The best free blogging sites allow you to broadcast your views to the world online, whether they be on the latest hit TV show, or the top trends in your industry. Blogging is one of the most effective ways to get yourself heard, and many of the best website builders will provide you with a free plan for blogging.
But what's the ideal blogging site for you or your business? You need to consider whether you want to use a website builder, a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, or whether you just want to be able to write a blog post via a platform like Medium.
Website builders and blogging sites often utilize a drag-and-drop interface, meaning that even if you're not a confident user of HTML or website mechanics, there are many platforms available to suit even complete beginners. If you've got more advanced skills, and want a highly polished site, many free blogging platforms allow you that extra customization.
While some platforms may not offer the features of rival services, the best free blogging sites can be more than capable when it comes to launching a new blog, whether personal or professional. We outline our top picks below.
What are the best free blogging sites?
When it comes to our top pick, Wix is the clear winner, suiting both blogging newbies and web design pros. If you’re new to blogging, it rates highly for ease of use, with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and a generous selection of templates. At the other end of the skills spectrum, Wix also has a great deal in its favor, giving you freedom to customize almost every aspect.
WordPress comes in a close second, offering a step-by-step set-up to guide you through use, and while it requires a little more time and effort to get to grips with, it allows for customization and additional plugins for complete personalization. Blogging industry veteran Blogger remains a strong choice, with an active online community, built-in analytics, Google integrations, and much more.
For those without coding skills, we’d recommend Site123, with 24/7 live chat proving invaluable. And if being part of a respected community of thought leaders is important to you, you may feel Medium is the best home for your blog.
The best free blogging sites available
For those who are uncertain about how to get started with their blog, a generator tool can give you a selection of potential blog names, while the platform also offers an impressive range of ready-made design templates that are ideal for beginners.
Once you’ve got to grips with the platform, you can unlock a range of more advanced features for adding videos, images, and photo galleries to your posts. Ambitious bloggers may also be impressed by the unlimited page count and ability to automatically push posts to Facebook.
One big downside of the free plan is that your blog will automatically display Wix branding. If you’d like to remove these adverts, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans. You should also note that you’ll be limited to 500MB of data transfer a month with the free version. Read our full Wix review to find out more.
Even if you’ve barely researched the best free blogging sites, chances are you’ve come across WordPress.com. And for many bloggers, it’s the go-to platform for launching a new site.
It’s easy to see why. As you come to publish your first post, WordPress’s set-up wizard will walk you through the process step-by-step, and will help you with decisions such as selecting your design theme. However, for those new to blogging, one point to note is that WordPress doesn’t operate on a drag-and-drop interface.
As a result, you’ll need to invest a little time and effort in understanding how to use WordPress’s various menus and interfaces if you’d like to make the most of the platform’s vast array of customization options and plugins.
This isn’t necessarily a black mark against WordPress as, once you’ve got to grips with its menu system, you can personalize almost every aspect of your blog to create an online presence that can truly set your blog apart from the crowd.
One potential downside of the free plan is that it doesn’t include email or live chat support. That said, a big bonus of WordPress is that privacy protection is included for free with domains registered via the platform.
If you’re setting up your blog via WordPress.com, you should ensure you avoid the common error of confusing the platform with WordPress.org: a free open publishing platform that requires users to host their own blogs through a third party. Read our WordPress review to learn more.
Launched on the eve of the millennium, Google’s own Blogger is one of the grandparents of online publishing, and holds a certain nostalgia for anyone who began their blogging career in the noughties. But despite its advanced years, it continues to be a strong proposition. And should you encounter difficulties, the platform has an active online community
One of the most attractive features is its built-in analytics function and, if you’re seeking a more in-depth view of your readers, you can connect your blog directly to Google Analytics. Compatible with Google AdSense, Blogger could also be valuable for those looking to monetize with categorized help topics.
What about any downsides? Well, firstly, Blogger doesn’t offer tailored customer support and, although being limited to a Blogspot.com domain name may not be an issue for individuals, it could lack the level of professionalism desired by some business owners.
Site123 claims to be “by far the easiest website builder”. And while this may be an ambitious claim, its creators could well be correct.
If you’re looking for a simple, effective solution and aren’t concerned about having all the bells and whistles, Site123 offers all the basics, including free design templates, a drag-and-drop editor, social media integration, and a comments section. And, surprisingly for a free product, the company offers 24/7 online chat, which could prove handy for blogging newcomers.
But while Site123’s simplicity may be appealing if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, it could mean your blog lacks some of the features provided by rival platforms. Also, note that the free version only offers a subdomain, and you’ll need to upgrade to a paid version if you’d like a full domain name. You’ll also be limited to 250MB of storage on the free plan.
For more information, read our Site123 review.
Should you wish to avoid some of the stress involved in launching and hosting your own personal blog, Medium could be the right online publishing platform for your needs.
While the other solutions discussed here enable you to create your own site from scratch, Medium is a blog sharing space that gives you the opportunity to add your voice to an already thriving online community. In simple terms, you own your content on Medium, but not the platform on which you’re posting.
Launched by the co-creator of Twitter and attracting more than 170 million readers worldwide, many thought leaders and prestigious publications such as The Economist regularly post content on the platform. So you’ll definitely be in good company if you post your blog on Medium.
Under the Medium model, you won’t be burdened with any of the operational difficulties involved in running your own website and can avoid headaches such as optimizing SEO yourself—which is a definite bonus for technophobes.
However, you also surrender a certain degree of autonomy. In a worst-case scenario, Medium’s moderators could suddenly remove your content if they deem it unsuitable or offensive. Under the platform’s terms and conditions, all content needs to take into account factors such as newsworthiness. But, crucially, your posts should adhere to all relevant laws and not pose any potential harm. Should your blog be taken down, there is little you could do about it.
Deciding if Medium is the best choice for you ultimately comes down to whether or not you’d prefer to operate your own site, or be happy to relinquish some control over the platform if it meant promoting your brand to Medium’s enormous readership. If it’s the latter, Medium could prove an attractive choice.
How we test the best free blogging sites
When searching for the best blogging sites, we test and evaluate website builders against a variety of criteria, including price; number of features; functionality; interface; ease of use; user support; and security. However, there is no substitute for doing your own customized research.
How to choose the best free blogging sites
The popularity of blogging, both for businesses and individuals, means that there is now an abundance of online resources that could help you find the best free blogging site for your niche. As well as reading online reviews of the platforms you’re interested in, you could visit their online communities and social media pages to get a sense of user satisfaction.
But the most effective way to find the right solution for you could simply be trial and error. By testing the different options, you’ll quickly get a sense of whether or not they’re right for you. Finding the right blogging platform for you will ultimately depend on what you most value in an online platform.
Whether this is design customization or robust customer service, you should be able to find a free blogging site to suit your needs.
Further reading on website builders
If you want to find out more about WordPress, make sure to read our range of content looking at the CMS, including our pick of the best website builders for WordPress, how to build a website with WordPress, the biggest WordPress mistakes to avoid making, and our comparison of WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace.