Q:What is a blog? Is it a noun? A verb? A hybrid blue dog?
A: All of the above, well, minus the dog.
It’s something that many writers used to abhor, and now adore. Essentially, it’s a hosted website where visitors see a stream of regularly updated posts authored by you, the owner/user of the blog.
This includes pictures, essays, one liners, links, and whatever the site’s owner desires.
You say, “Well, I have a lot of awesome thoughts and pictures and memories that I’d love to share with the world! How can I start my own blog?” Lucky for you, Socket’s got your back. We’re going to tell you all about the top blog platforms and where to begin.
Two of the most widely used platforms for blogging are Blogger and Wordpress.
Blogger is a great platform, and one of the multitude of free services offered by Google. It’s an easy start for those without much technical knowledge.
The main advantages to using Blogger are the absolute no upfront investment, including templates, storage, search engine optimization (SEO), and the ability to use custom domain names.
Unfortunately, social media cannot be integrated into a Blogger blog, and Google could potentially shut it down without notice if it desires.
Wordpress.com is as well known and widely used as, if not more so than, Blogger. One of the best things about Wordpress is its versatility and the availability of third-party support. Wordpress has a copious amount of plug-ins, widgets, templates, etc. that work natively with the program.
As with Blogger, Wordpress allows users with limited technical knowledge to easily manipulate their site, while still providing more advanced users with a powerful tool for editing.
Wordpress plays nicely with social media and has a very high level of security. This community is backed by more than 720,000 visits per month from users and developers.
Lastly, Wordpress also has a counterpart, Wordpress.org, that is a versatile platform for self-hosted sites, and allows easy migration of content from other Wordpress sites.
With these awesome features come a few drawbacks. Namely, you cannot use a custom domain on a free site hosted on Wordpress.com (though you can on Wordpress.org), and the platform does not allow running ads (with a few exceptions, so monetizing the site is less of an option.
Weebly and Other Blog Services
Relatively new to the scene of blogs and websites is Weebly. Since its inception, it has been hailed as the easiest way to build any blog or website. With drag-and-drop options, free templates for both blogs and personal sites and eStores or commercial sites, the platform continues to be a standout performer.
Weebly also offers its own analytics software, making it easy for virtually anyone to manage their site’s stats. Pages are also resized automatically into mobile versions.
Aside from these top options, you’ll find a host of other services with equally capable platforms that can be used for your needs. Sites such as Livejournal, Tumblr, and more have tailored platforms for each specific user base, so you’ll find something perfect for you.