If you want to setup a blog but don’t have a domain or hosting or maybe you want to try out blogging before spending then using one of the many free blogging platforms or free blog hosts is a great way to start.
Before we go any further I want to make sure you’re aware of something that’s extremely important to consider when using any of these free blogging platforms and free blog hosts.
As with other services online you’re at the mercy of their terms of service and policies.
Just to be clear, when you sign up for a blog on one of these services you don’t own it and if the free blogging platform that you use decides to delete or suspend your account, then they can do and generally you won’t be able to do anything about it.
Recently this sort of thing has happened more on services like Blogger.com than any of the other services.
I’m not telling you this to put you off, because a HUGE amount of people use this services without having a problem, I just wanted you to be prepared should the worst happen.
The best thing is to just back up your content, then there’s nothing to worry about.
The Usual Suspects
If you’re new to using free blogging platforms then I know you will find blogger extremely easy to use, because the service is owned by Google it’s even easier if you have an existing account.
You can also create new blogs at the click of a button within the Blogger dashboard. Another nice thing about this is the updated user interface, which has given the service quite a face lift.
Personally I think for someone who is new to blogging this will take a bit more to get your head around, but that’s mainly due to the fact that you can do a lot more here, there are quite a few more features.
While having a blog on WordPress.com is free, you do have access to various premium upgrade options.
However, for how much these upgrades cost you’d be better off using self hosted WordPress (WordPress.org) by getting a domain from Namecheap and some cheap hosting from Site5 (read my review here) which is what I currently use for this site and all of the others that I run.
No matter whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been blogging for a while, Tumblr is just cool, it’s really easy to set up, there’s no unnecessary bells and whistles, it’s just straight forward.
Another extremely popular free blogging site here, currently supporting over 46.3 million journals and communities, it was once the most popular blogging site, but has since been overtaken by Blogger and WordPress.
If you want a straight forward blog/journal then this is a great choice.
This site does offer various web hosting, domain and email marketing solutions but you can also set up a blog completely free of charge which will give you access to some powerful functionality and is very easy to use.
This is a growing blogging community, there are free and paid options available, but the free version is pretty cool and you shouldn’t need any more.
You get a decent amount of hosting for photos and various other functions, the only downside to the free account is that you have to put up with displaying Xanga’s own ads on your blog, although the paid accounts allow you to display your own with Google Adsense.
Some of the blog themes for this site aren’t as funky as some of the other blogging platforms, but it’s very easy to use and you can expand the functionality with a paid account if you really want to, but the free account is good enough.
This free blog host is becoming more and more popular as time goes on, there’s a great selection of themes available and even supports advanced features such as multi-authors, it’s free to use but premium accounts give extra functionality including your own domain and customisable ads.
Other Free Blogging Platforms And Blog Hosts
Below I’ve listed some of the other free blogging platforms that are available on the web:
- Edublogs.org – For educators only
If you aren’t in the position to purchase your own domain or hosting right now then a free blog would be ideal, just remember to keep in mind that backing up data is difficult, and while most of these services do have excellent backup systems in place should anything go wrong; if they decide to call it quits then there’s nothing much you can do.
Which free blogging sites are you preferring right now? Or are you just focusing on your own self hosted WordPress site? Let us know in the comments below.