Based on the suggestions left on this past post, some of you would like to hear more about my blogging experiences. I didn’t know where to start, so I decided to go over the first real choice most bloggers have to make – Blogger or WordPress which are considered the top blog sites. There are obviously other options as well, but these are the only two I know anything about.
I started out on Blogger and migrated to WordPress a couple of months later
. Here are the benefits of each as I see them:
- Easy to set up
- User friendly
- The parts that can be customized are easy to customize
- I’d say it is perfect for a hobby blogger that does not plan on monetizing
- 100% control over your site and its features
- Much more is customizable and there are way more theme options – I personally consider this a disadvantage since making non-stop choices for 2 weeks sucked, but it is a major advantage to most people
- Trackbacks and pingbacks are pure gold to anyone who wants to monetize
- Plugins allow for all sorts of additional features
- You can backup your site (Blogger has been known to eat sites)
My General Views of Blogger and WordPress
Personally, if I was just blogging for the fun of it, I would have stayed on Blogger which is the best online website builder in my opinion. I love anything that is user friendly since I am not techie at all. Since I did want to get bigger and a personal finance blog feels more like a business than a daily journal, I needed a way to backup my work and to have more control over my site. That is why I migrated BFS to WordPress.
Migrations are a huge pain because of the amount of work involved (or money – I paid $125 since there was no way I would have ever done it myself), so if you ever think you may want your blog to grow into more than you orginally planned, I would just start with WordPress and save yourself the migration hassle.
If you don’t mind having the word “blogspot” or “wordpress” in your domain name, you can run a blog on either system for free – you can get started with Blogger or WordPress.com.
If you want a domain name free of any marketing and you use Blogger, you can buy your name for as little as $10-$15 a year
If you use WordPress than you will need a host for your site (Host Gator, Host Monster, BlueHost, ect), which will operate as your server and you can get your domain name through them as well. I ended up going with Host Monster for about $6 a month ($72 a year).
**Update: I hated Host Monster since they kept crashing on me, so I’ve since switched to Host Gator and have been very happy!**
Different hosts have different benefits such as server size and whatnot, so look over your needs and choose for yourself. I only needed something simple, so I did not look too hard. Feel free to be way more thorough than me. 🙂
Once you pick a host or choose to go with Blogger, you will need to pick your general layout (theme). I am currently using a very flexible theme in WordPress called Atahualpa, but it was a hard choice. I was also leaning towards F2 and a few others. A theme can be changed even after you move ahead, but it is easier to simply choose a good one and move on. I don’t want to relearn theme options any more than I have to…
After choosing your theme and working through its options to get yourself set up, you will be ready to post. If you do have any Blogger or WordPress questions while working through any of these steps, please shoot me an email and I can see if I can help. I don’t know about coding or anything super technical, but I do know the basics of getting started and can at least point you in a helpful direction if I am useless. If you’re on a low budget you can still learn how to create a free blog.
Did I leave something out about making money from blogging? Any other specific questions about Blogger or WordPress? For all my fellow bloggers reading this, what would you like to add for our non-blogger friends who may be thinking about their options right now?