Skip to main content

The best free blogging platforms in 2021

Best free blogging platforms
(Image credit: Pexels/cottonbro)

With the best free blogging platforms, you can quickly set yourself up with the means to share your work or your wisdom with the world, without having to worry about hosting bills. And whether you're after a simple, no-nonsense tool for getting your words out there with the least effort, or something more versatile that can generate beautiful results if you're willing to spend a bit more time on it, you'll find the perfect option for you right here.

We've found the best free blogging platforms available today, covering everything from easy-to-use tools for banging words onto a page, through to full-fledged online publishing suites that'll happily handle a lot more than blogging (and if you suspect that you want more than just a blog in the long term, check out our best website builder guide). Not really sure about how to get into blogging? Our guide to how to start a blog can help you out; otherwise simply read on see our selection of the best free blogging platforms available now.

The best free blogging platforms

Best free blogging platforms: Wix

(Image credit: Wix)

01. Wix

The best free blogging platform for beginners

Wide range of templates
Scalable over time
Site includes ads 
Limited storage on free plan

If you're a beginner who wants to get started blogging quickly and easily, Wix is our top recommendation. This drag-and-drop website builder offers a variety of free templates for building your site, as well as 500MB storage and 1GB bandwidth with a free Wix account. It's all very easy to use, even if you have no prior experience of building websites.

Note, though, that with a free Wix website, you'll have an ad for Wix inserted into it. If you want to remove this, and unlock other features such as your own domain, online store and Google Analytics, then you'll need to take a look at Wix's paid-for plans. If you don't, though, you can carry on having a free website for as long as you wish.

Best free blogging platforms: Weebly homepage

(Image credit: Weebly)

02. Weebly

The second best blogging platform for beginners

Easier to use than Wix
Nice responsive themes
Not as feature-rich as Wix
Not as customisable as Wix

Weebly is very similar to Wix, and the two are close rivals. If we had to point to the main difference between them, it would be that Weebly has fewer features than Wix, and you get fewer options to customise the look and feel of your blog. By the same token, though, that makes it easier to use and get up and running with, so it might be a better bet if you're new to blogging.

Like Wix, Weebly is based around drag-and-drop components, which enable you to quickly create a website – featuring a Weebly ad. Hosting is included, even in the free plan. You get access to customisable layouts, a bunch of free themes, and the usual sharing features you'd expect, to help spread your blog posts far and wide.

Best free blogging platforms: Substack

(Image credit: Substack)

03. Substack

Blurring the line between blogs and newsletters

Easy to use
Potential to earn money
Basic layout options

Designed to enable writers to reach their audiences directly through email newsletters, Substack nevertheless works just as well as a free blogging platform. When you sign up for a free Substack account you get your own web space included, and all your newsletters will be hosted there so potential subscribers can have a look through them and see what you're about.

It's not a platform for creating a beautiful blog; Substack's focus is more on the written word and it provides you with a simple CMS that gives you basic text formatting tools, however you can embed images, video and other web content to give your posts some visual interest.

The real appeal of Substack, of course, is the potential to start earning money from your posts. While you can publish for free, if you start to pick up a following then you may be able to turn that into paid subscriptions. It's not a path that everyone's going to take, but if you have something to say and you're prepared to put in the hours to build your own personal brand, Substack's a straightforward and low-risk way of making it pay.

Best free blogging platforms: selection of WordPress websites

(Image credit: WordPress)


The best blogging platform for fine control over your design

Huge community
Very customisable
Steep learning curve
Site building takes time

Almost a third of the world's websites are built using, and it's easy to see why. As one of the best free blogging platforms around, it’s been around for decades, and has a huge and active community. Launched way back in 2003, it's open source, so the website-building software itself is free, although you'll still have to pay for your domain name and web hosting. On the plus side, the only ads that will appear on your site are those you choose to put there and profit from (or none at all). is very powerful, so the only limit to how you want your blog to look and function is the amount of work you're willing to put in to learning your way around the CMS. Let's not beat about the bush, though, this system is quite complicated to use, particularly if you have no technical or design experience. And while we walk you through the basics in our article on how to make a website, those really are just the basics, and you'll need to read the extensive documentation, and check out our guide to the best WordPress tutorials, to go further. 

For anyone wanting a great mix of power, customisation and usability, though, is the absolute gold standard. Also check out our guides to the best free WordPress themes and best WordPress plugins. Finally, make sure you don't confuse with, as they're quite different: we'll look at the latter next.

Best free blogging platforms: websites on desktop and mobile screens

(Image credit: WordPress)


Free blogging platform for hobbyists and enthusiasts

Totally free
Easy to use
Limited features
Third-party ads

As we mentioned above, gives you full control over designing your website, but you need to find hosting separately. A little confusingly, is a separate service from the same organisation that offers you both hosting and a website building tool.

This entry into the best free blogging platforms list is squarely aimed at beginners, hobbyists and enthusiasts rather than business people or designers. That means it's much easier to use than The flipside of that is that you'll have far fewer options over how your website will look and function. 

With the free service, you get free hosting, 3GB of space and a branded domain name (ending in Be aware, though, WordPress will insert third-party ads into your site that you have no control over. Nor will you be able to add ecommerce features or run your own ads. That said, if you're a beginner or casual blogger who just wants to get a site up and running easily, can be a good option. 

Best free blogging platforms: Screenshot of Joomla homepage

06. Joomla

The best blogging platform for scalability

Open source 
Good customisation features
Not as popular as WordPress
Steep learning curve

Joomla is one of the best known alternatives to (number three on our best free blogging platforms list). A powerful and flexible content management system, Joomla can be used to build any kind of website or blog you like; as long as you're prepared to put in the time and effort to learn how it works.

Like, Joomla is an open source, self-hosted solution, which means the software is free but you will need to pay for a domain name and hosting to use it (although there is an option to create a site on 

The Joomla community is smaller than community, so there are fewer themes and add-ons here. But there are still hundreds of templates to choose from, and extensions to add more features, to fully customise your free blog's design. 

Both Joomla and have their cheerleaders, and it's difficult to say one is better than the other. But an argument could be made that Joomla is a better bet for large and complex websites. So if you foresee your blog growing over time into something bigger you could potentially make money from, it's probably a more scalable solution.

Best free blogging platforms: Site123

(Image credit: Site123)

07. Site123

The best blogging platform for nervous newbies

Excellent customer support
Simple and clean templates
Only good for personal blogs
Limited free storage

Site123 is a blogging platform that doesn’t just make it easy to set up a blog, but will hold your hand along the way with its 24/7 live chat feature. Selling itself as “By far the easiest free website builder”, it allows you to create a website using ready made styles and layouts, using very simple prompts you don’t need to be a genius to understand. 

Site123 will place ads on your site, and don’t expect to build anything hugely impressive or feature-packed with this platform. However, if a simple personal blog is what you’re after, you’ll get all the basics, including a comments system, blog post scheduling and social media integration.

Best free blogging platforms: Hubpages

(Image credit: Hubpages)

08. Hubpages

Share your blog posts with the Hubpages community

Start blogging instantly
Creative focus
Can't customise look
Don't get a website

Hubpages is a network that enables bloggers to share their story with a vast open community. It has an Arts and Design section, which will be a happy home for creative bloggers, and Hubpages majors on its ability to connect its users with a wide audience and earn revenue from ads and affiliates.

That does mean, of course, you're signing up to the Hubpages system, which doesn't give you any control over how everything looks and functions. On the plus side, this means you can get going pretty quickly and easily. So if you're only interested in expressing yourself through your words, and not through design, this could be worth investigating.

Best free blogging platforms: Contentful homepage

(Image credit: Contentful)

09. Contentful

Future-proof your blog content with this unique platform

Separates content from design 
Not great for complex sites 
No good for beginners

Nobody knows how they're going to want to display their articles a few years down the line, so best free blogging platforms contender, Contentful, provides a way to separate your content from your design. In what they call an 'API-first' approach, your content is stored on its servers and you can call it into any design or platform as you like. So if you want to build a completely different site in a few years time, it's easy to bring everything in as it's set up to be portable from the start. 

Best free blogging platforms: Jekyll website screenshot

10. Jekyll

The best free blogging platform for developers

Good for prototyping
Free hosting on GitHub pages
No user-friendly interface
No good for beginners

Jekyll is a blogging platform that's aimed at developers. It takes your raw text files, which may be written in markdown, if you like, and turns them into a robust static site to host wherever you want. 

Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which means you can host your blog on there for free. Making your blog with Jekyll avoids the need to work with technicalities such as databases, upgrades and so on, so there are fewer things to go wrong, and you can build something from scratch. 

Best free blogging platforms: Tumblr homepage

(Image credit: Tumblr)

11. Tumblr

Free blogging platform focused around pop culture

Good for short posts
Easy to use
Not for 'grown ups'
Difficult to monetise

Eternally associated with youth and pop culture, despite now having been around for decades, Tumblr is a pick for the best free blogging platforms list that is kind of a halfway house between WordPress and Twitter. You get followers just like on social media, yet the platform is ideal for longer-form blogging. It is, however, not treated as a "serious, grown-up" blogging platform by most people: depending on your target audience that might either be a bug or a feature. Decent mobile apps make it easy to submit content to a Tumblr blog from anywhere, and it's reasonably easy to customise your theme to make it your own.

Best free blogging platforms: Blogger homepage

(Image credit: Blogger)

12. Blogger

Google's own veteran blogging platform

Indexed by Google
Integrated with Google Analytics
Limited features
May be closed in future

You'd hope with a name like Blogger that this would be a decent free blogging platform. Thankfully, it is. Sign in with your Google ID, and you can have a blog up and running in seconds, which can then be customised with new themes. It is, however, a Google service, so be aware of how abruptly such services can be shut down (anyone remember Google Plus?).

Best free blogging platforms: Medium homepage

(Image credit: Medium)

13. Medium

Twitter founders' blogging platform for longform content

No set up required
Respected by professionals
You don’t get a website
Can’t customise the look of posts

Medium is the brainchild of Twitter's founders, and attempts to do for long-form articles what Twitter once did for short snappy sentences. The result is a socially-oriented place that emphasises writing, although within an extremely locked-down set-up. With a clean layout and lots of white space, it feels very much like an upmarket magazine website, where anyone can have their articles published.

A place where tech CEOS and other thought leaders often share their thoughts, Medium is the place to blog if you want your words to be taken seriously, and offers a polished, streamlined experience. But you don't get your own site, as such, so if you're big on customisation and control, look elsewhere.

Best free blogging platforms: Screenshot of SmallStripe homepage

14. SilverStripe

Niche blogging platform for experienced developers

Open source
Strong security
Small community of users
Better for experienced developers

SilverStripe is one of the best free blogging platforms you might not have heard of. But if you're an experienced developer, it may well be worth looking into. This open source content management system is loved by many for its powerful features and strong security. Key features include an out of the box web-based administration panel, which enables users to make modifications to parts of the website, a WYSIWYG website editor, rich-text editing, quick embedding of videos, and a drag-and-drop, tree-based navigation structure.

Related articles:

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.