Thursday, November 24, 2016

Best Blogging Platform: What Are the Options?

It can easily be said that everyone has a book in them.  Of course these days its easy to post infinite amounts of comments and tweets on Facebook and Twitter.  Fortunately there are also plenty of people who still have a desire for more mindful writing, and to share it with the rest of the world.

Blogging for many people is more than just posting a few pictures or writing the odd blog post.  It's a way of life and business for many.  You'll want to have a blogging platform that's easy to use and fits in with your budget.

If you already know the difference between free hosted blogs and self hosted blogs you might want to skip this section and check out my Start a Blog page, otherwise sit back and I'll guide you through your blog platform options:

Free Hosted Blogging Platforms

It pretty much is what it says it is, a free blogging platform.  You open a free account, get a domain name ( and start your website.

Your websites files are stored or hosted on your chosen platform servers.

  • No start up costs
  • Little knowledge required when starting your blog
  • If you choose not pay for a domain name you'll continue with
  • Less website capability
  • Free blogs can appear less professional
  • Limited bandwidth, memory space and video time
  • May limit your advertising options, making it harder to make money
Cost Involved

A free blog can stay completely free providing you don't mind having Blogger or Wordpress in yur domain name.  Otherwise you can buy a domain name for as little as $10 a year.

Free blogging platforms are perfect for first time bloggers or those on a tight budget who want a cheaper option.

Here are four of the biggest free blogging platforms:

I highly recommend Blogger, I've been using it myself for a long time, for this blog and many other's I've created in the past.  Sign in with your Google ID and start your blog in minutes.  These days you can customise it with various themes or even create your own them.

Powering a fifth of the internet its easy to see why is widely used.  Create a blog for free, customise it, quick to install in a single-click.

New bloggers may find it a bit perplexing , but its still an option worth trying out.

3. Tumblr

Tumblr can often feel half-way between Twitter and Wordpress, with its strong social undercurrent.

Good mobile apps make it easy to submit content to a Tumblr blog from anywhere.

4. Weebly

Weebly sees itself as more of a website building system with drag-and-drop components.  It does offer blogging as part of the system.  You get customisable themes, layouts and sharing features.

Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms

A self-hosted blog is located on your own server, most people prefer to pay a third-party to host their blog, opening them up to all kinds of perks.  Websites such as Hostgator and Bluehost are among the most popular companies providing hosting services.  Basically these companies rent out digital storage space to users, making running a website possible.

  • Full control over your blog
  • You can install custom themes to brand your blog
  • Access to backed files, making it easier to make necessary code changes
  • Costs only a few dollars a month
  • Requires basic investment
  • Can be intimidating to new bloggers
Cost Involved

Any photos, domain names, themes you add to your purchase will go to your costs.  Self-hosting can cost around $4 a month.  Plugins may also cost a few extra dollars.

Self-hosted blogs are best suited for businesses or individuals who want to improve the appearance of their blog and boost its functionality.

Hostgator vs Bluehost

Hostgator and Bluehost are the two most affordable web hosts around.

Check out the comparison below of Hostgator and Bluehost that will help you decide when purchasing your webhosting for your blog.


Both offer 1-3 year plans.  Bluehost requires a 1 year commitment, Hostgator clients have the pay monthly option.

Winner: Bluehost

Plan Type

Yearly plans are offered by Hostgator and Bluehost.  Hostgator offers monthly options as well.  PayPal and credit cards are accepted.

Winner: Hostgator

Bandwidth and Disk Space

Bandwidth is the capability to transfer data.  It's used when visitor's navigate your site.  Both companies offer unlimited bandwidth ensuring unrestricted access to your blog.

Disk space is the storage capacity of the hard drive.  Your data, images, videos and emails are all stored here.  Unlimited disk space is included in Hostgator and Bluehost hosting plans.

Winner: Tie Hostgator   Bluehost

Free Domain Name

Bluehost offer a free domain name for one year, with 1 and 2 year hosting plans.  Free domain registration is not included with any of Hostgator's plans.

Winner: Bluehost

Automated Backups

A crucial part of the automating process is file and database backup.  Performed on a regular basis. Bluehost include automated weekly backups at no extra charge.  Hostgator charge $15 to restore an automated backup.  Manual backups can be performed (at no cost) via cPanel with both providers.

Winner: Bluehost

Account Set Up

Both Hostgator and Bluehost will set up your domain and server once you've signed up.  So you can start on your website right away.

Winner:  Tie  Hostgator   Bluehost

24 Hour Technical Support

24/7 technical support is included with all Hostgator and Bluehost plans.  Including phone, emails and chat support every day of the year.

Winner: Tie Hostgator   Bluehost

Money Back Guarantee

Hostgator offers a 45-day money back guarantee.  Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all plans, pro-rated for the first month.

Winner:  Hostgator

The Outcome

So there it is, both providers offer value for money.  With the above rating scores Bluehost is the winner, but it is pretty close.

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