When you first start blogging you might find yourself intimidated with the various technology that exists to help you get started. But, there is no need to worry. Blogging technology is so simple today that if you can work Facebook, or use your bank’s online services then you can build a blog.
The most recommended platform for building a blog is to use self-hosted WordPress. Self-hosted WordPress is different from WordPress.com which actually does use the software WordPress to run its blogging platform. You can read a lot about WordPress that I’m talking about here: WordPress.org. However, it’s so easy to use that you don’t really need to even read that. MommyJenna.com is on self-hosted WordPress and I continue to teach myself new things every day. If there is one thing I would change about when I started blogging, I would have used self-hosted WordPress from the start.
Many hosting businesses will install the WordPress software for you or you can quickly walk yourself through doing it yourself. Then you’ll only need to customize it and you’ll be up and running in no time. I use Siteground for my hosting and they specifically have plans for WordPress Based Hosting.
WordPress comes with so many bells and whistles that you can create a full-fledged website with a blog, or just a blog. It’s up to you how fancy you want the website to be. You can be up and running in just a few hours by choosing a premade Theme, which will define the look and feel of your blog. There are many free and also premium fee based themes that you can use. Some of the most favorite of bloggers are the free Twenty Ten or Twenty Thirteen themes that are automatically installed with the first installation of WordPress and the premium Themes you can get from companies like Studiopress, Elegant Themes, Athemes, and so many more.
WordPress also has many programs that will extend the functionality of your blog. These are called “plugins” on WordPress. Plugins can help you have a great contact form, extra search engine optimization (SEO) features and so much more. You can even have a shopping cart, and social media buttons easily with WordPress plugins. There are both free plugins and premium paid plugins that you can get to make your blog work very well.
Another reason you want to use self-hosted WordPress is because when you use a blogging platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com you do not own your own information. They can cancel your blog at anytime. Plus there are a lot of rules about promoting items for sale. When you own your own website and blog you have full control over backing it up, and putting the information you want on it and promoting products and / or services as you wish without worry of being cancelled. Of course, you still do have to follow the rules of the hosting account, don’t plagiarize, and don’t spam or scam people, but other than that you have full control over every aspect of your website.
Don’t worry, it’s not really that hard. You can learn how to use WordPress on your own via the WordPress.org website as well as through courses taught by experts like Paul B. Taubman II or Angela Mills. If you need that extra help to learn the software they are both a great choice for learning. A variety of WordPress books are out there for you to explore yourself. I recently ordered the WordPress All-In-One for Dummies to help teach myself more of the behind the scenes parts of blogging.
If you just don’t want to deal with technology, WordPress is still a good choice because there are many people to outsource to who know how to use WordPress.