Free blogging sites have come a long way in recent years, and it’s now easier than ever to create a professional-looking blog to share a hobby with likeminded people, express your opinions, and establish an online presence.
These free blogging sites are aimed at hobbyist bloggers – blogs are created and managed online, and hosted on the blogging platform’s own servers. If you want to create a self-hosted blog, the downloadable version of WordPress is an excellent option, with total flexibility, support for third-party plugins, and as much storage as your hosting plan allows.
Wix has a range of paid-for subscription plans, but also a free offering, although it’s best to note upfront that this has some caveats. With the free product, your site will have Wix branding, and you’ll be limited to 500MB of data transfer per month, so it’s not for heavily trafficked sites. You also only get 500MB storage, too, so bear that in mind.
You are, however, free to build a blog with an unlimited number of pages, and where Wix really shines is with its powerful blog functionality. The editor may be simple, but you get access to all the stuff you need – from image galleries through to videos and music – and there are a ton of ways to customize a post.
Powerful and highly customizable, WordPress is a brilliant platform for blogs of any size, and bloggers of any level of experience.
Creating your first blog is very straightforward, with a simple wizard that guides you through the process of choosing a name and suitable theme. You can leave it there and begin writing posts immediately, but the real fun lies in the more advanced editor, which lets you customize virtually every aspect of your blog’s appearance.
Unlike some blogging sites, WordPress isn’t a drag-and-drop affair, and you’ll have to familiarize yourself with its system of menus. It’s well worth the effort, though, and enables you to create something truly personal. The editor also lets you create static pages – like a writer’s biography.
Blogger is another superb blogging platform. It’s not quite as powerful as WordPress, but more accessible for new users, which comes as no surprise when you learn that it’s owned by Google.
Blogger offers an excellent selection of templates, all of which include mobile versions optimized for smaller screens – a very sensible addition with so many people accessing online content through smartphones.
Blogger’s post-editing tool is much like WordPress, but offers fewer options. As a result, its toolbars are less confusing – a trade-off between power and usability.
One of Blogger’s best features is its integration with other Google apps and services. For example, it uses your Google Drive account to store images and other files for your blog. Google Drive gives you 15GB of space free, so Blogger is a good choice if you’re planning to share a lot of high-res photos.