And we are back with the second post in my how to start a blog series! Before you read this one, make sure you have read my first one which is all about what to do before starting a blog. This one is going be all about picking the best blogging platform for you. There is a variety of blog platforms you can choose from, but the main three I’m going to cover are Blogger, WordPress.com, and WordPress.org!
Blogger is a great platform for anyone who is just starting a blog and wants to give it a try without the huge commitment. It’s completely free and creating one is super easy. All you need is an email to link up your account and you are good to go! Blogger doesn’t have as much freedom when it comes to design, as some changes would have to be done by coding, but it’s an easy platform to use to get your blog off the ground. And you can always buy a template for your Blogger blog, although I have seen some amazing designs done with just what Blogger gives you. You can also eventually buy a domain name, so you can start out with blogname.blogspot. com and then just go to blogname.com. Although I did run into a few glitches when using Blogger, it is free and perfect for starting off you blog.
I have never personally used wordpress.com, but while doing some research when deciding what platform to use myself I found out a few things. WordPress.com is free and you do have more design options. But the big thing that turned me away from it was that although it is free, you don’t own any of your content. I know, scary right! WordPress actually owns everything on your blog and can delete it all if you do something that isn’t within their rules. Also there will be ads on your blog, but you don’t get any revenue from them. Instead you have to pay wordpress.com to remove the ads. So I would personally suggest if you are just starting out your blog and want to give blogging a go, give Blogger a try over wordpress.com!
WordPress.org is for when you go self-hosted. Self-hosted means that have to use a web host to run your blog, just like every other website. It does cost money to have a web host, but there are a wide variety of price ranges you can choose from, and you can choose between monthly and yearly pay plans. Being self hosted means that you have complete and utter freedom when it comes to your blog! You own all the content, can pick any design you want, and you can make more changes, with plugins, than if you used Blogger or WordPress.com. Being self hosted allows you to be more professional with your blog, and you also have less glitches then if you use Blogger. I would suggest going self hosted once you’ve been blogging for a little bit, or if you are very serious about blogging. I went self hosted after blogging on Blogger for about a year and love it! Although it is a little complicated to transfer your blog over, it can be done and is worth it in the end.
As I said, there are a variety of web hosts to choose from. I got very lucky and picked an amazing one right from the start, so I don’t have any personal experiences or complaints with any other one. I use Siteground, and have had absolutely no problems. They have amazing customer service and do weekly virsus checks each week for the first year. They also have affordable hosting plans that even are specialized to WordPress! Besides Siteground, I know there is GoDaddy, Bluehost and so many more. I would recommend doing a lot of research before picking one. The top things you should look for is customer service (24/7 is the best just in case something goes wrong with your site), the website loading speed (no one wants a slow blog), security against hacking, and storage space. Also look up reviews from others who have used that web host. Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best!
And that’s is it! If you have any other questions feel free to leave them down in the comments, and be sure to give my other posts in this series a read! : (Picking a platform, Picking a blog design, What to do after creating a blog)