Android smartphones so you can update your blog on the go and a simple, well-designed user interface.

Using Posterous Spaces means you’ll be in good company; popular tech startups like MailChimp, TweetDeck and Airbnb leverage Posterous as their company blog.

8. Blogetery

Blogetery

Blogetery is a WordPress-powered online blogging service that offers a modest set of features. Free accounts get nearly 140 themes, custom domain mapping and roughly 40 plugins to choose from.

On Blogetery, ads are displayed on all free blogs, but if you wish to upgrade, you can opt for the paid plan that will cost you $3.50 per month and will give you additional themes, plugins, email support, 5GB of additional storage space, the ability to remove ads, etc.

9. Weebly

Weebly

Weebly offers more than just blogging — it’s a fully featured website builder! Weebly’s blog manager features a drag-and-drop interface, support for image galleries, slideshows, video/audio, maps, etc. Additionally, you can opt for their Designer Platform that lets you build websites for your client, thereby effectively using Weebly as a content management system.

10. LiveJournal

LiveJournal

LiveJournal (often abbreviated as LJ) offers blogging with a touch of social networking to it. You can participate in polls, create networks and interact with other LJ users alongside your blog.

With that said, the features, compared to other similar blogging services, are nothing to brag about. Their collection of template is decent, and plugins/extensions are pretty basic in nature.

Other Online Blogging Platforms

Here are other blogging platforms that didn’t make our top 10 list that you still may wish to check out:

  • Blogsome, freeblogit and Blog Dive  are other WordPress-powered blogging platforms.
  • Thoughts.com is a service similar to Tumblr and Posterous.
  • Blog.co.uk seems to have a wonderful community, but appears to put a lot of ads on your blog.
  • MyBlogSite looks interesting but seems to lack in features when compared to other options.
  • Aeonity offers free blog hosting but it looks like a dated service.

Conclusion

There are numerous blogging services out there, and choosing a specific one is more of a matter of personal taste and needs.

For the security and success of your blog, I recommend sticking to online blogging services that are well known and reputable.

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About the Author

Sufyan bin Uzayr is a 20-year old freelance writer, graphic artist, programmer and photographer based in India. He writes for several print magazines as well as technology blogs. He is also the editor of an e-journal named Brave New World. You can visit his website as well as friend him on Facebook and Google+.

24 Comments

Abdelhadi Touil

March 13th, 2012

Thanks Sufyan for these useful tools. I see some of them for the first time.

Robin Burks

March 13th, 2012

Posterous has been acquired by Twitter. Unfortunately, this means it may no longer exist in its current form in the near future.

Nandita B.

March 13th, 2012

Hi Sufyan,

Really good collection of free blogging platforms. Quite informative article.

Thank you.

Mamun

March 13th, 2012

I got another blogging platform which also have some special features.

http://vabalu.com

Anyone can sign up free.

Saurabh Mukhekar

March 13th, 2012

Really nice share ,for beginners I suggest to go with blogger then move to WordPress and other’s

Warren Kuan

March 13th, 2012

Thanks Sufyan,what a nice summaries
i got what i want!

Looking Forward~

Goldibi

June 13th, 2012

great tips!!!
you forgot to mention wordpress.org, which is free!!
keep up the good work!

Kripanath Aditya

June 16th, 2012

I use blogger. It allows advertisement. I am looking for a blogging platform which let you show advertisement on its free account. I have got a lot of useful information here.

Mark Dooling

June 17th, 2012

Thanks Sufyan – this was a very useful overview of what’s out there and the essential differentiators – it helps me to decide where to launch my next blogging project. One aspect you did not cover is which (if any) of these services allow you to monetize your project.

Resep Masak

August 29th, 2012

Thanks Sufyan, Now I also used it for build popularity link for my sites. Keep good posting

Pompae Armour

August 30th, 2012

Thanks so much for the write up. Really enabled me to make a quick informed decision. I also would like to learn more about the ability to monetize your blog.

kath

August 31st, 2012

WordPress is good, but Blogger is even better. Not only is it free, but no unwanted Advertising either. More flexibility also. I’ve tried both and definitley find Blogger a better place to do online blogging. Thanks!

Mychael Thompson

September 3rd, 2012

Thanks for the information about Jux ! Normally, I despise doing work myself but Jux is the first platform I’ve tried

John Deer

October 7th, 2012

Thanks Sufyan for this useful links. I use bay7.com and now have some more to test. Hopefully I’ll find the one that best suits my tastes.

Manish Chandra

October 10th, 2012

Best place to work if you are looking to have some part time work at home to support family

Anita

March 2nd, 2013

Thank you Sufyan, the post was really helpfull. I has been looking for other alternative besides WordPress and Blogger, and some of these ones look pretty good.

Blogger

March 4th, 2013

Great, finally I found some useful links :) Thanks

Catherine

March 12th, 2013

Which of the blogs allow to set tags and clouds so as to classify posts according to certain categories? Thank you!

Alan Seidel

May 28th, 2013

Great article. I use WordPress and find it very easy to use. I didn’t realize how much there was to learn about blogging, pings, backlinks and so forth. Still learning and reading great posts like this one!! Thanks so much!!

Jasa Penulis Artikel

May 31st, 2013

Say goodbye to posterous
31 May 2013 is the last day for posterous

Judy

June 11th, 2013

Thanks, Sufyan! I see that your own online magazine is on a WordPress platform. That’s interesting in itself. I’m thinking of going that route.

I’d like to know if WordPress and Weebly’s free options limit the number of pages a site or blog can have. I’m wanting to move my online magazine from a defunct platform (PostNuke) to a newer platform, and I have 200+ pages of content to move.

volt

June 22nd, 2013

thanks!

mike miller

June 24th, 2013

This is a great post. I am starting my blog and will use many of these ideas. Tip from be. Weebly.com, one of your blog recommendations offers a very user friendly platform for building a website. Their click and drag system for creating pages is fantastic. Check it out. First level of service is FREE.

Mike H

July 1st, 2013

Aeonity has closed registrations. Blog.com gives “502 Bad Gateway” error. MyBlogSite (aka Dotster) starts out at $3.75 per month. “Posterous Spaces is no longer available.” Blogs based on WordPress may be good, but not if dial-up is your only available option.

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