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List of Blogging Platforms Unblocked in China — Updated

Finally I have finished a new and even bigger list of (mostly English) blogging platforms that work in China. More than 50 sites, where you can set up a blog (mostly free), were tested if they are blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

Last updated: February 29th, 2016.

List of Blogging Platforms Unblocked in China 2014

Background

Please note, that there is a possibility that any of the sites listed could later become blocked by the great firewall. The Chinese government has full authority to decide if to block or unblock any website they want, whenever they want.

The leading monitoring service of the Chinese firewall, -“GreatFire.org” provides up to date information, as well as historical monitoring data of any possible blocks of these blog services. This will give you an idea of stability and a way to monitor the situation (links to data provided below). Unfortunately such online tools for checking if a website is blocked or not, are censored inside China.

Although free, these blogging platforms have several downsides besides the possibility of being blocked. Internet connections are notoriously slow in China, because  bandwidth out of the country is scarce. Most likely these sites do not have a very good connection to the Chinese mainland and just like the blocking, you never know when the speeds can change dramatically at any time. Even up the point that the website no longer finishes loading.

Luckily there is an affordable solution to all this. Finding the right blog host will make sure your site will always work in China, with a fast and stable connection (see below)!

For each blog I have tested if the blogs are being indexed in Baidu. In other words, I have checked if you can find the blogs from the most popular Chinese internet search engine (equivalent of Google). Also some other information is provided, such as if there are ads, other inserted text links on the page etc.


The List (40 blogs & counting):

Bluehost WordPress  Hosting  *recommended

Bluehost WordPress Blog Hosting

With my years of experience in battling with different hosting options for China, I have been extremely happy with this one. And they have a cheap (at $5/month) blog hosting plan that I would recommend to those who want a stable & secure solution. These are the main points why I have chosen Bluehost:

+ No ads, just beautiful & clear blogging
+ Experienced host for China
+ Fast & stable connection to the Chinese mainland
+ Easy to use & setup WordPress blogging platform
+ Unlimited possibilities for expansion to a fully featured website
+ Amazing 24h support!
+ Optional upgrade to private IP with increased reliability

What happens if your site gets blocked?

This host is specialised  in serving customers who blog for readers located in the Chinese mainland. If you ever have any problems their amazing support staff are always ready to help you out. Also, if ever your site gets blocked in China, they will unblock it for you!

The great firewall of China blocks sites by IP address. With Bluehost you have an option to have your site on a shared or private IP address. For most sites, a shared IP address is fine. If another website on the same IP gets blocked in China, it will be moved to a new IP address.

For those, who want more stability you have the option of using a private IP which is not shared with other users. If your site still gets blocked, it’s because the Chinese government is targeting specifically your website. Even if this would happen, support staff will do their best to solve the problem.

To open up a “WordPress hosting” account at a discounted price, click here and if you are not satisfied, you can get your money back in thirty days.


 

If you don’t mind the lag & advertising. These free options below are working in China at the moment. Click on “check current status” to see historical data of any possible blockage that may have occurred.

WordPress Blogs:

Edublogs (check current status)

Edublogs has blocked Google and other search engines from indexing the free blogs. Not recommended.

– Header toolbar & footer links
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

Altervista (check current status)

– Header toolbar, footer link
+ Italian site, also in English
+ Ads but you can make money from them
+ Indexed by Baidu

Rediff Blogs (check current status)

– Not indexed by Baidu
– Toolbar and footer links
+ WordPress
+ No ads

blogdive.com (check current status)

No longer works.

– Reported downtime
– Partly indexed by Baidu
+ Several subdomains to choose from
+ No ads

Microblogging:

Soup (check current status)

– Not indexed by Baidu
+ Innovative microblogging

Tumblr (check current status)

No longer stable in China. Partly blocked.

– Has been blocked in the past
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

VKontakte (check current status)

– Russian social network
– Requires phone verification
+ No ads
+ Available in English and other languages
+ Indexed by Baidu

Other Blogs:

Roon (check current status)

Roon has ended it’s blogging service.

+ Very easy to use blogging platform
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

tBlog.com (check current status)

– Sidebar link
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

BookLikes (check current status)

– Footer link
+ For blogging about books and book reviews
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

OverBlog (check current status)

No longer stable in China. Partly blocked.

– Ads
+ Clean and easy to use interface
+ Indexed by Baidu

Postach.io (check current status)

Postach.io turned from free to rediculously expensive. If you want an inexpensive option to host WordPress blog without worries of being blocked, see this option here.

+ Blogging interface at evernote.com
+ Small footer link
+ Indexed by Baidu

China Daily (check current status)

– More of a community than just your own blog
– Does not support freedom of speech (blogs are censored)
+ Most likely will never be blocked
+ Indexed by Baidu

Passle (check current status)

+ No ads
+ Clear, innovative platform
+ Only one link on your page to their main site
+ Indexed by Baidu
– Not a traditional style blogging platform

blog.ca (check current status)

Blogging platform will be closed December 2015.

– Used to be blocked in 2013
– Toolbar and footer links
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

blog.co.uk (check current status)

Blogging platform will be closed December 2015.

– Ads
– Toolbar and footer links
– Was blocked in 2013
+ Indexed by Baidu

Blog.com (check current status)

Constant server outages, slow or just doesn’t work. Not recommended.

– Header toolbar
– Footer links
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

Jux (check current status)

The Jux project has been discontinued.

– Not properly indexed by Baidu
+ No ads
+ Innovated blogging platform that you either love or hate

Jimdo (check current status)

– Indexing by all search engines is blocked by default until “approved”
– Footer links
+ No ads

EklaBlog (check current status)

– Site in French
– Header toolbar
+ Indexed in Baidu

blog.com.es (check current status)

Blogging platform will be closed December 2015.

– Site in Spanish
– Ads
– Toolbar & footer links
– Not properly indexed by Baidu

Inube (check current status)

– Nofollow links by default
+ Indexed by Baidu

ixpat.com (check current status)

– Most horrible and old blogging platform ever
– Blog is mounted within the whole site interface
– More of an expat classifieds than a blog
+ Hosted in Hong Kong
+ Indexed by Baidu

Website Builders (Blogging Feature):

Doomby (check current status)

They have started asking to fill out a CAPTCHA that is blocked in China, for some people who simply enter the website. No longer reliable.

– Banner ads
– Footer link
+ Indexed by Baidu

Webs (check current status)

– Footer link
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

Doodlekit (check current status)

– Accounts need to be verified with a credit card (free)
– Account will be deleted if not logged in for 60 days
– Footer link
+ No ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

Yola (check current status)

– Free version limited number of pages
+ Sites hosted on yolasite.com domain
+ Small footer link
+ Indexed in Baidu

Weebly (check current status)

While weebly.com itself is not blocked, the website connects to so many different websites and servers around the world, that even blocking advertising, analytics and social media the user experience is horrible.

– Footer toolbar
+ Indexed in Baidu

Webnode (check current status)

– Has been blocked before
– Footer link
+ Indexed in Baidu

WIX.com (check current status)

– Header & footer links
+ Indexed by Baidu

Beep.com (check current status)

– Footer & sidebar links
+ Indexed by Baidu

Website Builders (No Blogging):

Own-Free-Website.com (check current status)

– Banner ads
– Not indexed in Baidu
+ Sites hosted on page.tl domain

IM Creator (check current status)

IM Creator is now completely blocked in China.

– Sites hosted on domain www.i-m.co
– Footer toolbar
+ Indexed by Baidu

Moonfruit (check current status)

– Header & footer links
+ Indexed by Baidu

350pages Website Builder (check current status)

No longer works.

– Ads
– Header & footer links
– Old website builder platform
+ Indexed by Baidu

Site W (check current status)

– Pretty old website builder platform
+ French site also available in English & German
+ Indexed by Baidu

Free Hosts:

000webhost (check current status)

– Ads
– Outdated blogging software
+ Easy blog setup
+ Hosted on comxa.com domain
+ Indexed by Baidu

Biz.nf (check current status)

– Free host with some usage limits
– Need to know how to install WordPress on server (fairly easy)
+ No Ads
+ Indexed by Baidu

5GB Free (check current status)

– Need to know how to set up your own blog
– Not a very reliable host
+ No ads or links
+ Indexed by Baidu

Blocked During Test:

http://blog.fc2.comhttp://wordpress.comhttps://www.blogger.com/https://ghost.orghttp://www.postagon.comhttp://plus.google.comhttp://facebook.com/notes

As you can see, the Chinese government is not THAT fanatic about blocking foreign blogs. But it’s not their only way of censoring free speech. For example certain sensitive keywords might trigger temporary blocks on specific blogs.

If you found this list useful or have more sites to contribute, please leave a comment in the box below. I will continue to make changes to the list or make another one in 2015.

Care and share, let's call it fair! -David

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Write a Comment

Comment

15 Comments

      • Thank you for your comment. Perhaps I should explain a little further. I’ve just tested all of these from Shanghai and they all open inside the Great Firewall of China.

        But there are other factors that can have effect:

        1. The website is located on a slow connection

        Many overseas servers have a terrible connection to the Chinese mainland. Even up to the point that the website does not load at all. It might be temporary, it might be long term. It’s just the fact of how unstable foreign websites can be from China.

        From the ones that I just tested, Rediff would simply not load. I tested a couple of hours later and it worked fine.

        2. The website is connecting to blocked third party servers

        Nowadays so many websites connect to social media networks, ads, analytics and other servers when you load a website. If some of these are blocked, it can make using the website really dreadful.

        You can block these with the Ghostery browser plugin.

        3. The website is dependent on blocked third party servers

        Some sites such as below mentioned Weebly, is hosting different parts of the website on various servers. In this case if some of these servers are blocked, the website will be unusable without circumvention methods.


        Solution: (1) Just accept the situation and live with it. (2) Use China friendly web hosting to host your own blog (3) Use a Chinese based blogging service (which in return can be slow for those located outside of China).

        Please note: I have never claimed that these blogging websites are usable. I’m simply giving out statistics of which websites are blocked or unblocked.

    • Thank you for the comment. I have just tested Weebly.com from Shanghai and while the domain itself is not blocked, it does indeed seem quite unusable.

      First of all, Ghostery browser add-on is showing that it’s connecting to 14 different servers of which several are blocked (like, doubleclick.com, ajax.googleapis.com, facebook.com, etc.). But even if you prevent the connection to these domains, their infrastructure is dependent on so many outside servers, of which some seem to be blocked as well.

      Weebly.com Ghostery

  1. Any updated information on accessible blogging platforms? I’ve tried several on this list, but none seem to be just a basic blogging service (like Bloggr). I’m not interested in building an entire website, but I also don’t like the outdated look of the Soup website. Just looking for other ideas to try 🙂

    • I haven’t checked for new blogging platforms, but usually those “clean” and “good looking” ones come free and convert to paid later. So this is already pretty good coverage in my opinion. Altervista is clean and WordPress based, but one problem as with many others is that they connect to a lot of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter which further slows down page loads in China if they are not blocked with software. No perfect solution really seems to exist.

      Please let us know if you find anything and thanks for your comment!

  2. I am in China, I have tried almost all these websites, only the first bluehost wordpress is unblocked. I would like to try if there is any other site. However, thanks for doing this.

    • Thanks for the comment. Please try to install Ghostery browser extension first and block all the social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc..) and other sites that these websites are trying to connect you with. Many of them could be blocked sites and prevent the page from loading, even though the actual website is not blocked. Does that help?

    • The “GreatFire Analyzer” is the best tool available. Just enter the website URL under “TEST URL” and wait for a couple of minutes.

      So for example your website would be tested at: https://en.greatfire.org/test?url=http%3A//www.funwithpuzzles.com

      It shows that your website is not blocked in China. However, often websites connect to third party websites which can be tested as well for more reliability. If blocked third party servers exist, they will just slow down the website for mainland China users. Unless they are needed for site functionality, which would make it unusable.

      Or the most reliable way is to get a Chinese IP with VPN and test it out for yourself.

  3. So, my wordpress website works in China, but takes 40-some seconds to load in Beijing.

    If I switch over to bluehost, would this solve the issue? Please shoot me an email, I really need help.

    • Depends on the issue.

      If your current WP site is located on a server that has a poor connection to the mainland, changing to Bluehost should speed up things.

      Or the other possibility is that your site is connecting to a lot of blocked websites that slow down page load. You can test it out by running Ghostery or something similar that blocks these connections when loading the page – see if it improves page load.