Platform #1: WordPress
I’d recommend you use the WordPress platform.
I primarily recommend WordPress for most websites due to it’s ease of use. If you’ve used Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress. (Note: This is WordPress.org, not WordPress.com, which offers free sites).
WordPress is totally free, making it an incredibly cost-effective platform.
It’s responsive, meaning it works really well on tablets and mobile devices, which is absolutely essential these days. If your site doesn’t work well on mobile, no one will want to visit it. I mean, seriously, have you visited one of those sites? They’re absolutely atrocious.
WordPress is the most robust, most popular platform, powering about 25% of all websites. If you’re primarily looking for a blogging platform, it’s hard to beat WordPress.
Because of it’s massive use, there is a huge support community, which means that if you’ve got questions, you won’t have any trouble finding answers.
Creating pages and blog posts in WordPress is really easy, and there is a massive library of around 40,000 open-source plugins which you can use to accomplish just about anything on your site.
Plus, WordPress also has thousands of free templates, allowing you to endlessly customize the look and feel of your website.
In terms of ease of use, resources available, and overall flexibility, it’s really difficult to beat WordPress. It’s almost a no-brainer, although some people would prefer other platforms.
One caveat: You do need to be careful with installing random plugins since many of them haven’t been sufficiently tested. Installing a buggy plugin can jack up your site.
If you’re choosing WordPress as your platform (and you probably should), skip ahead to step two now.
Platform #2: Joomla
Joomla is a bit more difficult to use than WordPress, but is still relatively simple. Like WordPress, you can create blog posts, edit pages, and customize website settings.
And like WordPress, Joomla also has a large database of free plugins, which you can use to customize your site. Keep in mind that these plugins are not always tested, so they too can pose some security risks for your site.
Platform #3: Drupal
Drupal is significantly more complex than WordPress or Joomla, and will have the steepest learning curve. However, it does offer the most customization options.
Rather than plugins, Drupal offers modules, and Drupal indicates which of these modules is being actively developed, which in turn helps you avoid the security risks.
Unless you really know your web development, I’d recommend sticking with WordPress for creating your website. It’s powerful enough to accomplish just about anything, without the difficulty of Drupal or Joomla. If you’re determined to develop a complex web tool or app, you might want to hire a veteran developer or development firm.
There are many free website builder options available, but I’d still suggest using one of the mentioned platforms.
With a free website builder plan, you can set up a blog, but that’s usually about it. This blog will probably have ads on it which you can’t control, which isn’t ideal either. And as soon as you want to make any customizations to your site, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan anyway.