If you are looking to share your thoughts and opinions, then blogs are definitely the perfect platform for you to do so. Bloggers can utilize the various free services that are available on the Internet today, besides the free platform there are also paid ones to consider. The difference between the free platform and the paid platform, for example is that for the paid platform you will be allowed more freedom in terms of design, the amount of disk space you can use (especially if your blog has a lot of high resolution pictures and videos) and so forth.
However, if you just require the basics then here are the top 5 free blogging platforms for your consideration.
In the blogsphere today, Google’s Blogger.com is perhaps the most popular platform in use. The fact that it’s owned by a reputable company, you can be rest assured that they will not disappear suddenly in the near future. As mentioned there are certain limits to what you can do, however for an average blogger the platform will more than suffice. And best of all you can have your blog up and running within a matter of minutes, it’s just that simple.
While a blog is a place for you to express yourself, there are still restrictions of what you can post online. In the most extreme cases, where you violate Google’s term of services, they have the right to remove your blog.
WordPress.com & WordPress
Another free platform that is popularly used is WordPress and like its counterpart, WordPress is also relatively easy to learn and use. Due to its popularity, users will find that WordPress comes with a huge variety of themes and plugins that will enhance your blog in both features and look & feel. So, it’s not a surprise that many people (even the elderly) use it for their blogging activities. Besides that, there is an active development community where users can get assistance or even support from the various forums dedicated to this particular blogging platform.
However, WordPress’ downside is that since the platform is free, bloggers will not be able to earn advertising revenue for themselves unless of course they are VIP members. To become a VIP member, it requires the bloggers to pay a hefty set up fee as well as a monthly fee to maintain the VIP status. Besides that, other ways of obtaining advertising revenue includes a feature called Ad Control where bloggers with heavy traffic can turn on AdSense and Skimlinks. However, bloggers will be required to split the revenues 50/50.
Optionally you may also consider using self hosted WordPress platform which is the best blogging platform in the internet because you can make virtually any kind of website using this platform. It has lot of plugins and themes which will help your blog get a unique look different from other blogs
If you are interested in blogging but don’t want to commit the full-fledged blogs then Tumblr might be the platform you are looking for especially if you are familiar with mirco-blogging such as Twitter. However, with Tumblr it is more media-centric which allows to include images and videos along with your posts and once again setting up an account is relatively easy. The platform itself is very customizable and at the same time it offers a wide range of themes. Having said that the themes offered on Tumblr are not as sleek as compared to some of the other platforms such as WordPress. In the most extreme case your blog could even resemble a badly designed MySpace page!
There is relatively no difference between the functions available on Textpattern and that of WordPress. However compared to WordPress, Textpattern does not have the same amount of support that WordPress enjoys from the Internet community. Textpattern offers this “Article” system that allows users to post their articles anywhere they want while “Forms” enables them to present the articles the way they want them to be presented. And unfortunately compared to the other platforms, Textpattern has a bigger learning curve but once you mastered it, it will definitely pay off.
Posterous is an interesting platform compared to the rest that was mentioned earlier, simplicity was a major theme in all that was discussed but Posterous definitely takes the cake. If a user is interested in blogging on this platform then all they need to do is to just email Posterous at firstname.lastname@example.org and the system will create a blog for you. Since everything is done through email you can virtually do all your postings wherever you are and your subscribers can be updated through email as well. Since Posterous is the new kid on the block, there’s not much customization that can be done and the default options offer limited features.
If you are looking for the traditional form of blogging then platforms such as WordPress, Blogger and Textpattern are worth looking into. Tumblr has an interesting concept to it and definitely has its fan base while Posterous will offer great flexibility in the way you post your blogs. Each one definitely has its strengths and weaknesses, look into each of them and decide which one you are comfortable with. If you are an experienced blogger, share with us which one is your favorite blogging platform in the comment section below.