There are many platforms and software solutions you can use for your blog. But the question is which one is the most appropriate for your needs.

After trying a plethora of options for my blog, I want to answer the question and help you choose the best option for your blog.

While reading the article, do not forget that it's shaped by my experiences and preferences. Nevertheless, I am going to be as objective as possible.

Without further ado, let's see which are the best blogging platforms for your developer blog.

freeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp is one of the best choices if you just want a lot of people to read your writing. They run their publication similar to a traditional academic journal.

One benefit is you don't have to worry about building or maintaining your own blog.

Another massive benefit is that you don't have to worry about promoting your articles, either. freeCodeCamp has an enormous base of readers, which you can reach if you publish articles there. They promote the articles from their authors throughout their network, so you don't blog into the void.

On the flip side, since freeCodeCamp spends a lot of time editing the articles and publicizing them, and in return they ask that you don't republish these articles on other platforms.

Besides that, you have to apply to write for them. You need to already have some examples of your writing to submit when you apply.

Here's a breakdown of some of the pros and cons of publishing on freeCodeCamp.

Pros:

  • You don't have to worry about building and maintaining the blog.
  • You don't blog into the void. freeCodeCamp has a considerable following.
  • They have an editorial team that green-lights your own article ideas or helps you come up with article ideas, and edits your articles.

Cons:

  • freeCodeCamp doesn't want you to cross-post articles that they've helped you edit, publish, and publicize.
  • You have to apply to become an author, and even then they reject a lot of article ideas.

Hashnode

I recently discovered Hashnode, and since then it's the main platform I use for my blog. That doesn't mean it's the best. It means that it satisfies all my needs and requirements.

Hashnode is a platform that allows you to create a blog and write articles, like all the other platforms in this article.

One of the main differences is that Hashnode enables you to map your custom domain. That means, instead of having username.bloggingplatform.com, you can have a domain like yourname.com.

This makes your blog look more professional, and it's also easier for the readers to remember your blog address.

Another significant benefit is that you're not tied into the platform. You can easily download all your posts, or export them to GitHub. That means you can always leave without too much hassle.

To put things into perspective, when I switched from WordPress to Hashnode, I lost most of my articles. Thus, it is crucial to be able to easily export your articles.

Lastly, you can customise and personalise your blog. You might be aware that blogging platforms have only one design which is used by everyone. However, with Hashnode, everyone can customise their blog with custom CSS, so their blog has a unique feel and look.

However, you still don't have full control over your blog. If you're not building your blog from the ground up, you'll always depend on someone else.

For instance, if you want a feature, you have to propose it and wait until it's implemented. Even though the features are usually implemented quickly, you still have to wait and have no control over them.

Also, you are not able to remove or modify core Hashnode features. For instance, you cannot remove the "Sign In" button from your blog page. However, overall it's an excellent platform for blogging.

Thus, let's see the pros and cons of using Hashnode.

Pros:

  • It gives you the possibility to backup all your posts.
  • You are part of a large community.
  • You can customise and personalise your blog.

Cons:

  • You have to accept and follow the Terms of Service.
  • You're still using someone else's platform.

You can read more about Hashnode in this article.

Hacker Noon

Hacker Noon is a professional platform that has over 12,000 developers actively writing & reading stories. And the platform is not limited only to developers. You can also find articles from builders, founders, makers, and hackers. Thus, there is a wide range of topics you can write about.

The key benefit of Hacker Noon is that they have an editing team that checks the articles. That means people cannot post whatever they want on the platform.

On the same note, the quality of the articles is higher since they are checked manually by editors. How does that benefit you? You benefit by having someone editing your articles and providing feedback. Receiving feedback helps you identify gaps in your knowledge, and it enables you to fill those gaps.

Besides that, Hacker Noon has a social media community with over 500k people. That means you can reach lots of people when they share your article. Besides that, you build your image as well. Your author information is displayed twice in the article, alongside your social media links too. Thus, you reach a broad audience and promote yourself also.

On the flip side, you are not able to map your custom domain. That means Google and other search engines index Hacker Noon's URLs instead of your own. Thus, authors are giving away potential Google traffic.

Lastly, all blogs look the same. You are not able to change your blog design.

However, overall, Hacker Noon is a fantastic platform for blogging. I plan to use it to cross-post some of my articles.

Pros:

  • They have an editing team that checks your articles. You can then improve them based on the feedback you receive.
  • They have a social media community with over 500k people. As a result, you can reach a broad audience.

Cons:

  • Authors are giving away potential Google traffic because search engines index the Hacker Noon URL.
  • No ability to use your custom domain.
  • Inability to customise and personalise your blog.

Dev To

Dev To is another amazing platform for blogging, that sky-rocketed when Medium introduced a paywall feature. I've used the platform since I started blogging seriously, which was the beginning of this year.

One of the main benefits of blogging on Dev To is that you are part of an immense community. People can follow each other and get notified when they post a new article. Is this different from other blogging platforms? No. The difference is the high number of people using the platform. Thus, it's easier to reach readers.

Another plus is that they share (some) articles on their social media accounts. For instance, they have 214K followers only on Twitter. That means you have more chances to reach a big audience if they share your article.

Moreover, similar to Medium, there are publications or organisations. For instance, let's say I have the company "Catalin's Software". Thus, I can create an organisation on Dev To, and people can write for it. That means you get better visibility and reach. The reason is that both people that follow you, and the ones that follow the organisation, get notified when a post is published.

On the other hand, like Hacker Noon, the biggest drawback is that you're tied into the platform. That means you cannot easily export your articles, and therefore move on another platform.

Another downside is that you cannot have your own domain. That means your blog URL is under the form of dev.to/your_name.

Lastly, you cannot customise and personalise your blog. As a result, all blogs have the same design and feel.

Overall, Dev To is a good platform to use for blogging. However, if you want to have a professional blog, I think having your domain and a custom theme is essential.

Let's see the pros and cons of the platform:

Pros:

  • They have an immense community which you can be part of it. As a result, it's easier to reach people and avoid blogging into the void.
  • You can become part of publications or organisations, which means you can reach more people.
  • They share the articles on their social media accounts where they have lots of followers.

Cons:

  • Not an easy way to export your articles or to move to another platform.
  • You cannot customise and personalise your blog. All blogs look the same.
  • You cannot map your domain. You have a generic URL.

Conclusion

These are the main platforms I enjoy and recommend for blogging. You can use one of them, all of them, or only some of them.

If you ask me what I do, and what you should do, I would advise you to:

  1. Open a blog on Hashnode, because you can have a personal domain and you can personalise it. As a result, your blog is more professional.
  2. Then cross-post to Hacker Noon or Dev To.
  3. Once you have more practice writing, and a portfolio of articles, consider applying to become an author on freeCodeCamp.

Thanks for reading. If you like what I write, the chances are you would love what I email. Consider subscribing to my mailing list. If you're not a fan of newsletters, we can always keep in touch on Twitter.