The world of blogging has exploded in the last decade, evolving from primitive websites with simple themes to modern technological powerhouses. Not all blogging sites are created equal, as is so with the blogging platforms where they reside.
The following list of top 5 blog sites are a roundup of the best on the internet for 2012, offering a wide variety of tools and options for every blogger, for the un-matchable low price of free!
WordPress is the Swiss army knife of the blogging world. It is both a blogging community and blogging software. Both sides of the site are free; one can make a blog on WordPress.org that can be easily transferred to a private domain using the WordPress software.
This is my personal choice for the all round best blog site on this top 5 list for anyone that wants variety and choice in their Blogging platform.
• WordPress has many widgets and add-ons that extend the functionality of the blog.
• There is a wide choice of both free and paid themes. These range from text-oriented themes to the visual oriented themes.
• Highest Page Rank of all blogging sites – most popular in terms of the search engines
• Easy to integrate into Facebook and Twitter through the “Publicize” included plugin
Google’s in-house blogging community has been serving up content since the late 90’s. This service is aimed towards the user that desires a great variety of tools to help in publishing their content.
Integrated with the rest of Google’s tools, Blogger can be a one-stop shop for the Google devotee. Blogger has a large selection of themes, along with the ability to customize those themes to your liking. The Google set of tools provides a wealth of free options, making it rank high in my list.
• There is a large and loyal community associated with blogger. This is from thirteen years of service to the public!
• You can incorporate Google Adsense to monetize your Blog.
• Built-in Google Analytics so you can easily track visitors to your site.
Created with the idea of micro blogging in mind, Tumblr does a great job of satisfying the visually orientated. Tumblr is definitely one of my top choices for the best 5 blog sites on the web. These sites are populated with text, art, and videos that reflect the authors.
The ideal Tumblr user is a person that doesn’t post long batches of text, but loves to represent his or her life in pictures.
• Tumblr has an ease of use that is reflected in every theme design.
• Tumblr sites are oriented more towards pictures and videos than text.
• A user can post text, but the themes tend to be created with a visual style in mind.
Recently acquired by Twitter, Posterous takes the visual style of Tumblr and creates a site that is more adaptable to the needs of a blogger. Posterous expands further by delivering a set of creation tools needed to produce a fully functional blog.
Posterous sites tend to appeal more towards the visual orientated, but there certainly aren’t any built-in limitations to posting text. The perfect user is one that is stylish but also likes to post text oriented blogs.
• Plenty of pre-built themes are available, that a user can customize.
• CSS and HTML knowledge is needed to customize themes.
• Control who sees your posts, even password protect them!
Less of a blog oriented site and more of an easy to use web builder; Weebly nevertheless is one of my top 5 blog sites for many bloggers. A blogger doesn’t have to rely on tools necessarily oriented towards blogging.
Weebly is good for a blogger that wants to use their web-space for more than just blogging. They can design the site in any way they want, using free tools that Weebly provides.
• The website creation tools are easy to use.
• Weebly has integrated social media functions.
• Has that “website” feel but with the ease of administration of a Blog.
Top 5 Blog Sites for 2012 Conclusion
I truly hope this list of Blog sites has given you some information to think about! Although each of the above sites differs in certain ways, my recommendation would be to start with WordPress and see if this fits your needs. WordPress can really do it all, and if you do decide to setup your own private domain later – WordPress makes it easy for you to transfer the content from your free WordPress.org domain to your private domain.
Also bear in mind, as all of the above are completely free to join, you’re not restricted to just one site – try a few out and figure out what works best for you. On a side note, many webmasters maintain several free Blog sites and interlink them via hyperlinks to increase the social footprint of their websites and increase their ranking positions within the search engines!
About the Author:
Stephanie Tully is a long time Blogger and webmaster of Blogsites – a website that acts as an introduction to the Blogosphere for those new to Blogging. For an extended list of Stephanie’s recommended Blog sites, please see her post on the Top 10 Blogging Sites for 2012.