The Ten Best, Tried and Tested Platforms for Travel Blogs

When it comes to what is the best platform for travel blogs, it is a matter of preference. There is no “one size fits all” solution, so you have to take the time to think about what features you want and what tools you need. Here, we give the top 10 most popular platforms used by travel bloggers in no particular order:

  • WordPress.com
  • WordPress.org
  • Blogger
  • Ghost
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • TypePad.com
  • Squarespace
  • Medium
  • Tumblr

What does a blogging platform do?

You are unable to blog without a blogging platform. Basically, the platform provides a framework for getting your content on a website and takes care of the formatting of your content, too. It is a content management system that runs your blog. The blogging platform makes it easier for bloggers to publish and edit content, whether you have coding skills or not. Because of this, anyone can now have their blog and website.

Self-hosted blog vs. hosted blog – which is better?

Self-hosted blog

This type of blog has its server, and you must pay a small fee for a third-party to host your travel blog for you. Most hosting companies offer one-click installations of popular blogging platforms, so it is not as complicated as it sounds. If you plan to use your blog to earn money, self-hosted blogging platforms with your domain are the best choice for you because you get more options and control when it comes to SEO plugins and the ads that you run.

Hosted blog

With a hosted blogging platform, you will not be using a third-party to host the website. The catch is you will have limited control when it comes to your customization, tools, and the ads that can run on your travel blog (some do not allow ads at all). In most cases, if you want more features, you will have to pay or get a premium package. Also, hosted blogs are not a good venue for those who want to make money running a blog – unless you spend money to get your domain for ownership. Since you do not own your website, Google will see your blogging platform as the authority for your content, and all the SEO stats will go to the host and not to you. Note that most free blogging platforms will allow you to use your domain, but some of them do not so check out the features first before setting up your blog.

Can I switch from a hosted blogging platform to a self-hosting blogging platform?

This will depend on the blogging platform that you chose and the blogging platform that you want to transfer to, but it is possible. Some blogging platforms will not have this as an option for you, and you might find yourself having to start again from scratch in your new blogging platform so be sure to look out for import features just in case.

How to choose the best blogging platform?

Level of blogging expertise

Beginner

For beginners, it is advised to go with a blogging platform that is easy to set up, does not require any coding skills, and has a low learning curve. The pressure of making the right choice will also be less for bloggers who are just doing it to share their experiences with family and friends with no intention of monetizing for your blog. For beginners and personal bloggers, it is suggested that you settle with free blogging platforms.

But you also need to think about what happens if your blog grows – will you need more features? You may not think about earning money at the moment, but when given the option to do so, you will need to work with a platform that allows you to upgrade without any hassle. So for those who are still unsure as to what travel blogging has in store for them in the future, it is best to choose a blogging platform that provides free and premium packages. That way, if your travel blog hits and takes off and you need more tools, upgrading will not take up so much time and stress for you.

Professional

For professional bloggers who have been blogging for a while now and want to start a new blog, you probably already know what features and tools you want in your blog. You will probably also be set up for monetization as well. The best options for you and your desire for blog growth and business will be the premium blogging platforms.

Budget

When you want to do blogging seriously, you will find that you will have to spend money on it. Although there are free blogs that can give you what you want, you might want to have additional features, and they come with a price. You will also have to pay a yearly fee for your domain name, and a monthly (or yearly) fee for your hosting. Do not just choose a platform that easily fits within your budget. You have to make sure that you get enough features in it as well.

Maintenance

Blogging maintenance can be a headache, especially if you are not tech-savvy. If you have zero coding skills, you will want a blog that takes care of everything that you do not need to do so much hands-on work. All you have to do is write your posts and publish. Professional bloggers can pick up a few coding skills along the way so they might want to use that to customize their blog better.

Monetization

A lot of new bloggers are starting their blogs to earn money from it. If you have the same objective, you should choose a blogging platform that allows you to conduct your business. You should consider how you plan to monetize your blog – you can do it through affiliate marketing, ads, or selling your e-books and other products. Some travel bloggers are now shifting to blogging platforms that allow you to create web pages, do a blog, and have an e-commerce page for their products. You might want that as well.

What are the best platforms for travel blogs?

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is considered to be one of the most popular blogging platforms with a large community of users. The platform offers services like blogs, websites, domains, eCommerce, and comes with self-hosting solutions.

Blogging level

The tools are simple enough for any newbie blogger to handle. Paid packages come with additional features that are also perfect for professional bloggers. The blogging platform has a package for everyone, whether you are a personal blogger or a business professional.

Customization

WordPress comes with a wider range of themes and plugins. The widgets are also customizable. There is also an HTML editor so you can use coding skills to revamp your blog. The free blog will not allow you to have a custom domain. But if you go with the paid packages, you will be able to use your domain name.

Monetization and SEO

WordPress.com comes with SEO plugins to help you in your monetization goals. Take note though that if you are choosing a free blog, you will be unable to run ads on your blog – WordPress will be running their ads on your free blog instead. You can change this when you upgrade to a paid package.

Mobile friendliness

This will depend on the type of theme you choose.

Useful tools

WordPress.com can give you an in-depth analytics report on how well your blog is doing. Interacting with your readers is easier with built-in comments and polls.

Who uses it

Spotify, TED, TIME Magazine

What makes it good for travel blogging?

The simplicity and ease of use make it an ideal choice for those who blog on the go – no need for coding and maintenance. You can easily update your blog anytime, anywhere.

Cost

Free/plans start from $4 per month

Packages available

  • Blogger – best for general bloggers
  • Personal – best for personal use
  • Premium – best for freelancers
  • Business – best for small businesses
  • eCommerce – best for online stores

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the sister platform of WordPress.com, and it is free software that you can install once you get your web host. It has the same features as the free WordPress.com blog version but with more features. It is known as a powerful and stable self-hosted platform

Blogging level

Beginners are advised to try out the free WordPress.com blog first before going straight to WordPress.org because the navigation and tools might be too overwhelming for a newbie. Once you get the hang of what you can do to WordPress.com, you can easily upgrade to WordPress.org. The blogging platform is best for professional bloggers and those who want to monetize.

Customization

You can have your custom domain with WordPress.org. You have complete control over what you can do and how you customize your blog since it can let you install your custom themes, plugins, and widgets. The HTML editor feature is also available. WordPress.org is a popular choice because of its flexibility. The downside of having complete control is that maintenance and routine backups are done on your own.

Monetization and SEO

Adding your online store is an extra feature that you can get with WordPress.org aside from the SEO plugins. You will find that this blogging platform is search engine friendly, as it can create SEO-friendly URLs, tags, and categories.

Mobile friendliness

This will depend on the type of WordPress theme that you have.

Useful tools

You have your in-depth analytics report. WordPress.org also has a spam blocker. You can choose from a wide range of plugins.

Who uses it

The Obama Foundation, Vogue India, New York Post

What makes it good for travel blogging?

For travel bloggers who want to add their own “personality” in their blog by customization, WordPress.org is the best blogging platform for you because of its flexibility. It is also the best option for travel bloggers who want to earn money because it comes with business-oriented and eCommerce-friendly features.

Cost

Free. But you still have to pay for your third parties – your domain name and web hosting. Both are required to use WordPress.org

Blogger

Another popular free blogging platform is Google’s own Blogger (also known as Blogspot).

Blogging level

Known for its simplicity, Blogger is the best option for beginners and personal bloggers.

Customization

You can choose from a wide range of free and premium Blogger themes. HTML editing is also allowed for more customization options. Widgets are allowed in the blog, and they can be customized.

Monetization and SEO

Blogger comes with built-in Google AdSense Ads and management for your monetization needs. Because Google runs it, it is also rumored that it has better SEO rankings compared to other blogging platforms, but this has yet to be proven.

Mobile friendliness

This will depend on the type of theme you choose.

Useful tools

Since Google runs blogger, you have the added advantage of it being a secure and reliable blogging platform. It also gives an analytics report on how your blog is doing.

Who uses it

The Official Google Blog, Post Secret, Salisbury News

What makes it good for travel blogging?

If you are doing a travel blog to update family and friends about your whereabouts and tell them stories of your adventure, Blogger is a great blog to start with. It is very simple as well, so you can always blog on the go – no need to go home to make your post.

Cost

Free

Ghost

Ghost is an open-source blogging platform specially made for running a modern online publication. This blogging platform powers blogs, magazines, and journals.

Blogging level

Ghost can be used by beginners and professionals. Beginners will not feel intimidated because of the easy navigation and minimal dashboard. You also get a simple and clean interface. Beginners will love the fact that they can have a live preview of their blog post as they write for easier formatting and editing.

Customization

You can have custom domain names under Ghost. The HTML editor is also available if you want to tweak the codes.

Monetization and SEO

Ghost is made to focus on publishing. You have to do everything else yourself by integrating Google AdSense. As for SEO, the blogging platform comes with an SEO plugin and is very SEO friendly. The blogging platform does not come with eCommerce features.

Mobile friendliness

Mobile-friendly.

Useful tools

Ghost takes pride in its self-consuming JSON API for all their users’ data. This means that you get to have full control over what data you set, display, and get. You can even use it to build a publishing app that will help customize your readers’ experience with your blog. The blogging platform is also acclaimed to be super-fast because it is written in JavaScript.

Who uses it

Tinder, Mozilla, Elon Musk’s Open AI

What makes it good for travel blogging?

Ghost is a good platform for professional travel bloggers who take blogging seriously and are usually viewed as an authority in their chosen niche. Ghost provides professional and sleek blog design and features that can make you feel “official.”

Cost

Free/packages start from $29 per month

Packages available:

  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Business

Wix 

Wix is best known for building websites for businesses, but a lot of people also use it for blogging because of its sleek and professional presentation.

Blogging level

The blogging platform is easy to use. Beginners will love the drag and drop content feature, which will make things easier for them to format their blog posts.

Customization

A custom domain is available if you choose a premium package. You can choose from a lot of professionally made themes. Take note though that you can only choose your template once and you can never change it again. The widgets are customizable. There is also an HTML editor so you can tweak the codes.

Monetization and SEO

Wix allows ad integration. It is set up for businesses, so there is a lot of room for monetization with this platform. The eCommerce is good, but the eCommerce features and tools are only available for paid packages though. Wix is very SEO friendly since you can edit your meta titles and descriptions, customize your URLs, and you can also edit your header code.

Mobile friendliness

Your web pages and blog will be supported on all portable devices.

Useful tools

Wix has its logo maker. All you have to do is input the name of your blog, your tag line, choose what type of logo you prefer, and you will be given several options to choose from.

Who uses it

Brown Owl Creative, BALTIGQ+, French Knot Studios

What makes it good for travel blogging?

Wix is a great site for travel bloggers who want to have their website for monetization and run their blog in one venue. It may be more popular as a website creator, but it has more than enough features for creating a great blog.

Cost

Free/packages start at $4.50 per month

Packages available:

  • Connect Domain
  • Combo
  • Unlimited
  • VIP

Weebly

Weebly is another blogging platform that is more known as a website builder. A lot of bloggers use this blogging platform for its unique formatting. Weebly is also best known for being a business-oriented blogging platform, which is great for you if you want to monetize your blog and sell some products.

Blogging level

Beginners will love its easy to use features. All you have to do is drag and drop your pictures to your blog post as you write for easier formatting. Professionals are also fond of the site because of its monetization features and eCommerce tools.

Customization

A custom domain is only available if you get a premium package. The widgets available can be customized. However, there is no HTML editor available, so there will be no expert coding options for you.

Monetization and SEO

Weebly is known as a great blogging and website building platform for business because of its good eCommerce tools and features. It comes with an SEO plugin to help your website rank well in Google as well.

Mobile friendliness

Weebly is mobile friendly.

Useful tools

Weebly comes with a full set of multimedia applications and gives you

Who uses it

Brighton Performing Arts Centre, Knapp Media, Java to Go

What makes it good for travel blogging?

This is best for travelers who want to create their website for monetization. It is also best for those who want no hassles when they update their blog posts.

Cost

Free/packages start from $5 per month

Packages available:

  • Connect
  • Pro
  • Business

TypePad.com

TypePad is known to be a flexible and reliable blogging platform that gives you as the blogger more control.

Blogging level

It’s easy to use interface is great for beginners. It is known to be a highly secure blogging platform, which makes it great if you also want to have your own online business with your blog.

Customization

Custom domain capability is only available for premium packages. TypePad has a wide range of themes with customizable widgets. The HTML editor is also available for professional bloggers who want to tweak their blog.

Monetization and SEO

TypePad has an SEO plugin.

Mobile friendliness

TypePad is a mobile-friendly blogging platform.

Useful tools

This blogging platform is commonly known for its excellent customer service. Plus it is known to be a very secure blogging platform making your content and data safe from hackers. TypePad also offers to promote your content across its network, giving your blog more traffic and exposure.

Who uses it

Health4UandPets, Camper English, Alliance of Women Filmmakers,

What makes it good for travel blogging?

Cost

14-day free trial/packages start at $8.95 per month

Packages available:

  • Plus
  • Unlimited
  • Premium
  • Enterprise

Squarespace

Squarespace is best known for its award-winning template designs and unlimited hosting. This blogging platform gives travel bloggers multiple-site components such as blogs, web pages, galleries, and eCommerce.

Blogging level

Squarespace is very easy to use so it can be used by beginners, professional bloggers, and eCommerce.

Customization

Squarespace provides a free domain name for annual accounts. The blogging platform has a wider variety of themes. The widgets in Squarespace are also customizable. However, you will need to have some coding knowledge if you want to use customized plugins.

Monetization and SEO

Squarespace comes with an SEO plugin. Squarespace also has marketing tools to help you reach your audience faster.

Mobile friendliness

Squarespace is very friendly. It also comes with its app that allows you to create, review, and edit your posts. The Squarespace app also gives you updated web stat access anytime, anywhere.

Useful tools

Aside from using the best IT features, Squarespace has top-of-the-line security and gives personalized customer support via live chat, email, or webinar 24/7. Because it is hosted in the cloud, the blogging platform is stable with no downtime and maintenance required. One of the best things about this blogging platform is that it can import content from other blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr making it easier for you to move your blog to their platform.

Who uses it

Idris Elba, John Malovich, Slow Travel Magazine

What makes it good for travel blogging?

If you want to be considered an expert in your niche or if your travel blog will be mostly visual, Squarespace will be a great site for you. Its beautiful templates will bring out the best in your photos. The professional layout and format will leave your readers without doubt about your credibility. And if you want to run an online business on the side, Squarespace can let you create a page for that on your blog. This makes it one of the best options for bloggers who want to monetize.

Cost

Packages start at $12 per month

Available packages:

  • Personal
  • Business

Medium

Medium is a popular blogging platform for bloggers who are in the business to write their stories and engage with their readers. The site has a wide audience of writers, experts, and journalists so you can just imagine all the healthy debates and interesting conversations you can have with other bloggers and readers in this platform.

Blogging level

Medium is very simple, making it great for beginners who have no coding knowledge. Professional bloggers can also establish their authority in their niche in this blogging platform.

Customization

There is no custom domain capability for Medium. Medium allows third-party embedding for your posts. The presentation for all posts are consistent, so there are no themes, no HTML editor, and no customizable widgets or plugins. All you have to do on this site is to write and publish.

Monetization and SEO

The Medium Dashboard shows where all your traffic is coming from. Sadly, there are no monetization options for this blogging platform. You can never run your ads here to make money out of your site.

Mobile friendliness

Medium is very tidy and clean in its presentation, making it very mobile friendly.

Useful tools

For better engagement, when readers comment on your blog post, they can highlight the text that they are particularly commenting on and this is added in the comment box so you can have an easier idea as to what they are referring to. Medium also informs the reader how many minutes it would take to read your post and how many times your posts have been viewed.

Who uses it

The Washington Post, Twitch, The Economist

What makes it good for travel blogging?

If you are the type of travel blogger who wants to just focus on your writing, this is a great blogging platform for you. It already comes with a ready built audience, so you do not have to worry that no one is reading your posts. Also, if you are the type who wants to skip the hassles of maintaining a website because you would rather “live in the moment” every time you travel, this is a good choice for you.

Cost

Free

Tumblr

Tumblr is very popular for young audiences, so if your target audience is the younger generation, you can easily reach them through this blogging platform.

Blogging level

Tumblr is very easy to use and navigate, making it an easy favorite for beginner bloggers and those who do personal blogs.

Customization

You can use a custom domain name with Tumblr, but you have to get it from a third-party. Tumblr has a wide range of themes, and you can change your blog’s look anytime. There is also an HTML editor available.

Monetization and SEO

Tumblr has an integrated social media component so you can use that for your social media marketing SEO campaigns. It provides a variety of ways for you to re-blog and share your post. As for monetization, your options will be limited, but you can do some affiliate links here and there.

Mobile friendliness

Tumblr’s mobile friendliness will depend on the theme that you choose.

Useful tools

With Tumblr, you are allowed to have multiple blogs under your account.

Who uses it

Stories from Kibera, Adult Art Club, Elevated Interiors

What makes it good for travel blogging?

Tumblr is best for visual bloggers, so if you are low on words but take amazing pictures, this can be the blogging platform for you. You can find a lot of photographers having Tumblr as their online portfolio to showcase their talent.

Cost

Free.

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