Hi again, dear future bloggers! A very important post is coming your way. You may not be aware of it yet, but how to choose a blogging platform is something you need to take very seriously.
It's a decision you should never underestimate if you wish to give your blog the best chance for success.
My goal with this article is to give you as much information I can to help you make the right choice.
Let's get to it!
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure here.
Speaking from my own experience:
I know pretty well how frustrating all the unfamiliar blogging terms are when you're a beginner.
If I had a dollar for every single time I freaked out in my early blogging days...
In case you're going through the same phase, here is the good news:
Eventually, it will get better. And easier in time!
Related: Why You Should Start Blogging Online
Care to guess what I did to calm down? Actually, you're not here to guess, but to get the answers ready:
Basically, every time I met a blogging term I didn't know, I took a deep breath. Sounds like such a cliche, but it works like a charm!
Then I asked for help!
Believe it or not, in 99% of the time it turned out to be something pretty simple!
My point is:
For every blogging issue you might have, there is a perfectly good explanation. And where blogging platforms are being concerned, you'll learn everything you need to know in the next few minutes!
In short, a blogging platform is a software or service that will allow you to publish your content online in the form of a blog.
Simple as that! But we're not going to zoom up too much on the essence of the blogging platform itself.
What you need to know at this point is this:
Basically, there are two types of blogging platforms - hosted and self-hosted. Therefore, depending on your choice, you'll either have a hosted or a self-hosted website.
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Honestly, the difference is bigger than you can probably imagine at this moment!
The way I like to call it - one is a hobby blog and the other is a money making one.
Although this way of thinking is pretty much self-explanatory, it doesn't give away all the details, does it?
Let's look at the facts then, shall we?
With this option, the files of your site will be stored on the servers of the blogging platform itself.
In other words, you won't have to worry about a single thing!
And that's why most of the newbies prefer this option - it does take a lot of the pressure off!
Your hosting company will take care of all the software updates. So you'll be able to fully concentrate on creating your content.
If you go for a hosted blog, your blogging adventure will be easy and definitely cheap.
But we all know that there's no such a thing as free lunch:
Your choices about almost everything will be restricted. The coolest plugins, the most awesome website themes - you can forget about all of that!
Even more - if your hosting company goes out of business, you'll have to kiss your blog and all of your hard work goodbye.
And start a new site from scratch elsewhere...
When you choose this option, your blog will be sitting on its own server. Or you can choose to go for a third-party to host your website.
Nowadays, the majority of bloggers prefer the latter option, myself included.
Because the advantages are, how can I say... a lot!
But I'll get to this in a minute.
Think of it that way - you'll be the Boss!
It's all about control.
Likewise, when your blog is self-hosted, you'll have the final word on pretty much everything!
What you should know from now though is that there is a price that goes with this option.
To make it easier for you to understand what you're getting with each case, how about I pin them against each other?
In other words, it's time for the good old pros and cons list!
The hosted blogging platforms are also called free. Simply because they are.
No charge what so ever!
Here are some of the options you can choose from:
1) They are completely FREE!
2) You don't need to have any knowledge of web design. Creating and maintaining a site will be a piece of cake for ANYBODY!
1) Little to no control over your blog.
A quick example - you read about a really cool plugin and now you would love to grab it yourself. Sorry, you can't do that!
Free blogs mean very limited options where customization is being concerned. Even more - CSS functions are restricted as well.
The really good-looking themes - out of your reach too!
2) You will have a sub-domain
I know, it doesn't sound good. It doesn't look really nice either.
Unless you pay for your own domain. Let's say you choose not to.
Take my site for example. If I was having a sub-domain, my blog would be www.cashembrace.wordpress.com.
Are you OK with that? In my opinion, you shouldn't be and here is why:
- it doesn't look professional
- a limited amount of web space, memory, and bandwidth
- even more limited advertising options - it will be hard for you to make money from your blog.
Basically, they are perfect for anybody who is not completely sure about blogging.
What I mean with that:
Maybe you haven't decided yet if blogging is what you really want to do and you would like just to have a look. Or maybe you feel like having a site as a place to share your thoughts will be enough for you.
And you are not interested in monetizing it.
If you fall in any of those categories, then I would say - go for it!
Related: Best Free Blogging Platforms
Generally, they're the best option if you're looking at your website as a business.
1) All the control you can imagine over your site
The possibilities in here are countless - layout, design, themes, customization, advertising options, plugins...
In other words, you will be allowed to do almost anything you would like to do!
2) You will be able to create a brand
More control means more freedom.
And all that freedom will allow you to build a successful business and leave the 9-5 behind once and for all!
3) Full access to your backend files
Not a beginner? You know a thing or two about writing a code or making any necessary code changes?
You will have a green light to do that as well.
4) Easy on your pocket if you decide to use a third - party host
Most of them will cost you just a few bucks a month.
1) Not free of charge
As I already said, the price will empty your bank account.
BlueHost is the preferred choice of millions of bloggers. And they will cost you just $3.95/month.
2) There is a learning curve involved
Anyone who is really committed to blogging.
A self - hosted blog is the real deal if you are interested in creating business.
Maybe you would like to earn a nice extra income online?
To change your whole lifestyle and dive into a new career on the web?
If you recognize yourself in any of the possibilities above, then don't think twice about it!
After everything you've just read, the decision on how to choose a blogging platform should be a no-brainer.
Depending on your needs, go with the one that covers them in the best way possible!
In case you still feel totally lost and need help to start your blogging journey:
Check My Top Recommendation, it's what got me through the whole process!
Any thoughts on how to choose a blogging platform? If you leave them in the comments section, I'll be happy to reply?
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