Blog BWP Under The Hood

Which Blog Platform Should I Use?

October 30, 2013

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When I started blogging, I actually used the blog function on Myspace. Oh my gosh, right? How crazy is that? My blog is, in fact, possibly still floating about on Myspace. I don’t really know if it is because I forgot my logins and now I’m too scared to go and look in case it’s covered with pictures of nude ladies or other embarrassing stuff.  (Moral: always store your logins securely because you never know when you’ll encounter a case of amnesia.)

After a while, I realised that Myspace was really not that attractive (sorry Myspace!) It didn’t serve my purposes, it looked a bit skanky and it wasn’t actually designed for blogging in the first place, truth be told.

I started a fresh new blog on Blogger where I stayed for about 5 years. I must say I loved Blogger. I found it easy to move things around and I felt confident about doing teensy bits of coding in the back end to suit my needs (thank you Google!) When I started out on Blogger other great bloggers like Daydream Lily and Poppytalk were blogging there too. Back then, people were spread pretty evenly across Blogger, Typepad and WordPress, in fact a lot of creative bloggers preferred Typepad over them all.

Now things are different. There are still a heap of people blogging on Blogger, of course, but there’s been a real swing over to WordPress. It’s become the clear leader.

Let’s talk about these platforms (and find my Glossary of Techy Terms here!)

Blogger
Blogger, my first favourite platform is owned by Google. It’s super easy to use and perfect for most small businesses or niche blogs. You can set up your own domain and Blogger will host it for free, so it’s a great budget option. In the whole time that I was on Blogger, my blog went down ONCE for a few hours. That’s super reliable, in my opinion! Blogger is a bit less customisable than WordPress, but that often doesn’t matter to smaller blogs. I think Blogger is great. Have a look and see what you think. I think if your blog is promoting your work or a service and is going to be quite small and work as a bit of an online business card, Blogger and your own domain would be just fine.

WordPress.com
This is a free version of WordPress set up for bloggers who don’t want to mess about with hosting just yet. Your site will be hosted for free by WordPress but the catch is you end up with a url like this: blogwithpip.wordpress.com.  If you are planning on using you own domain name at any stage, it’s probably a MUCH better idea to move on to the next option WordPress.org.  (You can set up WordPress.com to sit on your own custom domain, but it’s not good for search engine optimisation and it’s a bit pricier than just buying a domain and hosting package from a hosting company… there’s not much point!) I kind of don’t recommend this option. I feel like it’s a bit messy and limiting.

WordPress.org
This is the self-hosted version of WordPress and is apparently the best option search engine optimisation (SEO). If you have purchased a domain name and a hosting package, this is the version of WordPress you can install from your hosting ‘C-panel’.  This version of WordPress is free, but you pay for the hosting of your site with your hosting provider (for instance Hostgator, djkfds, kfjfdlks, kjsafdsl) With this version of WordPress you’ll end up with your own domain name (for instance blogwithpip.com is sitting on WordPress.org – I registered my domain, bought a hosting package and then installed WordPress from my own personal control panel within the host’s site.) This is the best option for big and small blogs, in my opinion.

Other platforms
There are other ways to blog too:

Wix : more of a website builder, really
Squarespace : seems to becoming more popular
Tumblr : great for simple, visual blogging
Typepad : an oldie but a classic

I think that they all have their strengths, but I reckon WordPress.org is the winner of the internet.

To sum up, if you go with WordPress.org for your new blog

1. Buy your domain name and hosting : install WordPress : here’s how
2. Log into your newly created WordPress blog: here’s how

More tips on WordPress in the UNDER THE HOOD section of the menu bar. There are also tips on BLOGGER blogging too!

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