So you have decided to have a blog. Great! Now you have to decide which blogging software to use that best suits your needs.
There are lots of different blogging software programs to pick from, we will be covering:
Blog Purpose and Theme
Creating a blog is just like creating a website. You need to do some planning first.
- What is the purpose of the blog?
- What will be the topic you will be blogging about?
- What are the expectations of your targeted audience?
- Based on what your target audience expects, what technologies does the blogging software need?
Some of the blogging software options available will have limited features so it’s best to do some research which features you want and make a checklist.
- The technologies you have determined you need will be the deciding factor as to what web hosting you require. A free blogging platform will do? Or paid hosting and self installed software is required?
- Blog themes are the templates that create the look and layout of the blog. Do you want a custom unique theme to stand out from the crowd? Or will a pre-made blog theme or free theme work?
If you go for the pre-made or free option for your theme, will it need tweeking to meet your needs?
- Next, what budget do you have to incorporate all of the above.
Free hosted blogging software has some limitations you should be aware of:
- Less configuration options are available.
- Your web address will include the free service’s name. e.g. website-checklist.blogspot.com
Here are some free hosted blogging software sites:
- Blogger.com – Owned by Google. You need a Google account.
- WordPress.com – This is the link to the hosted version of WordPress. The self-installed version link is below.
The above are just a few of the free hosted blogging platforms available.
Self hosted blogs require that you purchase a domain name, some hosting and install your chosen blogging software. You will be responsible to update the software as new editions come available.
The advantages of a self hosted blog are:
- You own your domain name.
- Your domain name doesn’t have anyone else’s name in it.
- You can find free blogging software to use on your self hosted blog.
- You have full control over which features you want to use and what design you use.
One thing to consider is the technology required to run your self hosted blogging software. Most use PHP and a MySQL database. These factors will determine what kind of hosting you need.
Your web hosting may have a quick install button in your control panel. We don’t recommend using this as the web hosting company could have had the installation of the software changed and removed some of the features you expected. There is another reason to self install your blogging software, security risks:
When installing WordPress on your own domain, avoid using auto installers that come with your hosting account, such as Fantatisco. Auto installation scripts come with security risks.
Avoid unnecessary security vulnerabilities and malicious hackers by doing a manual installation of WordPress.
Always go to the source site to get your self hosted blogging software.
Here are some self hosted blogging software packages:
- WordPress.org – very popular, has lots of theme developers making paid and free themes. There are also lots of plugins available.
When you decide to get into blogging there are lots of choices of blogging software to choose from. Just remember to plan first to save yourself having to change platforms later. Don’t go with what’s cool, go with what works for your blog.
This post was created as part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge at: