Top Blog Software Picks – Take Your Blog to The Next Level

blog-software

Since the early 2000s, blogging has become increasingly popular among businesses and freelancers. It's the part of your website that really defines you or your business, and can be used for interacting with your visitors and developing a larger audience.

Oh, and there are dozens of interesting blogging platform options you can choose from.

But with so many platforms available, how can you be sure to choose the right one for your business or brand?

Luckily, as you can probably guess, I'm a blogger myself - and so I can confidently bring to you the very best blog software options out there. Here are my top 4 picks:

  • Blogger - Straightforward and easy to use
  • WordPress.org  - Open-source software with exceptional customization options
  • Jekyll - Best for simple and static blogs
  • Ghost - Open-source software with modern publishing tools

1. Blogger

Recommended for: users who want a brilliant yet basic blog on a budget.

What better place to start than with Blogger - the simple and straightforward free blog software owned by Google. With a bunch of ready-made templates to choose from and a blogspot.com domain - it's a great choice for beginners on a budget.

blog software blogger

Signing up takes a matter of seconds with an existing Google account. From there, you have around 50 themes to choose from, but I'd recommend taking a look at the 'Soho' category as they are exceptionally modern and appealing.

Once you have selected your blog template, you can tweak its color scheme, fonts, typography, and a few other options in the 'Gadgets' section. Using a drag and drop editor, you can also tweak the layout of your blog too.

blog software blogger postThere's a number of options for posting a blog post, you can add labels, location, and permalinks. For bloggers who have a busy lifestyle, there's the option to schedule your blog posts too.

As it's Google's product, you can easily integrate services like Google Analytics, Google Adsense, and other Google Apps.

With it being a completely free platform (unless you want a custom domain), Blogger is a great platform for beginners. However, experienced users might lack some of the advanced functionalities.

PROS

  • Free blogging platform
  • Google integration
  • Extremely user-friendly

CONS

  • Lack of support features
  • Limited customization options

2. WordPress.org

Recommended for: experienced users who want open-source blog software.

WordPress began as a blogging platform in 2004, and still to this day, remains one of the best open-source blog software options.

WordPress.org is a self-hosted open-source platform - meaning the user gets complete creative freedom over how the website looks, and also where it is hosted. You can choose some premium web hosting, or opt for a free option in free web hosting. This is a complex, long-term solution but it's used by plenty of blogging websites out there: including ours!

blog software wordpress.org

The possibilities for creating a blog are endless with WordPress.org. The best thing about open-source software is the number of customization options that can be used for a unique website to match your brand or business. But to be honest with you, it does help to have some technical knowledge or money to hire a techie if it's required.

blog software wordpress themesInside the WordPress dashboard, you will find sections such as pages, plugins, posts, and themes. Each section can be completely modified to suit your needs.

To make your life slightly easier, there are thousands of free and premium themes/templates to choose from.

These can be a useful guide when building your website, or if you like the look of a theme you can upload your content and make minor adjustments.

For users who want to extend their WordPress experience even further, there is also a huge number of plugins available. These include SEO plugins, blog statistics, social media buttons, newsletters, design plugins and many more.

PROS

  •  Open-source software
  • Hundreds of themes & plugins
  • Complete creative freedom

CONS

  • Hosting not included
  • Steeper learning curve

3. Jekyll

Recommended for: experienced users who want a simple blog to be hosted on GitHub Pages.

For those who are unfamiliar with Jekyll, it's a website generator that builds simple and static blogs. To put it simply - building your blog feels almost like hacking. Jekyll does this by stripping things down to its bare bones and eliminating the complexity of customizing pre-built themes.

Here is an example of a website built with Jekyll:

blog software jekyll

So, for users who want to build a blog completely from scratch - how do you go about it?

Well, Jekyll takes raw text files that you can create using Markdown. It then turns them into a static site that you can host wherever you like. It is also flexible and can be integrated with Bootstrap.

blog-software-jekyllOne of the main advantages of Jekyll is that you can create a completely unique website from scratch with fewer things that can go wrong. On top of that, it's fast, SEO optimized, and you'll avoid the technicalities of upgrades and databases. 

However, there are some downsides. For example, there is no image manipulation tool for cropping or resizing images.

Blog post scheduling option is also not included.

But of course, the biggest thing to consider is the technical skill needed to use this platform - it is probably not the best choice for first-time bloggers.

Jekyll is completely free to use but does require a hosting provider. So you will need to work on finding the best web hosting as well.

PROS

  • Completely unique blog from scratch
  • SEO is baked in
  • Very well optimized, responsive, fast

CONS

  • No post scheduling
  • Hosting not included
  • Steeper learning curve

4. Ghost

Recommended for: fast learners who want open-source software.

Ghost is an open-source platform for creating an online blog or publication, and it's a little bit different from the other providers in my list. Firstly, it doesn't offer a free plan. And secondly, its prices are determined on the amount of traffic that your website gets.

blog software ghost

Ghost offers a large number of free and paid templates to choose from, allowing you to create a website that is truly unique.

Using code, you can also add tools like Google Analytics and tweak the overall appearance of your site. You can also add third-party apps and integrations, majorly increasing the functionality of your blog.

This publishing platform allows you to build any type of category, section or format to adapt to your needs. These include custom homepages, URL structures, and multi-language content. On top of this, there are features that allow you to schedule posts, and give roles to authors, editors, and administrators.

blog software ghost seoJust like Jekyll, it uses coding and Markdown to format your posts. An impressive feature is that you get a live preview of your blog posts as your writing it.

Active social media users will benefit from the built-in social sharing buttons, which will complement the built-in SEO features. With a new AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) feature, your site will rank higher and load faster from Google Mobile search results.

As mentioned, Ghost doesn't offer a free plan - only a 14-day free trial. There are three price plans that range from $29.00-$199.00 per month. The significant differences are the number of page views, site users and support options.

blog software ghost pricing

PROS

  •  Open-source software
  • Free and premium themes
  • Built-in SEO
  • Social sharing buttons

CONS

  • No free plan
  • Steeper learning curve
  •  Costly

So, Which Of These Is The Best Blog Software?

Well, that all comes down to your personal needs - and of course, your budget.

But to help further your decision on which one is the best blog software, I have created a list of who (I believe) each one suits the best:

  • Blogger - Best suited for beginners who want a simple blog.
  • WordPress.org - The best all-around blog platform for users who want a professional blog.
  • Jekyll - For users who enjoy the challenge of learning and want a static blog.
  • Ghost - For experienced users who want a unique blog.

So here they are - all different, all brilliant in their own kind of way. What do you think? Do you agree with my choices, or have I missed a key provider? Whatever your thoughts, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below!

An experienced content professional with a creative mind. If I'm not writing, you can probably find me in the backyard playing with dogs or at some weird art show.
Leave a Comment

Get new blog posts by email: