Categories
WordPress

.com vs .net – Choosing the Right Domain Extension

It has been 28 years since the internet was introduced to us. Before then, internet startups found it very difficult to connect to their potential prospects.

The main marketing channels were prominently newspaper, television ads and by word of the mouth.

Since its introduction, this 28-year-old lovely creation called the internet has revolutionized how business is conducted.

Nearly 100 million startups and small entrepreneurial businesses are opened each year. From them, 90% have their business on the internet.

The very first problem which mostly all startups encounter when they are planning to conduct their business on the internet, is, which domain extension to choose along with their domain name? This could be a tough choice to someone who is not a tech-savvy.

Predominantly, we have two major domain extensions, which is .net and .com, we have others too such as .org, .co, .uk, .gov, etc. .com and .net are more commonly in use and are referred to as top-level domains (TLD).

When it comes to choosing the right domain, this could be problematic, but the best answer is choosing the right domain is subjective. It depends on what kind of business you want to conduct on the internet, but the short answer is; go with .com, it has global recognition.

Are .com and .net the only domain extensions?

The most widely known domain extension is .com and .net. Do you know that there are more than 800 domain extensions, and many are still coming up, but .com and .net seem to be the only two which most of the people in the world know about.

It is important for everyone, especially startup business owners, to understand what a domain is before they start to conduct their business on the internet. A domain is simply a location on the internet with a unique address sharing a common suffix or under the control of an organization/government.

A top-level domain is just the part of the domain name that comes right after the dot, such as com, org, etc.

.com vs .net – Why are they popular?

Going far back, this has something to do with when they were registered. The first domain ever registered was symbolics.com from a company called Symbolics Inc. However, the first domain name created was nordu.net

These two are not widely popular just because they were registered first and second, but also because of their differences in terms of how they are used, which we will get into in a bit.

.com vs .net – What is the Difference?

Choosing the perfect domain between these two really boils down to what you intend to use them for, and we will discuss each in detail.

What is a .com domain?

com-vs-net

If you ask most people in the world today, to name five websites that do not have the .com extension, we bet you, they will stutter. Some might not even be able to name a single one. Though, they can name countless websites with a .com extension off the top of their head.

With the over 1.5 billion websites on the internet today, 60% of them have a .com extension. This way, if you want people to memorize your website’s address, a .com extension is your best bet.

Furthermore, technology has also helped in making the .com domain more popular than others. So many of our keyboards and on-screen keyboard have a dedicated .com key, and since humans are creatures of habit, we easily get accustomed to using .com and expect every website to have a .com extension.

Since .com domain is widely used than .net, we guess that leaves us with the folowing question:

What if my .com domain name is already taken?

Since .com is the most popular domain extension or TLD, it is logical to expect that your business name or whatever name you had in mind to register might have already been taken by someone else while you were asleep.

But do not be perturbed as there are several ways of getting around these issues. You will be surprised to find out that you can file a lawsuit against someone who uses the same domain name you intended to use, but that only works if you are the first person to own the trademark of that business.

In case, your competitor beats you to it, you can try diplomacy and reach out to them to get them to sell it to you. If the domain you had in mind was taken but has expired, you can buy them.

Another option is to try alternative domain TLD or ccTLD such as .net, .co. Although some SEO experts think this might affect your traffic.

When to use the .com domain

The .com domain extension is the most widely used. It is short for commercials, and since there are plenty of startups scattered all over the world, this makes the domain extension to be globally accepted.

The right time to get a .com extension is when you want to be globally recognized, trusted, and found on the internet as a leader in your industry or business. This is especially if you are doing business in the US or you have a large pool of customers from there. Getting public appeal is very crucial in any business.

Cons of .com

The .com domain extension is very overpopulated. Some people register names of startups that have not registered their domain extension with the hopes of selling it off at an expensive amount later in the future.

If your business is targeted only for a specific location, then you are better off with a local TLD, a business that sells food in berlin can use .berlin as it would help them rank better in the local searches on Google and other search engines.

What is a .net domain extension?

net-domain-extension

The .net is a top-level domain which is generally used for businesses and industries that are involved in networking in one way or the other, and they provide networking equipment and technologies. When you hear the .net domain extension, think internet service providers, internet tech companies etc.

Although this is no longer the norm these days, people buy .net domain extension simply because their .com domain name was taken, or they simply do not want anyone to imitate their .com domain name.

When to buy a .net extension

.net TLD is great if your business falls under any of this category; internet service providers, networking, database hosting, ICT related business, etc.

As of 2019, only 3.5% of the registered domain names bear the .net. This means if your .com domain was taken, you still have a fighting chance of capturing the .net TLD.

Even if you’ve already registered a .com domain for your business or website, you should still go ahead and register a .net domain extension version to prevent competitors from imitating them.

The best time to buy a .net extension is now. Either you have a .com extension or not, it is best to register a .net extension to avoid any copycats from stealing your clients. Most business with .com domain extension register a .net extension and redirect it to their .com domain.

.com vs .net; which one is best for SEO

Many people think that .com is best for SEO than .net, but when you look at it, critically it doesn’t because SEO depends on your organic keywords, backlinking, internal links and so on. It has nothing to do with domain extension because search engines treat all domain extensions the same.

However, SEO experts advise business owners always to include the name of the service they provide as part of their domain name. For example, a restaurant that sells burgers can have a domain with the name www.burgerxyz.com. This will might help in search engine rankings to some extent.

Since you have got all the information you need at your fingertips, the last thing left is to register a domain name.

How to register a domain name?

Getting the right domain name is crucial to your business since it affects your SEO, brand and gives potential customers an idea of your business before they even visit your landing page.

If you want your own a domain name, for example, www.mynameblog.com you will have to register through an organization called ICANN. The organization is responsible for maintaining and assigning namespaces and numerical spaces on the internet.

End users can not buy a domain name directly through ICANN. You need to go through a domain name registrar and pay for it.

You can easily get a domain name through

When you register, you will get a free domain name for one year, which you will have to renew annually to keep it.

We hope that the above post must have helped you decide what domain extension would be the best for you. Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Categories
WordPress

.co vs .com – Which Domain Extension Should You Choose?

When starting a business online, one of the first things you need to look into is getting a domain name for your website.

While you’re searching on different sites to buy a perfect domain name, you might find yourself with an interesting question. Should you buy a .co or .com domain name.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through a detailed comparison between .co vs .com and the advantages of picking one over the other.

Difference Between .co and .com

To understand the difference between .co and .com domain extension, there’s a small history lesson that we have to talk about the internet.

.co-vs-.com-difference-explained

In 1985, when websites were starting to pop up, different extensions were created to differentiate websites on the web.

Sites ending with .org were meant to classify organizations, .biz was meant to classify businesses, and .com was meant to classify commercial organizations.

Back then, there wasn’t any law holding people back from creating any one of these sites using the extension they preferred, so most people stuck with .com because everyone else was using it.

This created even more demand for a .com domain extension and brings us to where we are now, with over 126 million .com registrations out there.

.Co was actually created by one of the top domain registrars, GoDaddy, to combat the landscape of the .com demand.

GoDaddy understands that with that many users on .com, it’s hard sometimes to find the URL you would want and have to sacrifice the quality a little bit for availability.

Let’s go through a couple of other comparisons to help you make a decision on what extension to get.

.Co vs .Com: Availability

When it comes to choosing between these two, one of the only positives of picking a .co is its availability. Because .com is so popular, it’s getting very difficult to find a domain name that you would like to use for your sites.

Let’s say you want to create a website. You go to a site to try to find available domain names, and you choose something like xyz.com.

The chances are that someone already owns that domain name. The only way you can get that particular domain name with the .com extension is if its owner is ready to sell it. Even if they are ready to sell, they would definitely sell it at a very high price.

On the other hand, if you look for the xyz.co domain name, it has a big chance of being readily available already and for a reasonable price.

If you think of a website name you must-have, but it is taken on .com, your best option would be to use a .co extension for your site.

.Co vs .Com: Popularity

One of the biggest reasons to not use .co is that most people don’t understand websites and think every site just ends in .com. If you hand them a business card or they see an ad with a site that ends in .co, they might just assume that’s a typo and go to the .com version.

One of the worst things that can happen when you’re marketing your business is market for your .co website, and then your future customers are typing in .com after the URL instead of .co.

Most of the time, this would mean you’re actually sending customers to your competitor because if you guys have the same URL with different extensions, you two are probably doing the same kind of work online.

.Co vs .Com: Pricing

When GoDaddy started the .co domain extension, one smart thing they did is, they raised the price for .co extension over .com.

The reason this is a good idea is that it stops businesses from grabbing both when they buy a domain. This allows the domain market to stay separated and actually be two different markets.

What most people would do is just hold onto the .co domain extension and just redirect it to their .com version or just never use it. This means, later on, someone else can’t come along and use it to set up a website with similar names and later become a competition.

If you don’t know what SEO is, an easy way to explain it is to describe it as the practice of getting Google and other search engines to show your website on the first page of their platforms.

Now, according to Searchmetrics, Google has stated before that they prefer .com extensions and rank those better than the other extensions (though we still think it is a myth).

So if you have a good looking website on a .com extension and a good looking site on a .co, the website on .com will most likely still rank higher.

This should be a big indicator of why you should stick with .com. In almost every kind of online business, you want people to find you organically on the search engines.

Choosing something like .com is just one factor in the entire SEO game that can really help your chances of ranking on that first page of Google and other search engines.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing a .co or .com extension for your website, the almost clear cut answer is choosing a .com. One of the main factors is it’s just not as confusing. Most people will see an advertisement promoting a URL with .co and just assume it’s a typo and go to the .com version instead.

Just the popularity alone should be enough to stick with .com, but if you really need more of a push, the SEO benefits stand alone on it’s worth.

Every site we have has a big focus on SEO, and yours should too, and hindering it in any way (in this case with a .co extension) doesn’t look good.

The only reason we could tell you to choose a .co extension is if you have a brand already or a brand in mind that you have to stick with. If you have a viral YouTube or Instagram page that you want to create a website for and the .com is taken, you can go for the .co version.

What are your thoughts about the .co and .com domain extension? Have you seen any differences while ranking the sites with different domain extensions, or is it just a myth?

Do share your experiences in the comments section below. It would certainly help other readers and us.

Categories
WordPress

Installing and Configuring WAMP Server on Your Computer

Whenever we get anxious about jumping into a new project, it’s very easy to forget to cover the basics. For web developers, this can be very costly, especially if you are looking to develop an application in PHP.

Fortunately, it’s possible to set up a virtual development environment where you can start coding in PHP as well as test the different features and functionalities of your website before taking it live.

WAMP is one popular choice for developers who use Windows operating systems. While there are other choices, such as XAMPP, this article will cover the exact steps of installing WAMP server.

Now let’s dive into the details.

What is a WAMP Server?

WAMP stands for Windows (operating system), Apache (webserver), MySQL (database), and PHP (coding language). WAMP can be compared to two other close variants, namely:

  • LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) for Linux Systems and,
  • MAMP (Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) for Mac OS operating systems

WAMP, therefore, is a localhost server for Windows Operating Systems that lets you manage, create, test, and develop websites without having to use a remote web server.

What do we mean here?

Let’s take WordPress as an example. If you want to build a website on the WordPress platform, for example, you can use the WAMP server to create a local environment that allows you to work offline.

Here you can experiment with code, plugins, design, as well as test the different features of your website before taking it live.

It’s important to note that Apache, PHP, and MySQL are all open-source software. This means that you can install and configure each service individually.

However, this process is not easy, even for skilled developers. Luckily, a WAMP server automates the configuration process giving you a local working environment in a matter of minutes.

With that in mind, now let’s look at how to install a WAMP server.

Step 1: Installing and Setting Up WAMP Server on Windows Computer

The first step is to download the latest version of the installer file for the WAMP server on to your Windows PC.

To do this:

  • Visit the WAMPserver website.
  • WampServer-HOMEPAGE

  • On the web page, you’ll see the “START USING WAMPSERVER” button. Click on it.
  • The button will automatically take you to the “DOWNLOADS” section where you’ll be greeted by two versions of the WAMP server namely, WAMP SERVER 64 BITS (X64) and WAMPSERVER 32 BITS (X86).
  • WampServer-downloads-page

  • Choose the installer file that matches your Windows operating system. If you are not sure whether you are using a 62-bit system or a 32-bit system, just go to This PC >> Open Control Panel >> System. Alternatively, you can just right-click on This PC (My Computer) >> Properties. 

WINDOWS OS

Once the download process is complete, follow the following simple steps:

  • Go to the Downloads folder and locate the WAMP server installer file.
  • Double-click the WAMP server installer file. A security window will pop up, asking you whether you are sure of whether you want to run the file.
  • Click “Run” to initiate the installation process.
  • A WAMP Server wizard screen will pop up. Select “Next” to continue with the installation process.
  • Wamp-setup-wizard

  • On the next screen, you’ll see a License Agreement. Read through it and then check “I accept the agreement” at the bottom of the screen”. Now click “Next.”
  • licencing-agreement

  • On the next screen, you’ll be presented with a Select Destination Location screen. Choose a folder where you would like to install the WAMP server. In most cases, it’s just good to leave it as it is. Now click “Next” to continue.
  • Destination folder

  • “Select Additional Tasks” screen will follow. Here you can choose to have a desktop icon created, or a quick launch icon added. Make your selection and click on “Next.”
  • additional tasks

  • At this juncture, the setup process is just a click away. If you are sure you do not need to make any changes in your previous selections, click “Install” and the extraction process will start automatically.
  • Installing-and-Configuring-WAMP-Server-on-Your-Computer

  • Once the extraction process is complete, you’ll be required to choose your default browser. In most cases, the default file browser will be Internet Explorer, but you can change it to Safari, Opera, Mozilla, or Chrome.
  • Extracting files

  • Your default browser should have a corresponding .exe file. For example, safari.exe, opera.exe, firefox.exe, or chome.exe. Select Open to continue.
  • You’ll see a Windows security alert indication that firewall has blocked some of the program’s features. Check to allow Apache HTTP to communicate on a public or private network.
  • Choose to Allow Access.
  • A setup screen with a green bar will appear to show the status of your installation. Once the bar is fully green, another screen will appear, asking you for PHP mail parameters. Leave the SMTP server as “localhost” and enter your preferred email address. Click on Next.
  • A completing installation set up wizard screen will appear. Check on the box adjacent to “Launch Wamp Server” now and click Finish.
  • finish installation

  • At this stage, you should be able to see a WAMP server icon at the system tray of your Windows PC taskbar. You should know that the WAMP server is working correctly if the icon is green. A red icon indicates an issue with Apache and MySQL and an orange icon is an indication of a problem with one of the services.

Step 2: Setting Up a Database for WordPress 

Now that you’ve finished installing WAMP, the next step is to create a MySQL database. Now launch WAMP and you’ll see a green icon at the systray. Click on phpMyAdmin. Your default web browser will show displaying the phpMyAdmin login screen.

You’ll be required to enter your username and password. Enter the following details:

  • Username: root

Leave the password area field blank and click on the “Go” button. This will automatically log you in.

phpmyadmin

Now click on Databases in phpMyAdmin to create your database name for WordPress such as WP_Project. Click on “Create” and your database will be ready. You can now install WordPress.

Step 3: Install WordPress on WAMP Server

There are two versions of WordPress. One is Hosted WordPress from WordPress.com and the other is self-hosted WordPress from wordpress.org.

In this case, we will be talking about the self-hosted WordPress, which is a free, open-source CMS for website building and maintenance. Now, to download WordPress, visit www.wordpress.org.

Click on “Get WordPress.” The file will download as a zip archive.

Get-WordPress

Extract the contents of the file and copy or move the WordPress folder. In our case, our WAMP server file was installed in C:\wamp64, so we pasted our WordPress folder in C:\wamp64\www folder.

To avoid confusion in the later stages of your project, you can choose to give the WordPress folder a name that you will remember such as mywpproject, testwp, etc. Keep in mind that this will be your local WordPress site URL.

For example, your URL will appear something like http://localhost/folder-name. For the sake of this tutorial, we used the default WordPress folder whose URL is http://localhost/wordpress.

Now follow the following steps:

  • Enter the following address into your default web browser: http://localhost/wordpress.
  • Choose a language and create a configuration file.
  • Click on “Let’s go!”
  • lets go

  • You’ll be required to enter your database name, username, password, host, and table prefix. In our case, we entered the following credentials.
Database Name: WP_Project (Our preferred database name)
Username: root (default MySQL password)
Password: (leave this field blank)
Host: localhost
Table prefix: wp_

WP-configuration

  • After you’ve entered the above credentials, click Submit. A configuration file will be created in the backend. You’ll then be met by another screen indicating that WordPress has successfully been connected to your database.
  •  Now click on “Run the installation.” 
  • install-wordpress-on-wamp

The next screen will ask for your information regarding your new WordPress website. These include the site title, username, password, and email address.

Enter the credentials and hit “Install WordPress.”

Once the installation is complete, you’ll be greeted by a success message. You can now move forward and log into your WordPress dashboard.

login wp

If you’ve already done that, Congratulations! Because you just installed WordPress using WAMP.

Wrapping Up

Having a local server such as WAMP helps create a near-live environment where you can test, design, and experiment on different features such as plugins and get a gist of how your site will look like.

You can also experiment on different website building platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, etc., and get to learn how the two platforms compare.

We hope that this article was helpful. Please feel free to share your views in the comments section below.

Categories
Tools

How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform in 2020?

There are numerous reasons why we choose to create a blog. Maybe we want to share our ideas on different subjects, establish a brand, or create a following.

Whatever the reason is, it’s paramount to ensure that our blog is founded on the right platform.

Best Blogging Platforms in 2020

While there are numerous platforms to choose from, only a few will fit perfectly with your specific project.

In this article, we have reviewed the 15 different blogging platforms for 2020. This would give you a better idea to choose the best blogging platform for your next website.

[num 1] WordPress.org (Self-hosted WordPress)

wordpress.org-best-blogging-platform

Self-hosted WordPress is the most popular WordPress version for people seeking flexibility and control. This version of WordPress is offered by wordpress.org.

Founded in 2003, WordPress is the fastest growing CMS, with over 37 million websites powered to date and over 500 websites developed daily.

It’s free to download and an open-source platform. This means that the source code is freely available and can be altered and updated to your advantage in order to fit your blog’s design requirements.

Given that’s it’s open-source, it has quite a large and active community of independent contributors who constantly develop new products like themes, plugins, and extensions.

In practice, this clearly means that a self-hosted WordPress blog, in the hands of a well-experienced website developer, is highly customizable.

However, this does not mean that if you are not a programmer, you cannot meet the requirements of your blog. All you need to do is know – which essential plugins to install and you are all set.

To get started on self-hosted WordPress you’ll have to:

  • Register a domain name with a domain registrar
  • Choose a hosting package with a hosting company such as Siteground
  • Download and install WordPress on your hosting server
  • Use your preferred theme
  • Add the essential plugins
  • Map your domain to your server etc.
Pros
  • You have total control of your blog.
  • Installing WordPress takes just one click.
  • Easy customization thanks to thousands of plugins and themes.
  • Blogs made on WordPress are search engine friendly.
Cons
  • It has a steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Security issues may arise from malicious codes embedded in the plugins.
Pricing

WordPress is free to download and install on your web server. However, to get your blog off up and running, there are a number of things you’ll have to spend a few bucks on since WordPress is a self-hosted platform. This includes:

  • Web Hosting
  • Domain registration
  • Themes
  • Plugins for added functionality
  • Tools for ecommerce integration

You may also hire a web developer if you don’t have much coding experience to assist and hasten the implementation of the project.

In WordPress, you do not have a set of premium plans to choose from. However, considering the scope of your project, you can definitely choose different plans from your hosting provider.

[num 2] Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr or “Tumbler” as you might want to call, is a little different from other blogging platforms on this list.

Unlike other platforms that blur the line between a fully-fledged website and a blog, Tumblr is a microblogging platform with social networking features. What this means is that, with Tumblr, you post and people interrelate with your content by commenting, liking, and sharing.

Just like in a social media platform, content is more short-form, such as an image, jokes, video, quips, or Spotify tracks.

You can also follow other blogs and make edits on your blog and profile. For example, you can add your headshot, logo, and change the theme to make your digital space livelier.

If your main intention is to build a visual blog, then Tumblr could be a good place to start. Best of all, you do not need to understand any programming languages such as HTML and CSS to get started.

Tumblr is a perfect platform for upcoming bloggers who want to learn the ropes on how to set up personal blogs. It’s also an ideal place for bloggers who wish to share how-to based content and tutorials.

Pros
  • It’s very easy to set-up and use
  • It integrates social networking features and allows you to follow other blogs
  • The platform offers great customization features
  • It’s totally free to use
  • As a microblogging platform, it makes it easy to blog audio, GIFs, Video, and images
Cons
  • It’s limited when it comes to the number of features it offers
  • Moving your Tumblr blog to another platform is extremely difficult
  • It does not offer an option to monetize your blog
Price

Tumbler is free to use and so you will never have to share your credit card, PayPal, or bank information to use Tumblr. However, you may incur some costs if you decide to use a custom domain or some third-party themes.

[num 3] Blogger

Blogger.com

Founded in 1999, Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms. In 2003, it was acquired by Google, and it has since forged a massive user base making it one of the most identifiable Blogging platforms.

Creating a blogging profile on Blogger is super easy, provided you have a Google account. All you have to do is pick a title, domain name, template, and post.

The best part is that you do not have to blog using your real names. But if you want, you can connect your Google+ profile to Blogger.

Since it focuses 100% on blogging, Blogger offers very little when it comes to content management. However, the platform is very easy to use, and its minimalistic interface is self-explanatory. You also don’t have to worry about security, technical hosting, or security issues since everything is handled by the company.

For a hosted platform, Blogger also offers a lot when it comes to design and customization. For example, you can use the theme editor to change some individual elements, or if you understand how the Blogger coder editor works, you can edit HTML and CSS.

On the wider scope, Blogger provides an all-inclusive website/blog building solution compared to other blogging platforms where you have to buy, install, and manage different parts of your website.

Pros
  • It’s owned by the world’s biggest tech company.
  • It’s completely free for life. All you require is a Google account.
  • Easy to use with a very intuitive interface hence a great place for beginners to start blogging
Cons
  • It has limited design options and fewer themes.
  • It’s easy to get your blog suspended or canceled.
  • You cannot add new features to your blog.
  • It takes time to see new features or updates.
Pricing

Blogger is 100% free. All you need is a Google account, and you are all set. However, you can purchase a third-party domain registrar if you need to use a custom domain.

[num 4] Wix

Wix.com

WIX follows a freemium model. It is a cloud-based website building and design platform.

The best part, it’s one of the easiest to use platforms for beginners and non-coders.

Founded in 2006, WIX powers more than 3.3 million websites and is one of the largest website building platforms today.

Though it might have a lesser user base than WordPress, it’s one of the most stable, feature-rich and user-friendly blog and website building platforms.

WIX offers everything in one roof. This means that you can easily get everything you need to build and maintain your blog, such as a domain name, hosting, CMS, templates, and the necessary support.

You can easily get started on WIX by just using the WIX Editor or the Wix ADI mode. With the WIX editor, you can easily choose a ready to use template, craft a design for your blog, and later fill it with content.

The WIX ADI uses artificial design intelligence (ADI) to auto-create a customizable blog with text, images, and video content. Both of these tools are great for people with no prior experience in web design.

Pros
  • Very easy to use.
  • You can get started for free.
  • Numerous features to customize your blog.
  • You get a free domain when you subscribe to their premium plans.
Cons
  • Disruptive ads with the free plan.
  • Design templates are hard to change.
Pricing

Unlike WordPress, when compared, WIX is an all-in-one website builder. Everything is included in one package, namely:

  • Hosting
  • Apps
  • E-commerce
  • Themes
  • Customer support

With WIX, all you have to do is sign up on their official website and start building your blog. You can choose to go either with the free package or one of their paid plans.

The free plan gives you access to a large number of website building tools such as the WIX Editor, ADI, and templates.

The only worry is that, with the free version, you cannot create a professional blog unless you want to be bombarded every time by very annoying WIX ads, storage, and low bandwidth. Adding to it, you cannot use a custom domain name.

However, if you are serious about blogging, you can go with either of their premium packages that include.

  • Unlimited (for entrepreneurs and freelancers) – 12.5/month
  • Combo (for personal use) – $8.5/ month
  • Connect Domain (most basic) – $4.5/ month
  • VIP (you get first priority support) – 24.5/ month

[num 5] Ghost

Ghost

Ghost is a straightforward publishing and blogging platform that relies on a minimalistic and crisp interface. Unlike WordPress, Ghost is purely a blogging interface, and thus it does not power a wide array of websites.

You can utilize Ghost in two different ways. First, you can let your blog to be hosted on their platform or install it on a web hosting server. However, if you are just getting started on blogging, we would recommend the first option since its more straightforward.

What you will notice about Ghost platforms is the elegant, simple, and clutter-less design and layout that it offers. What this means is that it’s virtually impossible for you or the reader to get distracted.

Apart from that, Ghost’s main focus is content creation. This makes it a coveted choice for journalists, bloggers, and magazines. It also has one of the most user-friendly editors that hardly distracts you.

The platform is also built with SEO in mind. It offers basic SEO features such as AMP pages, Metadata, Canonical tags, and XML sitemaps. You, therefore, don’t need to purchase any additional plugins.

Overall, Ghost is a great choice if you want to showcase your prowess in content creation. What’s more, it allows seamless app integration using Zapier or the Ghost Public API.

Pros
  • Ghost blogs are pretty fast because they use CDN (Content Delivery Network).
  • You get numerous social sharing options, so no need to install any social sharing plugin.
  • No need for SEO plugins since Ghost offers built-in SEO features.
  • It’s easy to create content thanks to the friendly user interface.
  • You get a free SSL certificate with every Ghost blog you create.
Cons
  • It’s expensive for beginners.
  • Hosting is not free.
  • It offers a limited number of themes.
  • You need to learn how to code in order to have better control of your blog.
Pricing

Unlike other blogging platforms on the list, Ghost is a premium service that offers different subscription plans.

Each plan offers a 14 day trial period. The good thing about these plans is that you can use a custom domain name, free SSL certificate, automatic updates, and email support, among other features.

[num 6] Medium

Medium

Launched in 2012, Medium is more of a community-based blogging platform and less of a personalized blog. This simply means that with Medium, you post your content, and people share, like, and comment. It works more like Tumblr.

At Medium, writers and readers express their perspectives on various subjects such as technology, society and civilization, Business, Health, Relationships, Design, and more.

Furthermore, Medium is a hosted platform, and you get a free sub-domain and SSL certificate. They also offer a paid membership program where you get paid if you contribute to their content. However, the amount you earn is dependent on how much people like your content.

When it comes to ease of use, Medium offers great editorial features that ensure that you are able to publish your content. Along with that, you can also keep track of any changes you make on your posts as well as interlink your posts.

The only downside with Medium is that you cannot use a custom domain, download anything, or run your blog on a different server.

Pros
  • It’s easy to set up.
  • You don’t need to have any coding skills.
  • With Medium, it’s possible to reach a wide online community.
Cons
  • Monetizing a Medium blog is not easy since you do not own the content.
  • Designing your blog is hard hence hard to build a brand.
  • You cannot use your own custom domain.
Pricing

For starters, Medium is free to use. However, if you need to access the best content, you can upgrade to premium membership.

[num 7] Weebly

Weebly

Weebly is one of the most popular website building platforms that lets you build a wonderful-looking website without having to know how to code. The platform currently powers more than 40 million websites on the internet.

Just like Wix, Weebly is a WYSIWYG website builder. This means that you can build your blog or website by simply dragging the elements. Thanks to the drag-and-drop editing tool that lets you drag images, icons, menu, resize pages without having to type a single line of code. This makes it super easy for all skill levels.

Unlike Wix, Weebly’s built-in code editor allows you to extensively customize your site if you are handy with HTML or CSS coding languages. So if you are willing to learn and grow, this is one platform we would highly recommend.

When it comes to design and customization, Weebly offers some of the best looking templates that are automatically mobile responsive. However, if you can still purchase a theme from an independent developer to enhance your user experience.

What’s more, you can add more functionality to your blog by visiting the Weebly App Center, where you can get a collection of fully-integrated, one-click installation tools. There are numerous categories of tools ranging from e-commerce, social, and marketing tools, among others.

Generally, Weebly offers a friendly user experience that allows you to set up and customize your blog in a matter of minutes. So you don’t have to worry about page layouts and formats since most of the designs are fully customizable.

Pros
  • Very user-friendly. It can be used by people of all levels.
  • The platform is free to use.
  • All blogs are hosted on Weebly servers. So you don’t need to look for a web hosting service.
  • Their premium services are reasonably priced.
Cons
  • The number of themes and templates is limited in the free plan.
  • You will have to use a subdomain if you do not have your own custom domain.
Pricing

Despite Weebly offering a starter plan for basic use, it also offers other plans for website owners who want more advanced features. The paid plans include Connect ($5/month), Pro ($12/ month), Business ($25/month), and Business Plus ($38/ month). All plans are billed annually.

[num 8] Joomla

Joomla

Joomla, just like WordPress.org, is an open-source content management software that’s very popular among web developers. The platform is self-hosted, which means you have to download the software and install it on a web hosting server.

You can download the CMS from www.joomla.org. The downloading and installation process takes only a few minutes. However, the technical aspect that comes with the setup process is more complex than that of WordPress but simpler than that of Drupal.

For example, with WordPress, you only have to choose a hosting service, register a domain, install WordPress, Log in to your WordPress account, and configure your account.

As you can see, WordPress offers more of a hands-free approach. Joomla, on the other hand, doesn’t offer these sorts of custom installation processes, which means you’ll have to do most of the stuff on your own.

However, if you know how to circumvent these technical aspects, working with Joomla is super easy since most of the needed plugins, tools, and tutorials are offered in abundance.

The platform also offers an easy to understand navigation system that enables you to manage a website regardless of the number of subpages easily.

The platform also offers great SEO capabilities mostly, because it generates very friendly URLs and secondly because it enables you to set meta-descriptions and keywords for new content.

Overall, Joomla offers a complex platform for bloggers who want to grow and learn. However, the platform can be intimidating for bloggers who are just getting started.

Pros
  • The platform is easy to install.
  • It offers thousands of free plugins.
  • Generates very friendly URLs that help in SEO positioning.
  • The comprehensive navigation system makes it easy to manage websites with many pages.
  • You can update the platform from your web-browser.
Cons
  • The platform has a steep learning curve hence not recommended for new users.
  • Joomla offers limited options when it comes to templates and free designs.
  • Certain plugins might have compatibility issues.
Pricing

Like we mentioned above, Joomla is a self-hosted platform and you’ll have to incur some basic costs such as web hosting and domain name registration. This means that the total cost is dependent on the provider you will choose.

[num 9] Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is a SaaS (software as a service) website building and maintenance tool. To use the service, you pay a monthly subscription fee.

Just like Wix, Squarespace is an all-in-one service. This means that everything you need to build and maintain your blog is provided in the service, such as a domain, hosting, themes, templates, CMS, eCommerce, and support.

With Squarespace, the process of setting up is extremely easy. All you have to do is visit the Squarespace website and sign up.

Content editing is also quite straightforward thanks to the drag-and-drop editor that makes it a breeze to lay down your content. You can drop content from other pages, move images, tweak content, and see the edits on the page as you make them.

In terms of design, Squarespace offers pretty, classy, and some of the most professional-looking templates compared to most other competing website builders in its class, such as Wix. However, the number of templates or themes offered by Squarespace is limited, which is a major drawback depending on the type of website you are trying to build.

Nevertheless, Squarespace offers simplicity and ease of use for users who want to get started in blogging.

Pros
  • Content editing is super easy, thanks to the drag-and-drop tool.
  • Easy platform for new users.
  • You can get started for free.
Cons
  • There’s a limited number of templates.
Pricing

Squarespace is an all-in-one website building solution. This means that you get:

  • Fully-managed cloud hosting
  • Free-custom domain
  • SEO features for website visibility
  • Templates
  • 24/7 customer support

Squarespace offers four plans, namely:

  • The Personal plan that costs $16/ month
  • The Business plan that costs $26/ month
  • The Basic Commerce plan that costs $30/ month and,
  • Advanced Commerce plan that costs $46/ month

What we liked most about Squarespace is that their plans are pretty straightforward. The prices are, however, discounted if you decide to pay on an annual basis.

[num 10] WordPress.com

WordPress.com

This is the other version of WordPress that’s available at wordpress.com. It’s a SaaS i.e. software as a service tool for website building and maintenance.

The important part, it’s also 100% free. However, the free version offers limited features. For you to access a broad range of features such as custom plugins, email support & themes, and SEO tools, you need to select your preferred plan and pay a suitable monthly subscription.

With hosted WordPress, you do not need to buy any separate hosting service because your site is hosted on the WordPress servers. Additionally, you get unlimited out-of-the-box functionality.

However, hosted WordPress is a tad less of an all-rounded website building solution.

This is because you have to majorly bank on third-party plugins and themes to enhance the look or functionality of your blog.

Pros
  • Easy and fast to set-up.
  • Easy to manage.
  • You can use it for free with a WordPress sub-domain.
  • It’s beginner-friendly.
Cons
  • You do not own the blog. This means that your blog or website can be suspended anytime by WordPress.
  • No monetization options.
  • Limited features in the free plan.
Pricing

Like we mentioned above, WordPress.com is completely free. However, the free plan offers you limited functionality.

If you want your blog to grow, we recommend going for a premium subscription plan. The premium plans include:

  • Personal plan (best for a personal blog)- $4/month
  • Premium plan (best for freelancers with blogs)- $8/month
  • Business (best for bloggers with small businesses) – $25/ month
  • eCommerce (best for online stores) – 45/ month

Note that all plans are billed yearly.

[num 11] Typepad

Typepad

Typepad is a fully-fledged blogging platform designed for both experienced bloggers and beginners. The platform offers an easy-to-use interface and an array of themes and plugins to help customize your blog.

It’s very flexible and gives you numerous publishing options. For instance, you can publish from a mobile device, web browser, or email. It also offers seamless integration with Google Analytics.

The platform is fully hosted, which means that your blog is hosted on their server. One drawback of Typepad is that you cannot edit codes. However, it supports design customization with Theme Builder and theme modification with custom CSS.

Pros
  • The intuitive and user-friendly dashboard makes it easy to draft and publish content.
  • It allows social media integrations.
  • It allows video and audio podcasts.
  • Google-friendly content posting features.
Cons
  • Limited integration widgets.
  • You can only create a restricted number of blogs.
Pricing

Type pad offers a wide range of plans to choose from. The cheapest plan is called “Plus” and costs $8.95/month. The plan offers a wide array of design templates, unlimited support, domain mapping, and personal support.

Other premium plans include “Unlimited” ($14.95/ month), “Premium” ($29.95/ month), and “Enterprise” ($49.95/ month). The more expensive the plan, the more the features.

All plans come with a 14-day free trial.

[num 12] Gator

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Gator is a simple website building tool offered by HostGator, one of the world’s best hosting service providers.

The platform is easy to use, and getting started is a breeze. All you have to do is sign up and pick a template.

The thing about Gator is that all the templates are categorized into industries to ensure that you don’t spend a lot of time trying to hone the right design for your blog.

The platform’s editor is pure-drag-and-drop. This means that you can move things around and position them exactly where you want them.

If you experience any challenges, Gator provides a handy onboarding tutorial to assist you with the process. The customer support is also quite responsive, and you can reach them via email, live chat, or phone.

Overall, Gator provides you with an all-in-one blogging platform, which lets you have total control of your blog.

Pros
  • Very user-friendly blogging platform.
  • Packages come with free domain and SSL certificate.
  • No need to have the technical know-how.
  • Backup and Security handled by Hostgator.
Cons
  • It’s not free.
  • If you want an eCommerce blog, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets.
Pricing

Hostgator offers three premium plans. There is the Starter plan that costs $3.84/month, the Premium Plan that costs $5.99/ month, and the e-Commerce plan that costs $9.22/month. For a personal blog, the Starter plan will serve you better.

[num 13] Constant Contact

Constant-Contact

Constant Contact is a legendary blogging platform that was founded in 1995. Over the years, the platform has grown to help small businesses and blogs succeed in email marketing campaigns. The platform supports a customer base of more than 250K.

The platform is designed in such a way that both experienced and non-experienced bloggers can use it with ease. For example, if you are new to e-mail marketing software, you can use this platform to set up your e-mail list quickly.

The dashboard is pretty intuitive and does not overwhelm you with features. From the dashboard, you can be able to; view analytics reports, manage subscribers, create sign up forms, create email campaigns, and more.

Best of all, you can be able to integrate Constant Contact with WordPress using a special plugin. The plugin allows you to manage your subscribers and add a signup form from within the WordPress dashboard.

Overall, the platform does an impressive job when it comes to email marketing. It also packs numerous features that lack in bigger platforms. However, the price point is a little higher compared to other beginner platforms.

Pros
  • Very easy platform to use.
  • One-click integration with WordPress and other platforms.
  • No limitation to the number of emails you can send per month.
  • Has a vast community that’s very knowledgeable.
Cons
  • Not feature-rich.
  • Third-party extensions are not allowed.
Pricing

Constant Contact offers two premium plans to its users, namely: “Email” plan that costs $20/ month and the “Email Plus” plan that costs $45/ month.

It’s important to note that the prices are based on the number of contacts. However, you can choose to start with a six-day trial to get a gist of how the platform works.

[num 14] LiveJournal

Livejournal

Launched in 1999, LiveJournal is one of the longest-running blogging platforms that allow people to not only blog but also get updated news from different journals around the globe.

The platform offers numerous networking features, making it one of the best choices for beginners. For example, the “friends list” feature allows you to link comments from other journals to your blog.

What’s more, the platform offers a huge library of templates/themes, making it easy to customize your blog. The only downside is that it’s impossible to modify the HTML of your blog.

Despite that, making posts is a breeze, thanks to the Post New Entry link feature on the interface that brings you directly to the text editor. You can also embed videos and photos on your blog.

Another important feature is the comment moderation tool that allows you to ban commenters. As such, upgrading to a premium plan opens up a wide range of features that will allow you to get the needed functionality on your blog.

Pros
  • It’s free, but you can also sign up for the paid version.
  • It’s available in various languages.
  • It allows you to blog anonymously without revealing your identity.
Cons
  • Not ideal for professional blogs
  • Too many destructive ads in the free version
  • Lacks professional templates.
Pricing

Apart from the free plan, LiveJournal offers the following paid plans:

An annual plan that costs $19.95/year, Semi-annual plan that costs $15 for six months, a bi-monthly plan that costs $5, and the monthly plan that costs $3/month.

[num 15] Drupal

Drupal

Drupal is a free and an open-source content management system distributed under the GNU General Public Licence.

Drupal is a great choice for blogs associated with businesses. It lets you add, publish, and remove content from your blog.

Just like WordPress, it’s easy to set up. All you have to do is look for a reliable web hosting service, then install Drupal.

The thing about Drupal is that you need to have some basic technical skills in order to get the most out of the platform. For example, you’ll need to adjust the code to keep your site updated and compatible with every element. We recommend hiring a developer at this stage.

So if you are a beginner, this is not the ideal blogging platform for you. However, if you are looking to advance your skills, there is no limit to the things you can do with Drupal.

Pros
  • Great platform for high-profile business related blogs.
  • You get built-in access control.
  • Multi-lingual site support.
  • Ability to handle tons of data.
Cons
  • Not ideal for complete beginners without the required technical expertise.
  • Has a steep learning curve.
Pricing

Drupal is an open-source platform that anyone can download and use for free. However, to get your site up and to run, you will need to incur some basic development costs such as domain registration, hosting, and security.

Along with that, you might need to hire a developer if you lack the technical expertise needed. This will likely hike your initial investment cost making Drupal a more expensive choice.

Wrapping Up

As it stands, there are numerous platforms you can choose to build your blog. However, all of these plans come with their advantages and disadvantages.

Therefore, it’s important to consider what you want to achieve as well as the requirements of your project. If you are looking to create a powerful and flexible website or blog that offers you complete control, we highly recommend WordPress.org.

Do share your views about this post in the comments section below.