There are 3 pieces to a blog.
The content of blog articles.
The domain name so readers can find and access the articles.
The hosting where the actually content resides online.
Things to consider
When choosing a blogging platform, you need to consider what you will need the platform to do for you.
- Will this simply be a blog only site to hold your articles?
- Will this also be a full website or just a place to post your content?
- Will you be promoting products and need an ecommerce option?
- Will you be promoting services and need to add additional pages or even landing pages?
Before we get into platform options, how much money are you willing to invest in setting up a blog. There are free platforms and there are paid.
All free platforms contain advertising. You need to decide if this is acceptable or not. Some platforms have a free version with advertising but then allow you to upgrade in order to remove the ads.
For blog only check out Blogger.com, Tumblr.com, Medium.com, Livejournal.com, and WordPress.com. These are all free blogging platforms which contain ads. Tumblr.com, for example, places the ads on the bottom of the article so they are less intrusive.
For website and blog together, try WordPress.org, Squarespace.com, Wix.com and Weebly.com. Wix.com and Weebly.com offer a free version with advertising and an upgrade option. Squarespace.com and WordPress.org are paid only platforms. Both Weebly.com and Squarespace.com offer a hosted ecommerce option. WordPress.org needs plugins and third party support to allow ecommerce but is much more to robust of an ecommerce website than either of the other two.
Free vs Paid hosting
In order to publish a website online, you need a Web host. The Web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. Your domain name is actually linked to an IP address that points to a specific computer. When somebody enters your domain name into their browser, the IP address is located and Web site is loaded from your Web host.
Hosting is very important because it can determine the speed of the site and security risks.
While there are countless free blogging sites out there, not all of them provide the necessities to help you effectively grow your blog. Some simply don’t offer critical features that would allow you to drive traffic to your blog and generate revenue.
What is the difference between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
WordPress.com offers an entry level package but it doesn’t allow you to customize the name of the blog with your own domain name. It also shows ads on your blog. If you want your own domain name or to remove the ads it’s $99 per year.
WordPress.org is a free platform that is used by almost 20% of the entire internet. In order to use it, you will need to have a hosting plan. These websites need an added layer of security to prevent hacking, regular plugin updates, and consistent backups. Another problem for these sites is speed. If a website owner adds large files, such as images or PDFs, to the media library, and the hosting is on the economy level, chances are the site will run slowly. This has a negative impact on your search engine rankings.
By using any of these platforms, except WordPress.org, you don’t have to worry about back ups or security threats.
The major advantages for using WordPress.org are flexibility and function – the sites are completely customizable, easier to rank due to the vast number of SEO plugins plus it’s the most “cleanly” coded of any of the platforms, and control over the website and content – no worries about Medium.com closing up shop and your blog is sitting there. WordPress websites are by far the most popular option among bloggers.
For more information, contact Raleigh Inbound Marketing at 919-766-2040.