Blogging is a good way to tell your stories, share insights about a topic, connect with people sharing same interests. Blogging is also a nice channel to interact with your clients if you are running a business blog like what many big companies are doing now. If you’re looking to start a new blog or want to move an existing one to a better platform or service, you can check out what we suggest in this best blog hosting review.
Top 3 Best Free Blog Hosting Sites
The most well-known free blog hosting sites are Blogger, WordPress.com and Tumblr. Blogger is Google’s blogging platform, Tumblr is from Yahoo, WordPress is now the world’s no.1 hosting platform. Before you joining the online blogging community, you may want to know what’s the difference among these free blogging platforms, which is the one for you.
We recommend Blogger to both coders and non-coders. Blogger is extremely helpful if you do not know much about HTML coding or website hosting. If you want completely set up with a personal site in seconds, but do not want to go through any learning curve, Blogger is your best free blog hosting choice. Blogger offers you a few templates to choose from. These blog templates are free. And they are customizable. You can personalize them to suit your needs, for example, you can customize fonts, font size, font colors, page widths, background images and so on. You do not need to know anything about coding. Blogger has a online rich text editor. Your blogs on Blogger can be integrated with other Google products or services seamlessly. For example, you can easily add Google analytics to Blogger to track your website stats, website visitors, etc. You can create Google Adsense account and integrate it with your Blogger account to make money online. At the same time you publishing great content via Blogger, you can make money from your blog posts. Blogger now allows you to buy self own top level domain for your blog, so other than a blog URL address ending with blogspot.com, you can get your own domain, such as www.myblog.com.
WordPress.com is another free blogging platform and hosting. It is suitable for users at all levels. It is not as easy as Blogger. With a little time upfront, you can build more professional websites and blogs with it. It is more customizable and powerful than Bloggers. If you are truly committed to maintaining a long-term blog, you should take the time to learn it. It is worthwhile. It is fine for less experienced bloggers. WordPress has an enormous user base. You can find all kind of learning materials online. You can get fast help if you post any questions about WordPress in popular communities, like wordpress.com, Yahoo Answer, Ask, etc. There will be a huge templates collection on wordpress.com and even more from third party theme developers. WordPress also offers its in-house analytics system that has been built right into your blog admin panel. Just like Blogger, you can also buy your own domain for a blog on WordPress.com.
We have another in depth review here: WordPress or Blogger – Which is Better for Blogging?
Tumblr is a free blog hosting service from Yahoo. It is slightly different from Blogger or WordPress. Tumblr is better known among visual bloggers, microbloggers. It is the best place to post content that are light on text, such as artwork, photography, and design-themed content. You have the flexibility like you are on Facebook or Twitter, you can post your photos with just few text on Tumblr in an easier and better way than other blogging platforms, also you still keep the capacities to dig your mind into something more substantial, you can share long posts or in depth subject that can’t be achieved in just 140 characters or less. Like Blogger and WordPress, Tumblr also provides its blog users a variety of themes or templates. You can browse and change a blog theme on Tumblr easily. The blog themes are all customizable, you can do a lot of customizations, such as header image, avatar, font, color, layout, etc. If you like to view your blog traffic stats, you can easily add Google analytics to Tumblr blogs.
Best Blog Hosting Service for Business and Serious Bloggers
If you are serious about blogging and want to make money from blogging or creating a business blog, we recommend the WordPress CMS. Note that WordPress comes with two versions, a hosted version on wordpress.com, and a self-hosted version via wordpress.org. We have another guide talked about the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org here.
Why you should avoid free blog hosting for business purpose?
As long as your blog grows, you will find the free blog hosting services or sites are just too limiting. Here is a short list of the disadvantages of the free blogging platforms:
- Free blogs are not good for branding
Needless to say, the brand is very important in the long run. When your blog becomes popular and you can build up a very good individual or business branding with it. Your own domain, your logo, your unique site design may not allowed in a free blogging hosting service.
- Free blogs allow very limited controls
You do not have access to your web pages, databases. It is hard to download online blogs to your local computer, it is even harder to transfer a free blog to another platform. You have some control to customize your blogs to some extend, but that would be quite limited in comparison to self-hosted blogs.
- Free blogs are usually not good for SEO
If you have even used any website traffic stats tools, you should know the importance of Google rankings. Nowadays a large portion of internet users use Google, Bing or other search engine to find information they want. Without the traffic from search engines you will lose many business or visitors. Free blogs are usually not good for SEO, because search engines don’t rate them as being authoritative as those paid blogs.
- Free blogs can be discontinued anytime
You do not really own your blog with a free blogging platform. The blogging service might be terminated anytime without any warantee. You may be provided a backup of your blog when the free blog hosting service provider is going to close its blogging service, however this backup would usually has poor compatibility with other blogging platform or sites. What’s worse, you will lose your blog URL, your online branding and all SEO benefits.