Blogging is easy once you get started, but after you decide to start a blog and you have an idea about what you want it to do for you, you do need to make two decisions before you can start. Don’t panic, though, or let the decisions intimidate you or scare you away! Instead, let me, the-blog-editor, try to help you. The two blogging decisions are
- What blogging “platform” will you use?
- How will you get your message outvia a free host or by arranging for a vendor to host your blog?
A blog platform: The first piece of the puzzle . . .
I’ve tried several blogging platforms, but I fully recommend using the open-source blogging platform that is discussed at WordPress.org. So, we’ll pretend that that decision has been made!
A blog host: The second piece of the puzzle . . .
The second decision is not as easy. You can decide to host your new blog for free at WordPress.com but the advantages of WordPress.com are limited, other than being free, that is. Of course, it might very well suit your needs. Really, the two biggest disadvantages of WordPress.com are
- that your website address URL will be, for example, www.anEditorsBlog.wordpress.com, and
- that you may have some advertising on your site and in your dashboard area.
Of course, you can always move your blog from the free hosting at WordPress.com to another host at any time; but the move means repeating much of the behind-the-scenes work that you would have already done with your free blog.
Your “self-hosted” blog site
A domain name for your blog Before you get that far, though, you have one more chore to tackle before you get started. If you do choose to host your site away from the free WordPress site, you’ll need to purchase and register a domain name that you want to use. (This will enable you to have a URLthe text that displays in the “address” line of your Internet browsersuch as www.anEditorsBlog.com, for example, instead of www.anEditorsBlog.wordpress.com, if that’s important to you.)
To purchase your own domain name, I recommend using GoDaddy.comthey may have lousy, shameful, sexist ads during the Super Bowl but they are the number one domain registrar for a reason: the website is user friendly, their support is very helpful, and the company is trustworthy. You can follow this affiliate link, if you wish, to research and buy your domain name:
A host for your blog Once you have your domain, you can get a hosting package at Hostgator and perform a relatively simple installation of WordPress on your new site. This affiliate link will lead you to Hostgator:
Once you’ve done that, you are well over the technological hump! You’ll soon be a fully functioning WordPress advocate!
A “theme” for your blog One of the first acts you’ll then need to complete is choosing and installing a “theme” or “skin” for your blogthis theme (and you can experiment with more than one or change at any time) is the program that determines how information on your blog appears to visitors. WordPress has a large variety of themes you can choose from (packaged inside the program); you can also find some fun themes (which they call “templates”) at wordpresstemplates.com as well as some great choices at Solostream, ElegantThemes, RocketThemes, or Simple Themesmy clients have used themes from all of these vendors over the years and have had good experiences.
For additional information, follow any of these affiliate links:
Congratulations! You’ve mastered the technology of blogging. From here on, you are going to have fun!
e-mail: editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
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