Starting a blog is one of the easiest ways to get a presence on the web. If you’re ready to start blogging, you will have to look at how to set up your new blog, including selecting what kind of blogging platform you want to use. You will need software that you can use reasonably easily and which will turn whatever you want to write into a site that looks professional and can be accessed by visitors, who in turn will find it easy to navigate around your new site.
There are really only two basic blogger platforms to choose from, and they are WordPress and Blogger. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages, so if you need to know what they are to help you decide which way to go, you should read on and figure out which one would seem to be best for your needs.
Blogger has several advantages:
The first is that Google owns it, so any links you post in your blog will be looked on favourably by the world’s biggest search engine.
It’s also effortless for beginners to start using it right away. Blogger setup is straightforward – all you have to do is follow a few clear prompts. There is nothing to install.
Blogger is completely free to use – you don’t even have to purchase a domain name. The Blogger system will give you a site address based on the keyword you put in during the setup process. However, since Blogger is so popular, the major keywords will probably be taken already.
Ease of use. It’s easy to post to your blog and also change the look of your blog. It’s all done through the Bloggers dashboard function. If you have more than one blog set up, you can manage them from the same dashboard.
But, Blogger does have some major drawbacks if you want to use a blog to make money.
There is a lack of flexibility. When you compare it to WordPress, the things you can do with it are minimal. There are custom themes for Blogger that you can download and install, but most of them are very much the same. This means that your Blogger blog will find it hard to stand out from all the others, especially if they use the same theme as you.
Ownership: You don’t own your Blogger site, and Blogger can take away your blog anytime if you break the rules.
The other option for your blog is WordPress.
WordPress lets you use your own domain name. You install WordPress on your own site, and this is also very easy to do, provided that your Cpanel uses Fantastico. If it does, then it is straightforward to set up a blog on a site. You can do it in less than two minutes.
There are lots of themes and a host of plug-ins that will increase the usefulness of your blog without you having to know anything about programming.
However, WordPress does have some problems. It is not as user-friendly as Blogger, plus it will cost you some money to buy your domain name and get a hosting package.
But despite these disadvantages, most professional bloggers use WordPress because they can maintain their ownership of their own blogs and customize them as much as they want to.
I certainly chose WordPress for my own Canberra marketing site for those very reasons.
I would, of course, advise you to look at both options. Set up a new blog on both Blogger and WordPress, and then you will have some basis on which to base your blogging decision.
Peter Phillips is an author, internet entrepreneur, and offline consultant living in Canberra, Australia.