You have probably landed here because you want to create your first blog but are wondering what the best blogging platform is for your needs.
Creating a blog can be a great way to memorialize your travel experiences, similar to the more old-fashioned way of keeping a diary.
A blog can also be a unique creative outlet to showcase your skills and work as a freelancer or share your knowledge and passion as an influencer.
Different types of blogging platforms
There are many different types of CMS systems that can provide a great platform for your blogging journey and each of them has its pro’s and con’s which appeal to different users.
In this guide, we will walk you through the different types of blogging platforms so you get a better understanding of the providers. This should help you choose the best blogging platform for your needs and skill level.
Closed source- vs. Open source blogging software
First of all, you need to understand the difference between closed source- and open source blogging software.
Closed-source blogging software provides a platform that hosts your content on its servers. These platforms maintain complete control and give you less flexibility, but in return, you get a well-designed blog where the learning curve is super easy for beginners.
An open-source blogging software gives you a platform with more control and flexibility. You can choose between platforms and host your travel blog on any server of your liking. You are also free to make modifications and adjust to get a more customized blog solution.
An open-source blogging software requires a bit more knowledge about website development and the learning curve tends to be steeper.
Both solutions can be a good option and it all depends on your needs.
If you have specific needs for your blog, want to add custom features, or turn your website into more than just a blog, then you should opt for an open-source blogging solution.
The 7 best travel blogging platforms
As digital nomads, we have the privilege to experience many different places and cultures as we combine work and travel.
Blogging about your travel experiences can be a great way to perpetuate these memories.
For some digital nomads, a travel blog can even turn into a profitable side-hustle as the blog traffics grows and brands start to show interest in your audience.
As you get started blogging, you will experience that it’s a great way to reflect on your digital nomad journey and grow as an individual. Your travel blog or portfolio can also bring in new work opportunities and help you connect with like-minded nomads.
Whatever your intentions might be – it’s time to turn thoughts into action and start your first travel blog! These are the 7 best travel blogging platforms:
- Best All-Around
- The world’s biggest blogging platform
- A lot of learning resources and content online
- Highly customizable
- Several of drag-and-drop page builders
- Cheap set-up
- Great support
- Software gets updated on a regular
- A lot of third-party plugins available
- Easy to find free tutorials and helpful content on Youtube, Etc.
- There can be a bit of a learning curve for beginners
- You can easily spend more money than expected on plugins and extra futures such as design templates, speed optimization services, page-builders, and more
- Without the right knowledge, a content-heavy site (a lot of images & videos) can quickly become slow.
- Pricing: Depends on the provider you choose to host your WordPress site. With a basic hosting plan & a domain name, you are looking at approx. 6$ / Month.
- Best for: We consider it to be the best all-around blogging platform.
- Best for design
Squarespace is the most popular closed-source blogging platform and has gained much attention in recent years because it’s userfriendly and has unique design features.
A closed-source blogging platform like Squarespace handles the technical aspects of running a blog site and alows you to focus 100% on the creative elements.
Squarespace has become very popular among Photographers and other types of artists who wants to create an online portfolio, as the blogging platform delivers high quality photo and video layouts without slowing down the speed of your blog site.
- More than 140 design templates & blog layouts
- Mobile friendly
- Handles photo & video material well
- Very intuitive page builder
- E-mail system add-on
- Great SEO tools
- External branding tools like Unfold & Video Maker
- Possibility of adding a Store/Webshop
- Great learning resources and community
- Takes away all technical aspects and concerns of running a blog
- A closed source platform has it limitations
- Less flexibility
- Monthly payment fee
- Pricing: Starting at $16/month.
- Best for: We consider it to be the best all-around blogging platform.
WordPress.com is the closed-source version of WordPress that gives you a simplified edition of its most popular features. The intention behind WordPress.com is to bring the WordPress experience to a larger audience and allow more people to get started with blogging.
WordPress.com is made for bloggers who don’t need the more advanced features of self-hosted WordPress and want a simple and easy-to-use blog setup.
In our opinion, WordPress.com gives you the best value for money if you are looking for a closed-source blogging platform.
- No technical setup and hosting requirements
- Very user friendly
- Easy to use for beginners
- Great value for money (Free version too)
- Limited flexibility
- No custom themes and plugins
- No possibility of ads on the blog
- WordPress.com has ownership of your blog
- Pricing: FREE & Paid Plans starts at $5/Month
Ghost is a new and more minimalist alternative to traditional blogging platforms.
The setup around Ghost is entirely focused on writing blog posts and creating content. The CMS is available in both closed-source and open-source platforms. Ghost has become extremly popular due to their innovative approach to the industry.
With their software, you get an all-in-one platform to run a blogging business. The built-in features allow you to collect subscribers, send newsletters, publish premium content, and earn recurring revenue.
- Made specifically for bloggers
- Clutter-free and intuitive user interface.
- High performance
- All-in-one solution, no setup needed (the closed-source version)
- Lack of customization and flexibility
- A small selection of themes and design options
- Complicated setup if you choose the (open-source version)
- More expensive than its competitors
- The self hosted version will cost you around 11$/month
- The hosted version starts at $29/month
Wix is another closed-source blogging platform that gives users an easy way to make a professionally designed blog – all without having the technical knowledge of web development.
With WIX you will get a simple and intuitive blog-building experience, great customer service, and a big catalog of design templates and features to get started.
WIX’s blogging platform provides integrated SEO tools and analytics. Their hosting solution delivers a robust 99.98 percent uptime rate and overall good performance and protection of your blog.
WIX works similar to blogging platforms such as Squarespace, but personally, we prefer the overall user experience on Squarespace as well as their design templates and features.
- Very customizable
- A lot of templates and third-party apps are available
- Easy setup despite your technical skill level
- Good and intuitive website builder, with drag and drop functions
- You will have to choose a paid account to get rid of ads and WIX branding on your blog.
- You can’t change design/templates down the road
- A lot of apps cost extra
- Pricing: Starting at $17/month
Blogger.com is one of the earliest blogging platforms and it’s owned by Google. It’s much more simple than most other blogging platforms, but it gives you a simple way to create a blog for non-tech-savvy users.
Everyone with a Google account can set up a blogger site, which makes it easy to get started. Bloggers don’t have all the fancy design features and templates offered by their competitors, but it gives you exactly what’s promised – A free and easy-to-use blogging platform where you can share your thoughts.
- Completely free
- Integrated Google services such as analytics, and ad-sense.
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Good performance and automatic Google indexing
- Very basic blogging tools and features
- Limited customization and design options
- Not a lot of third-party templates
- No plugins or other add-ons besides the integrated Google features
- If your blog doesn’t follow Google’s guidelines they can suspend it at any time, or even cancel your Blogger.com account
- Pricing: FREE
Medium is slightly different from the other blogging platforms on the list.
Medium is an established community for writers, bloggers, journalists, and experts. Medium provides a blogging platform where you can share your expert knowledge and earn a commission based on the number of readers.
Medium works like a typical social media network, where you have a profile, but don’t own your domain or content rights.
Compared with other content focus social media platforms like Tumblr, Medium appears more professional and emphasizes long-form content that gets indexed in Google.
Medium stands out as its built-in communities of readers who can browse different content categories and subscribe to your profile. On a regular blog, people might not consider the messenger, but on Medium it’s all about the personal connection.
The Medium Partner Program allows you to get paid for your work, as Medium has a built-in monetization tool. Blogging on Medium can become a great side-hustle, where you don’t need any knowledge about monetization, all you have to do is focus on what you’re best at – producing unique and original blog content.
- Easy to use
- No setup or development needed
- Gives your access to their existing online community and readers
- Allows you to focus 100% on writing
- Medium pays its contributors based on the number of readers
- You don’t own the domain.
- You’re simply blogging on someone else platform
- You are not in charge of monetization. Medium owns your audience
- Features are limited and you can’t put your own touch on the design
- Pricing: FREE
What is the best blogging platform for beginners?
So what is the best blogging platform for beginners? It depends…
If you are looking for an easy-to-use blogging platform, where you can showcase your portfolio/work or blog about your travel experiences, then a closed-source blogging platform might be the best blogging platform for you as a beginner.
Squarespace is one of the most popular closed-source blogging platforms, as it’s easy to use, has unique design features, and performs very well with image-heavy sites.
open source blogging software is generally cheaper, but it also leaves you with more responsibilities and things you need to take care of to secure your website and make sure it performs well.
WordPress is the most well-known open source software among bloggers. It is the most popular blogging platform and it will allow you to take your blogging journey from beginner to expert level.
The new Gutenberg editing experience makes it easy to use for beginners with limited HTML knowledge. You can also find a lot of pre-designed templates online that make it easy to set up your first blog site.