Best Blog Sites: The Complete List For 2018

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If you want to see the best blog sites in one place, then you’ll love this list.

If you’re looking to start a blog, this is the hand-picked list of all the best open-source and proprietary blogging platforms.

This post features 43 of the best blog sites for you to explore. And zero affiliate links.

Let’s get started with the main difference you need to be aware of.


Best Blog Sites: The Complete List For 2018

The difference between self-hosted and commercial blog sites

Blogging is a simple activity. You start with a blank canvas and do your best to showcase your passion, knowledge and skills to the world.

But there are just so many website builders and content management systems available for you to choose from.

Some of these platforms are open-sourced and self-hosted. Some are commercial and managed platforms. Here’s the difference between the two:

Commercial and proprietary platforms are all-inclusive and low maintenance so you don’t need to worry about a hosting server, software updates or security. They manage it all for you.

Drawbacks are that the commercial platforms are more expensive and have inherent restrictions on what’s possible to do in terms of design, functionality, features and even monetization. At the same time, they can be more difficult to move your site from and may even go out of business (remember Jux or Posterous?).

Self-hosted and open-source platforms are flexible and provide ultimate customization opportunities. You can basically build whatever you wish thanks to the design themes and plugins created by the community. You have full independence and control.

You do need to find a web host to store your files and make your site accessible to anyone on the internet, but open platforms make it easy to switch your host and move your content whenever you wish.

These are the best blog sites to use in the year 2018 (I’ve highlighted seven of them as worth having an extra special look at):

Blogger

Price: Free.

What is it: Commercial platform. One of the early blogging platforms later acquired by Google. Easy to start, easy to use with a decent selection of design themes.

Very few developments over the last few years point to the idea that Google may not be that interested in Blogger anymore. Could be on the way to join Google Reader and other products Google stops liking.

Blogger has seen a decline in usage and currently hosts 0.8% of all sites on the web. See a detailed review: Blogger Vs WordPress.

Best for: For those who want something quick and easy to write on.

Blot (simple platform with no user interface)

Price: $20 per year.

What is it: Indie commercial platform. I love the idea of this. Very cool and simple blogging platform with no user interface. Just upload a file to your Dropbox folder and it automatically gets published as a blog post on your blog.

Blot’s simplicity can be a negative point for some. If you want to build something more advanced, you may need to look for a different solution.

Best for: For those who don’t want to deal with a blogging platform but still want to have a public home for their thoughts online. And for those who want to support indie developers. Blot is developed by a solopreneur with a public roadmap.

Cargo

Price: $99 per year or $13 per month.

What is it: Commercial platform. Simple to use site builder with a selection of sixteen unique and visual design templates. May not be the best option if you know what you want and have some specific needs.

Best for: For those who want a simple way to create a creative site with a unique design.

Craft CMS

Price: Free for personal sites. $299 plus $59/year for professional sites.

What is it: A fully featured content management system that you install on your web server and that includes e-commerce support and plugins. Focused on creating sites from scratch rather than from templates.

Hosts 0.1% of all sites on the web. Not too user-friendly to beginner’s who don’t have much tech-experience and just want a place to share their passion with the world.

Best for: For those with technical know-how and that really know what they want to do with their site.

CodePen

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $19/month for a premium version with no ads.

What is it: Commercial platform and a social community for front-end designers and developers to showcase their skills and find inspiration. Not for you if you’re just a writer without any skills or interest in design or development.

Best for: For designers and developers who want to be a part of a community of likeminded creatives.

Drupal

Price: Free.

What is it: Open-source content management system that you install on your web server. Focus on enterprise and not just a blogging platform. Hosts 2.1% of all the websites.

Best for: For larger corporations that are looking for an open-source self-hosted CMS alternative to WordPress.

Edublogs

Price: Feature restricted free version without a domain name, analytics, embeds and Google indexing. $7.95 per month or $39.95 per year for the premium version.

What is it: Commercial platform. Powered by the WordPress software but with focus on educational institutions, teachers and students

Best for: For student and teachers to use at their institutions.

Emyspot

Price: Feature restricted free version with ads. Premium yearly subscription for $2/month.

What is it: Commercial platform. Hosted site builder where you can create a blog or an e-commerce store.

Best for: For those looking for a Google-free alternative to Blogger.

Ghost (blog alternative to WordPress)

Price: Free to self-host. From $79 per month when billed annually for a managed hosted version.

What is it: Open-source, non-profit, transparent and independent blogging platform. They have a public development roadmap and even openly share their revenue. Also open about their pros and cons versus other popular platforms.

Ghost is more focused on content publishing and is not for those wanting an e-commerce store, a business site or custom features and extensions. Hosts less than 0.1% of the total web.

Best for: For those looking for a simpler, self-hosted and open-source blogging platform alternative to WordPress.org.

Hugo

Price: Free.

What is it: Free and open-source framework for building websites and blogs. It’s a static site generator with speed and flexibility. Features a passionate community, hundreds of templates and allows you to build anything you want.

Best for: Those familiar and comfortable with the command line interface and Markup.

Jekyll

Price: Free.

What is it: Open-source static site generator in Ruby. Great for coders but not for those unfamiliar with coding.

Best for: If you’re a developer and want a simple blogging platform.

Joomla

Price: Free.

What is it: Open-source and self-hosted complete content management system. Second-largest CMS in the world hosting 3.1% of the total web.

Best for: Like Drupal, it’s best for those that are looking for an open-source self-hosted full-fledged CMS alternative to WordPress.

LinkedIn Pulse

Price: Free.

What is it: Commercial platform. LinkedIn wants you to post your blog articles on their platform. There are no advanced features at all but you do stand to get benefit from the network effect of more than 500 million monthly users of LinkedIn. See full review here: LinkedIn Marketing 101,

Best for: Best to use as content syndication platform and publish some of the content from your blog there in order to expand your reach and traffic.

Listed (privacy and cryptocurrency integration)

Price: Free. Needs a premium subscription of $34.99/year if you want to connect your own domain name.

What is it: Open-source, minimal and no-interface blogging platform using the end-to-end encrypted privacy writing app Standard Notes to post your articles.

Features CSS styling, an option to run a mailing list, for readers to subscribe to get new post notifications via email and for readers to tip or to pay to read posts using cryptocurrency.

Best for: For those who want a simple blog that allows cryptocurrency tipping and paywall without needing to use a blogging platform interface. And for those who want to support indie developers as this is an independent app.

LiveJournal

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. $19.95 a year for the premium version.

What is it: Commercial platform. More of a social community where you can share your life stories using a blog journal and meet other people.

Best for: For those looking to socialize as part of a community rather than simply starting a blog.

Medium

Price: Free.

What is it: Commercial platform. A place to publish your writing where you can even get paid by your readers as part of the Partner Program. Has a large network effect so can drive views even to a brand new blogger, especially if you submit your content to one of the popular Medium publications.

Best for: Like LinkedIn Pulse, Medium is best to use for content syndication in order to expand your reach and traffic. It is not recommended to host your main blog here. Custom domain names are no longer a feature and Medium is a bad user experience for your visitors due to all the elements they place on top of your content.

MovableType

Price: 7-day free trial and $499 per year after that.

What is it: Commercial platform. One of the blogging pioneers hosting blogs since 2001. Less than 0.1% of the web is hosted on it these days.

Best for: For those who are curious to test one of the original blogging platforms.

Moonfruit

Price: 14-day free trial and $11.99 per month after that.

What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder that allows you to build a blog without any coding.

Best for: For those looking for a simple and easy solution to start a managed site.

Postach

Price: Free.

What is it: Evernote powered blogging platform with no interface. You write your posts in Evernote and with a click publish them on your blog too.

Best for: For people that don’t want a traditional blogging platform and just want to publish their writing from Evernote.

Posthaven (small, self-sustaining platform)

Price: $5 per month.

What is it: From the founders of blogging platform Posterous which was acquired by Twitter and shut down. It’s a simple blogging platform with a pledge that they will last forever, are not looking for investors and have a self-sustaining business model.

Best for: For those who want a simple blogging place that they can trust will be here next year too.

Squarespace (popular commercial site builder)

Price: Free trial and after that $16 per month plus taxes for a personal version, $26 for business.

What is it: Commercial and hosted site builder founded in 2003 with a revenue of about $300 million in the year 2017. It makes it easy to start a blog from a variety of templates.

Venture funded with a $1.9 billion valuation and a large marketing budget so you might have heard about them on your favorite podcast. Hosts 1.2% of the web.

Best for: For those who want a simple turnkey solution.

Strikingly

Price: Feature restricted free version. $20 per month for a pro version.

What is it: Commercial site builder that allows you to start with no design or coding experience.

Best for: For those looking for a simple and easy solution to start a managed site.

Svbtle

Price: Free for first 2 weeks and then $6 per month.

What is it: A simple blog site focused on the writing and reading experience and with a promise that it will remain online forever.

Best for: For those who want a safe, long-lasting and very simple place to publish their writing.

Telegraph

Price: Free.

What is it: A minimal publishing platform from the people behind the Telegram messenger app.

Best for: For those who love Telegram and just want a place to occasionally post some long-form content.

Tumblr

Price: Free.

What is it: Commercial platform. A social network with an inbuilt blogging feature. Has seen a decline in usage since acquired by Yahoo and now hosts 0.1% of the total web. See a full review here: Tumblr Vs WordPress.

Best for: Tumblr may not be the best to use as your blog’s home but you can use it for content syndication to expand your reach and traffic.

txt.fyi

Price: Free.

What is it: The simplest blog site there is. Write something in the large text field you see when visiting the site, click publish and your post is live online. There’s no “tracking, ad-tech, webfonts, analytics, javascript, cookies, databases, user accounts, comments, friending, likes, follower counts“. All content is not indexed so search engines cannot find it.

Best for: Those who want the simplest possible way to write something and share it with their friends or network.

Typepad

Price: 14-day free trial and then $8.95 per month for the basic plan.

What is it: Commercial platform. Another one of the blogging pioneers, launched in 2003, and based on the Movable Type platform. Has seen a decline in development, popularity and use over the recent years and currently hosts less than 0.1% of the total web.

Best for: For those who want to try Seth Godin’s original blogging platform. Seth himself moved his blog from Typepad (after many years there) to WordPress in June 2018.

TYPO3

Price: Free.

What is it: Open-source and self-hosted content management system focused on the enterprise. Not really focused on bloggers. Hosts 0.7% of the total web.

Best for: For those in corporations looking to build more complex sites.

Ucoz

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. Option to subscribe from $5.99 per month to remove ads and get full set of features.

What is it: Commercial platform. Site builder that hosts 0.1% of the web.

Best for: For those who are looking for a simple site builder.

uKit

Price: 14-day free trial and then subscription from $4 per month.

What is it: Commercial platform. Site builder targeting businesses. Easy drag and drop, hundreds of templates and ability to sell your products online.

Best for: For businesses looking for a simple to use site builder.

Virb

Price: 14-day free trial and then $10 per month subscription.

What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder targeting creatives.

Best for: For those who are looking for a simple site builder.

Voog

Price: Starting from $8 per month.

What is it: Commercial platform. A front-end site builder targeting agencies, designers and developers who are creating sites or e-commerce stores for their clients.

Best for: For agencies, designers and developers looking for a simple place to host their clients.

Webflow

Price: Starting from $12 per month.

What is it: Commercial platform. It’s a CMS that allows you to build a blog from scratch while working in a visual site builder and without any need for coding.

Best for: For those that want to build something different and unique starting from scratch.

Webnode

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $11.95 per month for the ad-free version.

What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder that makes it easy to create a site using a template.

Best for: As another alternative for those who are looking for a simple site builder.

Webs

Price: From $5.95 per month.

What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting small businesses. A subsidiary of Vistaprint. Hosts 0.1% of the web.

Best for: For small businesses looking for a quick and easy way to build their site.

WebStarts

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $4.89 per month for the ad-free version.

What is it: Commercial platform. A simple site builder.

Best for: Another alternative for those who are looking for a simple site builder.

Webydo

Price: Starting from $90 per month.

What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting designers and agencies.

Best for: For designers and agencies who want an easy hosted solution for their clients.

Weebly

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $6 per month for ad-free.

What is it: A commercial platform with more than 600,000 paid subscribers. Was acquired by the payment company Square in April 2018 for $365 million. It’s an advanced site builder featuring e-commerce and email marketing, and it’s targeting creative entrepreneursHosts 0.3% of the total web.

Best for: For those who want a turnkey solution for their business.

Wix

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $8.5 per month for the ad-free version.

What is it: Public listed commercial platform founded in 2006. More than 2000 employees and yearly revenue of $300 million. Features an advanced site builder with innovations such as the “Artificial Design Intelligence” that builds a website for you automatically. Hosts 0.8% of the total web. See my full Wix vs WordPress comparison.

Best for: For those who want a turnkey solution for their business.

WordPress.com

Price: Feature restricted and ad-based free version. From $4 per month for a basic ad-free version and from $25/month for better features such as premium themes, Google Analytics and no branding.

What is it: The commercial and hosted version of the WordPress software run by the remote-first company Automattic. They raised $160 million in venture funding in 2014 with a valuation of $1.16 billion.

Automattic also contributes to the development of the open-source version. See a detailed review: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

Best for: Best for entrepreneurs who want an easy and managed WordPress solution without needing to deal with hosting, security and such.

Price: Free.

What is it: Open-source and self-hosted platform that is so customizable with thousands of themes and plugins so that you can build anything you want. By far the largest and most popular blogging platform and CMS. Initially released in 2003 and currently hosts 31% of the total web including this blog.

Best for: For those who want to start a blog and turn it into a business. Here’s my guide on how to start a blog with WordPress.org.

Write.as (built with strong privacy principles)

Price: Free. $0.83 per month for the ability to add your own domain name.

What is it: Ad-free, distraction-free and independent blogging platform funded by its customers. It’s built around privacy with strong principles and your identity as a blogger is being kept confidential.

It doesn’t track you, doesn’t log your IP address, doesn’t know who you are and you can even publish using their Tor hidden service. Supporter of the open web.

Best for: Great ethical choice for those who believe in the open web, want to support an independent platform that has strong privacy principles.

Yola

Price: Free for a 3-page site. From $6.95 per month for the full version.

What is it: Commercial platform. A site builder targeting businesses.

Best for: For those who want a simple site builder solution for their business.

Know a blogging platform that I haven’t featured here? Let me know and I’ll check it out.