Blogging, when done correctly, can be a powerful tool for helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), agencies, and corporations grow their businesses. It can also serve as a valuable content creation and distribution tool for individuals.
Fortunately, starting and maintaining a successful blog doesn’t have to be daunting, provided that you have the right blogging CMS platform at your disposal.
However, with so many options available, choosing the “perfect” platform can be challenging for individuals and businesses. You might be wondering how to create a website from scratch that effectively supports your blogging efforts. To simplify the decision-making process, I’ve compiled a list of the best blogging CMS platforms to help you build and grow your blog.
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An Overview of CMS Platforms
A Content Management System (CMS) is designed to help manage digital content. Although it is commonly used for managing websites, it can also be used for content management across other online platforms.
A CMS enables people to create, collaborate, publish, and even distribute their content without the need for coding knowledge. While having technical coding expertise can sometimes be helpful, using a CMS for blogging is not required.
The most popular blogging CMS platforms on Google Trends are Medium, WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix. However, their popularity varies depending on the region.
Medium and WordPress are the most popular blogging CMS platforms in the United States. This is also reflected in many other English-speaking countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Squarespace and Wix are also popular in the US, but to a lesser extent.
With hundreds of CMS options available, it can be overwhelming for anyone to choose the best one for their needs. To simplify the decision-making process, consider the following variables to determine which blogging CMS platform is most suitable for you.
How to Choose a CMS Platform?
Blogging CMS platforms are not created equal, and everyone has different objectives for their blog. For instance, you might be a plant enthusiast who wants to share your work with a wider audience without any financial incentive.
Alternatively, you could be a SaaS startup that uses blogging as a tool to attract new clients aggressively. You might also be an SME seeking to keep people informed about your regular operations.
The key takeaway is that you must clearly know what you want to achieve with your blog. Once you have established your goals, you can evaluate a CMS based on the following variables to determine which best suits your needs.
1. Ease and Simplicity
When selecting a blogging CMS, it is essential to review the backend before making a final decision. Your ideal CMS hosting should provide a simple content management experience.
It is worth noting that your marketing or content team will likely work directly on the CMS. A complex backend can cause confusion and create unnecessary issues for them. Therefore, it is critical to choose a CMS that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
For instance, WordPress is a popular CMS that offers a simple drag-and-drop interface, making it easy to publish, edit, and manage your content. Its user-friendly interface allows seamless content management without technical knowledge or experience.
2. User Experience
Your initial blog design will not be permanent, and you will need to frequently make design and page changes.
These changes are necessary to improve the user experience, align your blog with your brand, improve CRO, and more. However, this process can become problematic if your CMS does not offer easy customization options.
Choosing a CMS that offers customization options, both with and without coding, is crucial. This way, you can easily change your blog design without technical expertise. If you need to implement more complex customizations in the future, having the ability to edit the code will be beneficial.
3. Third-Party Tools
It is important to remember that different blogs have different needs. Therefore, when choosing a CMS, it is essential to ensure that it offers all the necessary extensions and add-ons to fulfill your specific requirements.
A CMS with limited or no extension and add-on options can hinder your blog’s growth, as you may require additional features to help you expand your blog. These features could include email marketing, SEO tools, analytics tools, and more. Without them, your journey towards becoming a successful blogger will be more challenging.
Many popular CMS platforms, such as WordPress and Drupal, offer an extensive selection of plugins and extensions that can be added to your blog. These plugins and extensions can enhance your blog’s functionality and improve your user’s experience.
4. Security and Privacy
Websites and blogs regularly receive cyber attacks and threats. A CMS with inadequate security measures can result in significant issues, such as website downtime, data breaches, or even the complete loss of your website.
With self-hosted platforms, you can ensure top-notch security with free and paid plugins and a secure hosting platform. There are several security plugins for WordPress, such as Wordfence Security, iThemes Security, and Sucuri Security. These plugins offer features such as firewall protection, malware scanning, two-factor authentication, and much more.
Also, many web hosting providers offer different security options, like Cloudflare Enterprise, for their hosting plans. For instance, they may provide SSL certificates, malware scanning, DDoS protection, and other security features.
5. Help and Support
While CMS platforms are designed to provide an easy and seamless blogging experience, you may still require assistance or face technical issues at some point. Most CMS platforms provide different support options, such as email, live chat, phone, and ticket-based support.
However, some platforms offer more comprehensive support options, such as knowledge base, tutorials, video guides, and community forums. These resources can help you solve issues quickly and efficiently without waiting for support assistance.
Also, CMS platforms with large and active communities offer an extensive knowledge base and community forums where users can seek help from other bloggers, developers, and experts. These communities can provide solutions to your issues, valuable insights, and feedback.
6. Pricing and Plans
Pricing is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a CMS platform. It can make or break your budget, especially for small businesses or individuals.
Be sure to review the pricing plans of your CMS options and choose one that best fits your budget. Some platforms offer a free version, while others offer a range of pricing plans depending on the features and level of support you require.
In addition to the CMS platform’s price, consider additional costs, such as premium plugins, extensions, and hosting for blogggers. Some CMS platforms may offer lower upfront costs, but additional features or support may require extra fees.
Best Blogging CMS Platforms
Now that you know the criteria, let’s review some of the best blogging CMS platforms.
|CMS||Marketshare (%)||Ease of use||Security||Support||Price||Customization||Add-ons|
|HubSpot||0.3||8.7||Regularly updated||8.6||Free & paid||Yes||In-platform|
|Squarespace||2.1||8.8||Regularly updated||8.5||Starts at $16/mo||Yes||In-platform|
|Drupal||1.2||6.7||Regularly updated||7.4||Free & paid||Yes||Available|
|Wix||2.5||8.9||Regularly updated||8||Starts at $4.5/mo||Yes||In-platform|
|Ghost||0.1||7.9||Regularly updated||8.1||Starts at $9/mo||Yes||In-platform|
|Medium||?||N/A||In-platform||N/A||Free & paid||No||No|
– Source: WordPress.org
- 43 percent of all websites on the internet are built on WordPress. This roughly amounts to 810 million websites.
- It’s a free, open-source platform with a large community of developers.
- WordPress gets regular updates.
Basically, WordPress check marks all the boxes for starting and running a successful blog site. Here are some pros and cons of building a blog using WordPress.
- User-friendly interface: WordPress backend is fairly simple to understand and use. You can operate the blog without knowing a single line of code. Plus, it’s also a great platform for collaborative content management. Several team members can access the CMS and work on it simultaneously.
- Highly Customizable: One reason why this CMS is so popular is because of the customization options it offers.
You can build and design pages the way you like in WordPress via different page builders. And with some coding knowledge or professional help, you can design a fully customized website. This allows you to make routine tweaks to offer the best experience to your visitors.
- Tracking results is easy: With several different plugins and integration with Google tools such as Google Analytics, it is very easy to track the performance of your blogs. You can see what’s working and what’s not. Based on the insights you gather, you can take the necessary optimization steps to grow the blog.
- SEO-friendly CMS: With top-notch paid and free WP SEO plugins, you can improve your blog’s visibility and rankings in the SERPs and eventually attract more traffic. You can also easily adjust meta titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and tags for your posts for better rankings.
- Community Support Available: WordPress has a vast community of developers. There are thousands of online forums that you can join on different platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Discord, etc., and get your queries resolved. There are communities in languages other than the English Language as well.
- Compatible with different media modes: WordPress isn’t just about written content. You can easily add pictures and videos to your blogs. You can even easily share your published work on different social media platforms.
- Scalable: Scalability is another feature that makes WordPress a great CMS platform for blogging. This platform will remain suitable for you even if your blog receives millions of visitors.
- E-commerce potential: When your blog becomes a hit, you can easily leverage it for some ecommerce activity with WordPress. With just a few plugins and some tweaks, you can convert your blog into a full-out ecommerce store.
- Self-management of domain and hosting: You’ll have to look for your domain and hosting needs. But you can choose fast and secure hosting to overcome this issue.
- No Support: WordPress doesn’t offer any support. However, the community compensates for that and can answer almost every question you must address.
- Manual Updates: WordPress websites are scaffolded by several plugins that must be updated regularly. This can be a time-consuming process. But you can resolve this issue using the SafeUpdates by Cloudways, which will update all your themes and plugins at set intervals.
WordPress.org is a free CMS. You’ll only need to pay for the domain and hosting services for your blog built on WordPress.
WordPress is a top choice for bloggers for a reason. It’s a platform that can cater to various blogging requirements.
From someone who takes up blogging as a hobby to someone who has monetary goals, WP will be sufficient for you. And you’ll not need to switch platforms when your blog acquires a massive audience.
Overall, it’s a great blogging CMS with way more positives than negatives.
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– Source: HubSpot
HubSpot is another great CMS for blogging. Even though it’s not a widely used CMS, it’s a great platform to start your blog.
HubSpot is packed with great features that can help you grow your blog. It offers some great features that blogs will need to survive in the competitive digital world.
- Intuitive Platform: Managing a blog on HubSpot is a simple feat. The backend of this CMS is an easy-to-understand drag-and-drop. There’s no complexity as such.
- Support available: HubSpot offers 24/7 support to its users. You can also get support in languages other than English.
- Several Free and Paid Templates: You’ll not need to make anything from scratch. You can choose a template and get going with the blog in no time. You can even customize the template to fit your design needs best.
- Secured Platform: HubSpot protects the user sites with several security measures, such as global CDN and Web Application Firewall, which will secure your blog against online threats such as DDoS attacks, hacking threats, etc.
- Overload of Features: HubSpot offers so many features that you’ll need lots of time to learn and get accustomed to them.
- You’ll Need to Spend More as You Grow: As your blog grows, you’ll feel limited with the basic plans and will have to spend more to keep your blog up and running on HubSpot.
- Limited Customization: HubSpot is more of a plug-and-play CMS; eventually, you’ll see that it can get limited in offering customization options.
The pricing plan of HubSpot starts from $25/mo to $1200/mo for the enterprise plan.
HubSpot is a good platform to start your blog. It offers the most features you’ll need to succeed in your blog. However, it’s a pricier option compared to other CMS options. Plus, you’ll need to invest time in the platform to get comfortable with it.
– Source: Joomla
Joomla is a free and open-source platform that came into existence in 2005.
About 1.8% of all websites are built on Joomla. It’s a great platform to build your blog upon. However, it’s not as beginner-friendly as, let’s say, WordPress. You’ll need some advanced technical knowledge up your sleeves to utilize the full potential of this platform.
That said, there are some great reasons why you can consider building your blog on Joomla. Here are some pros and cons of the platforms:
- Top-Tiered Security: Joomla is a secure platform to start your blog. You’ll not have to worry as much about threats from malicious actors on the internet. TFA verification, anti-spam tools, and password management processes are security features you’ll get with Joomla.
- Open-Source With a Supportive Community: Joomla thrives because it’s an open-source platform. That’s topped with an enthusiastic community of developers who regularly make fruitful contributions to the platform. Plus, you can get community help whenever the need arises.
- Potential for Monetization: With good extensions and e-commerce compatibility, you can turn your blog into a money-generation source.
- Highly customizable: Joomla is a highly customizable platform. You’ll not be limited in executing your blog design and functionality ideas.
- Easy content management: It’s easy to upload and manage new content when you set up a blog on Joomla.
- Can be complex: Managing a blog on Joomla isn’t difficult. But setting up the blog can be a challenge if you don’t have technical expertise. You may as well need to hire professional help for initial setups and even platform management.
- Slow load times: Joomla websites often have slow loading times because they become heavy with all the extensions and media files. This can prevent your blog from ranking high on Google. However,optimized Joomla hosting can solve this issue for you.
Same as WordPress, Joomla is a free and open-source CMS. But you’ll need to pay for the domain and hosting costs to start your blog.
Joomla is definitely a good blogging CMS platform. If you can get past some technical hindrances, you’ll find that it has all it takes to run a successful blog.
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– Source: Squarespace
Squarespace is a paid platform that can be your ground to build up your blog.
It’s a comparatively popular platform, with 2.1% of all websites on the internet built on it.
It’s a good option to start with, but because of limited extensions and some limited customization options, you may feel constricted as you progress.
- Intuitive backend: Squarespace is an easy-to-handle CMS that won’t cause any problems for non-technical users.
- Support available: If you get stuck with a problem, you can contact Squarespace’s customer support and resolve your issues.
- Sufficient templates available: You’ll have about 140 templates to choose from to start your blog. You can even make design changes in them. This number may appear limited to some, but 140 templates are a lot to choose from for most people starting their blogging journey.
- Mobile responsive themes: Squarespace themes are mobile-optimized as well to offer your mobile visitors a good browsing experience.
- Limited Plugins: This is one major downside of using Squarespace to build your blog. The platform offers only 30 plugins which will keep the scope of your blog limited. If you need additional functionality, you’ll have to plan to migrate to another platform.
- No free plan: Squarespace is a paid platform. You can have a free trial to have a feel of the platform.
The pricing plan of SquareSpace starts at $16/mo. But there are different packages. As you look for higher-paying packages, you start to unlock more features. The highest costing package for Squarespace is ‘commerce,’ which is priced at $49/mo.
It’s a good platform for beginners. And even some mid-level bloggers can make do with it. However, certain platform restrictions, such as plugins and designs, can make your blog struggle to become a hit.
– Source: Medium
If your interests lie in high viewership, Medium is for you!
It’s a straightforward platform that eliminates unnecessary setups for you and lets you get to blogging straight!
- Easy to set up: Starting blogging on Medium is super simple. You need to set up your profile and get to work. There’s absolutely nothing technical there.
- Large Audience: Medium receives traffic of above 100 million each month. Which means that you already have an audience available to show your work to.
- Medium’s algorithm promotes visibility: It is built to encourage new bloggers to display their blogging panache. That’ll make it easy for you to build an audience initially.
- No domain needed: Again, starting blogging on Medium is free. You’ll not even need to spend money on getting a domain.
- In-platform monetization opportunity: If your profile becomes a hit and people love what you publish, Medium will pay you. This is to encourage writers to roll out top-notch content constantly.
- You’re Platform Bound: Medium is, after all, a platform. Blogging on Medium means that your blog is always subject to the platform’s policy.
- No advanced SEO: There are some optimization options that Medium offers. But they are limited, and you’ll have difficulty ranking higher on the SERPs.
- No control over blog design: You’ll always be restricted to Medium’s design layout.
- Difficult to track analytics: Medium offers very limited insights. So in-depth analytics will always be an issue because you can’t have external extensions or third-party tools to track your blog results.
It’s free to start a blog on Medium.
Medium is one of the easiest ways to start your blogging journey. But your activity on Medium will largely be limited to blogging only. And if you have some other growth and business goals, you’ll eventually explore a different platform.
– Source: Drupal
Another good platform to start blogging, Drupal, is open-source and free. It’s built on PHP.
Drupal is the choice of platform for 1.2% of all websites that exist online. The platform isn’t super popular but does have a decent-sized community and an expert fanbase.
As a blogger, you can be sure that content management with Drupal will be an easy feat. However, initial setups can be a little challenging. Let’s review some pros and cons of Drupal below.
- Scalable platform: You’ll not feel limited by the platform even when your blog acquires a decent audience number.
- Customization-friendly: You can easily customize your blog’s design with time. You may need some professional help, though. Without technical expertise, Drupal becomes a bit tricky to handle.
- Large library of themes: You can use several themes to build up your blog. You can even customize them and avoid the need to build everything from the ground up.
- Secure platform: Drupal is a secure platform. The platform is also regularly updated to avoid any possible security lapses.
- Slow performance: Due to media and other resources, Drupal sites can get heavy. You’ll have difficulty optimizing your store for better load times without technical expertise.
- Updating Drupal Is Tricky: Again, Drupal frequently rolls out platform updates. But incorporating them isn’t easy, and mismanagement here can result in losing your data.
Drupal is a free CMS. You’ll need to pay for the hosting and domain.
Drupal can be a little difficult CMS platform to get comfortable with. Especially if you are an individual blogger working on your own. But if you have a team with some technical resources, Drupal can be a great choice.
– Source: Wix
Building your blog on Wix can be a really convenient choice.
The platform has everything you need to build and run a successful blog. However, due to some downsides, it may not be the ideal platform.
Even then, if your needs align with Wix, it can make running and growing your blogs very easy.
- Simple drag-and-drop interface: It’s very simple to understand and use Wix. You can easily manage your content needs with this CMS.
- No code required: You can successfully operate a blog on Wix without knowing a single line of code.
- Support is readily available: Wix offers 24/7 support to its customers.
- Ecommerce enabled: You can turn your blog into an ecommerce store if you wish without switching platforms, as Wix easily allows e-commerce activities.
- Limitations in the free plan: You’ll be limited if you start with the free plan and eventually feel the need to migrate to a paid plan. Also, your site’s domain will have the Wix extension in it.
- Limited customization: Wix isn’t the best CMS choice for customization. In fact, you are restricted to the initial theme template that you choose. You can make basic customizations, sure. But giving your blog design an overhaul won’t be easy.
- Limited e-commerce functionality: Wix can support your ecommerce goals, sure. But it’s limited in this domain. For example, you can only receive payments via Paypal and Authorize.net. That too with a paid plan, not a free one.
There are different pricing plans of Wix. You can get started for as low as $4.50/mo.
Wix can be a good choice if you are looking for simplicity.
– Source: Wix
Ghost started off as a dedicated blogging CMS.
It’s a great platform to explore as well. This platform is optimized for bloggers, so you can easily start and grow your blog here. It also offers some membership options which you can use to charge your visitors.
Ghost is open-source and free to use.
- It’s Fast: Ghost is built on Node.js, making it relatively faster than other CMS options.
- Easy to Manage Content: Ghost was designed as a blogging platform. This means it’s super easy to manage, even for people with no technical background.
- SEO Tools and Customizable Themes: Ghost offers you the necessary tools you’ll need to rank your blog better on SERPs. Plus, the themes are customizable, so you can make design changes to offer a better experience to your users.
- Page editor is easy to navigate: Ghost’s page editor is similar to WordPress. You most likely have no issues uploading and publishing content on your own. Even non-technical team members in your team will become comfortable with Ghost fast enough.
- You can generate income with Ghost: This platform lets you create a subscription platform for your content. Which means you can give exclusive access to your audience and charge for it.
- Limited community size: Only 0.1% of websites on the internet are built on Ghost. This means that the platform isn’t very popular, and this has a limited community of active developers.
- Limited hosting options: Because Ghost isn’t a popular blogging CMS, not many hosting services offer hosting services for this platform.
The pricing plan of Ghost starts at $9/mo and goes up to $199/mo for the business plan. These are base prices set for a definite number of members that can access your blog. As your blog grows, your price to use the platform will also increase.
Ghost surely makes it easy to start and maintain a blog. However, since it’s not a popular platform, it doesn’t receive much global attention. The community of contributors is also small, which may leave you stuck with a problem if you encounter one.
Resources for Blogging CMS
Choosing a platform without trying it out can be a difficult task.
And don’t be hasty in this regard. Remember, running a blog is a game for years on end. You’d not want to be shortsighted and select something that’d be a hindrance just as you start to scale.
So it’s best to get as much insight into a platform as possible before making a choice. Here’s how you can do it:
- Review the platform website: This is the first step. The information you’ll need will only be available on the platform’s website. Sure, there’ll be some flashy marketing stuff present there as well. But look past that and hunt for things that concern you.
- There, you’d also find pricings, platform details, etc. Go through them and see if that platform looks right for your blogging goals.
- Search on YouTube: All the popular blogging CMS platforms have tons of reviews on YouTube. Make sure to watch some top reviews, at least to get the hang of the platform.
- Remember, not all platforms offer free trials, making it difficult to get your hands on the platform yourself.
- Watch experts on YouTube explain the platform to you and decide if it is the right match for your needs.
- Read some tech blogs: Read blogs about your preferred platforms and review that information before making a decision.
- Visit communities on Social media platforms: There are vast blogging communities on social media platforms like Reddit, Quora, and Facebook. You can join those communities and see what CMS platforms bloggers prefer there.
You can also generate queries about your goals and aim with blogging and see what CMS expert bloggers think will suit your case the best. It’s worth considering platforms like ExpressionEngine in these discussions, as its flexibility and customization options may align well with specific blogging objectives and preferences.
These steps will help you make an informed decision and reduce your chances of choosing something you’ll regret later.
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Your choice of blogging CMS will be a significant determinant of your success in blogging. Sure, many other factors will contribute to your success, such as your niche, content production strategy, and audience.
But the right CMS can make things easy for you for sure!
The options above are the industry’s best. Do review them and see what clicks with you. Once that’s done, get to work right away. Also, remember that it takes time for blogs to show results. It can take several months to start seeing the fruits of your efforts.
The key is perseverance. Your work and the right SEO techniques can help you succeed quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Which is the best blogging platform for SEO?
A. WordPress is easily the most popular blogging platform for SEO. With this CMS, you have access to many top-notch SEO plugins which you can utilize to rank higher on search engines.
Q. What platforms do most bloggers use?
A. According to stats, WordPress is the most popular among bloggers. It’s also the most widely used CMS, with over 43% of all websites built on it.
Q. What is the best CMS to build a blog?
A. Several CMS options are great to build a blog on, but in terms of wide acceptability, WordPress is surely the best CMS to set up and run a blog.
Q. What is the most widely used content management system?
A. WordPress is the most commonly used CMS, with over 43% of websites on the internet built on this platform.
I'm a digital content producer at Cloudways. I'm also a hodophile- always ready to explore new places and cultures. Other than that, I play guitar and love to indulge myself in deep, meaningful conversations. Always looking for opportunities to learn new things.