The short answer is, “Yes, it’s possible to start a blog for free.” But there are many important questions related to that question you will want to consider.
- How is this blog going to be used?
- Free Blogging
- Paid Blogging Tools (And Why You Should Consider Them)
How is this blog going to be used?
There are many different reasons why you might want to start a blog, but may not be ready to make a financial commitment. For one thing, it’s an easy to share information with other people through a blog. And most blogging tools, even free ones, allow you to organize your content in a usable way.
Some people may want to start a temporary blog to serve a one-time purpose. For example, if you are in school and you want an easy way to organize a project with some other students. It’s quite easy to create a blog on WordPress.com, for example, and invite your friends to collaborate there.
Perhaps you have an upcoming event, and you want to have a single source for information, but after the event is over there’s no need to keep the blog active.
In cases like these, it is unlikely you will want to invest too much money in a long term blogging solution. You just need something quick and easy to get up and running, and then you can take the site down.
For free blogging purposes, you have a few options. Of course, the only variable that matters in this discussion is price. But there are other factors you might want to consider, for example:
- Does your free blog provider put ads on your content?
- Can you invite other users?
- Is the interface user-friendly?
- Are there paid tiers you can upgrade to, if you so desired?
- Can you export your content later? And, if so, in what format?
Many free blogging tools will provide you with some different options, but these are a few variables you might want to add to your checklist.
Unlike the self-hosted version of WordPress (available at WordPress.org), the hosted WordPress.com variety has a free tier, upon which you can start blogging, pick a theme, and share your live website with the world.
The down sides, of course, you do not have a custom domain, email, or any of the other nice features you get with paid hosting. You also can’t customize your site beyond basic theme selection. And if you get active users who consume your content, you will need to transfer them if you ever decide to self-hosted.
The old and dependable Blogger platform, owned and operated by Google, is still online, and still hosts many popular blogs around the world. It gives you many of the same options as WordPress.com, but with a different editor. You can try both and see which one feels better to you.
Another free platform, write.as allows you to create account, start blogging, and share your hot links with the world. However, one big plus in favor of write.as is that your blog account is “federated” on the ActivityPub protocol. This means you can interact with the same account on Mastodon, Pleroma, Write Freely, or a wide variety of other federated systems.
Paid Blogging Tools (And Why You Should Consider Them)
If you are using your blog for any kind of business or digital marketing, you need to have a professional, paid blogging solution.
One of biggest differences between a free and paid solution is the ability to use your own domain. If you plan on attracting active users, or potential customers, you will want to make sure that all incoming traffic to your domain is in your control.
With a paid platform you also get (in most cases) premium support and customization. This varies depending on which service you sign up for.
The safest bet for paid, if you plan on customizing your website, which is recommended, is to go with general purpose hosting. This gives you maximum control without sacrificing the kind of support you would get with a premium, hosted service.