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Top 10 Cheapest VPNs of 2020 | Detailed Review

People often misunderstand that expensive things ensure quality. A good VPN doesn’t need to be expensive. You might be surprised to know that some of the best VPNs are actually quite affordable and cost you less than a cup of coffee for a monthly subscription.

With their unquestionable performance and great features, you surely wouldn’t mind getting a subscription and testing them out.

If you are one of those individuals who like to keep their online life private and would want nothing but top-grade performance without paying a fortune, we have come up with a list just for you – the top ten cheapest VPNs that offer you great value for money.

What can you expect from top VPNs?

To set it straight, a cheap VPN doesn’t mean you settle for something less in terms of performance and quality. Tight security and assured privacy with a good speed are a must.

Of course, the cross-browser and device compatibility add to the user-friendly quotient and the overall value offered. But with all that, you need to make sure that it does solve the purpose you chose it for – unblocking your favorite video streaming websites or even the torrent portals if required by not risking your security and privacy.

Also, if you like to use your VPN on mobile too often, do ensure that they have dedicated Android and iOS apps as well. 

10 Best Cheapest VPN Services

[num 1] Cyberghost

6000+ servers in over 110 countries – that’s what you get from Cyberghost’s arsenal. Better than any other cheap VPNs that we have used, it does make it quite simple for you to log in and get the ball rolling.

With access to a huge range of servers, you will get to choose just the right one needed to unblock your favorite streaming or torrent websites.

Yes, we did find that it could not provide us with consistently high speeds, but it compensates well in all other domains, including the ease of browsing, support, technical strength, cross-browser stability, and more.

But don’t just believe us. Discover their features and check the performance by subscribing to their free trial of 45 days – undoubtedly one of the longest trial packs among all top VPN services. This also makes it a best VPN service provider in the segment.

Key Features:

  • Great value for money
  • Brilliant smart features
  • Longest trial offering among VPNs
  • Maximum number of devices supported – 7

Price – You can subscribe to the 1-year plan at $2.75 per month, whereas plans for the lesser duration will cost you more – $7.99 per month for 6 months or $12.99 for one month.

[num 2] NORD VPN

Nord is one of the most popular VPNs out there which provides you with an unmatched level of security and privacy.

With a huge variety of features as well as top-grade performance, Nord offers you unmatched value for money and thus it is the best VPN service you can use without burning your pocket.

With a number of servers that offer double protection (your data being routed through two different servers for an added layer of protection), Nord is indeed one of the most preferred choices among virtual private network users.

If you are someone who loves to be secure and avoid even the slightest chance of your data being recorded, you will definitely love Nord for its DNS leak protection, double 2048 bit encryption, and the automatic kill switch.

Nord has an easy to use client. We also found the ‘no-logs’ policy quite impressive, but that being said, it is not one of the cheapest VPNs out there, which did motivate us to look beyond.

Key Features

  • Impressive for both mobile and desktop
  • Unmatched performance
  • Double encryption for added protection
  • A bit complex as compared to other VPNs 
  • It’s a reliable and trusted VPN service provider

Price – You can test out Nord for a free 30-day trial after which the subscription plans are going to cost you as follows –

  1. $89.04 for 12 months subscription
  2. $54 for 6 months subscription
  3. $11.95 for one month

[num 3] Surfshark

Its position on the list is debatable as Surfshark happens to be the most ‘value for money’, yet one of the best cheap VPN services out there in the market.

When you say affordable, Surfshark happens to be one of the top two recommendations from experts. It has a peculiar name, and honestly, that price subscription trumps every other feature that its competitors have to offer.

It does have an impressive array of security features – Open VPN UDP and VPN, private DNS, IKEv2 protocols, and AES256 encrypted double-hop VPNs.

When we say it costs less and that compensates well, we do not mean that Surfshank is any less in its performance. It offers a decent speed from its 100+ servers spread across 110 locations all over the world.

What really made it our favorite pick is its ability to provide simultaneous protection to unlimited devices. No, there is no limitation there, and you might just be able to protect all your home devices for less than $2 per month.

So now, perhaps you wouldn’t be surprised when you find Surfshark name on the list of best cheap VPN services in the market.

Key Features

  • Incredibly attractive low price
  • Top grade performance
  • Fast connections
  • Unlimited device bandwidth
  • Too basic in features and interface

Price – For a 2-year subscription, Surfshark is available for as low as $1.99 per month, whereas its 12 months and 1-month package cost $5.99 per month and $11.95 per month, respectively.

[num 4] Private Internet Access

Another top choice among experienced users and experts, the PIA or the Private Internet Access, is at the top of our mobile Virtual Private Networks list!

The VPN supports torrenting with its 2700+ servers in 47 countries. Cross-device compatible without any glitch in performance, the VPN comes with a 10-device limit, which means that you can have your mobile phones and desktop connected and going without any hindrances.

Excellent cheap VPN that offers a huge variety of servers to choose from, PIA does fall a bit short on its desktop version, even though its impressive browser extensions are quite popular among VPN users. That also happens to be the reason why you might not find PIA in the top 3 picks in any list.

We really liked the fact that PIA has the ability to use advanced features like SOCK5 Port forwarding along with an option to set up applications to provide you with automatic protection when browsing through an unsecured network or WiFi connection.

Key Features

  • Covers upto ten devices
  • Brilliant extension and app support
  • It’s a powerful cheap VPN service
  • Commendable speed and performance

Price – The full 12-month plan will cost you $3.33/mo, whereas the 6-month plan will cost you $5.99 a month.

[num 5] Hotspot Shield 

One of the most popular but cheap VPNs in the market, Hotspot Shield, happens to be a great VPN service that offers great value for money.

Available for a price as low as $2.99 a month, Hotspot Shield provides you access to their proprietary encryption algorithm, which happens to be amongst the fastest servers clocking top-grade performance. 

Even though some people might not be happy with its free to access server being limited to one, you do get a 45-day money-back guarantee with Hotspot Shield, giving you ample time to test out its features and performance.

One impressive feature that had us applauding the VPN was Hotspot Shield’s stability and compatibility with different Operating systems and devices – something which is really hard to find even amongst the best cheap VPNs. 

Key Features

  • Cheap VPN with a freemium subscription
  • Uses a proprietary algorithm
  • Highly stable and compatible
  • Above-average speed and performance
  • A limited number of servers and locations

Price – For the 3-year plan, you can get a premium subscription at $2.99 a month, whereas the 12 months plan is going to cost you around $7.99 a month. If you’d like to go for the month on month plan, that would cost you $12.99 a month.

[num 6] Express VPN

Over 3000 servers in 94 countries and a limit of 5 devices in one plan that come along with the brand name that has stood synonymous with top-notch performance and service for the past few years – that is what Express has to offer its subscribers.

The VPN’s Perfect Forward Secrecy is what caught our eye initially, as it happens to be quite the powerful feature in itself.

Not only does it guarantee your secrecy, but it also connects with a different key every time and changes the key every hour that your connection stays active.

Another impressive feature is Express’s support – which actually happens to be, hands down, the best support service by any VPN.

The live chats have a negligible wait time, and the operator is able to help out with almost all the issues. In all, yes, it might cost more, but its features, supports, and the complete experience make it worth the extra money you pay.

Key Features

  • Great support
  • Enhanced security with Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • Covers all types of devices
  • Has a great selection of mobile apps

Price – The annual subscription for Express will cost you $6.67 a month with three extra months (pay for 12, get 15!), whereas the 6 months and monthly plans will cost you $9.99 a month and $12.95, respectively.

[num 7] Zenmate

Another popular brand amongst VPN users, Zenmate is best known for its excellent support across all devices while allowing you to connect upto 5 devices at the same time.

Zenmate made a name for itself with its free VPN service, but the German brand is now offering access to 3600+ servers across 74 countries for as low as $2.22 a month. The robust IKEv2 and OpenVPN encryption ensure that all your connections are secured beyond measure.

So if you are looking for a powerful VPN that can offer you great features, a premium support service, and an excellent overall package at a pocket-friendly price, Zenmate has got to be on your list of choices to explore.

Key Features

  • Uses IKEv2 and OpenVPN encryption
  • Allows five devices at a time
  • Excellent user support
  • Freemium subscriptions
  • Access to over 3600 servers in 74 countries

Price – The annual subscription will cost you $2.22 a month, and with that, you get free 6 months as well! However, $5.39 a month and $10.99 a month for the half-yearly and monthly plans.

[num 8] Ivacy

If you are ready to compromise a bit on the features, Ivacy might be the best cheap VPN for you. That being said, Ivacy is no less in terms of securing the privacy of its users as it secures its connections with OpenVPN encryption. However, it does not have thousands of servers to offer you and has limited coverage.

Even though the speed is pretty impressive with the resources at hand and they are unable to unblock most of the libraries and websites, you can try it out for yourself as the VPN offers you the service with a 30 day money-back guarantee.

Key Features

  • Military-grade encryption
  • Cheapest we have come across
  • Limited server offering
  • 30 day money-back guarantee

Price – Take the 5-year plan and get the subscription for $1.16 a month. The annual plan will cost you $3.95/mo, whereas the monthly subscription will cost $9.95. 

[num 9] Private VPN

Having won several awards for offering value for money, the Private VPN still does find its way to our top picks. Great encryption, good connection speeds, stability, 60 server locations, and decent customer support make it a powerful and user-friendly VPN tool that you would love to have.

This cheap VPN offers you the ability to connect six devices simultaneously, without breaking down on performance.

Goes without saying, it can unblock various Netflix libraries and several other streaming sites as well.

Key Features

  • Offers 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy to use cheap VPN service
  • 60 server locations
  • Decent support and performance

Price – The 24 months subscription of the Private VPN will cost you $1.89 a month, whereas the 3-month plan will cost you $4.20/mo against the monthly subscription cost of $7.12. 

[num 10] SaferVPN

Built-in kill switch and DNS leak protection along with high-end encryption and several other impressive features – now you might think it will cost more like other reliable brands, but SaferVPN is the name that offers you top-notch service and features at the cheapest possible rate.

Often overlooked and underestimated, this is a game-changing VPN tool that packs several powerful features into one bundle.

The only drawback we saw was that SaferVPN still struggles with some popular streaming sites and players like BBCiPlayer. Otherwise, its 24/7 live chat support and no-log policy do make it quite user and privacy-friendly.

Key Features

  • Good customer support
  • Apps available for all devices
  • Build-in leak protection and kill switch
  • 30 day money-back guarantee

Price – SaferVPN has different subscription plans to offer –

  1. 3 years plan – $2.50/mo
  2. 2 years plan – $3.29/mo
  3. 1 year plan – $5.49/month
  4. 1 month – $12.49

Finally, which VPN did you choose to go with? Do tell us in the comments section below.

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10 Best PayPal Alternatives for 2020

PayPal is a well-known platform that allows users to conduct online payment and bank transfers. Using it, you can easily send and receive money across the globe.

Moreover, PayPal does not ask you for more than just your email address and an existing debit card (or credit cards) to register.

After its full takeover by eBay in 2002, it has had tremendous growth in expanding its userbase and the transactions occurring on the platform. To give you an idea, in 2019 alone, Paypal saw a payment volume of $712 billion as compared to just $150 billion in 2012.

The platform is used by digital agencies, freelancers, bloggers, and business owners for sending and receiving payments.

Since many people still prefer to use it to make online payments, there are many other platforms in the game that have come up. Some of them offer a lot more features and services when it comes to secure online transactions.

If you are looking for the best Paypal alternatives, you may want:

  • Seller protection for your digital goods
  • Chargebacks should incur a lower fee
  • Better support (Since PayPal can take up to four business days to respond back to your query)
  • Better features in terms of doing seamless transactions with more control over the UX

There could be many other reasons, such as having more control over your transaction cycle, the user experience of your application, etc. due to which you could be searching for an alternative solution of Paypal.

In many cases, the transaction charges and the time taken for received money to reflect in your bank account (which could take many days) could be a major reason for finding a better solution.

In this detailed post, we have covered the ten best PayPal alternatives which you can use for doing online transactions and digital payments.

10 Best PayPal Alternatives

[num 1] Skrill

Skrill is widely used in the USA, Europe, and the CIS countries, and it is a great PayPal alternative.

You just need an email address and password to create a sign-up. Once done, you can add your credit card/debit card and bank account to seamlessly transfer and receive payments across the globe.

The best part about Skrill is that it charges relatively low transaction fees for bank transfers and withdrawing funds that range from 1.9% -4.9%.

It allows you to look back accounts, store cards, send and receive money. If you are a Skrill Wallet holder, you just need to pay 1.45% commission, which lets you save a big pile if there is huge money involved in the transaction.

It also has a dedicated support library where you can find answers to the most common queries related to the platform.

You can also join the Skrill loyalty program known as Knect, where you will earn reward points for every transaction you do on the platform. Later once you have enough points, you can exchange them for cash rewards and other bonuses as well.

There is only one concern where the platform charges its private users for inactivity fees. If you haven’t used your account for 12 months, Skrill will charge $5 for the same.

Skrill is mainly good for private users and small businesses as it offers you zero deposit fees, zero fees for sending and receiving money, and for withdrawals.

[num 2] TransferWise

TransferWise is another platform that is a great PayPal alternative as it is one of the leading operators for international transactions and money transfers.

It started its operation in 2011, and today, TransferWise provides the ability to send money from over 43 countries, receive transfers in more than 70 countries, and support more than 49 currencies.

The motto of the company is to make international transfers more accessible. The best away to analyze the same is by checking out some of the feedback from the regular customers on Trustpilot, which gives the platform a 4.6 rating out of 5 which is very good in the segment.

The principle of the service – the transfer can be sent and received only to your bank account/card in national currency.

To manage the cost, Transferwise uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology. This helps them manage the funds in a way that they incur minimum charges to the end user.

When paying, for most transactions, a classic bank transfer is used; for some currencies, payment is available directly from a bank card or SOFORT payments.

When using the TransferWise mobile application for iOS and Android, payment via Apple Pay or Android Pay is possible

In terms of the transaction fees, there are three ways you can send money – Fast Transfer, Advanced Transfer and Low Cost Transfer.

You can check their fee calculator to calculate the total fee on your transaction.

TransferWise is an ideal solution for sending money not only between countries of Europe and the USA but also from such corners of the world as – New Zealand – Singapore – Australia – Brazil – Turkey – Switzerland – Sweden – Denmark – Canada – China – Norway, and Japan.

Without any doubt, Transferwise is one of the best Paypal alternatives.

[num 3] Payoneer

Regardless of whether you are a business owner, freelancer, or a professional, Payoneer can help you quickly and securely accept payments from international customers and clients.

The platform specializes in various markets and industries, so it does not matter if your company is focused on e-commerce, online advertising, or rental housing. It offers a great alternative to PayPal.

But there is another side to this platform; you may encounter an even higher commission than in PayPal because each service will add its own commission costs. The commission for bank transfers or withdrawing funds to your bank account is 2% + 0.5% for currency conversion.

Amazon, the Internet giant, has called Payoneer, the US payment service provider, the “Preferred Method of Receiving Payments,” for merchants and partners. This is, at least, a worthy statement to have a fair idea about the platform.

Payoneer was founded in 2005 and made receiving payments from the United States, Europe, Great Britain, Japan, and China quick and simple.

Payoneer payment cards are used by millions of customers around the world.

Though, you need to use Payoneer wisely to withdraw funds from ATMs at the lowest cost and withdraw to a bank account. Nevertheless, it is one of the best alternatives of Paypal.

The platform is quite popular in Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh as it helps freelancers to receive a payment from the US and other countries.

One can use the same for receiving their affiliate income as Payoneer offers the best in the industry currency conversion rates from Dollar to other national currency.

[num 4] Stripe

Stripe is a well-known payment system created by two brothers from Ireland, John and Patrick Collison in 2010. Now it is one of the main competitors of PayPal.

It is one company that came up with the idea: “Something is wrong with the market where PayPal dominates but still does not satisfy the consumers.”

Stripe is aimed at sellers and entrepreneurs as they are the main users of the platform. The platform is aimed to become the perfect intermediary on the Internet between the customer’s cards and seller accounts.

If you compare PayPal and Stripe tariffs, you can see that they are very similar, but the second one is cheaper, which means lesser transaction fees, especially for international payments.

However, if you delve into a detailed comparison of the two payment systems, the advantages of Stripe become less obvious.

Based on the experience of many companies operating in the foreign market, we can confidently say that Stripe is one of the best gateways for receiving payments from anywhere in the world.

If you are engaged in online business and do not want to face problems such as registering an IP or legal entity, freezing funds, long payments, then Stripe is the most suitable option for you and one of the best PayPal alternatives.

[num 5] 2CheckOut

2CheckOut is a payment platform that supports transactions on a global scale. It supports 100 currencies and more than 33 languages, which makes it a preferred platform for doing transactions across most of the countries.

It is trusted by more than 17000 industry leaders and businesses for making digital sales and certainly adds to the category of being one of the best PayPal alternatives.

Regarding the commission fee, it mostly depends on which country you are in. For eg, in the US, the commission will be 3.5% + $0.35 per transaction.

You can use the platform to enable payments from your customers on your website. You just need to connect 2Checkout’s Avangate, and you are good to go.

It is a great platform for SaaS businesses as you can sign up customers for recurring payments as well.

It also helps you to drive maximum lifetime value from your customers by offering you a solid infrastructure to manage online payments.

2CheckOut also offers you detailed documentation to use their platform easily.

In terms of security, every transaction on the platforms is checked by applying more than 300 fraud rules so that your transactions are always secure.

[num 6] Authorize.Net

Authorize.net is not very popular, though, it is another PayPal alternative that you can check for doing online transfers.

It is a subsidiary of Visa and offers the best support amongst all the payment platforms that we have discussed so far.

They did their cohort in 1996 by doing a pilot with small businesses, now, Authorize.Net has more than 45,000 merchants and the platforms itself handles more than $149 billion in payments on an average per year.

If you are someone who would want to send or accept electronic transactions in person, Authorize.Net is the platform for you.

You can send/receive payments in person, online, or even over your smartphone using this payment gateway.

The platform has been repeatedly praised for its reliability and security.

They also integrate with Apple Pay, PayPal, and Visa Checkout and allows you to accept payments from your customers across the globe. Though, for this, your business should be based in – Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Europe, or Australia.

Regarding the pricing, you can sign up on the platforms with zero setup fee. You will be charged 2.9% + 0.30 cents per transaction.

[num 7] Amazon Pay

You can use Amazon Pay on your online store, and it would act as a great payment platform if your users are already aware about Amazon.

Amazon Pay enables your customers to make payments using their own Amazon account credentials. This makes the transaction process fast without much friction.

Don’t be amazed if you get better conversion rates on your store because Amazon pay lets your customers make the payment process so seamless that your customers do not have to think much about how to do the transaction.

Moreover, you are enjoying the trust your customers have on Amazon for your own benefit.

Regarding the security, you can be assured of that as Amazon makes sure that all your online payments and transactions are secure. The transaction includes fraud protections and offers you the same level of security as Paypal.

Regarding the commission charges and pricing, it is similar to Paypal. You will be charged 2.9% + $0.30 for domestic US transactions and 3.9% + $0.30 for non US transactions.

The benefit of using Amazon pay is that it can be used on any device, smartphone, or desktop, which makes it a great option to receive payments on your online store.

[num 8] Venmo

Venmo is a widely popular payment platform amongst the millennials. It is a simple digital wallet that you can use to send money to your contacts.

The best part, it is free to do transactions from your bank account. Though, if you pay using credit cards, there will be a 3% charge. In short, you can enjoy commission free transactions if you are using your account or debit card for the transaction.

It is a platform catered towards sending money to your known contacts. For eg, you can use Venmo to split the money amongst your friends during a trip or any other common outings. The only condition is that you and your friend’s account should be connected to Venmo.

It could be used for accepting payments in a physical store. For e.g., Let’s say you run a salon, you can take payments from your regular customers through Venmo and make the process seamless.

Venmo could be a really useful application to manage payments during the times of COVID-19 as it promotes cashless payments with a few clicks.

Moreover, you are using it for sending or receiving payments from your trusted network, which is good.

[num 9] Google Pay

Google Pay – formerly known as Android Pay – is a service that allows you to pay for purchases from physical stores, websites, and online shopping apps.

It can be used in any store and other places where terminals for contactless payment are installed. You have probably already seen similar devices at the box office and grocery stores.

To pay via Google Pay, just bring your smartphone to such a terminal instead of a card. This is more convenient during Covid-19 since you do not need to carry a lot of currency with you.

As for online shopping: sites and applications that accept money through Google Pay, display a button with the logo of the same. You just need to click on the same to process your transaction with the help of your smartphone.

This method eliminates the need to enter card details each time and thereby significantly speeds up the process.

Google says payment through Google Pay is secure. All financial data is encrypted and stored on secure servers. In addition, when paying, the seller does not even receive your card number: instead, he sees only the virtual account number that is assigned to each card.

[num 10] WePay

WePay is another great PayPal alternative and offers a great payment solution for your e-commerce business.

It is a JPMorgan Chase company that provides integrated payment platforms for SaaS and crowdfunding sites. You can easily get started by creating a merchant account and integrating the payment system into your online store.

You can get your account up and running on the platform pretty quickly. It supports a diverse range of online payment options. Along with that, the best part is, there isn’t any monthly fee for the same. You only pay when you do certain transactions.

It offers three services – Link, Clear, and Core.

The Link offers the merchants to conduct online transactions through the integrated payment. The earnings feed is automatically deposited into Chase accounts. As a merchant, you’ll have to pay 2.9% + $0.25 per transaction.

Clear is a white label payment where merchants can set their own pricing. It gives the merchants dynamic control over their applications and how they want to integrate the same. It also lets you control the user’s experience.

Finally, Core is for companies that do a lot of transactions and aspire to become complete payment facilitators. Core lets merchants integrate fully with Chase’s infrastructure that includes both – payment processing + cash management. This gives merchants the flexibility and control over their apps. They can control the UX, including the transaction life cycle.

The only glitch is that it does not accept funds from Paypal. Nevertheless, it is also one of the best PayPal alternatives.

Conclusion

We hope that you were able to find the right PayPal alternative for your online payments. Most of these platforms need just your email address and password to create an account on their platform.

You could use these Paypal Alternatives to do money transactions for your online/offline business. These would also be great platforms for bloggers, freelancers, and minimalists to receive money from different parts of the globe.

You might also look at using the above platforms, which suits the most in your country. For e.g., Transferwise is highly used in the UK, and you will find the majority of the merchants and users on the platform as compared to Paypal.

Finally, to conclude, PayPal is still the largest shareholder when it comes to doing online payments and money transfers from one country to another.

Though at many times, one would want features like seller protection, less transaction fees, and better one-to-one support where PayPal might not fit right for everyone. In such a case, you can choose one of the above platforms as all of them are highly trusted.

Finally, which platform did you find as a good PayPal alternative? Also, what is the major reason for you to switch from Paypal? Don’t forget to share your views in the comments section below.

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Vimeo vs YouTube – Which one is better?

As a content creator, selecting the right platform to host your videos is very important. Though most of you would anyway host your videos on YouTube, Vimeo is also an equally good option if you know what you are doing.

In this post, we’ll do a detailed comparison of Vimeo vs YouTube and find out the exact details, features and specifications of both the platforms. By the end of this post, you will be able to figure out which platform is better for you.

[num 1] Introduction

Before getting started with the detailed comparison, let’s also have a brief understanding of both the platforms, when were they started etc.

YouTube

It is currently, worlds largest video platform which was started in Feb 2005 by three former PayPal employees-Chad HurleySteve Chen, and Jawed Karim.

By January 2012, the daily number of video views on YouTube reached 4 billion. The website features films, music videos, trailers, news, educational programs, as well as amateur videos, including video blogs, slide shows, humorous videos, and more.

Vimeo

We were pretty surprised to see that many of you don’t know what is Vimeo. For your knowledge, it is an American video content hosting and sharing company headquartered in New York. Launched in 2004, today, it comes as mobile applications for iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms.

It draws users from over 150 countries and gets more than 800 million views a month.

[num 2] What’s the Difference between YouTube vs Vimeo?

This article is relevant to anyone who wants to capitalize on the opportunity to drive more sales, followers and subscriptions by utilizing the power of videos. We will tell you the exact reason why you should choose one of the mentioned websites and what are the specifications and features of each video platform.

Both YouTube and Vimeo are great platforms to host and share videos on the web. They come with a lot of different features which you must know before making any choice.

[num 2.1] Audience & Community

Winner: YouTube

There is no doubt that YouTube is the biggest platform when it comes to numbers. YouTube has more than 2 billion users worldwide. Adding to the fact, 79% of the online users have a YouTube account which is pretty huge if you consider other platforms in the segment.

Compared to YouTube, Vimeo has an audience of just 240 million people who use their platform worldwide. The good part is, approximately 30% of the total users are from the US. This gives you a little edge if you are making content, especially for the US-based crowd.

[num 2.2] Search Engine Rankings

Winner: Vimeo

Since Vimeo has less crowd, it gives you the opportunity of being found reasonably easily as compared to YouTube.

On YouTube, it takes time to get found. Also, if you are making videos in a niche which is already overcrowded, going with simple SEO optimization would not help you to gain instant views on the platform.

Since the userbase is so large on YouTube, it becomes difficult for you to be found on the YouTube search results if you are just starting out without any fan following or zero branding.

[num 2.3] Search Optimization

Winner: YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet after Google. Also, since Google owns it, the platform is highly favoured and you also have a chance of coming up in the Google search results as well for your search query.

Let’s say you are in the food recipe niche and you make videos like “How to make a vegan Pizza at home?”. In this case, you deserve to be on YouTube as you will gain traction from both the search engines – Google and YouTube.

[num 2.4] Membership

Winner: YouTube

YouTube is an entirely free platform to get started and host unlimited videos. Though, there is an option to get a subscription of YouTube premium for $11.99/month in which you can have an ad-free experience on the platform. It also gives you other features like – downloading content and playing it for 30 days without connecting to the internet, and playing music in the background while you are exploring other apps. Though anyone can watch YouTube videos for free.

Vimeo offers you four different subscription options – Plus, Pro, Business and Premium. The price for the same could be seen in the screenshot below:

[num 2.5] Mobile Users

Winner: YouTube

This had to be pretty obvious since YouTube has 30X more users than Vimeo. Approximately 70% of the watch time comes from mobile users on YouTube.

It could significantly help you if you want to target people on mobile.

Though both Vimeo and YouTube optimize a video as per mobile, tablet and desktop. In terms of reach, YouTube provides you with a better option to reach more people.

[num 2.6] Support

Winner: Vimeo

Vimeo offers you different layers of support which usually starts from their basic plan itself. For it’s paid customers, Vimeo is a good option as you will get faster replies and guidance as compared to YouTube.

When it comes to business, Vimeo could be an excellent platform for you if you hardly have any expertise in video making.

If we compare YouTube vs Vimeo, YouTube offers you a lot of free documentation and tutorials to resolve common issues on the platform. Though, if you have a specific query, it could be quite daunting to get a reply from their support team.

[num 2.7] Storage

Winner: YouTube

YouTube offers you unlimited storage for your videos. This is one of the biggest reasons why the platform has seen an exponential rise in the number of content creators. You can upload unlimited videos per week.

You have the same privilege as Beyonce to show your talent without paying a single penny. This makes it a perfect platform and lets you focus on your content rather than worrying about the subscription charges.

One thing to notice, YouTube offers you to upload videos up to 15 minutes long. If you want to upload a video which is longer than 15 minutes, you can do so by verifying your account.

Compared to YouTube, the free Vimeo account gives you 500MB of storage per week. You could go till 7TB max storage with no boundation on per week storage if you choose to go with the $75/month premium plan which is also the maximum subscription fee you are being charged on the platform.

[num 2.8] Pre-Roll Ads

Winner: Vimeo

As a content creator, you would want to make sure that your viewers enjoy your video without any interruption.

Though, this also depends from niche to niche. On Vimeo, there are no pre-roll, post-roll ads and overlays to tarnish your video. You have the freedom to showcase your work the same way you want without any interruption to your viewers.

Well, on YouTube, you can expect ads pretty much on all videos. Thus, especially for businesses, it might not be the perfect platform to host videos if you have a particular niche audience.

[num 2.9] Running Advertisement Campaigns

Winner: YouTube

Since it is the second-largest search engine on the web, it gives you the power to reach a humongous crowd and promote your videos and products.

YouTube is a compelling platform to do your branding as you will reach a wider audience. Also, it is somewhat cheaper than search ads on Google.

Typically every big platform, be it Amazon, Walmart, etc., use YouTube to reach a wider audience.

Vimeo is an ad-free platform and thus you can’t run paid advertisements on the platform.

[num 2.10] Privacy Options

Winner: Vimeo

Though both the platforms give you the option to make your videos private or public, Vimeo is slightly better in the game as it gives you specific privacy options based on your interest.

For instance, on Vimeo, you can add password-protected videos, share them only with people who follow you and can even hide it from the Vimeo Community.

It could be a good option for you, especially during Covid-19 times, when most of us are working from home. If you have a lot of video-related stuff to share in the meetings, Vimeo is a great option.

[num 2.11] Customizable Player

Winner: Vimeo

If we compare YouTube vs Vimeo, Vimeo’s player comes with a bunch of useful customization options that unfortunately are not present on YouTube.

On Vimeo, you can include a custom player log, hex colour customizations etc. This would also update your previously embedded videos and will reflect the changes automatically without using any code.

[num 2.12] Analytics

Winner: YouTube

It is pretty surprising that being a free platform, YouTube shows you precise analytics for your videos.

You can view statistics like watch time, retention time, realtime video views, subscriber change, estimated revenue, comments, average view duration, likes vs dislikes, your top published videos and whatnot.

Vimeo also offers you a robust analytics platform for which you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to access the same.

[num 3] Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does YouTube Own Vimeo?

No, both YouTube and Vimeo are different platforms. InterActiveCorp has the majority ownership in Vimeo which they acquired in 2006. On the other hand, YouTube is owned by Google.

Is Vimeo free?

Vimeo is free to join. Though, to explore its actual features, you would have to subscribe to a paid version which begins from $7/month.

Does Vimeo pay you like YouTube?

Vimeo is an ad-free platform. Thus, one cannot generate ad revenue out of the same. On the other hand, you can make money by doing brand deals or so once you become a known creator in a particular space.

How to make an account on YouTube?

You can use your email address to create an account. The same email address will be used to recover password in case you forget it. However, you can watch a YouTube video for free.

[num 4] Final Thought

Both YouTube and Vimeo are great platforms for content creators across the world. Vimeo has a large part of the users from the US, which is a great thing for someone targeting the American audience, as we mentioned earlier.

Overall, if you’re looking for a creative community where you can chat with other video creators and stand out in a specific niche, Vimeo is the best place to start sharing your content.

If your business goals pretty much revolve around search engine optimization, advertising or video hosting, YouTube is the best choice.

Which one is your favourite platform amongst YouTube vs Vimeo? Do share with us in the comments section below.

Categories
Tools

XML vs HTML – What is the Difference?

Amongst so many markup and coding languages, it is possible that you get confused between XML vs HTML. No worries, in this detailed post, we will tell you the exact difference between the two.

As a beginner, especially when you land up in the web designing industry, there are so many languages one can use to design the landing pages, creatives and graphics. You must know which language to use for what purpose.

[num 1] What is XML?

XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It is a simple markup language that is used for only transporting data but not for displaying it.

It supports textual data format via Unicode to support different human languages. The primary focus of XML is on the simplicity and usability across the internet.

It is largely used to represent complex data structures such as those which are being used in web services.

Every XML document ends with the .xml extension.

[num 2] What is HTML?

HTML refers to HyperText Markup Language. Unlike an XML document, HTML deals with the creation and editing of web pages. If we were to explain the same in a simplified language, HTML handles ways in which we can display data on the browser.

HTML is not case sensitive and can be edited using any simple text editor, such as the Notepad now Windows or TextEdit on iOS.

HTML operates by means of predefined tags and attributes. By using these predefined tags, we can create different types of designs and structure for the web pages that could be further displayed to the users via a web browser.

Time to delve into a detailed comparison between XML and HTML.

[num 3] HTML vs XML – Comparison

HTMLXML
It is an abbreviation of HyperText markup LanguageIt is an abbreviation of eXtensible Markup Language.
It is staticIt is dynamic
It would still work with small errorsIt won’t run if there is even a small error. XML is case sensitive
It is a language used to display data in a proper design formatIt is not used for programming or designing and presenting data. It is just used during the transportation of data
It has predefined tagsIt has user defined XML tags
It has limited number of tagsThere is no limit on the number of tags. Users can create as many tags they want
Closing tags are not necessaryClosing tags are necessary
It is used for rendering the data at the client sideIt is used for data transportation from an application to a database
It does not preserve white spacesit preserves white spaces

[num 4] What is the Importance of XML?

Here is a rundown of what makes XML important:

  • The biggest advantage of XML is that it facilitates the transfer of information across different platforms. For eg: if you want to transport data between an application and a database, XML can do that pretty easily. You just have to use the tags properly according to the way you define them.
  • XML can simplify the process of handling information structure with an application. Since it makes it easy to transfer information and data across different platforms, XML has helped develop information-sharing standards on the web.

[num 5] What is the Importance of HTML?

The advantages of HTML are simple and easy to enumerate:

  • An HTML document has become the standard building block on the web. It works across different systems and services, and virtually every page or app nowadays is a conglomerate of HTML tags.
  • HTML is easy to grasp and learn. In fact, it is one of the first languages that newbie developers tend to take when learning how to code.
  • It deals with how data looks and how content is displayed. As such, by making judicious use of tags, objects and other elements, building a website becomes easy. Using HTML, you can display data in a presentable way.
  • You can create a stunning webpage using HTML and basic PHP functions.

[num 6] Disadvantages of using XML:

Here, are few drawbacks of using XML:

  • XML requires an application for processing.
  • The XML syntax is similar to many other alternatives ‘text-based’ data transmission formats. This could be confusing sometimes.
  • It does not support an intrinsic data type.
  • It has a redundant syntax.
  • Does not allow you to create your own tags.

[num 7] Disadvantages of using HTML

Here, are few drawbacks of using HTML:

  • Syntax checking is difficult using a default text editor.
  • Not recommended to use when there is an exclusive data exchange.
  • You can define the semantics of a document using HTML.
  • It is sometimes unstable.
  • Doesn’t support data exchange or transport.

[num 8] XML Example:

<?xml version = "1.0"?>  

<contactinfo>  

    <address category = "website">  

        <name>MTS</name>  

        <Website>MyThemeShop</Website>  

        <mobile>9999999991</mobile>  

    </address>  

</contactinfo>  

[num 9] HTML Example:

<!DOCTYPE html> 

<html> 

<head> 

	<title>MyThemeShop</title> 

</head> 

<body> 

	<h1>MyThemeShop</h1> 

	<p>A marketplace for WordPress Themes and Plugins.</p> 

</body> 

</html> 

[num 10] Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the main difference between HTML and XML?

HTML is used to represent data while XML is used to transport data. This is the most basic and simple explanation in order to explain it to a layman.

Can XML replace HTML?

No, instead, XML provides an alternative way to set your own markup elements.

HTML comes with pre defined tags while, in XML, you can define your own XML tags. Moreover, XML syntax includes the current HTML version i.e. XHTML and HTML5.

HTML will remain active on the web. It is the most basic language to design a web page and display data.

Is HTML based on XML?

Both XML and HTML are based on SGML. You can say that HTML is an instance of XML.

[num 11] Final Thoughts:

We hope that by now, you must have got a clear idea of how HTML is different from XML and vice versa. Though it is a very easy topic, we have tried our best to explain the difference in a simplified format so that it is easy for the beginners as well to grasp the same.

Though, if you still have any doubts regarding the same or have any confusion, you are most welcome to ask them in the comments section below. We would be happy to help you.

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.

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