Choose the Best Free or Paid Blogging Platform for You
Like many people you are probably affected by marketers and bloggers that tell you to start blogging right now, because it’s a great way to build content and community about your favorite topic. But like many inexperienced people who decide to blog, you also face one problem – Which platform should you choose for your blog?
As you may know, there are many options for you to choose from. You can get free blog software. This way you save money, but lose some of the features that you could get with paid software. You can get blog service that allows you to run a blog online, but you’d have to use their given URL as a part of your domain name…
Analyze Features Before You Choose a Blog Service
Before choosing one or another blog software or service, you have to see what you need and what you get. Different blog services offer different features. If you have money to invest, you might as well get a paid solution. On the other hand, free blog services can be perfectly enough for you. So look at the pros and cons of different blog services and later decide which one is best for you.
- The Price
It is important to determine your budget before you decide on a blog platform. There are many free blog services and software available for you to download. However, free is not always the best, because free blog services many times lack the functions you get with paid solutions. If you have additional money to spend, you might consider getting a blog software. You usually pay one time fee and have it forever. If you decide to get blog service, you might need to pay monthly fees in order to use it.
- The Ease of Set Up
Another important thing you should consider is the set up process. Many free and paid blog services allow you to set up the blog very easily, within minutes. All you need to do is fill a few fields and the blog is set up. Blog software on the other hand, is usually much harder to set up. It comes with many scripts and folders that you have to extract into your PC and later upload into the server. There you also need to edit some scripts to match your hosting account. Usually you also need to create databases in order for the blog software to work.
- Blog Design Editing
If you are thinking about having a blog service that does not differ from your website, you’ll probably face some problems. Many blogging services are very limited in terms of design. There’s not much you can do to change the look and feel of your blog. The layouts (templates) do not differ very much from one blog service to another. However, if you use blog software and host it on your server, you’ll have much more designing options. You can find many different free blog templates to download or simply hire some professional blog designer to create a template for you.
- Resource Usage
One other important thing to take into consideration is your host resources. If you decide to get a blog software (free or paid), you have to keep in mind that you’ll be hosting it on your server. That means of your blog becomes popular, the monthly hosting bandwidth will increase and you might need to pay extra for bandwidth. If your host allows very little hosting space, then you might not be able to upload the whole blog software at all. Also keep in mind that if you decide to get a separate domain and host for your blog, then you’ll have to pay for domain and hosting, even if your blog software is free.
- URL of Your Blog
One last thing you should keep in mind is the URL of your blog. As mentioned above, if you decide to get TLD (Top Level Domain) name for your blog you’ll be paying for that domain and hosting. However, if you decide to use a blog service, then you’ll have to use their given URL. You’ll usually be able to select your blog name, but the whole URL will consist of your username and the blog service name, like:http://yourblog.blogger.comWhile many people don’t mind that, you might want to have a separate domain. Free blog service URL’s, just like free web hosting URL’s look unprofessional. So if you think about having a commercial blog, then choosing blog software and a separate domain name is better idea.
If you have read the following information above, now you should have a basic understanding of what does it take to have your blog. There are different options and depending on your budget and needs, you should select the best blog software or service for you.
Choose the Best Blog Software or Service
As long as you know what kind of blog platform is best for you, look at a couple of blogging services and software below and try to pick the one that best suits your needs.
- Blogger – This Google’s acquired service is considered to be one of the most popular blog services online. It offers quick sign up process and easy to understand member’s area. While it lacks some features, Blogger is a great way to start publishing online for beginners.
- Live Journal – Another web based blogging service. It has a great community, features, like email notification of a post, but it lacks some design editing options. It has free and paid accounts. Paid accounts offer additional features, like voice posting, text messaging or domain forwarding.
- TypePad – This one is one of the best blog services available on the internet. It offers many customization options. You can easily create a photo album, integrate audio or video, change various elements in your blog and more. While it’s a paid blog, it offer lots of great features and is easy to set up.
- WordPress – It is great free blogging software that many bloggers worldwide have already chosen to use. WordPress can be installed on your server. It offers customizable design. You can use already made templates or create one yourself. It has tons of free plug-ins that make this software even more powerful.
- Movable Type – Is also very popular blog software. Has paid and free options for personal and commercial use. It offers support for unlimited blogs, nice templates, great community management, many plug-ins and a lot more features. It is very powerful and flexible blog software.
Different blog platforms offer different capabilities to users. You should seriously think about the future of your blog. If you are planning to create a long term relationship with your readers and customers, if you are planning to look professional and make money with your blog, then choosing blog software is the best option for you. It is worth to learn a bit on how to install the blog software for that reason.
On the other hand, if you’re not thinking about monetizing with your blog, then you can easily go ahead and create a free blog hosting account at your favourite blog service (like Blogger) and publish your thoughts on any topic you like. Blog service can be a good option even if you plan to make some money with it, but you are not a techie… Blog software usually requires you to set one up on your host. It can be a hassle trying to upload and configure all the files to your server if you are not experienced.