Getting started

footprints in snow

Before taking this tutorial you should already know:

What is a blog. Some basic blogging terminology. The components of a blog.

If you are unsure about some of these, we recommend you take five or ten minutes to read through our Introductory Blogging tutorial.

In this tutorial we will help you understand the options available to you and help you choose a blogging system that is right for you. This tutorial is going to take a little bit longer than the first one simply because there are so many options available to you!

Here goes…

Understanding the options

To begin your own blog there are three considerations:

Blogging Software: The first is software that is capable of running a blog. Just as you might use a program like Microsoft Word to create and read text documents or as you are using an Internet browsing program to look at this site, so you need software that will allow you to write and publish your blog.

Web Hosting: The second thing you need is a place on the Internet to put your blog. Just like you are now visiting a Web site at the address (this is known as a URL) you need an address for your blog so that people can find you. This is known as “hosting” because somewhere on the Internet a server (a type of computer) will host your site. Software and hosting are the two dynamics you need to take into account.

A name or domain: Your blog will need a unique name or address on the internet so that people can find you again.  Some of the hosting services will allow you to link to their name, almost like an apartment number or office number in a large building, but most bloggers will purchase their own domain name, such as my  Your own domain gives you a lot of benefits, which will be discussed below.

Your Options

There are three main options:

Free software with free hosting – This is the entirely free way of blogging. You do not pay for the software or for the hosting.  The two leading services are Blogger, (owned by Google), and WordPress also have a large free hosting site.

In this option you do not have a domain, but select a name linked to either the Blogger or WordPress service.  Both services are entirely free and offer a large number of free options, such as themes, (layouts), and useful plug-ins. .

Free software with paid hosting – This is the most common blogging option.  You will need to buy a domain and then rent your hosting space from a hosting company.  All hosting companies I know have a system to buy a domain.  Some will even allow you to have the domain for free providing, of course, you carry on paying your hosting fee.

Most hosting companies offer a lot of free facilities including website design software, free graphics and a host of free software packages including free blogging packages.  Usually the installation is done by filling in a few basic details on a from and then with a couple of clicks your software is then set-up ready to go.

An all-in one subscriptions service. For a one off referring fee you have your hosting and software  to design your blog.  The main organisation providing this service is a Canadian company, SiteSell, which provides a complete range of support for those wanting to start up an online business.

Go to the Next Page: Free software with free hosting

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