You’ve decided you’d like to blog and what you’d like to blog about but now you need to know where to setup your blog. There are a lot of choices, some are simpler than others but all have their own place. The most popular options, especially for new bloggers definitely are Blogger (.blogspot.com address) or WordPress (either self-hosted or at WordPress.com).
Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to any choice and that what I say here is solely my personal opinion based on my personal experiences with those two blogging platforms. I recommend you do a little homework and put a little thought into it before choosing for yourself. This by no means is an exhaustive run down of your choices!
I started at Blogger and although I outgrew what they have to offer, I still recommend them for beginner bloggers.
- It’s free!
- If you aren’t wanting to delve into purchasing your own domain name and hosting, and if you plan to keep the blog and theme simple this is definitely a great option.
- They offer a lot of customization options and great addons for you to use to spice up your blog and make it your own.
- There are a lot of designers out there who can create a beautiful blog design for you and even some free background and design options.
- Purchasing a domain name through them isn’t something I really recommend, if you choose to move your blog down the road the process of moving the DNS information for your domain can be quite complicated and overwhelming to the less technically savvy domain name owner.
- It is easy to outgrow Blogger, typically this means that you get to the point on your blog where you want more options than they actually offer which can be frustrating.
If however, you’re looking for a blog that is a little beefier and offers extreme customization options and growth potential, you might want to look into WordPress. Although not everyone would agree, it can be a little more technically challenging in my opinion, but once you get used to it that shouldn’t be a problem. I personally have been using WordPress for about 5+ years.
Be sure to refer to my WordPress Basics series for more information on using wordpress.
- There are several hosts that specialize in offering WordPress hosting and will even set it up for you. This process can be a little daunting but once you have your WordPress blog setup (most hosts offer a one click installation process) the possibilities are endless.
- Thousands of plugins and features to optimize and customize your blog.
- Complete design freedom – there are so many WordPress themes and designers this is a subject all of it’s own but in my opinion there are more options for customizing your theme with wordpress.
- Grows with you – should you decide to change your topic or make your blog even bigger or even change it to more of a regular website or storefront, WordPress is totally compatible.
- As I mentioned, it can be a little more technically challenging and installation/setup isn’t for the faint of heart.
- It can be more of an investment. To have self-hosted wordpress you need to have your own domain name and hosting setup, both have fees.
- Security issues – WordPress blogs are more likely to be “hacked”. Although most bloggers will not run into a problem with this, you will want to do your research to make sure that you are securing your blog as much as possible. I recommend BlueHost but there are other hosts out there with great security too.
Lastly, some of you may be saying, “well what about WordPress.com, Typepad.com or the other blogging platforms out there?” My response is to please definitely do your homework and research those options!!! Again, this is my own personal opinion, but overall the customization limitations and so on just seem too tight on the other platforms, but that may very well be just fine and dandy with you!