If you’ve decided to start a blog, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is which blogging platform you will use.
There are many different types of blog platforms, and choosing the right one is important, as you don’t want to be moving your blog from host to host once you’ve started blogging.
Blogger is a well known platform that is owned and operated by Google. It’s free to use and incredibly easy to set up.
Because Google hosts your blog, there is no need to worry about extra hosting expenses, hosting issues or complicated installation procedures.
Setting up your blog on Blogger
Setting up a Blogger blog is very easy. If you already have a Google account, you can use your existing account to set up your blog.
If you don’t have an existing Google log in, it takes just minutes to establish one.
Once you’ve completed the initial account set up, you’ll be asked to provide a couple pieces of basic information, such as your blog’s name and the URL you want to use (ie. myblogname.blogspot.com).
Once this information is completed, you can start posting right away, if you’d like.
The main advantages to Blogger are:
- It is easy to use with point and click design.
- There are hundreds of free templates available to create a custom look for your blog
- And it many features that you can add in with a couple of mouse clicks.
Unfortunately, the simplicity of a Blogger blog comes with a price, though not monetary.
Because Google owns the servers your blog is hosted on, you’re at the mercy of the company should your blog be reported as a “spam” blog.
Your blog could be live one day, and gone the next. Unfortunately, it can, and does, happen.
If you’re starting a blog simply as a means to host a personal journal or diary, you’re pretty safe; but monetized blogs can often be reported as spam. This is an important point to keep in mind when choosing your platform.
Using WordPress to set up your blog
WordPress has been a popular blog platform for many years. There are hosted and self-hosted versions available.
Like Blogger, the hosted version is relatively simple to set up. After establishing a WordPress account, you simply add your blog’s name and desired URL, and you can immediately start posting.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of free WordPress templates available to spruce up the look and feel of your blog.
The WordPress community is also incredibly active, and many users have created plugins that enhance the functionality of your blog. Some common plugins help with SEO automation, RSS feed maintenance, and creation of contact forms. There are even plugins that will turn your WP blog into a full-fledged eCommerce store.
The big advantage to WordPress is that there is also a self-hosted version. With this version, you will secure a hosting account from a company of your choosing, and then install your blog on your host using your desired domain name.
Having a self-hosted blog means that you are in complete control of your blog. Unless you commit a blatant crime, like copyright infringement or host pirated software, your host isn’t going to pull your blog down on a whim.
The primary disadvantage to WordPress is that it is a bit more complicated for a newbie blogger to learn.
There are far more options and settings that need to be configured, and if you’re not used to hosting a site, you’ll also need to become familiar with cPanel, or whatever hosting management control panel your web host provides.
Both Blogger and WordPress are excellent blogging platforms. For the beginner, Blogger offers a convenient point and click interface that will have your blog up and running in minutes.
However, for a blog that will be monetized, or for someone who isn’t afraid to spend some time learning about hosting, a self-hosted WordPress blog is the way to go.