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The best free blogging platforms in 2022

best free blogging platforms: a young woman writing a blog on a laptop
(Image credit: Maskot via Getty Images)

The best free blogging platforms give you a way to write blog posts, including text, images and videos, and share them on a website or web page of your very own. Rather than relying on social media algorithms, you can take personal charge of how your content is presented, and who sees it. Sounds great, right?

Yes, in theory. But in practice, most people are wary of setting up their own blog and never actually do it. It seems too complicated. You worry about the cost. There are too many platforms to investigate. You'll do it tomorrow.

Enough already. We've researched the best free blogging platforms available in 2022, so you don't have to. Many of them allow you to use ready made templates, so you won't need any web design or coding skills. 

If you're very new to blogging, though, you may want to read our guide to how to start a blog first. Conversely, if you're a web designer, we've included some advanced free blogging platforms that let you customise everything fully. 

Below, then, you'll find the best free blogging platforms available today. If you decide you want more than a blog, though, also see our best website builder guide.

01. Wix: The best free blogging platform for beginners

01. Wix: The best free blogging platform for beginners
Wix makes it very easy to start a blog for free, with over 500 customisable templates to choose from. If you want to remove the ads and get a personalised URL, meanwhile, it costs just £3/$3.54 a month.

02. Weebly: one of the easiest free blogging platforms

02. Weebly: one of the easiest free blogging platforms
Weebly doesn't have as many options as Wix, but it's even easier to use, making it a great choice for first-time bloggers. The free plan comes with hosting included, while paid-for plans start from £4/$6.

03. Substack: an alternative free blogging platform

03. Substack: an alternative free blogging platform
Substack is primarily for creating email newsletters, but your work can just as easily be read as a blog, making it a great way to get started with blogging. You only pay if you choose to take on paid subscribers to your newsletters.

The best free blogging platforms 2022

The best free blogging platforms: Wix homepage

(Image credit: Future)

The best free blogging platform for newbies

Reasons to buy
+Wide range of templates+Scalable over time
Reasons to avoid
-Free site includes ads -Limited storage on free plan

Want to get your blog online quickly and easily? Lack technical skills and experience? Then Wix is the best free blogging platform for you. It lets you build a blog (or indeed any other kind of website) using simple drag and drop. There are lots of good templates. And you get 500MB of online storage and 1GB of bandwidth, all for free.

The drawback with the free account is that you'll have an ad for Wix on your site and a Wix domain name. To remove those and unlock other features like an online store and Google Analytics, there are paid-for plans that are very reasonably priced. So it's a good idea to start with the free plan, then upgrade once you attract readers and want to make everything look more professional. Find out more about Wix with our Wix review.

The best free blogging platforms: Weebly homepage showing man's headshot

(Image credit: Future)

The best blogging platform for nervous bloggers

Reasons to buy
+Easier to use than Wix+Nice responsive themes
Reasons to avoid
-Not as feature-rich as Wix-Not as customisable as Wix

Nervous beginner? Then you'll be pleased to hear that Weebly is super-easy: even easier than Wix (number one on our list). The two platforms are pretty similar. Weebly is also based on a drag-and-drop system, which lets you quickly create a website using a template. The main difference is that Weebly doesn't offers as many customisation option as Wix. But on the plus side, that makes the system even easier to use.

Like with Wix, the free plan includes a Weebly ad and you'll get a clunky Weebly domain name. You also get access to customisable layouts, several free themes, and all the social sharing features you need. Again, if you upgrade to a paid plan you'll lose the ads, get a custom domain, and enjoy more customisation options. Find out more with our Weebly review.

The best free blogging platforms: Substack homepage

(Image credit: Future)

03. Substack

The best free blogging platform for email newsletters

Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Potential to earn money
Reasons to avoid
-Basic layout options

In many ways, the email newsletter is the new website blog post. And indeed, newsletter platform Substack describes itself as "the home of great blogging". So we thought it was important to include it on this list. That may sound strange, but consider this. As well as letting you create and send out newsletters, Substack also gives you a web page to share all your past newsletters, so it really does work as a free blogging platform too.  

If you want a beautiful looking blog, though, don't turn to Substack, as its main focus is on making your posts look good in emails. The service does, though, provide a basic CMS with text formatting tools and the ability to embed images, video and other web content.

Substack is free as long as you make your posts/emails free for everyone to read. Once you build an audience, though, you may want to start charging paid subscriptions. At which point, Substack will take a cut. It's entirely up to you, though.

The best free blogging platforms: Wordpress.org homepage

(Image credit: Future)

The best blogging platform for customising your site

Reasons to buy
+Huge community+Very customisable
Reasons to avoid
-Steep learning curve-Site building takes time

With the options we've mentioned so far, you only get limited control over how your blog looks and operates. If you want maximum control, the best free blogging platform for you will be WordPress.org. (Note: this should not be confused with WordPress.com – the next on our list).

WordPress.org is open-source site-building software, which is totally free to use. Any ads that appear on your blog will be ones that you've put there and make money for you, not the platform. You will, however, still need to pay for web hosting and a domain name to get your blog online.

WordPress.org is incredibly powerful, but there's quite a big learning curve to it if you have no web experience. The software takes time to understand and getting the best results usually requires learning at least some web design skills. Our article on how to make a website will help get you started, but you'll also need to acquaint yourself with WordPress's extensive documentation (our guide to the best WordPress tutorials can help). 

For anyone wanting a great range of customisation and usability, though, WordPress.org is the gold standard. See our WordPress.org review for more details. Also see our guides to the best free WordPress themes and best WordPress plugins

The best free blogging platforms: Wordpress.com homepage

(Image credit: Future)

Free blogging platform for hobbyists and enthusiasts

Reasons to buy
+Totally free+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Limited features-Third-party ads

WordPress.org (number 4 on our list) and Wordpress.com are two quite different. The former offers a powerful web design platform but has a big learning curve and you have to pay for hosting and a domain name. WordPress.com is an all-in-one solution, which includes hosting and a domain, and is much easier to use. 

For those reasons, Wordpress.com is a better choice if you're a beginner or hobbyist who doesn't want to spend a lot of time reading documentation. With the free plan you get free hosting, 3GB of space and a branded domain name ending in .wordpress.com. 

The main downside is that you don't get much ability to customise your site's look and feel, and your blog will feature third-party ads. You won't be able to add ecommerce features or place your own ads either. Find out more in our Wordpress.com review.

The best free blogging platforms: Joomla homepage featuring crowd of people with their hands in the air

(Image credit: Future)

The best blogging platform for coders

Reasons to buy
+Open source +Good customisation features
Reasons to avoid
-Not as popular as WordPress-Steep learning curve

Joomla is quite a lot like WordPress.org (number 4 on our list) in that it's free and open-source software for website building, but you'll need to pay for a domain name and hosting (although there is a way around this, which we'll come to in a moment).

Joomla has hundreds of templates to use and customise, and lots of extensions for adding extra features and getting your blog looking just the way you want it. It doesn't have as many themes and add-ons as WordPress.org, but if you're able to code, you might prefer Joomla, especially if you want a larger, more complex site. If you foresee your blog growing into something bigger that you could potentially make money from, this is probably a more scalable solution.

Don't want to pay for hosting? Since 2015 Joomla has teamed up with SiteGround to offer a great solution. The launch.joomla.org service offers you the basic standard publishing features of Joomla, with free hosting. 

This isn't much use to anyone who wants an advanced, expandable website from the get-go, but if you want to get started with Joomla it's a great option, as any blog you develop here can be upgraded later into a full-fledged self-hosted Joomla project without any limitations on extendibility. See more in our Joomla review.

The best free blogging platforms: Site123 homepage featuring furniture website example

(Image credit: Future)

07. Site123

The best free blogging platform for customer support

Reasons to buy
+Excellent customer support+Simple and clean templates
Reasons to avoid
-Only good for personal blogs-Limited free storage

Generally, if you're getting something for free, customer support is going to be either limited or non-existent. But Site123 is the exception, offering 24/7 live chat to help you set up your blog. 

Doing so is pretty straightforward anyway. You get a selection of ready-made styles and layouts and handy prompts to help you build your blogging website. 

The results can look a little basic when compared with more advanced platforms. And like with many of the best free blogging platforms, Site123 will place its own ads on your site. But if all you need is a simple blog with comments, post scheduling and social media integration, you'll get all that here. 

The best free blogging platforms: HubPages homepage featuring photo of tall building

(Image credit: Future)

08. Hubpages

Share blog posts with the Hubpages community

Reasons to buy
+Start blogging instantly+Creative focus
Reasons to avoid
-Can't customise look-Don't get a website

Hubpages is a slightly different way to build a blog without writing code. It's a blogging network with plenty of sections to choose from, including Arts and Design, and it aims to help bloggers connect to a wide audience, share their posts with the community, and even earn some money from advertising and affiliates.

You're tied into the platform's own system and you don't get any control over how your blog looks and feels. On the plus side, this makes getting started fairly quick and easy. And the ability to tap into an existing community for your specialism could prove useful. In short, if your priority is to express yourself through words rather than design, it's well worth investigating.

The best free blogging platforms: Contentful homepage featuring cartoon of person working on laptop

(Image credit: Future)

09. Contentful

Free blogging platform that promises to future-proof your content

Reasons to buy
+Separates content from design +Future-proof
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for complex sites -No good for beginners

If you want to ensure your blog keeps up with design trends without having to go back and redesign all your old posts, Contentful is one of the best free blogging platforms to consider. That's because unique 'API-first' approach keeps content separate from design. 

This means that if you decide to give your blog a visual update, the new look will be instantly applied to all your old content. So if, a few years down the line, you decide you want a completely different design, it'll be very easy to do so.

The best free blogging platforms: Jekyll homepage

(Image credit: Future)

10. Jekyll

The best free blogging platform for developers

Reasons to buy
+Good for prototyping+Free hosting on GitHub pages
Reasons to avoid
-No user-friendly interface-No good for beginners

If you're an experienced coder, Jekyll is the best free blogging platform for your needs, as its made with web developers clearly in mind. Give it some text files with optional markdown and it'll turn them into a static site that you can host anywhere you like. 

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

The best free blogging platforms: Tumblr homepage featuring cartoons of watch, alarm clock, roadsign and watch

(Image credit: Future)

11. Tumblr

The best free blogging platform for ironic hipster cred

Reasons to buy
+Good for short posts+Fun to use
Reasons to avoid
-Not a professional look-Difficult to monetise

First launched in 2007, Tumblr is now but a childhood memory in the minds of most ageing Millennials. But it's still one of the best free blogging options around for pure, anarchic fun. There's a surprising number of people still using the platform, and it offers some great social features, including the ability for users to follow your posts. 

It's very straightforward to customise a Tumblr theme to create your own look. And while there aren't a lot of layout options, it's a solid choice for long-form blogs or image-based posts. There's also the benefit that you can upload from anywhere thanks to Tumblr's mobile apps. And hey, nostalgia for the 2000s is in full swing right now, so you'll get ironic hipster points for using Tumblr too.

The best free blogging platforms: Blogger homepage featuring illustrations of baking ingredients

(Image credit: Future)

12. Blogger

An easy choice for simple blogs

Reasons to buy
+Indexed by Google+Integrated with Google Analytics+Good for simple blogs
Reasons to avoid
-Limited features

Like Tumblr, Blogger was one of the pioneers in the field of free blogging platforms. It was acquired by Google in 2003 and like Tumblr, it's still going strong today. All you need is a Google ID, and you can sign in and make a quick, easy blog, with plenty of themes to choose from. 

Don't expect that blog to look particularly great, and the custom URL is going to look pretty clunky too. But if you just want a simple blog, it's easy to use, and it's free. 

The best free blogging platforms: Medium homepage

(Image credit: Future)

13. Medium

The best free blogging platform for longform articles

Reasons to buy
+No set up required+Respected by professionals
Reasons to avoid
-You don’t get a website-Can’t customise the look of posts

If you want to write longform articles and publish them, and you don't necessarily care about having a branded blog, Medium is one of the best free blogging platforms to consider. It was created by Twitter's founders as a platform for lengthy articles, and it's a polished, streamlined experience. 

Design-wise, there won't be anything distinct about your posts, compared with those of other Medium users. But you can insert images and video to make it look a big more distinct. And if it's purely the content of the articles that matters, Medium offers an easy alternative to designing your own blog.

The best free blogging platforms: SilverStripe homepage

(Image credit: Future)

14. SilverStripe

Niche blogging platform for experienced developers

Reasons to buy
+Open source+Strong security
Reasons to avoid
-Small community of users-Better for experienced developers

For experienced developers looking for strong security and advanced features, SilverStripe is one of the best free blogging platforms to consider. It's a free, open-source CMS that's easy to use once it's set up, but you'll need web skills to get that far. Key tools include a web-based administration panel, a WYSIWYG website editor, rich-text editing, quick embedding of videos, and a drag-and-drop, tree-based navigation structure. Note, too, that you'll also have to pay for your own domain name and hosting.

Which free blogging platform is best?

The best free blogging platform for you will largely depend on what you're looking for. If you want to get up and running quickly, and don't have any web design experience, we recommend Wix, as it makes it very easy to build a website and offers over 500 customisable templates. However, if your priority is having fine control over the look and feel of your site, and you're willing to spend time learning how the system works, we recommend WordPress.org. Finally, if you're an experienced coder, then you'll find either Joomla or SilverStripe gives you the sophisticated tools you need to build an advanced site to your exact needs.

Do I need a website to write a blog?

Not necessarily. Just as you can write short posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram without having a website, there are other social networks that allow you to write long articles and post them there. 

One of the most popular business networks for blogging right now is LinkedIn. As long as you're signed up to the social network, you can publish articles on the site for free, without needing any technical skills. Just go to where you'd normally write a short post, click on the 'Write an article' button and follow the steps. Once you've written and published your article, you can share it within LinkedIn, and also on other social networks.

How do bloggers make money?

Making money blogging is kind of like making money by playing sports. In both case, very small number of people at the top of the tree are making a large amounts of money. A larger number of people make small amounts of money. And the vast majority are making no money at all.

There are many ways to make money blogging. If you can build up a large audience, then you can sell advertising on your blog. However, the rates for this are very small, so you'll need huge visitor numbers to make this worth your while. 

If your subject is niche, then a better strategy can be to create sponsored content that both resonates with your specific audience and sells a certain product or service to them. For instance, an interior design blogger might be sponsored by a high-end wallpaper company to decorate their house in said wallpaper and blog about it.

You can also potentially earn money as a blogger through ecommerce links. You write about a product, use a special link to allow readers to buy that product, and if you do, you get a cut.

Which free blogging platform is best for making money?

If you want to make money from your blog, then most free blogging platforms are going to make that difficult. Put simply, in return for providing you with a free blog, they will incorporate their own ads into your site, and you won't get the money for any click-throughs; they will. 

The big exception is WordPress.org. Because this is open source software, you will have total control over what happens on your blog, and that includes deciding to feature your own ads, for which the money will go straight to you. However, be aware that WordPress.org does have a big learning curve to use, and you will have to pay for web hosting and a domain name separately.

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Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.