What’s a blog?
Also called blog platforms, or content management systems, are software systems that allow the user to classify and organize the information on his or her web site. The end result is to create and design a web page.
A couple of the most common CMS are Drupal, Joombla, and WordPress.
The decision on which type to use is determined by ease of use, security, and a few other points that are becoming less and less of an issue.
As developers continue to upgrade their platforms, the differences between the platforms are becoming less and less of an issue, as most of the major platforms are more secure, have easier site building capabilities, and have additional add-on software that makes these platforms perform equally well overall.
How do I get a blog?
You can get a blog for free if you do a search for “Free Blog”. You will find a number of alternatives from which to choose. Wordpress, Blogger, Blog and a number of other options will pop up. Most of these sites you can only customize to a point. You will usually not have total control over the look and feel of these free blogs.
If you want to have complete control over how you want your blog to look, then you will want to get your own domain name and hosting. Many hosting companies also offer domain names for sale. Just a heads up, do a little shopping here. I am not going to go into finding hosting companies.
Using your blog
Once you actually have your blog set up, there will be a page where you can access everything on your site. This page is called the “Dashboard” (usually).
From your dashboard you can add or delete pages. You can add or delete posts. You can add or change a Header graphic, or add things to a sidebar (if you have chosen that design). Yes, you can even choose the design, or template, that will determine how your blog looks overall.
You can also choose to have a Header (a large image, banner type, across the top of the page), or you can simply have text at the top of the page. Websites will use either or both of these for displaying logos, name, or an idea or concept. It all depends upon what you are doing with your site, and how you want it to look.
Before you begin putting a lot of “Stuff” on your blog, or even get a domain name, or name your subdomain (www.your name/host provider’s name.com – it will be one or the other) you want to be sure that you have a good idea what you want to do with your blog. Do you want to sell something, say something, or provide something? Each of these types of sites can require different strategies to get people to want to come to your web site.
In addition to all of the many controls that you have through your “Dashboard”, you can accessorize your site with many software modules called “Plug-ins”. These plug ins can help you keep your site more secure, increase your web visibility and presence, and you can even get plug-ins that will set up an entire store, or e-commerce platform for you.
With self-hosting, you will have a very large selection of these plug-ins from which to choose. If you use a “Free” blogging platform such as WordPress.com, or Blogger.com, then you may well be limited to what they allow in their dashboard section.
Blog applications are set up so that you can use various types of media to add content, flavor, and interest to your posts and pages.
Most (if not all) blogging platforms give the user the ability to upload photos, clip art, animated gif’s, and video that can be added to any post or page. This ability adds yet another dimension of versatility to your web site.
Who hasn’t heard of You Tube? Well, by using the “Embed” code that is available for all of the You Tube videos available, you can simply cut and paste that code for whatever video that you wish to display on your website into the page (or post) where you want that video to appear. Or, you can choose to upload your own video and show it.
Using a blog has become much simpler as improvements and upgrades have been added. There still seems to be a lot of people who are afraid to jump into the world of blogging because of fear of the unknown. If you have been considering setting up a blog for business or personal use, but are a little afraid of not being able to use it, then you are in luck. Simply click on the banner below and you can get free information on blogging instantly downloaded. Check it out below.