If you already have considerable (even if not extensive) technical know-how as regards websites, then I assume you have no need of this particular tutorial
If you already have considerable (even if not extensive) technical know-how as regards websites, then I assume you have no need of this particular tutorial. BUT if in a eureka moment you realized you had dreams of owning your own blog site in the near future but are discombobulated about the overwhelming jargon of cyberspace (and what in mighty Frigg’s name is an RSS?!!!), then by all means, start here. It may be the age of technology, but not everyone can speak HTML. Or Klingon.
To make sure that you eventually live long and prosper in your online home, let’s commit to understanding the terrain on which you will build that home, and begin with free sites.
Yes, they’re free. Two of the most popular blog hosting sites are WordPress and Blogger.
Quick Note: There are two WordPress sites: wordpress.com and wordpress.org. What the .com site gives you is free hosting. As for the .org site, that’s where you can download a CMS (Content Management System) for a domain that you’ve paid for.
The general truth about free hosting is limitations in terms of design and the plug-ins that you can add to make your website function that way you want e.g. if you want to group categories under an umbrella menu that shows up as a drop-down. Logically, you get more options for something you pay for. But if you’re on your own and are looking to learn it DIY-style, a free hosting is a good start.
Now, here’s a quick list of what you’ll get from them:
For these free hostings, your URL will contain a .wordpress.com or a .blogspot.com in it. E.g., www.chaifonacier.wordpress.com. Note: if you’re gunning for visibility on the web, it’ll require extra promotion on your part because URLS with these extensions do not pop out in search engines as easily as when you have your own domain name.
2. Templates, Widgets, Elements
There are free templates for you to choose from on WordPress and Blogger which are quite easy to navigate. (We promise, there will be tutorials on these). The fancier ones require a bit of cash, but for beginners, exploring these templates as an introductory phase into the platform will serve you wonders. The same is true for the widgets and other elements in both blogging platforms; there are a number of drag-and-drop widgets that you can arrange on your blog to your liking.
On Blogger, however, you are allowed a bit more freedom with widgets as compared to WordPress e.g. adding a Follow Me Twitter badge, the code for which you can insert and voila! (Mental note: we’ll create a tutorial for this one too.)
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
WordPress is SEO-friendly. When you make a post, there are fields that you can fill out that will help to make your post more visible on search engines; these information are called metadata.
The advantage of Blogger on the other hand is that it’s owned by Google. This doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get a better chance at visibility on Google.com (it also depends on the quality of your website). The upside is that later on, it’s easier to add Google-related plug-ins such as Google Analytics which isn’t readily available for WordPress. Speaking of additional plug-ins…
4. Money Making
Blogger allows you to place ads on your free hosted website, enabling you to earn money especially when you’ve earned high traffic. The downside is that a lot of people deem blogs on Blogger as cluttered and lacking in credibility.
WordPress, though better in reputation, does not allow you to place ads until you get paid hosting and your own domain name.
Blogger offers customizable lay outs that allow you to change the font, viewing style and colors. It’s like getting a basic marinara pizza with toppings of your choice. If you know HTML, you can tweak the codes a bit to re-create your blog into a more personalized design.
WordPress on the other hand offer more than 200 unique themes. It’s a little hard to customize them though. Some solutions that work for some themes may not necessarily work for others. You get a little more freedom once you get paid hosting, which includes being able to use third party themes and tweaking codes.
Note: Despite this, the practice among businesses and professional blogs seems to lean more towards WordPress than Blogger perhaps due to its more professional, cleaner look. On the other hand, Blogger, being more navigable than WordPress looks like the choice for many who simply enjoy sharing multi-media content.
Via Brian Yanish - MarketingHits.com, R Dilip Kumar