Some links in this post may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. But rest assured that all opinions remain my own. You can read my full affiliate disclaimer here.
Since the early ‘90s, blogging has evolved from an online platform for personal diaries to an essential component of digital marketing for both businesses and individuals. In recent years, building a blog has become easy, thanks in part to the variety of free blogging platforms that now exist.
Whether you’re an online entrepreneur, run a business, or are just looking for a creative outlet, there’s a blogging platform to meet your needs. Identifying which platform is right for you depends on your intended use and skill level.
I’ve collected and reviewed the nine best free blogging platforms in 2021 to aid you in selecting the right platform for you.
9 best free blogging platforms
To help you choose the best free platform to host your blog, I selected platforms in a few categories. First, I highlight the best free blogging platform overall (spoiler: it’s WordPress).
I’ll explain why WordPress is my top pick, but also review some runners-up that are useful for not just hosting blog content, but also for helping you build out your website.
Finally, I’ll go over a few free blogging platforms that are best for creatives who simply want to share their ideas, as well as some for advanced users who don’t mind getting their hands dirty with some HTML.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the list of best free blogging platforms, starting with my #1 recommendation, WordPress.
Table of Contents
- Best free blogging platform: WordPress.org
- Runners-up for best free blogging platform
- Best blogging platforms for creatives
- Best blogging platforms for experienced users
1. Best free blogging platform: WordPress.org
WordPress is my number one recommendation for blogging platforms. Its flexible features and countless plugins give you endless possibilities for your blog — and it’s 100% free.
In fact, WordPress is so popular that it powers 39% of the web, from hobby blogs to major publications. Figuring out the back end of WordPress might require a bit of a learning curve, but it’s easy to pick up and there are countless tutorials and support forums to help you along the way.
What’s more, you’ll gain access to thousands of WordPress plugins that add features like forms, a personal bio, affiliate disclaimers, or whatever else you want on your blog (without having to do any coding yourself).
You can download WordPress from WordPress.org (its paid service, WordPress.com, offers web hosting and website-building, which I’ll explain more below).
But although WordPress.org’s blogging platform software is free, you’ll still need to purchase your own domain and hosting.
Your domain is your URL, and your host is where your website lives. Some of the blogging platforms on this list offer free website-building, but if you’re looking to make money off your blog, you’d be better off paying for hosting.
With a paid hosting plan, you can actually own your domain and create an ad-free website. And hosting doesn’t cost much; for instance, you can get started with Bluehost for only $3.95 per month.
For more on how to set up hosting, head to this guide on how to start a blog. Plus, read on for the pros and cons of the WordPress blogging platform.
- 100% free
- Highly customizable
- Limitless revenue-generating opportunities
- Lots of useful and feature-rich plugins
- Large active community to ask questions and get advice
- May have a bit of a learning curve
- Must pay for domain and hosting (again, this is highly recommended if you’re looking to make money blogging)
Runners-up for best free blogging platform
If you’re not ready to purchase hosting but still want to build a website along with your blog, website builders could be the best free blogging platforms for you.
Website builders below allow you to create a website at cost. You can select from hundreds or even thousands of pre-made templates and customize your site easily with drag-and-drop features.
But if you go with the free plans, you’ll have some limitations. For one, you won’t own your domain, and you won’t get your own customized domain name (instead of myblog.com, for example, it would be something like myblog.wix.com, on Wix’s free plan).
What’s more, the blogging platform might advertise for itself on your website, unless you upgrade to a premium plan. Note that all of these website builders do offer premium paid plans that will do away with these limitations.
Let’s take a closer look at the free versions of these blogging platforms, along with their pros and cons.
If you’re a non-techie that’s wanting to build a multifunctional site, Wix is a great option. The website builder provides regular website functionality in an easy-to-use online software platform.
Once you’ve created a Wix account, you can browse thousands of templates to begin creating on your own. Alternatively, you can answer a questionnaire and Wix AI will create a site for you (don’t worry, you can still make changes to AI-created sites).
With Wix’s free version, you’ll receive free hosting, as well as 500MB of storage and 1GB bandwidth. However, to remove Wix ads from your webpage or to connect your custom domain, you’d need to upgrade to a premium package.
Wix’s design interface allows users to make changes in a preview mode, making it easy to envision how the site will look once it’s published. As you’re designing, you can add or move elements such as widgets, menus, photographs, video boxes, forms and more with its drag-and-drop builder.
Its wide variety of features make Wix an ideal blogging solution for those looking to showcase their writing in a personalized way, but it also works well for businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to create a fully functional site that includes a blog.
- Large selection of templates
- Scalable over time
- Free version includes 500MB of storage, 1GB bandwidth, & hosting
- Modern and intuitive design
- Ability to utilize 3rd party apps
- Domain name will include “wix.com” on the free version
- Use of domain, ecommerce features, and Google analytics requires paid plan
- Free version also includes Wix ads & has limited storage
- Changing your template may mean you need to start your site from scratch
- Blog features not very extensive
Are you a beginner that wants to create a website quickly? Weebly may be for you.
This website-building platform is best for non-techies who want to create a dynamic and visually appealing site without the fuss. The drag-and-drop builder includes hosting and access to a wide selection of responsive themes.
Although Weebly may not be as customizable or feature-saturated as Wix, it is still a great option for those with limited time to design. Popular features include photo galleries, slideshows, media boxes, forms, and social media icons.
The platform also offers ad space and marketing tools like newsletter subscriptions– making it possible to monetize a Weebly website.
Keep in mind, however, that you will need to upgrade your plan to create sites with more than 5 pages, gain more than 500MG of storage, access eCommerce features, and remove Weebly ads from your page.
- Easy to use
- Great for getting up-and-running quickly
- Access to eCommerce capabilities
- Built in analytics
- Not as feature-rich or customizable as other website builders
- You won’t get your own domain name on the free version (e.g., will include “weebly.com”)
- The free version places Weebly ads on your site
- No more than 5 pages on the free version
Launched in 2005, WordPress.com is a simplified online web builder version of WordPress.org. Similarly to Wix, WordPress.com is an easy-to-use free website builder that includes hosting. It was designed to help beginners, hobbyists, enthusiasts, and casual bloggers create their own simple websites with little to no learning curve necessary.
Signup with your email address and choose from the 112 theme options to get started. When you’re ready to publish, WordPress.com will provide your site a subdomain (ending in .wordpress.com).
Unlike Wix, WordPress.com features can be limited. Users cannot run 3rd party ads, nor can they take advantage of 3rd party plugins or themes.
Because of these limitations, WordPress.com is typically not the ideal platform for businesses or online entrepreneurs looking to monetize their website.
Nonetheless, WordPress.com websites receive more than 409 million views per month across more than 21 billion pages, making this platform one of the most popular website builders today.
- Easy to use (little setup required and a short learning curve)
- Includes host & 3GB storage
- Premium plans available
- Limited features
- Free plan doesn’t support 3rd party ads, plugins, themes
- No eCommerce features on the free plan, either
Best blogging platforms for creatives
If you’re simply looking to share ideas and articles online, rather than building a monetizing a blog, you might be interested in the following blogging platforms.
With these platforms, you can simply create your account and start adding your account. These free blogging platforms are best suited for individual use; they’re not great for business purposes, since they’re not well-suited for monetization.
Launched in 2012 by Twitter founder Evan Williams, Medium is where blogging meets Twitter. With 60 million unique users each month, Medium allows users to not only blog, but to actually have their blog seen.
Founder Evan Williams stated, “Medium is not about who you are or whom you know, but what you say.”
The site has a clean layout and is oriented to give the feel of a classic high-end online newspaper. To start blogging, there is very little set up required.
Simply create a Medium account using your email or social media login, upload a profile picture, add a profile headline, and begin blogging. It’s really that easy!
If you’re a writer, blogger, journalist, or field expert who wants to have your blog viewed by respected industry professionals, Medium is the best free blogging platform for you.
Readers can “clap” (Mediums equivalent to Facebook’s like feature) for your content. The more claps a blog receives, the higher the chance your piece has at being featured on Medium’s top story section on their website and mobile app.
- No website set up required
- Content is viewed (and can be promoted) by respected professionals
- Minimalist, streamlined user experience
- Features Medium stats (post & profile analytics)
- Monetization may be possible with Medium Partner Program
- You do not get a personalized website
- If you violate terms of service, your profile can be removed, along with your written content
If your blogging goals involve less writing and more audio or visual content, Tumblr may be for you.
Tumblr is another platform that blurs the lines between blogging and social media. The platform allows users to customize personal profiles with a wide selection of themes. This app is heavily utilized by the younger generations, and many posts are rooted in pop culture.
The interface is easy-to-use and is great for mobile uploads. When you think of Tumblr, think vlogs, gifs, images, an audio all wrapped in an artsy package.
To sign up, simply register with your email address or link a social media account. Once you do that, you can immediately start posting.
However, Tumblr is typically not the right platform for building a dedicated website. If you’re interested in short-form posts with heavy imagery, though, Tumblr could be a great blogging option.
- Easy sign up
- Great for young creatives
- Can enable personalized ads
- Can utilize Google Analytics
- Works well with mobile uploads
- Best for image-based content and short posts
- Not typically associated with mature users
- Could be hard to monetize
- No customized domain name (it will include tumblr.com)
- Not particularly business-friendly
- Difficult to backup or import content to other platforms
Created by none other than Google, Blogger is a simplified way to get your word out. With Blogger you get a free subdomain (ending in .blogspot.com.) This allows you to essentially have your own website.
While Blogger isn’t a feature-heavy as a website builder, it does give you more personalization options than Medium. Because Blogger was created and is owned by Google, you get the satisfaction of knowing that your site is protected by Google’s reliable security measures.
The editor also looks similar to Google Sheets, so if you’re already familiar with Google products, Blogger will be easy for you to understand. This platform allows users to place their own ads on their sites, which opens the opportunity of ad revenue.
Although you can generate ad revenue, Blogger is usually not the ideal platform for businesses due to its design and feature limitations.
- Create account with your Google ID
- Personalize your page with customizable themes
- Comes with free subdomain
- Features Google security
- Integrated Google Analytics
- Indexed by Google
- Able to place your own ads
- Limited design features
- Not for professional use
- Limited selection of themes available
- Does not often update nor ad new features
- Subject to Google’s policies and terms and conditions
Best free blogging platforms for experienced users
Open Source Software (OSS) content management systems (CMS) are publicly accessible blogging platforms that allow users to create and manage their digital content.
Open source platforms require users to purchase hosting as well as a domain name (as discussed above with WordPress.org). Doing so is a good idea if you want to generate revenue on your site.
While WordPress.org is my top recommendation, the following platforms are also worth checking out, especially if you have coding experience.
Much like WordPress.org, Joomla is a highly customizable OSS. The platform is capable of creating complex websites with advanced features you won’t always find on free website builders.
Although Joomla allows users limitless opportunities, it may require coding skills. If you don’t have time to learn these, you might need to hire a professional web developer to create and manage your site.
Joomla has a smaller online community than WordPress.org, meaning there are fewer articles and forums to reference during your site build. It also provides fewer themes and ad-ons than WordPress.
- Free OSS
- Highly customizable
- Capable of creating large and complex sites
- Flexible interface
- Not as popular as WordPress
- Requires coding skill
- Must pay for your own domain and hosting
- Fewer themes and ad-ons than WordPress
If you have coding skills and are seeking a simple yet modern OSS, Ghost could be what you’re looking for. Like most OSS, Ghost is free to download but you will need to purchase a domain and hosting.
Although Ghost is an OSS, its customization options are limited in comparison to that of WordPress.org and Joomla. Also, keep in mind that not all hosting companies support Ghost.
Ghost is best suited for those looking to create a professional looking blog-based site that is taken seriously.
- Software free to download
- Minimalistic editor
- Includes automatic backups
- Allows role-based permissions
- Offers SEO optimization
- Provides customer support
- Limited customization options
- Fewer themes to choose from
- Not beginner friendly
- Not supported by all hosting companies
Choosing the best free blogging platform for your site
As you can see, there are lots of options when it comes to free blogging platforms.
But even though the blogging platform or CMS is free, you might need to purchase hosting and a domain name to create your website. Free website builders such as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace can be great options if you’re eager to get started on a free plan.
But if you’re serious about starting a blogging business, you’ll be better off purchasing hosting and your own domain name, rather than allowing a third party to advertise for itself in your domain name and on your site.
Whatever you choose, the best thing you can do is not to overthink it. Take action, and start your blog. Once you’ve got your content out in the world, head to this guide to learn how to make money as a blogger.