Choosing blogging platforms is TOUGH. Do you go with WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or Blogger? I'll help you make the right decision.

Blogging Platforms – Squarespace vs Wix vs WordPress

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I spend a lot of time hanging around in Facebook groups.  One of the big questions I hear is about blogging platforms.  People are always asking about Squarespace vs Wix vs WordPress or even Blogger.  Determining the best blogging platforms to make money is one of the MOST critical decisions you will make ever make with your blog or website.

Spoiler alert: I have three sites on WordPress.org, so it’s probably not a big mystery which platform I’m going to pick!

However, let me just get this out of the way. IF you are simply hosting a website as a hobby.  You just wanna share pictures or recipes with family, or just run sort of an online diary.  Then, by all means pick one of the four free(ish) platforms – Blogger, a Wix site, Squarespace, or WordPress.com. They’re free or very cheap and you won’t have to contend with the technical challenges of managing a serious website.  But if you’re monetizing, the picture changes significantly.

Choosing blogging platforms is TOUGH. Do you go with WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or Blogger? I'll help you make the right decision.

I’m not going to lie to you.  It takes a lot of time and commitment to build a serious and legit website that is actually going to make money. So, understanding which would work better for you is VERY important.  You’re going to be dealing with this website for a loooong time.  My best estimate is that you are going to be spending 10 to 20 hours per week times INFINITY to run a serious website.  I think a lot of new bloggers misunderstand this commitment!

 

Sidebar:  When I say WordPress, I mean WordPress.org.  There are two blogging platforms called WordPress, which I frankly think is very CONFUSING.  WordPress.com is sort of like WordPress with training wheels.  All the tech stuff is handled for you, but the trade-off is that you can’t do anything they don’t want you to do.  Which usually includes making ANY money from ads or from your content.  

To monetize or not to monetize?  That determines which of the blogging platforms you need

Here’s the thing – if you ever want to ANY make money from your website, that could be the deciding factor.  Most of the best platforms for blogging come with a lot of rules about monetizing. Some of them won’t let you run ads, some of them don’t allow affiliate links, and they can remove or change features with no notice.  And if you break their many rules, they can DELETE your whole site with no warning.  That would totally suck, wouldn’t it?  And technically, they OWN your content.  It’s written right into the terms of service.

To me, it’s like the difference between renting an apartment or owning your own house.  In an apartment, you can’t paint the walls or change the carpets, or redo the landscaping.  Now, that’s good if you just want an easy place to live where you don’t have to mess with that stuff.  But when you have your own house, you can go to town!  Knock down walls, add rooms, change colors, plant trees, etc. That’s what life with WordPress is like.  You can move in and make yourself at home.  Complete with some of the inevitable headaches of home ownership.

The Pros and Cons of WordPress

Yes, there is a learning curve with WordPress and yes there is some work involved.  And yes, you will BREAK it.  I said I wasn’t going to lie, right?  I have broken my site on more than one occasion!  Probably like 10 occasions.  That’s why I have backups and lots of friends in Facebook groups to advise me.

Usually SiteGround can fix it for me (their tech support is AWESOME and so quick!).  See HERE why I like SiteGround so much.  On very rare occasions, I’ve had shell out some big bucks for a tech person.  Maybe twice. But I’m techy and I like the tech stuff.  Your mileage may vary.  But millions of people are living very happily with their WordPress websites.  If they can do it, you can do it too!

There’s also about a zillion YouTube videos and blog posts and forums to learn all the tech stuff for FREE.  I will tell you, it is easier to start with the right platform from the get-go than to migrate your stuff over later.  When I moved from Blogger about five years ago, I had over 800 posts, hundreds of pictures, and thousands of comments that all had to be moved over to WordPress.  And it was a big hairy pain!  Took weeks and it never was done correctly.

Best blogging platforms to make money

Which of the Best Blogging Platforms to make money is the SMARTEST CHOICE?

So, if you’re wondering, the answer to my recommended blogging platforms is WordPress.org.  You’re shocked, right?  You own your content, you can run ads, your can set up payment platforms, it’s the real deal.  And the money isn’t so bad. Your domain is about $12 bucks a year – cheap.  Hosting with SiteGround is less than $5 a month to start.  If you’re thinking about it, I’d love it if you used my link (because they pay me money) – SiteGround link.

A good theme is going to run you about $50-$80.  Do not say the words “free theme” to me.  That’s going to be my next post when I get a minute, but here’s it in a nutshell.  A website is a very complicated bundle of code.  Everything has to be written just so to keep out hackers and to have a stable platform that operates well with different plugins.  It’s like the transmission in your car – would you really TRUST a free one??  You get what you pay for and a reputable developer will issue updates as they are needed for new threats.  Free themes – not so much!

This is the premium theme I use on all 3 of my WordPress sites.  It’s beautiful, customizable, easy to set up, and it’s fully mobile responsive and hacker resistant.  (Anyone who says a theme is hacker-proof is feeding you a line of bull!)  It’s called Isabelle and it’s made by a company called Bluchic.  I’m a huge fan – I use their themes, landing pages, AND social media templates.

And yes, this is my affiliate link if you’d like to check it out.  If you purchase it through my link, I’ll set it up for you at no charge in your choice of colors.  Yes, I’m not a big fan of this much PINK.  I changed mine to navy blue with gold, turquoise with zebra print, and emerald green and gold on my sites so each one looks completely unique.

Isabelle Theme from Bluchic

How I Can Help You with the WordPress Stuff

And if you get in a spot and you need some help with your WordPress set-up, that’s a new service I offer.  I can set up a new site from scratch, change themes or hosts, check your set up for security and functionality, make sure you’ve got all the right plugins.  Can’t beat that!  If you need some help, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you with a quote.

Here are some other posts you might like:

How to PROTECT Your WordPress Site from Hackers

My 10 BEST Blogging Tools

Why I Love SiteGround

 

Blogging Platforms - Squarespace vs Wix vs WordPress

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Blogging resources I highly recommend for YOU:

Legal Templates

You are required by law to have a certain package of legalese on your blog.  You need to have copyright notices, privacy policies, and various other terms and conditions to protect yourself from being sued.  The package I recommend is created by Amira Law - a lawyer who specializes in all aspects of blogging and internet business legalities.  Learn more about these Legal Templates HERE.

Pinterest Strategy Planner

My Pinterest Strategy Planner is a terrific tool to help you build a complete Pinterest strategy to grow your traffic.  Perfect for beginners, it shows you how to plan out your keywords, set up your boards correctly, choose which pinners to Follow, come up with your brand standards and so much more!  It's little a little self-paced course, but it's a lot cheaper than most courses and you can work at your own pace and track your progress in the included spreadsheets.  Order your Pinterest Strategy Planner HERE.

Hire Me

I'd like to be Your Fairy Techmother. I can build you a simple website, teach you LinkedIn strategies or SEO basics, coach you on how to make money with your blog - and so much MORE. I'm experienced, reliable, and pretty affordable. I've got 15 years experience as a Blogger and Virtual Assistant (VA). I can also set up Email lists, automations and build pop-ups for your site. Let's talk and see how I can help you. To learn more - go HERE.  

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13 Comments

  1. If you want to HAVE your blog, self hosted is the only way to go. As Adrian explained in this article, having a Wix, Squarespace or free WordPress blog is only for showcase.

    For example, if you are a wedding planner and you want to have a website where customers can find you, but none of your payments are made online. It’s the same as having a Facebook business page, since you don’t own anything.

    Having your own website grants you with right to do whatever you want. You can make money with affiliate marketing, ads, selling courses, sponsored posts or offering some sort of service.

    With shared hosting plans you can buy a website and domain for as low as ~50$ for a year, which is ridiculously cheap. Even if you don’t want to monetize your website, it’s still yours and you can sell it if you no longer need it.

    1. What a great point! I didn’t even think about the possibility of selling a website. That’s something you definitely couldn’t do on these other platforms. Thanks for the comment.

    2. I am currently researching wix and blogger for my new blog. Is that not the way to go ? I want to use affiliate links on my blog and obviously want to monetize my blog to support it.

      1. Yes, if you are trying to monetize, Wix and Blogger are not great choices. Hosted WordPress does have a bit of a learning curve, but you can add as many affiliate links as you want with no restrictions.

  2. What a great post- exactly what I needed! I think I’m stuck in a spot where I’m enjoying blogging and I dont know if I want to leave it at that or try to make it something more. Do you have any insights on how to make that choice? Also- if I’m moving between wordpress.com to wordpress.org is there a seemless way to do this without losing my bits?

    1. It sounds like it’s pretty easy through Siteground. Here’s an article on how to do it. https://winningwp.com/how-to-move-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/ If you’d like help with the transfer, I’d be happy to help. i’ll give you half off my hourly rate if you’ll use my affiliate code for Siteground – https://www.siteground.com/go/helpfornewbloggers. I have 3 sites with them and I couldn’t be happier with them. Last time my site was down, they had it fixed in 8 minutes flat.

  3. Curious To see Quote for your help! Outsourcing this may be the way for me depending on cost for initial set up.

  4. Thanks for this in-depth comparison of blogging platforms. I’ve tried Wix and Weebly in the past and although they were easy to learn, I still prefer WordPress because of the flexibility and how customisable it is.

    1. I agree, but I think there are a lot of just hobby bloggers who would be happy with the free options. I’m thinking of re-writing the post to include that info.

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