Hey, everyone! A few people in the past have asked me about blogging. Mainly, how do you run this website? What goes into it? And how can I start one? To answer these questions, and many more, I decided to add a section within bookish chatter for those who are looking to start one of your own. I am going to try and make this a weekly post but can't always guarantee that it will be because life gets in the way. But we will start here and then build on it in the coming weeks. In this feature, we will discuss which websites to use for hosting!
Choosing your Web Host
Choosing your webhost can be just as daunting as actually building your site! There are so many to choose from and each person has their own preferences in terms of what these sites can offer. Some of the most well used sites in the bloggisphere include wordpress and blogger. I have used BOTH in the past trying to build my own site and each have good and bad things about them. Some of the more "unknown" sites that are now being used include weebly (this is what I use) and wix. So how do you chose which one is best for YOU? We will get down to the nitty gritty below.
Wordpress.com is simpler to use in comparison to .org (well, that's my opinion anyway). There are a myriad of themes to choose from and you can start building your website right away. I will be honest though, the themes (if you want a more unique theme) are expensive! I think this is why a lot of users go for the free themes (which they still have a ton of) and end up having the same looking website as other bloggers. I have seen this with my own eyes and I think it takes away from your website because its so similar to others, but with different content. Another thing I didn't care for with the .com wordpress is the fact that it is tricky to add pages. Unless you are sitting down and actually learning how to do it, this will take time to understand. Some may disagree with me, others won't. It's all in who is using the site.
With wordpres.org, you need an actual hosting website. You can't simply log into org, you need to go though another hosting company. I tried this, and I used bluehost (which is one of the most used by bloggers). I didn't like this. Why? Because I not only needed to pay for that, but I also had to pay to buy a custom theme. Wah!!!! I also found it confusing to navigate- I wanted my site up and running immediately, and it wasn't the case. Sigh! One of the advantages of using a .org wordpress site is that you will NEVER lose your data. That's great because I have seen some blogs loose EVERYTHING.
So, if you are doing to use wordpress, make sure to LEARN about it first. There is a lot that goes into it, and I don't think it's as simple as some of the other hosting sites out there. Want to try it out or get a feel for it? Here are the links:
You can use your personal email, or you can come up with a new one to match your site address. That's exactly what I did when using it. Another thing that is good about blogger and google (together, hand in hand) is that you can get your domain in the same spot. Domain names are CHEAP with this. You can buy your domain for 1 year for only $12. And it won't expire if you don't want it to. They will send you an email when time is running out and you can just #1click pay for the next year. Everything about it is just so darn simple that it's probably the one (besides the web host I use) I would recommend the most.
One of the downfalls of blogger is that you CAN loose all your information. I have only seen this happen to users 1 or 2 times though, so I think the chances are rather slim, but it can happen. So, want to try it out? The link is below!
Advantages & Disadvantages:
1. It is simple to use: If you don't have any clue about html and you want something you can put together quickly (with your own taste) you should chose this. As I mentioned above, everything is drag and drop. You can put your stuff ANYWHERE. It has both simple pages (blank pages) and blogging pages. I use the simple, clean pages for all my information stuff (like my home page) and use the blogging pages for my reviews and book chatter. It's just so simple!!!!
2. You can build a quality website for FREE. However, you will have the dreaed .weebly.com if you chose the free path. I pay for mine, hence the reason that is not added at the end of my website name. Additionally, most free web hosting sites (like wordpress.com, are severely limited compared with what you can do on Weebly. With a free wordpress site you can't customize anything! This includes your own colors. Finally, using a free weebly site won't haveforced third-party ads clogging up your pages.
3. There are a lot of amazing templates to chose from! Sure, there may not be as many as you would find on wordpress (they aren't cheap there though) but you can CUSTOMIZE what you chose to fit your style.
4. The mobile apps: You can create and edit your site on your phone or tablet using Weebly’s mobile apps. And, if you are looking at your website though a mobile or app on your tablet, it looks fantastic! Just like your original site!!!
5. You can simply, and easily upgrade at any time. Weebly offers several premium plans, and you can start off with FREE, then go to starter or pro. Unfortunately, there is a fee for this though, and it can be quite pricey, but with everything you get, it is so worth it!
Want to take a look and try it out yourself? Here is the link:
I hope this section helps you decide which website would should use if you are deciding to build your own blog. I have tried to add as much information as I could in a small post as to not overwhelm you. Just know, you need to chose something you are personally comfortable with. Otherwise, blogging won't be fun for you!
Now, I only added 3 web hosting sites within this post, but there are more. If you want to look around those ones, feel free. However, the reason why I chose these 3 in particular is because I know about each of them (I have used them all) and they are probably some of the most cost efficient (depending on what you need). Below you will find some other hosting sites.
wix | Squarespace | Tumblr | Sitey